Who is Commando Cody?

Mundo viejuno

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Rubén Astudillo

Rubén Astudillo

Editor Bizarro at Ediciones Bizarras
Rubén Astudillo

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Probably many ye never heard this name, or maybe you believe that is the name of an officer of the clone troopers from Star Wars. Nothing happens, it’s normal. Nor is a character who has had too much fame.

Commando Cody is the protagonist of several serials that were emitted in cinema, specifically the serials Radar Men from the Moon and Zombies of the Stratosphere. These shows us a hero equipped with a protective helmet and a backpack rocket fighting to save humanity. What do you sound familiar? To Rocketeer? Yes, why deny it ?. It is quite clear that Cody is an inspiration for the character Dave Stevens create.

And where it comes this Commando Cody?

In 1952 Radar Men from the Moon premieres. It is a low budget serial that reuses props and even footage of other productions: As the main character´s costume and numerous images of Cody in flight were taken from King of the Rocket Men, so that many believe is a sequel to this serial although they have nothing to do. Or the lunar villain´s tank,  a piece of props of a much older serial called Undersea Kingdom that was repainted for the occasion.

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Commando Cody
Commando Cody

In this serial we are introduced to Commando Cody, an investigator and inventor who designed an aerodynamic helmet and a sonic rocket propulsion backpack attached to a leather flight jacket. It also has a rocket capable of reaching the moon. And who does not? What a wonderful time that! Now we must make do with a car.

radar_men_moon-2[1]Well, I mess. The synopsis:

Suddenly military bases and industrial complexes in USA (Where will it be otherwise!) are attacked and Cody guess that the Earth is under attack from the moon. And that’s when he decides to get on his rocket and fly there. He will meet with the dictator of the Moon, Retik, who boldly announces plans to conquer Earth and take their Lunarians to occupy it using spaceships. That is, more or less what happens in the Spanish shores, which every year are filled with Germans.

During the following 11 chapters of the series, Cody, now back on Earth, and its associated Joan, Ted and Dick will fight against an elusive moon agent called Krog and his band of human thugs who use guns rays to disconcert the forces defense and undermine public morale.p_22378[1]

On a second trip Cody is able to capture a ray gun to investigate and manages to double its technology in the laboratory.

Finally he gets away with Krog, so Retik, the dictator of the moon decides it’s time to get it right and down to Earth in person. Just to be vaporized by one of the guns manufactured by Cody using Lunar technology.

Marvellous plot! Great actors!

No?

Well what do you want in a serial of 50s?

 

The second serial is … curious.

We have said that is the second serial of Commando Cody, and that’s what it says everywhere but Commando Cody does not come out. But out a guy who wears his helmet and backpack. An heir? No idea.

Zombies_of_the_Stratosphere_poster[1]In Zombies of the Stratosphere we are introduced to Larry Martin, leader of the Interplanetary Patrol, which detects a rocket approaching the Earth. Without thinking twice winging off with his jet propulsion rocket backpack  to investigate.

And what does he find? Martians! Martians from Mars! Mars Martians who want to screw us!dcc-leonard-nimoy-zombies-of-the-stratosphere-1952[1]

Since Mars is orbiting too far from the sun its ecology has been dying, so insidious Martians want to change the orbits of Earth and Mars. So as it sounds!

And how they intend to carry out their evil plans? By using hydrogen bombs, using specifically placed atomic explosions in both worlds.

Martin also learns Martians on Earth have accomplices in the forms of the treacherous Dr. Harding and two gangsters: Roth and Shane.

The Martians establish a base in an underground cave which can only be accessed from under the water, where they begin building their bomb; also create a robot (We love robots!) remotely controlled to assist their human partners in the acquisition of supplies and funds to complete the project.

Cartel+(1952)+Zombies+of+the+stratosphere+(Republic+Movie+Serials)+2[1]
How great the Mailbox robot! Killer! I wanted to say killer robot!
Larry and his associates finished the human minions of the Martians and take control of the robot. Also in a fierce space battle destroy Martian ship and manage to capture one of them played by Leonard Nimoy Narab (Live long and prosper!) that tells how to find the underground base. Larry arrives in time to defuse the bomb just seconds before it explodes.

Hurray ! What a great series!

I already had the article written, reviewed, layout … and discover that there is another serial Commando Cody! How can it be possible? How could I have overlooked it?

We must remedy it! Whew still had not posted this!

Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe

We are putting intense … Sky Marshal of the Universe? What arrogance!

Well, let’s see what this is about.

I have not found the original cover
I have not found the original cover

He was proposed as a TV series, not as a serial for cinema and that causes a discussion among experts when classifying it but frankly, it’s not something that worries us too. Despite being filmed as a TV series was finally released in theaters in 1953 and on TV in 1955.

Retake in this series / serial the character in Commando Cody we saw in the serial Radar Men from the Moon and with the same actor. This is really a prequel to Radar Men and we see how the group of characters around Cody is formed.

A series of dangerous climate change is ravaging the earth (For those who still do not believe climate change!) And the US government calls the masked super-scientific Commando Cody to investigate. Among the tools at his disposal is his jetpack and his spaceship. With his colleagues Joan and Ted, who was later replaced Dick, find out that disasters are caused by forces in outer space led by a mysterious “Ruler” of an unknown planet with occasional help from terrestrial criminals. Cody and his associates are able to methodically finish the villains and discover that the Ruler is a rogue from Venus and finds his end in the hands of the Mercurians at Mercury.

How many alien races populate this solar system! And only interact to try to invade each other!

 

And again, how could it be otherwise, we find props and other serial footage used without shame or modesty.

In short, more of the same. No surprises.

 

It only remains to say that indeed Rocketeer is based on Commando Cody but fortunately much better done and the Commander Cody at Clone Wars is a tribute to this character.

Already back another day with more Viejuno World! Or not!

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