Thursday, March 27, 2008

Weekly Dose Of Weird!

Who Wears Short Shorts?  We Wear Short Shorts!  WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #30
Where Monsters Dwell #30 -- I love the rocking shorts this dude is sporting. They're "da bomb," as said in the vernacular.

I. "The Thing in the Black Box" -- A survivor of a sinking cruise ship washes ashore on a deserted island only to find a beautiful woman struggling to open a mysterious box. He helps her out, and to the surprise of no one except the guy who did it, the woman is Pandora and that was her Box. A purple (not green, as on the cover) winged beastie climbs out, and quickly conquers Japan and Russia, threatening the whole world. Lucky for us, the guy saves the day by forcing Pandora to look in a mirror, and see how old and decrepit she really is, then blackmailing her to call off her monster. Women: Vain and easily manipulated.

II. "13 Years" -- A work-a-day Joe gets caught up in a jewelry store heist when the two perps try to use his car for a getaway. He manages to dump them off, only to discover that they left their loot in the backseat. The guy immediately decides to ditch his wife and kids, lay low for a while, then sell the gems and become rich. He waits thirteen long years, only to discover that the stones are fakes, leaving him with enough money to buy a quick trip in the form of a gun and one bullet.

III. "The Man Who Wasn't" -- In the 50s, when science didn't need any real purpose, a research scientist has developed a de-aging formula, and wants to test it on Adam, the oldest patient in a nursing home. Adam refuses, natch, and it seems that he has been living in the home as an old man for 100 years. Furthermore, his lungs are bizarrely shaped and his heart is missing. Undaunted by these facts, the doctors inject him with the serum, whereupon he not only de-ages, but transforms into a Little Green Man, thus signalling his compatriots to invade the Earth in their George Pal-esque flying saucers.

IV. "Just Suppose..." -- A science fiction hack up in a cabin has writer's block until he hears a strange whirring outside. He investigates and finds a bizarre creature that looks like a mix between a dog and a kangaroo. He of course decides to keep it as a pet. Drawing inspiration from his new companion, he works on his story, thinking that the creature is an atomic-bred mutant from the University down below. He builds a cage for his pet and goes to tell someone about his find, when two more of the creatures show up and bust the third out of captivity. Seems that his "pet" an alien prince, and that the extraterrestial royalty has taken quite a fancy to his new Earthling pet. Why, he even has a cage ready for it on his spaceship.

Overall Weird Factor: 2 (of 5).

Even more than the previous installment, this Marvel Bronze Ager is just a reprint mag -- at least Tower of Shadows had one new tale in it, while all four of these date back between 13 and 20 years before the published date of 1974. Still, there is some genuine weirdness to be found, primarily in the third feature. The first (art by Jack Kirby) and fourth are pretty standard stuff, while the second, originally printed in Spellbound #22 from 1954 and featuring Jack Davis-esque art by Bill Savage, is more akin to something you'd find in a "True Crime" comic.

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