Strange Tales #11

Here's where you report issue analyses of any issue in any universe or timeline.

Moderators: Paul Bourcier, Kevin W., Col_Fury, Arthur, JephYork, Somebody

Post Reply
vanhornluke
Big Bad
Big Bad
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:37 pm

Strange Tales #11

Post by vanhornluke » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:47 pm

I missed an appearance of Peter the Apostle in my last big post covering biblical figures, so here's a correction to that oversight:

STRANGE TALES #11 (Oct 1952)

1st Story:
By Stan Lee

APPEARANCES:
Martha Webster, Donald Webster, Satan, Pat, cops

SYNOPSIS:
Donald Webster wants to kill his battle-axe wife, Martha, but he’s too much of a coward to do it himself. Satan appears and offers to kill her on Donald’s behalf for the price of Donald’s soul. Donald agrees and returns to his house in time to see Satan shoot her. Donald is surprised, since he expected Satan to kill her with a curse or something along those lines. Neighbors hear the gunshot and call the police, and the cops immediately conclude that Donald shot his wife (since they can’t see Satan). Donald is convicted and sent to the chair, but he thinks that it was all worth it just to be rid of his wife. The switch is thrown and Donald awakens in Hell where Satan introduces him to another recent arrival, his wife Martha.

NOTE:
As I said when breaking down the Bible Tales series, it’s unclear in 616 continuity who this “Satan” figure is, since several characters have used that name. Obviously, Stan intended this to be the same character as the biblical figure, so I’ll simply add him there, but it’s likely that “Satan’s” chronology should be merged with another’s (or else greatly expanded with lots of other “Satan” appearances that haven’t been officially assigned to Mephisto or someone else).

2nd Story:
By ?

APPEARANCES:
Leopold Rand, Jeffrey Farmer, octopus-like creature

SYNOPSIS:
Leopold Rand, and inventor, takes Jeffrey Farmer, a financier, out in a boat to demonstrate his new invention, hoping that Farmer will finance its mass production and distribution. The invention is a machine that can scan the ocean bottom and project on a screen a clear image of the ocean floor. Rand turns the machine on only to see an image of the comedian Milton Mills during one of his acts. Stumped as to why he is seeing this, Rand decides to dive to the bottom to see what could be causing him to pick up a television broadcast. Before he can dive, though, an octopus-like creature from the fourth-dimension crawls over the side of the boat and explains that his people are tired of inane human television broadcasts which travel into the fourth dimension and cause technical problems in their technology. Now that humans are also sending signals to the ocean’s bottom, the creatures have decided they’ve had enough. Farmer grabs a boathook, but he can tell it will be useless against the fearsome, approaching creature.

NOTE:
Technically, the story ends there, so we don’t know that Rand and Farmer are killed. I wonder what happened to the creatures’ invasion of Earth (maybe they were stopped by a still-active golden age hero?), and if this is the same “fourth dimension” as has been mentioned in other stories. The octopus-thing isn’t named, so I have nothing to list it by in the chronologies below.

3rd Story:
By ?

APPEARANCES:
Si Mallory, bystanders, Algernon Black, Elena Black, Mildred, viewers

FLASHBACK:
1880: Algernon Black keeps his wife, Elena, sequestered in his large, black house, wanting to keep her to himself. Over time she becomes very lonely, but one day a handsome young man walks by the window and she invites him in. Algernon returns home and in a jealous rage kills the young man. Elena dies from fright as well, so Algernon boards himself into the house and is never seen again.
SYNOPSIS:
Si Mallory hosts a radio program in which he debunks superstitions, mediums, ghost stories, and the like. In this episode, he is exploring the Algernon Black house, reputed to be haunted. The local townspeople beg him not to enter the house, but he’s not afraid. He enters the house and finds Algernon’s skeleton hanging from a rope, apparently the remains from a suicide. The bones fall from the rope and hit him, but Si is okay. He explores the rest of the house but doesn’t find any ghosts. When he leaves the house the townspeople flee in terror. He tries to explain that there are no ghosts, but he hasn’t yet realized that he’s been transformed into a walking skeletal figure.

4th Story:
By ?

APPEARANCES:
Harry Remson, fish, whale

SYNOPSIS:
Harry Remson is an escaped convict. He stows away on a tanker, hoping to make his way to some far-flung island and live out his days in freedom. However, the ship hits a mine and goes down. Woozy, Harry manages to grab a piece of flotsam before blacking out. When he awakens he finds himself on dry land. It’s dark, but he sees a few human skeletons, indicating others have been stranded here before. He’s able to build a fire and spear fish for food, but after many hours he realizes that there are no stars and the sun hasn’t risen, causing him to begin to go mad. What he can’t know is that he is actually inside the belly of a whale.

5th Story:
By ?

APPEARANCES:
O’Malley, Mary O’Malley, St. Peter, the Devil, Imp

FLASHBACK:
O’Malley selflessly shares his last piece of bread with a beggar who comes to his door. The beggar thanks him and reveals that he is St. Peter, and he’ll grant O’Malley two wishes in gratitude. O’Malley doesn’t really believe him, but just on a lark wishes that no one who sits in his chair can leave until he allows it, and that no one who grabs his coat can let go until he allows it. Peter thinks the requests are strange, but he grants them anyway. O’Malley’s wife, Mary, chastises him for not asking for money or fame, but he says he didn’t have time to think about it, and he didn’t believe in wishes anyway. This infuriates Mary and she replies with “May the Devil take ye!” Suddenly the devil appears and orders O’Malley to go with him. O’Malley agrees but suggests the devil take a seat while he grabs his coat. The devil does so and finds he can’t leave. O’Malley and his wife then mercilessly beat the devil until he agrees to give them large sums of gold and to leave them alone for seven years. They then live lives of luxury until another seven years pass. The devil returns to take O’Malley to Hell, and O’Malley again suggests the devil take a seat while he grabs his coat. The devil refuses and offers to grab his coat for him. Now he can’t let go of the coat and O’Malley and Mary again viciously beat him until he agrees to give them lots more gold and to never bother them again. Decades later O’Malley dies, but St. Peter won’t let him through the pearly gates because of his sinful life. He tries to go to Hell, but the devil wants nothing to do with him, either, and refuses entry.
SYNOPSIS:
O’Malley tells the story of his life and unlife while drinking in a pub.


Chronologies:

BLACK, ALGERNON
ST 11/3 (2:5-3:3)-FB
ST 11/3

BLACK, ELENA
ST 11/3 (2:5-3:2)-FB
ST 11/3

FARMER, JEFFREY
ST 11/2

MALLORY, SI
ST 11/3

MILDRED
ST 11/3

O’MALLEY
ST 11/5 (1:3-7:6)-FB
ST 11/5

O’MALLEY, MARY
ST 11/5 (1:3-4:5)-FB

PAT
ST 11

PETER THE APOSTLE
BTALES 1/5 (1-4)
BTALES 1/6
BTALES 1/5 (5)
LIFEOCES
*ST 11/5 (2:1-5:4)-FB (add)
MYSTIC 38

RAND, LEOPOLD
ST 11/2

REMSON, HARRY
ST 11/4

SATAN
BTALES 3/5
*ST 11/5 (2:7-6:2)-FB (add)
*ST 11 (add)

WEBSTER, DONALD
ST 11

WEBSTER, MARTHA
ST 11

Post Reply