Moon Maid (comics)

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Moon Maid
Publication information
Publisher Tribune Media Services
Created by Chester Gould

Moon Maid was a major character at one period in the Dick Tracy comic strip, then drawn by its creator, Chester Gould.

Background[edit]

Gould, hoping to keep the strip evolving and changing with the times, slowly began changing the focus of the strip from a crime drama into one whose primary focus was science fiction. Tracy had always been equipped with the latest, most up-to-date police equipment, including forensic science, but with the introduction into the strip of eccentric industrialist Diet Smith as Tracy's friend in the 1940s, Tracy began to have the assistance of devices such as the two-way wrist radio, and later the two-way wrist TV.

The logical extension of this in Gould's mind was the introduction of space travel. Smith invented the magnetic-powered Space Coupe. With the use of this vehicle, Tracy and company landed on the moon in 1964, finding there an advanced race of humanoids whose high technology meshed remarkably well with that of Smith's. The Moon race looked like Caucasian humans except for having abnormally large eyes and giraffe-like horns on their foreheads.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Moon Maid was the daughter of the Moon's supreme ruler, a male humanoid who was always identified as "the Governor of the Moon". It is not clear whether he was democratically elected, or some form of hereditary ruler. She served as a liaison between her race and the humans. She and her family became one of the strip's primary focuses for several years.

Moon Maid eventually married Junior, the now-adult adopted son of Dick Tracy. Her father the Governor resented this marriage. Eventually, Moon Maid became pregnant by Junior. Her father was anxious that the child be born on the Moon, so as to be legally a Moon denizen. The pregnant Moon Maid, Junior, Dick Tracy and the Governor were all aboard a Space Coupe when Moon Maid gave birth at precisely the midpoint in space between Earth and the Moon.

The child, a girl, was named Honeymoon Tracy and had slightly over-large eyes, and two prominent tufts of hair on her forehead in the position corresponding to Moon Maid's horns; we are never told what lies beneath those tufts. The daughter also demonstrated a magnetic ability to attract small metal objects to her hands; this talent never played an important role in the strip.

During this period, Dick Tracy himself had many adventures on the Moon, notably solving a murder case involving a man named Purdy Fallar who kept two of his fingernails extra-long, claiming they were for harvesting the meat of Giant Escargot: a species of gigantic Moon snails, prized on Earth as delicacies. In reality he used his sharpened fingernails as throat-slashing weapons.

When the impending 1969 NASA moon landing threatened to make the preceding Moon stories look silly, Gould chose to return to the material that made the Dick Tracy strip famous—Earth-bound crime. The strip made one oblique reference to the Apollo 11 landing shortly after its completion, with Diet Smith commenting about some "equipment left behind" on the Moon (in a caption above a panel showing the abandoned Lunar Module).

Later years[edit]

After Apollo 11, Moon Maid and Honey continued to remain on Earth, as wife and daughter of Junior; all references to their selenic origin were phased out, with Honey never demonstrating her magnetic talents, and Moon Maid identified solely as "Junior's wife". Both characters continued to appear sporadically, in greatly reduced roles. Soon after Rick Fletcher and Max Collins took over the strip in 1978, Moon Maid was murdered accidentally by a man named Little Littel who was trying to kill Tracy with a car bomb while trying to collect on a million dollar open contract on Tracy's head by elderly crime lord "Big Boy" Caprice. Littel would later be killed himself in an explosion when Junior Tracy goes to his shop looking for revenge on his wife's murder.

Although Honey Tracy survived—though all references to her moon heritage were forgotten—it was understood that this moment represented the termination of the strip's Moon years.

However, for four panels on August 1 and 2, 2012 a vigilante wearing a mask but sporting antenna and powers similar to Moon Maid's appeared in the daily Dick Tracy strip with the reporter covering events asking if this was Moon Maid. This masked Moon Maid-like vigilante appears for another four panels on September 7 and 8, 2012. On September 9, Honeymoon Tracy discovers online references to the vigilante. The next day in the strip, Junior tells his wife Sparkle he is positive that Moon Maid (Mysta) died instantly in the car bombing. On September 29 and 30, The Moon Maid vigilante (along with two unknowns waiting in a car) was at the gravesite of Mysta Tracy destroying the tombstone and declaring "The stone lies!! I am not dead!!"

On April 26, 2013, the strip began a storyline about the Moon Maid vigilante that is currently ongoing. She has apparently been created somehow from the remains of the original Moon Maid by Dr. Zy Ghote and Dr. S. Tim Sail; one strip mentions cloning technology, while others have mentioned facial reconstruction surgery as the reason her face is covered while it heals. (It is unclear why a clone would need facial reconstruction; one possibility is that only part of the Moon Maid's DNA was used to create the replicant, with the rest of the DNA coming from someone else, and the surgery was used to make her look more like the original Moon Maid.)[1]

The doctors refer to their "patient" by the original Moon Maid's name, Mysta, and she appears to have at least some of the memories of the original, for in the strip for May 2, 2013, she declares "I want to see my daughter, Honeymoon, and my husband again!" [2]

On October 13, 2013 was revealed that Moon Maid is in fact an artificial Chimera who via a combination of advanced plastic surgery (complete with solar cell horns that allowed her to mimic Moon Maid's powers) and "reprogramming" through brainwashing techniques was made to believe she was the real Moon Maid as part of a plan to steal the Space Coupe.[3] On October 15, 2013 it was revealed that this Moon Maid was in fact Glenna Ermine.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dick Tracy comic strip (via GoComics), April 26, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  2. ^ Dick Tracy comic strip (via GoComics), May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  3. ^ Dick Tracy comic strip (via GoComics), October 13, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  4. ^ Dick Tracy comic strip (via GoComics), October 15, 2013.