Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Werewolf Beware

The January 1955 issue of Mystery Tales #25 is an important issue for fans of dynamic Don Heck, because this issue (according to the great Atlas Tales site) features Heck's very first Atlas story. And nearly 20 years later this wild piece of wicked werewolfery was reprinted in Marvel's Dead of Night #4 with a cool transformation cover by John Romita (see last scan after the story.)






14 comments:

Todd said...

Pleased as punch you posted this! Wish the ending were less emo, but the fact it predates emo as a concept thirty years saves it.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it! Did he stake himself with a piece of silver ore? A wooden stake; (if that, *somebody* has their *werewolves* and *vampires* really mixed up!

A thought; (at least if Lon Chaney can be believed!) werewolves (or should I say "wolfmen/women" as, as I see it, werewolves would turn into 100% Canis lupis not just some kind of "Homo lupis"); tend to attack family members. But, (in RL)wolves are pack animals with a strict hierarchy. So, (since they also seem to remember they did in "wolfman" form); wouldn't they see family members and other loved ones as *ellow pack members; not prey*? (Not relevant to this story; just something I've been wondering all week!)

DBurch7670@aol.com

prof. grewbeard said...

nice, i may have said this before but i prefer Heck's horror stuff. little floating valentines in a pre-code horror story?!? that was a real shock!

Anonymous said...

good story. i rather liked it. tear jerker for sure. yes even werewolfs can love. Armondo

Drew said...

Let me guess -- The first page scan is a bit larger than the other page scans because it's been cropped to remove added material* from the "Dead of Night" reprint, right?

*Meaning the egoticial "STAN LEE PRESENTS" that blighted so many 1970s Marvel reprints, and the required "Dead of Night" issue information on the page bottom

Mr. Cavin said...

I don't know about predating emo, Todd. Does Romeo and Juliet count? But I have to admit, I think werewolf stories are pretty ripe for bathos and wear it well.

DBurch7670: I like your ideas about werewolves/wolf-people. One of the nice things about monsters in general is we get to work out all the rules for ourselves. But don't forget that stories about werewolves dying by heart puncture, wood, the cross, etc., have been in circulation for hundreds of years. In some stories you have to burn them. In some you have to bury them at the crossroads. If you read back far enough, in some stories at least, there really isn't much difference between werewolves and modern vampires. (Vampires were a lot different three hundred years ago from what we think of as vampires now). In a lot of early stories, they are killed by having their wolf skin peeled away from the person underneath. Choosing one set of rules over another is tantamount to writing your own story, so I hope that's what you're doing. I'd love to read it.

I loved today's post, Karswell. Page two is especially glorious.

Karswell said...

>Pleased as punch you posted this!

Me too! I love Don Heck.

>just something I've been wondering all week!

You got me DBurch, possibly a werewolf can commit suicide by any means as long as it's with his own hand? Hell, if Stan Lee can re-write the rules, then so can we.

>little floating valentines in a pre-code horror story?!? that was a real shock!

Haha, I should've posted this one on Valentine's Day-- damn it!

>tear jerker for sure. yes even werewolfs can love.

A bit unusual (for sure), but the mythology of the werewolf, even in the Universal films, is one of endless sorrow and tragedy... the love angle simply nails it home.

>the egoticial "STAN LEE PRESENTS" that blighted so many 1970s Marvel reprints

I wouldn't go that far with the name calling, I just choose to edit the scans for my blog and hopefully get them as close to appearing like the original story (even if they're reprints) as possible. This entire month has been reprints by the way... giving my golden collection a breather.

Thanks for the comments-- we'll be flashing forward for the next post or two so hang in there and we'll see you in April.

Karswell said...

I guess me and Mr C were commenting at the same time-- excellent points as always! Thank you, sir!

Mr. Cavin said...

Karswell: what cracks me up is that it took you three sentences to say what took me three paragraphs to drone on about.

Karswell said...

Yeah, but I just fly by the seat of my pants in commenting, Mr C... you at least sound like you've thought it all through, and you know, like you possibly know what you're talking about!

Karswell said...

Oh! and possibly the origins of "emo" can be found in the Bible? There's that one long hair dude with the sad story, or something...

Todd said...

Karswell: what cracks me up is that it took you three sentences to say what took me three paragraphs to drone on about.

I can't be the only one here who enjoys Mr. Cavin's droning on as much as the stories themselves.

Mr. Cavin said...

Todd: Thanks! That's really incredibly nice. Even if it's an April Fools Day joke.

Todd said...

Nah, it makes even a lot of the weaker stories more deservedly memorable. It's like a liver-friendly alternative to a drinking game.