CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF

Introduction

The series featuring the lycanthropic Arthur Lemming had a much different tone than the WEREWOLF BY NIGHT comic published during the same time period by Marvel Comics (and featuring the exploits of the anti-heroic lycan Jack Russell, also an important member of the Wold Newton Universe's [WNU] lycanthropic families), but Warren's series, not beholden to the then still relevant Comics Code Authority, was often considerably more disturbing and brutal. Whereas Jack Russell rarely ended up killing another human being even though he lacked control over his savage lycan form for most of his series, Lemming's lycanthropic alter-ego killed virtually every human being he attacked, and he dished out death and mayhem with terrifying regularity. Even his own family wasn't to be spared the slash of his talons and the chomp of his razor-sharp incisors.

"Curse of the Werewolf" was one of EERIE's early series, and it appeared just as the mag announced that it would be moving away from primarily stand-alone horror stories, which was a format it mostly shared up to that point with its sister title CREEPY, and by this time the book had started showing a preference for continuing characters of the anti-heroic horror, sci-fi, and fantasy sub-genres, with stand-alone stories remaining but now relegated to a minority of pages per issue (except for the periodic and annual reprint "Yearbooks"). The origin of Arthur Lemming's curse was never revealed, and though he was a tragic character, his human side never achieved the type of heroic sympathy that other wolf-men in his situation, such as Larry Talbot, Waldemar Daninsky, Jack Russell, and Eric Cord, were rightfully afforded. Lemming was somewhat amoral, but his human half was hardly a villain, and once he learned of the beast sharing his soul that was released on the nights of the full moon, he certainly didn't embrace it, nor did he seek a means to control it, but simply sought to eradicate the curse (a quest that ultimately brought a second, equally horrific curse upon him). Though Lemming's story was destined not to bring him the sympathy and admiration we had for Talbot, Daninsky, and Russell's human halves, his character was every bit as interesting, and should serve as more than an important side note to those chronicling the exploits of lycans in fictional literature, particularly creative mythographers studying the monstrous denizens of the WNU.

The greatest asset of this series was that it was never predictable. Though we could always be sure that truly villainous characters would die in the end, we were never certain if any of the innocents who appeared in the stories would ultimately be spared from the teeth and fangs of Lemming's bestial alter-ego, and for that, I can imagine that the many fans of this old comic book serial were always anxiously awaiting the next entry in the series. In fact, this series was fairly long running, though not nearly as long running as later, more super-hero oriented series that debuted in EERIE, such as the Rook. Hopefully, this particular Index will be useful not only to fans of Warren's output looking for info, but also to werewolf fans and creative mythographers who are looking to work as many lycanthropes (or "lycans," if you prefer to use the slang parlance introduced in the 2004 film "Underworld") into any respective essays or timelines they may happen to be composing.

It should be noted that Arthur Lemming's story, which changed its creative team mid-way (and drastically changed direction at the same time), was based upon the then-classic Hollywood imagery of werewolves, and clearly modeled after the Larry Talbot phenotype, when werewolves were perceived as being largely hominid, with more human features than wolf, retaining a slightly slouched human stance with a coat of fur covering their bodies and faces, and with sharp talons and fangs. The more lupine werewolves didn't become popular until early '80s films such as "The Howling" and "An American Werewolf In London," or a popular novel published by Stephen King during the same general time period entitled CYCLE OF THE WEREWOLF, which was adapted into a big screen flick called "Silver Bullet." A few more lupine features, such as pointed or wolf-like ears, sometimes appeared on the more humanoid lycans popular during this time, and Lemming's alter-ego did indeed have protruding wolf-like ears; otherwise, he resembled the lycanthropic "wolf-men" forms of Larry Talbot, Waldemar Daninsky, and Jack Russell (before the latter switched to the more lupine form during the '80s).

[For anyone reading this who are not entirely in the know, Larry Talbot was the lycanthropic star of five Universal films featuring the Wolf Man character, beginning with "The Wolf Man" in 1942 (and continuing with "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man," 1943; "House of Frankenstein," 1945; "House of Dracula," 1946; and "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein," 1948), and in various follow-up novels, such as Jeff Rovin's 1998 RETURN OF THE WOLF MAN--a new version of Lawerence Talbot and his story was seen in the 2010 remake of "The Wolf Man" by Universal; Waldemar Daninsky was the star of a series of ultra-violent Spanish Wolf Man ("El Hombre Lobo") films from the late 1960s to late 1970s, beginning with (to use the incongruous American film title) "Frankenstein's Bloody Terror," with later entries including "Fury of the Wolf Man," "The Wolf Man vs. the Vampire Woman," "Dr. Jekyll and The Wolf Man," and "Assignment: Terror," with a few new El Hombre Lobo movies appearing in recent years; Jack Russell, as mentioned above, was the star of Marvel Comics' way cool WEREWOLF BY NIGHT four-color comic book, a series that began in the showcase title MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol. 1 #2, along with a few periodic mini-series published by Marvel in the '80s, '90s, and '00s, including a memorable run in the bi-weekly anthology title MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS; Eric Cord appeared in the FOX telefilm and subsequent short-lived but very memorable TV series both entitled "Werewolf," followed up by a now obscure and short-lived comic book adaptation.]

Going with research and observations made by Crazy Ivan Schablotski, to whom I am indebted to for inspiration in creating this particular Index, it appears that Lemming is from a branch of Glabro, rather than Crinos lycans, the former of whom retain little of their human persona in their "wolf-man" (as opposed to werewolf) form, and their transformations tend to be the result of mystical curses that are involuntarily transferred to them via an unlucky familial lineage, manifesting either at a specific age or due to a specific supernatural catalyst. The transformations of these cursed lycans are generally triggered by the mystical light of the full moon, when the tides of etheric energies sweeping over the Earth are at their greatest level. Crinos lycans, however, either utilize totemic forms of magick to bestow the wolf form upon themselves deliberately or suffer from a form of genetically inherited supernatural mutation that is perhaps the result of an ancient mystical virogen that altered their genome (a variant of the infamous mbwun virogen; see Crazy Ivan's Therionthropy 101 web site, linked on the home page, for more info on this). They tend to take on a much more lupine form (though often still maintaining some humanoid characteristics, including human-shaped hands and the ability to take on a bipedal stance for extended periods), they are generally not subject to the energies of the full moon in order to transform (though said transformations may be easier under the energies of the full moon than at other times), and to retain a large degree of their human intelligence and volition, though they possess the potential to temporarily lose this control if they allow their rage to get out of hand.

Of course, both of the above mentioned lycan types can potentially take on the other lupine phenotype, and just as the Crinos fetishistic or genetic lycan can potentially lose control of their lupine forms, so can the Glabro lycans potentially gain control over their "cursed" form; Jack Russell eventually both gained this control and acquired the ability to shift into a Crinos form.

[In regards to other lycan forms, the Hispo phenotype is somewhat similar to the Crinos form in regards to its sheer brutish and bulky body, but these lycanthropes are entirely quadrupedal, and only rarely take on a bipedal stance, and only then for about a minute at a time; their front paws only vaguely resemble human hands, and lack full human manual dexterity and gripping ability. Lycans of this type were seen in films such as "An American Werewolf In London" (along with its less memorable sequel, "An American Werewolf In Paris") and the progressive supernatural lycanthropic mutation we saw in the "Ginger Snaps" film franchise...in the first two films in the latter series, the transformations undergone by Ginger and Brigette Fitzgerald, respectively, appeared to be a Hispo phenotype that resulted from a cross between a virogen and genetic oriented form of lycanthropy, as noted by Crazy Ivan. These types of lycans appear to be almost entirely animalistic, with the human mind barely able to exert any control over the animal form...Hispo lycans' transformations, be they swift or gradual, seem to be very dependant on the lunar energies of the full moon.]

[The final type of lycan phenotype is the Lupus, which basically resembles a large but ordinary quadrapedal wolf, and appeared in much of the Western world's werewolf legendry and lore. This full wolf simalucra is most often obtained by fetishistic werewolves who use various forms of sorcery to achieve the wolf form, but is also sometimes obtained by various packs of genetic lycans. These lycans seem much less beholden to the full moon for their transformations, though it can obviously occur much easier when the mystic attempts to initiate the transformation when the etheric tides of the moon are at or near their peak, rather than doing so when they are weakest, i.e., when the moon is waning or completely hidden by the Earth's shadow. Variations are always evident, of course. This was the type of lycan we saw in films such as "Howling IV: The Original Nightmare," adapted from THE HOWLING novel, and this was also the form taken by the cursed lycan gypsy fortune-teller Bela who bit and afflicted Larry Talbot in "The Wolf Man," the latter instance making it clear that in certain specific cases, the Lupus phenotype does manifest in cursed lycans, though it's unclear as to why Bela's curse-oriented metamorphosis took this particular phenotype.]

[Some lycans, such as Eric Cord of the telefilm and TV series "Werewolf," appear to straddle the Crinos and Lupus phenotype, as his highly lupine form appeared to take on a quadrupedal and bipedal stance roughly 50% of the time each.]

For those would like to see good drawings of each type of form that werewolves are capable of appearing in, then check out the below pic, courtesy of the people from White Wolf:

,

As noted above, lycans of the Glabro phenotype also potentially have the ability to achieve the somewhat more powerful Crinos state (though the Glabro state is still plenty formidable and dangerous) and/or to retain most of their human intelligence and control over that form. Lemming or Talbot never achieved either, but Russell eventually achieved both. Cord's odd form of cursed lycanthropy appeared to allow his psyche to exert only partial control over his lupine form.
Again, I would direct you to Crazy Ivan's website on Therionthropy 101 for a timeline that chronicles the history of all shape-shifting entities in the WNU and provides many theories explaining their origin and nature ("therionthropy" is the generic study of all humans who can shape-shift into animal-forms, whereas "lycanthropy" refers to those who exclusively shape-shift into lupine form, and is thus a small though popular sub-category of therionthropy proper).

Other lycans, such as Eric Cord, combined the Crinos phenotype with the characteristics of the Glabro curse, thus implying an unusual breed of lycan (the progenitor of this particular breed/bloodline was the 2,000 year old lycan who took the name Nicolas Remy by the late 20th century). Interestingly, Cord's bloodline shared the characteristic of seeing the generic mystical pentagram symbol appear on his hand whenever he was soon to morph into his werewolf form, and his transformations seemed not to be beholden to the full moon but rather to other, never fully defined astrological factors. Talbot's bloodline, whose metamorphoses were dependent on the full moon, likewise saw an image of the pentagram, albeit on the hand of his next victim, not his own hand. Lemming never saw a pentagram on either himself or his intended victims' hands, and the pentagram, which is an old mystical symbol that has nothing to do with evil and has meant different things to many different magickal practitioners throughout the ages (including the current symbol of the Wiccan religions and a deterrant to evil), appears to only be a factor in a few lycanthropic bloodlines.

To be a bit technical and specific, lycans of the Crinos, Hispo, and Lupus phenotypes are more properly referred to as "werewolves," whereas lycans of the Glabro phenotype are perhaps more properly called "wolf-men."

The above terms for the various lycan phenotypes, first used by the folks of White Wolf for their WEREWOLF: THE APOCALYPSE role-playing games, are simple to remember and aesthetically "easy on the ears," IMO, which is why I utilize them (White Wolf has since revamped its terminology). Other researchers prefer to use different types of terminology, since the above terms are not related to proper Latin taxonomy, but the above represent what I will be using throughout this Index (and in other indexes on this site, where relevant). Other researchers have other preferences, of course, and to each their own.

The most interesting item of note regarding Warren's "Curse of the Werewolf" series is that it eventually merged with, and Arthur Lemming's story concluded in, another simultaneously running series in EERIE, "The Mummy Walks." Hence, this Index will necessarily segue into the Index for "The Mummy Walks" after Arthur Lemming becomes two, rather than just one, type of legendary monster (it has to be seen to be believed).

EERIE #48

"On A Stalking Moonlit Night"

Story: Al Milgrom

Art: Rich Buckler [inked by Bill DuBay]

In the small English town of Dwarves Bay, just after the turn of the last century, a man (who appears to be from his late 30s to mid-40s) named Arthur Lemming is walking down the street one evening when the full moon slowly appears in the sky…and its luminescence triggers a horrific transformation in the unsuspecting man. Metamorphosing into a wolf-man and tearing his own shirt to shreds in a fit of animalistic rage, the savage, near-mindless creature hears the footsteps of a woman also walking the streets nearby…and the werewolf quickly stalks and brutally murders the woman [making sure to tear most of her clothing off in the process, as if to provide a bit of gratuitous nudity for the readers].

The following evening, Lemming sat in his home reading about the recent spate of ghastly murders in the town, and he told his wife Angela in no uncertain terms that he did not want her venturing out at night alone any longer, as she had been doing recently. Before she could respond in kind, their young daughter Miriam (who appeared to be about eight years old; the spelling of her name was later changed to "Meriam") walked downstairs and asked her father if she could still go outside and play with one of her friends. Lemming, who obviously dearly loved his daughter, told her that it was okay, as long as she didn't venture too far from their house. Alluding to the "monstrous killer" from the papers, Miriam asked her father to solemnly promise that he would keep her safe from the monster; looking at her for a bit as if perplexed, he then tried to assuage his daughter's concerns by giving the little girl his word that he would indeed protect her from the beast roaming about their locality.

After Miriam left, Lemming reminded his irate wife of how much their daughter meant to him by stating, "Ah--that child. I swear she can bring sunshine to even such a chilly day as this." Underscoring the poor nature of her relationship with her husband, Angela coldly replied, "Yes, if it were not for that child…I'd have given you up long ago!"
As their argument continued, Angela reminded Lemming that she found blood stains on his shirt the previous night, and she angrily demanded to know if it was due to his having another bar room brawl, or if perhaps he was in the arms of another woman [didn't either of them note the fact that the shirt wasn't simply bloody, but ripped to shreds? Angela must have thought her husband ran with a very wild crowd of women to suspect that he was cheating on her based on the condition of the shirt!]. Lemming remarked that he remembered nothing about the events of the previous night, to which Angela took as a sign that he must have been inebriated.

Lemming then told her that he did remember the reason he went out in the first place, however; he was searching for Angela, who, as her husband put it, "Because my oh-so proper wife finds it acceptable to walk the streets unescorted at night, leaving her husband to an empty bed. Which leads me to ponder…where were you last night, my dear? Where indeed that you seem lively and fresh!
…though you've not made love to your husband in a month?"
Angela's only reply was a slap across her husband's face [I guess it was only proper back then for the wife to accuse her husband of an infidelity, but not the reverse].

Angela then stormed out of the house, and Lemming resolved to follow her again, as if he discovered evidence that she was two-timing him, then he would have the pretext to divorce her, something he hesitated doing in the past only because of their daughter (or so he rationalized to himself).

As the night came, Lemming proceeded to follow Angela again, as he planned. Managing to trail her without her knowledge, we were treated to a rather silly tableau…as Arthur saw his wife about to board a one person carriage, and realizing that he would lose sight of her in the process, he snuck up behind the driver, pulled the man from the reins, and knocked him unconscious by striking his head on the ground. He then quickly threw on the man's hat and coat, and covertly drove his wife to the destination she wanted to travel to [since when was Lemming such an expert at hand-to-hand combat that he could expect to silently render this man unconscious with his bare hands as if he were Batman? Why didn't Angela notice anything connected to that conflagration, since she was approaching the horse-drawn carriage at the time? And didn't Lemming consider that what he did was an act of aggravated battery that would get him thrown in jail? Luckily, the police had a lot more to worry about at the time with a werewolf running around loose in town].

Angela asked the disguised Lemming to take her to a locale on Harley Street, one of the richest sections of town. Upon arriving at this destination, Lemming then saw her enter the house of the prominent politician and local council leader Ethan Adams, and found himself unable to believe that she may be having an affair with him. But upon looking in Adams' bedroom window, he discovered to his extreme distress that his wife was indeed sleeping with the politician [I guess it didn't occur to people back then to close the drapes to the bedroom window when they were having sex].

Weeping in sorrow over the realization that his wife was betraying him, the full moon rose moments later, and Lemming underwent his lupine metamorphosis. As the text noted, "…the icy silver of the moon touches…changes…and leaves hot, wild fury where sadness and remorse had been." Just before the enraged beast could break into the window, he was spotted by a police officer named Evers, who called out to the stranger lurking outside the window of the Adams's house [I suppose Evers made a regular habit of chasing peeping tom's away from the councilman's bedroom window, but never had the nerve to ask the distinguished gentleman to simply close his drapes]. Turning to the officer and startling him to the point where he failed to draw his weapon (not that its non-silver bullets would have stopped the wolf-man anyway), the bestial creature seized the constable and hurled him through Adams's window. As the bloody policeman's body landed on the bed across Adams and Angela, the wolf-man, now quickly forgetting the reasons for his human alter-ego being out and about, fled from the immediate vicinity of the Adams house and went on a brutal killing spree throughout the night, viciously butchering any human being he happened to come into contact with.

Finally, as if some measure of his human memories entered into his bestial persona, the wolf-man headed towards his own home, and entered it. A bit earlier, Miriam woke up with her father on her mind, as if in a premonition of some sort, and she walked downstairs to find herself face-to-face with the deadly lupine creature, after ironically calling out to ask if that was her father who was walking about the house. Miriam was too shocked to run, and as the wolf-man was about to lunge at this latest opportunity for murder, a part of Lemming's human persona, the side that loved his daughter more than anyone else in his life, seemed to come forth and give the creature pause…but only for a moment, for the creature quickly and savagely murdered Miriam by slashing her throat with his talons. Picking up the body of the little girl and walking outside of the house with her blood-drenched body in his arms, sunrise quickly came, and with it, the wolf-man reverted back to human form…and a grief-stricken Arthur Lemming found himself holding the mutilated corpse of his beloved daughter.

Comments: This initial story in the saga of Arthur Lemming, Werewolf, was a very good start. Despite a few silly elements typical of early '70s comics writing, the characterization of the few individuals introduced here was very well done, and Al Milgrom, who later emigrated to strictly super-hero writing, proved himself quite adept at helming horror stories, as well (I will never forget Milgrom's very memorable stint as the editor of MARVEL FANFARE in the early '80s, which he infused with his own inimitable personality). Rich Buckler's art may have been unsuited to the "Dracula" series that ran its course with the very same issue of EERIE that "Curse of the Werewolf" debuted, but it seemed better suited to the atmosphere of this series.

Milgrom pulled out all the stops for nastiness in this story, as the lycanthrope of this series was, unlike Jack Russell, no monstrous character who would invariably limit most of his violence towards other monsters or human villains; innocents dropped like proverbial flies before Arthur Lemming's tooth and nail. The brutal slaying of Miriam Lemming at the end of this story was shocking and horrific, and something that many readers doubtless never expected. This series presented an interesting contrast to the equally interesting WEREWOLF BY NIGHT comic then being published by Marvel.

The origin of Arthur Lemming's curse was never revealed, but it had to have emerged just recently, since the town of Dwarves Bay (name not revealed until EERIE #50) was just beginning to report the murders in its local news. Further, Lemming was totally unaware of the transformations at this point in time. In fact, the mystery of this man's lycanthropic curse was never revealed anywhere in the series, and I will leave this intriguing question to future researchers and creative mythographers to resolve.

The cover of EERIE #48 by the Brazilian artist Sanjulian, which featured Arthur Lemming in wolf-man form descending upon the unknowing little Miriam, was extremely chilling and brilliantly painted. It was definitely a stand out cover for the entire run of the mag that will not be forgotten by anyone who sees it.

Overall, this story was a very solid introduction for the series.

WNU Connections: At present, since the origin of Lemming's curse remains a mystery, I am not sure precisely how Arthur Lemming fits in with other established families of lycanthropes in the WNU, including the Talbots, the Daninskys, the Wolfsteins, the Cornells, or the Russoffs. Lemmings's parents or any siblings or other blood relatives he may have had were never introduced anywhere in the series (outside of his daughter Miriam, and she died when she was still a little girl), so his history prior to this story (and he appeared to be from his late 30s to mid-40s here, since his temples were gray) is a total literary tabula rasa. The only clues to be found here is that his curse appears to have hit him very suddenly at this point in his life, with no rhyme or reason given in the chronicles, and the fact that he lived in the town of Dwarves Bay, England (though I'm not sure what part of England) in the first decade of the 20th century was the only other detail we had of his life. Hence, future creative mythographers may be able to find a way to connect Arthur Lemming to some of the other prominent lycanthropic families in the WNU who have a propensity for manifesting the Glabro "wolf-man" phenotype spontaneously and completely outside of their own volition when the full moon rises.

Lycan expert and creative mythographer Crazy Ivan Schablotski once conjectured that Lemming is related to the Daninsky lineage (from the Spanish "El Hombre Lobo" film series), which is likely responsible for his curse, and I happen to agree, since there is no evidence to suggest that the Lemmings were Arthur's genetic parents. He may have well have been of the Daninsky clan, but was orphaned at a very young age, perhaps in infancy, and then adopted by the Lemmings. A later cover painting by Sanjulian, which depicted Lemming's lupine visage as being a dead ringer for El Hombre Lobo, may be an interesting and vital hint that this theory has a lot of merit to it.

Time Frame: Autumn of 1902, the season revealed in this story and the date inferred from the Jerome Curry stories in "The Mummy Walks" series, which is known to have occurred concurrently with this series.

EERIE #49

"Midnight Prey"

Story: Al Milgrom

Art: Rich Buckler and Bill DuBay

Immediately following the events of the previous story, an extremely disheartened and weeping Arthur Lemming carries the bleeding corpse of his mutilated daughter Miriam across the early morning streets of Dwarves Bay and into the police station, and less than tactfully but understandably (given his emotional state) places her body on the desk of the police chief. Announcing that his daughter must have been the latest victim of the mysterious and brutal killer plaguing the town, an officer named Brighton approached the grieving man and suspiciously asked him why he was roaming about so early in the morning wearing nothing but a pair of badly rent pants. Sincerely unable to remember what had happened, Lemming surmised that he must have had his clothing torn up while fighting the beast in an attempt to protect his daughter. As the police chief escorted the stunned man out of the station, Brighton then mused to himself that if Lemming's conjecture was correct, then why did he have no cuts or bruises on his person?

As Lemming and his wife Angela strode back sadly to their home, Arthur suddenly forcibly wrenched her purse from her arms and went through its contents, discovering the key to the politician Ethan Adams's house, as he began to fully recall his discovery of her affair with this man the previous evening. Forcing Angela to admit her infidelity by angrily pulling her hair, Lemming told her that when the planned council meeting was held that evening, Arthur would appear there and make Adams pay for what he did to their family.

Upon the commencement of that evening, when the council meeting convened, Ethan Adams introduced his guests to each other as they began to discuss what to do about the murderer running loose in their town…a trio of fellow council members named McEvey, Devon, and Newley. Also there was a mysterious gentleman holding a cane with a silver top, and as they began to discuss their options for dealing with the brutal killer in their midst, McEvey suggested it must be a lunatic, but the man with the cane suggested otherwise: "We should investigate the possibility of a supernatural agency in these killings." Just as he stated that there was proof of that, an extremely enraged Arthur Lemming burst into the room, grabbed Ethan Adams to his feet and punched him, laying the council leader out with that blow. Focusing the rage he felt over both his daughter's death and his wife's infidelity on Adams, the former accused the politician in front of all of his peers of sleeping with his wife. Immediately afterwards, Angela Lemming burst into the room to warn Adams of Lemming's impending assault on him…only to learn, to her abject embarrassment, that she was too late.

When the other shocked councilmen asked Adams if Lemming's accusations could possibly be true, Adams thought to himself, "Must think fast! I could lose my position…my power, because of this witch…! That's it!" And in the light bulb moment that followed, Adams took advantage of a typical prejudice running through the time and place by declaring, "Y…yes, it is true! But you know me! My clean reputation. I could never do what I have been accused of…of my own free will! This woman bewitched me! She is a witch!"

Seriously considering Adam's equally serious accusations, the three men grabbed Angela, as she icily told her former lover, "Ethan! How could you? Just to save your own political hide?!" However, Arthur Lemming was ignoring the proceedings before him, as he was suddenly hit with an unexplainable wave of dizziness. Walking outside and collapsing in the light of the full moon, Lemming didn't hear Adams point out how the body of Constable Evers was hurled through his bedroom window the night before as he slept with Angela, and he accused Angela of having created and controlled this beast through her witchcraft, necessitating her execution [just like a politician!].

Moments later, Lemming's latest metamorphosis from man to wolf-man is completed. Now overcome by his desire to kill, he lashed out at the nearest human victims available to him, leaping through the window at the people gathered in the council chambers. Fully taking advantage of this like the crafty politician that he is, Adams shouted, "Look! It's the beast I spoke of! The beast this witch controls! She has sent it to destroy us all!"

With Adams's accusations against Angela appearing to have been validated, the other men in the room attempted to tackle the beast, only to be easily thrown aside. However, the man with the silver-topped cane demonstrated his knowledge of the occult by attacking and striking the werewolf with the top of the cane (his name would be revealed as Goodman Blacker in the next story). In extreme pain after being struck twice with the silver portion of the cane, the wolf-man initiated a hasty retreat from the chambers. In the meantime, while the melee ensued, Ethan Adams had already fled the area, and hid in a tavern. As he enjoyed his beer, he mused to himself about how good fortune had smiled upon him with the beast's arrival, for now everyone in the town would believe his false accusations; he also reminded himself to be more careful in the future about who he beds down with [good idea, dude].

Just then, however, the wolf-man's instincts were invaded by a small portion of Lemming's human psyche, who had a strong desire for vengeance upon Adams, the man he blamed for ruining his entire life. Trailing Adams to the tavern, the lycanthrope hauled the corrupt politician through the window and proceeded to rip his throat out.

As the werewolf fled the area in search of more victims, the text notes, "He is little aware of the justice he has dealt out this night! Ethan Adams has paid for breaking up Arthur's family! He has paid in full for the life of a small and innocent young girl!"

Comments: This second entry in the series did a good job of clearing up the plot thread begun in the first story, and also introduced a new one with Angela Lemming's accusation of being a witch. This established that despite existing in the early part of the 20th century, Dwarves Bay still had an active fear of witches much more representative of two centuries earlier, and this, along with evidence provided later in the series, suggests that Lemming may live in an area of England where many supernatural elements and magickal practitioners are extant. This may also present a clue as to the origin of Lemming's lycanthropic curse, or at least what acted as its catalyst, for those who may want to research the issue in the future (see WNU Connections below).

The holy-rolling, evangelistic occult expert Goodman Blacker (who much resembles the Real Universe [RU] personage known as Montague Summers in this capacity) is introduced in this story, though his name and full purpose isn't revealed until the story in EERIE #50 (indexed below).

WNU Connections: Evidence is provided in this story, and in the story seen in EERIE #52, that the forested areas just outside of Dwarves Bay are filled with various nomadic groups of gypsies whom I believe to of be the Kalderesh tribe (more on this in that particular entry below).

Time Frame: This story takes place immediately following the last, in Autumn of 1902.

EERIE #50

"This Evil Must Die"

Story: Al Milgrom

Art: Martin Salvador

This story opens with Goodman Blacker battling Lemming's bestial alter-ego as the creature hunted him down immediately following the events of last issue's story [though don't ask me when the werewolf found the time to put on that immaculate white button-up shirt, untattered black pants, socks, and shoes…you just gotta love the silliness of artistic license when a new illustrator takes over in mid-story arc]. Blacker was a steadfast and determined fighter who held the powerful creature at bay with the silver top of his walking stick, and then released a silver rapier that was hidden inside the item, managing to stab the wolf-man in the side of the arm with the weapon. Nevertheless, the creature still managed to knock the cane from Blacker's hands, as well as knocking the man off of his feet. But before the wolf-man could finish him, a crowd of men running to investigate the sounds of the scuffle managed to drive the creature off and save Blacker's life.

The next morning, in the middle of the town square Blacker gave the townspeople of Dwarves Bay a lengthy evangelical lecture about the true nature of what they were facing, and how they would have to follow his instructions to the letter in order to stop the rampage of the wolf-man [see Classic Dialogue below]. A major part of his spiel, in full Victorian-medieval fashion, was to warn the terrified townspeople to destroy anyone they come across who is found to be practicing witchcraft or sorcery, particularly if they should smell "fire and brimstone" in the vicinity of such a person [like many men of his time and belief system, Goodman Blacker believes all magick to be evil and the work of "Satan"]. He reminds the people that Angela Lemming is proof that "witchcraft" is being practiced in their midst to create such dangerous monsters, and that many others like her may be afoot [due to the events seen in "Midnight Prey" from EERIE #49, indexed above, Blacker sincerely believes this to be the case].

That night, as the villagers follow Blacker's preparations, the man mused to himself while carrying out his own preparations in the inn where he was staying, that while the villagers' intentions were noble, they would be unlikely to actually locate the creature, and that "harsher" measures thus had to be taken. As he said this, he was preparing a large cauldron for use.

A short time later, as the townspeople were searching the streets for the wolf-man en masse, Blacker was utilizing the water-filled cauldron deep in the woods as a scrying tool to attempt to identify the human alter-ego of the wolf-man, based upon methods he had picked up in his various investigations of the supernatural, despite how much he loathed using what he considered to be "Hell's methods" [simple divination is hardly "evil," but again, Blacker was one of those conservative Christians who believe that all magickal techniques, regardless of what purpose they are used for, are evil]. As Blacker used the energies of the full moon above him for scrying, he realized that he had to move tonight, for this was the final evening of the full moon, and after this it would be a month before the creature would appear again, and its human alter-ego would then be more able to hide and escape.

As the townspeople continued to search, some of them noticed that Arthur Lemming wasn't among them, and they expressed surprise that he wouldn't want to be in on the hunt, since the creature killed his daughter. As they passed his house, Lemming looked out of the window and noted to himself that he hoped the mob outside did indeed find the creature and kill him for what he did to Miriam [scribe Milgrom misspelled her name, btw…is that how one shows respect for the dead?]. As he watched the crowd pass his home, however, the full moon appeared in the sky, and Lemming's transformation commenced. Startled by the mob outside of his house, the werewolf leapt through the window, and one member of the crowd took notice that the creature came from the Lemming residence. The crowd then began pursuing the wolf-man into the woods.

The creature was chased into the precise area where Goodman Blacker was performing the difficult scrying spell. He had nearly completed it, and a human visage, the true identity of the lycanthrope, began appearing in the water within the cauldron. Just then, as luck would have it [and like something you would actually expect to see in a Loony Tunes cartoon] the pursued werewolf runs across Blacker's path and knocks over the scrying cauldron just as the image of the creature's human identity was appearing [one can imagine Blacker crying out "D'oh!" instead of "No…No!"]. The wolf-man then fought and quickly killed the two dogs that the crowd set on him, and fled further into the woods out of sight, and out of the immediate vicinity of Dwarves Bay.

As the villagers came upon Blacker and his overturned cauldron with the steaming water pouring out of it, they mentioned smelling "fire and brimstone," two of the "evil" aspects of magick that Blacker pointed out in his lecture earlier in the day. As the text noted, "Slowly, the sinister elements impress their meaning on the mob, and in that moment they remember Goodman Blacker's order to show witches no mercy…"

And taking Master Blacker's advice to heart, the crowd promptly turned on him and killed him [or did they? See subsequent entries in this Index].

Comments: This mediocre but interesting entry in the series was noteworthy in that Arthur Lemming's anonymity as a werewolf in the town of Dwarves Bay was more or less finished at this point, as the clues continued to mount in his direction (though he himself was still unaware of his curse at this time).

This story was slightly marred by the fact that it gained a new artist who had a much different style than the previous penciller, with Martin Salvador interpreting the wolf-man as looking much different than Rich Buckler did, giving him a sort of bulldog head and a bunch of clothing that he didn't have on at the end of the last story, despite the fact that this entry in the series takes place no more than a few hours afterwards. Beginning with the next story, Salvador would start illustrating Lemming's lupine form much closer to that of Buckler's interpretation.

Al Milgrom continued a good quality of scripting here, and his portrayal of Master Goodman Blacker was terrific, despite the general mediocrity of the story.

The ironic ending of this story was quite amusing, and served as an unfortunate but fitting end for Blacker, a man who wasn't evil and who happened to be very well-intentioned, but whose ignorant ideology proved to be his undoing.

Interestingly, as noted in the previous entry, the depiction of the wolf-man's face on the cover of this issue of EERIE by Manuel Sanjulian (a master of rendering terrifying imagery in paint) was a dead-ringer for Waldemar Daninsky's wolf-man "El Hombre Lobo" in the gory Spanish Wolf Man film series then being produced in Spain and released in America, and it's quite likely that the artist used one of the stills from "Fury of the Wolf Man" as his inspiration.

Classic Dialogue: Master Goodman Blacker's evangelical rhetoric to rally the townspeople against the wolf-man in the town square early in this story was a spectacle. Some highlights:

"His very existence is a blasphemous affront to the one true almighty God! He must be destroyed!"

"Beware the smell of fire and brimstone! Evil smelling potions and unholy trappings are signs of those in league with Beelzebub! And if such persons be seen, they must be dealt with at once. They must be crushed! Crushed without mercy! For they are the Devil's own!"

And no, these weren't quotes from Oral Roberts or Pat Roberstson denouncing progressives, non-Christians, anti-war demonstrators, homosexuals, feminists, and reproductive rights advocates!

Time Frame: This story began a few hours at most after the last story in the series, which is late autumn, 1902, and featured the second metamorphosis of Arthur Lemming for this particular month (continued from the previous story), as well as his third.

EERIE #52

"Darkling Revelation"

Story: Al Milgrom [he called himself "Allen" back then, btw]

Art: Martin Salvador

In the morning following the previous evening, Arthur Lemming found himself running through the woods in a state of near-panic, not truly understanding why he was running, but nevertheless subject to the extreme sense of urgency in his psyche [at least now artist Salvador drew him in tattered clothing rather than the immaculate attire he had on while strutting about in lupine form in the previous story, which I am assuming was solely the result of artistic license]. Finally succumbing to exhaustion, Lemming collapsed nearly unconscious into a nearby gypsy encampment [I believe these gypsies to be of the fabled Kalderesh tribe; see Comments and WNU Connections below]. A young gypsy woman named Ophelia fetches her grandmother, the spiritual leader and healer of the small nomadic tribe, whom they referred to as Mother Eva, to help the injured stranger, and the mystically aware lady agreed [though evidently she didn't sense the supernatural beast lurking within this strange man].

Over the next several days, Ophelia helped to nurse Lemming back to health, and over the next month, he becomes part of the tiny gypsy community. During that time, he and Ophelia fall in love with each other, Lemming starting an affair with her to take his mind off of Angela's infidelity, as well as her accusation of being a witch.

Meanwhile, back in Dwarves Bay, a harsh judge informs Angela Lemming that upon inspection of all the available evidence, the only verdict possible was guilty, and she was thus sentenced to death. As the lethal verdict was rendered, Angela found herself calling to her estranged husband and simultaneously, as Arthur lay in Ophelia's arms, he found himself thinking of his wife.

The next day, just before the evening of the first full moon of that month, Lemming was conversing with Mother Eva, and he expressed doubts about her stated ability to perceive the future. Asking if she could give with a demonstration of this ability by reading his own future, Eva sagely replies, "The man who seeks to know his own future is a fool. And I have no time for fools!" Playing to Eva's ego, Lemming lamented that her refusal was proof that her alleged ability was nonsense, to which the irate old woman agreed to prove otherwise by reading his fortune in her cabin that evening.

As the evening commenced, Mother Eva sat in her cabin in front of her crystal ball, which was her main scrying tool, as Lemming sat across from her, still doubting her abilities. Eva remarked that before reading someone's future, she must first read their past, to put the entire reading in perspective [a common aspect of divination, as anyone who ever does tarot card readings can attest]. Looking into her crystal ball to perceive images of Lemming's past, she describes what she sees as "frightening." As the reading continues, she says, "I-I see pain…I s-see horror, suffering…and the horror, the true horror, is that this image is not merely the past…but, Lord help you, the future as well!" [Would a member of a Pagan faith truly use an exclamatory oath like "Lord"?]

As luck would have it, just as Mother Eva was conducting the reading, the full moon began to rise, and Arthur Lemming metamorphosed into his murderous lupine form. Startled at the sudden appearance of a werewolf where an ordinary man had sat moments before, Eva cried out as the creature began tearing the interior of her wagon apart. As a group of her fellow gypsies approached the wagon to see what the ruckus was about, the wolf-man crashed through the side of the wooden vehicle, and began attacking and killing every person in sight. Paying no heed to those Lemming loved in human form, the savage beast approached Ophelia and was about to strike her down with his powerful talons until Mother Eva appeared, using her mystic abilities to force the supernatural creature to halt, barely saving her granddaughter's life. Angrily holding the werewolf in a trance-like state, Eva exclaimed, "Filthy rotting beast! Do not dare to lay hand to that child or by the powers…"

At that moment, however, a nearby horse panicked at the scent of the wolf-creature in its midst, and the sound it made broke the fragile psychic spell that Eva had placed over the man-beast. The creature then turned and savagely slashed Ophelia's throat, killing her instantly. Extremely enraged and weeping in sorrow, Mother Eva once again placed the wolf-man in a trance-like state and angrily bestowed a curse upon the beast…the curse of memory. This tapped into the buried human psyche of Arthur Lemming, so that he would now be aware that he was a lycanthrope, and images of all of the killings this creature had committed flooded the buried but now partially active persona of Lemming, bringing extreme emotional and psychic distress to his soul. Finally, as the image of the creature slaying Lemming's beloved daughter Miriam reached the now partially awakened psyche of the man within the beast, the were-creature howled in extreme mental agony and managed to wrest free from the gypsy woman's spell of entrancement. After this, the infuriated creature leaped upon the old woman and brutally murdered her.

Nevertheless, thanks to the permanent gypsy curse, the memories of all of the beast's past actions would now remain with Arthur Lemming even when he reverts back to human, as he would now possess partial awareness when he metamorphosed into his bestial alter-ego.

Comments: This story presented an interesting semi-turning point for the series, in that Arthur Lemming was now aware of his alter-ego (though still not how the curse came upon him, something never revealed anywhere in the series), and he would also now be able to retain partial control over the wolf-man's actions, but the bestial side of him remained dangerously ascendant. Hence, the man-beast form of Arthur Lemming never became quasi-heroic in the manner of the lycanthropic alter-egos of Jack Russell and Eric Cord, and was actually much more similar to the were-alter of Waldemar Daninsky.

The mystically oriented gypsies whom Arthur Lemming spent a month of his life with in this story were, I believe, members of the Kalderesh tribe [see WNU Connections below]. Arthur Lemming would encounter members of the Kalderesh tribe again in the story "To Cure This Curse" in EERIE #54, where he would receive a second, far more serious curse from them.

WNU Connections: As noted above, I believe that the gypsy tribe Lemming spent time with in this story, and ended up running afoul of, were members of the Kalderesh tribe, who are quite prominent in other WNU sources. They have also appeared in episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (where they were identified) and in the Stephen King novel THINNER (as well as the movie version), and likely other WNU source material, as well. Though generally good-natured to those who are kind to them, many of the tribal elders possess often formidable mystic abilities, including divinatory powers and the ability to tap into mystical forces so as to place powerful curses upon people who cross them in a serious manner.

Classic Dialogue: When Arthur Lemming finally convinces Mother Eva to agree to read his future, he replies, "Good." To which Eva wryly notes to herself, "Is it so good? What man sees his own future and likes what he sees? At best, one sees old age, infirmity. At worst…" A very good insight that one should keep in mind should they ever seek the services of a mystic or psychic for this purpose!

Time Frame: The beginning of this story starts a day after the previous story, and one month passes during the events depicted within. Hence, this story takes place in late autumn of 1902, during the first full moon of the month in question (likely October or November).

EERIE #53

"To Save A Witch's Soul"

Story: Al Milgrom

Art: Martin Salvador

The morning following the wolf-man's slaughter of an entire small gypsy camp, Arthur Lemming sits in a state of abject sorrow and contemplation…thanks to the curse of the gypsy mystic Mother Eva, he now finds himself remembering all of his hideous deeds while in lupine form, and he no longer lives in blissful ignorance of his bestial alter-ego. Shaken to the "core of his being" by this revelation and the sight of his gory handiwork of the previous night laying all about him, Lemming stood and shouted to the heavens, "I did not deserve this. I have never been an evil man! How is it I was sentenced to this damnation…this living hell! I don't want to kill innocent people…helpless people!" Just then, the image of his deceased daughter Miriam floods his mind, and he was reminded once again of the horrific truth that he killed his own beloved little girl.

After sitting in a lengthy bout of emotional agony, he was taken with another realization…his wife Angela was about to be tried and executed as a witch, and this was also his fault. His thoughts were, "Angela is not to be blamed for her faithlessness. It was I who was away at night…practically driving her to another man's bed!" [Many "radical" feministas would love Arthur for this bit of reasoning!] Resolving to make some bit of restitution for his past actions by saving Angela, he absconds with one of the horses from the gypsy camp and headed back to Dwarves Bay.

Entering the police station upon his arrival in the town limits, Lemming spoke to the sergeant in charge there on behalf of his wife. However, the police chief explained to him that the evidence against his wife was damning, as a monster attacked and killed Ethan Adams right after he accused Angela of being a witch. The town was demanding that the law do something to protect them from the monster that had wreaked so much bloodshed upon them in recent days, and they demanded Angela, whom they believed to be guilty, to pay for this (and the fact that the killings mysteriously ceased soon after Angela's jailing served as more damnable evidence against her, of course). Becoming angry to the point of violence, Lemming was tossed into a jail cell by Brighton and other officers, with the former noting that he always found something suspicious about the man.

While in his jail cell, Lemming finally saw Angela again, who was in an adjoining cell [I guess a town as small as Dwarves Bay needs to have co-ed prisons!]. There, Arthur apologizes for everything, and he and Angela reaffirm their love for each other. Angela then mentions, however, that they are going to execute her when evening falls by burning her publicly at the stake [I guess they don't do this in the morning hours because the people in Dwarves Bay prefer to sleep in, and no one wants to miss something as exciting as a public execution]. Arthur then replied, "They'll do nothing! I swear it, Angela. Somehow I'll stop them…even if it takes the full moon to help me stop them…"
With that statement, Lemming determines to focus his will into the new partial control that he has over his lupine alter-ego to use the power of the wolf-man to stop his wife's execution.

As evening fell, Angela was seized, and amidst the cries for vengeance from the townspeople of Dwarves Bay, the hapless woman was tied to the stake in the middle of the public square, and a hooded executioner stood before her, using a torch to set flame to a large amount of dry shrubbery placed at her feet while making strong verbal lamentations regarding the reasons for her upcoming demise. As the evening commenced, however, so did the rising of the full moon, and upon morphing into wolf-man form, Lemming's bestial alter ego broke free of his jail cell and killed Brighton, who came back to his cell to gloat. As the mysterious executioner set the shrubbery at Angela's feet aflame, the wolf-man burst out of the jail and, his actions partially controlled by the determined will of his human half, the creature literally slashed his way through the townspeople who were barring his way, and leapt upon the staging area for the execution. Lifting the masked executioner above his head like a rag doll and hurling the man from the stage, the wolf-man quickly cleared all of the burning shrubbery, but before he could free Angela from the stake, the executioner returned to the stage, and removed his mask to reveal the visage of…Goodman Blacker. The man stated that he had managed to convince the townspeople who attacked him as a sorcerer [see "This Evil Must Die" from EERIE #50] that he wasn't a hell-spawn after all, and he was still determined to see that justice was done against the evil that had invaded Dwarves Bay.

Wielding his walking cane that had both a silver top and a retractable silver rapier, Blacker began battling the wolf-man again, whom he held at bay by striking the man-beast repeatedly with the silver top of the cane. As he was in the process of extending the rapier, however, the wolf-man quickly stepped in and knocked Blacker aside. Swiftly freeing Angela (who fainted at the close sight of the creature), the lycan leapt from the stage and swiped more townspeople aside, only to have Blacker return to the battle and slash the creature across the forehead with the rapier. Just as the crusader against all things from hell was about to deliver a killing stab, the injured wolf-man quickly grabbed a man in the crowd and used him as a shield, with the unfortunate gentleman taking the lethal skewer intended for the lycanthrope. Now "too stunned to give chase," Blacker and the townspeople simply stood by and watched as the wolf-man fled the town with the unconscious Angela in hand, the new partial control of the beast employed by Lemming utilized to successful effect.

The next day, Arthur Lemming awakened after spending almost the entire day unconscious due to the wounds he received from the repeated assaults of Blacker's silver weapons, to find his wife dutifully tending to the wound on his forehead. Having a talk, Arthur explained to Angela (truthfully) that he had no idea why he was transforming into this were-beast, and he also told her that he now understood why he drove her away from him. She replied that she still continued to love him then, and she still loved him now. Together, she said, they would find a way to beat the curse plaguing his existence, and she was now simply happy that they had found each other again despite all of the surrounding circumstances. Telling her husband that they could now make a whole new start together, the two embraced and kissed.

However, as they did so, they failed to be mindful of the time of day as evening set upon them, and as the full moon rose, Arthur Lemming again metamorphosed. Without his will being focused into the man-beast, the creature's animalistic side became fully dominant once more, and the werewolf murdered Angela Lemming.

Comments: The final story in the series written by Al Milgrom proved to be another solid entry which tragically displayed that no matter how much control Arthur Lemming acquired over his lupine alter-ego, the beast within would always prove ascendant in the end, and all that he loved and cared for would always become a victim in time. The readers were well aware by this point that Lemming was not destined to become a quasi-hero the likes of Jack Russell, whose lupine alter ego was (conveniently) wreaking havoc on evil rather than innocent victims (though not for lack of trying, mind you) over in WEREWOLF BY NIGHT via Warren's stern market competitor, Marvel Comics.

This story featured the third and last appearance of Goodman Blacker. Since the man wasn't killed definitively at the end of this story (a rare example of restraint by Warren writers), it can be left to future creative mythographers to determine what his final fate and future adventures consisted of. It's a shame that no Warren writer of the time ever stepped up to the plate to give Blacker his own series...he would have made an interesting anti-hero crusading against everything he perceived as "the Devil's work" in stories of his own, perfect for the Warren stable.

Also in evidence in this story was the curious medieval-style laws and attitudes possessed by the people of the town of Dwarves Bay, England in the earliest years of the 20th century.

The next story in this series would feature a new writer, Steve Skeates, one of Warren's top scripters at the time, who would bring the character of Arthur Lemming in a drastically new and utterly bizarre direction, and Skeates would soon merge the series with another he was also scripting in the pages of EERIE at the time, "The Mummy Walks."

Time Frame: This story takes place the morning after the events in the previous story, and features Lemming's transformation under the second full moon of the month, as well as the beginning of his metamorphosis during the third night of the full moon that month…all in late autumn of 1902.

EERIE #54

"To Cure This Curse"

Story: Steve Skeates

Art: Martin Salvador

Presumably a month after the previous story [see Comments below], the wolf-man runs out of a clearing within the forests just outside of Dwarves Bay, England, where he comes across another group of gypsies [they were described as a "coven" of 'black' (i.e., gothic) witches in this story and on the cover of this issue of EERIE, but that assertion was contradicted in the next story, and my personal conjecture agrees with the latter; again, see Comments below]. No longer seeking to gain partial control over his lupine form, in all probability due to the tragic events of the previous story (where he killed his wife, the last of his family), Arthur Lemming's bestial form viciously began slaughtering every person in the group. As the wolf-man grabbed the final surviving man in the entourage to kill him, this occurred just as the sun began to rise, and the wolf-man reverts back to Lemming's human form, where his latter persona now took full control once more.

Recognizing the corpses around him as a group of mystics, Lemming threatens the last survivor of that group, demanding that he use his mystic abilities to cure his curse of lycanthropy (at this point, it becomes obvious that Lemming's experiences are causing him to lose his sanity, which I believe had much to do with the fact that he was not endeavoring to control his lupine alter ego any longer). Terrified for his life, the old mystic informed Lemming that he did indeed know of a means to rid the man of his curse, and it would involve transferring the curse to another person [WNU Connections Interlude: This is precisely what the Kalderesh mystic told the main protagonist of the novel THINNER, when the latter individual wanted to be rid of his own curse; apparently, most curses of this nature can only be magickally removed by transferring them to another person, or at least an organic object such as a pie]. Lemming stated that he didn't want to transfer his curse to another innocent person, but the old mystic informed him that this wouldn't be the case, as he could also transfer the curse to a man who was no longer alive. As the old man led Lemming to another encampment where other mystics would be present to assist him in transferring the curse, Arthur warned him that it would have to take place before the evening, when the next full moon would rise, and the old man assured him that the procedure would be completed by then…though Lemming never noticed the suspicious giggle pass from the man's mouth.

As evening neared, and the other mystics that the old man contacted prepared the ceremony, they procured a coffin containing the body of the dead man in question, and upon removing the lid, revealed the insensate body of an ancient Egyptian mummy. Lemming was astounded and questioned the usage of this antediluvian bandaged corpse, but the old man told him, "The reason is quite simple! It is far easier to transfer a curse onto somebody who has already been cursed! And this man had a curse put upon him thousands of years ago!" [see WNU Connections below.]
Lemming then inquired as to how they got their hands on this mummy, but the old man told him that didn't matter, and his only concern should be that they could use the mummy as a vessel to transfer Lemming's curse from himself to the unliving bandaged form before him.

As the mystic spell commenced, Lemming lay beside the mummy as the mystics performed their spell. However, he was unaware that these gypsies [i.e., "witches"] were seeking vengeance for Lemming having slaughtered the other members of their tribe while in lupine form the previous evening. Thus, instead of simply transferring his curse to the body of the mummy, they instead used an old magickal technique to transfer Lemming's entire consciousness from his human body into that of the preserved corpse, anticipating that it would be trapped within the decaying bandaged form, unable to leave the mortal plane, forever, just as the original consciousness of the man who inhabited the body of that ancient mummy was likewise cursed to remain trapped within his own corpse for eternity [again, see WNU Connections below].

As the gypsy mystics laughed in utter triumph, that laughter was quickly squelched when they noted that the consciousness of Arthur Lemming somehow enabled him to actually animate the dead body of the mummy and move about as if it were his own. Lemming, now trapped in the mummy's form, looked down upon his own hands and was horrified to see the rotting flesh beneath the preservative bandages, and he realized his predicament with extreme horror.

Just then, however, Fate was to take an even crueler turn for Lemming. As the full moon rose in the sky, he realized that the curse of the werewolf was also still upon him [see Comments and WNU Connections below], and the body of the mummy began to metamorphose into a lupine form beneath the bandages. He had now become…a Were-Mummy [actually, that term is rather oxymoronic, as anyone who is aware of the etymology of the Germanic prefix "were-" will quickly realize…see Comments below].

His rage causing him to totally give in to the bestial side of the lycanthrope within him, Lemming enticed the werewolf cum were-mummy to brutally attack and slaughter all of the gypsies before him…until the old mystic whom he had originally (and unwisely) trusted gave him pause (evidently, he lacked Mother Eva's ability to hold such a creature in a trance-like state). The old man informed him that there exists an Amulet of Transference of ancient Egyptian origin that can be used to transfer the consciousness of a living person trapped within the body of a cursed mummy back into a living human form, and he last heard that at the present time (circa late 1902), the amulet was now in America. The old man offered to travel there with Lemming and assist him in procuring the amulet to at least free his body from the confines of the mummy. Amidst all of this, Lemming noted the good life he once had, the family he once loved and the happiness they once brought him…now all of this was gone, and in their place, nothing but two separate horrific curses now defined his life. As the text noted: "Your family has been lost. Lost forever! And here there is only burning, searing, stalking anger…"

Now forcing himself to take great control over his lupine aspect, Lemming, trapped in the body of the were-mummy, looked down upon his own human body, which was laying in a catatonic state, and the old man explained to him that he need not worry about his human body, because as long as his mind was anchored to the earthly plane within the body of the mummy, a mystical aura and psychic link remained with his human form, preventing it from rotting away for as long as Lemming's mind still remained on the material plane. Hearing all he needed to know, the were-mummy could no longer retain his anger, and as such, the lupine aspect took over once more, and the creature turned on and killed the old man.

With Lemming's human persona now taking partial control over the lupine aspect once more, the bandaged were-creature sunk to his knees in front of his catatonic human body and the numerous gypsy corpses surrounding him, both extreme sorrow and insanity now taking precedence in his battered psyche, and he realized that even when the sun rises, he will never be Arthur Lemming, human being, again.

Comments: When Steve Skeates abruptly took over the writing on this series from Al Milgrom, he appeared to have twisted the storyline into making Arthur Lemming and his entire series as little more than a plot device tie-in with the other series he was then scribing for EERIE at the same time, "The Mummy Walks." With all of the above, and with other factors described below, many continuity glitches begin occurring with this story.

For one thing, the group of mystics whom Lemming encountered in this story were described throughout as "witches" practicing the "black arts" (which would make them "gothic" witches, rather than nature-friendly Wiccans), and he even described the group as a "coven" (a Wiccan word for a group of practitioners who work together, rather than a single Wiccan working solitary). This, of course, is totally contradicted by the recap of these events in the next (and more or less final) story in the series. With the next entry in this series, Skeates referred to the "witches" in this story as gypsies, and since anyone indexing these stories needs to make a personal judgment call regarding this disparity, and it's already been established that mystically inclined nomadic gypsy tribes existed in the wooded areas outside of Dwarves Bay, it's quite likely that this group also consisted of gypsies from a Kalderesh community.

Many probably believe that the idea of a werewolf and a mummy merging into a single monster, or any other such hybrid monsters, are a really cool and fascinating concept…and they certainly can be. However, believe it or not, the above indexed story probably sounds more fascinating in prose recap than it does when actually reading it in comic book form, as with most good ideas, they can be ruined with a poor execution. Though Skeates was a talented writer who put a lot of work into "The Mummy Walks" and elsewhere (he scribed the first ever series for EERIE, "Prince Targo," and it flopped after only two entries), when he took over "Curse of the Werewolf," he didn't put nearly as much into the plots and scripts, and Martin Salvador's artwork seemed to look much less suited for interpreting Skeates's plots than he did Milgrom's. After the next entry, Skeates totally merged this series with "The Mummy Walks," even renaming the latter series "The Mummies Walk" for its next two entries following this story, when both Arthur Lemming and Jerome Curry became the titular protagonists of the series, rather than Curry alone. In fact, by merging the two series, it gave Skeates the opportunity to simply write one series, rather than two [though this would translate into one less paycheck for him per issue; was the decision to merge the two series possibly an editorial decision to cut labor costs? See my further ruminations on this below].

It can be surmised that editorial hands were indeed at work to merge "Curse of the Werewolf" with "The Mummy Walks," and to feature the final fate of the protagonist from the former series in the latter series. In fact, there is evidence that though the idea of merging Warren's Wolf Man character with another legendary monster may have been decided before Skeates took over as writer, the idea to make that second legendary monster a mummy may have been very last minute, and quite possibly an afterthought. It appears that the original idea was to merge the werewolf with a vampire, rather than with a mummy. Evidence of editorial sloppiness and haste in this decision can be found on the cover of EERIE #54. This is the relevant text to be found on the aforementioned cover: "Murderous witches transform Arthur Lemming, werewolf…into a monstrous creature of the night!" And the art on the cover, by the ever talented Sanjulian, shows the "murderous witches" (who never murdered anyone in the story, btw) depicted as two females, one young and attractive and sort of resembling Morticia Adams, and the other old and withered, complete with the characteristic pointed hat, along with Arthur Lemming plunging into the foreground of the cover…as a flying vampire bat!
The cover description appearing on the table of contents page as soon as you open the book read thusly: "In search of a cure for his lycanthropic curse, Arthur Lemming becomes a willing pawn of a witch, whose particular needs involve a vampire, or a were-vampire." It would appear that the then editor of EERIE, Bill DuBay, didn't keep on top of things in regards to his major flub, and he allowed the cover, which must have been completed much earlier than the Wolf Man story for this mag, to be used despite the drastic change in the story itself (or, he didn't want to fork over more dough to Sanjulian to render a second cover, possibly due to deadlines and budgetary constraints, both of which frequently plagued the Warren stable…but still, the end result was unnecessarily sloppy and deceptive).

Hence, it appears that Al Milgrom left the series very suddenly, and he likely already plotted a story where Arthur Lemming, in desperation, made a deal with a gothic witch (or two) for a cure to his lycanthropy, only to fall under her control and be transformed into a vampire, since for some reason the wolf-man form wouldn't serve her purpose (hopefully, one day Al Milgrom will see this Index entry and contact me, finally revealing how this conundrum occurred, and if I was correct in my conjecture that he previously plotted a very different and ultimately unused script for the "Curse of the Werewolf" story originally slated to appear in EERIE #54). Then, the reins for the series were quickly handed over to Skeates, who was also asked to end the series once and for all as promptly as he could, while still going with the original idea of merging the werewolf with another monster…and since his then popular ongoing series in the mag involved a mummy, we ended up with a "were-mummy" rather than a "werewolf-turned-vampire."

Since the curse of lycanthropy actually followed Arthur Lemming's consciousness into the body of the mummy, it would appear that the curse is meta-genetic in nature. Meta-genetics describes the relatively new hypothetical connection between the transmigration of the soul and the genetic structure of the bodies the soul manifests in for each new life in its cycle of reincarnation. It is a hypothesis held primarily by members of the folkish sects of the Pagan religion of Asatru, a modern recreation of the old Norse religions, who believe that when someone from that faith system and bloodline dies, their soul will reincarnate in a member of that same genetic bloodline, thus suggesting a subtle but powerful connection between the ephemeral spirit and the genetic bloodline of incarnate human beings of a particular ethnic group.
Taking the above theoretical foundation of meta-genetics and applying it here, it would seem that the curse of lycanthropy (as seen in at least some breeds of werewolves in the WNU) isn't simply tied to the physical body of the person afflicted, but actually mystically "infiltrates" the etheric and/or astral structure of their spirit, so that if their consciousness is transferred into another body, the curse will follow them there. This would also go a long way towards explaining the hereditary nature of certain forms of lycanthropy within a particular genetic bloodline.

Another continuity glitch in this story is the question regarding how long after the last story this one takes place. Since Arthur Lemming experiences two full moon transformations in this story, and the previous entry featured his third full moon transformation for the month, this story must take place a month after the events of the previous story. In that time, it can be presumed that Lemming wandered the woods in a highly irrational state following his extreme grief over the murder of his wife after they just re-proclaimed their love for each other, and this story began with his first full moon transformation of the subsequent month…and he made no attempt to impose control over the wolf-man form due to his incessant and distracting grief.

It should be noted that this story wasn't the first time that a werewolf and a mummy were merged into one creature. In the 1959 Mexican film "Face of the Screaming Werewolf" (Mexican title: "The Castle of Terror," a.k.a., "La Casa Del Terror"), a mummy's body is unearthed in Egypt and transferred to the lab of an insane scientist in Mexico, who utilizes a combination of blood transfusions [!] and typical electrical stimuli to revive the ancient bandaged man, who was also under a curse that caused his consciousness to remain trapped in his preserved corpse. The scientist planned on using the mummy as a personal weapon against his various enemies, but it turned out that the mummified man also happened to be a werewolf--with a Glabro phenotype, like that of Arthur Lemming and many other lycanthropes who are cursed with little to no control over their lupine alter ego, rather than gaining the power of their own volition via magickal means where they tend to maintain much greater control over their bestial form--a discovery made during the first full moon after the mummy's revival. The 'were-mummy' in this film was played by none other than Lon Chaney Jr. himself, who portrayed the classic wolf-man Larry Talbot in five Universal films.
See WNU Connections below for a bit more on this.

WNU Connections: As noted above in the Comments section above, there was at least one other incident in the WNU where a mummy was also a werewolf, in the Mexican film whose American release title was "Screaming Face of the Werewolf." It has been conjectured by other creative mythographers that the 'were-mummy' depicted in the latter film was a member of the Talbot clan, who has long been entangled with the supernatural elements of that reality, including instances of vampirism (see the Universal film "Son of Dracula"), lycanthropy (the Universal films featuring Larry Talbot and Jeff Rovin's 1998 novel RETURN OF THE WOLF MAN), and "living" mummification (this latter film).

As I mentioned in much more detail in my online article "Mummies in the Wold Newton Universe 101," there appears to be numerous human beings in the ancient Egypt of the WNU who were cursed by the antiquated mystics of that time and society to have their soul remain in their physical bodies following their demise, provided that body was prevented from fully rotting away with proper mummification procedures. The consciousness would remain trapped in a semi-catatonic state, and would remain on the earthly plane forever unless the body was completely destroyed (but it was usually well hidden to prevent this from becoming a likely occurrence). The majority of these cursed mummies remained immobile forever, but some of them were able to become animate for various reasons, often as part of the curse that forced them to act as guardians of certain tombs and/or treasures. More often than not, these reanimated corpses, with their human consciousness trapped within, would often be psychotically insane, and would also be extremely single-minded and barely coherent in their thought processes, as well as incapable of most forms of creative thought or strategic planning. Other mummies were accidentally granted an animate status, such as through intense electrocution or other means, as occurred with both the mummy who appeared in "Screaming Face of the Werewolf" and Prince N'Kantu, of the "Living Mummy" series from the four-color SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS title published by Marvel Comics in the 1970s, and there is every reason to believe that he had a counterpart in the WNU (N'Kantu first appeared in a stand-alone story in SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #5, and his series began and took over the book with issue #7).
In fact, Prince N'Kantu was one of the very few cursed mummies who eventually regained full cognition and sentience upon electrocution.

As noted above, I believe that the "witches" who appeared in this story were actually more members of the gypsy Kalderesh tribe. In that time period, anyone who practiced mysticism were generically referred to as "witches."

Time Frame: Based upon my conjectures, I believe the beginning of this story took place about a month following the previous story, and still occurred sometime in late autumn of 1902 (either November or early December, but more likely the former).

EERIE #56

"…There Was A Were-Mummy"

Story: Steve Skeates

Art: Martin Salvador

This story begins with a recap of many of the previous events of Arthur Lemming's tumultuous existence since the curse of the lycanthrope first manifested in his life, leading up to the end of the previous story, where he now finds himself doubly cursed, as both a lycanthrope and a "living" mummy.
The story then segues to America and the current whereabouts of the Mummy, whose body is inhabited by the consciousness of Jerome Curry, who has commandeered a multi-horse carriage, and is also in search of the missing Amulet of Transference, the enchanted Egyptian necklace that will enable him to transfer his consciousness, now trapped in the animate mummy, back into his human form. Curry's only clue as to its whereabouts is the notes from a woman's diary he recovered, and as he searches, he is unaware of a mysterious stranger on horseback who is now watching him (see the Mummy story "Stranger In A Village of the Insane" from EERIE #54).

In the meantime, the mummy inhabited by the consciousness of Arthur Lemming has secretly boarded a ship from England that is now headed for the same general area of America where the amulet (and the Jerome Curry-Mummy) are to be found, with Lemming's own catatonic physical body in tow. Little is Lemming aware, however, that his arrival in America is witnessed by an elderly mystic via his scrying crystal ball, who covets the insensate human form of Arthur for himself, with his thoughts being, "I have awaited you long and patiently, my friend. At last the tides of fate have drawn you within my reach. Such youth, such strength…soon to be my own attributes!"

Carrying his human body, the Lemming-Mummy walked to the deck of the ship as it approached its nation of destination, musing over how he constantly had to keep the rats aboard the ship from eating his insensate human body, and how he actually detests the sight of his human form, knowing that within that body (albeit in its lycanthropic state), he murdered his own little girl Miriam. Not paying attention to his immediate environs, the bandaged creature was sighted by a crewman, who promptly panicked. The Lemming-Mummy was thus forced to grab his human body and jump off of the ship, swimming the rest of the way to shore.

Arriving in an unknown wooded area in the United States, the Lemming-Mummy put his physical body down for a bit to gain his bearings, only to suddenly find himself assaulted by a group of human thugs. The superhumanly strong and durable body of the mummy allowed Lemming to easily toss all of these men aside, and to resist the numerous stab wounds they delivered to him [Lemming noted that the nerve endings of this mummy were still active, and he felt a strong sensation of pain every time he was stabbed, even though he didn't bleed…this is a bit inexplicable, a thought he himself entertained, since mummies normally do not truly feel physical pain due to their atrophied nerve endings, though the pain he experienced from the knife wounds could have been entirely psychosomatic]. Even though this group of men were no match for the powerful mummified form that Lemming's mind now inhabited, one of the men shouted that they had acquired what they were there for, so now they could flee from the creature. Looking about, Lemming noted that they had stolen his physical body. Thinking to himself, Lemming noted, "My mind can't take much more of this. It's too much like an endless maze with pitfalls and double-starts everywhere…! First I'm cursed with lycanthropy! Then I'm trapped in this corpse…! …and now my true body is stolen!"
Nevertheless, Lemming noted that the men, who had boarded a horse-driven carriage, were heading in the same direction he was, and he simply elected to follow them.

Back in the home of the elderly wizard, whose scrying ability revealed to him that the men he hired to retrieve the human body of Arthur Lemming had succeeded, was now aware that he would soon have the treasured prize he sought. He mused to himself that as long as he made such a transference once every fifty years or so, he could achieve a form of immortality that way. The mystic was then approached by his assistant, an elderly dwarfish hunchback named William Benson Throgmore, who informed his master that all was in readiness, but also reminded the wizard that months ago he promised to help Throgmore in the same way he was now helping himself. Throgmore's master assured him that his chance would come, but right now they had to hurry their preparations for the spell before the Lemming-Mummy arrived on the premises. Working quickly to start the ceremony, the mystic, Throgmore, and the former's hired thugs prepared the insensate body of Arthur Lemming to receive the old wizard's consciousness.

As the Lemming-Mummy rapidly approached the area (after diligently following the hired thugs there), Lemming sensed the consciousness of the man who previously existed within the now deceased body of the mummy attempting to gain dominance. With a high degree of willpower he earlier learned to enable him partial control over his wolf-man's bestial psyche (thanks to the side-effect of Mother Eva's curse), Lemming managed to push the other consciousness he now shared with the mummy back to a subservient status. As the text stated (in second person narrative): "You must get your body back…! And then obtain the amulet…so that you can at least escape from this one curse…the curse of living with[in] this fetid, decaying shell…though you may never escape from your other curse…the curse of the werewolf!"

Reaching the old wizard's estate, the Lemming-Mummy climbed the front stone gate, only to be attacked by several vicious guard dogs. The hounds were no match for the strength of the mummy, of course, and Lemming's bandaged host body quickly pummeled each of the dogs into oblivion.

As evening fell, the old wizard and his men began the mystical rites of transference…only to have the Lemming-Mummy leap through the window and interrupt the proceedings. The hired thugs attacked the mummy and attempted to hold him at bay until the ceremony was completed, but moments after this, the full moon rose, and the Lemming-Mummy metamorphosed into the Were-Mummy, who viciously slew each of the thugs. Taking partial control over his bestial side, Lemming had the lupine mummy attack the disheartened old wizard just as Throgmore saw the opportunity to use this distraction to complete the ceremony and have the human body of Arthur Lemming for himself. Angered beyond description, Lemming sought to make the old man's death fairly slow, and killed him by sadistically slamming his body upon the floor and the wall several times. Turning to his human body laying insensate before him on the floor, the Were-Mummy, now mostly controlled by Arthur Lemming's human persona, thought to himself, "That puny white thing is my body…I have saved it…for what…?"

Just then, however, the human body of Arthur Lemming suddenly arose and spoke…haughtily revealing that it was now the consciousness of Throgmore inhabiting the body, pointing to the now mindless form of the dwarf laying before them, and sarcastically telling the Were-Mummy that he was welcome to that undesirable body if he wanted it. Too startled to pounce on Throgmore, and also likely very weary about possibly injuring his own human body, the Were-Mummy stood there disconcerted and not knowing what to do as the man now wearing his human form fled the residence and leapt atop a horse outside of the chambers.

Finally coming to his senses, Lemming forced the Were-Mummy to pursue Throgmore, who promptly escaped upon his equine mount. Lemming, in his bandaged lupine form, simply stood and watched in anguish as his partial salvation rode away from him on horseback.
The text noted: "And somewhere, deep within you, you again feel the anguish of total defeat! You know that now, more than ever before, you are trapped…destined to remain a monster forever!"

Comments: This was the final official entry of the "Curse of the Werewolf" series in EERIE. Following this story, the character of Arthur Lemming/the Were-Mummy permanently moved to "The Mummy Walks" series for two of its final three entries, thus causing the latter series to pluralize itself as "The Mummies Walk" during this time. The next appearance of the Lemming-Mummy/Were-Mummy is in the story "A Battle of Bandaged Beasts" in EERIE #61, which is indexed in "The Mummy Walks" Index elsewhere on this site (though the two stories featuring the final fate of Arthur Lemming can also be accessed via the hyperlink at the bottom of this page), and this is where Throgmore, now inhabiting the physical body of Arthur Lemming, also appears next. The final fate of Arthur Lemming (and Throgmore) is told in the story "Death Be Proud" in EERIE #62.

The writing of Steve Skeates for this series improved a bit in its final entry, but not drastically, and unfortunately, this decline in his writing quality carried over into the final two appearances of Arthur Lemming in Skeates's once excellent Mummy series for EERIE.

This story has a brief but direct tie-in with "The Mummy Walks" series, even featuring a guest appearance of the Jerome Curry-Mummy.

WNU Connections: The direct crossover with "The Mummy Walks," beginning with this story and continuing into the latter series itself, officially brings Arthur Lemming and his tragic saga into the WNU.

Time Frame: This story takes place roughly a month after the last entry, which would make it occur in about late autumn or early winter of 1902. Since there was no snow on the ground in America upon Lemming's arrival, it can be surmised that he appeared in one of the southwestern or southeastern states, but more likely the latter, since it would be easier and quicker to travel from England to that area of the United States. However, he soon turned up in the state of Massachusetts, so it's possible that this is where the vessel that transported Lemming to America docked. This story also must take place during the first full moon of the month, and thus Lemming's first lycanthropic metamorphosis of that particular month.

For those who want to read the two stories featuring the final fate of Arthur Lemming but do not want to skip over to the Index for "The Mummy Walks," whose series more or less merged with this one for two installments, then go here.

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