Monday, August 12, 2019

Terror at Midnight

Last tale from the August 1952 issue of Suspense #21, and that makes it official-- another FULL ISSUE PRESENTATION here at THOIA (check out the last 5 posts for the rest of this issue in case you missed anything!) Nice artwork in today's post too-- and especially during this awful summer heatwave, these snowbound stories of wintery weirdness are very much welcome to help cool things down with some shivery chills up 'n down our 'ol spooked-out spines!

More Atlas on the way too-- stay tombed! (And while you're at it, head over to my other blog for some Monster News and Monster Hit Parade fun too! CLICK HERE!)


JMR777 said...

"I'm like a Cat...I like warmth and ease." That describes me pretty well, and rest assured I'm no werewolf or werecat, though if there were such a creature as a weresloth…

Neat trick ending, it reminded me of the 1974 film 'The Beast Must Die'.

BTX said...

Is the artist Jerry Grandenetti? Looks like it esp. at the end.

Brian Barnes said...

This one strain credibility a good bit!

So Eva fought a werewolf and then ... went to bed? I don't care how injured I am I'm not climbing into bed with a werewolf out there!

What was Myra's plan? She could have killed Peter anytime she was out alone with him and then sneaked in and killed Eva. That's one convoluted werewolf plan!

I like the time taken with the snow artwork, with the heavy whites and blacks and the solid shadow/snow coloring (like page 2, panels 1 and 2.) I really felt like a windy, snowy wasteland.

Page 3, panel 6, I like the look through the snowbound window.

The last panel is great, with the paw gripping him! You can just hear Myra going "sucker!"

Mestiere said...

"Now that we're married you must tell me more about yourself... about Hungary!" Now you want to know her? Smarts are not your thing, are they, Peter? Or normal human emotions, as we will see.

"Peter couldn't accept the evidence..." What evidence? Some dead sheep and the fact that his wife didn't like the wilderness or smelly sheep? How does that add up to werewolf? If Eva was a wolf you would expect she would like hanging around in the wild, like Myra. Wait, I forgot, Eva is Hungarian, you know, evil.

"Her shoes... her clothes... wet! Blood on her coat and gloves!" If she was wearing gloves, shoes and a coat then she wasn't a wolf, Columbo! In fact it was her own blood from fighting with Myra the werewolf. That means Peter came home, found his wife wounded in bed and instead of offering help he leaves her in bed and shoots her on Myra's say-so. Shoots her just when she was starting to talk. Meanwhile, Peter had the real evidence—the polaroid photo—in his pocket the whole time and wouldn't look at it until after he shot his wife. Genius!

Now a few questions:

• If Myra intended to kill Peter anyway, why go through the whole charade of pretending Eva was the werewolf, getting Peter to kill her and even offer to help him get rid of the body?

• Why didn't Myra kill Eva? Eva was unconscious in bed covered in blood, Myra must have won the fight, why not just kill her? Was Eva meant to be some kind of supernatural creature herself, something that could face or repel a werewolf, and did the writer forget to mention that?

• How come Myra killed the sheep but wouldn't eat them? Was it really just the love of killing? In that case, what did she eat?

• What about Gus, Myra's father? Was he too a werewolf? If he wasn't, why didn't Myra kill him or turn him?

This story has what I call giallo logic.

I like the art.

Mr. Cavin said...

Ooh, monster mash! The age-old clash between progressive culture and conservative tradition, between the rural and urbane. Between cat people and dog people. In this story, the dog people had to cheat a little bit. Gang up.

Man, Eva got a raw deal. According to the story, she was seduced by a smooth operator who only let the mask drop once he was safely hitched, confined in a secluded hinterland under his imperious control, separated from from her friends and family--even his own company--only to be shot in bed for the crime of trying to rescue his sheep from a monster. Lordy. This story has quite a lot in common with the last one, doesn't it? At least Helen Roy had an understandable evil design. She was a villain because she was selfish. Peter Morgan, on the other hand, was just a wanton jerk, who lied his way into a lady's favor and then ticked all the other boxes associated with domestic abuse, too. A much more usual villain, to be sure. For poor Eva, the monster had come along way before the full moon, alas. Rest in peace, cat person. Hero of sheep.

I zeroed-in on the very two panels Mr. Barnes mentioned for the very same reasons. It's fun to see a story that successfully relies on color for all the contrast. Maybe it looks a little cartoony, but it leaves all the line work free for texture and detail.

JBM said...

Thank you Mr.K., for me the terrific art, design, and panel use make up for the anticipated/foreshadowed ending. I liked this offering.

Todd said...

I agree with everything Mestiere wrote.

This story works only if Myra has some more diabolical plan for Peter, to keep him alive for whatever reason. If she wants him for her own, then it makes sense. But then I remind myself a lot of these writers were on deadline and paid so little, they likely did not anticipate our literary criticism sixty-five years later.