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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


"Wake the Dead"
Lost in Space #1 (Dark Horse)
Written by Brian McDonald
Pencils by Gordon Purcell
Inks by Terry Pallot
Cover by Gary Erskine

The Jupiter 2 emerges into an asteroid field, taking damage, and must land on a nearby planet for repairs.


Story Summary


The Jupiter 2 emerges from a space jump into an asteroid field, taking damage, and must land on a nearby hospitable planet for repairs. Setting down, they determine it will take more than three days to fix the damage. The crew first decides to break up into parties to scout the perimeter of their landing area. Don keeps Dr. Smith well under a watchful eye in their sector of the excursion.


Smith falls into a dark pit and discovers a dead alien in powerful mechanical armor. Removing the armor from the alien body, he dons it and attacks Don and the Robinson family, demanding to be made commander of the ship. The crew locks itself inside the ship, but Smith uses the extreme strength of the armor to lift it up and throw it against a mountainside. Don fires the ship's torpedoes at the human traitor, engulfing him in an explosive ball of fire. But Smith emerges from the flames, transformed by the armor into an alien himself.




Notes from the Lost in Space chronology


On page 8, Maureen remarks that she's tired of being cooped up on the ship. This implies that some amount of time has passed since they left the planet at the end of Lost in Space. Dr. Smith is being held locked inside a cell, instead of having his own quarters as in the novel Promised Land, indicating this story probably takes place before that.


Didja Know?


Neither the mini-series as a whole nor the individual issues had a title beyond Lost in Space. The title "Wake the Dead" I've used for this study is borrowed from a line of dialog in this issue.


Didja Notice?


On page 2, the "Jupiter 2" inscription on the ship's hull looks more like it says "Jupiter 20".


Notice on page 4 that Penny appears to be wearing the same planet-covered shirt she was wearing at the end of Lost in Space, though here it has more of a greenish color than the purple one she wore in the film (in issue #2, "Confrontation", it is colored in a lavender hue).


On page 4, panel 5, Blarp appears to be wearing a red-and-white-striped bracelet. Penny must have put it on her.


On page 6, Don is surprised to see Dr. Smith out of his cell. This indicates there is still a lack of trust between him and the rest of the crew.


John explains that the Jupiter 2's torpedoes are meant to be fired in space, not within an atmosphere. 


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