Characters Appearing: Digger (Night Shift)
Tower of Shadows #1
Issue(s): Tower of Shadows #1 (first story only)
Digger's first appearance is by Jim Steranko.
The story is about a meek wimpy husband and his ballbreaker of a wife, who only married him because she knew that he would inherit from his rich uncle.
The wife eventually got tired of waiting for the uncle to die, and she nagged her husband into pushing him off a cliff. They then go to his mansion to look for his secret treasure.
The husband is terrified that the uncle is haunting the house.
The uncle was a Satanist.
They find the treasure, but...
...they wind up getting brought to another time, where the uncle waits to execute them.
And there's Digger again at the end. Obviously he's just the host so there's not a lot to learn about him. As for the story: great use of layouts and panel size by Steranko, and nice shading work as well. Despite the stock characters and a fairly predictable plot (i mean, i wouldn't have predicted getting thrown back in time specifically, but clearly the uncle was gonna gettum) it's a genuinely creepy story thanks to the art.
This is only the first story from Tower of Shadows #1. Digger actually introduced all three stories in this issue, and he continued to appear for issues #2-3 as well as Chamber of Darkness #2-3. And then he's made into a "real" character with a very brief appearance in Spider-Woman #47, after which he becomes a member of Night Shift.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Vampire Tales #2 by way of Vampire Tales Digest Vol. 1
So I've read other Tower of Shadows stories...they're probably no worse scripted and certainly the artists are excellent too (Wally Wood, Neal Adams--no slouches!). But the artwork here just so perfectly fits the feel that this story seems leaps and bounds over the others. At the very least, it has a much more timeless feel; you could have told me that the story was published in the 70s or 80s and I might have accepted it.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | May 25, 2016 4:44 PM
I'll note I remembered seeing this on television at one point. A quick imdb search brings up this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0228843/combined
Although I have the reprint, it would be nice to see the film version by Steranko again sometime. I'm not aware of it being available on dvd.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | May 26, 2016 2:35 AM
FYI, he didn't direct, but Steranko wrote and designed the film. As I recall, it looks just like the story.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | May 26, 2016 2:37 AM
Great story. I had forgotten this series completely. This is a classic example of why you should never lead with your best act. The succeeding Digger-hosted stories weren't all that bad in and of themselves, but the audience was already set up to expect Steranko-like quality, and he's just too hard of an act to follow.
Posted by: James Holt | October 25, 2016 9:04 PM
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