Heath had stories in nine issues of the eleven-issue run of Menace, and his style was perfect for horror comics. As Dr. Michael Vassallo says in his introduction to the hardbound compilation of Menace: “Heath was nearly unsurpassable in his ability to depict dark, brooding and grim hopelessness.” That certainly describes the last story in issue #1, “They Wait in Their Dungeon,” which Dr. V. describes as “ . . . a shockingly violent tale about abused inmates finally getting revenge on their brutal warden.” The second story we show today has a totally different subject matter, but shares with the first tale a totally unlikeable main character. Both Stella Stevens (!!) and Warden Drury share in common Pappy's First Law of Horror Comics: “The main character shall be as unpleasant and unredeemable as possible.” That is done to make the reader very happy when they come to their inevitable end.
Menace was published during the horror comics boom, and was cancelled in 1954, when the fiery heat of the critics was licking around the ankles of comic book publishers.
Three more of my favorite Russ Heath postings. Sea Devils, GI's and dinosaurs, and the Living Brain! Just click on the thumbnails.