The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Related to: A Sound of Thunder
 from antiquity to 2017





number 11 of 50 hand-colored Frazetta prints of Weird Science-Fantasy 29

   EC Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: May 1950

The prototypical comic book weird story anthologies were EC’s titles that began in April 1950 with Crypt of Terror. I don’t know whether that title and EC’s other horror comics had any time travel (because I was forbidden from reading those!), but Harry Harrison, Wally Wood and their fellow artists managed some in the titles that were more geared to sf.

I’m aiming for a complete list of EC’s time-travel vignettes, but the list as of now is only partial. The first one I found was in Weird Fantasy 13 (May/Jun 1950), which was actually its first issue. That was part of a ruse to take over a second-class postage permit from A Moon, a Girl . . .Romance (which ended with issue 12). They stuck with that numbering through the fifth issue (number 17) when the postmaster general took note, and the next one was number 6. I did kinda wonder how many of those romance readers were surprised when Weird Fantasy 13 showed up in their mailboxes.

There was a sister title, Weird Science, which began in May/Jun 1952 with issue 12 (taking over the postage permit after the 11th issue of Saddle Romance). It had many time travel stories, starting with “Machine from Nowhere” in issue 14 (the 3rd issue).

Weird Science and Weird Fantasy were not selling that well, so EC combined them into a single title—Weird Science-Fantasy—with issue 23 in March 1954. Alas, there was but one time-travel story, “The Pioneer” in number 24 (Jun 1954), about which EC’s site says A man attempts to be the first to successfully time travel, but there are some casualties on the way. . . ..
By the way, the whole run of EC comics would be 4 stars, but it gets an extra ½ star because of Al Williamson’s adaptation of “The Sound of Thunder” in Weird Science-Fantasy 24 and the beautiful Frank Frazetta cover on the final issue (number 29) of Weird Science-Fantasy. The third image to the left is is that Frazetta did of that cover in 1972, with a bonus vamp in the bottom right corner. The cover had a gladiator fighting cave men, but it was not a time-travel story.

In 1955, the Comics Code Authority banned the word “Weird,” so the title became Incredible Science Fiction with number 30 (Jul/Aug 1955). The four-issue run had only one time-travel tale (“Time to Leave” by Roy G. Krenkel in number 31).

 I just stepped off the path, that’s all. Got a little mud on my shoes! What do you want me to do, get down and pray? 




   “Sound of Thunder”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Colliers, 28 Jun 1952

Eckels, a wealthy hunter, is one of three hunters on a prehistoric hunt for T. Rex conducted by Time Safari, Inc.

This was not the first speculation on small changes in the past causing big changes now (for example, Tenn’s “Me, Myself, and I”), but I wonder whether this was the first time that sensitive dependence on initial conditions was expressed in terms of a single butterfly.

 Not a little thing like that! Not a butterfly! 




   Future Tense
created by Eli Segal
First time travel: 7 May 1974

Professor Eli Segal and her students at Western Michigan College created quality new productions of radio shows that were mostly taken from old episodes of X Minus One and Dimension X. According to otr.org, the first season of Future Tense 18 stories (13 based on X-1 scripts, two based on DX scripts, and 3 original scripts) and these first aired as 16 episodes in May of 1974. The second season had ten episodes (8 based on X-1 scripts and 2 original scripts) which aired in July 1976, At least three episodes involved time travel. Now why couldn’t I have gone to WMC?
  1. The Old Die Rich (7 May 1974) sleuth forced into time machine
  2. The Discovery of Morniel Mathaway (July 1976)    art critic from 25th century
  3. An Imbalance of Species (July 1976) from “A Sound of Thunder’

 Stay tuned now for excitement and adventure in the world of the future! Entertainment for the entire family produced right here in Kalamazoo. 




   Ray Bradbury Theater
created by Ray Bradbury
First time travel: 11 Aug 1989

Ray Bradbury Theater ran for two seasons on HBO starting 21 May 1985. It then shifted to the USA Network for four seasons which had three time-travel adaptations.
  1. A Sound of Thunder (11 Aug 1989) dinosaur hunt
  2. Touch of Petulance (12 Oct 1990) newspaper from the future
  3. The Toynbee Convector (26 Oct 1990)    100 years into the future

 Dinosaurs large and small fill my junkyard workroom.
This one given to me by a friend 30 years ago. These given as toys to my daughters, and when they didnt play with them I simply took them back. So with dinosaurs coming into my life, I often wondered what would happen if I could go back into theirs. Dinosaurs, time machines, put them together and you have a
tale one billion years old.
 

—Bradbury’s introduction to “A Sound of Thunder”




   Bradbury Comics’ “A Sound of Thunder”
adapted by Richard Corben
First publication: Ray Bradbury Comics 1, Feb 1993

In addition to reprinting Williamson’s 1954 adaptation, Ray Bradbury Comics 1 had a new 12-page adaptation by Richard Corben.

 My god! It could reach up and grab the moon. 




   The Simpsons
created by Matt Groening
First time travel: 30 Oct 1994

Homer’s first time travel was part of the fifth Halloween montage in a segment called “Time and Punishment” (aka “Homer’s Time Travel Nightmare”) where each tiny dinosaur he stomps on alters his own life. The next bit I saw was Professor Frink, who built and used the chronotrike in “Springfield Up,” attempting to tell his young self to choose a different career.
  1. Treehouse of Horror V (30 Oct 1994) Butterfly Effect spoof
  2. Springfield Up (18 Feb 2007) Frink’s chronotrike
  3. Treehouse of Horror XXIII (7 Oct 2012)    Back to the Future spoof

 Homer: [to self] Okay, dont panic! Remember the advice Dad gave you on your wedding day.
Grandpa: [in flashback] If you ever travel back in time, dont step on anything, because even the slightest change can alter the future in ways you cant imagine. 




   Hyams’ Sound of Thunder
adapted by Donnelly, Oppenheimer, Poirier (Peter Hyams, director)
First release: 2 Sep 2005

The time safari is not improved by 90 minutes of melodramatic nonsense.

 A butterfly caused all this? 


 


7 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)