Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Killer in the Street

A criminally fun tale of terror stalking the night, and like our last post it's another entry from the February 1953 issue of Mystery Tales #8 --containing yet another awesome Bill Everett cover too! Murderously moody Reinman art fills this one with great atmosphere, and I'm not 100% sure, but I do believe you'll likely figure it all out by the the end of page one, or page 2 at the most.


Brian Barnes said...

Yup, I can't really say much about the story, the predictability sort of drains a lot of the excitement.

But the art makes up for it! I like the kind of grimy, heavily inked detective work. Page 2, panel 1 is great, and you've got a "jeepers" girl on the first page. I like that every time our "hero" falls into shadow, page 2 panel 5 and page 4 panel 5, he actually already looks mad in those panels. It's subtle, but good.

The artist -- and the colorist -- elevated this one.

And the cover is great. As I've said many times, Werewolf by Night was my favorite comic of all time, and it was full of single panel transformation panels and this takes me right back!

Guy Callaway said...

That cover!
From man to...greener man?
Awesome tale, Mr.K.

Bill the Butcher said...

I agree with Mr Barnes, it was telegraphed from the beginning. Nothing in it was the least bit unpredictable. Nothing interesting ally it except the artwork. As an amateur cartoonist myself, I wish I could draw that well.

Grant said...

I've seen and heard DRAGNET parodies so often (a lot more often than I've seen DRAGNET itself) that I couldn't help hearing a Jack Webb voice all through the narration.

Glowworm said...

To be honest, Grant,I was thinking the same thing and heard the exact same voice for Steve--even though I've only seen Dragnet parodies and never even seen the actual show.
So if a blonde woman wore a red dress would she be safe? After all, Steve only seemed to target brunette women in red dresses.
Yeah, the artwork far outshines the story which is easy to figure out from the very beginning. The classic "I was the werewolf/vampire/killer/monster/escaped prisoner from an insane assylum" all along!" trope

Mr. Cavin said...

The story didn't bother me. While, yeah, it was pretty obvious what was coming, that just made the process of reading it feel like a second look. I'm not all that enthusiastic about twists to be honest--very often, all they really amount to are punchlines. The more a story relies on them, the less staying power that story really has. Meanwhile, I'm plenty impressed that today's formula got spread out over five pages without it really feeling padded. And for me, that obvious ending amounted to the Hitchcock principle--show the audience the bomb--cranking up the tension and imbuing lines like "I knew what I'd find when I got the morgue, and I wasn't wrong..." with a real flesh crawling frisson that kinda felt more like horror to me than any big surprise in the last panel would've.

The art was cool, but I found it sloppy. Mostly, I am fine with sloppy, though, and this was often good, moody work. It looks especially good in the thumbnails. Only a few bits here and there bugged me. Panel two page two is the story in a microcosm: I love the detail of the victim's hand curled into a powerless fist. But also the artist really butchered the underside of her chin. I got no such criticism of the colorist, though. The colorist rocked it.

Todd said...

Love the cover but wish it hadn't completely given away the ending.