That's right, there's a birthday over at Rec. Road this week, so whad'cha get me huh? huh? huh?
Ahem. But what's the best comics related haul YOU ever got? Tell all on Pete's Podium at kidsfromrecroad.blogspot.com and see if you did better than me....
If Doug Moench had set out to come up with a series solely for me during the Bronze Age, he couldn't've done much better than Gabriel, Devil Hunter.
Obscenity spitting demonic possession? Check.
Tortured one eyed, two fisted catholic priest? Check.
Leather-clad sexpot assistant making goo goo eyes at the hero? Check check and triple check.
Gabriel is a priest who now works as a freelance exorcist, having successfully expunged a 300 year old witch from his own body, costing him his place in the church, his wife, and one of his eyes. So everything then.
He's a great, brooding hero who only really comes alive when called upon to destroy evil, and would make a belter of a movie.
Sadly, the series didn't get the time to progress, running in 4 issues of Haunt Of Horror and the last issue of Monsters Unleashed, so each tale is, in essence, a variation on a theme. But what a theme.
Here, from that final issue of Monsters Unleashed, just before Marvel's black & white horror line went to the grave, is that last adventure, where Gabriel and assistant Drusilla ( who may, or may not, be his dead wife reincarnated ) set out to exorcise an honest to gravestone corpse:
As well as covers often featuring kids in peril, one of the favoured tropes at The House Of Mystery was kids whose imaginations had been stifled by adults, or who simply didn't believe their little ones when they told them something terrible was lurking in the basement.
Two of the best examples of this type of story, absolute cast-iron classics both, were by Jim Aparo & Neal Adams, and here they are. So remember, the next time your kid tells you there's something lurking under the bed, check, just in case...
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