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Friday, 30 June 2017

Secrets of Haunted House 5 - Cain, Abel, Eve and Destiny close down Secrets of Haunted House with stories about a hit man, an auctioneer, and a space vampire

Secrets of Haunted House comes to an end with issue 5 (Dec/Jan 75/76), and the best cover of the run, by Bernie Wrightson.

Cain, Abel and Eve present a rude present to Destiny on the splash page. There is some irony in Eve attacking him for not having his own book, as Eve had recently lost her solo book, Weird Mystery Tales, and doesn't even get to host a story in this issue.

Destiny gets the lead story, by Bill Reilly and Guy Lillian, with art by John Albano and Vince Colletta. The story centres on a hit man, who considers himself the fastest draw, and likes to imagine how great he would have been as a gunslinger in the old west.

He is given a contract on an old friend, but shows no remorse when killing him. In fact, he sits down for a nap right afterwards.

He dreams of a shoot out with Death, and winds up killed when his dead friend's fingers tighten on the trigger with rigor mortis.

Cain gets a good story to tell, by Arnold Drake and Tenny Henson. This one deals with a woman who runs auctions. She bribes nurses to learn about recent deaths of the wealthy so she can auction off their estates, and then slips in fakes of her own, "personal items," to boost her profits. An Arab guy catches her doing this, but seems impressed at her daring. He hires her to run an auction in his own country.

But in reality, she is being auctioned off. She is the Arab guy's "personal item" that he is slipping in with the Sultan's estate.

Abel hosts the final story, by David Michelinie, with art by Ernie Chan and Bill Draut, and takes place on a spaceship in the future. It is a ship carrying people for colonizing another planet, but they all get killed by a space vampire. The last remaining crew member winds up doing what he can to try to kill the vampire.

He tries to blow the vampire up with a bomb, but the vampire finds and ejects it. Ironically, the explosion causes a burst of light which makes the shadow of a cross fall on him, killing the vampire. 

Cain and Abel continue in their own books, as well as appearing with Eve in Plop! Destiny is not seen again until, I believe, the revival of Secrets of Haunted House a couple of years down the road, which continues the numbering.

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