In our far-flung future, 1982, you could be forgiven for thinking the nation that would take over the world would be the United States or the Soviet Union. You'd be wrong, though, because the empire that would steamroll them both had been lying in wait for years. Over six hundred years, actually.
Yes, the Mongol Empire, most famously ruled by Genghis Khan, had been growing, modernizing, and waiting for the day that the nations of Earth, ravaged by World Wars one, two, and three, wouldn't be able to fight.
It was definitely this. Certainly not so cartoon illustrators could broadly and racistly caricature a predominantly Asian empire in 1940, a time when the US was mulling over war with Japan. I would say it's as bad as Dr. Seuss's World War II anti-Asian propaganda, but it, thankfully, does not even come close.
Anyway, yes, the Mongol Empire. They won. They beat 1982 America and world, despite all of our futuristic weaponry, rocket cars, and sleeveless spandex shirts. Freedom was a thing of the past.
Or was it?
Underground, in New-New York, Gene West signed up as part of an experiment with bearded scientists, so you know they're unconventional. Some science stuff happened, and, gosh! Gene could punch through a wall. He was now...Power Nelson, man of the future.
Which...going from Gene West to Power Nelson raises more questions than it answers, but we haven't even gotten to the villain this time so let's try to keep going.
Anyway, after Power Nelson survived an atomic blast on New-New York and threw a rhino at a tiger, he emerged as the man to fight for freedom in this tyrannical age.
But, fascist dictatorships? They have a dark side. For the dictators. The people? Don't worry about them...that is, until there's rioting in the street because they lack trivialities like jobs...and food.
The emperor found a lot of discontented subjects on the verge of revolt. Luckily, Uranus was on its way.
Yes, there was intelligent life elsewhere in our solar system, and Bloor, the green dictator of Uranus, dropped in with his rocket fleet to have a sit-down with the emperor of earth. The emperor had a bunch of angry people who wanted jobs, and he also wanted to get rid of the invaders, so he would solve one problem with another. He tricked humans into thinking they were getting good jobs on Uranus, put out ads in the paper, and people flocked to the spaceships.
Anyway, surprise, the Uranians were enslaving the humans. Power Nelson jumped in his spaceship which, look, I know that in a story involving super science to give a man, quote, "the strength of a steam engine and the hardness of tempered steel," in a time when the Mongol Empire has staged a world takeover after lying dormant for centuries, and where life exists on Uranus, speaks English, and lives in a breathable atmosphere...I know it's a small point to quibble about, but where does Power Nelson get a spaceship? The guy's on the run from a worldwide tyrannical government. He just happens to have a spaceship sitting around?
Anyway he travels to Uranus, and, while on Uranus, discovers something horrifying. No not that lump that you've been meaning to have a dermatologist take a look at. No. Slavery.
Looked like it was Power Nelson's job to bring justice and freedom to Uranus, too.
If not for the Amazons.
You see, on Uranus they not only had female members of the Uranians that looked nothing like the males, but apparently the concept of an Amazon warrior developed concurrently and independently. They were sent after Power Nelson, and he was defeated by his...own sexism. He would never fight a woman, so those women proceeded to fight him and bind him, taking him to Dictator Bloor.
Power Nelson, though, didn't have a problem with fighting dictators...except I guess for the dictator on earth who he left in power despite being in punching distance all the time. Even when Bloor reached for his handy "summon four fighting robots" button all dictators keep wired to their desks, it wasn't enough. Despite having Power Nelson's kryptonite - women - there to stop him, somehow he defeated Bloor and brought him to justice.
Just kidding. It was dystopia 1982. Tyrannical regimes ruled earth and Uranus. Where is there justice? Typifying an out of the frying pan into a different but similarly dangerous frying pan situation - as the saying goes - Power Nelson demanded that the humans be paid in Uranus gold for their labors and sent back home to earth...right back into the clutches of the Mongol Empire. Bloor learned his lesson and never attacked earth again.
If you're wondering what happened to the dystopia in Futureman Power Nelson's 1982, well...so is everyone else. Four issues later they just did away with the far-flung 1982 Future and put Gene West, AKA Power Nelson, in the 1940s where he could do what so many superheroes were doing at the time: punch actual Nazis. Yeah, apparently the fact that the Mongol emperor looked like the then-current Japanese emperor was too much subtlety. Look, always happy to see superheroes punch Nazis, do kind of wish they explained why he was suddenly forty years in the past, though. For those of us who were invested in the story.