Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Number 2044: The Devil made her do it

Tanya is a young woman who is blessed with beauty, but cursed by Satan to use it to make men of her village fight over her. What the story, “Satan’s Woman Prize,” calls a curse I call immature teenage behavior, but that’s just me. When a writer needs a good villain, Satan is always a good choice.

The story is scanned from Super Comics’ Mystery Tales #17 (1964), which is a reprint of Avon’s Eerie #14 (1951). The Grand Comics Database mistakenly credits Martin Nodel for the pencils, when they mean Norman Nodel (identified correctly in their listing for Eerie #14.) Vince Alascia inked it.


Daniel [] said...

“Satan is powerless, for those of us who resist him!”

Well, and for those who have babies who, for some reason, don't find it within themselves to resist Satan. (And — as you well know — for those who have brothers who don't find it within themselves to resist Satan.)

This story is an awful lot like many of the crime comics that we've seen. Crime, personified, selects a child, and invisibly encourages him or her to engage in various sorts of malevolence. Adults are unsuccessful in using beatings and whatnot to set the child on the path of Goodness. The protégé reaches adulthood, causes some deaths, and then is electrocuted.

The difference, here, is that Crime doesn't gloat at the loss of his agent. Instead, he joins her as she enjoys an afterlife of delighting at the continued combat of the spirits of the two men whom she lured to their deaths.

And the moral of this all is …? Eh, in this case, probably just that the writer had once been rejected by a girl who was pretty. Perhaps she now delights as his spirit hacks-out stories sublimating his eternal, undying humiliation.

Pappy said...

Daniel, psychiatry recognized long ago that some people are psychopathic, and have no problems with committing crimes and murder because they have no conscience, but I wonder how well the general public understands the role of brain chemistry. I have met people who still believe that people who are like that are taken over by evil spirits, or if you will, Satan.

Every time I see a movie that is about witchcraft (witches with dark powers) or about a demonic possession case I see the influence of thousands of years of superstition and misunderstanding. It is a lot more scary for me to think that the "deviltry" that some people practice is self-contained, and not due to some supernatural force.

Brian Barnes said...

What a mess of a story -- and color plates, it seems! The moral makes little sense in the light of what happened, there's zilch in a character arc, any punch ending is erased by revealing it at the start, Satan seems powerful and powerless, the whole demon assigned to the region was an unnecessary and dangling thread, and ... the one thing that always gets me for supernatural comics ...

... once the two brothers are ghosts don't you think they'd realize they'd been had? They've had a hundred years! They are ghosts! Come on!

That said: A giant looming Satan always cheers up these stories.

Pappy said...

Brian, tickling my brain is the memory of listening years ago to some spiritualist who claimed to channel the dead, saying that sometimes dead people don't know they're dead. I'm not a believer in life after death, but based on some of the living people I know who can't be convinced of anything they don't want to believe, I think it sounds reasonable.