Flies on the Wall


House of Mystery #1

DC looks to be trying to recreate one of their classic horror anthologies, with a few twists. In this first issue, we discover that someone has somehow stolen Cain’s House of Mystery from out of the Dreaming itself. Much later, there are a bunch of people living in it — actually, they have no choice but to live in it. In fact, they never get to leave, except for rarely, when a strange coach arrives and whisks one of the tenants away, never to be seen again. We get into this issue’s setpiece after that, the odd life story of a girl named Hungry Sally.

Listen, if you don’t like disturbing, creepy, gory stuff, Hungry Sally’s story is gonna put you off your lunch. If you do like disturbing, creepy, gory stuff, it’s still likely to be unlike anything you’ve read in a comic book before. It involves pregnancy. And flies. I don’t think I can tell more than that without spoiling it. Viewer discretion is advised.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yow, very squishy. I’m certainly willing to give this another shot. With any luck, the involvement of Cain and Abel from the “Sandman” series could mean we’ll eventually see a story or two from Neil Gaiman himself. Well, that’s what I’ve got my fingers crossed for.


Hulk #3

Most of this issue is devoted to the red Hulk, still a man of mystery, fighting the new blue Abomination — the former Rick Jones, now calling himself A-Bomb. Their battle ends up freeing Bruce Banner and turning him back into the familiar green Hulk. And aside from all that, there’s Iron Man, She-Hulk, and S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to figure out who the new Hulk is.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out who the red Hulk is. Does that make me smarter than Tony Stark yet?


Countdown to Mystery #7

Bruce Gordon manages to free Plastic Man, the Creeper, and Dove from Eclipso’s influence, but a bunch of Eclipso worshippers manage to make Gordon turn into the villainous vengeance demon and merge him with a giant black diamond, vastly increasing his power. The only being who can stop him now is the Spectre, but the thousands of souls who he’s damned over the centuries are back and ready to take their own revenge. Elsewhere, the Helmet of Fate gets taken by someone who just ain’t ready for it, and it looks like a lot of people are going to pay a terrible price for her arrogance.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Let’s be honest, the only thing anyone should be caring about is the Dr. Fate story. This issue is basically the last story by the late Steve Gerber. The next issue is the last one for the series — it’ll be interesting to see how DC will resolve the story without Gerber guiding it.

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