Thursday, December 11, 2008

The House of Mystery #225 - July 1974

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Another adventure with the original Phantom Stranger!

The Phantom Stranger's reprint series continued in The House of Mystery, this time in a tale called "The Hairy Shadows":
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Reprinted from The Phantom Stranger (Vol.1) #4, this tale is by John Broome, Murphy Anderson, and Joe Giella.

A young couple, Vic and Ellen Woods, are searching for "the Old Judd House." A local of the town tells them its haunted, but that's okay with them--their hobby is looking for ghosts!

The local says that was the hobby of Old Judd, the house's former owner, as well. Supposedly one night Judd was reading from a spell book, when a hairy monster suddenly appeared, grabbed Judd, and disappeared into smoke. No one ever saw Judd again.

Vic and Ellen aren't scared off by this, and they arrive at the house. Someone else is there, too:
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Inside the house, they find Judd's spell book, and they go ahead and start one of the rituals. In the middle of one of the spells, a shaggy, monstrous shadow appears, scaring Ellen (then why'd you do it?).

The Phantom Stranger reappears and says he is here for the same reason they are--to learn exactly how and why the house is haunted. They try the same spell, to see if they can make the hairy shadow reappear. But the Stranger draws out a pentagram on the floor to make an extra precaution:
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The passageway to the other dimension fades, trapping the monster in the room. The Stranger grabs it by the throat, demanding to know what became of Judd.

Vic demands the return of Judd, and then they will send the monster back as a trade. He agrees to this, and:
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I love the second panel on this page, with the monster high-tailing it out of our dimension.

Another very goofy story starring the original Phantom Stranger, I wonder how these stories went down with readers who only knew the character in the more dynamic form from his solo book.


1 comment:

Bribaby said...

This is a hard book to come by. I never owned it when it was originally published, and it always eluded me when I set out about 10 years ago to collect all the 100-page specials DC had put out in the 70's.
Goofy is the word. But I have a fondness for some of that weird detail, like how their shapes changed from one dimension to the other, though it played no significance at all in the action and WE NEVER GOT TO SEE IT. Complexity just for the sake of complexity.

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