Comic book master Jack Kirby showed us the face of Mars decades before it was captured by Viking 1 in 1976 and became the most controversial structure discovered on the red planet. (face of Mars)
This “face” is a distinctive feature on the surface of the planet Mars located in the Cidonia region, specifically in Cidonia Mensae, which for some people resembles a human face. It measures approximately 3 km long by 1.5 km wide and is located at 41º05 ‘north and 9º50’ west. It was photographed for the first time on July 25, 1976 by the space probe Viking 1, which orbited the planet at that time.
The fact caught the attention of the public six days later in a press report delivered by NASA. After the controversy raised about its possible artificiality, other probes and orbiters returned to photograph the region in higher resolution to show a structure that seemed more geological and natural, explaining that the appearance of a symmetrical face was given in the original photograph because the combination of the Sunlight angle of illumination and low resolution smoothed the irregularities of the surface.
However, conspiracy theorists accused NASA of concealing and editing the images deliberately to hide what would be the definitive evidence of the past existence of a Martian civilization. Others insisted that the pareidolia (recognizing familiar patterns where there are none) of the face is not caused by a natural formation, but by the erosion of hundreds of thousands or millions of years of an artificial structure and that this can only be proven or refuted with an in situ exploration, and not with photos taken from orbit. Photos that, in addition, would show equally eroded pyramids in the vicinity.
In a 1958 comic book, entitled “The Face on Mars”, which is the second issue of Harvey’s Comics’ Race to the Moon series, author Jack Kirby tells us how a group of explorers finds an artificial structure shaped like human face on Mars. But not only that, after climbing it, they discover that the eyes of this construction are hollow and lead to a sort of room of visual records that shows the final destiny of the Martian civilization: an interplanetary war finished with most of the atmosphere and the few survivors took refuge in the underground kingdom.