Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Holiday Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "I Don't Believe in...Ghosts!"

Behind this never-reprinted Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers cover...
...is an rarely-reprinted haunted house tale that's so darn good, I couldn't resist re-presenting it!
Plotted by Stan Lee, scripted by Larry Lieber, penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by George Klein, this cover-featured story from Atlas' Journey into Mystery #77 (1962) has only been reprinted once, in Marvel's Fantasy Masterpieces #9 (1967), which is where I first read it as a kid!
Since it hasn't seen publication in 50 years, I thought it was time to dig it up and dust it off for a new generation of Kirbyphiles and other comics readers!
The lead character's name, Mr Jordan, is an in-joke and a clue as to what he is!
L-R Evelyn Keyes, Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains (Mr Jordan), Edward Everett Horton

"Mr Jordan" was the title character of Here Comes Mr Jordan (1941), an angel (Claude Rains) sent to guide a recently-deceased boxer who died before his time and was returned to Earth in a different body since his own was creamated!
The movie was running on tv pretty regularly at the time, so either Lee or Leiber was inspired to give the protaganist the Jordan name in tribute.
Note the little banner at the bottom of the final page promoting The Fantastic Four?
#2 of that series had just come out!
In addition, Hank Pym (who would later become Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/YellowJacket/Wasp) had just been introed in "Man in the Ant Hill" in Tales to Astonish #27!
Within a couple of months both Spider-Man and The Hulk would debut!
And Mighty Thor would premiere in Journey into Mystery six issues later!
Bonus: the original art for the splash page....
Kool, ain't it?
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