Dancing Queen

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Menace was Stan Lee’s attempt to replicate the success of William Gaines and Al Feldstein’s phenomenally popular horror titles by tailoring the duo’s darkly humorous tales of vengeance to his own particular style and recruiting such top-notch freelancers as Bill Everett, Joe Maneely, Gene Colan and John Romita.

Although Lee would later dismiss his efforts as pale imitations of the EC formula, history has judged Menace much more kindly and many Pre-Code enthusiasts regard the title as one of the better horror comics of the early 1950s.

The following tale, entitled “On With The Dance,” is a good example of just how well Lee and his collaborators understood the factors that made the EC titles so memorable: namely sharp artwork, high-concept villainy and a strong punchline that didn’t stint on the gore.

The story originally appeared in Menace #2 (Atlas, 1953). It was written by Lee and drawn by a young artist named Russ Heath. Wonder whatever happened to the kid?

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Hmmmm …. well I guess a dancing skeleton would make an interesting conversation piece at the next cocktail party.


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