Sunday, 22 November 2020

War of the Worlds!

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon.

*** 

War of the Worlds by HG Wells
The War of the Worlds, that stark warning by HG Wells that the British might not rule the world forever, unless we get our act together and make sure we're all diseased up to the eyeballs.

Happily, the British government has learnt that lesson and is making sure no germ-fearing Martian would ever dare set foot in the UK right now.

Still, the tale has an allure that even time itself cannot diminish.

At least, that seems to be the case, judging by how many versions of it have been created over the years.

This site's comments section recently demanded I do a feature about that story and, so, here it is.

I'm fairly certain I first became aware of War of the Worlds through the 1953 Hollywood movie which transferred the tale to the United States and brought it forward to the Nuclear Age, so that even mankind's mightiest weapon of the 20th Century could be shown to be useless against such invaders.

War of the Worlds movie poster, 1953Even to this day, I love that movie. We may be able to see the strings on the Martians' war machines but, with their nod towards manta rays and cobras, they remain things of beauty as they glide around, sedately slaughtering all they encounter.

And who can forget the remarkable sound effects that film employed? So remarkable that they've been recycled in various productions over the years.

But, of course, that wasn't the first dramatic adaptation of the book.

That was Orson Welles' radio version from 1938, which, legend has it, terrified the people of North America who didn't realise it was a drama and reacted with mass panic.

At least, that's the claim. Apparently, the number of people taken in, and the scale of their panic, has been greatly exaggerated, possibly by Welles himself, and it's doubtful that more than a handful of people really fled their homes or decided to start shooting at water towers in the belief they were under attack.

Still, it was enough to make Welles' reputation and pave the way for him to find even greater celebrity.

Hollywood made a second stab at a movie, in 2005, when Steven Spielberg pitted Tom Cruise up against the monsters. Although the film's a masterclass in how to direct such an adventure, its plot and characters were, for some of us, less than involving and many find it difficult to have affection for the film, despite its technical virtuosity. 

Almost simultaneously, Pendragon Pictures released their own version which, almost uniquely, stuck to the original story. The film, though, had a budget of approximately £5, starred no one you'd ever heard of and was likened, by critics, to the work of Ed Wood.

Speaking of quality, we shouldn't forget that those purveyors of fine films Asylum also gave us their take on the subject. I haven't seen it but it seems to have gained the same rapturous critical reception that all their productions do.

Inevitably, TV has refused to be left out and 1988 offered up a series starring Jared Martin, a man some of us used to know as, "The bloke with the tuning fork in Fantastic Journey." It would be true to say it was a venture carried out on the cheap, with the Martians having mysteriously gained the budget-saving power to adopt human form, and footage from the 1950s movie being recycled wherever humanly - or inhumanly - possible.

2013 presented us with The Great Martian War 1913-1917, a TV docudrama which rewrote World War One as a battle between Earth and the Martians, incorporating footage from the real-life conflict. 

British TV finally made a stab at its own adaptation in 2019 when the BBC gave us a three-part series that didn't have anything like the funds necessary and was often reduced to having characters tell us what had happened elsewhere, rather than being able to show us. It also used a terrible framing narrative that meant the series was repeatedly flashing back and forwards in a way most viewers seemed to find annoying.

In the same year, Fox and France's Canal+ also had a go at making a TV version; this time, set in modern-day Europe and starring Gabriel Byrne. It seems to have gone down better than its British counterpart, judging by the fact that a second season's been commissioned.

Amazing Adventures #18, War of the Worlds, Killraven
But this is a comics blog and, of course, comics have been willing to tackle the torment as well.

Probably most famously, Marvel gave us Killraven, a man who could change his name at will and thwart talking apes whenever necessary but, mostly, stuck to his usual name and fighting Martians.

Spectacularly verbose, the strip could, at times, be a tough read but, under the care of Don McGregor and Craig Russell, it was always memorable.

Not satisfied with that crack at the tale, Marvel also gave us a straight adaptation of Wells' original, in the pages of Classics Comics #14.

But, arguably, the most offbeat version was Jeff Wayne's distinctly onbeat musical adaptation that, despite keeping the 19th Century setting, brought the book well and truly into the Disco Age.

Released in 1978, and packed with stars like David Essex and Justin Hayward, the double LP soon charged its way up the UK album chart, going on to achieve 9x Platinum status.

Not only that but, in Australia, it went 10x Platinum and, in New Zealand, the thing went 13x Platinum!

Jeff Wayne, War of the Worlds albumCould nothing stop this musical behemoth?

Yes! The Atlantic could!

Because, despite its juggernaut performance in those other realms of the Anglosphere, in the United States, it peaked at 98 on the Top 200, making it, surely, the greatest example of an album failing to cross the Atlantic the world has ever seen. One can only assume it was rammed by the Thunder Child, mid-journey.

So, there you go; War of the Worlds.

After all these myriad adaptations, cash-ins and rip-offs, my favourite version of the tale remains the 1953 movie.

Granted, that might be because I've never actually read the book. I remember making an attempt to do so, during childhood, but losing patience with it when I discovered it didn't have any pictures. That's how sophisticated I am.

But you may have other ideas about what's the best version.

Then again, you may have encountered versions of the tale that I haven't mentioned.

Or you may just have thoughts on the subject in general.

If so, let your voice ring out loud in the comments section, as those church bells rang out when everyone suddenly realised the Martians had corked it.

"Those church bells rang out when everyone suddenly realised the Martians had corked it." Yes, I'm pretty sure that was the last line of the book.

53 comments:

Killdumpster said...

Oh my brothers, my mind is a virtual cluster-f***.

Today I left responses on Steve's last 2 previous posts, with recommends & props thrown out to many of you. Please view Steve's last couple entries, as I have no inclination to re-enter them here.

The first time I saw George Pal's War Of The Worlds was on a Halloween night. It was the last of a special triple-bill on Chiller Theater, a Pittsburgh broadcast.

At 6-7 yrs old, it blew me away! So many great scenes!! The white-flag trio that got vaporized in the beginning, the vaporized priest, the protagonists trapped in a collapsed home and chopping of a probe's head then facing an alien for the first time, panic, destruction... Man!!!

Incredible piece of work for that time period.

Being a huge fan of AA, and the Beast, I was at first dismayed by the appearance of Killraven. I could read his stories, but I never became a huge fan. Herb Trimpe's familiar art at the beginning helped a little.

Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds was in print in CBS/Sony Record's catalog FOREVER. While stocking it on the shelves constantly in my years in the industry, I had never heard it. Always thought the cover was cool.

Killdumpster said...

Since Earth's bacteria/germs killed off the Martians in War Of The Worlds, wonder if COVID would take them out quicker or make them stronger?

Anonymous said...

Not only are the British government making sure the UK is diseased Steve, but they're also setting up a Space Command! Say what you like about Boris Johnson, but he's certainly doing his bit to make sure the Martians don't come to the here. Not to mention all the other foreigners.

You forgot to include the best adaptation of WOTW, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 2. Brilliantly threading its own story featuring Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man et al through the events of the book, it manages to be really different and at the same time faithful to Wells' original.
And O'Neill draws fantastic tripods. You can see his versions of Gullivar Jones and John Carter meeting up in the first issue at
https://marswillsendnomore.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/kevin-oneill-does-mars-1/
All that, and Rupert the Bear too.

Also worth mentioning Ian Edgington and Matt "D'Israeli" Brooker's WOTW sequel Scarlet Traces, which was in the progs and the Dredd Megazine - in the aftermath of the Martian invasion the Brits develop new, advanced technology which they use to keep and extend the Empire. If you're interested, theres a review at
https://theslingsandarrows.com/scarlet-traces-volume-two/

-sean

Anonymous said...

*make sure the Martians don't come here
Sorry about the poor edit in that first paragraph above. Duh.
And btw, I really disliked that BBC version from last year.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

Sean, I loved the second Gentlemen series! The first issue was awesome. Loved it when Hyde screamed into the aliens' crater, "I WILL EAT YOU!!!"

Too bad the first film performed bad at the box-office. That would've made for a great sequel.

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear (one day I really will have to start reading my comments through properly before posting them!) in Scarlet Traces the new technology is developed from salvaged Martian tripods.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Oh no Kd, its good the League film bombed - think how much of a mess they'd have made of a sequel!
As it is, one was enough to finish off Sean Connery's career. Even Zardoz didn't manage to do that.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

It sucks that I can't remember LOEG vol. 2 past the first issue. I'll have to get a copy of a collected edition. I remember the Invisible Man trying to sell-out the human race to the Martians, and Hyde mentioning he might rape & kill Nina.

Killdumpster said...

I remember a great panel where Quartermain asks Nemo what is causing the noise coming out of the Martians' craters. Nemo said, "I don't know what sounds like that. I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING THAT SOUNDS LIKE THAT."

Such a good book.

Killdumpster said...

Poppin' Pal's War Of The Worlds into the DVD player as I type, Steve.

It will coincide with War Of The Chicken Wings & War Of The 6-Pack.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - nice job!

I observed the growing exaggeration of the impact off Welles's WotW Radio Broadcast over the years. There were a few folks in a few cities, generally in the northeast, who went nutso. But there was no nation wide pandemonium. And now, young folks don't know jack about this radio broadcast.

Maybe the late 70s there was a TV show dramatizing the broadcast and the event. I think the highlight was this guy getting ready to shoot his wife and kids as "the martians" approached but it was actually an approaching sheriff with a flashlight wondering what was going on.

And oddly enough I think it was this TV show from the 70s that reintroduced Welles's broadcast into our pop culture memory. Just my guess....

Charlie Horse 47 said...

What is fascinating is how so very visible Mars is in the night sky at this time. After reading today's blog Charlie went out side around 6 pm and stared at it for a little while.

But then he allowed his gaze to meander over to Jupiter as well. Both are nicely visible at this time!

Anonymous said...

I think the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (yeah, let's call it "Gentlemen" for short. That's a lotta typing. And spelling. Or maybe LOEG. I dunno.)
Most of what I know about War of the Worlds comes from LOEG (that sounds weird). What a comic.
It's hard to forget the, ah, "gentleman's disagreement" between Mr. Griffen and Mr. Hyde.
Fortunately they were able to, er, "settle" the, uh, "misunderstanding" in a, um, "civilized manner."

Good day, sirs!

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Anyone else out there think Orson Welles bore a resemblance to Marlon Brando as they aged?

Anonymous said...

I dunno...they didn't sound alike, I know that much!
Can you imagine Brando doing a wine commercial like Welles did?
He always sounded like he just downed half a bottle.
It's that midwestern drawl, where it sounds like you got a mouth fulla marbles.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

On a different note, I wouldn't have wanted to be behind either one of them in a line at a buffet.
Good luck getting the last decent piece of fried chicken, pal. You're gonna be $#!t outta luck.
Yeah, they sure liked their grub.

M.P.

Comicsfan said...

A comprehensive rundown of the subject that was both informative and engaging. Steve, your writing style never disappoints. :)

Colin Jones said...

Comicsfan, a couple of years ago I mentioned Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds on the PPoC but you'd never heard of it and the fact that it only reached #98 on the US albums chart probably explains why :)

I must admit that the only two songs I know from the War Of The Worlds album are 'Forever Autumn' and 'Eve Of The War' (the 1991 remix which was released as a single).

Steve, Jared Martin also appeared in 'Dallas' as Sue-Ellen's boyfriend who gets killed in a plane crash. Poor Sue-Ellen had a miserable life.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Comicsfan. :)

Colin, I had a vague idea Martin had been in a soap but I didn't have a clue which one.

Charlie, that drama was called The Night that Panicked America. It was shown in Britain too. I think the first time I learnt about the Welles broadcast was from a magazine in my local doctors' waiting room, probably three or four years before that.

Sean, I, for one, can't wait for Space Command to be launched. I like to think everything about it'll be closely modelled on the oeuvre of Gerry Anderson. If they don't have a rocket that shoots up out of a swimming pool, and a transporter that can only take off after two palm trees have moved out of its way, I shall be very disappointed.

And thanks for those links. :)

Sean, MP and KD, I must confess I was previously unaware of that LOEG tale.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Steve, you pretty much covered all the bases re: WOTW — including an oblique reference to the mighty Ape-Slayer strip — well done, sir, well done!

Here on this side of the pond, I got my first inkling of Jeff Wayne’s cheese-tastic rock opera at a screening of the George Pal classic. In the late 70s, this great little art house cinema in Sherman Oaks had a month-long sci-fi festival every summer and they happened to be running a double feature of WOTW and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE — during the intermission, they ran various short films and one of them was this neat little semi-animated promo for Wayne’s album. It was pretty great! Ran out and bought the album the next day. I still listen to it every now and then.

I keep hoping that the old promo will show up on YouTube one of these days — but nope. There is a fan-made “re-creation” that’s not half-bad on there, but it doesn’t quite work for me.

I quite like the LOEG version too — my only criticism is that it follows the Wells novel maybe a little too closely. But it’s full of terrific bits throughout. Hyde steals every scene he’s in. The “reveal” of Griffin’s comeuppance is BRILLIANT.

b.t.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - Thanks for cluing Charlie in on the "The Night That Panicked America." Even the title is "over the top" but Charlie figures it could not have been named "The Night that Panicked some Families in the Northeast of the USA." It's funny how media hype can become history / reality. (Though the buffoonish one failed so, these past few weeks.)

Awesomely the 1957 War of the Worlds is on Youtube and decent looking quality. Charlie may watch it tonight with his son. Fortunately Charlie and Co. raised their kids watching black and white, unlike other kids their age who won't touch it, unless it's color.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wow... Mars is out big time tonight. Look south if your are in the northern hemi, generally to the south east and high. Blazing away in all it's glory!

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that too. I think we're pretty close to Mars right now. I think it was a few weeks back we were directly lined up between Mars and the Sun. Maybe if you were standing on Mars you might have seen a partial eclipse or something.
Is it my imagination, or doesn't it have a reddish tint?

M.P.

Redartz said...

Great post Steve! Very thorough look at the War of the Worlds. I loved that George Pal movie from the first few minutes. Saw it fr the first time as a kid, watching the Friday night late local monster/ science fiction show. Probably had a bag of chips, a Pepsi and a friend sleeping over. And then probably woke up early to watch the Saturday morning cartoons. Ah, the memories...

Anonymous said...

Y'know, I never read ERB's John Carter of Mars. I did read Bradbury's Martian Chronicles in high school.
Aren't both these books assuming the proposition that you can walk around on Mars without a suit like you were walking around in Nebraska in the spring? Obviously that ain't the case. You going to die from asphyxiation or freezing to death, whichever comes first. And even if you didn't, solar radiation would get you because of the thin atmosphere.
But at one time, planetary scientists say Mars was a very different place. A veritable water world, warmer, with a much thicker atmosphere. But not only is Mars a much older planet than Earth, it had some distinct disadvantages. It's only about a third the size of earth, so it didn't have enough gravity to hold onto it's atmosphere, and it had no large moon to stabilize it's axis. If we lost our moon, you'd know about it pretty quick, pal.
And we are losing it, just real slow-like.
It's also in a lane in the solar system that used to see a lotta heavy traffic.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

M.P. - I seem to remember (nearly 40years ago) in ERB's Martian tales, Mars has an 'atmosphere plant', oxygenating the planet. In one tale, the atmosphere plant's on its last legs, leaving everyone gasping for breath - an 'end of the world' catastrophe John Carter must solve in the next novel!

Also of note about the real Mars, is its magnetic field is much weaker than Earth's in proportion to its size. The UK has a (very)long running astronomy show, called 'The Sky At Night', which is a national institution - I don't know if you get it in the U.S. Mars has been featured many times in the past.

Phillip

Anonymous said...

I've seen "The Sky At Night", Phil, and it's great!
I would recommend it to any other "space nerds" like you and me.

I'm pretty sure I could raise the money to have myself hurled into space on a rocket.

...to come up with the funds to return me safely to Earth, that might be tricky.

M.P.

McSCOTTY said...

I loved that first issue of Marvels War of the Worlds comic with that iconic cover with Killraven looking more like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego than a freedom fighter – brilliant stuff.

I would have loved to have seen Ray Harryhausen’s version of this classic, such a pity he didn’t get past the test footage (link below for those that may not have seen this).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XutWqtjjLuM

Colin Jones said...

There's a theory that life actually began on Mars and was transferred to Earth on an asteroid - a meteor crashed into the Martian surface billions of years ago and threw masses of debris into orbit and one of those rocks carrying Martian life eventually landed on Earth. We might all be descended from Martian immigrants!
And of course there may be life on Mars right now, deep below the surface hidden away from the Sun's damaging radiation. And with the recent discovery of possible life in the clouds of Venus and maybe too beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa the solar system might be teeming with life (or might not).

Anonymous said...

“WE are the Martians!”

Was that from one of the Quatermass movies?

b.t.

Steve W. said...

Bt, I think it's from Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, although it would fit Quatermass and the Pit.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Redartz. I think I first saw the movie one Saturday night. It inspired me to draw many pictures of skyscrapers being obliterated by Martians.

Thanks for that link, McScotty. I do always feel Harryhausen's Martian invader looks quite endearing.

Colin, even now, minds immeasurably superior to our own may be watching us....

McSCOTTY said...

That wouldn't be difficult Steve.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

If you chaps want to read a most entertaining, recent novel about minds superior to ours visiting us, may I recommend "The Humans." Dramatic, poignant, compelling and an alien or two... it's all here!

Killdumpster said...

Sean, you may be right about a second LOEG movie being a worst mess than the 1st, but I selfishly would appreciate it just to see more Peta Wilson.

Steve, The first two League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics stories were AWESOME!

In the first one, the League was accumulating the team "Oceans 11"-style, but they utilized Griffin (the original Wells' Invisible Man). They tracked him down to a convent, where he was raping all the nuns. They thought it was the Holy Spirit. If I recall correctly Fu-Manchu was the antagonist.

In the beginning of the 2nd series, which featured the War Of The Worlds theme, it had cameos of John Carter & Alladin sailing around on a flying carpet on Mars. I gotta re-read those.

Killdumpster said...

The screenwriters for the LOEG movie thought they needed to add elements to the film for the American audience, outside of the source material. That's why Tom Sawyer & Dorian Grey where included.

Like tons of American kids read classic literature, American or British, nowadays anyway.

George Pal tried to produce a WOTW tv series, before he screwed up Doc Savage. It fell threw.

I've seen a few direct-to-video attempts at WOTW, but they're pretty lame.

Never saw the Tom Cruz version, as I can't stand that little skunk.

Killdumpster said...

M.P., I remember that scene in LOEG vol.2 where Hyde knew that the Invisible Man was in the room, and they came to an "agreement".

Did Hyde explain how he knew of his presence? By smell? Animal instinct?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - I must agree with you that when I stare at Mars it seems to alternate red and white. Part of me wonders if that is due the rods in the eyes "bleaching out" due to the light of Mars?

(Gents - If you are not familiar with what I speak read up on "night blind spot.")

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ummm... so this League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a comic book(s) and must read?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, there are 4 League of Extraordinary Gentleman volumes collecting the different comic series, and some spin offs.
We're discussing vol 2 here, the best one imo, and you won't have a problem following whats going on if you haven't read the first. Although I think the easily available current edition collects vols 1 and 2 (but if you get the earlier separate ones, 1 takes a little while to get going).

If you want to know more, heres a good overview of what its about -
www.tor.com/2012/11/26/the-great-alan-moore-reread-the-league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-part-one/
(Part two has major spoilers though about vol 2, so give that a miss if you think you might try the book)

Opinions are divided on the later League stuff, with plenty of grumbling that the literary references become an end in themselves. Personally I like them all - yes, even the Black Dossier - but then I am a smartarse.
The later books aren't a good place to start though.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Kd - and *spoiler* for those who haven't read it (stop reading now Charlie!) - Hyde could always see Griffin, he just didn't let on earlier.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see parallels between 'The League of Extraordinary Gentleman' & 'The Magnificent Seven'/7 Samurai?

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Not really, Phillip. In the broadest sense I'd say if anything its closer to something like the Justice League - put some characters everyone already knows into a team - which is a story idea that goes back to at least the ancient Greeks (the Argonauts).

More specifically, it would be surprising if Moore wasn't familiar with at least some of the work of Philip Jose Farmer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wold_Newton_family
I really like that short story Farmer wrote about Tarzan in the style of William Brroughs, rather than Edgar Rice -, which seems not so far from some of the stuff in the Black Dossier to me.
And Moore's definitely read a fair bit of Moorcock, who's interest in that turn of the 19th into the 20th century period (didn't HG Wells turn up as a character in the Dancers at the End of Time?) strikes me as an influence on vols 1 and 2.

-sean

Anonymous said...

To be clear, I'm not trying to suggest the League books are derivative of anything else, just... well, all writers have influences and/or antecedents.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Correction - it seems Moore has said Farmer's Wold Newton stories are a major influence on the League.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

Thank you, Sean. For some reason I don't recall that. With all the discussion about LOEG, I just ordered used copies of volumes 1 & 2. Can't wait to re-read them. It was only $12 with free shipping.

Makes sense that Hyde can see Griffin. The Hulk was inspired by Jeckyll & Hyde, as well as Frankenstein, and can see ghosts & astral forms. I'm uncertain if he can see Sue Storm, though.

Not that she uses invisi-power much when the FF tangle with him. She mostly has to concentrate on force fields.

Killdumpster said...

Believe it or not, there was an Indy publisher that attempted to rip-off Moore. I believe that team had the Frankenstein Monster & Sherlock Holmes.

Can't remember the team's name, but I read an ashcan copy. The art & synopsis was awful.

McSCOTTY said...

KD - Was that the "Sherlock Frankenstein" comic by Dark Horse?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents! Gaze upon our magnificent group here and behold the wonders of generosity! KD is sending me the first two compilations of LOEG! Thank you KD! Most kind of you!

I really have only the vaguest knowledge of them... and most of that was about a movie that just wasn't really so enjoyable.

Sean! Thanks for that info as well!

Happy Turkey Day gents, though I know it's not a UK thing. (Truth be told most turkey here is really tough and dry. We love and need the mashed potatoes and gravy to make up for that, lol.)

Killdumpster said...

No, McSCOTTY, it was a independent comic, probably a fanboy trying to break into the business. Holmes & Frankenstein were on his team. It was very much "3rd grade art class" level.

Concerning Orson Wells, back in high school we spent a whole term studying classic radio programs in my literature class. We listened to the Shadow, Horror/sci fi, western, comedies, and crime shows everyday. It was a blast.

When we listened to Orson's WOTW broadcast, the whole classroom was transfixed. Not a single sound was made while it was played.

Towards the end of the term our project was for groups of us to tape our own radio programs. My pals & I did "Wasted Tales", about pot-heads getting stoned and forgetting where they put their BOC tickets during the Three Mile Island incident. Very much Cheech & Chong inspired. Everybody laughed, and we got an "A". Wish I still had that tape.

Killdumpster said...

A local radio station used to play the original Wells WOTW broadcast every Halloween night.

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, I could eat turkey everyday of the week. Another Thanksgiving treat is my mom's homemade noodles. They're like long, 1/4" thick dumplings, and as addictive as heroin.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD... I can only dark meat anymore on Turkey. Legs... wings... the skin. Same with chickens now. Which is why I have no interest in going to Mars and eating potatoes for years on end like Matt Damen.

Man - would that be a mashup? Matt Damen on Mars (The Martian) runs into those war machines like in War of the Worlds? He could could do a Jason Bourne in space and bring down the planet. (Magically, behind every boulder another oxygen tank, lol.)