Saturday, 16 July 2016

House of Mystery #194 (DC/1971)

House of Mystery #194 (DC)

Various (w) & (a)

Dare you enter.. The House of Mystery?

One of DC comics long running anthology titles House of Mystery had started as a "mystery/horror" comic, switched to promoting super-heroes such as the Martian Manhunter and Dial H for Hero but eventually reverted to the original format by the seventies.

Published in 1971 this was the year that DC had switched to a larger format with more pages which meant there were reprints alongside new material. Whilst the horror titles might have proved a good read, the increased price and reprints in their other comics turned out to be a sales loser for the company. It was a move (prompted by Marvel's decision to do the same for just one month) from which DC nearly didn't recover.

This issue is solid enough with four tales leading with Born Loser by Jack Oleck with art from Alex Toth about a man who married for money but was a failure at whatever he turned his hand to, except "black magic".  The tale has a shocking ending. The moral being do not trust the demons you conjure up!

The Human Wave tells a tale of cursed treasure, this time in the form of a sword. Sometimes local legends should be believed.

The Negative Man (nothing to do with the Doom Patrol) is up next and warns the reader of meddling with science. There's no credits on this story but appears to have been drawn by a young Jack Kirby. Any reader know?

The King is Dead written by Jack Oleck with art from N.Redmond finishes the book about a monster who stalks the kingdom but when a new king is on the throne there is a bit of a surprise for his courtiers.

All told a solid read as are most of the issues in this comics latter run.

All introduced by our host, Cain.


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