Tower of Shadows #5
Issue(s): Tower of Shadows #5
The main story we're interested in is the Roy Thomas / Barry Smith story, since it features the character that becomes the second Hangman. In this story he is Jason Roland, a successful horror movie star with a secret regarding his make-up.
Roland has an uneasy relationship with the guy that does his make-up.
Maybe because the make-up guy expects his soul in return.
The fact that it's a story point that Roland not doing his own make-up would be considered a scandal seems pretty odd to me.
After having kicked out the make-up guy, Roland learns that he can't take his costume off.
And that's the whole story. It ends here.
Roy Thomas is known for his contributions to Marvel continuity. His ability and willingness to pick up on old story points and fold them into current ones is my favorite thing about him, and if he didn't have that tendency my little project probably wouldn't exist and my love of Marvel comics wouldn't be what it is. But sometimes - often! - Thomas can take that tendency to extremes, and it was an extreme version of that extreme when he revisited this story 21 years later in Avengers West Coast #76-79. We do learn that Roland's make-up guy was an agent of Satannish, specifically, but beyond that nothing is really added to this story by having Roland take on an entirely different identity as the second Hangman, an already minor character (i mean why not have him remain in this form if you're going to use him again?). It's not even a particularly good horror story. That said, after reading the Avengers West storyline, i couldn't help but track this issue down, and despite being just boggled by what i've found - or rather, didn't find - here, there's a certain part of me that is very satisfied to have read it and added it to my site.
Wally Wood's story is adolescent power fantasy at its finest. A boy that has lost the use of his legs crawls up onto a gargoyle statue that he used to play on, and it flies away with him...
...taking him to a fantasy world where he's bigger than everyone else and can walk and he meets a beautiful (if tiny) girl...
...and he has a magic sword and defeats the evil monsters, etc.. The gargoyle even flies him home so that he can walk again back in the real world.
The Gerry Conway / Syd Shores story, as you can see from the opening scan at the top of this entry, is basically "The Lockhorns go to a seance". They wind up trapped in a haunted house, and when they leave, seven years have passed for everybody else, but the good news is that their marriage is strengthened by the experience.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
So, that's what Wally Wood looked like!
I've long been curious about this guy because of his rumoured tendency to draw dirty stuff when in office...
Posted by: Piotr W | December 10, 2015 5:56 PM
It would actually have been a big problem if an actor DID do his own makeup. The last big movie star to do his own makeup was Lon Chaney Sr., and after he died union rules were established to restrict makeup strictly to the makeup guys.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 11, 2015 7:50 PM
Just love seeing these Tower of Shadows stories here, and this is one I missed, so thanks for reviewing it. Some of the best talent Marvel had to offer during this fairly lackluster period of their history showed up in this magazine.
Wally Wood not only drew "dirty stories" in his office, he also published quite a few of them in various non-Marvel publications like Witzend, which he initially self-published, Gang Bang, and etc.,... I guess that's kind of out of scope here, but fans of such things can follow up on it in his wiki article if anyone's interested.
Posted by: James Holt | October 2, 2017 1:11 AM
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