Characters Appearing: Golem, Jason Adamson, Rebecca Adamson, Wayne Logan
Strange Tales #174
Issue(s): Strange Tales #174
The story begins with an unspecified war as its backdrop. A group of archeologists, several of whom are related, are in the area searching for the Golem of Jewish legend. Since the Living Mummy also came back to life around this time as well, it's interesting to think that legendary monsters of Jewish and Egyptian origin were appearing at Marvel at the same time, but the two never met.
The archeologists consist of Uncle Abraham, his niece Rebecca Adamson and nephew Jason, and Wayne Logan.
Uncle Abraham explains the origin of the Golem to Jason. He was originally created to right injustices in Prague...
...and after he did that he "wandered to other lands... and wherever it found tyranny, it made its presence known". And then he eventually stopped moving in the desert and got buried by sand.
The archeologists manage to dig him up.
Their camp is then visited by a group of Arab soldiers that turn out to be deserters. The grunts are rowdy...
...but their leader keeps them in line at first. However, when they are caught raiding the archeologists' supplies, they get violent. It's at that point that a mortally wounded Uncle Abraham tries to activate the Golem using an ancient scroll. It doesn't work until Abraham cries; when his tear touches the Golem it becomes active...
...and murders the Arab soldiers.
The issue ends with Rebecca looking into the Golem's eyes and becoming terrified by the idea that her uncle is trapped in there.
The question of what is animating the Golem will continue throughout the short lived run as well as the wrap up in Marvel Two-In-One. I don't think it's ever conclusively resolved, but that fact that Uncle Abraham would never kill the way the Golem does is brought up almost immediately in the next part of this story.
I should note that this Golem is different than the one that appeared in the Invaders series. This one was from Prague; that one was created in Warsaw.
I would never have believed this was John Buscema art even though in retrospect i can see his characteristic faces. I wonder if it was originally intended for a black & white magazine and then inked and colored for this issue.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue is all reprint, and then issue #176 begins, after a flashback, "three days" after the events of this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Essential Horror vol. 2
I suspect Buscema did very loose pencils that got finished by Mooney; the faces here are very Mooneyesque. Buscema was also starting up Savage Sword of Conan at the same time, and when Alfredo Alcala became an early inker, Buscema's uninked contribution got published somewhere eventually and were revealed to be reeeeaaaallllyyyy loose.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 27, 2015 11:37 AM
Great point about the Golem and the Living Mummy. Would've been an interesting meeting, considering the international political climate of the time period before the Camp David accords. In addition, the Golem's look is pretty plain-Jane compared to the image of the monster in the classic silent horror/German expressionist "Der Golem" trilogy, made between 1915 and 1920 and featuring writer/director/star Paul Wegener as the Golem. Come to think of it, could this be the first movie franchise?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 29, 2017 8:08 PM
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