Monday, October 20, 2014

The Tree of Vengeance

Ross Andru and Mike Esposito give us a great cover, as well as (among other tales), a 5-page chiller about a cursed tree-- in the debut issue of Mister Mystery #1, from September 1951.


Trevor Markwart said...

Good cover! A predictable story, but good, solid illustration. This Mister Mystery character -- he's just like the lamest horror comic host going. Is there any horror comic host sillier? I mean, he's supposed to be some top hat magician with a Lone Ranger mask? What is that? How am I supposed to get the chills seeing him show up hosting the story? He's no Mr. K!

Karswell said...

Har! I will definitely take that as a compliment! Thanks

Brian Barnes said...

This one has got some weird art -- page 3 has confusing paneling and page 5 is only saved by the arrow. This is no crappy artist, it's early Ross Andru, which makes the panel layout a bit more mysterious, but, again, it's early.

GCD says Andru drew most of this comic.

Mister Mystery comics pretty much reads like one of the earlier jump on the bandwagon horror comics that employed writers who weren't yet sure about the genre conventions.

Mestiere said...

Time for another of my lists of observations and questions:

"My body will not rest till vengeance is done." And yet nothing happened for years.

• After years go by Lujack ends up with the property where the hanging tree was located. Is that a coincidence or is that part of the revenge of Anderson's restless body? How did he manage that?

• In stories where someone's face appears on a tree it's usually because the tree grew on a grave. What was Anderson's face doing there?

"...I swear vengeance on the guilty one! He will die the way I am..." Lujack was hit by lightning, after which a tree branch fell on him. Is that how Anderson died off panel?

• At the end we see Anderson's skeleton hanging from the tree. Is that how his body "rested" after his vengeance?

• How come Ellen Michel's spirit didn't want vengeance after being murdered with an ax?

" old friend of mine... alcohol!" No wonder Mister Mystery's story is so screwed up!

• The best thing about Mister Mystery is his laugh on page three, panel five. "Ehhh! Ehhh! Ehh!"

JMR777 said...

So now we know the truth, Charlton wasn't the first publisher to crank out not so scary grade B horror, they learned from the best (or worst if you prefer.) This was still a decent enough tale, though with a different writer (say, one who worked for Eerie or Creepy) this story could have been memorable nightmare fuel, with the mandatory gore and detached eyeball flying through the air.

Mr. Cavin said...

um yeah. Well I liked it. Great art.

Grant said...

Speaking of Charlton, Mister Mystery's habit of actually addressing the villain at least once reminds me of "Winnie the Witch" the hostess GHOST MANOR, and how she was always being insinuated into the story itself, at least visually and sometimes in other ways.
(I don't know if Trevor Markwart would find her any scarier than Mister Mystery, but she definitely has other attractions.)

I hate it when revenge stories have the character who's getting the revenge dragging someone else into it - I mean that poor horse! (I don't hate it when the story holds that kind of thing AGAINST the character, but this one doesn't seem to be doing that.)