Monday, April 24, 2017

Number 2040: “Who summons Satan?”

Nick Rico has a great lawyer. Nick keeps getting arrested for his gangland murders, and his lawyer gets him off, every time. Not only does that defy the odds, but Nick has a hot blonde girlfriend — appropriately named Dolly — who is lucky enough to find a bookstore selling a book on necromancy and black magic. She uses it to summon no less than Satan himself! That shop looks like a fun place to browse.

Stan Lee wrote it, and Russ Heath drew it. Heath did his usual excellent work. “Gentlemen of the Jury” was originally published in Adventures Into Weird Worlds #17 (1953), but I scanned it from a reprint in Vault of Evil #9 (1974).


Brian Barnes said...

Oh how I love Stan Lee. There is certainly a lot of Kirby/Ditko (who I love also) folks that try to knock Lee down, and Lee can certainly be guilty of showboating, but these tales show that Stan could write fun little tales with memorable characters and situations in just a few pages. Yeah, the book store comes out of nowhere, but frankly the page counts are low and sometimes these elements need to just appear.

Of course, Heath gets a lot of credit for the beautiful art.

bzak said...


Thanks for this one!

I wonder if Syd Shores had anything to do with the art on this one. A lot of the facial features and expressions look like his work.

Brian Riedel

Pappy said...

Brian (Barnes), it is late to put any kind of deep analysis to a script that Stan Lee probably batted out in an hour's work (or less), before going on to the next one. The book store is no more or less believable than the myriads of antique stores, voodoo shops, and other bookstores holding tomes with arcane knowledge that appeared in fantasy fiction when they were needed.

Yep, the artwork is primarily the reason I showed it.

Pappy said...

Brian (Reidel), the comic book business being what it was, and especially with the number of titles Atlas was putting out each month, I would not doubt if other hands (even Shores') had something to do with the artwork. Stan Lee has often been written of as the kind of editor who would ask another artist to do "fixes" to someone else's work.