Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As Balls

In the 1970s, Archie and Marvel Comics artist Al Hartley — who became a born-again Christian the previous decade — began writing and illustrating religious comics. Some of these evangelical funny books starred Jughead discovering Jesus, whereas others were space operas about Space Satan and his tricked-out UFO.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Throughout the Seventies, Spire Christian Comics published a few dozen one-offs by Hartley, many of which can be read in full here. Perhaps the most outlandish Spire title was an adaptation of Hal Lindsey's millenarian text There's A New World Coming.

With Hartley at the helm, Bible lessons became psychedelic freak-outs. Just check out the panel at left — the Book of Revelation is now a nitrous oxide leak at the Crayola factory.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Throughout the comic, the three young narrators witness the apocalypse from a variegated dimension that almost certainly tastes of fragrant sherbet.

The children are absolutely giddy from this universe of flavor, so every single one of their observations are punctuated with screaming and rainbows. We learn some valuable lessons along the way, such as...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...atheists might be at the risk of subatomic combustion.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...the Anti-Christ wears heels (remember, he also has a catchy theme song).

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...the whore of Babylon possibly has her own game-show announcer.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...and that Armageddon shall be heralded by a large sign à la "HOLLYWOODLAND."

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Sure, There's A New World Coming's candy-colored apocalypse is weird, but what if you want something truly out there?

Look no further than Alpha and Omega, a borderline incomprehensible retelling of the Garden of Eden story starring Satan as Ming the Merciless. (Seriously, he goads science heroes "Alpha" and "Omega" into exploring the forbidden black hole.)

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Space Satan's ride is pretty hype, though.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

And his black hole? Completely boss. Godzilla-on-Godzilla cannibalism! You can't deny this!

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

More awesome from the Satan-Hole.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Sadly, Alpha and Omega is saddled with most anticlimactic battle to grace any spacefaring epic. Imagine if Battlestar Galactica ended like this. Oh wait, it sort of did.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Let's turn to some assorted panels from Hartley's evangelical Archie comics. They're basically the same as fusty 1970s tales about Riverdale's boy lothario but with one key difference — they're metal as shit. Need proof? Here's Archie and Satan bed-rassling...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...Archie and Betty waxing existential on free will...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...Jughead and an elephant getting intimate, in a variation of the "popcorn bucket" method...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...Canadian Tuxedo Jesus demonstrating his Liberace-summoning powers...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...Archie propositioning readers (I call dibs on Moose!)...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...this body-horror sequence of Ethel evolving into a bratwurst...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...Ethel being sold for cattle in India (?!?) only to shut down her new overzealous husband...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...Beelzebub offering Archie a phalanx of call girls...

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

...and finally, BETTY SUMMONING A FUCK-YES LIGHTNING BOLT USING THE POWER OF PRAYER. YOU ARE MY DREAM GIRL, BETTY COOPER. LET US MAKE THUNDER BABIES.

Science Fiction Sunday School Comics From The 1970s Were Trippy As BallsS

Again, you can read a bunch of Hartley's zany Spire comics right here. There are some, uh, idiosyncratic, ones.