Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Hex!

Let's take a quick leap into the eerie era of post-code Atlas / Marvel tales, with a hexing Don Heck yarn about old world ways colliding with the new! It's a brisk little entry not too far off from the kind of thing you'd find happening in the Twilight Zone, and despite what it says at the bottom of page one, this story originally first appeared in the November 1956 issue of Adventure into Mystery #4.


Bill the Butcher said...

"I'll be Frank with you."
"Sorry, Doctor, I'm Frank."

I thought Julia's father had left her sixteen thousand dollars in *cash*, not stocks? Man, those hex demons really don't care about collateral damage, do they? Think of all the other shareholders in the company, and the employees!

I had really expected Frank to be dead after he woke up in the morning and only realised it after he saw his own body. The replacement of the hex sign did all that? Is it a hex sign or a good luck charm?

Glowworm said...

Dang it, Bill! I wanted to make that "I'll be frank with you" joke!
All I have to say about this one is that Frank is an idiot and should have listened to his wife. I'm glad she replaced the signs. Maybe now Frank will finally believe her.

JMR777 said...

The story was neat, though real hex signs were originally 'just for fancy', something the Pennsylvania Dutch put on their barns as a colorful display, no hoodoo powers were attached to them (though the same can't be said of powwow doctors, but that's a different story.)

In Pennsylvania, especially in Lancaster County, Hex Signs are a part of the Keystone State's charm, and are a tourist trap sales item for out of state visitors.

Footnote, just The Pennsylvania Dutch use hex signs, the Amish don't.

Thanks for the haunted hex horror, Karswell.

Brian Barnes said...

So it's post-code but still retains the kind of snarky "got you!" ending, just as if the wife had turned out to be a ghoul or something. The formula still works!

Note sure about Don Heck's artwork here, he's normally very dependable and it's full of some fun stuff but Frank looks completely different panel to panel, as does his wife. That said Heck keeps the panels dense and full of detail.

That issue looks like it has some great artist in it, there's a Williamson and a Powell story I'd be interested to see!

Mr. Cavin said...

One of things I think is neat about the art here is that it changes totally at the end. The first three pages have the sort of thing I'm used to from Heck: The brazenly marky contrasts and severe mood, a pitch perfect fit for a New England witch tale. I like the mean-looking buttoned-up wife from the first panels, and I also like how she softens up considerably over the course of the piece. But then, on the last page, the whole artistic tone turns comical, with fine hatching and goofy caricature. It's like the last four panels are ripped from some Hope and Crosby yarn. I mean, it really underscores the unexpected twist happy ending to make it look like it was pasted into the comic at a later date and by another artist.