Monday, April 1, 2024

The Haunted Penthouse

Welcome back for another month of THOIA, aka The HEROES OF IT ALL!! Yes, you heard that right, we're now the ALL-NEW blog for super heroes and super powered antics --and ohhhhh, April Fools-- but only sort of, because I do plan to post a few hero vs. haunted horror classics scattered throughout the entire month, along side the regular eerie 'ol tales of terror, of course! It'll be the oddball golden era, costumed characters, and fyi, likely most of you probably will have never even heard of 'em, so hang on for some yarns that might be even stranger than even you could ever imagine! And we'll start things off with a skull 'n suicide infested slugeroo from the Fall 1943 issue of Shield - Wizard Comics #12, featuring Dusty the Spectacular Boy Detective against some super creepy crime!


Brian Barnes said...

I kind of like the art here. Yeah, it's very amateurish and the panel layout gives me a headache, but the super hero action has a nice flow to it, kind of like a Gil Kane or Frank Robbins kind of thing.

He even tries his/her hand at good girl art but the wildly tall faces give it an alien look! BTW, those are some damn scary balloons!

Since it's super hero weak, honestly, the scariest, best written horror comic(s) I've ever seen were super hero comics. Alan Moore's initial run on Swamp Thing is full of incredibly off putting and downright scary ideas and artist that really wanted to draw Sting for some reason. Every take is incredibly clever; so yeah, I have no problem with scary super hero stories!

Mr. Karswell said...

I kind of thought the art reminded me of early Lin Streeter a little, especially the bold faces at the top of page 4.

JMR777 said...

Superheroes versus supernatural horrors is a near perfect fit for THOIA.

Long ago I had read an early Batman story where the Caped Crusader fought a villian called The Monk, who turned out to be a vampire. I don't recall much of the story all these years later, but it isn't likely to be the only time a superhero fought against the undead or the minions of black magic.

Grant said...

I like slang that's considered outdated, and "bohunk" is pretty definitely that.

Maybe you aren't supposed to analyze these things too much, but if Mr. Randall's company accidentally poisoned the man, how is his name cleared at the end? Unless it means that he was driven to suicide, and not responsible for it?

Bill the Butcher said...

I share Garth Ennis' opinions about superzeroes and their overall uselessness, but this was funny right at the end. All that remained for our killer couple to say was "and we'd have got away with it too, but for you meddling kid!"

Didn't know radium poisoning made someone glow, but at least he realistically died of it and didn't get superpowers as would be de rigeur these days.

JMR777 said...

Out of curiosity I decided to see what $1,000 would be worth in buying power today.
The results- at a minimum $14,203.80 to a maximum $56,036.43 depending on which GDP measure you use (no wonder the telescope owner is about to faint!)

Mr. Cavin said...

Maybe I read through these things a bit more blithely than the usual kid in the forties, but I feel like the femme fatale sorta pops up out of the blue there at the end. I mean, by page eight she'd only been shoehorned into three panels, had never been named or addressed. Basically a bystander. I thought she was just the colorist's mistake in the splash (where she's being attacked by a fully articulated anthropomorphic balloon, I guess). I know this is all a byproduct of my own rapt inattention, but ultimately I do like the idea of a surprise culprit. A narrative cheat? Who cares! All this neatly woven fabric of relations and motivations doesn't really shock me the way a surprise villain would. "We found the murderess! She was standing around in the room the whole time and nobody even knew who she was!" Just some disgruntled brunette and her balloonist man Friday.

I see the Lin Streeter comparison, though the figure drawing has a groovy, wavy look that is a all its own (especially during the action sequences). I'm not all that sold on the sequential storytelling craftsmanship here--I mean, I don't think it's terrible or anything--but I feel like the wonky borders really work well zoomed out to page level. Especially pages two and six look pretty great taken in all at once.