Friday, April 26, 2024

The Man Who Beat the Devil

Walpurgisnacht is just a few days away, and as we descend into the final, sizzlin' stretch, it's suddenly time to beat the Devil! Okay, is this really a thing that's possible to accomplish? Read along, ya crazy know-it-alls cuz you may be surprised, although this is a pre-code horror story, so I'm fairly certain you already have the correct answer. Horns for Andru and Esposito though, and the December 1954 issue of Mysterious Adventures #23 ...some of you Haunted Horror Heads might remember this from the April 2013 issue of HH#4 too!


Bill the Butcher said...

Why does nobody ever think of a really impossible way to die in tales like this? For instance "I'll agree, but only if I get to die in a spaceship orbiting a red giant star in the Andromeda Galaxy"?

Grant said...

I'm very fond of DOCTOR FAUSTUS, especially the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor film version, so it was nice to see that name at the start (as opposed to "Faust").
But I always want these stories to somehow have happy endings, which is one reason I'm also very fond of BEDAZZLED with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Brian Barnes said...

I always love a good trick the devil story, no matter who wins in the end, and a devil that seems to be enjoying the game is even better. The cloak is a little left field but flash floods in the desert are no joke, and are incredibly dangerous.

I love how his first chunk of money comes from his gold-digging wife getting fried -- two souls for the price of one, I guess!

I've always denied the existence of devils because ... why do humans need them? We seem to be able to do vast evil all on our own, and the devil in this story even echos that. I mean, what's worse than a human?

JMR777 said...

In the last panel on the last page ol' scratch looks like Jack Palance, he would have made a memorable devil in a horror movie.

Fun fact- it does rain in Death Valley on rare occasions, sometimes with the devastating effect of massive flooding, sometimes with just enough rain to make the flowers bloom.

Mr. Cavin said...

I think it's kind of smart in cases like this to hedge your bets by choosing the best possible way to die. I mean, drowning is probably a lot nicer than burning or boiling to death, getting gutshot, being buried up your neck in an anthill, all the usuals. But why stop at just a little bit better? Put into the contract that I die of natural causes while playing hide-n-seek with a bunch of baby otters in a deserted carnival. Or while having sex with an Olympic belly dancer on top of a runaway stagecoach. Or from the adrenaline rush of having killed the devil in an MMA cage match. Then I'll sign.