Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Shrunken Heads of Dr. Death

Another wild one from the March 1954 issue of Web of Evil #12, and it's a viciously violent, wonderfully kooky expedition into the jungle of terror-- PLUS, a rather downbeat ending untypical of this type of horror comic tale, best grab a hanky.











9 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

I love the art in this one, there's a lot of really nice hatch work, and while the stage of the splash is a bit wonky that's one great skull and shrunken head! I love Bola, too, very realistic and proportioned right. And for some reason I always like a good steamy swamp wisp throughout the panels.

The story could have used a bit of editing. It's good, but I had no idea Guy was killed. Getting choked out in a comic usually only ends in unconsciousness so the ending confused me a bit. And when, exactly, did she crack? And how did she get off the island, was she the pilot (which would be strange for a 50s comic.) That's nit-picky for sure but when I miss a plot point it stands out for me.

Yeah, this story is a series of depressions stacked upon each other, poor Bola!

Grant said...

A heroic couple, and a different kind of unhappy ending for each one of them.
I'm glad this is an exception when it comes to these stories.

Bill the Butcher said...

Chimps in South America? Well, why not, when you can have a suit wearing headshrinker in the middle of the forest and crashed planes disappearing without a trace.

Mr. Karswell said...

>the ending confused me a bit. And when, exactly, did she crack? And how did she get off the island, was she the pilot (which would be strange for a 50s comic.)

Hmmmm, maybe you should start reading slower because everything you found confusing was actually not confusing even in the least bit. See the narrative on the last page at the bottom: "Later a wild-eyed woman purchases airline tickets at a coast city..." meant she eventually found her way back to civilization alone and went to the airport to fly home. I would think wandering around in the jungle after seeing shrunken heads, murder, and the possibility of dying at the hands of a crazy ape would lead one to "crack."

Was she the pilot?! haha! WHAT? She's clearly NOT the pilot.

Mr. Karswell said...

>Chimps in South America?

Pet chimps in North America? That never happened either.

Come on you guys... seriously, if you're gonna nitpick at least try.

Charles said...

I appreciate that chimps are accurately depicted as much stronger than humans despite being smaller. Interesting the things that you find to appreciate in old horror comics.

Grant said...

There were probably countless female pilots when this was written. Not as many as now, but still.

Speaking of nitpicking, it's a little strange - even for a comic book mad scientist - for Dr. Death to think that shrinking heads was a big scientific breakthrough. In a way he reminds me of "Egon" in the movie STING OF DEATH - he seems to think that turning himself into a half-man / half jellyfish is a genuine scientific breakthrough.

Todd said...

Good Lord, what a sicko! "For science!"

It's good, but I had no idea Guy was killed.

I had no idea either, but that sort of made it more shocking.

When you can't even trust Dr. Death, whom can you trust?

Mr. Cavin said...

I especially like the three panels at the bottom of page five. The cool over-the-shoulder shots of the ape moving in to menace Marie really work, especially since they add some melodramatic gravitas to a scene in which the protagonist explains to a chimp the nature of his betrayal. "Don't listen to her!" That kills me!

I was really digging on the hatching in the splash, too, the textures on the trees, the long shapely lines of hair, and Bola's short, simian fur. The brushwork here is superb.