New Reviews of Old Comics
Another one of the three I bought at the pug parade. Admittedly this was the last one I picked as part of the 3-for-5 price. I bought it kind of hoping that green blob on the lower left corner of the cover was the Swamp Thing, but of course Swamp Thing was never in The Unexpected. What kind of comic fan am I for not knowing that? Was any well known character ever in The Unexpected? I doubt it.
The first of three stories in this issue is “Death Has Many Faces,” an eight pager about a scientist who has developed a vaccine for death. He uses it to save a loved one, but it turns out the loved one is really the angel of death who feels threatened by his scientific advances. Gee, that WAS unexpected. Oh wait, did I just ruin the story. Uh, spoiler alert in case you didn’t see that one coming a mile away. Story by Carl Wessler, Art by George Tuska.
Next up is “Creeping Beauty,” another Carl Wessler tale, illustrated by Fred Alcala (I seem to remember an Alfredo Alcala, who was pretty good. Same person?). These four pages are about a woman who is so beautiful men are constantly fighting and killing each other over her beauty. Should I give away the ending again? Oh why not. Who is finding and reading a copy of The Unexpected #152 anytime soon (much less remembering this review). She runs into the forest, is captured and imprisoned by some very odd looking creatures who label her the ugliest creature ever discovered. Oh, the unexpected irony.
This issue is wrapped up with “The Dark Secret of the Swamp,” which was the basis for the cover that made me think Swamp Thing was in it. Some guy lives in the swamp, gets caught up in a storm, blown off the roof and impaled on a weather vane in the bottom of the swamp. It ends with him as part of the weather vane for sale in a New England antique shop. Honestly I was so annoyed this wasn’t Swamp Thing I couldn’t get into the story. Yes, I should have known better, but that doesn’t mitigate my disappointment. Story by Michael Fleisher, art by Alexa Quino, maybe, I don’t know. The signature was kind of hard to read. I just know it wasn’t Stephen Bessette or John Totleben. Hey, didn’t Alfredo Alcala draw Swamp Thing for awhile in the 90s?
Best Ad: A surprisingly weak selection of ads to choose from in this issue. I have to go with the classic 100 piece toy soldier set by Lucky Products of Westbury (Long Island), NY. At the low-low cost of $1.25 this offer seems too good to be true. Having actually bought this in the early 80’s I can confirm it is indeed too good to be true. All 100 pieces come in a “foot locker” about the size of a box of bank checks, and all 100 pieces are flat as a pancake. Kind of a disappointment when you’re expecting to get 100 normal green army man type toys. I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who got suckered into this offer. I kept my box of flat soldiers and eventually gave them to my son. He thought they were cool. For about three minutes.