The House of Mystery 224, 1974 “Sheer Fear!” 100 page Spectacular!

Do You Dare Enter the House of Mystery? Yes, I do! Sounds like a marriage proposal. This issue was one of those finds that would make any reader/collector get ecstatic. A good comic isn’t that difficult to find, but a great one that you can find at a bargain is getting more and more difficult as the years pass by.

Continuing a look at one of Dc comics’ best horror titles, this one is probably packed with the most talent of any book from that era. This exquisite horror anthology tells tales of a gym rat (Night Stalker in Slim City), a haunted house with an old hag (The House of Endless Years), a western werewolf (The Deadman’s Lucky Scarf), a boy sorcerer (The Reluctant Sorcerer), a magician that meets the Specter and the devil (Abraca-Doom), a problem with the mail (The One and Only Fully Guaranteed Super-Permanent 100%), a time travel tale with unintended consequences (The Gift that Wiped Out Time), a woman who has nightmares (Sheer Fear), A werewolf in Uncle Sam’s army (The Claws of Death), The Phantom Stranger has trouble with some elves (Mystery in Miniature), and finally a story that is picture perfect (Photo Finish).

The credits in this book are a murderers row of creators that are top-notch! Writing credits include- Dave Michelinie, Gerry Conway, Michael Fleisher, Howard Purcell, Denny O’Neil, Marv Wolfman, Sheldon Mayer, George Kashdan, John Broome, and Steve Skeates.

Artists include- Joe Orlando, Frank Robbins, Bill Draut, Alfredo Alcala, Howard Purcell, Berni Wrightson, Dick Dillin (w/Neal Adams inks), Mort Meskin (w/ George Roussos inks), Gerry Talaoc, Alex NiƱo, Frank Giacoia, and Mike Sekowsky.

 

 

 

 

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The Incredible Hulk 197, 1976 “…And Man-Thing Makes Three!”

Since October is now upon us, my blog will feature nothing but horror comics. Although it does feature this genre often, I couldn’t wait for this month to come because I love horror comics! Honestly, I love comics period, but even when a horror character makes an appearance in a superhero book I love it! This is the case with this book, as the Incredible Hulk must fight not one but two horror characters that actually prove that not only can the Hulk be beaten, but knocked completely unconscious! And you know when the Collector is involved, things will get cosmic!

I usually don’t start talking about the creative team by mentioning the cover. Not because I’m a heel or anything, but typically, an issue overall offers more from the inside. There’s no way possible for me to not start with “Bashful” Bernie Wrightson (cover art). He didn’t do that much work for Marvel Comics, but, wow, this one is amazing! When you open this book, you’ll quickly learn why I love the writing of “Lively” Len Wein. No matter who the characters, or the setting, scenario, etc., the guy delivers a solid story/script. When you also then get an interior art team like “Our Pal” Sal Buscema (pencils) and Joe Staton (inks), it’s quite a treat. Glynis Wein (colors) and John Costanza (letters) add their talents to this great book, that was edited by “Marvelous” Marv Wolfman!

 

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The House of Secrets (Millennium Edition – 2000) #92, 1971 “Swamp Thing”

As a long time Marvel zombie, I thought it would be prudent to broaden my horizons, so about a year ago (I think), I bought something from DC comics. Now, keep in mind, I’ve read some DC in recent years, and didn’t think very much of it, also the word on the street isn’t anything to get excited about either, as far as everything else they’re offering. So, what did I do? I grabbed some Alan Moore “Swamp Thing,” that’s what! I’ll admit, I had some preconceived notions about the book (negative), but they were dashed away in mere minutes. Moore took this character to new heights (from what I’ve read), and the book really opened my eyes to another comic book legend. My next thought was…”OK, but what about the beginnings of this character?” So, not long after reading the Moore run, I found a reprint copy of House of Secrets #92, Swamp Things first appearance. I knew it would be good, just from the creative team, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a short story, and the issue had some good stories in it as well, featuring creators like Dick Dillin, Alan Weiss, and Tony DeZuniga, just to name a few!

I know the original is pretty high-priced, so grab a copy of the reprint or a trade, this issue is required reading! Story by Len Wein, art (and cover) by Bernie Wrightson, colors by Tatjana Wood, and edited by Joe Orlando! With creators like that involved, you know it’ll be a slam-dunk! One last note, and I’ll get out of here. There is a foreword by Robert Greenberger, and he explains the details of how the idea came about for this specific story. It describes the behind the scenes for this one, and really is a super cool story involving Wein, Wrightson, Louise Simonson, Mike Kaluta, and others. This story is worth the price of admission alone!

 

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