With this being the fourth and final consecutive review of the first year of the new CREEPY, I am happy to report that the quality of horrordom’s most eagerly awaited revival just keeps getting better and better—not to mention more and more demented, disturbing, and interesting with its story offerings. It can now truly be said that the success of Dark Horse’s resurrection of this venerable mag was well earned, and giving the new series of CREEPY the opportunity to improve itself after a beginning that was good though short of excellent proved to be more than worth the patience.
To start with, it must be noted that with CREEPY #4, the greatly expanded ‘Creepy Family’ that was introduced in the first issue has by now fallen into abeyance, with only old stalwart Cousin Eerie and the scary but comely newbie Sister Creepy still continuing to appear at this point (though it’s always possible, of course, that more members of this ‘family’ will suddenly re-appear in future issues of this mag). Nevertheless, Cousin Eerie was simply mentioned in the letter column of this issue by a fan who strongly suggested that this second of Warren’s two major horror hosts should get his own ongoing horror anthology back, and Sister Creepy narrated only the first story. Other than that, Uncle Creepy carried on by his lone repulsive self as the quip-throwing and lesson-mongering host of the rest of the tales, as well as the Loathsome Lore feature, much as he usually did in the old Warren run of this mag throughout its impressive 18 years of publication. As such, it may be theorized that Uncle Creepy has a great degree of control over these presumed personal recruits of his, with Sister Creepy being his favorite new quasi-disciple/addition to the ‘family’ for some reason, and with Cousin Eerie connected to Unc’s metaphysical “lineage” in some manner but apparently mostly—if not entirely—outside of his control, thus leading to their bitter and sadistic rivalry that is very evident when the two are not required to work together for certain reasons.
One of the highlights of this issue appears in the letter column, and I encourage anyone who purchases this issue of the mag to check out. This is a letter printed from someone who is apparently one of the rare female fans of the mag who signed her name as Yvonne, and who actually mentioned a sexual attraction to fetid Uncle Creepy. And if that wasn’t grotesque enough, Unc’s response to her letter—where he reciprocated her long distance advances—is both horrifying and totally hilarious in the extreme, and I am not going to spoil this exchange for any of my readers who may not yet have picked up a copy of CREEPY #4.
As was the case with the first three issues, the fourth offering in this increasingly great revival series gave us five stories for our five bucks—plus a new but rather short entry in Creepy’s Loathsome Lore feature--with four of these tales being new and the fifth being a classic tale from the archives of the original Warren run of CREEPY or EERIE. And what a group of fantastic stories these were! There wasn’t a single turkey in this bunch, and they combine to bring us horrorphiles what is undoubtedly the best issue of this revival series to date. If many of you stuck by this title throughout its first year of quarterly publication to give it a chance to become truly great and worth your hard-earned lucre as I asked you to do on the main page of my site where I first announced this revival, then I feel it’s safe to believe that many of you will be hooked with the new mag thanks to this issue.
But onto my observations of the content of this fourth fabulous issue.
The first is a really odd, unpredictable, and delightfully disturbing little yarn called “The Doll Lady,” and since the first page of the tale shows a happy child enjoying and loving a new doll her parents got her for her birthday, and since this is a horror mag, you get shivers from watching this happy tableau because you know things are going to go horribly bad for this happy family over the next few panels, with all of the love, joy, and happiness depicted in the first few panels cruelly shattered. And we certainly weren’t disappointed on that score.
This tale basically explores the concept of urban legends, while presenting the idea that even though such horrific tall tales are often not true precisely as told, the actual truth behind them may be far more horrible than the commonly believed version of the events themselves. This is discovered to the eternal regret of a journalist named Eric who is working for a local newspaper when he explores the truth of a certain particularly nasty urban legend, the truth of which resulted in the mysterious disappearance of his older brother and a group of his fellow teen friends over 30 years previous. The legend in question involves the story behind why a certain reclusive old woman keeps the same doll as mentioned above displayed in her picture window during the day for every passerby to see. The popular story about her reason for doing this is bad enough, but when Eric seeks out the true story—which will result in him discovering the truly bizarre and unthinkable fate of his older brother and many other residents who disappeared in his home town during the past six decades—this unfortunate journalist will learn that sometimes the truth is far stranger—and far worse—than fiction.
This tale features a titular character that would be a highly interesting addition to the Wold Newton Universe [WNU], and I am hoping that this is one of the stories in the new CREEPY that some future creative mythographer finds a legitimate reason to wold (i.e., bring into the official canon of that shared universe). Though all the readers will know from the first few panels of this story that discovering the truth will mean terrible things for the story’s main protagonist, i.e., a certain damned journalist named Eric, I would challenge any reader to guess precisely what that truth will be, especially since many hardened horror fan readers will likely assume the involvement of murder or a serial killer; sorry, but in this tale, the fate of the missing turns out to be nothing nearly as pleasant as the peace of the grave.
Further, the art of that story, courtesy of penman Michael WM. Kaluta, is perfectly suited to the tone of this unnervingly unique tale of terror by scribe Bill Morrison.
The second new tale of this stand-out issue is the conclusion of the two-part “X-Change,” which presents the readers with perhaps the strangest horror story revolving around Hitler’s alleged survival of his historically reported fate in his personal bunker circa 1945 that one may ever read. In fact, the second of this two-part tale (which takes place circa 1978) not only answers the nagging and incredibly strange question about how Hitler allegedly survived the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945 that was described to us in all its twisted glory in part one of this story from the previous issue of the new CREEPY, but also immediately deviates from the tone of the initial chapter by adding horrid violence to the strange exposition that alone dominated the first chapter. Let’s just say that we find out that Hitler was evidently far more deranged and utterly twisted than anyone imagined—and for the man who initiated and served as the chief overseer of the infamous genocidal Holocaust of the 20th century, that is truly saying something! The conclusion of this two-part tale is a veritable must-read for anyone who has an interest in horror fiction revolving around a Hitler survival tale, as this arguable sub-genre of horror story doesn’t get any nastier, stranger, or demented than this sick little gem, particularly its stomach-churner of an ending. We need to see more story collaborations by the authors of this jaw-dropping yarn, Craig Haffner and Dan Braun, as they have well demonstrated how they can come up with some truly mind-numbing and nightmare-inducing material when they mash their brains together. The shady and moody artwork for both chapters of this two-part tale by Kevin Ferrara likewise merits an encore presentation for future stories, and was also perfect for the tone of this particular tale.
It should finally be noted that the “consensus” WNU that I and my closest colleagues in the field of creative mythography usually try to work within the framework of when composing stories, articles, and theories—which is the framework set forth by none other than Win Scott Eckert, the author who first coined the term ‘creative mythography’ for this particular form of fiction writing—is filled with many different claims about possible ways that Hitler may have secretly survived that fateful day in his bunker circa 1945 when the Third Reich was collapsing around him among the many recorded tales in this sub-genre that are considered possible candidates for wolding. This story features yet another such entry into this sub-genre, and a particularly strange and unsettling one at that.
It would seem that many an auteur and connoisseur of horror or suspense fiction believe that a real-life villain like Adolf Hitler may eclipse the bulk of all fictional (i.e., strictly otherdimensional) villains and megalomaniacs in regards to the sheer scale of the evil he wrought in the world outside our window, and how close he came to actually transforming the world we know into a global draconian empire where racial cleansing and genocidal executions would have thrived. This is likely why good old Adolf is a favorite subject for writers of horror and action thrillers (note the recent films Valkyrie and Inglourious Basterds), and why both biographical and parabiographical analyses of the man in terms of what he did and—perhaps equally interesting—what he might have done if historically recorded circumstances had gone differently—present the potential for an irresistibly insightful exploration of the nature of evil and how far down the path to darkness a person can go, and how much havoc they can possibly wreak upon the world, if given a large degree of power in a specific geographical time and place where a severe socio-economic and political crisis is looming or occurring. This is why many writers of horror and action suspense fiction often appear to believe that they do not need to create evil characters of their own when the sometimes sordid history of the Real Universe [RU] has many good examples of such individuals to compose fictitious ‘what if’ scenarios around. And some of the biggest and most terrifying ‘what if’ scenarios one can imagine about a man with the sheer capability of wreaking evil on a huge scale upon the world as Hitler was are the following two queries:
1) What if Hitler’s Nazi regime had won World War 2? There is hardly a scarier train of contemplation than wondering what would have happened had Nazi Germany developed the atomic bomb before the United States did [and please note that I am not in any way condoning the decision of the Truman administration to drop atomic weapons on two large Japanese cities that were heavily populated by innocent people; I am certain the combined might of the Allied nations could have put their heads together and found another strategically viable way to take out the sole remaining Axis nation still fighting the war with far less of the horrifying collateral damage wrought by those two atomic bombs, as was the case with the equal—or perhaps even greater—threat posed by Nazi Germany, but I will not go into this further here since a full analysis of this political and philosophical question is well outside the scope of this review].
2) What if Hitler and the large number of ingenious scientists, military brass, and politicians loyal to his regime had concocted an ultimately effective contingency plan for the Fuehrer to secretly escape from Nazi Germany if the time came when the fall of the regime appeared imminent? This would not only allow one of the most dangerous men who ever lived to escape being brought to justice by the international community for initiating the Holocaust and carrying out several unprovoked invasions of foreign nations, but would also have the opportunity to scheme and carry out more acts of evil at some point beyond the defeat of the Third Reich while possibly wearing a different guise (and any new guise he adopted following this hypothetical escape couldn’t have been any stranger than the one he acquired courtesy of ‘Project Nefertiti’ as described in “X-Change” from the new CREEPY #3-4).
Some of these Hitler escape methods have included replacing the leader of the Nazi regime with a double trained to act precisely like him—and even to die in his place if the Axis lost the war--while the Real McCoy was covertly spirited away from Germany, possibly receiving some advanced-for-the-time plastic surgery to alter his facial features beyond easy recognition to help him take on a new alias.
Other methods seen in the various chronicles included the use of advanced cloning techniques developed by the Third Reich’s scientific elite. A good example of the latter method occurred with the Adolf Hitler of the Marvel Universe [MU], who evidently had his consciousness transferred into a series of cloned bodies by utilizing two highly advanced techniques developed by the uber-bizarre but uber-brilliant Nazi geneticist Arnim Zola. This enabled Hitler’s consciousness to avoid passing on to the afterlife following the immolation of his original body by the Golden Age Human Torch and to instead transfer into the physical brain of a clone artificially aged into early adulthood by Zola’s technique. This apparently enabled Hitler of the MU (a.k.a., Earth-616) to survive the physical death of each of these genetically created doppelgangers of himself via continual transfer of his consciousness into a succession of clones developed by Zola (who likewise granted himself a practically indefinite life span via transference into an artificially created body, albeit quite a strange one). The Hitler of the MU did indeed carry on his evil into the present era as a result of Zola’s clone/mind transference method by becoming a dangerous super-villain known as the original Hate-Monger, where he clashed with the Fantastic Four and Nick Fury of that Earth (during a time shortly before the legendary soldier-turned-super-spy became the Director of the original S.H.I.E.L.D., while he still served as an agent of the CIA), as shown in FANTASTIC FOUR Vol. 1 #21. This surviving iteration of Hitler went on to become a recurring nemesis to Nick Fury—as well as sometimes clashing with other MU illuminaries, such as the Man-Wolf and Captain America--as a result of his ability to ‘recover’ from the death of his cloned bodies by way of mind transference into another waiting clone.
The career of this perpetually resurrected Hitler evidently ended for good when his former protégé, the Red Skull, saw the former Der Fuehrer as a rival, and therefore tricked him into transferring his consciousness into the energy matrix of an inactive Cosmic Cube, where the former leader of the most dangerous regime to exist during the 20th century found himself trapped; as a result, his confined disembodied psyche first went mad and then faded into seeming catatonia (though he would apparently be revived by the Red Skull years later as a being of pure energy, but that’s a whole other story that is well beyond the scope of this review to tell). Since the lycanthropic Man-Wolf may have a counterpart in the WNU—as does the Fantastic Four and Captain America, although their WNU counterparts differ markedly from their MU iterations, particularly in regards to the FF—there may be a version of the original Hate-Monger in the Newtonian Universe, and if so future research by creative mythographers will need to be conducted to determine whether or not this version of the villain was also a clone of the WNU Adolf Hitler.
[Side Note: There were three other super-villains in the MU who once took on the code name of the Hate-Monger, none of which had any connection to the Hitler of that Earth’s history. One of them was a shape-shifting and emotion-manipulating android created by the otherdimensional despot known as the Psycho-Man, who menaced the latter’s recurring foes, the Fantastic Four, until the android was terminated by the super-villain-killing vigilante called Scourge; the third MU villain to use the Hate-Monger moniker was an energy vampire who later changed his nom du guerre to Animus; the third villain to take on the code name of the Hate-Monger was a deranged ultra-right-wing soldier wearing a variant of Captain America’s costume who brutally murdered illegal immigrants living in America on behalf of his twisted conception of patriotism, and this version of the Hate-Monger and his team of fellow homicidal nationalistic extremists were wiped out by the Punisher of the MU. There is as yet no evidence that any of the above three villains have counterparts in the WNU.]
Another example of Hitler “surviving” WW2 via the use of clones, sans the benefit of mind transference technology for the original Der Fuehrer in this case, was chronicled in the unnerving 1978 cinematic thriller The Boys From Brazil.
It has been theorized by some creative mythographers that Hitler of the WNU may have concocted a series of disparate schemes utilizing the skills and plans of his regime’s scientific and military geniuses—and such a variety of contingency plans for Hitler’s escape were noted and described in Part 1 of “X-Change.” Some of these plans may have involved doubles who were surgically altered and heavily trained to resemble the Fuehrer (in fact, this was one of the contingency plans described in Part 1 of “X-Change”). Other contingency plans may have involved early attempts at cloning, though what the success level of such attempts were in the WNU of the early 1940s is not currently known, and no plan involving cloning was described in the first part of “X-Change.” It’s unknown at this writing if there is a version of Arnim Zola in the WNU, and if there is his scientific achievements are likely to be a good degree less advanced and elaborate than those of his counterpart in the MU. Of course, it remains to be seen if one of the escape plans formulated by Hitler’s scientific and military staff in the WNU were anywhere near as strange as the aforementioned ‘Project Nefertiti’—which was the plan ultimately carried out by the version of Hitler seen in “X-Change.” It would be nice to see this remarkable and utterly bizarre story to be wolded, but if a creative mythographer should happen to compose an article endeavoring to do so in the future, many questions will have to be answered, including important inquiries such as, “Which escape plan in the WNU was ultimately utilized by the real—i.e., original--Hitler?” And, “If more than one Hitler escape plan was concocted by the Nazi regime in the WNU, and we decide to bring the events of ‘X-Change’ and other Hitler escape tales into the canon, then did some of the more effectively brainwashed and surgically altered doubles of Hitler who may actually have believed themselves to be the real Fuehrer--or perhaps even one or a few successfully created clones of the nefarious Nazi leader—each end up utilizing a different escape plan, either autonomously of each other or perhaps as an elaborately complex plot to insure that as many Hitler analogues as possible would survive the fall of the Third Reich so as to greatly increase the chance of at least one of them succeeding in creating a new Nazi-like regime at some point in the post-WW2 era?” If more than one of these Hitler survival stories are accepted as part of the official “consensus” WNU canon, then we may perhaps need to consider the fact that the Hitler of the Newtonian Universe may have concocted his own equivalent of Dracula’s soul-clone scheme.
And if it’s ultimately decided that more than one Hitler survival story can be brought into the WNU canon rather than just a single one (if any) being officially acknowledged as canonical, then I would argue that “X-Change”—with its description of ‘Project Nefertiti’--is just too strange and outré an example of this type of tale to not be considered for inclusion.
Next we come to the third new story in CREEPY #4, a wondrously twisted tale of the dark directions that love can take, titled “Fit For A King.” For those readers of horror fiction who enjoy tales of cannibalistic serial killers as bad as the legendary Hannibal Lecter, then you may find the character of Sam Romaniuk quite intriguing, not to mention totally repulsive. Further, scripter Andrew Foley had no problem with being somewhat politically incorrect by making the fugitive cannibal killer Romaniuk a homosexual, thereby unafraid to make it clear that a minority group is not above having a few seriously bad eggs amongst their number (which can hardly be denied, when you consider the horrific career of the late RU cannibalistic serial killer Jeffery Dahmer, who was a homosexual); and though I am not going to give away any spoilers here, I will say that Romaniuk’s sexual orientation does indeed constitute a major plot point in this story and was not merely incidental.
The main plot of “Fit For A King” concerns the one victim of Romaniuk who actually managed to survive an encounter with the brutal human-eating serial killer—though certainly far from intact, and I mean that literally—attempt to take the law into his own hands (or at least the one that was left) by hunting down and killing the dangerous man who hideously mutilated him. Though I am not, of course, going to reveal here whether or not this sole surviving victim of Romaniuk’s voracious appetite for the flesh and organs of his fellow human beings managed to exact revenge successfully as planned, but I will say that like a few stories in the previous three issues of the new CREEPY (which includes “The Curse” and “Human Nature”) this tale would make a potentially awesome continuing series for a possible future revival of EERIE, especially now that continuing series about serial killers are currently viable thanks to the unexpected success of Showtime’s TV series Dexter. Not only should such a series continue to be scripted by Foley, but the terrific artwork of this tale’s artist Rahsan Ekedal—who was rightfully praised with a request for many encore performances by one of the fans in the letter column of this issue—should likewise return to do a continuing series based on this story. This mag has benefited from some really good artists during its first year of publication.
Next up is the fourth and final new story for this issue, and it once again provides us with ample evidence of how popular zombies have become over the past several years as the putative monstrous threat for horror movies. “Zombie Wedding At Slaughter Swamp” is yet another very twisted love story, thus giving us two tales dealing with the dark side of this theme in a single issue of CREEPY. The main zombie character of this tale--Luther--is a biker turned into a member of the walking dead by a powerful mambo (a female houngan, i.e., a skilled practitioner of voodoo magick) named Marinette. The reanimated biker is used by the capricious Marinette as a brutal instrument of revenge against the now young adult daughters of a superstitious woman whom the voodoo priestess used to be employed by as a babysitter; this woman had committed some terrible actions against Marinette when this wealthy employer discovered that the nanny she hired was a practitioner of voodoo. A rather odd but amusing sub-plot of this story—which ultimately leaks into the main plot and contributes to the title of this tale—revolves around the less than scrupulous Marinette using a love potion to force a vapid but highly attractive and famous rock star named Rave Bendigo (*rolls eyes*) to fall in love with her against his will. As a result, the long-haired hunkish singer immediately becomes Marinette’s enthusiastic sexual plaything in addition to agreeing to marry her right away (of course, this story would be considered by many readers to be far less amusing in today’s politically correct and double standard-ridden world if the genders of Bendigo and Marinette were reversed).
One interesting aspect of this story is how the zombie character of ex-biker Luther resembles Marvel’s once popular zombie character Simon Garth, the titular star of Marvel’s fondly remembered 1970s horror mag TALES OF THE ZOMBIE, in that both of them appeared to have remnants of their original personality capable of reasserting themselves in their undead form, sometimes to the extent where they can exert enough volition to go against the commands of their human master, if they happened to experience a situation that for some reason triggered a strong emotional response in them [see my Index for “The Spook” elsewhere on this site for a more indepth exegesis of this phenomenon cropping up in certain sources dealing with the supernaturally created category of zombie, to which Simon Garth, the Spook, and this tale’s Luther all belong]. This strongly suggests that Luther was subject to the same unknown fluke that apparently prevented Simon Garth’s astral form from fully leaving his body following his physical death that occurred just prior to his reanimation as a zombie, thus providing another example of this rare but recurring phenomenon among mystically created zombies.
Needless to say, Marinette’s nuptial plans do not exactly work out as planned when something rather odd happens to her zombie slave Luther during the course of mindlessly carrying out his mistress’ revenge plans on the now grown children of her former hated employer. Though I won’t give too much spoilers here, the end result is perhaps one of the strangest wedding ceremonies that ever appeared in the annals of fantastic fiction.
I should also mention that like the previously discussed stories in this issue of CREEPY, Luther the zombie is a character who may be able to carry his own series if the right creative crew with the right story ideas are assigned to it. This tale was scripted by veteran Warren writer Nicola Cuti, a blast from the past of the original Warren run of CREEPY. And the art by Hilary Barta was also very polished and totally complimentary to the tone of this story.
It should likewise be noted that this entire tale resembled something that one would expect to see written for the original CREEPY during its creative heyday of the 1970s. It featured some tropes that one would expect to be much more common during that time than today, with the most glaring of them being a mambo who utilizes her powerful mastery of voodoo magick for vengeful and selfish purposes, thus basically giving a black eye to the voudoun religion in the process. But it was still a well-crafted and enjoyable tale of magick and revenge, as well as love and lust, and it will certainly appeal to the many zombie fans out there. And btw, in this story I learned that a “diab” is another word for a zombie, just as long ago I learned in a comic book that “zuvembie” is apparently another synonym for zombie.
Another trope in this story that may possibly indicate a vague but nevertheless legitimate WNU reference is the presence of a voodoo priestess who possesses an extremely impressive degree of magickal ability, something you would expect to see in the WNU with its more “relaxed” physical and magickal laws. But that’s not the major element of this story that may suggest its woldability.
The name of the bayou area where this story takes place, and which serves as the location of Marinette’s cabin-like home, is Slaughter Swamp. The state where this swamp exists wasn’t mentioned in the story, but the swamp of the same name that is known to exist in the DC Universe [DCU], described as a hotbed of mystical energies that cause a large amount of strange phenomena—such as mysterious resurrections and time distortions—to occur there, is located a short distance outside of Gotham City, which is located at an unspecified area in the Northeastern United States [in a previous version of the DC UNIVERSE ALMANAC, a map of the U.S. in the DCU placed the location of Gotham City in the state of New Jersey, where it was located close to New York City over the state line; the latter distinctive DCU city has been described as being situated close to the Big Apple of the DCU in various DC Comics in the past]. However, most creative mythographers do not think that any version of Gotham City exists in the WNU (at least not in what many of us call the “consensus” version of that Earth which follows the framework formulated by author Win Scott Eckert), though this doesn’t mean that a variant of Slaughter Swamp, complete with its unusual mystical ambience, doesn’t exist someplace in the latter universe’s Earth. It may be located in the same general place in the WNU as its counterpart in the DCU, which would place this swamp somewhere in the Northeastern United States on the Newtonian universe’s Earth, possibly somewhere in New Jersey.
It should be noted that the version of Slaughter Swamp seen in this story is similar to the New Orleans bayou that served as the “birthplace” and base of operations of Warren’s heroic zombie character the Spook during the early decades of the 19th century in the WNU (again, you might want to check out my index to “The Spook” series that can be found elsewhere on this site, but I’ll save you the effort of looking by providing a convenient link for you here). The Spook’s bayou locale was likewise a hotbed of voodoo practitioners, mystical zombie resurrections, and other strange occurrences. Nevertheless, it’s quite possible that certain swamplands throughout the North American continent of the WNU may be inhabited by voodoo priests and priestesses, many of whom may specialize in the inherently corrupting darker aspects of voodoo magick, due to the fact that such areas are natural “window areas” to a great abundance of magickal energies, with a particularly great amount of necromantic energies due to “windows” which lead to the various realms of the dead. The presence of these “windows” into other dimensions would result in a greater “relaxation” of natural laws in these bayou areas. This would serve to make it much easier for even moderately skilled adepts in the magickal arts to summon forth sufficient energies to accomplish a wide range of extraordinary and highly useful supernatural feats, including gaining the attention and assistance of the Loa deities and spirits to assist with manipulating the type of necromantic energies that can enable the resurrection and control of any readily available corpses into zombies. The prevalence of such energies in certain swamp areas also be utilized for many other incredible and useful feats, such as the periodic restoration of physical youth. The latter type of spell was something that was often performed by the elderly mambo Jessala, who reanimated and often provided supernatural guidance/assistance to the Spook during the early stories in his series.
In the DCU, Slaughter Swamp was the locale where the corpse of a miser named Cyrus Gold was dumped following his murder in the late 19th century, only to spontaneously reanimate in the early 1940s as the result of some mysterious supernatural energies inherent within the area as the super-zombie who became known as Solomon Grundy. This lends further credence to my theory that it’s not a coincidence that the bayou in this story bears the same name of a similarly supernaturally charged swamp extant within the DCU, and that there is a version of this infamous bayou in both universes. It’s therefore quite possible that a ‘wolded down’ version of Solomon Grundy exists in the WNU, and that he may have been spawned by the same rampant supernatural energies of this universe’s version of Slaughter Swamp that practitioners of voodoo magick were often drawn to in the hope of making use of that swamp’s potent mystical ambience. The Solomon Grundy of the WNU—if he does indeed have a counterpart there—may have been reanimated as a result of Gold’s corpse being affected in some unknown manner by the suffusion of necromantic energies within Slaughter Swamp resulting from the extensive amount of zombie reanimations engineered by the many practitioners of voodoo magick who were drawn to that area.
Hence, it’s quite possible that this particular story is the best candidate amongst the table of contents of this issue of CREEPY for being brought into the WNU canon, not only due to its events being based in a bayou that bears a great similarity to other swamps we have seen in various Warrenverse sources, most specifically “The Spook” series that appeared in EERIE during the 1970s (I trust that I do not need to refer you fine readers to my index for “The Spook” series elsewhere on this site yet again, correct?), but also due to the important fact that the bayou area in this story was called Slaughter Swamp.
We now come to the final story in this issue, which is the obligatory classic tale from Uncle Creepy’s archive vault that was published during the original Warren run of CREEPY and EERIE…and what a fine classic it was, as it made a strong contribution towards making this the best issue of the new CREEPY to date. The tale was called “Wardrobe of Monsters,” and it was penned by no less a personage than the late, great sci-fi author Otto Binder, with art from a renowned illustrator of Warren’s early days known as Gray Morrow. This wonderful oldie from the 1960s made it quite clear that Binder could write a greatly interesting story in the horror genre as well as one from its ‘brother’ genre sci-fi, and this story features a highly intriguing idea that not only demands further attention from creative mythographers with a particular interest in the monster-centric aspects of the WNU, but which I am also going to argue a case for bringing this great stand alone tale into the WNU (and thus the Warrenverse). This is due to a possible hint towards a tie-in with an already wolded Warrenverse series from EERIE, “The Mummy Walks” (and yup, that series is also indexed elsewhere on this site; once again, I will provide you with a convenient link to that particular index so you can follow-up on this discussion if you haven’t already read my index dealing with Warren’s version of the Mummy, and you can jump directly to it here; you may also want to take a look at my online article Mummies in the Wold Newton Universe 101, where I provide an indepth discussion of some of the following ideas regarding the apparent surfeit of cursed mummies that seem to turn up in the WNU).
This tale deals with an archeological team who discovers a sarcophagus containing the mummified body of an ancient pharaoh named Ank-Ummem, who we may be obliged to add to the WNU’s growing list of cursed mummies if this story merits a wolding (and I certainly think it does, so please read on to find out why). Along with this mummy’s casket was the discovery of four other sarcophagi—which turned out to contain prized personal property of Ank-Ummem—but did not contain standard mummified bodies. Instead, much to the astonishment of the archeologists, these other four caskets were found to contain what appeared to be the inert bodies of four different monstrous beings that seemed to be mystically created synthetic bodies in the form of four very familiar types of monsters: a vampire-like creature (which had the requisite fangs but possessed the vaguely gargoyle-like appearance of some of the more ancient sub-species of nosferatu, including no hair, sharp talon-like fingernails, big pointed ears, and large bat-like wings on its back); a hirsute bestial humanoid that greatly resembles a classic werewolf; a humanoid described by one the archeologists as a “satanic devilman” (and strangely, this particular synthetic being of supernatural origin does resemble the highly popularized caricature of the Devil with goat-like horns protruding from his upper forehead, pointed ears, a ‘devlish’-looking moustache and goatee, a long tail with a kite-like shape at the end of it much like the one possessed by the mutant hero Nightcrawler, and this being even came equipped with a long three-pointed metallic stabbing weapon greatly resembling the standard pitchfork that completes the pop culture caricature of the Devil!); and a massively built patchwork humanoid which appears to be a standard man-made monster of arcane scientific legend who is a near dead-ringer for Universal’s version of the Frankenstein Monster, a resemblance that is specifically mentioned by one of the startled archeologists (I should perhaps mention here that all of the synthetic monsters except for the one resembling the man-made monster are inexplicably nude—but don’t worry, artist Morrow graciously made sure to obscure their dingus in every panel in which their full body appeared, so if you read this story you will be spared the sight of monster dong—assuming, of course, that Ank-Ummem even bothered to include both gender’s favorite external sex organ on those synthetic creatures when he created them in the first place, and to be honest I would rather not speculate any further on that anyway). As for exactly what these seemingly synthetic monsters are, and how they were created, the closest explanation we get in this story is the following opinion by one of the archeologists who attempts to make sense of the strange entities laying before him: “Artificial forms…even if they feel like cold flesh-and-blood! Androids…bio-robots…synthetic creatures…whatever you will! Invented by the pharaoh as his traditional ‘death companions,’ that’s all!”
The sinister and way cool purpose of these synthetic bodies—possibly created by an ancient Egyptian form of alchemy—is soon revealed when the hieroglyphs on the tombs were deciphered by one of the archeologists who was present, a man named Arnold Baxter [don’t worry, I won’t attempt to connect this individual to the legendarily inept TV weatherman active during the 1970s known as Ted Baxter, whose antics were depicted on the classic ‘70s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, since I am not sure if any creative mythographer has attempted to wold that TV series yet--you can thank me later for not wasting space in this review by attempting to be the first in the field of parascholarship to make a detailed case for wolding that show; then again, I have already taken a stab at wolding The Brady Bunch, and any interested reader can check out the online article I penned in my attempt to bring America’s favorite suburban sitcom family from the ‘70s into the WNU here].
Upon further deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs on the tomb, Baxter reads the following description of what purpose inert synthetic monstrous bodies were created to serve: “ ‘Wardrobe’ of bodies? Good heavens!
“…does it mean his astral-spirit is supposed to ‘put on’ those bodies, like wearing ‘clothes’? Translating from one of the other sarcophagi should give the answer…
“To inhabit the first form, touch magic amulet…pronounce charm ‘Xotzil!’”
Yes, upon this discovery Baxter realized that he had just acquired a wondrous and very powerful gift…following these instructions that he was at first incredulous about, he touched the mystical jewel-like amulet that is embedded in the side of the sarcophagi, spoke the ancient mystically-charged word “Xotzil,” and sure enough he learns that his astral form leaves his physical body—which falls inert in a trance-like state during the interim, of course—and enters the body of the first of these synthetic creatures, the vampire, thus enabling Baxter to animate and control this monstrous being as if it was his own body (he seems to have no trouble speaking coherently while animating these monsters). He can project his astral form into and thereby animate and control any of the four synthetic monsters in this fashion, and he is relieved to discover that he can return his consciousness to his human body simply by willing the restoration. As one might expect, the sudden acquisition of such formidable might which control over these four powerful creatures granted Baxter thoroughly corrupts him, and he now realizes that he has an easy way to kill each of his partners in the archeological dig that uncovered Ank-Ummem’s tomb so that he will not have to share the wealth with the rest of them. Following that realization, mayhem and death obviously ensue, but one can certainly expect a twist at the end when Baxter decides to see to it that the still existent consciousness of Ank-Ummem—trapped in his mummified body as part of an ancient curse (again, see my online article “Mummies in the Wold Newton Universe 101,” linked above, for my indepth discussion on the nature of such curses in the WNU)—cannot attempt to vie with the now homicidal archeologist for control over those monstrous weapons that were originally his.
Anyone who has read my index to “The Mummy Walks” elsewhere on this site should immediately notice the resemblance between how the mystically charged amulet embedded in Ank-Ummem’s sarcophagi bears a great resemblance in terms of function and purpose to the Amulet of Transference used by different people—but most prominently a corrupt man named Jerome Curry—in “The Mummy Walks” series. This would appear to indicate that more than one such amulet was created by means of Egyptian magickal techniques that were known to at least a certain percentage of the more knowledgeable adepts of the mystic arts who were active in that bygone place and era, and it’s likely that some of these ancient sorcerers were in the employ and close confidence of the pharaohs. It’s also possible that variant versions of these enchanted amulets that enable the transference of a human’s astral body into another body were created to serve a few rather obvious purposes, one of which was to provide a possible contingency escape plan for powerful individuals—such as pharaohs—who were despotic enough that they realized they were likely to be dethroned and subject to a incredibly cruel form of supernatural punishment. This form of punishment entailed these unfortunate individuals having their physical body killed and preserved via sophisticated mummification techniques while receiving a specific type of mystical curse that would prevent their astral bodies (which ancient Egyptians referred to as the ka) from leaving their corporeal bodies at the onset of physical death and traveling to an afterlife realm. Unable to leave the physical plane for the proper place in the hereafter, their consciousness would remain trapped in their immobile and mummified physical body forever—unless they are fortunate enough to have someone destroy their preserved physical body at some point in the future, which will serve to release their trapped astral body so that it can either go onto the hereafter or, under certain circumstances, transfer itself into another physical body on the material plane that is bereft of another consciousness at the time.
Another purpose for these enchanted amulets was likely the one observed being utilized by individuals in more recent times, such as Arnold Baxter and Jerome Curry, to transfer their astral bodies into different, far more powerful forms that they could then use as living weapons to take the lives of those whom they considered to be enemies or desired revenge upon for some reason or other. Ank-Ummem must have had a particularly skilled mystic, or a perhaps a group of them, in his employ to enable them to create what appear to be something akin to human-sized homunculi in the stylized form of various types of monsters, with the physical power of such creatures to match the form, but without any consciousness of their own; they seem to have been created as an empty vessel for which to hold the consciousness of a human being who can utilize one of the variety of mystically charged amulets to facilitate a transfer.
There is evidence that there are a few different varieties of these amulets of transference since there are subtle disparities between some of them. For example, the amulet utilized by the individuals who appeared in “The Mummy Walks” series apparently didn’t need to say any specific word aloud to trigger the transfer of consciousness, but evidently only needed to focus on the word in their thoughts. In contrast, the amulet used by Baxter in this story, though serving much the same purpose as the one utilized by a few individuals as seen in “The Mummy Walks” series, apparently required a specific magickally evocative word to be said aloud. Further, the amulet of transference used by Baxter apparently didn’t leave him with a severe but temporary feeling of fatigue after he transferred his consciousness from one of the synthetic monsters back to his real body, whereas the amulet used by the individuals in “The Mummy Walks” serial evidently did, though this side effect may vary according to the individual user, with some experiencing a sizable if temporary degree of post-restoration fatigue (as did Jerome Curry), while others barely experience this temporary debilitating post-restoration side effect at all.
Thus, I am hereby making a strong case for bringing “Wardrobe of Monsters” into the WNU based on the evidence I mentioned above, which includes the presence of another cursed mummy that is similar to many others seen throughout the various canonical WNU sources, and the seeming connection to “The Mummy Walks” in regards to the similarly functioning mystical amulets that appear in each of the two sources, both of which are the creation of ancient Egyptian magick.
Of course, if this story is to be wolded, there are certain discrepancies that need to be addressed and hopefully resolved. For example, if Ank-Ummem was a pharaoh in ancient Egypt, then how was he able to oversee the creation of his “wardrobe” of synthetic monsters in the form of creatures who would not exist in the historical record until a few thousand years after Ank-Ummem’s native time period? It’s plausible for the vampire form to have been created in ancient Egypt, since as I noted above in this review, that form appears to resemble a more ancient tribe of vampires that have appeared in different WNU sources in the past. As for the werewolf form, this can also be plausible, since though it’s not entirely certain how long lycanthropes have existed on the Earth of the WNU, or for how long they have taken on a form that they have commonly been observed to do since the medieval era, but they are known to have existed since very ancient times, possibly even prior to the Hyborean Age, and maybe even as far back as the Stone Age.
In contrast to the above, however, the ‘devil-man’ and man-made monster forms are highly problematic. The modern popular visual conception of the Devil in the form of a pitchfork-wielding humanoid male with horns, a tail, and a Snidely Whiplash-style moustache and goatee combo is a caricaturized version of the bastardized image of the Pagan Horned God phenotype, popularly seen in the depiction of such ancient Pagan nature deities as the Greco-Roman Pan and the Celtic Cernnunos, as well as the nature spirits known as satyrs and fauns, that was later distorted by the Roman Catholic Church into a monstrous form used to visualize the Christian Devil. The popular Christian conception of the Devil as a being resembling a distorted version of the Pagan Horned God phenotype was conceptualized far after the time of the ancient Egyptian dynasties. It’s anyone’s guess at this time as to how an ancient Egyptian mage could have conceptualized this particular demonic form when creating the synthetic monster that was designed to serve as a periodic vessel for Ank-Ummem’s consciousness. It’s actually quite surprising that none of the archeologists in this story seemed to notice this discrepancy. All theories from my readers and fellow creative mythographers that may resolve this conundrum will be more than welcome, of course.
My colleague in parascholarship writing and theorizing, Crazy Ivan Schablotski, has offered the following anecdote in regards to my questions about the plausbility of the devil-man form being conceptualized in ancient Egypt: "Since the WNU has Hellboy and other demonic-looking humanoids in the form of the Teff-Hallani, there is no reason to be surprised by the existence of a Devil-Man body in the sarcophogas; at least, it is no more surprising than any of the other bodies." Based on Ivan's theory, it would appear that there is indeed a WNU-oriented explanation for how this "devil" caricature-form could have been known in the ancient Egypt of this Earth, as certain demonic races of beings extant in the WNU, such as the Teff-Hallani (to which the hero Hellboy belongs), do tend to have an appearance resembling that phenotype. It's also possible that the distinctive pitchfork often seen being wielded by this caricaturized conception of the Devil--including the devil-man form seen in this story--may be based upon a type of three-pronged trident-like weapon utilized by certain demonic warriors, possibly including certain members of the Teff-Hallani or related demonic races, that is composed of an otherdimensional metal known as netheranium. A similar weapon is wielded frequently by Daimon Hellstrom, a.k.a., the Son of Satan, a.k.a., Hellstorm the Prince of Lies, who is believed to have a counterpart in the WNU, and who is a hybrid offspring of a human woman and a powerful demonic entity who was likely one of the 'princes' of Hell who ruled one of the hellish nether-realms, and who referred to himself as Satan. Thus, there is precedent for such pitchfork-like or trident-like weapons being wielded by various beings and races of demonic origin in the various sources.
We face the same problem regarding man-made monsters, who were created by scientific methods with the likely and pivotal assistance of alchemical injections that were perfected by Konrad Dippel and Victor Frankenstein I during the 18th century, which was also far later in time than Ank-Ummem’s indigenous era in history. However, there is a certain amount of evidence that some form of man-made monster may have been created by various individuals in the ancient world of the WNU via the utilization of certain exotic and esoteric methods which were available at the time, including as far back as one of the ancient Egyptian dynasties. This latter notion is actually backed up by another canonical WNU source, Don Glut’s pulp novel THE NEW ADVENTURES OF FRANKENSTEIN, Tome #10: TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN, where one of the short stories within that anthology featured an apparently mummified man-made monster similar enough to the original Frankenstein Monster who was discovered guarding the tomb of the ancient sorcerer mummy Im-Ka-Ra. It’s possible that the resemblance of this particular monster form to the Frankenstein Monster copycat who was featured in the classic Universal film series was entirely the result of artistic license on the part of artist Gray Morrow, and was simply intended to give readers a general idea of what this particular monster form was intended to be a functional duplicate via providing a face that monster fans of the ‘60s would be well familiar with. This is the best explanation I can come up for the seemingly anachronistic appearance of this particular monster form in ancient Egypt of the WNU at the present time.
However, once again, my colleague Crazy Ivan Schablotski enters the fray here, as he has based certain theories of his around a specific type of entity that he has referred to as flesh-golems. These beings are synthetic organic humanoids (at least usually) created by either magickal or scientific means, and who have been created by various individuals via the utilization of a variety of techniques in the WNU that go far back into ancient history. Man-made monsters like the Frankenstein Monster and the various copycats of this creature belong to a sub-category of flesh-golem of scientific origin (albeit created with the assistance of certain alchemical means) that hails from relatively recent history. As noted above, the synthetically constructed mummy that was seen guarding Im-Ka-Ra's tomb is very likely an example of a supernaturally-created flesh-golem who was created far back in ancient history.
The fourth issue of the new CREEPY rounds out with another new entry in its classic continuing feature, Creepy’s Loathsome Lore (though the feature logo was sans the word “Creepy’s” this time around). This particular entry was unusually brief in comparison to the subjects we saw from this feature in the previous three issues of CREEPY, running just a single page. This one was entitled “The Great Demon Abaddon,” and host Uncle Creepy—courtesy of a shortish script provided by the mag’s editor Shawna Gore—proceeded to give us info about one of the nefarious, not to mention one of the most powerful, of the various princes of Hell, or at least one of the various fiery nether-realms that seem to comprise an interconnected yet separate system of similar underworld realities that fall under the ‘Hell’ rubric. Though I am not yet sure how accurate the info in this entry of Loathsome Lore happens to be, we are given what is said to be an actual quote from the Bible that specifically mentions Abaddon, which was said to have been taken from the Book of Revelation, 9:11: “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon…”
Hence, this quote would appear to suggest that Abaddon is one of the fallen angels who, according to Christian legend, was part of a supposed rebellion against God that was led by Lucifer, and who were consequently cast out of the idyllic realm of Heaven and into the various ‘Hell’ nether-realms where they apparently took on horrifically grotesque forms (at least according to human perception) that evidently represent the personification of their corrupt nature, and I must say the full page drawing of Abaddon by artist Paul Komoda does indeed give this particular hell-prince a truly grotesque and explicitly insect-like appearance. The reason for that particular visual interpretation of this powerful demonic being, according to the relatively small amount of text for this feature, is because Abaddon supposedly “has long ruled as the King of the Grasshoppers.” Thus, he controls swarms of locusts, and therefore the text helpfully reminds us, “it will be Abaddon you blame should the plagues of locusts descend upon us anytime soon.” And this will evidently go down during the Biblically prophesized uber-species cleansing event sometimes known as “The End Of Days On Earth,” which I presume to be Armageddon.
This makes me wonder…in the latter case, isn’t Abaddon sort of stealing the thunder of the powerful Babylonian demonic deity called Pazuzu? For those who may actually not know, Pazuzu was the demonic dude who gained global infamy in the modern world as a result of being the arch-enemy of the crusading Catholic priest Father Lancaster Marrin, and the vile possessor of the gifted girl Regan McNeil, all of which was chronicled in ‘The Exorcist’ film franchise, based on the novel of the same name. Pazuzu is also said to control swarms of locusts, and was actually seen doing this in the much maligned second entry into the above cinematic horror franchise, Exorcist 2: The Heretic, the latter flick oddly being the only film in the series where Pazuzu was actually referred to by name. His power may not be limited to dominating the wills of denizens of the insect world, however, as Pazuzu was shown controlling packs of hyenas and using them to tear hapless human victims to shreds during the first of his two epic battles with Father Marrin, which was chronicled in the fourth prequel film in the series, Exorcist: The Beginning. I have no idea what’s up with that, however. So, the important question to ask here seems to be:
Is there some sort of connection between Abaddon and Pazuzu? One may ask this question since both entities are extremely powerful demonic beings of evil who wield a similar ability to control swarms of the exact same type of insect (it would be a bit less odd if one of them controlled swarms of bees, wasps, or even butterflies instead of locusts).
Nevertheless, this similarity doesn’t necessarily mean that a connection of any sort exists, as there are several other deities of different pantheons that serve very similar functions within their respective cosmology, and therefore display control over precisely the same forces of nature as a similar deity from a completely different pantheon. One good example of this duplication phenomenon can be seen when one studies the thunder gods Thor and Perun, the former from Norse mythology and the latter from Slavic mythology: both of these thunder gods wield an enchanted hammer as a lethal weapon of choice, with both hammers possessing the identical magickal attribute of always returning to the respective deity’s hand after being thrown (though Perun often also uses an enchanted axe with similar attributes for the same purpose); both of them use a chariot pulled by goats for extended transportation (though Thor’s chariot is pulled by two goats, and Perun’s vehicle is pulled by a single younger goat); and both of them were even described in their respective myths as having similarly colored hair. Still, these remarkable similarities in deities from different mythologies may indeed indicate some sort of connection between them, and perhaps even suggest an intersection of some sort between their respective cosmologies. The same suggestion may explain the similarities between Abaddon and Pazuzu, but it’s outside the scope of this review to go into the subject in a more indepth manner than I have already (but a future article tackling this subject may be in order).
Uncle Creepy concludes his description of this prince of Hell with the following interesting anecdote: “In fact, so powerful and influential is Abaddon that his very name is often used as another name for Hell itself.” I must say that I was ignorant of the latter fact, which surprises me somewhat, and I am determined to seek out some outside references to corroborate the claim that Abaddon’s name is sometimes used as a synonym for Hell itself, much as the Greek god of the underworld Hades has a name that is synonymous with the Greek realm of the dead.
Regarding the prevelance of Abbadon in legend and Christian folklore, once again my colleague Ivan Schablotski did a bit of online research and gave me the following via e-mail correspondence:
"The following relevant text is from [the Wikipedia entry on Abaddon]:
In the Hebrew scriptures, Abaddon comes to mean "place of destruction," or the realm of the dead, and is associated with Sheol.
The Christian scriptures contain the first known depiction of Abaddon as an individual entity instead of a place. In St. John's Revelation 9:1-11, Abaddon is described as the king of the bottomless pit and of a plague of locusts that resemble war horses with crowned human faces and having women's hair, lions' teeth, locusts' wings, and the tail of a scorpion.
Other theological works[:]
The text of the Thanksgiving Hymns—which was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls—tells of "the Sheol of Abaddon" and of the "torrents of Belial [that] burst into Abaddon". The Biblical Antiquities attributed to Philo mentions Abaddon as a place (sheol, hell), not as a spirit or demon or angel. In the 3rd century Acts of Thomas, Abaddon is the name of a demon, or the Devil himself. Abaddon has also been identified as the angel of death and destruction, demon of the abyss, and chief of demons of the underworld hierarchy, where he is equated with Samael or Satan. In magic, Abaddon is often identified with the Destroying Angel of the Apocalypse.
Abaddon is also one of the compartments of Gehenna. By extension, it can mean an underworld abode of lost souls, or [H]ell. In some legends, it is identified as a realm where the damned lie in fire and snow, one of the places in Hell that Moses visited.
In the lore of the Coptic Church, Abbaton is the name given to the angel of death. He is given particularly important roles in two sources, a homily entitled The Enthronment of Abbaton by Timothy of Alexandria, and the Apocalypse of Bartholomew. In the homily by Timothy, Abbaton was first named Muriel, and had been given the task by God of collecting the earth which would be used in the creation of Adam. Upon completion of this task, the angel was then named to be guardian. Everybody, including the angels, demons, and corporeal entities, felt fear of him. Abbaton engaged in prayer and ultimately obtained the promise that any men who venerated him during their lifetime stood the chance of being saved. Abbaton is also said to have a prominent role in the Last Judgement, as the one who will take the souls to the Valley of Josaphat. He is described in the Apocalypse of Bartholomew as being present in the Tomb of Jesus at the moment of his resurrection.
The symbolism of Revelation 9:11 leaves the exact identification of Abaddon open for interpretation. Some [B]ible scholars believe him to be the antichrist or Satan.
In the past Jehovah's Witnesses shared the idea that Abaddon was Satan. Modern Jehovah's Witnesses take the contrasting view, believing that Abaddon is a name given to Jesus.
Some theologians believe Abaddon to be just an angel. Concerning the angel holding the key to the bottomless pit from Revelation 9 and 20, Gustav Davidson, in A DICTIONARY OF ANGELS, INCLUDING THE FALLEN ANGELS, writes:
In Revelation 20:2 he "laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years". According to the foregoing, Apollion is a holy (good) angel, servant, and messenger of God; but in occult and, generally, in noncanonical writings, he is evil."
Citations for all of the above can be found on the Wikipedia entry where the above excerpt was taken from.
Some info about Abaddon's appearances in WNU-oriented sources outside of real life legend were also passed on to me via e-mail correspondence by my other esteemed colleague in the field of parascholarship, Jay Lindsey:
"For what it's worth, Abbadon is the demon credited with creating at least one strain of vampire in the 2001 movie The Forsaken:
Abbadon is also the name of the kaiju-sized, life-sucking demon that escaped from the Cardiff rift on Torchwood:
My thanks and appreciation to both Ivan and Jay for their respective contributions to this review.
Finally, the inside back cover of this issue is now given an official name for its series of interviews with members of the present day creative crew for the new CREEPY: Corpsepower. This issue’s interview, conducted by Uncle Creepy himself in his own inimitable style, is with the famous cover artist Ken Kelly, a true master of the paint brush who has contributed some of the most memorable and magnificent covers for the various Warren mags in the past. I think that it’s just plain awesome as hell that Kelly is still active and has returned to create the truly way cool cover for this issue of CREEPY. One of the most interesting things that I was to learn about Kelly’s career in this interview was that he was responsible for the artwork of a few of the early album covers for KISS during the 1970s, including the cover for one of their most popular albums from the original four members of the crew, KISS Destroyer. Interesting stuff.
My conclusion and evaluation of the first year of Dark Horse’s revival of CREEPY: a total thumb’s up, along with my recommendation of continued support for this long-awaited return of an old friend. This book has continuously improved over its first four issues, with #4 being the best so far, as all five of its tales (including the classic from the archives) were totally top-notch, i.e., dreadful to behold yet incredibly entertaining to read. The spirit of the original run of CREEPY during the Warren years has definitely been respected and honored by the time the fourth issue of this new series graced the shelves of comic book shops across the continent. Though I do not expect every future issue of CREEPY to have 100% of the quality of this dynamic fourth issue, I do believe that most subsequent issues can be expected to be worth its price tag, and the series as a whole can certainly be considered the best horror anthology comic on the market today. What may be in store for the future of Dark Horse’s leased revivals of the old Warren properties remains to be seen, but I would like to think that we likely have much to look forward to. Among other things, we can cross our fingers that this future will include a revival of EERIE.
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