Wednesday, January 07, 2009

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- House of Mystery #179

House of Mystery #179 (On Sale: January 7, 1969) has another wonderful cover by Neal Adams. This is just a classic issue as you will see.

We begin with an introduction page featuring Cain written and drawn by Joe Orlando. Next is "Sour Note" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Jerry Grandenetti and George Roussos. This is the story of Mark Eldon, who was given a note written in a strange language by a mysterious silent woman in a dark abandoned mansion. Everyone he gives the note to seems to be able to translate it and every time they do, the results are disastrous for Mark. What is the secret of the sour note? Reprinted in House of Mystery #229.

Next is "The Man Who Murdered Himself" by Marv Wolfman and introducing Bernie (Berni) Wrightson. This is Marv's first horror story sale and of course he would go on to write years worth of Tomb of Dracula for Marvel. Bernie will always be remembered for his classic run on his co-creation, Swamp Thing, and the numerous covers he will do over the years for the DC horror/mystery line. Bernie also pulled a long stint at Warren drawing some classic black and white horror stories. Reprinted in House of Mystery #228. This story is a pretty inauspicious start for Wolfman, a short tale of a maybe haunted house.

Next we have "Page 13" by Joe Orlando and Sergio Aragones and "Cain's game Room" by Sergio Aragones.

That brings up to "The Widow's Walk" by Howie Post, Neal Adams and Joe Orlando. This is the second of five horror stories that Anthro creator Howie Post would write for DC. Joe Orlando's inks are not a very good fit for Neal Adam's pencils and this is a team you would not see again. Post's story is terrific, beginning in 1897 where we meet Angus Beame, a young merchant seaman. This is the story of Angus's foiled marriage for money scheme and the curse of a scorned and devoted wife. Great stuff and obviously the reason it has been reprinted so much. Reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-23, DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #17 and Saga of Ra's Al Ghul #3.

The entire issue was also reprinted in Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

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