Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Devil's Bride

A few posts back we had Satan's Woman Prize, now today we have the Devil's Bride! And seriously, what could have been just another Iger Shop tale of head splattering suicide and wrist gouged bloodletting (with cursed vampirism overtones), slowly transforms into a terrific tale of demonic possession that would make even William Peter Blatty grin from his coffin-- maybe by page 4 you'll see what I mean.

From the July - August 1954 issue of Haunted Thrills #16.


JMR777 said...

What a great, wild tale, the perfect tale for THOIA.

Jack should have carefully wrapped that bottle up to prevent breakage, and then put in a safe deposit box and forget about it. Either that or do some research on what Bulgarians to do with a bottled vampire (bottled vampire, there just might be a market for that. Bottled Vampire Wine, the blood red vintage you can really sink your teeth into.)

Mr. Cavin said...

I'm impressed. I like to see a creative new monster complete with its own instruction book. I like the chunky, heavy art here, too (page four was a doozy) and all the red red blood. By and large, I find that these precode comics dial back the horror in favor of the thriller--the stories are all monsters and morals and plot (and plenty of puns), whereas an unsettling mood and ghastly ambience can slip a little by the wayside. That's not the case here. This here vault was crammed full of horror.

Guy Callaway said...

Gregor The Wraith is horrific! For sure he caused a few sleepless nights.

Mr. Karswell said...

I just like how our hero has no choice but to simply become an exorcist. Queue up The Things We Do For Love

Mestiere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Barnes said...

This one is great! It's another of the more super-hero-ish adventure tale (there are rules, discover them, follow them, and win) but it retains a lot more of the horror element and has some good imagery and the art works well.

Gregor, though, what a dope. Part of the plot was he was rich, he could have certainly found a much better way to ruin their lives, and heck, target the hero for death first, catch him unaware! Gregor might know how to turn himself into a horrible vampire/ghost but his planning sucks!

This does have me wondering what I'd do with the bottle! said...

I like to read and interpret some of these old tales as dreams because they often have a dream logic.
Here's my take on this story:
This is Jack's bad dream about his girlfriend Liza. We're inside of Jack's subconscious mind.
Gregor symbolizes knowledge and the deeper aspects of our souls. He is dangerous and exciting to Liza.
He's a cultured European. He has knowledge of all sorts of things Jack wouldn't understand is the suggestion. Europe is older than the U.S. so it infantilizes Jack.
Jack feels jealousy over her ex-boyfriend.
The bed signifies it bothers Jack that Gregor has had sex with Liza.
Jack, the apple pie American symbolizes naivety, ignorance and youth.
The bed symbolizes sex.
There are a lot of scenes with her in the bed.
The splash panel depicts two men fighting over the right to enter a bed with a scantily clad woman.
Satan's disease is really knowledge, especially to the writer from the 1950s America.
The story depicts Jack's jealousy of Liza's ex-boyfriend that still has an enormous magnetism to Liza.
Liza finally says with a smile, "alright Gregor! I understand now! I'll go with you!"
Gregor is really Jack's subconscious mind's interpretation of him.
Jack is unattractive to Liza because he in naive.
"You don't know Gregor like I do..."
The crazy things Gregor does and talks about plainly do excite Liza.
Jack knows this even though Liza denies it.
Jack's solution is to infect his own blood with Satan's disease.
Jack is careful so he puts the blood in a bottle and mixes it with the essence of her ex-boyfriend.
He now has knowledge, and becomes a deeper more attractive person to Liza.
His bottle is hidden. It symbolizes his self awareness. He understands the darkest and most disagreeable aspects of his nature but he has it under control.
Jack's transformation into a person with knowledge is symbolized by depicting Jack with a bow-tie just like the one Gregor had on. Before this, for every panel Jack had a long red tie on.
He's a changed person now.

JBM said...

Fast paced. Crazy bat $hit stuff. Enjoyed it. Thank you Mr. K..

Glowworm said...

This is pretty insane and I absolutely love it. However, there is just one little thing bothering me. Doctor Borin getting quickly thrown out of the story by getting randomly run over by a car--was it really just coincidence that the only person who could help Liza got run over by some mysterious hit and run driver--or was Gregor driving that thing? I'd really like to think that Gregor was behind that hit and run "incident."

Grant said...

"Triple-blasted" is an adjective I need to remember.

anthrax2525 said...

Like walking in the rain and the snow and there's nowhere to go...

Curse you for this infernal earworm, Karswell!!!

Mr. Karswell said...

Haha, great comments... maybe we’ll keep it thrillingly haunting for a few more posts just because these are so ridiculously fun. Another one coming right up, stayed tombed —and protect your eyes and earholes!

Todd said...

Neat ending! I wasn't expecting happiness after catching up on the other stuff.

Guillaume said...

Really good story. Nice to see a vampire created by something else than contagion.

Darci said...

I see in the GCD that this tale was reworked by Fernand in Tales of Voodoo V7#4 (July 1974), which was reprinted in Weird Vampire Tales V3#3 (Oct 1979). Any chance we can see that version?