Mummies have been a popular horror device since the Universal film franchise earlier in the 20th century, and there are earlier stories of reanimated mummies in literature, including a tale by Bram Stoker. The intriguing nature of the ancient Egyptian society and their focus on obtaining immortality by preserving the corpses of certain of its citizenry undoubtably sent chills through the spines of many fans of the macabre. Further, the idea of corpses being preserved and "cursed" by ancient magicks in such a way that enable them to walk the Earth again must have seemed like a terrifying nightmare to many. What if those corpses that the ancient Egyptians preserved had their souls trapped inside of them, thus enabling them to rise once again and physically walk the Earth anew? And the idea of using such reanimated corpses as guardians of tombs and the treasures which lay within must also have been an irresistable idea to horror writers. Warren had already presented several stories about mummies in its mags, and it seemed natural that a continuing series about one of these mummies would eventually be produced.
Marvel Comics also published a series about a reanimated mummy during the same era that Warren did, and as usual, the two series highly contrasted with each other. Though N'Kantu the Living Mummy was a menace in his initial story in SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #5, upon being brought back for a series two issues later, he was turned into a monstrous hero. This was a typical Marvel move for its series characters. But this was not to be the case with the various mummies who appeared in "The Mummy Walks." Warren frequently eschewed the heroic ideal to explore the darker aspects of humanity, and this made their many series and characters very distinct from that of Marvel. The Warren characters more closely resembled the many flawed people we know in real life, and fighting for the greater good wasn't a requirement for a character to be awarded a series in a Warren mag. Marvel and DC sometimes published series about villians (including Marvel's interpretation of Dracula), but these villians often ended up battling other villians who were more of a threat to society than they were. Warren's characters, on the other hand, often didn't end up fighting on the side of the angels and often focused on selfish agendas. That was definitely the case with the characters in this particular Warren series.
This series, the entirety of which was written by Steve Skeates, one of the top scripters for Warren Comics during the 1970s (and who curiously appears not to have found a niche elsewhere in comicdom after he ceased working for Warren in the late '70s), was easily one of EERIE's best series, as well as one of its most psycho-analytical. The first and last entries in the series were basically stand-alone stories with random individuals who found the dreaded Amulet of Transference (but still directly connected to the main body of the series), while most of the series between the first and final entries featured the exploits of the bitter and greedy young protagonist, Jerome Curry, who used the enchanted Egyptian amulet to transfer his consciousness into the preserved body of a powerful mummy as an instrument of power and vengeance, initially utilized to kill primarily women whom Curry felt slighted by in the past. Soon, however, his consciousness was trapped in the body of the Mummy when the amulet was stolen, and most of the rest of the series followed his quest to locate the amulet and restore his mind to his human body.
Unfortunately, the quality of the writing declined in the latter days of the series, and in a bizarre twist, towards the end of the Jerome Curry saga, the series merged with the "Curse of the Werewolf" series also running in the pages of EERIE after Skeates took over that serial from previous scribe Al Milgrom. For two entries during the last of the Curry-Mummy tales, the series was thus renamed "The Mummies Walk," as both Jerome Curry and the lycanthrope Arthur Lemming, then also finding his consciousness trapped within the decaying body of a powerful mummy, found themselves vying for the amulet...and for space in the series itself (with Curry, the previous star, getting the shorter end of that stick).
As noted above, unlike the "Living Mummy" character of Prince N'Kantu then appearing in the four-color horror comic SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS, published by Warren rival Marvel Comics, the Jerome Curry-Mummy was never truly heroic in any manner, and he only barely counts as an "anti-hero" simply on account of his being the feature character for most of this series. His highly immoral and murderous nature made him very unsympathetic as a character (particularly after being influenced by the mummy's original consciousness), but he also provided an interesting foil for all the readers to identify with as a fascinating but horrific power fantasy, allowing readers to live out their own inner decadence and desires for revenge against people who slighted them in a vicarious manner, as well as providing them with a cold, hard, and often disturbing view of how the thrill of power can warp such fantasies into truly evil acts. Curry not only provided the vicarious thrill of a revenge fantasy to the readers, but also a strong cautionary tale as to how filling one's soul with such darkness will ultimately doom that person to the most unpleasant type of fate imaginable. This is likely why the character of Jerome Curry is as enthralling to read about as he is repulsive to behold.
He is one of the Wold Newton Universe's [WNU] most interesting "Living Mummy" characters, and deserves a footnote alongside other such famous characters as Imhotep, Kharis, and N'Kantu (the latter of whom likely has a counterpart in the WNU).
"…And An End"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Jaime Brocal
In the year 1897, a kindly young archeologist named Michael Harding is in Egypt on an expedition to decipher the hieroglyphs of a just discovered tomb containing various ancient items and the body of a perfectly preserved mummy in a sarcophagus. With him is his archeologist father-in-law (name unrevealed), his best friend Raymond (surname unrevealed), and his wife, Marie, who accompanied them simply out of boredom. Successfully deciphering some of the hieroglyphs in the tomb, Harding learned that an amulet he discovered there was said to be able to transfer the consciousness of any human being who wore it and concentrated intensely into the body of any perfectly preserved mummy, thus allowing that mind to animate and control the bandaged corpse. Initially dismissing this as bunk, Harding later found himself quarrelling with his wife about unrelated matters, as she failed to find the excitement that she craved on this trip, and was outraged to see her husband spending so much time on his work, and so little time with her.
A further conflict between Harding and Marie occurred when he entered his tent to discover his wife about to strike a young native girl who snuck inside and was about to steal Marie's wrist watch. Harding stayed her hand and explained that the rest of the people living there would turn on them and disallow the continuance of their archeological work if she struck the girl. Marie was thus further enraged, believing that her husband loved that tomb and its contents more than he loved her.
Later, with mounting evidence fueling his suspicions, Harding discovered that his wife was cheating on him with his best friend Raymond, and the shock of betrayal was too much for him to bear. Determined to test out the power of the amulet despite originally believing the inscription describing that power to be false, Harding discovered that it did indeed work as written…he now found his mind transferred into the body of the Mummy. Once within, he discovered that the original consciousness of that mummy remained trapped in the corpse [due to an ancient curse; see my online article Mummies in the Wold Newton Universe 101 and WNU Connections below], and the mind, evidently of a former king, encouraged the grief-ridden psyche of Harding to view other human beings as fodder, and manipulated his already dark emotions into bloodlust.
Increasingly unable to tell his own thoughts apart from that of the consciousness sharing the body of the mummy, the Harding-Mummy entered the tent were Raymond and Marie were embracing and promptly smashed the man's head open with a single blow of the Mummy's mega-powerful fist. Harding then turned on his wife and strangled her to death.
Returning to the tomb to reverse the transference, the Harding-Mummy was attacked by several of the villagers wielding torches, led by his father-in-law, who believed that the creature that Harding's mind now inhabited had killed his son-in-law in addition to his daughter and Raymond. Since fire is the one sure way to destroy a re-animated mummy, Harding directed the mummy back to the tomb to hurriedly perform the transference, before the body of the bandaged creature was entirely incinerated. Upon arriving in the tomb, however, Harding discovered, to his horror, that the amulet was missing, and despite using his superhuman strength to tear the place apart, he couldn't find any sign of the bauble.
Walking back out into the crowd, in a state of total terror and continued confusion as the still remaining consciousness of the former inhabitant of the Mummy's body continued to muddle Harding's perceptions (for a moment, he thought of the villagers as his "subjects"), he noticed that the amulet was around the neck of the young thief he saw previously. Desperately trying to reach her as his legs turned to ash beneath him, the Harding-Mummy collapsed, and the flames finally consumed him fully.
On August 3rd, 1897, the body of Michael Harding was buried along with his wife Marie and his best friend Raymond, all of whom were believed to have been killed by the mysterious Mummy.
In the meantime, the young girl traded the amulet with a friend, and over the next few years, it passed through the hands of many people, none of whom were aware of its true purpose.
Five years later, however, it wound up in the hands of the amoral young amateur Egyptologist named Jerome Curry, whose lengthy personal studies enabled him to learn of the amulet's existence and purpose…and he planned to put its power to the test very soon.
Comments: This story, the first in a fairly long-running series, wasn't told in sequential order. Its various events, from the prologue throughout the main body of the story (prior to the epilogue) were told in various out-of-order vignettes for dramatic purpose. I recapped the story up above in complete linear order, so as to avoid confusion for any readers of this Index.
The writing by Steve Skeates was quite inspired in this story, and the main featured character, Michael Harding, was destroyed at the end of the tale, to make way in the series for Jerome Curry (introduced in the epilogue of this story). Harding provided an example of a good man who was destroyed by unbridled jealousy and allowing a heartbreak to consume him. In contrast, Curry, who takes over the series with the next entry, and remained with it almost until the end, is amoral, greedy, and self-serving from the start, as a result of various disappointments and emotional affronts he has suffered in the past, and he became truly evil once the mind of the Mummy he shared psychic space with began influencing his already bitter and avaricious emotional state. The ironic twists and turns of fate, and the shadow-ridden path which dark emotions and thoughts can lead one, were illustrated graphically and marvelously by Skeates in this series.
Though some of the dialogue would be considered stilted and amateurish by today's standards, these stories still hold up quite well, and like the great plays of Shakespeare, the themes and subjects of this series never lose their relevance, even if their overall execution and use of dialect do indeed become dated over time.
Very importantly, the detailed and chilling artwork by Jaime Brocal was superb for this series, and set precisely the perfect mood.
When this series was collected in somewhat altered form in EERIE #78, a colorized, completely revamped version of this story was published in that issue. In that story (mentioned in the entry for EERIE #78 below), Michael Harding was nowhere to be seen, and ironically, this story was altered to present the last story and final fate of Jerome Curry. As I discuss in the entry for EERIE #78, I believe that the altered version of this story must be relegated to an Alternate Universe [AU] and that in most cases, the stories as originally published in the Warren annals will be considered authoritative canon by this author, as opposed to later versions that are altered in reprint. Warren had a policy of doing this very thing in their various collected editions, e.g., the long-running and popular "Dax the Warrior" series had all of its entries completely altered for the "Dax the Damned" issue of EERIE [#59] that purported to collect the entire series, when in actuality simply utilizing the original artwork while greatly altering the captions and dialogue to create completely new stories, and I likewise consider that reprint issue of EERIE to feature an AU version of Dax.
Like every entry in this series, author Skeates told the story mostly in a second person, dramatic stream of consciousness narrative.
This series was referred to as simply "The Mummy" for its first entry. Beginning with the Jerome Curry stories with the next entry, the series is referred to as "The Mummy Walks," and the rest of the series presented variations on that title, such as "And the Mummy Walks" or the pluralized "And The Mummies Walk," the latter during the two stories where the Arthur Lemming-Mummy shared space in the series with the Jerome Curry-Mummy.
WNU Connections: There are many elements in this initial story in the series to suggest bringing it into the WNU, other than its later direct crossover and outright merging with another popular series running concurrently in EERIE, "Curse of the Werewolf."
In particular, the very premise of the series ties in with an integral horror element that recurs frequently in the annals of the WNU: the idea of "cursed" mummies that become re-animated by various magickal means. Such mummies abound in the WNU, and this series points the way towards the very crux of their ultimate origin (see my online article Mummies in the Wold Newton Universe 101 for a detailed explanation of this).
Warren also published a few stand-alone stories involving reanimated mummies which may one day turn out to be part of "consensus" WNU canon upon closer inspection. These included "The Mummy's Victory" from CREEPY #84, rendered by the inimitable Rich Corben (which was well-received enough to spawn a sequel story, "The Return of Ra," from CREEPY #93, and both of these mummy tales were written by Roger McKenzie) and the reservedly bizarre "Mummy, Jr." from CREEPY #140 (by top Warren scribe Gerry Boudreau, published during a time when Warren's glory days were clearly behind it). The two Ra stories were hardly conventional, and they were entirely tongue-in-cheek.
Time Frame: The brief and ill-fated story of the Harding-Mummy took place in the summer of 1897. Michael Harding was reported buried on August 3rd, 1897. The epilogue of this story takes place over the next five years, with Jerome Curry's introduction and discovery of the amulet occurring around the year 1902.
"The Death of A Friend"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Jaime Brocal
A lonely young woman named Molly was in the midst of a sexual encounter in her apartment with an unnamed man when both were startled and horrified as a nearly 7 foot tall Mummy suddenly batters down the door. Quickly killing her lover, the Mummy holds off from slaying Molly until he can telepathically communicate to her the actual hand that is about to slaughter her, in a sadistic exercise which proves to be part of his standard modus operandi. Realizing with abject horror that the creature is actually controlled by Jerome, a man whose advances Molly had recently spurned, the young woman screams just before the Mummy breaks her neck and departs the scene.
The bodies of Molly and her partner are discovered later that morning by a friend of hers, a good-hearted young man named Douglas Hindley, who had evidently cared about the young woman deeply, and likely shared a deeper relationship with her in the past. The only clue discovered by the authorities was the gray dust found on Molly's throat, and Hindley was angered when he realized that the police wouldn't put much effort into investigating her death, since she wasn't considered one of the social elite. Drowning his sorrows in a nearby tavern, Hindley was met by his sister Suzanne, who introduced him to a young man she had recently begun dating…a man named Jerome Curry. The three spoke for a while, until Curry and Suzanne left her brother to deal with his melancholic mood alone.
Hoping to assuage his grief further, the drunken Hindley returned to the apartment of a young woman named Lily (forename revealed in the next story), whom he had met in the tavern for a sexual tryst, only to have this amorous encounter interrupted when the Mummy suddenly broke into the apartment, as Hindley's companion for the evening was apparently another woman who had recently scorned Curry. Knocking the inebriated Hindley aside and seriously injuring him, the young man helplessly watched as the Mummy lifted the hapless woman and proceeded to telepathically inform her of the mind behind the creature prior to killing her. As the woman shouted the name "Jerome!" upon this deliberately communicated realization just before the Mummy snapped her neck, Hindley noted and recognized the gray dust and the name "Jerome," and then recalled the fact that the man his sister was now dating likewise shared that name and also worked in the local museum, where mummies were present. Hastily making the connection, Hindley forced himself to his feet and attempted to leave so as to warn his sister, only to find that the combination of his injuries and intoxication made him too slow to escape the Mummy's grasp. Hindley was promptly hurled through a window to fall several floors to his death.
As the Mummy quietly walked away from the scene of Curry's latest revenge murder, the narrator noted that like Molly before him, Hindley's death would hardly garner a police investigation either.
Comments: This short introductory story quickly introduces us in much more detail to Jerome Curry (who first appeared in the epilogue of the last story, "…And An End"), displays his sociopathic nature, and provides us the setting of the storyline, whose time frame is listed as "sometime in the early 1900s," but can easily be conjectured as 1902 based upon the text in the epilogue of the previous entry in the series. We learn only a small amount about Curry and his amulet of transference in this capsule preface to the rest of the series, its purpose solely to set the tone for everything to come. Though the ending of the story hinged upon a huge coincidence (i.e., Hindley just happening to spend the night with one of the women who had aroused Curry's ire in the past), this was nevertheless important to serve as the ironic twist ending so popular in the type of horror stories published by Warren, which were very much set in the long-standing tradition best epitomized by E.C.'s classic horror comics during the 1950s, this including TALES FROM THE CRYPT and VAULT OF HORROR (comics that Warren's CREEPY and EERIE largely emulated, and often matched or surpassed in both quality and ghastliness) .
It should be noted that in this story, it was revealed that the Amulet of Transference also conferred limited, low-level telepathic abilities upon the person wearing it. Thus, when Curry's mind was within the body of the Mummy, with deep concentration and close proximity, he was able to telepathically convey relatively simple messages, such as his name and mental imagery of his identity, into the minds of his victim so that it was clear to the hapless individual who he truly was, and this was something he did for sadistic purposes just before killing his intended quarry. He needed this limited telepathic capacity to convey such a message, since the Mummy's larynx was too atrophied to utter a single sound, so he was effectively mute while inhabiting that body.
It seems apparent that the amulet would magnify the natural psionic capacity of anyone who wore it, based upon its stimulation of the mind's natural psychic faculties (possibly by affecting the pineal gland in some manner), thus potentially conferring a range of low-level esper abilities upon its wearer. However, the amulet was never seen in the possession of a true adept in the mystic arts or an advanced esper, both of whom may have been able to do far more with the psionic power the amulet conferred upon them.
WNU Connections: Some research by my fellow creative mythographer Gordon Long has revealed that there was indeed a museum in Boston, complete with an Egyption exhibit that could well have had a mummy, during Jerome Curry's time period, The Museum of Fine Arts. It was established at some point in the 1870s, moving into its current main building in 1909. The museum's web site is http://www.mfa.org/
It can therefore be inferred that Jerome Curry was employed at the WNU's version of the Museum of Fine Arts.
Time Frame: This story took place sometime in the fall of 1902, this being evident from the details provided in the epilogue of the previous story in this series, and by its concurrence with the "Curse of the Werewolf" series (indexed elsewhere on this site, and which later overlaps into this series).
"The Mind Within"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Jamie Brocal
This story begins with a prefaced recap of the Curry-Mummy's murder of Doug Hindley.
Afterwards, the Mummy returns to the museum where Curry uses the amulet around the neck of his catatonic human form to transfer his consciousness back into his real body. After doing so, he notes that the process, along with his constant struggle to maintain ascendance over the original psyche within the body of the Mummy that he shares psychic space with, are both physically and mentally taxing events. As he notes to himself, "Being within that mummy may have helped me realize all that I am…all that I can be! But still it's a tiring experience! Can hardly think straight! Need some sleep!
"…working that cumbersome body! And keeping that other mind in check! So that I control it, rather than it controlling me! …all so exhausting!"
Afterwards, we learn that Jerome Curry is a resident of a slummy area of Boston, Mass., in "the early 1900s" [previously discerned as the year 1902; see Comments below]. Disliking the type of "lowly" people who inhabit this part of the city, Curry long detested his exceedingly mundane lot in life which mirrored their own, and the various bad breaks he felt he had received. His existence was marked by a driving desire to rise above his situation, but his life experiences didn't make for a moral individual, and he sought personal power as the means to enable him to achieve his goals. As such, he studied and read incessantly, looking for some means or references to a way of achieving such power, determined to acquire this at all costs. At one point in his studies he became fascinated with Egyptology, and yearned for the type of power over others that the ancient pharaohs possessed.
Finally, Curry learned of the Amulet of Transference, which would enable a human being to transfer their consciousness into any properly preserved mummy [though it also seemed, from the empirical evidence, that for some unknown reason the amulet may only have worked with preserved mummies who were cursed, and had the psyche of the original inhabitant of that body trapped within for eternity, which luckily happened to be abundant in the WNU].
In time, Curry was able to travel to Egypt where, under circumstances not fully revealed, he managed to locate the amulet. Determined to put the amulet to the test upon returning to Boston, he impressed the management of a local museum with a permanent Egyptian display (that included a well-preserved mummy) with his knowledge of Egyptology, and managed to get a job there as one of its curators. His first night working at the museum, after all the other employees went home, Curry tested the amulet and successfully transferred his mind into the mummy displayed there. The text described the process thusly: "…The night of the first transference. The feeling of expansion--your mind lifted, carried across empty air, fused into the body of a creature of absolute power. Coupled with another mind, an ancient mind that knew all that you wished to know."
Once his mind was within the Mummy, the corrupt psyche of the original, cursed inhabitant of that body spurred Curry's already dark tendencies into a lust for murderous vengeance against those who had emotionally slighted him in the past, and this began with his murder of the sometimes prostitute Molly…which also lead to his murder of Doug Hindley, who was present in the room of another woman who Curry sought to kill at the time...and Hindley also happened to be the brother of Suzanne, the woman he was now dating and deeply cared for.
Curry was contented with Suzanne, who appeared to be interested in Curry for himself, and he was all the more secure in the relationship since he knew that if she ever asked him to stop seeing her, he would end her life, just like that. The dark feeling of power over others that the Mummy gave him was intense, and the influence of the psyche trapped within the bandaged corpse's body had affected him in a deep psychological manner even after he transferred back into his human form.
After attending Doug Hindley's funeral alongside his grief-stricken sister Suzanne, she brought Curry back to her home and up to her bedroom, where she sought comfort from him in sexual intimacy. However, as he proceeded, he suddenly found himself overcome with violent urges, and he startled himself by unexpectedly putting his hands around Suzanne's throat. Horrified that he would actually hurt the woman whom he truly cared about and desired to someday marry, after she cried out in pain he fled her home in terror.
Nevertheless, his need for murder to satiate the bloodlust that the mind within the Mummy was able to instill in him due to his own pre-existing desire for power was overwhelming. Hence, Curry initiated the transfer again late that evening after the museum had closed, and he resolved to use the Mummy to seek out and murder another prostitute to satiate his newfound lust for murder as an outlet for his deep-seated desire for power over others. As such, Jerome Curry had now become a textbook serial killer, but using the superhuman vessel of the Mummy rather than a knife or other common implement as his weapon of choice.
As the Mummy left the museum and Curry's human form remained insensate in a chair, a group of looters broke into the building. Seeing Curry's quiet form seated on the chair, one of the thieves, believing that the curator was dozing off in the chair, hit him over the head to knock him unconscious (not realizing that this wasn't necessary, as no consciousness was then present in the body). As the men raided the Egyptian display for its various valuables, one of the criminals stole the amulet around Curry's neck, believing that the bauble looked like it was worth much money, and they then promptly left the edifice.
In the meantime, the Curry-Mummy located and murdered another prostitute who was wandering about the streets. With an extreme sense of power and satisfaction, the Mummy returned to the museum to reverse the transfer.
Upon arriving there, however, the Curry-Mummy noticed, to his abject horror, that not only was the place obviously burglarized in his absence, but though his human body was thankfully undamaged, the amulet was among the many items stolen. Tearing the entire exhibit apart in a maddened but futile search for the all-important piece of jewelry, Curry was horrified beyond description, as he now realized that he was trapped in that horrid rotting body for good, and he was now forevermore denied anything resembling a normal life. Fleeing from the museum in a state of extreme panic, the Curry-Mummy found himself unable to scream due to the atrophied larynx within the throat of the fetid form that was now his permanent home.
Comments: This story was the turning point for the rest of the Jerome Curry stories in this series, as the Curry-Mummy began his manic quest to locate and recover the precious amulet that would enable him to return to his human body, thus ending his brief tenure as a monstrous serial killer and more or less transforming him into a sort of anti-hero on an odyessy. This particular story deftly conveyed, in metaphorical context, how the quest for power at the expense of others can lead to an ever-downward spiral of darkness that will ultimately leave one trapped forever as the horrific thing they had become, and result in extreme misfortune for such people in the end.
In this story, we finally learned much more about Jerome Curry, the increasingly immoral protagonist of this series almost until its very end, including a capsule discourse on the path that led him to locate and utilize this amulet, where he became a metaphor for the type of person who seeks to acquire a degree of personal power that would enable them to control all aspects of their life regardless of the cost to others.
It should be noted that the renditions of the Mummy's visage that appeared on the covers of EERIE during this time, often via the brush of the uber-talented Sanjulian, were obviously inspired by the many stills of actor Boris Karloff as the original Imhotep-Mummy from Universal's eponymous 1932 film, prior to the latter taking on the fully human Ardath Bey identity. Such renditions of Karloff as the Mummy were commonly found on the covers and interiors of the many mags devoted to movie monsters during this time period, including Warren's own FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, which was probably the best and longest-running of them all.
As I noted in my Index for Warren's "Curse of the Werewolf" series, Sanjulian appeared to have a penchant for adapting cinematic characters from movie stills to represent their counterparts appearing in EERIE on its various covers; it seems that he also used one of the stills of actor Paul Naschy, then appearing in the "El Hombre Lobo" series of Spanish Wolf Man movies featuring Waldemar Daninsky, to represent the Arthur Lemming wolf-man on the cover of EERIE #50, which appeared alongside the Karloff-inspired visage of the Curry-Mummy on this same cover.
When this story was reprinted in EERIE #78 to fit into a different narrative, it was alleged that this story took place in Cairo, rather than Boston. I consider the latter locale to be canon regarding the version of these events that took place in the "consensus" WNU. The city that was deftly rendered by Jaime Brocal's art in this story much more resembled an early 20th century American city than anything you would expect to see in Egypt of the same time period [see entry for EERIE #78 below].
Time Frame: This story took place shortly after the events of the previous entry in this series, conjectured by myself to have taken place sometime in autumn, 1902 (via info culled from the "Curse of the Werewolf" series, later revealed to be running concurrently with the Jerome Curry stories in "The Mummy Walks" series).
Story: Steve Skeates,
Art: Jaime Brocal
As the Jerome Curry-Mummy begins his quest for the amulet which he needs to restore his consciousness to his human body, he must first attend to another extremely important matter…finding a place in which to hide his catatonic physical body, so it will remain undiscovered. He is already aware, as per his research, that his psyche, now trapped in the body of the Mummy, will retain a psychic link with his insensate physical body; as long as his mind remains on the Earthly plane (i.e., within the body of the Mummy), his catatonic human physical body will not decay and will exist in a sort of mystically induced suspended animation indefinetely. He simply but necessarily had to find a place in which to hide it until he recovered the amulet.
He found such a place in a local cemetery within the Boston limits…he would simply place his physical body in a coffin extant within a small mausoleum. As the Mummy entered the cemetery with his human body in tow, he was unaware that his actions were watched by a furtive young woman who also happened to be hiding out amidst the tombstones…a woman who curiously evinced no fear or even any sign of being intrigued by the sight of the huge bandaged creature before her, but simply began salivating at the sight of the seemingly fresh human corpse being carried by the Mummy [that cemetery must have been unable to afford security guards or a caretaker, considering how a re-animated Mummy and even a young female corpse-eater could hang around in there and tamper with the coffins, and the corpses within, apparently at will…being buried in such a place hardly seems like a comforting thought!]
In a flashback sequence, the sordid and tragic story of this young woman was revealed.
Just a few months earlier, she was recently happily married, but two weeks after the wedding, she and her new groom found themselves accidentally locked within a basement. Though they obviously had a steady supply of water down there via a sink, they had no access to food. As the days passed, and both began to slowly starve, her husband decided, "We can't go on like this!" and decided upon a desperate gambit to escape. There was a window leading out of the basement about twenty feet above them, and though they had been unable to reach it for that reason, there were numerous wooden crates in the basement that the man decided to climb upon in order to reach the window. As he finally came close to reaching it, the crates unexpectedly gave way, and the man fell and shattered his skull on the hard cement floor beneath them. Horrified at the sight of her husband's sudden brutal death, and already half-starved, the woman sat there in a state of abject shock for what appeared to be days…until finally her horror and starvation pushed her into total madness. She slowly began to feed on the corpse of her husband in order to survive, and over a week later, when a group of people finally opened the cellar door, she fled past them, as she believed that they would think that what she did to survive was wrong regardless of the circumstances, and that they would never understand [the latter bit of thought balloon dialogue was added when the story was reprinted in EERIE #78]. As she ran past them, all the confused men who opened that cellar found within was the half-consumed, rotted corpse of what was once the woman's husband.
As it turned out, however, the young woman's madness was indelible. She now had an insatiable craving for devouring the flesh of corpses, like some sort of insane fetish [see Comments and Classic Text sections below], and nothing else could satisfy her culinary desires. As such, she began frequenting the locale of the [very incompetently guarded] cemetery, feeding on both the old and new bodies that were interred there. [Comments Interlude: How was this woman getting at the corpses so easily? Wouldn't the security guards and caretakers, no matter how badly they were obviously slacking off in their duties here, eventually notice a plethora of disinterred graves with their half-eaten occupants laying within? And the woman wasn't even seen with a shovel! I know we weren't supposed to think about all of this, and I usually try to come up with explanations for incongruities in the plots or scripts of any stories I index, but this time I won't even try to bail author Skeates out of this…he…er…dug his own grave with this one (and let's hope that he never ends up buried in this particular cemetery!)].
Meanwhile, as the Curry-Mummy ruminates on the past few hours that led up to this point, he deduced that the handiwork of those who burglarized the museum was a group of known thieves whom he was familiar with from his less than savory past, and who could often be seen hanging out around the museum while he worked there. As dawn rapidly approached, Curry noted to himself, "It's nearly sunrise! People will be out and about soon! But I don't care! I must get [the amulet] back now! And, luckily, I at least know where those thieves used to go to divvy up their loot!"
Crashing through the door at their old hide-out, the Mummy did indeed find the trio of men there, and reacting in his usual brutal rage, Curry pushed his superhuman bandaged alter ego to slaughter every single one of the thieves present. Looking at all of the merchandise stolen from the museum, the Curry-Mummy, in extreme frustration, accounted for every single item except for the all-important amulet, which was not present…and the other mind that inhabited the rotted form Curry was trapped within simply laughed at his continued horrific predicament.
As the Mummy continued to search the thieves' hide-out in vain, the human ghoul in the cemetery snuck in the open gates of the crypt and began jubilantly feasting upon select body parts of the crypt's usual inhabitants.
As the Curry-Mummy looked upon the bodies of the thieves which he had just pulped to death with his own superhuman fists, he then recalled the visage of a woman who, a few years ago, was part of the social clique which these now departed men belonged to…and he also recalled where she lived, and wondered if she now happened to have the amulet on her person.
The Curry-Mummy resolved to search for that woman, but also realized that he could not do so now, as it was almost sunrise, and he mused to himself, "I don't want to be seen! Hunted down! Shot at! Have no idea what bullets will do to this body! And I have no desire to find out!" Thinking of a place to hide until the next evening, Curry realized that the best place to do so was the very crypt where he hid his insensate human body.
Returning to the mausoleum, the Curry-Mummy discovered, to his horror, the demented young woman sitting before him and devouring human body parts on the floor. Once again reacting in extreme dismay at the thought of his precious human body lost for good, the Curry-Mummy lashed out and brutally battered the pathetic human creature before him, finally ending her aberrant and tragic existence for good as she was impaled upon the spikes jutting out of the iron gates in front of the crypt [morbidly but curiously, I can't help wondering how long it took the caretakers of this cemetery to notice that!].
Upon observing the woman's grotesque handiwork about him, the Curry-Mummy noticed that the body she was feasting upon appeared to be long-dead and partially decayed already…it was not his own. Looking into the corner, in a rare bout of good luck since taking possession of this fetid form, the Curry-Mummy noticed his own human body lying where he left it, completely safe and without a single bite taken out of it. To quote the text verbatim (in its typical second hand narrative fashion): "She was so far gone into madness, she could not tell a rotting, maggot-ridden body from a fresh one…she had begun gnawing on the first body she came upon, and luckily it was not yours. You still have a chance to reclaim your former existence. You want to laugh out loud--and you wish that you could!"
Meanwhile, at this moment, the same woman and friend of the thieves whom the Mummy had slaughtered shortly before was now boarding a coach to take her out of the Boston environs…and it turned out that she did indeed have the amulet, wearing it while being unaware of its true purpose. As the coach bearing the woman who now had the Amulet of Transference began leaving Boston for parts unknown, the Curry-Mummy was unaware that recovering the all-important enchanted bauble was going to be a major undertaking.
Comments: This story was particularly ghastly and gruesome to read, but its main antagonist, the human ghoul, had a story that was tinged with tragedy that forced the reader to truly pity her. She was not evil, but merely insane, and the circumstances that led to her ghoulish depravity (which actually never harmed any living human being, but "merely" desecrated the dead) was completely outside of her control.
It appeared that in this story, author Skeates was exploring the idea of a human being with an offensive (though not dangerous) secret, which other human beings would not understand or approve of, in this case the woman's socially unacceptable, stomach-churning culinary habits. As was clear from the text at one point in this story [see Classic Text below], Skeates was actually touching upon necrophiliac themes in a highly veiled manner and the general idea of fetishism in an only slightly veiled manner, albeit both in a form that made each theme grotesque to the sensibilities of the reader. The rather revolting textual references in this story back up my observation that Skeates was exploring the nether-reaches of socially unacceptable fetishism, as Warren Comics during the 1970s rarely backed away from exploring and milking any controversial themes in its horror tales as food for thought (pun not intended!).
The reference for this story in the table of contents for EERIE #52 displayed yet another slant for editorial hyperbole, or possibly an example of an originally proposed plot that was later scrapped in favor of a much more simplistic version of the story, a change which editor Bill DuBay failed to acknowledge when he (presumably) wrote the aforementioned reference in that table of contents: "His mind trapped in the body of a centuries-old mummy, Jerome Curry is forced into a town [actually, a mere cemetery] where madness prevails, a town [!] of ghouls [actually, a single pathetic human ghoul, but who's counting?]!" This is representative of DuBay editorial sloppiness at its most glaring, and another hint of how soon before the deadline date of each issue the various plots and scripts must have regularly been revised on a last-minute basis.
Classic Text: When the Mummy returns to the crypt and discovers the depraved young woman feasting on dead body parts, the second person narrative text reads, from the woman's point of view: "You can almost feel his anger as he stalks toward you. There was pleasure in doing something so truly, beautifully disgusting. And the pleasure was heightened by the possibility of being caught! But the actuality of being caught is different!" In this classic bit, author Skeates makes it clear to the reader, in slightly oblique fashion, how the concept of fetishes can be tapped for horror potential as much as anything else!
Time Frame: This story took place the same night as the previous story, sometime in autumn, 1902 (likely October).
"Enter: Mr. Hyde"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Jaime Brocal
This story begins with a recap of last issue's general series of events involving the Curry-Mummy's murder of the thieves who stole his amulet when he invaded their hide-out. This time he reflects further upon the mocking nature of the original psyche of the Mummy that co-inhabitats the fetid bandaged form with his own consciousness, such as how it refused to allow Curry to access the low-level telepathic abilities he now possessed so as to enable him to cajole the men into revealing the location of the amulet.
Then, upon recalling the woman whom these thieves used to hang out with frequently, the Curry-Mummy shambled over to her home and smashed his way through her door. Upon doing so, however, the Mummy noticed that the flat was not only empty, but it displayed all signs that the occupant had packed to leave for an extended period of time. Searching throughout her house for any evidence as to her possible whereabouts, the Mummy discovered a diary [why the woman didn't make sure to take it with her is beyond me, however] and began reading its contents to hopefully discern where she was heading.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Boston, the story focused upon a young scientist who is only identified by his forename of Warren. He appears to be a kind-hearted but overly driven individual who is working on a chemical serum that he hopes, once perfected, will serve to lengthen the lifespan of human beings. His experimental formula, already tested on guinea pigs and other small animals, has proven successful, already doubling their normal life spans. Still, Warren was continuously frustrated over the fact that it remained untested on humans, and he was constantly wondering if it would eventually be proven that all his years of work turned out to be wasted, as this formula may turn out to be useless on humans. Determined to effectively tackle this problem, he politely rejected the advances of his wife Sarah, and sent her off to bed alone, as he told her that because he was so close to what he believed to be the correct computations, his "heart just wouldn't be in anything else." Disappointed, she left her husband to his work, which appeared to be the first love in his life.
With his frustration mounting, Warren impulsively decided to wait no longer to discover how this serum would effect human beings, and he thus [in time-honored fashion] injected himself with his serum. Within moments, the serum had a highly mutagenic effect and metamorphosed the gentle scientist into a bestial humanoid, with Neanderthal-like features and an abundance of facial and body hair, much like the earlier form of Mr. Edward Hyde [see WNU Connections below]. Suddenly besieged by animalistic inclinations, such as extreme anxiety at being confined to a single room, this new version of 'Mr. Hyde' leapt through the window of his home, exhibiting superhuman strength and agility in the process, and then began to stalk the evening streets of Boston. His psyche reduced to largely bestial passions for power and predation, Warren's new monstrous alter-ego quickly located and brutally murdered a woman who happened to be walking the streets, ripping open her throat with a single slash of his talons. Euphoric over his first kill, the newly created 'Mr. Hyde' entity immediately began searching for more prey to prove his power over his domain via murder [thus making his psyche an odd and deadly combination of animal territorial hunting instincts and human serial killer].
Quickly seeing the tall figure of a man walking the Boston streets wearing a hat and long trench coat, the Mr. Hyde entity viciously attacked the figure from behind…only to be struck back with "equal force." The figure turned out to be the Mummy in disguise, who was forced to temporarily suspend his quest for the amulet in order to face this new menace before him. Reacting like a beast forced to test his mettle when a formidable challenger enters his chosen domain, 'Mr. Hyde' attacks the Mummy again, and a fierce battle ensues between the two nearly evenly matched combatants. Finally, after several minutes, the ferocious contest was ended when the Mummy seized his adversary's throat and broke it. As his dead opponent fell to the ground, the Mummy watched as the animalistic humanoid reverted to his original human form, thus causing the former to note the following, described thusly by the text: "And briefly, you recall a tale you read long ago…the story of an ill-fated scientist in England…the story of Dr Jeckyl [sic] and Mr. Hyde!"
However, despite this violent and strange incident, the triumphant Curry-Mummy had no time for concern or further ruminating upon it, as he instead needed to swiftly replace the concealing clothing that was torn to shreds during the battle. Making his way to a local clothing shop, the Mummy punched the window in, stealing sufficient clothes to conceal his appearance, as well as pouring as much cologne over his form as he could to hide the rotting stench that accompanied him.
From there, the Mummy made his way to the city freight yards, where he leaped upon a train that would take him out of the Boston environs and into the general area where the object of his quarry was headed.
As sunrise came to Boston, two police officers were examining the body of Warren, the scientist who had been slain in his 'Mr. Hyde' form while battling the Mummy (and obviously not realizing that this man was a monster when he was killed). Identifying the distinctive gray dust on the dead scientist's throat, the police realized that it was the work of the serial killer who had been on a killing spree in the city of late, and one of them mentioned that this was the ninth murder he had committed up to that point [see Comments section below]. As they continued to peruse the murder scene for clues, one of the officers noticed that one of the pockets that had been ripped off the trench coat that was worn by the Mummy at the time 'Mr. Hyde' attacked him…and discovered papers torn out of the woman's diary that Curry had absconded with, causing the policeman to state, upon skimming those papers, "A diary of a young girl…! Could she be the one who murdered this man…or is she the killer's next victim?"
Comments: In this story, the last one to take place entirely in Boston, we learn a bit more of the Boston of the WNU at the turn of the last century, as noted at one point by the text: "This is the city…Boston, at the turn of the century…a city caught in the throes of rapid growth…industrialization…experimentation!" See the WNU Connections section below for a bit more on this.
Oddly, the captions in this story consisted of a combination of author Skeates's usual second person narrative and first person narrative by the Curry-Mummy, which changed abruptly enough throughout that it was a bit awkward to read at times.
At the end of this story, a policeman investigating Warren's murder notes that the scientist was the ninth victim of the "maniac" (i.e., the Curry-Mummy) who had recently been on a killing spree. Just to be nitpicky, let's do a count on the preceding stories and see if this statement holds up accurately:
In "The Death of a Friend," the first story featuring the Curry-Mummy, he kills the prostitute Molly, her hapless male lover who was unfortunate enough to be with her when the Mummy attacked, Douglas Hindley, and a prostitute named Lily whom Hindley happened to be dallying with at the time (with Lily being the Mummy's actual target). That's four victims.
In "The Mind Within," the Curry-Mummy killed an unidentified prostitute. That's five.
In "Ghoulish Encounter," the Curry-Mummy killed the three thieves who had stolen his amulet, along with the ghoul-girl eating corpses in the crypt where he was hiding out. That's nine.
In this particular story, "Enter: Mr. Hyde," his self-defense murder of Warren's monstrous alter ego was actually the Curry-Mummy's tenth kill.
My theory for this inaccuracy is simple…the ghoul-girl's body, as I noted above in my entry for that particular story ("Ghoulish Encounter"), hadn't been found yet since the cemetery that served as her personal restaurant seemed to be so neglected by any caretakers or guards that a day later, no one had any idea that the body of a young woman lay impaled upon the spiked gates of one of that cemetery's crypts!
At one point, this story was even filled with typical B-movie style fear of science and scientific progress, mirroring that of the current ultra-liberal Luddite ideology, which insists that scientific advancements targeted at gene therapy, cloning, nanotechnology, the extension of the human life span and elimination of the physical aging process (the very goal of Warren's experiments in this story), etc., must be unequivocally banned. All of the above is based upon the anthrocentric belief that being human is somehow inherently "good" and beautiful, and that any deviation from it based upon the efforts of humanity to overcome the natural human condition are doomed to bring disastrous results, because that which is created by humanity is not "natural," as opposed to that which occurs in nature without the applied application of human ingenuity (the latter of which includes almost all modern medical techniques of any kind, as well as any type of improved living conditions that has greatly and "unnaturally" extended the human life span by a few decades during the course of the 20th century to the first decade of the 21st, as I write these words, all of which is something that the Luddites and others of their ideological ilk never seem to consider). The 'Mr. Hyde' entity inadvertently created by Warren in this story is a personification of that ideology in crude form, one of the many veiled ideological and sociological trends that Skeates tackled in this series (as he did with fetishism in the previous story).
As more evidence of the above, note this telling line of dialogue from Warren's wife Sarah, after he explains to her his goal of extending the human life span: "Perhaps God never meant for us to live any longer than we do now! Perhaps an ordinary life span is all we mortals can cope with!" Warren replied with the obvious, "God gave us our brains so that we can learn…can discover!"
Of course, the Luddite ultra-liberal tendency is considerably more secular in expressing its concerns, as were the concerns expressed in B-movies of the '50s and '60s whenever a scientist dared to try and uncover the secrets of the universe and to learn more about improving the human condition (even if the intention was entirely selfless), instead enumerating a political and social rationale for opposing anything that may interfere with humanity's biological and mental status as it now exists, rather than utilizing theological arguments (as did Sarah in this story, and as conservative Christians often do nowadays).
WNU Connections: This story presents a direct tie-in to the story of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde, first introduced in the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, and which has since been re-told numerous times in many different formats (cinema, TV, comic books, etc.), and the Jekyll legacy is an important staple of the WNU canon. Many creative mythographers [a term coined by author and creative mythographer Win Scott Eckert to describe researchers of popular fiction who seek to find the hidden connections between disparate characters and stories, and formulating a common, shared universe around many of them] have tackled the various complexities of the Jekyll legacy and formulated theories involving the many appearances of Hyde-like entities and variants of the original Hyde formula, including Dennis Power in his online "Hyde and Hair" series of articles. It's difficult to determine precisely where Warren derived the components of his chemical formulae used in this story, and why it worked so differently on animals than humans, but author Skeates makes the following observation/theory in his text during the initial transformation sequence, after Warren acquiesces to his frustration and injects himself with the serum: "One impulsive moment, destroying years and years of laborious training. The serum did not change [the lab animals]…perhaps because they were not of superior intelligence, but it does change him! Transformation…gone is the dedicated scientist, as every formerly suppressed, bestial instinct, every dark ancestral desire surfaces, snuffing out all that caused this man to once be considered 'civilized'…"
Hence, it would appear that Skeates, like Stevenson, sees the variants of the Hyde serum as transforming sentient beings into (sometimes posthuman) personifications of their own id, i.e., the Freudian "dark side" which usually lay deeply buried within the human psyche. The original Henry Jekyll himself began as a non-superhumanly strong but no less vile and dangerous hirsute individual, a wholly unleashed version of his id and alternate dark personality who called himself Edward Hyde, and he eventually and slowly evolved into the almost nine foot tall, massively muscled, and superhumanly strong entity who appeared in the early portion of the 2004 film "Van Helsing" (as per my conjectures) and in 1898 he joined the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, appearing in Volumes 1 and 2 (at this writing) of the latter eponymous comic book series.
Interestingly, the similarly named descendant of the original Dr. Henry Jekyll who re-formulated the initial serum in Don Glut's pulp novel THE NEW ADVENTURES OF FRANKENSTEIN, Tome #9: FRANKENSTEIN AND THE CURSE OF DR. JEKYLL, likewise morphed into a fairly short, hirsute, physically unappealing, and utterly vile and depraved but unneringly cunning version of the original Henry Jekyll's initial phenotype when he first became Edward Hyde. Like his predecessor at the time the Stevenson novel took place (as well as the crossover novel DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HOLMES by Loren D. Estelman), this newer version of Mr. Edward Hyde wasn't posthuman, but his physique was still superior to the average human in both physical strength and agility, possibly both at or near the peak human level (though the original Mr. Hyde's physical form wasn't posthuman during the early days of his transformations, it never appeared to be physically weak, either).
Despite the fact that some creative mythographers have theorized that there was something unique about Henry Jekyll's psyche and physiology to enable the chemicals to induce a therionthropic metamorphosis, there can be no doubt, based upon the available evidence, that what appear to be various reformulations of the Hyde serum (such as Hyde-25; see below) have been created that can induce Hyde-like transformations in any human being who is injected with them, regardless of their individual genetic constituancy. It should be noted, however, that though Warren's 'Mr. Hyde' form from this indexed story resembled the initial form of both the original Henry Jekyll's and his modern descendant from Glut's aforementioned pulp novel, Warren's alter-ego nevertheless appeared to be mute and uttered no sounds other than guttural animal-like noises when attacking a victim or engaged in battle, as well as possessing physical attributes greatly superior to the initial acumen enjoyed by both of the aforedescribed versions of Mr. Edward Hyde. And since Warren's surname was never revealed in this story, and his sojourn as a Hyde-like entity lasted only one evening, no further evidence is available on him, including his possible connection to the Jekyll clan.
Nevertheless, the "Mr. Hyde" reference in the title of this story, and the mention of the original Jekyll and Hyde in the text itself, provides what may be strong hints of a connection to the work of the original Henry Jekyll. Further, the story was momentarily recalled by the Curry-Mummy as if he had read an actual event that occurred in the same reality as himself, rather than what he believed to be a wholly fictional tale [though the Robert Louis Stevenson of the WNU did indeed publish a 19th century novel based upon the "actual" story of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde]. I will leave it to Dennis and other creative mythographers to work out the possible mysteries behind this, but more evidence to what I discussed above abounds, as noted directly below.
Another series that ran through EERIE, "Night of the Jackass," which is Indexed by this author elsewhere on this site, also dealt with a reformulation of Henry Jekyll's mutagenic serum, known as Hyde-25, that was passed around on the streets of 1890s London and used by the downtrodden of that often bleak urban environment to transform into superhumanly strong and utterly depraved entities who would mercilessly prey upon human beings for a period of 24 hours, after which that particular version of the chemical would wear off, and the people who went "jackass" would die (an antidote was eventually invented). This chilling series was revisited in the 1990s by Harris Comics, the modern quasi-successor to Warren, with a storyline that ran through VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA #9-10 and also in HYDE-25 #0 (a failed pilot for a series). Unlike Warren's bestial alter ego in this story, however, the people who were "jackassed" by the Hyde-25 formula retained their full sentience, along with the ability and inclination to speak, even though their psyches were rather addled by the induced insanity of the chemical. Also, though every bit as vicious as the 'Mr. Hyde' of this story, their superhuman strength appeared to be at a somewhat lower level (though still quite evident), and their murders were carried out with human-level cunning and a sadistic sense of humor; further, their murders were often preceded by brutal torture and sexual assault of their victims rather than the crude and quick animalistic kills made by the 'Mr. Hyde' entity of this story, which, in contrast to the Hyde-25 inoculants, were more akin to the handiwork of a vicious attack dog than a human serial killer.
Two cinematic examples in the 1970s of more serums produced by the Jekyll legacy are also worth noting here briefly.
One was "Dr. Jekyll and the Wolf Man," where the Spanish wolf-man Waldemar Daninsky (a.k.a., 'El Hombre Lobo'), used a variant of the Hyde formula, administered by a late 20th century member of the Jekyll clan, in an attempt to suppress his lycanthropic transformation. This succeeded, until Daninsky was inadvertently overdosed with the chemical. When the overdose occurred, even though Daninsky's lupine alter ego was still gone he subsequently began transforming into a murderous Hyde-like entity. This film provides an example of a major crossover between a prominent member of the one of the important cursed lycan clans of the WNU and a member of the infamous Jekyll clan and their work.
The second example was the 1974 film "Twisted Brain," where a brilliant high school teenager who also happened to be a constantly maligned social outcast (terribly mistreated by both his peers and teachers) named Vernon Potts utilized a variation of the Hyde formula (not named as such, but obvious by the manner in which it worked) that transformed him into a murderously uninhibited and superhumanly strong Hyde-like creature who was still humanoid but whose body was simply much more hirsute during his transformation periods. Curiously, Potts was also testing his serum on guinea pigs, but unlike the beneficial effects of decelerated aging that occurred to Warren's lab subjects, the guinea pig injected by the teen scientist in this film [his name was Mr. Mumps, btw] became vicious and physically strong enough to kill a cat. Though Potts, the 'anti-hero' killer in this film, obviously somehow formulated yet another variant of the Hyde serum, it was once again simultaneously similar to and different from the many other versions of the Hyde chemical that have appeared in the annals of the overall WNU canon.
In fact, on the basis of some research done by my fellow creative mythographer Gordon Long, there is some good evidence that convinces me to tentatively assign the scientist Warren to the Potts lineage.
Based on the above research, the following was uncovered:
The http://www.potts.net.au/tree/ lists the following Potts, thus providing the aforementioned evidence:
Jonathan Potts, a Pennsylvania physician active in Revolutionary politics, who lived from 1745-1811 and had 5 sons and 2 daughters;
Charles Sower Potts, another Pennsylvania physician who was a pioneer in electrical therapy, lived from 1864-1930, and was unmarried;
William Potts, another Pennsylvanian who was an author and social reformer, living from 1838-1908, with no mention of family, who wrote "Evolution and Social Reform: The Socialistic Method" that was published in 1890.
The WNU counterparts of the above RU personages could easily have claimed Warren and Vernon Potts as part of their lineage.
In regards to other well-known people with the Potts surname who existed in the WNU alone, we have Professor Caractacus Potts, famous inventor and hero of the film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," and there were also a few brothers in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" which implied that their parent(s) are scientists.
As Gordon Long observed when researching this story, "...it seems that medicine, and improving the human condition, as well as science and invention, are part and parcel of being a Potts. It might be possible to go ahead and assign Warren to the Potts family."
Hence, as stated above, I agree with Gordon's assessment, and I currently believe that the scientist named Warren from this story was a member of this prestigious WNU Potts family, thus explaining his genius. Though Warren Potts appeared to be childless, he quite possibly had siblings, some of whom were directly responsible for the birth of the similarly gifted Vernon Potts, who was an adolescent by the early 1970s.
All of these sources are ripe for exploration and research by both present and future creative mythographers for more hints and suggestions as to the true nature of the Hyde serum and its many variants, as well as the many instances of the Jekyll legacy in the WNU being identified and incorporated into the canon.
As noted above in the Comments section, readers were treated to a bit more of the turn-of-the-century Boston, Massachusetts of the WNU in this story. To quote a later part of the text, following the defeat of the 'Mr. Hyde' entity in this story: "Yes, this is the city…Boston, at the turn of the century…a city of experimentation…a city where experiments often go awry and death comes easy." Hence, it would appear, as implied furtively in this story, that the early 20th century Boston of the WNU may have been filled with such incidents as this, as the "steam punk" technological revolution of this time period in the WNU may have caused this particular metroplex to be a center for such odd and dangerous scientific experiments.
It should be noted that early 20th century Boston was also the setting of several stories written by H.P. Lovecraft, whose tales are a cornerstone of the WNU.
Time Frame: This story took place the night following the previous story, still sometime in autumn of 1902.
"Stranger In A Village of the Insane"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Jaime Brocal
While traveling inside a train he boarded in the last story, the Curry-Mummy sat within one of the freight cars, dozing off into a fitful sleep. Unfortunately, one of the employees of the train service opened the cart while inspecting it, and noticed the trench coat wearing figure slumbering in the corner. Not recognizing the Mummy as the dangerous entity he was, the man prodded the creature awake. Reacting in horror and panic at the sight of the bandaged beast before him, the man attempted to hit the creature with his lantern, and in attempting to slam the man against the door of the freight car in self-defense, the Curry-Mummy accidentally pushed the door open, and both individuals fell from the speeding train.
The Curry-Mummy stood up in the area he now found himself in, with the train service employee laying dead before him. The Mummy was now stranded in the middle of rural Massachusetts, and he began looking for any community where he may be able to find another mode of transportation in order to continue on to his destination.
Finding a small village, he noticed a large group of people singing and dancing in apparent revelry, lighting a bonfire in the process. The Curry-Mummy realized that this appeared to be some sort of mystical rite, but he was largely unconcerned, as his only purpose there was to find another form of transport. However, as he entered the tiny village, he soon found himself engulfed by the same mystical energy that the festive townsfolk were dancing within. Perhaps more importantly, he also found his mind turning inwards, achieving for the first time total communication with the other, original mind inhabiting this ancient bandaged form with him.
The psyche of Jerome Curry found himself viewing numerous Egyptian symbols and artifacts, remnants of an era of human history long gone, and then he began looking upon the life of the man whose mind he was now sharing psychic space with, and realized this cursed individual was once [apparently] a pharaoh. As the text stated: "…Jerome Curry remembers a life in ancient Egypt. Momentary memories of absolute dominion! All others were beneath him…worthless slaves, property, insects to be used and squashed! [It was no wonder this person later found himself cursed! I wonder if he was perhaps an ancestor of the Bush clan...]
"…and he, it, they concentrate on other memories…memories of companionship and pleasure." As the final sentence quoted from the text noted, it would appear that this unnamed pharaoh did indeed have a love interest that he adored, despite possessing the ideology of a typical member of the ancient Egyptian ruling class.
As the Mummy continued to walk through the village, he realized that his psyche was not only merging with the other mind that lay within him, but the mystical energies were now merging his mentality with all of the bacchian villagers, and everyone present seemed to be unified on the psychic level (one woman even walked up to the Mummy, and unbuttoned his jacket as if to initiate an intimate encounter with him, but turned away in momentary surprise, though not horror, at the sight of the bandaged form beneath). Soon, every member of the village, including the Mummy, headed for a large stone temple-like structure in the middle of the area.
Entering the large stone structure that seemed "out of place here in rural Massachusetts," the village-wide psychic connection suddenly ended, and the Mummy found himself jarringly released from the pleasurable mental bond with the entire village.
In the middle of the temple, he saw a huge demonic creature rising from a seated position on a stone chair in front of him, and was amazed at the fact that the creature seemed insubstantial yet solid at the same time, as he still threw a shadow on the floor (the demon was humanoid, male, well over seven feet in height, with two large horns protruding from each side of his head, noticeable fangs, a monstrous face, pupil-less eyes, claw-like hands, cloven hooves in place of feet, and a long tail). The Mummy was momentarily confused as the villagers remained in the temple but backed away from the two creatures before them, as if they were leaving the Mummy as some sort of sacrifice for the demon.
Fully risen from the chair, the demon attacked, and Curry's psyche, spurred on by the mind of the pharaoh within him, the latter of whom lived by the principle of power and forceful conquest, retaliated against the monstrous entity before him with all due prejudice. The two supernaturally powerful combatants engaged in mortal combat, the villagers watching with great interest. As the battle raged on before them, and both the Mummy and the demon (who both appeared to be of roughly equal physical might) repeatedly hurled each other into the stone walls of the temple, the structure began to fracture and collapse. Panicking, the villagers attempted to flee for their lives…but none of them were quick enough to evade the deadly snow of rock and granite that rained down upon them.
After several minutes of total silence, the Mummy slowly and painfully rose out of the rubble, his demonic adversary vanished and all of the villagers crushed to death beneath the crumbled remains of the temple. Still not understanding what that ritual was about, and if he was intended as some sort of sacrifice for the demon who appeared to hold sway over the entire village, the Mummy quickly noticed that the other, original mind co-habiting the bandaged body with him was completely gone, apparently "killed" (i.e., pushed out of the mummified body and presumably sent off to the hereafter as a sacrifice of some sort for the demon) in the course of the melee. Now, for the first time, Jerome Curry's mind alone controlled the powerful body of the Mummy.
With every member of the village dead, it was easy for the Mummy to acquire new clothing for disguise, as well as horses and a carriage. Upon obtaining these things, he promptly headed out of this village of the insane in the middle of rural Massachusetts, and continued on towards his destination.
Little was he aware that as he departed, there was one member of the village that yet survived, a young woman who was not in the temple when it collapsed. Watching the bandaged creature leave, she noted to herself, "He must be fantastically strong to have defeated the demon! I must find out more about this creature!"
Comments: Though largely an aside in the series, this story nevertheless gave us much more information about the identity of the original inhabitant of the Mummy's form when he was still alive. It appears that he was a member of the ruling class of the ancient Egypt of the WNU, almost certainly a pharaoh, though his actual identity, the identity of the woman who was his lover so long ago, which Egyptian dynasty he lived in, and the exact circumstances under which he was cursed to be trapped for eternity in his own preserved physical body were never revealed. Further, this story resulted in something of a change for the Curry-Mummy, in that now the other mind was no longer influencing him in any way from this point onwards.
This was the final story that the Curry-Mummy appeared as a solo character. Beginning with the next story and continuing for one story after that, he shared space in this series with another man whose mind was trapped in the body of an ancient cursed Egyptian mummy, Arthur Lemming, and for those next two entries, the series would thus be pluralized into "And The Mummies Walk." Arthur Lemming was the main protagonist of the then nearly ended series in EERIE called "Curse of the Werewolf," the last two entries of which featured the hapless Lemming being doubly cursed, as the scourge of lycanthropy continued to plague him on the nights of the full moon even after his mind was trapped in the body of a decaying mummy (for unknown reasons, it would be several issues before "The Mummy Walks" series would continue). Both the Lemming-Mummy (a.k.a., the "Were-Mummy") and the Curry-Mummy would be searching and vying for the Amulet of Transference as of the next two entries in this series.
Sadly, this was the last issue in which the highly talented Jaime Brocal would be handling the artwork, and oddly enough, with his departure from the series after this story it appeared as if author Skeates's scripts began to suffer in response, with the next two installments being surprisingly low quality compared to the previous entries, despite having two mummies along for the ride rather than one. Further, the artist to take over for the final three entries in this series, Joaquin Blazquez, had an interesting and utterly surreal style of artwork, but it was still not as suited to a series like this as was that of Brocal (an exception being the final entry in this series, "Insanity," from EERIE #63, which was perfect for Blazquez's style).
Little was revealed about the mysterious demon who ruled this village, or his precise means of using the villagers to acquire sacrificial victims, but he was quite an impressive foe for the Mummy.
WNU Connections: Not much to say here, except it will be interesting for future creative mythographers to eventually theorize on two separate mysteries presented in this story:
Firstly, the identity and precise modus operandi of the strange demon who controlled the village that the Mummy happened upon.
Secondly, the exact identity of the ancient Egyptian ruler whose original psyche inhabited the body of the Curry-Mummy (until being excised as of this story). My fellow creative mythographer Dimadick did some research based upon this story that may allow us to narrow down, in a general sense, when and where this king lived, which would be useful info for future creative mythographers trying to further narrow down the facts and theorize upon his identity.
In the flashback vignette of the king's original life back in ancient Egypt, he remembers horses and chariots. The chariot, along with the horse, was introduced to ancient Egypt during the Hyskos Dynasty, circa the 16th century BC. This indicates that the ancient king and original inhabitant of this mummy's body could not have lived any earlier than the Hyskos (i.e., 15th) Dynasty, which was extant between the years 1674-1535 BC.
As to the "when" of the matter, the flashback vignette, based upon the king's memories, depicted him wearing a Ureaus Crown. As Dimadick noted, the latter crown "[symbolized] authority over or connection to Lower Egypt. Which leaves a possibility of him being connected to the Lower Egypt based 15th,
21st, 22nd, and 24th Dynasties. He might also be one of the rulers of a unified or mostly unified Egypt under the 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, the Argead, and the Ptolemaic
"But certainly not of the Upper Egypt based 16th, 17th, and 23rd. Otherwise, he would be the equivalent of a Confederate officer of the American Civil War parading around in a Union uniform."
Thanks to the above research, we now have a better idea of how long ago this king lived, and within which part of Egypt.
It should perhaps be noted here that rural Massachusetts of the WNU was known for being the center of many strange supernatural and paranormal events, as many of H.P. Lovecraft's stories took place there, particularly near or within Boston, and in the WNU towns of Arkham and Innsmouth, both of which were located close to Boston of the WNU.
Time Frame: This story takes place at most a few days after the previous entry in this series, in late autumn of 1902.
"A Battle of Bandaged Beasts"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Joaquin Blazquez
This story begins with a recap of both the ending of the last story of the Curry-Mummy in EERIE #54 and the ending of the story "…There Was A Were-Mummy," the last entry in the "Curse of the Werewolf" series, from EERIE #56, which depicted how the now doubly cursed Arthur Lemming (who suffered both the curse of the lycanthrope under the full moon and now also found his psyche trapped within the cursed form of a re-animated mummy) discovered that his human form was taken over by the consciousness of the unscrupulous dwarf William Benson Throgmore, who had taken a horse and was riding across the Massachusetts countryside planning on taking full advantage of the fact that he now had a handsome young body at his disposal.
The Lemming-Mummy retained a mystical psychic link to his original body, however, and was now roaming the same area searching both for his physical body and the Amulet of Transference that would allow him to restore his psyche to his original body [in this story, for who knows what reason, author Skeates began referring to the enchanted bauble as the 'Amulet of Power'; I have indexed the "Curse of the Werewolf" series, whose storyline involving Arthur Lemming leads up to this point, elsewhere on this site...see the stories "To Cure This Curse" and "...There Was A Were-Mummy" from my Index to "Curse of the Werewolf" for the full skinny on how Arthur Lemming, a cursed lycanthrope, ended up having his consciousness trapped in the decaying body of a reanimated cursed mummy].
As Throgmore, in the human form of Arthur Lemming, rode across the rural landscape of Massachusetts, he mused to himself that he now had everything he ever wanted, save for money, and he needed to take care of that as quickly as possible. Spotting a horse and carriage carrying several passengers coming his way, Throgmore, who had a gun with him, held up the vehicle and robbed the people of their valuables. At the same time, however, he noticed that one of the occupants of that carriage was a woman whom he recalled meeting before (and who happened to be the same criminally-inclined woman who was wearing the amulet that both the Lemming-Mummy and the Curry-Mummy were searching for). Thinking back, Throgmore recalled that about a year earlier, when his psyche was still within the body of the deformed dwarf that it had lived within his entire life up to now, this woman came calling upon the now deceased occult expert whom Throgmore was previously employed by [and who met his end in the Werewolf story "…There Was A Were-Mummy" from EERIE #56]. When the woman arrived at the occultist's home, the latter wasn't there, and had left Throgmore in charge, who was utterly smitten by the attractive woman who had just entered the premises. However, having no interest in discussing anything with the dwarf standing before her, she treated him condescendingly [see Classic Dialogue below] and then promptly left, leaving Throgmore bitter and angry, as he had been all his life over his physical condition and the negative responses from the female sex that he endured as a result of it.
Deciding to take his revenge while having some fun in the process, Throgmore demanded that the woman leave with him on his horse, promising her a "bit of adventure," to which she claimed to be looking forward to in her usual haughty manner.
Meanwhile, trailing Throgmore via the mystical link he still had with his human body, the Lemming-Mummy began approaching the general area where the dwarf-made-perfect and his wily female companion were now residing, extremely worried that the dwarf would end up somehow getting his human form damaged or killed, and this after Lemming endured so much hardship to travel from his native England to America in order to locate the amulet.
Throgmore and his female companion entered a motel/restaurant called the Fox Inn, which was tended by an elderly Native American gentleman who provided their request for a private place to dine. While sharing their repast, Throgmore pugnaciously revealed to the woman who he really was, something that she found difficult to believe regarding the handsome man before her, but was still taken aback by the fact that he had information that he was very unlikely to have acquired from any other source. Throgmore then brandished a dagger to appear more unsettling to his dinner companion as he continued to elucidate the matter of his actual identity to her.
As this continued, the Lemming-Mummy finally found both of his quarry, watching the two outside of the window, both of whom respectively possessed something that he needed beyond measure…his physical body and the amulet that would allow him to return to it.
However, as Lemming was contemplating how to render Throgmore unconscious without damaging his physical body, the Curry-Mummy also arrived on the scene, as he had spotted, much to his amazement, another re-animated mummy skulking about the general area, and correctly deduced that he, too, must be searching for the amulet, and that it must be within close proximity. Upon noticing that he had at last located the woman who had the precious amulet, the Curry-Mummy prepared to strike at the other mummy before him to prevent his fellow walking corpse from absconding with the amulet himself. Suddenly turning around to discover, with commensurate amazement, another re-animated mummy behind him, the Lemming-Mummy attempted to speak and articulate to his fellow bandaged creature that he was no threat…but all his ancient and atrophied vocal apparatus could utter was a dry, raspy sound that appeared to be the equivalent of a hostile battle cry to the Curry-Mummy.
As Throgmore was distracted by the sudden sound outside the window of the dining area, his female companion took this as the opportunity to act and escape from her strange cohort by hitting him on the head with a metal pitcher and rendering him unconscious, remarking to herself, "Well, too bad I can't stay[,] old chum! I'll take the loot from your fancy robbery for my trouble!"
In the meantime, outside, the two bandaged beasts engaged in battle, each of them equally powerful, and equally determined to defeat the other. The two traded mighty blows with inconclusive results for several minutes…until the full moon began to rise above them as the evening hours continued. As soon as the glowing orb appeared in the sky, the Lemming-Mummy's other curse was triggered, and in the middle of the battle, he metamorphosed into his (now bandaged) lupine form. As the text stated, "If there were ever such a creature before[,] or if there were even a word for him[,] he would be called Were-Mummy!" [That was bad etymology, but what the hell!]
The battle raged on for another few minutes, until the superior strength, agility, and animal-like ferocity of the Were-Mummy began to gain the upper hand, and the Curry-Mummy was defeated. Thinking rationally in his lupine form [something that Lemming could now do with a nearly full degree of his former intellect, presumably thanks to a combination of Mother Eva's spell (see the Werewolf story "Darkling Revelation" from EERIE #52) and the accompanying psyche of the original, ancient mind sharing his bandaged form who was simultaneously enhancing Lemming's own psychic faculties], the Were-Mummy was in a state of extreme consternation that he had been forced to waste his time battling a fellow mummy, telling himself, "I don't know what you had against me, friend. It would seem that we would be sympathetic to each other…! For, we were both cursed! You had no way of knowing that it was I, who was twice cursed! Who knows where his body is…? Mine is just a few yards away…!"
Smashing into the Fox Inn to locate his physical body and the amulet, the Were-Mummy discovered, to his further profound regret, that neither Throgmore in his human body, nor the woman wearing the amulet, were present (Throgmore had obviously recovered and departed soon after the woman did, as was shown in the next installment of the series). As enumerated by the text: "Again the frustration floods the mind, and Arthur Lemming, who has come far…endured so much…seems no closer to peace than he was in the beginning!"
Moments later, the Curry-Mummy recovers from his defeat and he also realizes that the woman bearing the precious bauble he was searching for was no longer present. With that realization, the cursed being rose from the ground and strode away from the area, determined to continue his quest for the amulet at all costs.
Comments: This story, the penultimate chapter in the quest of the Curry-Mummy, also featured the very similar quest of the Lemming-Mummy, a.k.a., the Were-Mummy, whose saga continued here from the final entry in the "Curse of the Werewolf" series, his last appearance prior to this one being the Werewolf story "…There Was A Were-Mummy" from EERIE #56. The entire "Curse of the Werewolf" series is Indexed by this author elsewhere on this site, and should be read by anyone who is curious to know about the entire available history of the incessantly tragic life of Arthur Lemming, a man who had to endure a double monstrous curse by this point, which makes him a relatively unique and utterly intriguing monster character in the annals of horrordom.
As noted in the previous indexed entry for "The Mummy Walks" series, the artwork changed hands with this story, moving from the eminently competent pen of Jaime Brocal into the sometimes bizarre renditions of Joaquin Blazquez [did the editors and letterers of the EERIE mag spell the man's name correctly? I wouldn't put it past them if they didn't]. As also noted in my previous indexed entry, I do not think that Blazquez's artwork was as suited for the demands of rendering the two chapters of this series featuring the two mummies, including the battle sequence in this story, as well as Brocal would have. Believe it or not, the battle of the mummies depicted in this story was actually boring, rather than exciting, to view under the penmanship of Blazquez, and was an utter disappointment overall. I fully believe that had Brocal still been handling the art chores, the battle would have been cool to see, as he rendered the battle scenes between the Curry-Mummy and both the 'Mr. Hyde' entity and the demon in the two previous entries of this series in a very brutal and realistically enthralling fashion. The battle between the titular bandaged beasts in this story, under the pen of Blazquez, required much more of the imagination of the reader to fill in the gaps and to make the monstrous donnybrook seem more exciting than the previous two monster battles from this series. I'm not saying that Blazquez was a bad artist per se, mind you…he was simply unsuitable for the two final chapters of this series featuring both mummies, considering what those stories consisted of. I think his artwork, which sometimes takes a strange turn towards the surreal, especially when rendered in black and white, would be more suited for stand-alone horror stories featuring psychological terrors rather than action-oriented stories featuring battle sequences.
For example, though his artwork was very wrong, IMO, for the two final stories featuring Jerome Curry and Arthur Lemming for all the reasons I pointed out above, his artwork was excellent for the final story in "The Mummy Walks" series, "Insanity" [from EERIE #63, indexed below], which read much like a stand-alone horror story, and involved a primarily psychologically oriented horror tale (note the Comments section for "Insanity" below, where I praise the art of Blazquez in that story with all due nostalgic fervor).
I believe that Brocal may have been originally intended to continue the art chores on this series, because though the "next issue" caption at the end of the previous story made it clear that Arthur Lemming was indeed slated to appear in this story from the onset, it was several issues before "The Mummy Walks" series was picked up again for its final three installments.
In accordance with the fact that two mummies appeared in this story and in the next entry, the series title was pluralized to "And The Mummies Walk" for its installments in EERIE #61 & 62.
WNU Connections: This story, along with the next, features a major crossover between this series and the defunct "Curse of the Werewolf" series, and can even be considered an official merging of the two series. As such, this tale effectively brings the character of Arthur Lemming, both a wolf-man and a re-animated mummy, into the WNU.
Classic Dialogue: In the flashback sequence to Throgmore's first meeting with the female criminal from this story, when the former was still in his original dwarfish body, as the smitten little man informs her that his master is away but "I'll be glad to help you," she snips back, "Look, little man. There's nothing you could ever do…for me!" Now that had to hurt!
Time Frame: This story took place shortly following the Lemming-Mummy's arrival in America in the Werewolf story from EERIE #56, which took place, at most, a few days afterwards, and shortly after (no more than a few days) the last installment of "The Mummy Walks." Hence, I would opine that this story takes place in mid-November, 1902. It was already shown that the "Curse of the Werewolf" and "The Mummy Walks" series were running concurrently with each other. This story also features, I believe, the third night of the full moon for this particular month, and the third lycanthropic metamorphosis of the Were-Mummy that month.
"Death Be Proud"
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Joaquin Blazquez
As the climactic events of the previous story are recapped and augmented, Throgmore [his name is spelled 'Trogmore' in this story], who was still within the human body of Arthur Lemming, awakened in a dining area of the Fox Inn after being rendered unconscious by the unnamed female thief who cold-cocked him on the head with a metal pitcher. He also noticed that the woman made off with all of his stolen loot. Looking out the window, he witnessed the battle between the Curry-Mummy and the Were-Mummy, and recognized the latter creature as the original owner of the body who had now come to reclaim it from him [see their original meeting in the Werewolf story from EERIE #56]. Recovering his gun, Throgmore quickly fled the area as the Were-Mummy was distracted by his battle with the Curry-Mummy outside.
Making his way into the Massachusetts town surrounding the Fox Inn, he noticed a young black boy [his race is fairly significant to note due to a later event in this story; read on] who was hired to tend the horse of a man named Mr.Joe. Seeing the horse as his transport out of the area, Throgmore demanded that the boy turn the animal over to him. The boy refused, exclaiming that Mr. Joe would "kill" him if he lost his horse. Coldly telling the youth, "Looks like your days are up either way, kid!", Throgmore kills the boy by bashing his skull in with the butt of his gun. Taking the horse and riding off with it, Throgmore noted to himself that he needed to acquire more money, which he could then use to "buy the best of food, the best of women!"
To conclude the recap, we saw the victorious Were-Mummy, whose lupine consciousness was now controlled effectively by the sentient mind of Arthur Lemming, notice that Throgmore had again escaped with his physical body…but due to the psychic link he retained with the body, he would still be able to trail the dwarf-made-perfect, and he was determined to do so.
In the meantime, Throgmore robbed a local bank for all of its money in order to achieve instant wealth, striking one of the customer's in the face with the butt of his gun in a display of his new-found ruthlessness and exuberance.
Now able to afford expensive clothing, Throgmore subsequently entered a fancy bordello on the outskirts of town, and looked at the large amount of nude women laying about the place. When the owner asked him if he had anything "special" in mind, Throgmore, within his new young and strong body, replied, "Yes! I have something very special in mind…! I believe I shall sample everything!" Wallowing in his new-found youth, attractiveness, and (illicit) wealth, Throgmore engaged in a lengthy orgy with the female employees of the bordello, indulging himself in the pleasure that he had been denied in all the decades he lived in the body of a deformed dwarf [then again, don't ask me how in the blue hell he knew what he was doing with those women!].
Over the next two weeks, Throgmore, in Arthur Lemming's body, lived his new life to the fullest, i.e., one of total hedonism and debauchery, which included fine food, attractive women…and murder.
Riding on horseback in one of the wooded areas of Massachusetts, Throgmore was slaveringly counting the eight hundred dollars he had just robbed from an unnamed elderly man, only to find himself under sudden assault by the Lemming-Mummy, who had tracked him there via the psychic link he retained with his human body [artist Blazquez rendered the bandaged creature in his Were-Mummy form, but this was likely just artistic license, unless we are to assume that this story occurred during the first full moon of the following month…either way, since Lemming now possessed more or less his full sentience when in lupine form if he exercised enough will power, the matter is largely moot, since the precise form of the Lemming-Mummy in no way factored into this story; see the Comments and Time Frame sections below]. Knocking Throgmore from his horse and insuring that he didn't draw his gun, the Lemming-Mummy dragged his original human body to a nearby lake, and held it under the water for a sufficient period of time to drown it.
It was here revealed that before leaving the occultist's home back in Boston, Lemming took care to read the scrolls in which the mage had utilized to conduct the original mystical ceremony of transference, and he had by now come to the conclusion that he should be able to use the enhanced psychic faculties he possessed due to his sharing a psyche with the other mind in the mummy to conduct the spell of transference without the need for the amulet [the second part of the last sentence being this author's personal conjecture]. The scrolls had also told him that the only way to slay his original human body without damaging it to the point that his own mind couldn't transfer back into it was by drowning it. The act of doing so caused the soul of Throgmore to vacate the body and pass on to the hereafter, thus leaving the body mindless but intact, and able to hold the consciousness of Lemming once more, after he performed the sufficient rites. Thus, the Lemming-Mummy carried his now insensate physical body, with the consciousness of the murderous William Benson Throgmore now expunged from it (and from the material plane itself), back to the occultist's home in Boston to perform the rite of transference.
Elsewhere, the Curry-Mummy had once again begun traveling about the state of Massachusetts in the horse and carriage he had previously absconded from the tiny village he recently visited, and noted that he still could not find any sign of the woman who had possession of his amulet. Nevertheless, he mused to himself that he at least knew where her ultimate destination was, and he resolved to reach that area and find her.
The story then proceeded to display a [very unnecessary] recap of the events of "Stranger In A Village of the Insane," revisiting the Curry-Mummy's battle with the demon who controlled all of the people in that town, and culminating with the collapse of the stone temple that killed everyone within…except for the bandaged form now housing the psyche of Jerome Curry [and at this point, I suppose all the readers were supposed to forget about the mysterious woman in that village who witnessed the Mummy's presence after the death of everyone else living there, and who resolved to follow him and learn more about him].
Back in Boston, the police chief was discussing with his officers all of the clues they had so far pieced together about the mysterious murderer who had killed nine people over the course of the previous month [actually the number was ten, but I guess they, and author Skeates, didn't feel that the 'ghoul' woman from the story "Ghoulish Encounter" should be counted (assuming the delinquent caretakers of the cemetery in question even found her body impaled on the spiked iron gates of the crypt by this point!)…I guess Mr. Skeates has a prejudice against insane people with a fetish for eating corpses, or something like that]. The police chief mentioned that the only clues they had found thus far were the strange gray dust that was discovered on the throats of each of the victims, as well as several pages that appeared to have been ripped out of a young woman's diary. The chief also noted that the murders had since apparently stopped, and this made finding the killer even more difficult. He then suggested that they needed extra help, and for that, he opined that they call in a personage named Richard Hunter. When one of his officers mentioned that Hunter had retired "years ago," the chief replied, "I know! I know! But he said he'd come back if we ever really needed him! Hunter's a man who never gives up! If anyone can solve this case, he can!" [See the Comments section below.]
Unaware of this turn of events, the Curry-Mummy was continuing his quest across the countryside of Massachusetts…unaware that he was also being followed by yet another person, this time a mysterious man on a horse, who harbored the following thoughts to himself: "It's now or never! I've been following him for some time! Time to make my move! Show myself…confront him!" [The text then notes that we will have to wait "later" to find out about the nature of this confrontation…see Comments below].
Finally, the Lemming-Mummy brings his own insensate body back into the chambers of the mage whom he encountered in Boston soon after first arriving in America. Placing his human body on the stone altar before him, amidst the rotting corpses of all of the people whom the Were-Mummy killed here during his rampage a month earlier [I guess no one checks up on that old mage very much!], the Lemming-Mummy began concentrating and reciting the mystical incantations found in the mage's scrolls [evidently, the other psyche that inhabits the body of this cursed mummy along with the consciousness of Arthur Lemming was less malicious and willful than other such cursed prisoners trapped within their bandaged corpses, including the one that formerly shared such a fetid form with the consciousness of Jerome Curry, as the other mind co-habiting the Lemming-Mummy made no attempt to obstruct Lemming's actions towards leaving that body, nor attempted to influence him very much unduly].
Within moments, the consciousness of Arthur Lemming departed the rotting form of the bandaged mummy and returned to his own human body [this lends further credence to my conjecture that this did not occur on the night of a full moon, otherwise Lemming's physical body would have transformed into his wolf-man form as soon as his mind returned to it, as his curse appeared to be meta-genetically connected to his soul]. Lemming was overjoyed to find himself restored to his human body and freed from one of his two curses, the far more pervasive of the two, and now "only" had to contend with the curse of lycanthropy (which only affected him during the three nights of the full moon each month). At least now, he was human again most of the time.
However, his extreme sense of elation was interrupted as he found himself confronted by a large, heavily-muscled black man wielding a knife…who announced that he was the father of the boy whom he saw "Lemming" murder two weeks earlier [don't ask me how the man managed to locate Lemming in the mage's sanctorum at this precise time…did he actually see the Lemming-Mummy carrying the body there, and recognize it slumped over the bandaged creature's shoulder like that? And of all times for Lemming to be bereft of the power of either the mummy or the wolf-man!] Though Lemming tried to explain that it wasn't truly him who killed the angry and powerful-looking man's son, he obviously simply came off as a loon with his explanation, and the large man accused Lemming of caring nothing for his son's life simply because he was "a black horse boy" [racism was indeed very rampant and very socially acceptable in America a century ago, thus making the man's conjecture quite sensible, even though it was incorrect in this particular instance]. Now in total shock at this turn of events, Lemming stated aloud to himself that he could not believe that this was happening [the "Lemming luck," as he mentioned earlier, does indeed suck big time!]; the large man before him simply replied, "You better believe it's happening, killer," and then proceeded to fatally stab the now human were-mummy to death.
As Lemming's bloody body fell to the ground, in his last few seconds of life, he was beset by images of the past several weeks, where his lycanthropic alter-ego was responsible for much bloodshed and carnage, including the brutal murders of both his beloved daughter Miriam and his wife Angela.
As the text lamented:
"And Arthur Lemming falls for the last time…! He watches his life drain away! The blood gushing from his wounds…and he remembers…! He sees vividly the daughter whose death he caused long ago…! He remembers the wife he loved so much…the wife he murdered…!
"…and the clarity of all the others he has slain…slaughtered[…] [t]hough he had no desire to slaughter…come to him in this last moment of life. They beckon him into their world…welcome him to the world of the dead! And though he is dying, Arthur Lemming is happy! He knows that the werewolf who has senselessly massacred so many, will kill no more…!
"…that the pitiful creature known as the Were-Mummy will never kill again…!
"Arthur Lemming is happy to be sharing death with his wife…his little girl! He is happy his curse is at long last ended! He dies as a man…not as a monster…!"
Thus ends the tragic saga of Arthur Lemming [and also, that of Jerome Curry…see Comments below].
Comments: This story featured the end of Arthur Lemming's story, as described in the synopsis above. This was his final appearance to date. One must wonder, however, if there was or is any possibility of a revival for Lemming, as it has been observed many times before that those in the WNU who are afflicted with the seemingly meta-genetic curse of the 'wolf-man' (i.e., the "Glabro", furry and fanged humanoid phenotype) variant of the lycanthrope are notoriously difficult to destroy, even in their human form. Granted, in human form, Lemming (and other wolf-men, such as Larry Talbot, Waldemar Daninsky, and Jack Russell), were every bit as vulnerable to harm as a normal human being (strictly speaking, that is), if they were killed in a manner that did not include silver, but they could still be revived when exposed to the rays of a full moon (this was proven in the case of Larry Talbot and Waldemar Daninsky numerous times each in the past).
It seemed like the police of Boston were surprisingly lax in following up on the murders of the people within the occultist's home, which you think they would have been doing in lieu of the fact that they had just recently had a killer running rampant in the city (i.e., the Curry-Mummy). It can be presumed, of course, that this house was eventually located by the police soon after this story, and the corpse of Arthur Lemming was found and interred like all the others discovered there. If he was positively identified as a citizen of Great Britain, it may be surmised that his body was shipped home, and he was buried on English soil, possibly even near or within the town of Dwarves Bay (where he was residing during the initial days of his lyanthropic curse; see the "Curse of the Werewolf" series, indexed elsewhere on this web site). If this aforementioned scenario was indeed the case (and please note that it's nothing more than pure speculation on my part), then he has remained interred, but in a non-decayed, catatonic state to this day, because his human body was shielded from the rays of any subsequent full moon.
But should his grave be opened for any reason, and if his body was exposed to the rays of the full moon (as happened to Larry Talbot and Waldemar Daninsky on more than one occasion each), it stands to reason that Arthur Lemming, wolf-man, could indeed rise again.
Of course, it appears that the latter hasn't occurred (at least not at this writing). Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what may happen in the future if the Warren characters other than Vampirella are ever given a proper revival, and also to see what any creative mythographer who specializes in therionthrophy (such as my colleague Crazy Ivan Schablotski) has to say about the apparent final fate of Arthur Lemming.
Strangely, despite all of the teasers regarding the future of the Curry-Mummy (who appeared only briefly in this story), this was his last appearance in Warren Comics, and he has yet to appear in the chronicles of Harris Comics at this writing, and to my knowledge no such revival is planned (there is some speculation that Harris abdicated its right to all of the Warren characters not directly connected to Vampirella following Jim Warren's late 1990s lawsuit against Stanely Harris's company). It was obvious that author Steve Skeates and the editorship of Warren Comics were planning to continue the saga of the Curry-Mummy in future installments of this series in the pages of EERIE when this particular story was published, but for reasons unknown, these plans were evidently discarded, and abruptly at that.
Hence, at this point, we have no idea who that woman was at the end of the story "Stranger In A Village of the Insane" who resolved to follow the Curry-Mummy; the identity of the strange man following him on horseback in this story who announced he would be confronting the Mummy was likewise never revealed [was this supposed to be the aforementioned woman? I swear that the mysterious rider on horseback looked like a man in this story!]; or who the mysterious personage of Richard Hunter, whom the Boston police were calling in to resolve the case, actually was. It also makes me wonder if Richard Hunter was perhaps related to Demian Hunter from the "Hunter" series that also ran in the pages of EERIE, featuring a hero indigenous to a future dystopian time track of the 22nd century. "Hunter" is indexed elsewhere on this site (Karas Hunter, of the series "Hunter 2," also indexed elsewhere on this site, did live on the same time track as Demian Hunter, but wasn't really related to him).
All of these promised future occurrences in the (no longer) continuing saga of the Curry-Mummy were left unresolved, showing yet another very frustrating aspect of the editorship of EERIE at the time, who presided over similar abrupt terminations regarding the previously promised continuation of other well-received series in that mag, such as "Dracula" and "Marvin the Dead-Thing."
As such, what happened to the Mummy whose mind was inhabited by the psyche of Jerome Curry, what ultimately became of his quest for the Amulet of Transference, and what ultimately occurred during his confrontations with the mysterious woman in the "village of the insane," the strange man following him on horseback in this story, and with the (presumed) bounty hunter/detective Richard Hunter, remains a major unsolved mystery of the WNU at this writing.
This series continued for one more entry (indexed below), but that was largely a stand-alone story set in the then present of the early 1970s, and had nothing to do with the Curry-Mummy (though it was made clear that it took place in-continuity). Hence, all that can be discerned about the final fate of the Curry-Mummy and his quest for the amulet at this writing (based upon the Mummy story "Insanity" from EERIE #63, the last in the series) was that by the year 1974, the amulet had traded many hands since being returned to the museum in Boston, and Jerome Curry's quest, whatever became of it, was definitively ended by that time.
The fact that the Curry-Mummy was given such short shrift in this story, the last in which he appeared, made the above situation all the more frustrating to the fans of this series. He was given a definitive ending to his saga in the reprint issue EERIE #78 (also indexed below), but I believe that these altered reprints were not part of the "consensus" WNU canon, and must be relegated to an AU (see my entry on EERIE #78 below for my explanations on this).
I must point out that artist Joaquin Blazquez's art was improved somewhat in this story, as this tale didn't involve any creature battles (nor any further interactions between the Curry-Mummy and the Lemming-Mummy), and much of it concentrated on the surrealistic, psychological aspects of Throgmore's hedonistic indulgences whilst inhabiting Arthur Lemming's form, and the aspects of the tale revolving around the restoration of the Lemming-Mummy's psyche to his own body, along with the latter's retrospective of his carnage as the wolf-man just before his demise.
Curiously, Cousin Eerie hosted this tale, something he rarely did for series stories.
WNU Connections: As noted above in the Comments section, this story, the last of both Jerome Curry and Arthur Lemming to be published, left several mysteries in the WNU canon for further creative mythographers to explore.
These include the final fate of the Curry-Mummy and his quest for the Amulet of Transference, whether or not this story was truly the final and lasting fate of the Arthur Lemming Wolf-Man, and the mystery regarding the identity of the obviously formidable but ultimately unseen Richard Hunter, and whether or not he had any connection to the many other prominent personages bearing the surname of "Hunter" in the "consensus" WNU.
Time Frame: This story took place two weeks after the previous entry, and I believe this to be sometime in early December of 1902. From the available evidence, I do not believe that this story occurred during a full moon, and that the Lemming-Mummy's depiction in this story of being in his Were-Mummy form was strictly an instance of artistic license (and a sloppy instance, at that) on the part of artist Blazquez.
Story: Steve Skeates
Art: Joaquin Blazquez
This story took place in the then present (circa early 1970s; see Time Frame below), and involved a woman named Linda Robbins. She was of Egyptian descent, and all of her life she found herself emotionally and physically unsatisfied in the various romantic relationships she formed with many different men. Throughout this time, she would often see a vague but powerfully distinct image of a man she could not identify in her mind, and somehow she was absolutely certain that this was the only man she could ever love and enjoy physical intimacy with. She was never able to discern his precise identity, however.
An avid reader, Linda was always fascinated by her aforementioned Egyptian heritage, and she took to detailed studies of Egyptology. Eventually, in the course of her readings, she came upon a painting of an ancient Egyptian queen who had lived 4,000 years ago, and she noted that the face she saw had an "uncanny" resemblance to her own. Even more surprising, upon looking at a painting of the Queen's secret lover on another page in the book, she realized that the face was definitely that of the man whose image frequently passed through her psyche…the only man in this world that she could ever truly love. Realizing that she was the modern reincarnation of this queen, she was hoping that her lover was likewise now reincarnated.
Nevertheless, upon further reading, she realized that this would not be the case, as her lover [presumably in punishment for his illicit love affair with the Queen being "found out" by the former's husband] was cursed and condemned to be trapped for eternity in his own mummified corpse, never to walk the Earth again in a reincarnated human form.
Upon further research by unknown means, Linda discovered that the mummified body of her ancient lover was on display in an Egyptian exhibit at a museum located in upstate Vermont. Her further studies also revealed the existence of the Amulet of Transference that would enable someone to project their psyche into the body of any well-preserved [and "cursed"] mummy, and to animate and control it. She even read a story alleging that this amulet was used by parties unknown to revive a mummy, which subsequently killed several people who were part of a late 19th century archeological expedition to Egypt [this was a reference to the tale of Michael Harding, the first Mummy to appear in this series, from the story "…And An End," published in EERIE #48, and indexed above]. Paying little heed to that story, Linda was primarily concerned about finding the whereabouts of that amulet, and somehow using it to reunite her with her ancient lover, the only man whom she could ever love, and whom she now thought and dreamed about obsessively.
Upon arriving in Vermont, she went to a party held by writers and artists (and which was common in the early '70s), where she had to steadfastly avoid the overtures of several men there who were "on the make" [you just gotta love that 1970s slang!]. Finally, realizing that no man other than her ancient lover could ever satisfy her sexually, she turned her thoughts towards the possibility of a woman doing so, despite never having displayed such inclinations in the past. Upon talking and flirting with one particular woman there, Linda realized that this woman, who revealed herself to be a resident of Boston, Massachusetts, actually had possession of the Amulet of Transference, and that a friend of hers who worked for a museum there had given it to her. Recognizing the bauble from a description she had seen in an Egyptology text that she had previously read, Linda resolved to acquire the necklace by any means necessary. As the woman departed the place to avoid a particularly drunken man "on the make," Linda saw this as her opportunity. Since Linda was a woman who was traveling alone, she carried a knife with her for protection, and she followed the woman who possessed the amulet she sought and brutally stabbed her to death.
As Linda's mind momentarily recovered from the madness that had seemingly taken over her mind, she could not believe that she actually murdered another human being to obtain an amulet, and even if what she read about the bauble turned out to be true and she did somehow resurrect her ancient lover, she still did not know what to say to people afterwards. However, these feelings of remorse and shock were quickly replaced by a renewed resolve to reunite herself with the man whose memory and image had defined her entire life for years.
Breaking into the Egyptian exhibit in the museum located somewhere in upstate Vermont [she sure had good lock-picking skills, and that museum sure had poor security!], Linda located the sarcophagus containing the mummified body of her ancient lover, within which his soul remained trapped on the material plane by an ancient curse.
Using the amulet and concentrating on the mystical words she had long ago memorized from the Egyptology text, her consciousness was indeed transferred from her own body and into that of the Mummy…and as she intended, her own thoughts and emotions merged with that of her ancient lover, an action which she planned to bring extreme pleasure and happiness to both. But that is not what occurred. Instead, both minds found this merging to be highly traumatic and terrifying, with the result being..."insanity."
As the text stated in regards to this psychic unification:
"The union…now, you possess his thoughts, and you feel his emotions…and he feels yours. Male thoughts merge with female thoughts…male emotions mingle with female emotions…active and passive…but no! It's too much! You cannot take it…neither of you can take it…!
"To control and to be controlled…to dominate and to be dominated…all this in one mind…you never realized male thoughts were so hard and uncaring! They twist and squeeze your gentler thoughts, you cannot stand it…!" [Those last two sentences were awfully reverse-sexist of Mr. Skeates to interpret in such a manner, but I digress!]
Finally, the Robbins-Mummy became animate, as Linda caused the bandaged corpse she now partially controlled to rise and crawl towards her now insensate human body, in a desperate bid to restore her psyche to it. She was helped along in this task by the mind of her ancient lover, who likewise was going mad as a result of this twisted psychic union. As the Mummy took the amulet in her/his hands and replaced it over her/his neck, Linda forced herself to concentrate sufficiently so that her own consciousness was successfully transferred back to its human body.
With this accomplished, Linda slumped to the floor as her physical body was overcome by the fatigue that was a natural side-effect of making the transference.
As she rose to her feet, however, she noticed that the Mummy was still standing before her…and still animate. The powerful psychic union had somehow succeeded in allowing her male lover to take full control over his now dead physical body once her own mind had departed it, and was no longer subject to full or partial catatonia. Despite the horrid rotting stench and fetid flesh that accompanied the corpse beneath the bandages, Linda was still thrilled to have her ancient lover back with her, in a manner in which they could now love each other again in a physical sense [sorry, but I can't resist saying this: eeeeeuuuuwww! One must wonder if Skeates was revisiting the veiled necrophilia themes of his previous story "Ghoulish Encounter," indexed above; were he a creative mythographer, he would probably suggest wolding the film "Necromantik" and its sequel].
Nevertheless, just as Linda began to embrace her reanimated lover, she discovered that she still possessed a psychic link with him as a side effect of their brief but agonizing psychic union, allowing her to empathically read his emotional state…and she sensed not love or joy in his mind, but rather extreme anger and hatred. He was utterly reviled over being revived from his state of catatonia in the body of a decayed, animated corpse. Extremely resentful of his own ancient lover for reviving him in this form, the Mummy reached forth and strangled Linda to death, taking revenge in the only manner that he could.
As the text stated at the end of the story: "…in the morning, the museum guards [they must have finally woken up!] will find a strangled woman…and a mummy with his brains blown out!"
[Since there is no way that a suddenly revived 4,000 year old man could possibly know what a firearm was, nor how to work it, I can only presume that he learned about such weapons during his brief psychic union with Linda…perhaps he actually acquired the gun by taking it from one of the sleeping guards!]
Comments: This story was the final entry in Warren's Mummy series, and it was more or less a stand-alone story that was nevertheless linked to previous events that occurred with Michael Harding, Jerome Curry, and Arthur Lemming, since the text directly made this clear.
As is obvious from reading the synopsis above (and even more obvious if you actually read the story) this tale had a considerably different tone than any of the previous stories in the series. It was not about an anti-hero on a quest or in any other type of adventure, but was strictly a psychological thriller and a demented love story, displaying the too often ignored dark side of love, and the destructive ramifications that can result from the negative side of such romantic attachments. Again, author Steve Skeates should be commended for using the horror medium to explore such important though unsavory elements of the human condition, much as the sci-fi medium has more often been given credit for doing.
This story happens to have great nostalgic value to this author. EERIE #63 was the first issue of the mag ever purchased for me by my mother at my own request (she used to buy comic books for me at a small, now long gone neighborhood deli/newsstand called Serio's on the way home from school…I was only in my early years of elementary school at the time, and the liberal era of the '70s was an amazing time period in which to grow up). To this day, I recall her reading this particular story to me (while diligently leaving out certain parts, including the allusions to lesbianism at one point in this tale) and I remember being particularly taken with Blazquez's utterly unearthly and surrealistic artwork. As I noted in other entries in this Index, his art was very unsuited for a story dealing with adventure and anti-heroic activities (especially battle sequences), but it was absolutely perfect for psychological thrillers, or other stand-alone horror stories (or possibly even series) dealing with a minimum of action but a high degree of psychological context. The vibrant images of the Mummy screaming in agony, including the close-ups to his visage, were particularly unforgettable under Blazquez's pen.
As is obvious from reading anything above this, the final entry in the series took a complete about-face from chronicling the saga of the Curry-Mummy and his quest for the Amulet of Transference, with all of the attendant cliffhangers appearing in the last few stories becoming nothing more than frustrating and unresolved red herrings for Warren fans now that 30+ years have passed since the publication of the original mags at this writing…and we are no less annoyed at Jim Warren, Bill DuBay, and the rest of the Warren staff for this three decades later (sorry, guys!).
Needless to say, regarding the ultimate fate of the Jerome Curry Mummy, it was at least revealed in this issue that by 1974 [see the Time Frame section below], the amulet was restored to the same museum in Boston, Massachusetts where Curry originally discovered it in 1902.
Though said to have lived 4,000 years ago (further back in time than the mummies co-habited in this series by the psyches of Michael Harding, Jerome Curry, and Arthur Lemming, respectively), the ancient Egyptian Queen reincarnated as Linda Robbins in the 20th century, along with her secret lover, were not specifically identified in this story…hopefully, present and future creative mythographers who analyze this series further than I have, and who are particularly interested in the various cursed and re-animated mummies strolling about the WNU, will tackle this question (see WNU Connections below).
WNU Connections: Though more or less written as a stand-alone story, this tale had a direct reference to the story of Michael Harding from EERIE #48, it featured the Amulet of Transference from the latter story as well as all of the stories featuring the Jerome Curry Mummy (including a reference to the amulet coming from a museum located in Boston, where Curry first found it), a reference to two previous individuals who had used the amulet to transfer their consciousness into the body of a mummy (i.e., Harding and Curry), and it also featured yet another of the many cursed mummies who have appeared in various mediums within the "consensus" WNU. As noted in my online article Mummies in the Wold Newton Universe 101, the latter process entails a personage from the various ancient Egyptian dynasties being punished in a singularly cruel manner via the knowledge that Egyptian mystics and ruling class aristocrats possessed about re-animating the dead…by mummifying their bodies and causing their etheric bodies containing their soul to remain trapped within their physical corpse forever, and unable to pass on to the afterlife for eventual reincarnation.
All of the above connections effectively bring the story of Linda Robbins and her ancient lover into the WNU.
It should perhaps be noted that the concept of meta-genetics, i.e., the idea of a connection between certain genetic bloodlines and the transmigration of their souls, thus causing their spirits to always be reincarnated in the bodies of people of the same genetic lineage (and almost invariably in the same gender) is implicit in other places in the WNU, including the back stories of Carter Hall and Shiera Saunders, i.e., Hawkman and Hawkwoman, whom I believe to also have counterparts in the WNU. They have a similar meta-genetic connection to their ancient Egyptian heritage, and this provides yet another strong clue towards the veracity of meta-genetics at least being extant in certain specific genetic bloodlines in the WNU (if not in the RU), particularly people of Egyptian or Norse "folk" heritage (see my currently forthcoming article covering Hawkman and Thor of the WNU…and forgive my shameless plugging of both future essays here).
Time Frame: This story was explicitly stated to have occurred in 1975, as the cover date of EERIE #63 was February, 1975. However, since it's an established fiat for creative mythographers chronicling the WNU to consider most stories to have occurred at a point in time prior to their actual publishing date (since I speculate that the Jim Warren and Bill DuBay of the WNU were receiving detailed accounts of these stories directly from Cousin Eerie and other mystic sources, just as it was later revealed in the annals of Harris Comics that the Archie Goodwin of the WNU was receiving his accounts of Vampirella directly from her), I believe that it's more likely that this story occurred sometime in 1974, possibly a bit earlier, but not too much earlier.
Comments: This was an all-reprint issue of EERIE, specifically a collected edition of "The Mummy Walks" series. It's indexed here solely as a wake-up call to any creative mythographers who may wish to use it for researching the particulars of this series. It purported to reprint all of the Jerome Curry stories, but the first five reprints were all altered in minor but significant ways, and the sixth reprint was altered in an extremely significant manner so as to effectively make it a completely different story that was simply borrowing most of the artwork of a previous story (and colorizing it). These were the stories reprinted, in the order seen in this issue of EERIE, all written (and possibly re-written) by Steve Skeates and illustrated by Jaime Brocal:
"The Death of a Friend"
"The Mind Within"
"Enter: Mr. Hyde"
"Stranger In A Village of the Insane"
"…And An End"
The two stories featuring the Arthur Lemming Mummy, "A Battle Of Bandaged Beasts" and "Death Be Proud," and the single story featuring the Linda Robbins Mummy, "Insanity," were not reprinted in this issue in any shape or form.
The first five stories had slight alterations to imply that the entire Jerome Curry saga took place in Cairo, Egypt, rather than Boston, Massachusetts, where most of his backstory occurred in the previous versions of those tales. In fact, the purported Cairo setting of these reprints looked awkward in lieu of Brocal's art, as most of the buildings and settings seen in this story were clearly based upon renditions of early 20th century America, and could not have existed in Cairo of the year 1902, not even in the WNU. Some parts of the text, and certain dialogue, were re-written to accommodate this.
The "final" story in the Jerome Curry saga, "…And An End," was actually the artwork taken from Skeates's story of the same name from EERIE #48, which was actually the first story in "The Mummy Walks" series, and which only featured Jerome Curry in the epilogue, and actually highlighted the single exploit of the Michael Harding Mummy (this version of the story, featuring the Harding-Mummy, is indexed above). For its reprinted version, the artwork of the latter story was colored by Bill DuBay and the dialogue and captions totally re-written to make it appear to present the destruction of Jerome Curry, rather than Michael Harding (whose character was entirely phased out of this version of the story, as was all the rest of his story's supporting cast). Of course, the epilogue sequence in the original story featuring the introduction to Jerome Curry was fully deleted from this greatly altered reprint. See WNU Connections below.
It is my belief that this reprint issue of EERIE, unfortunately, must be ignored by any creative mythographer hoping to research "The Mummy Walks," despite the obvious convenience on many levels of finding all the Jerome Curry stories in one issue. Alas, each of these stories have been altered, and only the original versions of these tales, as originally published in all the issues of EERIE listed above in this Index, should be consulted as a legitimate reference source.
It should be noted that the fact that these reprints were so heavily altered was not mentioned in the entry for EERIE #78 that appeared in THE WARREN COMPANION by David Roach and Jon B. Cooke.
The colorized and heavily altered reprint of the story "...And An End" that appears in EERIE #78 was reprinted in COMIX INTERNATIONAL #5.
WNU Connections: The versions of the stories appearing in this reprint issue of EERIE, IMO, must be relegated to an AU of the "consensus" WNU, and should not be considered to be canon, for all of the reasons enumerated in the Comments section above.