After two days away, I'm back with a new issue of Vampirella.
This early issue of Vampirella is a rarity in that there is no Vampirella story. While she hosts the majority of the stories in the issue, her usual own story is strangely absent.
Behind the Bill Hughes cover is the frontis, "Vampi's Feary Tales" The Face of Medusa", by Billy Graham.
First up is "Fiends in the Night!" by Tom Sutton (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). This story was clearly meant for Creepy, as it is hosted by Uncle Creepy instead of Vampirella. The story is about a crook who steals a small chest from an old man, who curses him. Finding only a book in the chest, he tosses it aside. Fleeing from the city in the midst of winter, he is confronted by ghouls, werewolves and a vampire. He goes back to get the book, thinking that it holds spells that he'll be able to use to defend himself, only to find it frozen shut as a bunch of rotting corpses start after him.
Up next is "The Marriage" by Ralph Reese (art) and Steve Skeates (story). Its about a man so obsessed with building a machine that his girlfriend leaves him. He punches the machine and is electrocuted to death, but is brought back to life by the machine which keeps him alive solely to do chores for it. Reese's art kind of looks like Richard Corben's in this story.
"Eye of Newt, Toe of Frog" is third, with art by Frank Brunner and story by Gerald Conway. It's about a woman whose annoyed by her husband so she looks into the black arts. She soon finds things too much for her to handle, and it ends up that her husband was into the stuff the whole time too.
"The Soft, Sweet Lips of Hell!", with art by Steve Englehart & Neal Adams and written by Denny O'Neil is next, about a succubus who falls in love with a boxer being pressured by the mob. The boxer is killed, but she uses her power to bring him back to life, with the price being her life.
"War of the Wizards" is the fifth story, and is both written and drawn by Wally Wood. It's about a pair of rival wizards who use a soldier in their fight between each other. The soldier is able to defeat both wizards, and is revealed to be a wizard himself. As usual, Wood's art is quite good, and the story, while not having a horror theme, is pretty good too.
"A Thing of Beauty" is this issue's cover story, with art by Billy Graham and written by Len Wein. Its about a very beautiful actress who fakes a relationship with a very ugly special effects producer to get publicity. Upon finding out how she really feels about him, he switches her with a dummy of hers that gets set on fire, killing her.
Last up is "Regeneration Gap", once again with art by Tom Sutton and written by Chuck McNaughton. With over-population, food shortages and pollution destroying the Earth, a spaceship departs to space. Returning to Earth 100 years later, a man returns as all that's let of humanity and finds Earth a wasteland except for a single beautiful woman who keeps talking about 'purifying him'. The woman ends up being a blob-like creature and turns him into one too. I'll probably lean towards this one as my favorite story from the issue.
A so-so issue. Sutton and Wood's stories are quite good, while the others are average at best.