§ August 2nd, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "GROWL!" "EEEEEK!"

Witches Tales #13 (August 1952)

One of the most awfully-printed comics ever (and that’s including 70s Marvels), this comic was chock full of terrible stories…the cover story “The Torture Jar” would have been a good one, but most of the captions were in cursive, and I could feel my eyes beginning to bleed trying to read the darn thing. There’s another story which involves Bozo the Clown (no relation), and then there’s this story:

Professor George Denton has been working on his powerful super-strength formula for years…careful planning, long nights of hard work, and extensive research have led up to…feeding it to the dog:

The dog’s name is Doddo, by the way. “Doddo.” Anyway, the super-strength formula has instead made Doddo the unfortunately-named dog into a savage creature that demonstrates no super-strength whatsoever:

However, the professor seems to believe that this means his experiment was successful, reassuring his daughter that he beloved dog would turn back to normal shortly. Karam, who is, I don’t know, an assistant or something, seems to think that the formula was a success as well. “I’ll be strong enough to amass a fortune! Power! Influence! And then perhaps the lovely Liza will be mine!” From a formula that, as demonstrated so far, only makes dogs additionally scruffy and unpleasant, mind you.

So, yes, Karam sneaks back to the lab and downs the formula, turning him into a hideous creature that’s sure to win Liza over:

And, as one might expect, rampaging ensues, complete with a front page above-the-fold photo on the award-winning Daily Blur. Or Blurb. Or Blurx:

Meanwhile, as the nights wear on and Karam continues his shenanigans, the Professor notices that his formula supply is mysteriously decreasing. That night, Prof stakes out the lab, and spots Karam sneaking in. The professor busts in on Karam, catching him red-handed, but too late! Karam takes a swig of the formula, and starts chasing the professor around, all the while carefull enunciating the word “Growl:”

Liza happens upon the scene, and the professor, realizing the threat the monstrous Karam poses to her, manages to get his hands on his own formula…and he himself transforms into a monster! This of course does wonders for Liza’s sense of well-being:

However, the professer and Karam fight to the death, while Liza looks in horror and provides some stunning commentary:

The battle is finally decided when, the captions tell us, the professor overpowers Karam since “the professor was far stronger than Karam originally, his [the prof’s] superior strength was decisive!” Yes, even though this was established at no point prior in the story, and the way the characters were drawn, Karam was a young man and the professor relatively older.

After dragging Karam from the fire (since the building they were in turned into a raging conflageration during the battle), the now human-again professor reveals to the waking Karam that, due to consuming too much of the formula, Karam will always be a slightly unshaven man with a pug-nose, a Beatles haircut, and no ironing board. Karam, angered at the news, jumps at the professor, but Prof dodges and Karam goes hurtling over the previously-unseen cliff, and changes his hair color at the same time:

And thus does another man learn the folly of…um, drinking spurious super-strength formulas, I guess.

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