Saturday, March 23, 2024

Vampire Fangs (of Doom)

We've had a pretty full month of monsters this March: mummies, martians, ghosts, mannequins-- so howz'about we throw a vampire into the murderous mix too, shall we? Okay, now the Wood / Orlando cover of the August - September 1951 issue of Dark Mysteries #2 actually says "Vampire Fangs of Doom", but the story inside is simply called "Vampire Fangs." No worries though, the story itself still contains plenty of fangtastic doom --whichever way you sink your teeth into it! And after the story, head over to AEET where another lurid old vampire theme appears to be lurking around...


Bill the Butcher said...

Young lad Orloff looking exactly like Adult Orloff and hurrying to the victim's side have part of the game away early, but Susan being a vampire came out of nowhere. Would it have killed the comic to include, say, one panel of Jim calling Susan during the day and getting no answer?

Brian Barnes said...

It dawned on me -- as I rose from the crypt -- how many of these stories bill themselves as "fearful stories of all time." It's like the 50s were this incredible renaissance of storytelling where every week another story topped all that came before it was was "x or all time!"

Also, it seems for as few vampires as there was, a lot of places had at least two in competition! I'm surprised nobody thought of a horror story where it turns out *everybody* in the story is a vampire and none of them know it!

I love the more bat like vampires, especially here with the great elongated hands and all the bumps and gray grossness, thought I'd think I'd might keep Susan she's a looker during the day and can take care of my enemies at night!

JMR777 said...

Susan could have walked about in the day, or at least when the day was overcast, the sun didn't destroy Dracula in the novel.

From the Monsters series, episode "Shave and a Haircut, Two Bites", one of the characters rattles off about vampire lore that sunlight doesn't destroy vampires, its effect only being created by the movies.

Susan's biggest mistake was taking a victim too soon after Orloff's destruction. A victim from skid row or the poor side of town would not have raised suspicion. lack of planning always dooms the creatures of darkness. Orloff's big mistake was talking about vampires in the first place. He should have said it was the work of some madman thinking he was vampire and throw the reporter off the scent.

The vampires were the type that monster kids would expect- white skin, long claw like hands,
blood red eyes, long fangs and a bat-like body. A horror for monster fans to relish over.

Mr. Cavin said...

Yeah, if Susan had just waited two hours and killed literally anybody else it would have completely discredited Bill's cockamamie vampire excuses for his own murder of Orloff too, likely sending him ranting and protesting all the way to the hot seat. She wasn't much of a strategist. Nobody was.

The art here is interesting. It feels older than 1951 to me, seemingly over-bright and under-moody for the era. I dig an awful lot of it, too. The leathery, toothy, bat-winged vamp almost looks like he stepped out of Indonesian folklore. The panel-to-panel dedication to creating depth through the use of foreground elements is commendable, and works well much of the time. But my favorite panel is the middle of page four, in which all the other weirdos at the diner nearly crowd our protagonists out of the frame. I have to sort of imagine the Amicus-style anthology in which that single panel is the framing device for all the other horror stories in the book.

Grant said...

I guess that refers to the fortune-telling machine in TORTURE GARDEN, which is a good one.

I definitely don't get mad at every "helpless female" character in an earlier story, but it's nice to see the flipside of that, so I still couldn't help liking it when Susan came to the rescue on Page 5.
Or for that matter, when Bill "lets" her go off on cases (even if it's her job) in the middle of this situation, like on Page 3.
So that was enough to make me just a little disappointed by the ending.

JMR777 said...

..."She wasn't much of a strategist. Nobody was."

Now that I think about it, if Susan had let Orloff put the bite on Bill, and then ask him to leave some blood for her, this would have ended with a twist ending instead of two destroyed vamps. One detail changed here or there and the story goes in a different direction.

John Mc said...

Howdy all, Page three panel three had me suspecting Susan. page two last panel where did that green come from? Wherever it came from, I liked the effect. Thank you Kars!