Supernatural Thrillers #7-9
Issue(s): Supernatural Thrillers #7, Supernatural Thrillers #8, Supernatural Thrillers #9
...but having now read it i know that's while that's basically true, the story definitely was set up as a try out for an ongoing.
Issue #6 then did a Headless Horseman story and then the series went on hiatus for seven months. But with issue #7 the series is revived (by popular demand!) with the Living Mummy now as the star for the rest of the run.
Tony Isabella takes over from Steve Gerber with issue #8.
We're at a point here where horror comics were a real trend but what's interesting to me is how Marvel brought all of these characters into their super-hero universe. That didn't have to happen; comics had cycled through various genres in the past (war, romance, westerns, previous periods of horror) without building it all into some sort of cohesive continuing uber-story, but with the Marvel Universe that changed so even Sgt. Fury, Rawhide Kid, and Conan get tied into the same universe as the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. So now that you have a Living Mummy of course people will make stray comments about the Avengers in his series...
...and it's not long before the Living Mummy is fighting the Living Pharoah. I don't have numbers to back this up, but my hypothesis is that this sort of thing made the book sell better by tapping into the built-in fanbase that was already buying the super-hero books. And it shows that the Marvel Universe was versatile enough to absorb all of these disparate elements. It already had Dr. Strange and essentially monster characters like the Hulk so it wasn't really a stretch at all.
As is pointed out in the lettercol, Steve Gerber was already writing a mindless Man-Thing and Zombie (Simon Garth) at this point, so for the revival, the Mummy recovers his ability to reason and even talk to a limited degree (only in his own ancient language and with a raspy, decaying throat).
I said that the original Living Mummy story was "generic" but Gerber did try to get in some social relevance by making the eventual Mummy the leader of an African Swarili tribe that was enslaved by the Egyptians, and he used that to make some social commentary. The leader, N'Kantu, led a slave revolt that freed his people...
...but as punishment he was turned into the creature he is today. This is a common problem with mummy curses; they always wind up making the recipient of the curse powerful enough to kill your descendants. Not a good move.
Anyway, N'Kantu's restored intelligence and original ethnicity allow him to continue with the social observations...
...although not always as politically correct as he ought to be.
After mucking about in New York for a bit the Mummy is suddenly sucked into an alternate dimension...
...where he meets the Elementals.
They want him to acquire a magical artifact called the Scarlet Scarab for them.
This will help them rule the world, but they also promise to restore N'Kantu to his original body. N'Kantu refuses the offer but the Elementals won't take no for an answer so they enslave him...
...and force him after the Scarab's original owner, who turns out to be the Living Pharoah, who is using the artifact to restore his powers.
The Living Mummy regains control of himself, but still winds up in a fight with the Pharoah.
Since the Pharoah's powers are waning, the fight ends with the Mummy's victory...
...but while they are fighting someone else steals the gem.
Meanwhile, the descendant of the Egyptian wizard that originally converted N'Kantu into the Mummy, Dr. Skarab, flies to Egypt on the Mummy's trail.
On his way to the Living Pharoah's lair, N'Kantu passes a bunch of other mummies in sarcophaguses. I wonder why he doesn't assume that they are all, like him, living mummies trapped in their boxes.
This is the first published appearance of the Scarlet Scarab (sometimes Ruby Scarab), but in this project we've already seen that in the Invaders series it was used to produce the eponymous Egyptian super-character, and his son will later appear in an issue of Thor.
All three of these issues are padded with additional Silver Age Ditko horror/fantasy stories.
Strange Tales #94:
Amazing Adult Fantasy #13:
And Amazing Adult Fantasy #11:
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showDr. Skarab, Hellfire (Elementals), Hydron (Elemental), Janice Carr, Living Monolith, Living Mummy, Magnum, Ron McAllister, Zephyr
"Dann" and "Garrett" are references to Charlton's first Silver Age Blue Beetle.
The Living Mummy's story actually ends in #15. The Elementals do show up in Ms. Marvel, but that's a separate story(the Living Mummy only shows up there as an illusion).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 7, 2013 5:39 PM
Thanks Mark. When i read those Ms. Marvel issues i felt like i was coming in to the middle of the story but maybe if i re-read them now things would be clearer since i've been properly introduced to the characters.
I'll probably hold out and get Essential Marvel Horror vol. 2 at some point, though, and just read the rest of the Living Mummy stories. Not for a while, of course.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 7, 2013 6:27 PM
Since you already have the Golem, Scarecrow, and Modred books it'd probably be cheaper for you to get low grade copies of the remaining Mummy originals.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 7, 2013 6:49 PM
They are surprisingly hard to find cheap. The issues at Mycomicshop.com run about $12 an issue and i haven't run across any in bargain bins. It's why i only picked up these three for my current backissue add. So the Essentials (currently $7 on Amazon) is looking pretty appealing, despite the redundancy. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | April 7, 2013 7:09 PM
there was a fun epic feel to the rest of the elemental plotline. And it was fun to have a crisis hit someplace other than NY (Cairo in this case). I liked how the lawlessness that came with the elementals appearance was shown, not just implied.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | April 8, 2013 5:23 PM
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