From Beyond the Unknown was an anthology series, whose tagline promised to provide "Stories that Stagger the Imagination". The series reprinted stories from earlier DC Comics anthologies, including Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space. Newly-drawn covers featured such imaginative settings as an alien auctioneer preparing to sell the earth, or an ape-man trying to conquer the world.
The stories, mainly from DC's golden days of science fiction comics, were almost invariably twist-ending tales, or stories based on gimmicks which allow Earthmen to defeat alien threats much more powerful than themselves. This was mainly due to the influence of editor Julius Schwartz, who had come from the world of science fiction magazines and tended to favor this type of story over every other. Often stories were conceived as a cover image or sensational selling point first (often involving an intelligent gorilla), then the story written around that.