A pair of Kirby reprints from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY v1 in this issue. First up is “The Scorpion Strikes”, inked by Paul Reinman, from #82. At a lab where they’re doing delicate experiments with radiation, the owners find that some of the lab boys are getting a bit clumsy (and unknowingly irradiate a scorpion in one mishap), so they hire a hypnotist to keep everyone calm. Soon after, that scorpion mutates to giant size, with telepathic abilities, and plans to take over the world. The hypnotist tries and fails to get the Scorpion under his spell, but soon after it finds itself in physical agony.
And I have to say, Kirby drawing a scorpion screaming in agony is a pretty funny sight. Anyway, it consents to another radiation dose to end its pain, which un-mutates it. Turns out the hypnotist did a fake-out, intentionally failing his first attempt to catch the Scorpion off-guard later. Junk science wins the day!
The cover of this issue is also from JiM #82, for this story. It’s inked by Dick Ayers, and slightly modified (adding some shadows) and coloured very differently for this version. It seems the Scorpion was green first time around.
Ayers also inks the second Kirby reprint in this issue, “Won’t You Come Into My Parlor”, from JiM #80. In this story a European industrialist, Krumhausen, wants to take over a competitor, Zamora. He finds out that Zamora has a gypsy past and a bad heart. He comes up with an insane plot to shock Zamora to a heart attack, by building giant replicas of various rooms, inviting Zamora for dinner, drugging him and making him think that he shrunk. This works, surprisingly enough, but Zamora uses his mysterious gypsy powers to lay down a dying curse, so that Krumhausen finds himself shrunk for real, and attacked by his cat (which seems to be possessed by Zamora). Fun story, and I especially like Kirby’s drawing of elaborate European rooms and furnishings done on a large scale.
Also a very nice Ditko story in this issue, “Take A Chair”.