Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekly Dose Of Weird!

Where Monsters Dwell #7 -- His very name made mankind tremble?  But he sounds like a robotic vacuum cleaner!

I. "Rommbu!" -- (2 parts) John Hunter, a geologist by trade, falls into the criminal lifestyle, and is sent to prison for robbery.  While being transported to the pokey by train, a chance encounter with a giant UFO gives him the opportunity to escape.  Lumbering out of the ship is Rommbu, a warrior from the Fourth Galaxy who demands Earth's surrender; when the gathered train riders resist, he shrinks them to a foot tall with his weapon!  Returning to his ship to wait for the surrender, Rommbu is unaware that John has chosen to hide out there until the heat is off.   Rommbu senses an Earthling aboard, thinking that John is a spy.  John denies it, telling the alien his story about being on the lam, which Rommbu confirms with his Mind-Prober.  Rombu thinks that John, a criminal, will help him because he must not care for his fellow man.  After turning back a squadron of fighters with a metal disintegration ray, Rommbu orders John to tell him of a location on the surface where he may recharge his ships electromagnetic batteries.  John tells Rommbu of the volcanic island of Watuna, but the two are attacked by a submarine firing a Polaris rocket.  Rommbu destroys the Polaris with a rocket of his own, then drags the submarine out of the water with his Magnetico ray.  Landing inside the volcano, Rommbu begins to recharge the engines when John makes his choice of island clear -- when the volcano erupts, killing both Rommbu and himself, and stopping the Fourth Galaxy's invasion plans cold.

II. "The Terrible Trap!" -- Sadistic hunter Bart Magor, who enjoys watching animals run through mazes they cannot escape, heads to Africa to trap wild game, but ends up capture by aliens and put into a maze that he, you guessed it, cannot escape.

III. "The Thing With Red Eyes" -- Vince Kane, boss of the Yellow Spider Gang, wants to get rid of Al Rocco, but he doesn't make a move for fear of how much influence Al may wield.  He thinks he has the solution when he finds a voodoo doll of Al.  Deciding to finish his rival, Kane tosses the doll out of a window... only to see that Al has changed the doll's face to be Kane's!  Down, down, down the doll falls and when it stops... ?

Overall Weird Factor: 2 (out of 5)

A pretty solid issue of Where Monsters Dwell, reprinting the entirety of Tales to Astonish #19 from 1961.  Rommbu is easily the best feature here, with the second one a little obvious (and a little short, with one of the five pages being an unremarkable splash page) and the third tale "just okay."  Of note is that Rommbu is orange on the cover, but green inside -- a not uncommon occurance on these Atlas monster mags.  One of the best aspects of this comic book is that our three features have art from three of Marvel's best from the Silver Age -- Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck, in that order.

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