Book of the Day - 3/15/04

Supernatural Thrillers #5 Aug 1973

- Overstreet 2006 (9.2) NM- Price: $75 -



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During the comics horror renaissance of the early 1970s,  Marvel featured comics starring all the classic 20th Century horror icons.  Dracula, the Werewolf, and Frankenstein all starred in their own Marvel series during this time.  One icon did not have his own title though.  The Mummy.  

Supernatural Thrillers started as a bi-monthly horror title in Dec 1972 featuring new adaptations of classic horror stories.  The first four issues featured adaptations of It! by Theodore Sturgeon, H. G. Wells' Invisible Man, Valley of the Worm by R. E. Howard, and Robert Lewis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.   Issue #5 introduced the Living Mummy written by Steve Gerber and illustrated by Rick Buckler.  The Mummy in this case was a former slave/king named N'Kantu who tried to lead a revolt but was captured and given the Mummy treatment by Nephrus, a high priest who had eyes on ruling Egypt.  When re-awakened in the 1970s after three thousand years, the Mummy is out for vengeance against the priest.  An archeologist, maybe an ancestor to the Mummy, and his companions are along for the adventure.  The issue ends with the Mummy electrocuted and presumably dead but, of course, the door is left open for further stories. 

The story evidently sold well enough to resurrect the Supernatural Thrillers title with #7 in mid-1974 after an 8 month break (the Headless Horseman would appear in #6).  Now starring the Mummy exclusively, the title would continue for another year before being canceled for good with #15.  That wouldn't be it for the character though.  The Mummy would continue to reappear in the Marvel Universe and was last seen in the female Bloodstone series in the late 1990s

The Mummy was the only one of the first 6 Supernatural Thriller issues that deviated from the established source material and give it's character more of a superhero slant.  An element used successfully by Marvel with Drac, Wolf and Frank.  Because the character didn't headline his own title though, he doesn't get mentioned, or is remembered as fondly, as the other three. Written more as a man out of time than horror story, I think this run was the second best of Marvel's horror titles after Tomb of Dracula.  So after you're finished with the 70-issue Tomb of Dracula run, you could do worse than giving the Living Mummy a try.....