Strange Tales #176-177
Issue(s): Strange Tales #176, Strange Tales #177
In the recap, a group of Arab soldiers, deserters from an unspecified war, murdered a Professor Adamson. Before dying, Adamson activated a Golem that he found that was previously alive and a protector of the people in Prague.
The Golem slaughtered most of the soldiers.
In this issue, the students accompanying the soldiers, two of which are Professor Adamson's nephew and niece, are trying to get out of the country with the Golem when they are stopped by more Arab soldiers.
The Golem becomes active again...
...and the soldiers agree to let the soldiers leave if they'll just get the Golem out of there. As they are leaving, one of the soldiers mentions the fact that the golems eventually turn on their owners.
From there, what seems to have been a story using the Israli/Arab conflicts as a setting takes on a very different theme, where a demon called Kaballa...
...starts sending elemental demons after the Golem. The first attack is while the students are still at sea, and the Golem is initially weak since, it is said, it draws its powers from the earth. But it somehow rallies and defeats the air elementals anyway.
The second attack is while the students are back in the US, trying to convince another professor that the Golem is in fact alive. This time it's fire elementals that attack. But the Golem is able to defeat them too.
The Golem seemingly talks at the end of issue #176...
...but that is ignored in the following issue, and instead it begins thinking telepathic thoughts.
Also during the fight with the fire elementals, the word EMETH becomes visible on its forehead.
In Golem lore, the word EMETH ("truth") is inscribed onto a Golem's head to bring it to life, and erasing the E to spell METH ("death", or "crank") kills it. Of course this Golem was brought to life by Professor Adamson's reading of the scroll and/or his tears, but now the word is on his head.
DeZuniga's art is very scratchy and not really great (look at that supposed action shot of the Golem fighting the fire elementals). But sometimes he surprises me with some really nice panels. Here's a good example, with the panel on the left having some typically sketchy faces and a lumpy Golem. But then that right panel has that really nice effect.
One thing i do like is the way Kaballa is written. He's like, "I have all these long term plans, and i should really just stick to them, but the re-emergence of the Golem is just too tempting and i can't help myself."
Kaballa decides to go after Professor Adamson's nephew Jason since his attacks on the Golem haven't been working. But this series is cancelled with this issue. Instead of a lettercol, there's an announcement that says:
File it under "G".
Like a lot of cancelled series, the story will eventually be wrapped up in Marvel Two-In-One. The Strange Tales book will continue with Adam Warlock as the new lead feature.
These stories are padded with reprints, including a Jimmy Infantino story from Adventure Into Mystery #8, which is as interesting because of this tiny ape (completely incidental to the plot)...
...as it is because of the actual story, which is about a guy that hates Mondays even more than Garfield.
The other reprint, possibly from Astonishing #59, is by Jay Scott Pike, and has a take on Atlantis different than the Marvel version.
Issue #177 also starts with a two-page Golem legend, unrelated to the main story, where a Golem kept growing in size to the point where the "E" couldn't be erased, so the Golem's owner tricked it into bending down, but then when he deactivated the Golem it fell on him, crushing him to death.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showGolem, Jason Adamson, Kaballa, Professor Yeates, Rebecca Adamson, Saudia Yamal, Wayne Logan
I feel obligated to like the Golem as he's the only "hero" from Prague.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | April 16, 2013 12:57 PM
Tony DeZuniga tended to do effects like that a lot while at DC from 1970-75, but this is probably the only time he did that at Marvel.
Jay Scott Pike later created Dolphin at DC, who looked a lot like the Atlantean lady here(no shark teeth, though).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 20, 2013 5:31 PM
You forgot the story titles. The main ones are "Black Crossing", issue 176, and "There Comes Now Raging Fire", issue 177.
Posted by: Silverbird | December 21, 2014 10:29 PM
Thanks, Silverbird. Added them in.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 21, 2014 10:40 PM
Inconsistency seems to be the hallmark of the Golem's brief run as a Marvel character. The best example is how the creature communicates: First talking, then telepathically, then, pun intended, going stone silent, save for the flash of "EMETH" across his forehead. In the "resolution" of the Golem's storyline in MTIO #11, he is shown bear-hugging the Thing on the cover and telling him, in the "spooky" speech bubble, that he wouldn't release Grimm until he destroyed him. Once you read the story, nary a peep from the big gray guy. Credit to the creators, though, for confessing to dropping the ball. Speaking of inconsistency, surprised to see so much in DeZuniga's art. Guess he was at his best doing westerns, co-creating JONAH HEX over at DC and inking over Gene Day's pencil's on Caleb Hammer's debut story in Marvel Premiere #54. I'm curious to know, since he did artwork for TSR on the Dungeons & Dungeons role-playing game, if DeZuniga's work was ever used for TSR's western-based RPG Boot Hill?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 29, 2017 9:38 PM
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