Thursday, July 29, 2010

You've Been Warned: Secrets of the Haunted House #39

I’m normally quite forgiving when it comes to Bronze Age horror anthologies, as I know that I can usually just count on each issue containing at least one decent story. This one is weak from cover to cover. First, let me say that I find the ‘host’ of this series, Destiny, to be too intrusive and lacks the black humour that gives Cain and Abel their charm. The first story is a slow moving tale about an amnesiac vampire, it feels like a Charlton romance for the first 5 pages or so before ramping far too quickly for the climax. The middle tale has promise, with nice Dan Spiegle art – but the Mr. E story about evil wolves haunting a town is far too tame. Finally, we get a morality tale that is a fresh take on the Midas touch. This one ain’t bad, as it has a pretty gruesome conclusion but it is completely ruined by an unnecessary framing sequence on the opening page. It does not tie into the story at all – very weird. Reading this, I got the sense that this was a series simply spinning its wheels towards cancellation. Uninspired on every level.


Anonymous said...

To be fair, SoHH actually has some really good stories as well, just not this issue.

Speaking of 'anemic'... I agree about Destiny, ugh!

Mark said...

Isn't that's the same Destiny that Gaiman used for Sandman? I've read that Destiny was an existing DC character this makes me wonder why Gaiman picked him.

(Yeah, his name starts with a "D" but the DC universe has at least three "Death" character so he could have made a new Destiny.)

hobbyfan said...

I respectfully disagree with your assessment. I had this issue some time back, and at that time, the hook was Mr. E, a rare ongoing series in an anthology book, something that DC experimented with in the beginning of the 80's. Mr. E has been rewritten far removed from his original concept, but the short pieces from 1980-1 were actually good reading.