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<   No. 598   2004-09-15   >

Comic #598

1 Prof. Jones: So, Dr Smith, why are you here in a cell in Berlin?
2 Ginny: Hitler's interested in the occult powers of the ancient Atlanteans. The mystic metal orichalcum could be used for indestructible Nazi war machines.
3 Ginny: He asked me to help find the lost kingdom and sources of their wealth and power, but I refused.
4 Monty: Ah, well at least you have some morals.
4 Ginny: He didn't offer me enough money.

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Of course Hitler's interested in Atlantis.

In the Critias, Plato writes about Atlantis:

In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as able to be smelted, and that which is now only a name and was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold.
Orichalcum is a marvellous metal than can be refined as easily as copper, but worked as hard as bronze or iron. It has a rich reddish colour like copper, and can be beaten into thin sheets like gold for decorative purposes. The citadels, temples, and other public buildings of Atlantis were richly decorated in orichalcum which, being an expensive metal, flaunted immense wealth as well as beauty. Orichalcum could also be alloyed with copper and tin to produce a form of bronze with properties far superior to normal bronze - probably what Hitler is after for his Nazi war machines. Besides all this, the metal may also have magical properties...
2013-09-26 Rerun commentary: After adamant/adamantium and mithril, orichalcum is pretty much your go-to fantasy metal.

(Interestingly, I just noticed as I was typing this that my spell-checker flags both "adamantium" and "mithril" as unknown words, but it knows "orichalcum".)

And Atlantis is one of the great legends for looneys and fringe theorists all over the world to obsess over (or perhaps for people more mystically enlightened than the scientific establishment...). It really is a great story hook. In fact, I'm surprised we haven't seen a blockbuster movie based on the legend of Atlantis recently. There have been a few minor things since Disney's 2001 animated attempt (which flopped, but I think is a fairly good film), but nothing really big. I'd keep an eye out for it - it can only be a matter of time before Hollywood twigs. You heard it here first.

EDIT: Apparently the BBC are planning a major television drama series based on Atlantis. Remember still, you heard it here first, even if they planned it first!

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