Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vampirella 38

Sanjulian provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, cover dated November 1974.

First is "The Mummy's Revenge" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). This story continues from the Vampirella story in issue 36. Vampirella and Pendragon are in Egypt and visit the mummy of Ptolemy, who was killed by Vampi in ancient times in the previous story. Vampi meets Professor Bruno who brings her on a tour of an underground labyrinth. He abandons her there and the mummy of Ptolemy along with other ghouls pursue her. The spirit of Amun-Ra arrives and tells her that Ptolemy's mummy is alive due to Bruno. Vampirella goes and kills him, resulting in the destruction of the mummy.

Second is "Gypsy Curse" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Gerry Boudreau & Carl Wessler (story). A gypsy woman is attacked by her husband when he comes back from the war. The story flashes back to before they were married, when he had to kill her father because the gypsies didn't approve. As he dies, her father tells him that should he ever harm his daughter, he will be destroyed by demons. While the husband is away from the war an ugly servant threatens to tell her husband she's having an affair (which is untrue). Her husband then attacks her when he returns home because of this, but the gypsy curse comes true and he is torn to shreds by unseen demons.

Third is "Lucky Stiff" by Ramon Torrents (art) and once again Gerry Boudreau & Carl Wessler (story). A very cautious man ignores a beautiful young woman who starts at the place where he works. At the end of the day she invites him to come to her home at the other side of town. The story shows what would happen if he went. He arrives there, only to be attacked by cats. She tells him he doesn't deserve to live and that he is going to be fed to them. The narrative then reveals that he actually didn't go there, as he was hit by a car along the way. This story is a rewrite from a story Carl Wessler did for EC comics in the Haunt of Fear 26, published in 1954.

Fourth is "Out of the Nameless City" by Felix Mas (art) and John Jacobson (story). A rather complicated tale influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. During a play a man, Dennis, reads some strange language on a prop coffin. He and a friend, Vaughn go to visit Vaughn's uncle, an archaeologist and find that it tells of elder Gods resting for eternity. Dennis remembers his youth where he was taught of these mysterious things by his uncle Abner. The uncle later shows up, telling him he was raised to bring the elder gods back to life. Vaughn kills Dennis after finding that he killed his uncle. He later kills his girlfriend too after finding that she is pregnant with Dennis's child, Abner's last hope at reviving the elder Gods.

Fifth is "On Little Cat Feet!" by Auraleon (art) and John Jacobson (story). A much lighter toned story than the other stories in this issue, a very good one though, the best story of the issue. A witch, Kitty, lives in a rooming house with her artist friend Eulalia. Kitty is kicked out of the place by the landlady and plots revenge by turning into a cat and poisoning her claws. She kills the landlady's cat, taking its place, then kills the landlady as well soon after. Eulalia meanwhile recruits an actor as a model for her latest work, a statue of Nero. Kitty, still in her cat form, wanders by and Eulalia has the actor hold her in his arms. Eulalia reveals herself to be Medusa, and when she reveals herself ends up turning both the actor and Kitty into a statue.

Last is "Trick of the Tide" by Isidro Mones (art) and Jack Butterworth (story). A man, Gabriel, finds the corpse of a man in the water and steals the money on him. When his wife arrives to claim the body he refuses to admit it was there. When she confronts him later, he clubs her head in and dumps her in the river. When a reward is offered for her, he goes to fish her out, only for her to kill him.

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