Friday, June 5, 2009

Vampirella 28

A very good issue of Vampirella, featuring a usual Enrich cover, although at least here Vampi is without her trademark costume; instead topless in her underwear in a swamp, pursued by a strange creature. This issue is cover dated October 1973.

First is "Vampirella and the Curse of the Macdaemons" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). This story was Butterworth's first work for Warren. The Macdaemons of the title are a family who lives in Scotland. As the son of the family comes of age he is forced to watch over the family secret. Vampi and Pendragon come there on vacation and meet Alastair, who tells Vampi of how an ancestor of his was forced to mate with a sea monster. Alastair plans to feed Pendragon to the creature, but when he lets it go, it instead attacks him, jealous over the attention he's paid to Vampirella. Vampirella then bites it in her bat form, killing it. This story would be continued into the next issue, revealing the creature's monster parent.

Second is "The Clash of the Leviathons" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Doug Moench (story). This story has an odd protagonist, a Tyranosaurus Rex! The first half of the story features the T-Rex's life and all he thinks about, getting more food for himself. Soon a spaceship of three large humanoid aliens arrive, seeking to take over the planet. One of them fights with the T-Rex, but is defeated and killed by it. The other two return to their ship and leave the planet. The T-Rex has unwittingly saved the planet from the aliens, but by eating the corpse of the alien he killed he causes an virus outbreak that results in the death of all the dinosaurs.

Third is "Blind Man's Guide" by Fernande Fernandez (story & art). This story was Fernandez's first Warren appearance. A blind man convinces townfolks to give him money by quoting poetry. One day the boy who accompanies him tries to steal a gold coin he was given, so the blind man beats him. The boy swears revenge and one day as they head through the woods he gets a pack of wolves to kill him. The boy is in an accident soon after and becomes blind himself. He takes on a seeing eye dog, but it ends up being one of the wolves who attacked his master, and eventually turns on him as well.

Fourth is this issue's color story, "The Power and the Gory!" by Auraleon (art) and W. Eaton (story). A British Governor in the American colonies has a brutish son who commits horrendous deeds including committing scientific experiments on a local boy's dog and trying to rape a blind woman he sees from out her window. The repeated calls for punishment from the townfolk cause the governor to agree to let him be punished the next time he does something, but only by what he decrees. The son later rapes and murders one of the townfolk's daughters. The governor decides to punish him only by putting him in the stocks for 8 hours, but leaves it up to the townfolk to carry it out. They put him in the stocks and drop it underwater, resulting in his death. When they pull him up they find the corpse of the woman he killed grabbing on to him.

Fifth is "Eye Don't Want to Die!" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Doug Moench (story). A thief kills an old tailor in her boarding house who spooks her with his glass eye. She steals all his money and plans to leave the next day. As she leaves however she finds the glass eye following behind her. No matter what she does it still follows her. After she dies, it is revealed that the eye was actually sewed to her clothing which was why it appeared to be following her around.

Sixth is "The Other Side of Heaven" by Jose Bea (story & art). A man wonders by the beach one day and finds a bizarre octopus-like creature that looks like its been smuthered with peanut butter and jelly. The man feels a close connection with the creature and decides to carry it to his house. The creature starts talking to him, telling him that it is God, but is dying. It offers to let him become God himself. It tells him how to find a pain killing liquid then merges with him, making him God. Best story in a terrific issue, one of Warren's most unique (and bizarre) stories ever.

Last is "Old Texas Road" by Isidro Mones (art) and Bruce Bezaire (story). This story was Bezaire's Warren premiere. This story is based on an urban legend, and features a couple in a car that runs out of gas. The man leaves the car and tells his paranoid girlfriend to stay there and not open the car door. She hears scratches, but chooses to ignore them and eventually falls asleep. The next day policemen pick her up and take her away, and it is revealed that the boyfriend was hanging from a tree bleeding to death, scratching on the car roof but she was too scared to go outside and save him.

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