Thursday, April 2, 2020

Journey Into Strange Tales! Atlas/ Marvel Horror Issue 57

The Marvel/Atlas 
Horror Comics
Part 42
May 1953 Part I
by Peter Enfantino

 Journey Into Mystery #8

"The Tough Guy" (a: Joe Maneely) ★1/2
(r: Journey Into Mystery #6)
"Indoor Sport!" (a: Sam Kweskin) 
(r: Journey Into Mystery #6)
"Willie Brown is Out to Get Me!" (a: Al Luster) 
(r: Fear #22)
"He Who Hesitates..." (a: Al Eadah) 
(r: Journey Into Mystery #6)
"The Strange Case of Mr. Whimple!" (a: Fred Kida) ★1/2
(r: Journey Into Mystery #6)

Hank Klopp loves to work out. He loves what the weights do to his muscles and he loves what his muscles do for young and pretty Dolly Simms! But muscles can bring arrogance as well and some find that arrogance a bit much to handle. Take old Baldy Jones for example. He's only doing his job when he tells Hank it's closing time but no one tells muscleman Hank what to do and he delivers a bad beating to the old man.

But, later that night, Baldy gets a gun and pistol whips Hank in an alley, sending Mr. Atlas to the hospital, where Dolly Simms tells him any dude who can be beaten up by a scrawny old man is not for her. Angered, Hank swears vengeance but his mind drifts when two doctors outside his door discuss a wonder drug they've got locked in a room upstairs. A serum that can make the body impervious to any object. Bullets. Knives. H-Bombs. Ostensibly anything. Hank heads upstairs, kills the room's guard and downs the formula, feeling unbeatable within seconds. But, suddenly, he swoons and passes out. He awakens back in his bed and the doctors tell him he's got an infection in his throat that will kill him within 48 hours. Not to worry though, they'll give him an injection and he'll be just fine. Oops!

If you want to single out the silliest Atlas pre-code horror story ever, you wouldn't be far off the mark with "The Tough Guy," another Stan Lee script that tests the muscles that make you smile rather than the one that makes you think. There are several spots to point at for laughter: Dolly dumping Hank with an "Ain't so bad!"; the doctor who has seemingly managed to whip up a revolutionary new drug, which makes skin as durable stainless steel, on his lunch breaks in the hospital cafeteria; Hank's first thought upon receiving his new lease on life is "I'm going to rob banks!"; but, perhaps, most amazing of all, that dreaded throat infection that kills within 48 hours. It's a wonder Stan didn't spin that disease off into a sequel where everyone in the Atlas universe dies from the malady except for a vampire and his werewolf wife. With all my sarcasm aside, "The Tough Guy" is a supremely dumb, but undeniably fun, romp.

Poor young Mona, seems to have no luck in the world. Her beaus keep dying on her. Luckily, there seems to be an unending line of replacements down at the country club. In the end, we discover that Mona is actually a ghost who died at a very young age of "a broken heart" and now murders every man who falls in love with her earthly facade. Despite a few drawbacks (Mona really doesn't look all that hot but she looks miles better than her ghost, who might just be the Crypt-Keeper), "Indoor Sport" exudes an atmosphere of uneasiness and sports a very creepy Kweskin art job.

"Willie Brown is Out to Get Me!" is one of those quickies I fondly remember from my childhood, first reading it when it was reprinted in Fear #22 (Backing headliner Morbius, the Living Vampire). It's a simple story about a hood getting word that Willie Brown is back in town and looking for him. The upshot, we learn from the final panel, is that the hood murdered Willie the week before. Even at the age of 12, I said to myself "How come the guy never says, 'Hey' how can Willie be looking for me? He's dead!'" but the obvious deception doesn't detract from the sheer fun of "Willie Brown."

"He Who Hesitates..." is a deadly dumb waste of paper about a college professor with a (too gorgeous) wife who's stepping out with one of his colleagues. The dope decides to off his competition on a rock climbing expedition but he waits too long and, in a twist of insanely surprising proportions, it turns out the lothario has the same idea! This is one awful story with an ugly ugly ugly realization by Al Eadah. I always leave an Eadah story thinking his characters really need to se a dentist. In the finale, small-time thief Henry Simpson becomes obsessed with fellow boarding house tenant, Mr. Whimple, who always carries a mysterious wooden box atop his shoulder. Henry fancies the box full of jewels or gold but when he finally corners Whimple at a remote railroad crossing and kills him, he destroys the box and discovers the it contained... another head! The startled Henry backs up right into an oncoming train and Mr. Whimple's other head remarks that he's going to have to get another box. Anyone with horror funny book IQ sees that reveal coming right from the start but file "The Strange Case of Mr. Whimple!" under "Fun But Obvious" if you must.

 Menace #3

"Men in Black" (a: John Romita) 
(r: Uncanny Tales #4)
"Werewolf!" (a: Bill Everett) 
(r: Chamber of Chills #11)
"Rodeo!" (a: Russ Heath) ★1/2
(r: Chamber of Chills #15)
"You're Gonna Live Forever" (a: Joe Maneely) 
(r: Weird Wonder Tales #8)

Jim Horton is a nasty, vicious bigot who gets fired for his racist rants and decides to get together a group of like-minded morons, don black hoods, and pay a visit to the Mexican-American who filled Jim's job down at the factory. The group pull the man out of his house and beat him to death but the police show up and Jim barely escapes. When he gets home, he doffs his black hood but finds another below it. When that one comes off, Jim's still staring at a black hood in the mirror. Later, when the police break his door down, they find Jim dead, the skin on his face torn off.

When Stan decided he wanted a "prestige" title amongst his Astoundings and Uncannys, he doubtless had EC in mind but, until now, "The Man" had steered away from the social commentary (other than his twice-monthly rants about the Commies, of course) found in Shock SuspenStories. Probably a good idea if "Men in Black" is an indicator of what Stan thought of as "deep thinking." Though Stan Lee should be applauded for wanting to make a statement with some of his scripts, "Men in Black" reads like a grade school interpretation of one of Al Feldstein's think pieces. The finale, with its observation that Jim Horton, and his ilk, are dark beneath their skin, is a nice touch, but the rest of the script is too obvious.

Waldo Forrest has always ben fascinated by the mythology of the "Werewolf!" But Waldo actually thinks the creatures exist and he's going to prove it to mankind some day. His thoughts are interrupted by his shrewish wife, Emily, who waddles her bulk down the stairs and screams with fury at her husband for wasting his time reading about fairy tales. Emily throws Waldo's rare book on lycanthopy straight into the furnace and the little man, in a huff, races out of the house and down to the local tavern to drown his sorrows.

After some spirited talk about his hobby with friends, Waldo heads into the woods, with a loaded revolver, in hopes of finding the werewolf who's been eating the local pigs. Be careful what you wish for as, very soon after he finds a slaughtered pig, Waldo is confronted by a wolfman. He shoots the thing in the chest but, as the body is falling, it's revealed to be one of Waldo's bar buddies, dressed up to give the poor guy a fright. As he's contemplating a life behind bars. Waldo is attacked and mauled by a real werewolf! After killing his second werewolf of the night, Waldo heads home and transforms into his new alter ego as Emily opens the door. She unloads both barrels into Waldo but, after he tears his wife's throat out, our hero muses that at least the authorities will know that werewolves exist when they break in and see the proof. Unfortunately, Waldo never got to Chapter 12 in These Here Are the Facts About Werewolves, which very clearly explains that, in death, the wolf reverts back to man.

Now we're talkin'! Stan ditches the societal critique and heads back into what makes the Atlas horror funny books work: cool monsters. But Stan also reminds us that he's got a funny bone to go with his eye for a good plot and also reminds us that good guys can finish last too. Waldo Forrest is a good guy, he's just got a Jones for an odd subject; the members of his supporting cast own the dark hearts. Bill Everett wisely avoids the "vicious monster" look for his loup garou, reminding us that a 1950s obese, shrewish wife was far scarier than a big dog with fangs.

Wes is a clown at the "Rodeo!" and he loves Sue Conway but Sue only has eyes for bronco-bucker, Tex Robbins. Wes decides murder is his only way to get Sue to come to her senses and fall in love with a clown so he concocts a devious strategy. Wes's job at the rodeo is to run out in the arena after a bull has thrown a rider and cause a distraction for the bull until the fallen man is helped out of the ring. Wes talks Tex into riding a bull to impress Sue buit when Tex is thrown, Wes feigns a sprained ankle and lies in the dust, awaiting his ascent to the rank of "Sue's Boyfriend." Unfortunately for Wes, the bull catches his scent, ignores, Tex, and heads for the kill. Another very EC-esque tale, very simply told, with some great art by Russ Heath, and a genuinely surprising twist.

Hood Harry Sykes is on the lam, running from the heat, when he stumbles upon an old, dilapidated house; the perfect hide-out! Entering the estate, Harry sees a light from an upstairs room and investigates, discovering an old man lying on the floor of a laboratory. The scientist explains he's had a stroke while inventing a formula for eternal life. Harry kills the man, downs the serum, and heads out into the night. It's not long before Harry's dodging bullets but, to his surprise, he discovers the bullets are actually finding their marks! The formula works!

Deciding the best plan would be to find a hideout and wait until the cops have forgotten about him (and, after all, he's got nothing but time), Sykes heads deep into the swamp to stake a claim but accidentally wades into a patch of quicksand and sinks from view. A perfectly average Atlas crime/horror story with SF elements thrown in, "You're Gonna Live Forever" benefits from Joe Maneely's artwork and a devil-may-care atmosphere with its scripting. Why in the world would you drink down an experimental formula that some goofy old guy tells you is the fountain of youth? Wouldn't a red flag come up? Also, as Harry is sinking below the sand, our narrator tells us that the poor guy will live forever below the surface. Well, if you've got "nothing but time" and you don't need air to exist (the matter of whether Harry needs to eat is never discussed), I'm sure you can figure a way to get yourself out of your predicament, no?

 Adventures Into Weird Worlds #18

"How Beautiful Can You Be?" (a: Sid Greene) 
"The Thing Behind the Door" (a: Ed Robbins) 
"Too Horrible to Live" (a: Chuck Winter) ★1/2
"Ivan and Petrov" ★1/2
"Don't Lose Your Head" (a: John Buscema) 

Handsome, brilliant scientist/gigolo Craig Whitney has been siphoning funds from his "unattractive" wife, Madge (body of Venus but face of Uranus), attempting to perfect a gizmo that takes really good photos of outer space. One night, while monkeying around with his super duper camera, a gorgeous face appears on the screen, belonging to Lolez of the planet Zorz.

Lolez tells Craig she's in love with him and really must move to her neck of the galaxy pronto. She promises to give him tips on building a teleporter. New gizmo complete, Craig buries a hatchet in Madge's face and hops aboard but, once he exits on the other side, he discovers that Lolez has the face of Venus but... "How Beautiful Can You Be?" A pretty obvious twist in this one's tail but the Sid Greene visuals are pleasant enough. How many of these studs, who look like they should be parking cars down at Guido's rather than concocting insanely complicated contraptions in their basement, were ever married to women for love? Madge's "shortcomings" are a hoot; she's got some kind of goop running from her top to bottom teeth and a gorilla's snout. It's too bad Craig wasn't working on a machine that could meld body parts together. He coulda taken Madge's body and Lolez's head and lived happily ever after.

Master thief John Mason worries he's getting long in the tooth in an industry that favors young men. When Mason gets wind of a temple in Shanghai that holds the secret of eternal youth, he hops a plane and enters the temple door in record time. Inside is an old man who explains to Mason that he is 200 years old and that a special wood in the walls keeps him from dying. The thief boasts that he'll tear the walls down and export them to his penthouse back in the Big Apple but, before he can finish the sentence, the old guy keels over. With his dying breath, the old timer explains that the air from outside has entered his lungs and now he's free, leaving John Mason trapped in the locked temple immortal, until the next searcher comes along, but with nothing to do on a Friday night. Great send-off to "The Thing Behind the Door" and Ed Robbins' art is scratchy but perfect. Like Sykes in "You're Gonna Live Forever," John Mason teaches us that essential Atlas rule: be careful what you wish for!

"Too Horrible to Live" is a truly awful two-line joke stretched out to four pages about an expectant father hoping for the best but delivered the worst. The payoff is that the pop is a robot and the kid is human. How that happened is anyone's guess (the uncredited writer obviously cashed Marty Goodman's check and vamoosed right quickly) but, never mind, it's too dumb to question. For what little he has to work with, Chuck Winters gets a thumbs-up.

"Ivan and Petrov" are bosom buddies and cossacks to the end. When a gorgeous redhead (actually a Bolshevik spy) comes between them, Ivan and Petrov settle their differences the only way they know how. There's not much to this one but its good-natured humor and sharp art, sadly unidentified. The style is similar (at least to me it is) to that of Bill Benulis but I'm no expert and the GCD (who are experts) don't even take a swing at this one. In the finale, "Don't Lose Your Head," mass murderer Jean Mazarin awaits the guillotine when his prayers are answered and a man comes to his cell begging Mazarin to change places with him. Seems the stranger wants to commit suicide but doesn't own the onions to go through with it. Mazarin jumps at the chance to save his neck and murder the girl who put the finger on him. Here's where things go awry (not with Mazarin's new plan but with the script): Mazarin confronts the girl at the same time his savior faces the blade but... was Mazarin hallucinating his second chance at life or am I just confused? Here's the final page, you be the judge.

 Journey Into Unknown Worlds #18

"The Broth Needs Some Body!" (a: Tony DiPreta) 
"It Can Happen Here" (a: Edward Goldfarb) 
"If I Breathe... I Die!" 
(a: Hy Fleischman & Sol Brodsky)
"The Terrible... Torture!" (a: Sheldon Moldoff) 
"Dugan and the Dummy" 
(a: Larry Woromay & Matt Fox) ★1/2

A man is kidnapped by a coven of witches because "The Broth Needs Some Body!" but our hapless hero convinces the old hags he's too skinny for their pot; he'll bring someone else who'll make for a more sumptuous meal. Of course, he's thinking of his overbearing, shrewish wife who's constantly out with her friends and leaves him with the chores. The guy goes home, slugs his old lady with a golf club, lugs her into his jalopy, and takes her down to the cemetery. But the joke's on this poor sap; the witches are his wife's friends!

I must be losing my touch as I never saw this hilarious twist coming. The whole thing is played for laughs (it's never mentioned why the protagonist was selected by the crones to be thrown in the stew but I would assume his wife had something to do with it) and suits Tony DiPreta's art, which is simple but effective. I love how, while she's dumping hubby in the stew, the world's worst wife is turning green and growing fangs like her chums.

An invader in a space suit walks down Main Street, terrorizing the world, before it dies in a hail of bullets. When the creature's helmet is removed, we see the occupant of the suit is human and his killers are Martians. From the very first panel of obscured faces and a multitude of cheats (the Martian militia looks exactly like one that would be found on Earth; the Martians' hands are pink; etc.), the reader knows exactly what the outcome of "It Can Happen Here" will be. "If I Breathe... I Die!" is a silly quickie about a dumb con who tries to escape prison through a water pipe out into the nearby lake, only to forget that it's winter and the lake has frozen over. Seriously? How would you forget something like that?

Ahmed the murderer is taken away to die in prison but his captors decide that he should be tortured first. After several days of torture, Ahmed begs for death and he is told his wish will be granted in just two hours. His jailers inadvertently leave Ahmed's cell door unlocked and he quietly heads through the corridors out to freedom. But freedom is a courtyard with an executioner at standby, awaiting his next victim. Ahmed's guards explain that this was the ultimate torture: to allow the man to think he was free! A very effective climax (one I know I've read in an Atlas story before but I'll be darned if I remember a title) but "The Terrible... Torture!" here is really Sheldon Moldoff's ugly art. I liked his visuals for "The Lost City" in the previous issue of JIUW but anything resembling subtlety or design is thrown by the wayside here and Shelly opts for the gross-out.

Dugan has worked in Trimble's Department Store for decades and he's a loyal worker but he's also a bit tetched in the head. His co-workers line up every day to watch him yell at the male mannequins to keep their filthy paws off his Isabella. Oh, Isabella is a dummy too! Every night, before he clocks out, Dugan lays a fat, wet kiss on Isabella's clay cold lips, much to the delight of the Trimble's staff. Then, one day, in full view of a crowd outside the store window, Dugan jaws at one of the manly dummies and ends up on the floor with a knife in his gut. The witnesses swear to police that Dugan was stabbed by a dummy but the police aren't buying it. When they examine the crime scene, they reveal that the dummy is... just a dummy but, upon closer inspection, they discover that so is Dugan!

Matt Fox's oeuvre of Atlas horror stories is entirely too small. He'll pop up only 13 times on our journey but I can guarantee he'll impress me every time, regardless of the quality of the script. "Dugan and the Dummy" happens to have a strong script; it's got some very dangerous sexual undertones rare in an Atlas and the unexplained phenomena (how could Dugan's boss and co-workers not know this guy was a mannequin after all the years he'd worked at Trimble's?) is best unexplained. Though it's only a kiss, Dugan's goodnight to Isabella is pretty darn risque for its time. My number one question though goes to the cop attending to Dugan's body in the final panel: what made you think to rip his arm and head off?

 Adventures Into Terror #19

"The Withered Hand" (a: Paul Reinman) 
(r: Vault of Evil #1)
"The Maggots" (a: Hy Rosen) 
(r: Monsters Unleashed #6)
"Meet the Bride!" (a: Bill Savage) 
"The Strange Children" (a: Sam Kweskin) ★1/2
(r: Monsters Unleashed #6)
"The Girl Who Couldn't Die" (a: Mort Lawrence) 
(r: Journey Into Mystery #2)

John Clay shoots an ancient lama in Tibet and steals his enormous ruby (nicknamed "The Soul of a Sinner") but, with his dying breath, the lama curses Clay to a horrible death. When the old man's hand turns to dust, so will John Clay. The thief laughs, chops the lama's hand off, and heads back to the States. But, just to be sure, Clay drops the hand in a sealed glass container and puts it in a safe place.

He eventually gets a cool million for the ruby (bought back by the monks of Tibet) and marries a gorgeous doll. But life becomes boring for John and he begins to look for new company; his wife doesn't take well to the treatment and, in a moment of rage, tosses Clay's prize possession in the fire. As the hand is reduced to dust, the monk makes a surprise visit and claims John's soul. Though the Reinman visuals are interesting, the story is not; "The Withered Hand" is a simple variation on a theme we've already seen a zillion times; the only difference (in my view) is that John Clay acts on his own and doesn't have the obligatory partner to dispose of later in the story. Odd that, even in the pre-code (read that as "violent") days, Atlas shied away from showing us the Lama losing his hand, instead keeping that scene offpanel.

"The Maggots" is a short-short about a scientist who proves that maggots exist upon living flesh and proves his theory by showing his fellow scientists his hands, writing with maggots. Even for a three-page short, this is a bit confusing; the scientist's theory is alternately boring and befuddling. That final panel, though, is a classic. "Meet the Bride" is a loathsome little bit of nonsense about a marriage broker who marries off "repulsive female clients" to the highest bidder. When the ugliest woman in America walks in with a boatload of cash, our obese protagonist decides it's time to retire and marry. He gets his comeuppance. The uncredited scripter manages to insult both unattractive women and overweight men in one five-page package but, more importantly, insults the reader's intelligence with this dopey yarn. GCA gives the nod to Bill Savage on art duties but notes that Matt Fox was initially credited -- me, as the novice, would have picked Fox.

After a small European village is overrun with cockroaches, the town's mayor calls on a local wizard for a solution. The master of black arts names his price and the mayor agrees. After the warlock rids the town of its infestation, the mayor reneges on his deal and the wizard transforms the town's children into cockroaches. "The Strange Children" is a grim fairy tale with no happy ending and a scratchy, threadbare visual realization by Sam Kweskin. I'm not that big a fan of Kweskin's work for just those reasons but, in this case, the starkness is perfect for the subject and the nasty outcome. The final panel, of a woman lovingly petting the roaches with madness in her eyes, is a jarring scene.

When his beloved dies suddenly, a scientist turns to Frankenstein-like experimentation to bring her back. He keeps her body in a suspended animation while he perfects his theory and, finally, he meets success. The girl rises from her slab but screams in horror and offs herself upon seeing her lover, now aged over fifty years since she last saw him. Beautifully detailed, the art of Mort Lawrence is the highlight here, but the script for "The Girl Who Couldn't Die" is also smart and the shock ending is a nice surprise. The uncredited scripter avoids the usual pratfalls of a Frankenstein-influenced horror story. The protagonist doesn't want to rule the world, or rob banks, he just wants his woman back.

Marvel Tales #114

"Dial 'Z' for Zombie!" (a: Jim Mooney) 
"Waitin' for Satan!" (a: George Tuska) 
(r: Dead of Night #3)
(r: Where Monsters Dwell #31)
"The Terrible Teeth!" (a: Chuck Winter) 
(r: Journey Into Mystery #13)
"The Little Monsters" (a: Tony DiPreta) ★1/2
(r: Uncanny Tales #3)

Professor Oscar Bellows has had enough derision from his fellow members of faculty at the Natural History Museum. So what if all his studies are done indoors? I mean, this is before the internet, right? Determined to show his comrades he can do expeditions with the best of them, Bellows settles on Haiti since that country is rich with history. Once there, Bellows hits the jungle but is beset by a terrible storm and must seek shelter. Fate takes him to a dilapidated shack in the middle of a plantation, where he hides out minutes before two men enter embroiled in a fierce argument.

Seems a local plantation owner has hired a voodoo houngan, the owner of the shack, to use black magic to rid him of his partner and, now that the deed is done, refuses to pay the witch doctor. After the man exits, the houngan dials Z on a special gold telephone. Minutes later, a zombie enters the shack and receives orders from his master: strangle the fool who welched on his agreement. The master dials his victim's phone number, which sends the zombie on his way to do his dirty work. Once the houngan leaves, Bellows realizes he's hit upon a "gold" mine and steals the phone. Back at the Museum, his co-workers laugh and make merriment at Bellows' expense but their laughs are cut off, one by one, by the gurgling in their throats when Bellows "Dials 'Z' for Zombie!" After Bellows is the last one standing, a cop comes to visit his office to warn him of a serious threat. Bellows isn't at his office but his secretary allows the detective to use the gold phone to dial the Professor at home.

Forget for a moment the rules that were set up in the first act (you have to dial 'Z' first before dialing the target's number, something the detective does not do), this is one deranged and original (yep, I said original) story, one that I would expect of a deranged comics company like Harvey or Avon, but not from Atlas. Yeah, it's got some classic Atlas elements (the shamed professor, the archaeological expedition that proves, once again, that Americans think they should own anything they covet) but we don't get steered down the same dusty paths as before. And how about a contemporary angle on the old zombie theme? I'd have liked for our uncredited writer to delve into unanswered questions such as: what if the electricity goes out... or what if the victim doesn't have a phone... or does the dialing show up on your monthly bill... what about long distance revenge? Alas, I'll have to settle for what I'm given: a perfect example of why we love these things.

"Waitin' for Satan!" is an overlong and needlessly complicated snoozefest about a sailor, tired of being poor, who makes a bargain with the devil: Sailor boy gets a thousand bucks (wow, that's one with three zeroes!), Satan gets the man's soul if he makes a mistake at any time in the future but if Satan comes too soon, then the deal becomes null and void. See what I mean about complicated? Usually if the story takes too much 'splainin', then there's a preponderance of text to cover up the artwork. Unfortunately, there's a whole lot of words but, also unfortunately, they don't cover up enough of George Tuska's run-of-the-mill doodlings. This is the Yin to  the Yang of "Dial 'Z'."

Poor workin' slob Steve Corby had to go and marry Verna, with her expensive tastes and leech of a son, Ricky. She spends the dough faster than Steve can earn it until, one day, she pushes him too far and he files for divorce. After his day in court, Steve heads back to what was once his house and begins dividing all the property, as per the court, "Fifty-Fifty!" He grabs an axe and takes it to the furniture, chopping it all in half. Stepson Ricky looks on in amusement until Steve tells the kid he intends to divide everything in half! A fabulously over-the-top horror story with a final panel straight out of an EC Comic. By the close of "Fifty-Fifty!," the reader is hoping Steve will do something about that smug little bastard Verna calls Ricky and, sure enough, he does.

When he gets a look at his mark's shiny white teeth, a thief figures the easiest way to steal a bankroll from the gambler is to put sleeping powder in the guy's toothpaste. Not a good plan when you're dealing with someone who wears dentures. "The Terrible Teeth!" is every bit as bad as it sounds. In the finale, failed gambler Harry Kendall arrives at his uncle's plantation, on the edge of the Amazon just ahead of a infestation of army ants. Uncle Andy shows Harry the new floodgates that will save him and the crops from the ants. Harry admits that he's there to ask his uncle for a contribution to pay his debts but his uncle believes in tough love and declares that his nephew won't receive a penny of his money until he's dead and gone.

Harry has no problem with that and, one day, while the two are out on ant-watch, Harry crushes his uncle's skull and dumps him in the river. One of Uncle Andy's men sees the murder and flees in the jungle but, as Andy is giving chase, the Red Ant Alert is sounded. Harry can't got aboard the boat out and must make his way to the floodgates to drown the army before they get to him but, unfortunately, Andy's body has jammed the contraption and the ants pick Harry to the bone. Taking the hook from Carl Stephenson's short story,"Leiningen Versus the Ants" (filmed as The Naked Jungle, starring Charlton Heston in 1954), and adding the obligatory greedy relative, "The Little Monsters" is an enjoyable if a bit simple jungle thriller with some good DiPreta graphics. Those tiny army ants seem to grow ten times their size by story's end!

In Two Weeks...
More Matt Fox Madness!


Grant said...

"The Tough Guy" sounds original in at least one way, since the man who gets beaten up by him seems to have a nasty streak too (even if it's provoked).

In that one panel of "Indoor Sport" (on the bottom right) the live version of Mona looks strangely like Doris Day.

Jeremy Roby said...

"Dial Z for Zombie" is hands down my favorite of the bunch this much as well. It's the telephone that really sells it, IMHO, with it's gold color and weird symbols in the middle of the dial. I'd love to have one of these babies sitting on my desk one day (as a paperweight, natch, since no one has landlines anymore)!