Black Magic #28[v4n4] [1954]


Kirby drew the cover for this later issue of the Simon&Kirby edited title, as well as two 5-page stories. The shorter length stories generally aren’t my favourites, as they tend to be a bit sketchy in plotting, lacking any real characterization or resolution, although often having a few good images. This pair are typical examples.

First up is “An Eye for an Eye”, which is also the cover image (which pretty much gives away any surprise there was in the ending, although it wasn’t a great mystery. It is a great cover, though). A dying rich man, Roger Parris, refuses permission for his eyes to be transplanted to someone else after he dies, insisting he wouldn’t give up anything without getting full value in return.


After his death his assistant, Philip Stern, forges a note giving permission for the transplant, which the doctor quickly performs. When the police discover the forgery they try to find the assistant, only to find that he’s been moving from place to place, always vanishing shortly after a visit from a man in dark glasses before the police get there. Finally they police find the assistant with his eyes removed, and just catch a glimpse of the mysterious man, who looks like Roger Parris, except with Stern’s blue eyes (miscoloured brown in the last panel).

Obviously no real surprise in the quick ending, and the colouring mistake doesn’t help, but even with that the art does have some moments, none better than that creepy first panel.

Later in the issue is “Alive After Five Thousand Years”, a story about two archaeologists who find mummy in a cave, along with a sacrificial dagger and some scrolls that explain that the body is a man condemned for loving a princess (whose mummy was found the previous year and is in a museum in Cairo) and for stealing the Book of the Dead. The younger archaeologist ignores the warnings of his elder and reads the Book of the Dead scroll, bringing the mummy to life and driving the young man insane.


The police don’t believe the story, but eventually the mummy of the princess also vanishes from the museum, with the guard having been killed with the sacrificial dagger and a handprint identical to the one left by the original mummy’s hand left on the sarcophagus.

Mostly good moody artwork (although a few panels look a bit rushed or poorly inked), but the story does need a few more pages and more of a resolution than it had.

Published 1954

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