A Tribute to the of

Welcome to November, DC Silver Age fans, but in the spirit of Halloween, I was rummaging through my collection and thought I’d make a selection from the anthology book from the DC Special Series, #11, titled, “Beware…Monsters are Coming Here!") It has a publication date of March/April 1971 with a great Neal Adams cover and Gaspar Saladino lettering. It’s no particular surprise that Joe Orlando was in the editor’s chair. Since I don’t get many opportunities to spotlight Jack Kirby work, I chose a reprint from House of Mystery #70 from January of 1958 titled “The Creatures from Nowhere!” Jack, of course, supplied the illustrations while the author is apparently lost to the mists of time, but interestingly Artie Simek is identified as the letterer. Let’s see what this little 6-pager has to offer.

It starts in Anytown, USA, where a host of weird, otherworldly creatures are making their presence known and scaring the daylights out of the local populace. As word gets back to the local police precinct, they reach out to Tom Conroy, who is not only a leading anthropologist, but is also apparently an experienced hunter.

Conroy convinces the constabulary to capture, rather than destroy, the strange critters so they can be studied, but initial efforts don’t work very well. Each one seems to have an ability to thwart being caged until finally they sneak up on a man-sized bug hybrid that seems to have a lens of some sort lashed to its head which it uses to repel the would be captors.

Later the search continues, but there seems to be no sign of the strange visitors. It is soon reported that they’ve converged at Henry and Market and are on a rampage, so the chief of police calls for armored troops from the Governor and a helicopter.

They seem to be bent on destruction, taking down portions of parking garages and movie theaters, but just before reinforcements arrive, Conroy notes a segment of burnt ground and tells the Chief to have the troops hold their fire. The Chief isn’t in the mood to take direction from a civilian, though, so Tom rushes to place himself between the armed forces and the creatures. Soon they’re boarding a space craft that takes off and Conroy explains what he’d deduced.

He decided the bug-like creature was actually the keeper of this cargo of creatures that were bound for another world. The craft crash landed on earth and they escaped. The lens on the bug was what clued Conroy in that it was different from the others and therefore was trying to round them up and get back on their way to the final destination. The burnt part on the ground was from the after-burners during the ship’s unexpected landing.

So, all’s well that ends well and apparently the bug creature even gave his lens, which is actually a ray-gun to Tom Conroy in gratitude for his service.

A little hokey and definitely filler material, but it’s always kind of fun to see early Kirby work, especially since you could easily see the King’s fertile imagination at work, designing creatures from another world, unlike anything you’d ever see.

Here’s hoping your Autumn is going well, dear readers and the middle of the month will be another installation right here at the dear old Silver Lantern, so don’t forget to come on back.

Remember also that you can share thoughts and questions at my handy e-mail. Just drop a line to: professor_the@hotmail.com.

Until next time…

Long live the Silver Age!

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