“The year is 1979…”: 40 years of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”

Musings of a Middle-Aged Geek

Blast from the past.

Philip Francis Nowlan’s “Armageddon 2419” novella immediately inspired a comic strip series.

In the spring of 1979 yet another feature film seemingly riding the late 1970s “Star Wars” wave was coming to theaters, complete with a Harrison Ford-esque hero and a little robot sidekick. The difference being that 1979’s “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” predated Star Wars by 48 years. 1979’s “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” was another adaptation of Philip Francis Nowlan’s old 1929 comic strip series based on his novella, “Armageddon 2419.” The original strip concerned a World War 1 veteran, Anthony “Buck” Rogers, who is accidentally frozen in a cavern and reawakens Rip Van Winkle-style in the year 2419… a 25th century where a war-ravaged Earth fights off various foes, including “Killer Kane” and the Draconians.

Buck, Buddy and Wilma in the 1939 “Buck Rogers” serials.

In 1939 there was a…

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