||Featuring one of my favorite covers from ACG’s Adventures into the Unknown comic book series, the title story does not quite live up to the greatness of the cover but in my estimation this is still a pretty interesting issue.
This could possibly also be considered a somewhat significant issue as the plight of the main character in the first story “Vampire Spider,” the mad scientist Karl Grutz somewhat parallels to a minor extent that of scientist Andre Delambre from the classic cult horror film to follow in 5 years, 1958′s The Fly.
But there are two huge differences: The Fly was a fairly involved full story, an instant classic featuring the great actor Vincent Price as the scientist AND a giant man-fly versus the “Vampire Spider,” which fits deservingly so between those quotes and certainly could not stand on it’s own four legs as a proper film or story. And no one will be likely to remember poor Karl (who is a major jerk anyway). BUT instead of a fly, to its credit, the story does feature a real cretin in the form of a mad scientist who does transform into a cool giant spider with a thirst for human blood.
So the the story starts off OK but ultimately kind of sucks… The saving grace (if there is one) is that it is supported with the nice cover. Perhaps the real problem was its extreme brevity and not-so-killer ending. I am aware of the length guidelines in writing on the stories for the book, but poor Karl and an awesome vampire spider deserved so much more and I would of really liked to see him live up to the ‘vampire’ part of the title a little bit better.
Next in the issue is a text story called “Proof Positive” that is a minor filler ghost yawn, whoops, i mean yarn.
The second comic story is “The Labyrinth of Daboor” and follows another real jerk - treasure hunter Moore in northern India. Not wanting to give away what may or may not be fairly predictable, I will ask you two questions: “Are Labyrinths cool?” and “Do you appreciate dramatic justice?” If so, well you will still probably find this story a little below par. Anyway, let us continue down another disasterous path or…
“The Road to Death“ – Now things pick up as we find two real jerk lovers Roy and Marion who may just find themselves on…. the road to Death. Not bad, not bad.
More dramatic justice served on a cold stone platter with tons of symbolic fog or perhaps it is smoldering exhaust from the tailpipe of Hell! I like the artwork on this short story that is a little more fleshed out than the previous story with a less apparent twist bringing the big bang factor up a little for this book. Plus there is a character who looks a bit like actor Ronald Colman, and if you are aware some of his flicks then perhaps if you ruminate on it there are some slight if coincidental nods relating to… ah, nevermind! (No one will know what I’m talking about)
I found the next story “The Imposter” to be the weakest or least spectacular story of the bunch in this issue. I’ll just leave it out of the review and let it be a complete mystery for the joy of your discovery if you decide to read this issue yourself. If you read it and disagree, feel free to comment yourself.
The final tale “I Am a Zombie” really surprised me and quite frankly I love it. Why was I surprised? Well, I really think the zombie-themed media blitz that has littered the decade of the 2000s has become excruciatingly played-out and painful. Perhaps, I find it a tiresome genre, even if reading older stuff from 1953, especially when the comic starts out, “I am called Morto! In the zombie horde to which I am doomed…” A cold sigh escaped my bemoaned and cracked lips..
Then I read it again and again transfixed on the opening panel displaying Morto’s mug hypnotising me to read further willingly. It seems I had then lost my will to resist any further (kind of like Morto). Morto rocks, who can hate a zombie named Morto? Who can hate a zombie who just has it plain rough… working like a slave… for what… nothing. This is someone I can really relate to daddy-0. Morto the working stiff…
I read on… and on… We get to learn quite a bit more about Morto and his relation to millionaire bayou oil prospector Roger Hanks and how Morto, himself, ended up going from riches to rags! An above par little story that further elevates the issue, along with “The Road to Death,” from being relagated to cobwebbed dustbin of lost, forgettable comics.
Overall, Adventures into the Unknown #50 (and I sure this applies to the series overall at least in the early period of the comic, which ran for 174 issues, 1948-1967) is stitched together with a few very brief and simple story sketches, some winners some losers. If I took an average of my individual ratings per story, truth be told, the average would fall a bit below par but due to the minor appeal of the cover story/cover art, some decent panels of artwork and especially the Morto story, I am ordered by my Master to issue this one a 3-star.
[The following is the first review from a blog I recently started and will announce via the forum in my thread AFTER I get a bunch more up when it's more suitable or worthy to share.. I hope to have some BIG surprises and regularly post and contribute some reviews!! - capnted]
OH YEA.......... 3.0/4 stars!
||Nice review. Gonna enjoy reading this comic book!