Tales from Space

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Tales from space BTTF

The cover of Tales From Space looking very familiar.

Tales from Space was a comic book read by Sherman Peabody in 1955 which, according to the cover blurb, featured "Shocking Science-Fiction Stories". One particular issue, № 8 (Aug 54), featured a complete story called Space Zombies from Pluto which was apparently about hostile aliens coming to Earth from Pluto. This was in Sherman's possession when the DeLorean time machine slammed into their barn.

The cover of the comic book showed a spacecraft that looked very similar to the DeLorean, as well as an alien in a yellow suit just like Marty McFly's radiation suit. Sherman also believed that the spaceman had mutated into human form when Marty took off his helmet.

Behind the scenes

  • Tales from Space was not a real comic book, but rather a prop, created specifically for Back to the Future by Andrew Probert, the movie's production illustrator. Though essentially fake, it was strongly based on real comics released by EC Comics in the 1950s.
  • The comic book has since appeared in many works of fiction such as 3rd Rock from the Sun and Heroes.
  • The prop had an unintended consequence when Universal Studios President Sid Sheinberg sent a memorandum directing that Back to the Future should be renamed "Spaceman from Pluto", since the cover of Sherman's comic book showed "Space Zombies from Pluto". When Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale were uncertain about how to stop the powerful studio President, Steven Spielberg intervened by thanking Sheinberg for his "humorous memo", and Sheinberg did not pursue the matter further.


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