Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vampire Vengeance

Two thrill-killers inadvertently select a vampire as their target. From the March 1953 issue of Journey into Fear #12... more Superior Publishers in our next post too!








9 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

I like the art in this one, except I wouldn't hire the artist to draw people in boats! There's some fun vampires, though the vampires on the splash make me think they are the Owl from Daredevil, and there's some fun thrill-kill faces on our two "heroes."

"Awful Wicked! Gloriously Wiked!" Boy, if I had a dime every time a woman told me that :)

One thing that's always fun about these vampire tales is how there's really no set in stone legend. Like how ghosts/zombies seem interchangeable in the 50s, in this one you don't have the 3 day wait to rise again (Mary rises immediately) or the wooden stack (silver here.)

Evidently, in the town where Peter and Mary live, has open-carry sword laws!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

This is one little goldie! That "wicked" girl is right. Turning serial killers into vampires... not much of a vengeance. As Ellie Mae Skaggs said to Superman: "Only a tiny moment of pain, and then..."
Reading stories like this one and the very moving "They fly by night" [reprinted in G. S. Dracula 5, 1975] takes me back to the fifties, love them.
Also in the first 5 or 4 issues of TOD rules about having to wait 3 nights to become a vampire were not so strict.

Grant said...

Also, there are the vampires' hands reaching out of the water after Peter, so presumably they jumped in. But if you follow the example of DRACULA, PRICE OF DARKNESS with Christopher Lee (and maybe other stories), they can't stand running water. Maybe the water at that dock wasn't exactly RUNNING, but maybe they were taking a real risk jumping into it after Peter either way.

Mestiere said...

"I outwitted you! I'm too smart for you! You hear? Too smart!!"

When I read it was about thrill-killers I thought of the Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate murder spree (which hadn't happened yet when this comic was published), but the above quote makes me think these characters are based on the Nathan Leopold-Richard Loeb murder team. Nathan Leopold, with a reported IQ of 210, considered himself a superior Nietzschean superman not bound by the laws of man. Convincing Richard Loeb—also exceptionally intelligent— that he too was a superman the pair engaged in a crime spree that escalated from petty theft to vandalism, arson and eventually murder. This case inspired Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 movie Rope.

There have in fact been many teams of serial killers, including several made up of married couples.

I agree with J_D_La_Rue_67 that getting turned into a vampire isn't much of a revenge. Aren't all vampires serial killers by definition?

Good art.

Mr. Cavin said...

I love the fact that the group of vampires isn't homogenous but made up of multiple stock vamp types. I particularly like the Werewolf of London vampire in the middle of the splash and the Curse of the Werewolf vampire on the second panel of page four. Much of the art and coloring is fun (be nice to the see the issue brand new), but the bottom of page six is especially wonderful.

The beginning here is a great kernel for a story--a couple of youths daring themselves into a random spree killing is really chilling. The monster ex machina is pretty neat in a precode way, but diffuses some of the real-word tension. I even like the non-twist here too, wherein the revenge-seeking vampires access the necessary information from the newly-converted woman that he has betrayed. I wish they'd turned that into a Hitchcockian ticking bomb, though. He should have guessed she'd be coming for him same as I did, he should be trying to quit his job and school, and relo the rest of the family outta town.

Grant said...

Even though I'm hardly ever into true crime stories, Leopold and Loeb are one of the exceptions, so I couldn't help seeing them in it too. That's partly because it resembles the movie COMPULSION, which is another fictionalized movie about them, and it even has a big scene of one of the two getting very impatient with a college professor's beliefs vs. his beliefs.

Karswell said...

The vampire screaming "Vengeance!" in the middle panel on page four looks like a swipe to me, but I can't for the life of me remember where else I've seen it... it almost looks like a Gene Colan illustration

Trevor Markwart said...

That panel you mention, Karswell, looks like the one in the Graham Ingels masterpiece "A Little Stranger", Haunt of Fear, bottom of page 4.

I like this story a lot -- it was really funny in parts. Very entertaining, and what I always look for in a horror comic story: an original spin. I liked the art, too. Of course the ending was completely predictable once Mary buys it.

I often say this, but I have to say it again: Thanks for posting this one!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Interesting!
This guy was smart, took his ... "inspiration"... from one of the greatest.