The horror comics Joe Simon and Jack Kirby produced for Prize Comics tended to emphasize mystery over gore, a choice that cast the supernatural as more of an inscrutable force of nature than outright malevolence.
Today’s tale, in fact, plays much like an episode from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone – a program the comic predates by at least seven years. If he were aware of the story, I’m sure Serling would have been intrigued by the premise of an old man’s loneliness creating an unexpected companion.
The real point of interest, however, is the aforementioned “companion.” A creature composed of rags and trash, it bears a striking resemblance to a character created by Joe Simon years later: Brother Power The Geek.
Simon isn’t credited as the writer of the Black Magic story, but the coincidence is too great to think he didn’t have a hand in creating both characters. Although some consider Brother Power the worst super-hero title of the 1960s – if not ever – I’ve always liked Simon’s weird take on the Hippie Counter-Culture and The Silver Surfer.
(But what do I know? I also liked Prez… )
The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “A Rag – A Bone And A Hank Of Hair!” The story originally appeared in Black Magic # 13 (Prize, June 1952) and was drawn by the great Mort Meskin.
Coming tomorrow: Earth is haunted by dead, floating fetuses from Mars!!! (That should garner a few Google hits … )