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Since Dan and Mike no longer do "grumpy old fans" (for several good reasons) I am submitting a sequence I would have loved to have seen be compared. So in the tradition of Grumpy old Fans I am giving my own comparison of two different comics. The first one will be the Hermes Press release of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which came out in 2013 and the Viz release Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind which came out in 1995.

The connection between these two are that the heroes in both stories are in the future and both have flying machines. In fact both stories have inspired companies to try to duplicate their technology.

Edit: the english version of Nausicaa came out in 1995. Miyazaki had the original Japanese version published in 1982.

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Buck Rogers begins with a cloud of dust with a narration by the titular character. He talks about the past wars he was in as a cloud of dust rises over a mountain. There is a disturbance and you see two people dressed in leather jackets, boots, red scarves and gold pants gloves and helmets. in jetpacks shooting at something behind them. One is punching and head butting a presumed enemy who is wearing blue and leopard print uniforms. It is revealed that the leather and gold jetpack soldiers are Buck and Wilma. Wilma is shooting the leopard prints while Buck is punching head butting and cutting off jetpacks with a sword.


After winning the fight they fly back where they are greeted by a guy in grey hair. Buck talks about how he does not like that the gangs that were once the american people are fighting amongst themselves. Huer and Buck sit down drinking and Buck gives the exposition about where he came from. How he was a fighter pilot and how he was attacked which somehow led to him being trapped under rubble and being put into suspended animation due to a gas. Then story continues with how there was a second civil war the Chinese rose to power and Buck wakes up. Somehow he has lost all of his clothes and has grown long hair. Conveniently his nails have not grown and he still has muscles even after a 500 year nap. Conveniently after the story ends Buck and Wilma go to fight another group.

buck1-pg04-web.jpg thank you Geek Flag Blog for posting these images.

They go in their jetpacks to shoot other people in jetpacks who are guarding a boat with jet engines. Buck and Wilma put a bomb in the boats underside. After gunfight and hearing how Buck would rather a .45 automatic over the newfangled guns. The bomb that Buck and Wilma put on the boat goes off, after unnamed jetpack guy gets shot by Buck. Wilma is somehow angry that the bomb went off. The Captain and the survivors jetpack away. Buck and Wilma stand in the wreckage and Buck talks about how he hates that they are fighting each other rather than the Han.


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Nausicaa begins with A narration written on parchment on how technology led to destruction, specifically an event known as the "Seven Days of Fire" Below the parchment are these humanoid figures wielding large swords. If you look at the bottom of the page you see the what appears to be houses on fire, realizing that these figures are the size of towers. The next two pages are a map of everything in the saga.

Next there is a panel of a figure on a glider flying over the skull of these humanoid figures. The figure gets off and goes into a strange looking jungle. You get a better look at the figure as you see that she is wearing a gas mask. She is collecting samples and taking note of all around her. She notes that there is a clearing as if something massive went through. She follows the trail and encounters a giant insect.... or the shell of a giant insect. Which she identifies as Ohmu


She tries to cut off a piece of the shell but her sword is chipped. She pulls out a gun charge and spills its contents setting off the gun to detonate the piece of shell. She then cuts out the shell and marvels that it is so light. What looks like snow appears to fall aroudn her and she exposits ... I mean reflects on how the spores could kill her in minutes if she takes off her mask. Lying in the spores she hears someone crying "He Killed Us."

She realizes it is not an audible, but a telepathic cry for help. Her attempts to try to communicate with the cry is interrupted by the sound of gunshot. Rifle in one hand, shell in the other she kicks down a door and climbs through what looks like a cockpit but is covered in vines and mold. Standing in the eye of the skull she sees a disturbance in the distance which include large insects and sees an Ohmu breach the jungle canopy.


In front of the rampaging Ohmu are explosions. The girl loads a flare in her rifle to signal the victim, who responds with a flare. She runs to her rocket glider and flies along the edge of the jungle. Out of the jungle are two horse sized birds wearing gas masks. She signals the rider to go up wind right before the Ohmu explodes its way out of the forest. Flying over Royal Yanma the girl pleads with the Ohmu to go back into the forest. Even though the comic is in black and white the girl points out that the Ohmu's eyes are red with anger. She flies between the rider and the Ohmu and her glider releases balls that explode.

After the explosions the rider notices the Ohmu is stunned and the girl flies around the Ohmu holding a flute. The Ohmu turns around and goes back into the forest. The rider is amazed and says its as if she could read their minds. They rendezvous on a sand dune. The girl takes off her helmet and mask and runs up to hug the rider identifying him as "Master Yupa." Yupa identifies the girl as Nausicaa. Yupa points out that in the year of his absence she has become an amazing wind rider. Nausicaa notices something in a pouch attached to his belt.

He opens it up to reveal a squirrel fox. He says he saw the Royal Yanma carrying it and mistook it for a human baby. He shot at it which caused the Ohmu to stapede towards him. Nasuicaa reaches her hand towards the squirrel fox and it runs up her arm. She puts that same hand towards the Squirrel fox and it bites her. After not fighting back, the squirrel fox gets a penitent look and licks the wound it inflicted. She asks Yupa if she could keep it and Yupa accepts. While going to greet the horse sized birds Kai and Kui, Nausicaa explains that her homeland is going to war, as a result of a order from someone called the Vai Emperor.

Yupa points out that this future campaign would be hard on her father. Nausicaa points out that she will be taking her fathers place, because the jungles poisons has kept her father from fighting. Nausicaa explains that the jungle called the "Sea of Corruption" causes everyone who lives near it, including her, to fall towards its poisons. Yupa laments his not coming earlier. Nausicaa tells him she is happy to see him because she has something that he needs to see. She tells him to meet at the castle in the valley as she jumps off the cliff with her glider. nausicaa-of-the-valley-of-the-wind-16076

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Using the rating system that Dan and Mike used

You damn kids = the new one is better

Get off my lawn= the old one is better

I need a nap= i cannot decide

I would have to shout Get off my lawn! Even though Buck Rogers had some good things going for it. I much prefer rocketeer looking Buck Rogers to spaceman Buck Rogers. I like how jet packs are heavily featured in the comic. Buck Rogers without a jet pack is like having Batman without a cape. I also like how he carries a sword, even if it is to brutally cut off jet packs from their pilots.

However, while reading Buck Rogers I did not know whether Buck is a hero or going crazy. During battles he is like "die die die!" but once he is no longer fighting he is like "we shouldn't be fighting one another." I found both Buck and Wilma to be quite scary. Their body count was higher than the number of pages that featured it. Their goggles made them look like killer robots. It also doesn't help that whenever Buck has his mouth open he looks like the talking GI Joe Doll from the early 2000's.

Nausicaa also uses guns swords and bombs, but in these seventeen pages she uses it to study, explore and for self defense rather than to go out and kill. Sure she may have the advantage of telepathy, but it was her compassion and thoughtfulness that helped her achieve her goals. Ironically Nausicaa and Yupa have much more armor and still look more human than Buck and Wilma.

Nausicaa will probably never have as big of a fan base as Buck Rogers, but that is okay. Because it seems the influence of Buck doesn't go much farther than aesthetics, while fans of Nausicaa have a close to religious devotion to the message of peace.

here is an example

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