Ghostly Revenge (1966 comic book) review…

Ghostly Revenge (1966 comic book) review after the break…

Ghostly Revenge (1966 comic book) review…

At only 4 pages in length (and half of the first page is taken up by a pseudo “front cover” illustration), there simply isn’t a lot of story to tell. A dastardly criminal, Steve McWhyte, swears that he’ll seek revenge from beyond the grave once he is executed for a crime never described (ripping the tag off a bed mattress, perhaps?). True to his word, once he is executed, the killings begin until only three involved with McWhyte’s trial remain. The survivors seek help from (I kid you not) the “Institute for Psychic Phenomena” which builds a trap for the vengeful ghost. Upon springing the trap, the ghost is dispelled and the survivors finally breathe easy. Literally, the end.

I know that I am sometimes critical of stories that have twist endings but that doesn’t mean that I automatically enjoy stories without any plot twists. In this case, the story was so short that it needed something to pique the interest of the reader. Imagine if Steve McWhyte had been innocent or if this “Institute for Psychic Phenomena” had actually been behind the killings as a way to boost their visibility in society? What if one of the “survivors” was actually the killer, using an innocent man and subsequent superstition to hide the murders?

There was absolutely nothing in this story that held any interest – No distinct characters, no distinctive plot, not even memorable dialog. The amount of “kitsch” in the story (probably because of it’s age and absolutely straight-faced, straight-forward storytelling) will likely be what most modern-day readers take away from this comic book. From the corny-named “Institute for Psychic Phenomena” to a man holding up what is presumably a dusty old tome that has a literal title of “Ye Methods of Conquering Ghosts” to the critical use of “Travana Smoke” and the eyebrow-raising headline “Man Who Arrested Steve McWhyte Found Mysteriously Dead Inside Room Locked from Inside.” There are many exaggerated facial expressions in the comic that the saavy teenager could probably crop and paste to make ironic message board avatars.

I’m not quite sure why this comic was ever produced – Were people so simple back then as to be entertained by something like this? There is no doubt as to the man’s guilt, there is no doubt that the ghost is killing people and there is little doubt in how to defeat the ghost. No deaths occur “on screen” (or should that be “in panel”). Where is the story?

“Ghostly Revenge” was a boring read… A quick read but a boring one nonetheless. My verdict? Skip it.

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