Femme Fatal


I first encountered this short, but effective, horror yarn in Jim Trombetta’s “The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books The Government Didn’t Want You To Read.” It’s got just about everything that horrified “right-thinking” people back in the day: sex, crime and not an ounce of remorse from the femme fatale portrayed so vividly in just four pages.

There’s also more than a hint of misogyny running throughout the comic, but for whatever reason that didn’t seemed to be as much of a concern for right-thinking people who criticized comics back then …

Here’s “Susan And The Devil” from Crime Mysteries #9 (Ribage, September 1953). The writer and artist are not credited.

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2 thoughts on “Femme Fatal

  1. “Misogyny” might be too strong a word here. The character of Betty and the souls of the (presumably) righteous women who send the villainess to Hell aren’t faulted in any way. All the venal, lustful men in the story come out looking much worse. The Devil being female could be construed as anti-woman, but it’s not saying evil is innately female or “of COURSE she’s a woman” — it’s just for the sake of Susan being faced with someone she can’t manipulate.

    • I actually struggled about whether or not I was overreacting to the final reveal, which I admit is a great twist. The fact that Susan is sooo bad and the root of all evil is also depicted as a woman swayed me at the end, but I’m willing to admit that my interpretation may be overly sensitive. At any rate this is one of the better pre-Code, non-EC horror stories I’ve encountered. At least it’s more thought-provoking than Avengers vs. X-Men.

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