Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Must Kill!

Today’s insane post comes from the pages of Harvey Comic’s 1940’s Green Hornet series. It’s a truly jaw dropping Bob Fujitani back-up tale featuring a cornball crime fighter (calling himself “The Zebra”), whose typical superhero stylings completely take a backseat to the bone chilling psychotic villain in this piece. This is seriously one of the most disturbing, cold-hearted killers in all of comic book history, so hold onto your hats while reading this one folks--- seriously! It's all so lurid and grimy I didn't even bother to pretty up Brian's scans...

From the September 1945 issue of Green Hornet #26








Want more Zebra action? Try heading over to Pappy’s blog by clicking HERE, (yes, he’s got a Zebra story planned for later today too!) And many thanks again to Brian Hirsch for the scans.

16 comments:

todd said...

Definitely the creepiest thing I have read here. Did someone keep a close eye on Bob Fujitani after this?

Anonymous said...

very creepy for a superhero book. I usually prefer my horror spandex free but this one was really scary. Love the way the killer's toungue kept hanging out.

Max the drunken severed head said...

Fun light reading just before bed!

Mr. Cavin said...

Karswell, yesterday you mentioned that you'd probably be doing more of these crime slash thriller posts because people seemed to like them almost as much as the horror. Pardon the paraphrase. I would never stoop to being negative about the things you post for our entertainment, but since I didn't want to see the data skewed, I thought I'd mention that I don't like the crime nearly as much as the horror. I like the superhero stuff absolutely least (far behind, say, the funny animal and good girl stuff that occasionally graces Pappy's).

The Zebra? "While concocting a serum to cure criminality on the Serengeti one day, heroic brain scientist Somebody Doyle is bitten by a rabid Zebra..." Right down there with the Ray, Doll Man, Alias the Spider, and other grist for the mill of some very talented artists. I understand that other's really like this stuff, and please excuse me for any offense, but I really think it's in these types of stories where it becomes most obvious how immature and hackneyed the Golden Age could really get. That said, I can read and enjoy anything, so keep 'em coming if that's what everyone wants.

The first four pages, or so, of this story was pretty awesome frankly, and neat little old timey take on maniacs. I find the change of MO from that first half, where the psycho murders without warning, to the lingering gloating of the end, allowing the secretary to be saved, a little unconvincing. And what the hell happened to the gun between panels eight and nine on page seven?

Chuck Wells said...

Two Zebra tales in one sitting, boy-oh-boy, what a treat.

Maurice certainly edges out Dr. Diabole as the greatest nutjob for the "Nimble Nemesis" (that's the Zebra, to you), but I disagree with Mr. Cavin.

The golden age heroes beat out the modern heroes hands down. Mostly!

Pappy said...

You weren't lying when you said this was disturbing. What if you were a parent in the 1940s? You find this comic book on Junior's dresser. You listen to Green Hornet on the radio so you figure this looks like some nice, light entertainment. You open it to see this Zebra story. OK, Junior, we're gonna have to pre-approve your reading material from now on!

The Vicar of VHS said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--HOLY CRAP.

"The Zebra" is definitely in the running for "most ridiculous superhero/villain name/costume ever"! Right up there with the Rainbow Raider and the Codpiece! :)

As for this homicidal maniac, boy! They didn't do things by halves, did they?

"And so were her goldfish!"

That's cold, maing.

I love the shot of him in the middle panel on the top of the last page, as he's going out to get the girl. There's a weird twisted sense of humor throughout this thing that's somewhat appealing. Though I was wondering whether they were going to say something about why the killer's face turned green for half the story! ;)

As to the crime/horror debate, this goes on everywhere--I've seen long messageboard threads arguing whether "Silence of the Lambs" was a horror movie or not, whether "Jaws" should count as horror, etc. etc. etc. For me, if the intent is to horrify, it's horror, and this definitely fits the bill. I like the supernatural stuff better too as a rule, but when it's as wild and crazy as this, I say keep 'em coming!

The comment tally doesn't lie!

Anonymous said...

I SECOND THE HOLY CRAP! USUALLY I'M THE FIRST ONE TO COMMENT ON A POST, ITS 8:30AM AND I'M THE 8TH!! I KNEW I MUST BE IN FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL HERE THIS MORNING AND OH. MY. GOD. LURID AND GRIMY INDEED!!! IT'S ALL SO DISTURBING THAT EVEN THE HERO MUST KILL ON THE LAST PAGE. "I DONT BELIEVE IN KILLING BUT IM MAKING AN EXCEPTION IN YOUR CASE!" HORROR PARIAH SOMETIMES RECCOMENDS A VOICE TO GO ALONG WITH A STORY FOR THE CHARACTERS, FOR THIS GUY I PICK PETER LORRE! A REAL STUNNER.

Jeffos said...

Wow - violent and grisly indeed.

Did he eat the fly in the middle of page 5?

I love the Zebra's crime-solving logic: "A guy who would crush a fly would murder goldfish, too!"

And he justs throws the guy out he window at the end? How do the police know Zebra's not the one on a killing spree? "Another body? I guess the killer's still loose."

Alex Whitington said...

There's so many brilliant moments in this, it's a complete masterpiece.

Karswell said...

This is probably the oldest story we’ve ever posted here at THOIA, to think it came out nearly 10 years before the code was even enforced boggles the mind! If there are other Zebra stories this F’d-up I’d love to see them! I also thought I should add that no goldfish were actually harmed in the making of this post.

I truly appreciate all the great comments today everyone... pros or cons, thanks to all the return commentors who really help to make this blog a load of informative fun.

And the crime horror continues tomorrow with a great Ken Shannon tale plus a bonus look at a spooky Angles O'Day back-up tale! Then on Friday it's Rex Lane's first ever comicbook appearance! You'll see why he became a private eye in the first place.

And don't forget to head over to Pappy's for more ZEBRA shenanigans today too! Leave Pappy a comment or two, or three, and show him your appreciation!
http://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/

Horror pariah said...

I actually found the murders funny....up till the part about dismembering the secretary..that..was just creepy on toasted creepy washed down with a glass of creepy."bloody chunks of meat!!!??" damn.

todd said...

This is probably the oldest story we’ve ever posted here at THOIA, to think it came out nearly 10 years before the code was even enforced boggles the mind!

I think what got me into this stuff was the Classic Comics in-name-only adaptation "The Flayed Hand," July 1944. I grew up with a cut version of an already cut version and wondered for years what became of the ghost-zombie axe-murderer.

Karswell said...

>Classic Comics in-name-only adaptation "The Flayed Hand," July 1944.

Care to share it Todd? Email me the scans at karswell@hotmail.com

Tim Beard said...

This one was pretty disturbing to me as well. The 'Bloody chunks of meat' comment. Yeesh! The tongue waggling out of his mouth all the time was a really great touch too.

Zombie Elf said...

I just can't get enough of this story! I actually sat and re-read it today... truly disturbing. I don't usually hunt down hero titles, but I might have to make an exception with this one.