Sunday, April 26, 2020

Weird Mystery Tales #1 (1972) Retro Review

Writers: Howard Purcell, Jack Kirby, Mark Evanier, Steve Sherman

Pencilers: Howard Purcell, Jack Kirby
Inkers: Jack Abel, Mike Royer
Cover: Michael Wm Kauta
Cover Price: 20¢
Release Date: June 7th, 1972

Weird Mystery Tales is one of the horror-tyoe books that DC published back in the day, along with House of Mystery and House of Secrets.

Our host here is named Destiny; a pale man with a purple cloak and hood, and it's his job to log the follies and mysteries of mankind into the Cosmic Log. 

The first story is called "Horoscope Phenomenon" or "Witch Queen of Ancient Sumeria", and Destiny is telling us the story of three people who have had "time-lost" visions related to their astrology signs that later helped them in real life. It starts off with the introduction of Kenneth Landry, who is a Pisces. He's having a strange dream about a lady standing on water next to his bed.

I thought that was pretty cool! Well, Ken is a detective and the very next day some psycho decided to have a shootout with the cops from his house. His dream gave him an idea, and he ran to the next house over and started calling the shooter's house phone. Over and over and over, until the shooter just wanted the ringing to stop. When he left the window to get the phone, the cops run in and capture him. Ken thinks to himself "The gun -- and the phone --!! It all has meaning now!! And the goddess -- who was she?"

Our next person is Diane Parker, who is a Cancer. So of course she gets a vision from creepy crab lady.

Her and her husband were at an old house that was left to them from her Uncle Harold's will. The crab lady tells her that "the answer is here" and to "find the door" Diane chases through the house but she disappears into the floor. So Diane gets her husband to start tearing apart the floor and walls with a crowbar. Eventually they find something. An ancient "Mandarin Dog" statue that they're able to sell for a boatload of money.

Then we mean Robert Baldwin. A writer and a Virgo. He goes to take a nap outside under a tree and has his vision.

The vision tells him that he needs to get up quick, she takes her hand, and they run away as everything around them explodes with rocks flying everywhere. He wakes seeing that he's now in the middle of a storm... and loosened rocks from a hill come crashing down on him. He survived, but he probably wouldn't be if he'd still been sleeping.

Now we meet an archaeologist who is actually talking to the reader, and we never find out his name. But he's a Leo, and he's trying to find this astrology goddess or whatever that is giving people visions. 

In one of the most ancient cities on Earth, he finds a tomb of a priestess or "witch queen". He tells us that "whatever she stood for, it was not for evil!! If she had reached across the ages -- it was only to warn of danger!!"

And that's it for this story. The second one is called "The Brothers Beaumont!"

Hundreds of miles away from each other, two children were born at the exact same time. Both of their last names were Beaumont. The poor one would be called Roberto while Robert is the rich. They have no idea each other exists, but they have a connection. Like Roberto gets punched in the face by a bully as a kid and Robert feels it. When they're older, Roberto picks up a life of crime, and breaks his leg running from the cops. Roberto's leg heals quicker than it should (so he goes to jail after recovered) while there is actually nothing wrong with Robert's leg it sure feels like it to him.

They both go into the military to fight in the war. Roberto in Europe, Robert in the Pacific. When Roberto get injured by a tank, Roberto of course goes down too. The doctors can't figure out what's going on with Robert because there's noting wrong with him, but he's in great pain.

They're both discharged, and actually end up in the same city in 1954. Roberto holds up a jewelry store and ends up shooting and killing the jewelry store owner (not on purpose, the gun "went of") and it's during his getaway that Roberto and Robert actually meet.

They kinda just instinctually know immediately. That is why they get mysterious injuries and illnesses. And the other one helps the one who is really injured or sick heal so they get better faster.

The police briefly think that Robert is Roberto, and it's all over the news that they've captured to killer. Roberto feels bad that his "brother" is taking the rap for him, but fingerprints reveal that Robert's story that he's Robert Beaumont and not Roberto Beaumont is true, and he's released.

Roberto is concerned for Robert's safety because if he gets captured and goes to the electric chair, Robert will die too. So Roberto needs to go on the run, but he doesn't have any money. So he goes and asks his "brother" for help.

I really want to know what's in that empty text box. I bet it was something racist. So whatever they planned failed because Roberto was taken in two days later.

Now this is the weird part. The strain of the pressure and fear for both men was put all on Robert, so he ends up being sent to the hospital the day of the execution. His heart is giving out. Meanwhile, Roberto is on the chair only thinking of his "brother". His last words were "Forgive me, Robert! Forgive me..." Just before Roberto was executed, Robert flatlined. And after Roberto was dead, Robert's heart started beating again.

So Roberto is now a part of Robert. Or something like that.

Bits and Pieces

Overall it's not the best issue to be a #1. I thought it was rather boring on the first read but I enjoyed it more on the second read. One thing that I like about it is it sure does stick to the mystery theme. There's no resolution in either story. You don't know what's really going on with the Witch-Queen, or why Roberto and Robert were connected or why Robert is basically turning into Roberto. It's stories about mysterious things that are still mysteries. The art is alright in some parts and great in others. Look how cool the Pisces vision looks! 


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