Monday, April 13, 2015

Through Wicked Eyes

The sole remaining story that I have yet to post here from the Nov '52 issue of Strange Mysteries #8... check the archives for "Return of the Corpse", "Flaming Horror", and "Mask of the Devil." 







7 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

I would have liked to see this one with crisp printing, the artist went for a lot of black panels and it being washed out is just a pity. Damn cheap printing!

I like the pointlessness of the witch in the story. There's no revenge, she was never wronged, she's just doing it for her own amusement. And the thing is -- all this stuff might have happened anyway; she might not be doing anything except giving the poor sap a look into the future.

I doubt the writer wrote it this way, but I like to think that is the point!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Brian is right, there's no rhyme or reason. It's just life. But if Bill hadn't put the glasses on and seen his wife's death, he wouldn't have took the taxi that actually killed her. So the old lady IS evil, in a way.
In comics, the ability of seeing the future is never as good as it seems. Guess the moral is "don't mess with fate", even though you are well intentioned.
I was a little puzzled when the wifw asked Bill if he was to come home early. Suspicious mind...
It is probably a pure coincidence, but the name "Bill Bevan" made me think of the funny guy from Mack Sennett's comedies I watched as a kid (on TV, not in theatres...)

Mestiere said...

If the witch saw her own future, could she change it? The idea of knowing the future brings up the concept of freedom of will. If you can change the future then you really didn't know the real future, but just a probability. But if you cannot change it, then your behavior is completely deterministic, you have no freedom of will. It's the paradox of a God who is simultaneously all-knowing and all-powerful. If God knows everything then He would know all his future decisions. If He is all-powerful then He should be able to change his mind. But if He changes His mind then he didn't really know the actual future. Therefore, either God is all-knowing but can't change His own future behavior—He has no freedom of will—or He is all-powerful but doesn't know the actual future (but could know probabilities).

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

@Mestiere. Your comment is really interesting. While you and Brian see the old lady as a "witch" (as Billy Bevan says, but he's just speculating), I was more inclined to see her as an embodiment of Fate (or Doom), and the spectacles as a representation of man's useless struggle to foresee and change it. The splash panel shows the old lady/Fate like a puppeteer, and unfortunately calls her "witch". Anyway, she was the one who gave Bill the glasses (or gave him the choice to use them or not). Why? Part of the charm of these stories, I think, is that we don't really know the motivations. Like Peter Cushing in "From Beyond the Grave": he keeps on selling objects that lead buyers to their doom (deserved in this case), but we don't know why, or who he really is. In the end he just says "would YOU like to come to my shop?", like the old Lady.
On God: you made a good point. Being all-powerful and all-knowing at the same time is clearly unbearable, so He went mad and created this crazy world. Or, He may be a Stochastic God.

JMR777 said...

OK, what would I do if I had a pair of glasses like that? Lets just say that my enemies would be very few in number, (very few breathing for long.)

What a minute Karswell, where did You get those glasses in your blog post image? Stop Staring At Me!!!!!


I have read several comic stories where magical/supernatural glasses play a part in the story and in the end it is the one who wears the glasses that gets his comeuppance. In this story there were two victims, the guy who wore the glasses and his wife. It is a good tale, though the ending would have been more satisfying if the guy or his wife were mean, selfish, ignorant jerks, etc. instead it is two relatively innocent people suffering a terrible fate with no rhyme or reason. Its a good tale that could have been presented on The Outer Limits or Twilight Zone with the warning 'there are some things man is not meant to know' or something like that.

Karswell said...

haha... I'll see if I can find some more stories about evil eyewear, might make for a fun theme one of these days. Thanks for the comments

Grant said...

There's one small thing I'm confused about. In the middle of Page Three it looks like Bill's lines and Grace's lines are accidentally in the same word balloon. Or am I just mixing up what ONE of them is saying?