Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, March 23, 2019


Britain's Arnold Book company reprinted the American comic book Frankenstein #29 (February-March 19540) from Prize Comics; Arnold then padded its larger page comic with reprints from Hillman's  Airboy Comics #104, Marvel's Mystic #22, and Marvel's Young Men #22.  This copy of  Frankenstein is a 52-page truncated version that omits the stories from Mystic and Young Men.  (The issue this was taken from had 68 pages; missing are the stories "The Maiden in the Iron Mask" and a Rex Lane story, "The Walking Dead," as well as the text story ""Cave-In.")

Prize's American Frankenstein lasted for 33 issues while it's British counterpart had only five issues.

This Frankenstein, as drawn by Dick Briefer, is a quasi-Karloff-like monster with bulging eyes, a stub nose, narrow jaw, and immense hands.  There's a cartoonish quality about his features here, that the reader soon forgets because of the intensity of the story.

  • "Entranced!" The lead story is also the only one to featured the title character.  The monster, hidden from sight, falls in love with a young mother, kidnaps her, takes her to his lair, and tries unsuccessfully to woo her.  She escapes.  Enraged, her pushes the car she is in over a cliff and then has second thoughts..
  • "Modern Achilles"  While doing a stint in state prison, petty criminal Jim Lees learns the secret of an invulnerability potion from his dying bunkmate, a scientist.  Released from prison, lees mixes up the potion and coats his body with it. Thus invulnerable, Lees goes on a string robberies.  Bullets can't stop him.  Or can they?
  • "Clinging Corpse"  While serving a twenty-years prison sentence for murder, Kenneth Bradley had only one thought:  to get revenge on David Harper, the cop who arrested him,  `Shortly after he was released Bradley faked his own death.  Then he waited.  A year later an anonymous telephone call lured Harper to the deserted mud flats during a storm.  He shoots Harper, then carries the corpse out on the flats where the body will never be found after it is buried in mud.  Bradley soon learns, to his horror, that dead men can kill.
  • "Death in Reflection"  An ancient graveyard, an abandoned chapel, an empty coffin, a full-sized mirror, and a vengeful woman who had been murdered a hundred years ago.  All this does not bode well for novelist Floyd Ellis in this coincidence-laden story.
  • "[The Time Fog]"  This is actually an untitled adventure of Airboy as we move from Frankenstein to Airboy Comics.  The new plutonium bomb (perhaps ten times as powerful as a hydrogen bomb) is tested in the desert, releasing a strange green cloud.  Airboy is sent in his birdplane to observe the mysterious cloud from above.  Caught in a fierce down draft, all of Airboy's instruments die and he flies for what seems hours.  He finds himself in a strange desert land.  On the ground he meets Jean Marlow, who was also caught up in the strange green cloud.  Coming across a an old building block -- a cornerstone dated 500 years in the future -- Airboy guesses (from the age of the stone) that they are some 2500 years ahead of their time.  Suddenly they are confronted by a group of beast-men.  Just as suddenly they are rescued by a group of armored men led by Gidron, who escorts the two to a future city.  Time passes and Jean falls in love with Gidron while Airdboy becomes determined to return to his own time.  Jean and Gidron accompany Airboy to his birdplane where they are attacked by a flying reptile.  The best kills Gidron, the green fog dissipates, and Airboy and a love-stricken Jean find themselves back in the present.  In a plot twist, Jean finds happiness and Airboy goes on to further adventures.  This is the only Airboy story in this issue, but the following two stories were also reprints from Airboy #104 (October 1952).
  • "The Spanish Rope-Maker"  The rope-make Miguel Perez was a bully and a brute but he loved the fair Monica who preferred the more refined Cecilio, a dealer in lace and fabrics. Perez's dim mind thinks Monica would appreciate a gift of fine silken lace, and in turn would appreciate himself.  One night he kills Cecilio and steals a fine silk scarf for Monica.  But the silk was woven by spiders and spider silk can be as strong as the finest rope...
  • "The Heap"  Shades of Swamp Thing and Ted Sturgeon's "It," the Heap is a vegetative monster that rose from the swamp near Wassau, Poland.  Buried within the Heap is the body of a dead flier.  Now alive, the Heap senses evil in the swamp, evil that seems to stem from some old large tree trunks.  Two hundred years ago the trees that belonged to the trunks were used to build a ship that carried hopeful colonists to the New World.  the owner/captain of the ship, however, sold the colonists into slavery.  He continued to do so until piracy became more profitable for him.  Over two hundred years the ship, now old and rotting, still carried out journeys of misery and death.  Instinctively, the Heap goes from the swamp in search of the ship and the evil that has permeated it.
  • Also included are three uncredited text stories, "Uranium," "Ghost Pilot," and "The Enemy Parrot."
A pretty decent issue with art that varies from good to very good and a decent mix of horror, fantasy, adventure, and irony that marked many of the comic books of the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment