Review: Essential Marvel Horror Vol.2

The second volume of the Essential Marvel Horror is far and away the oddest comic collection published all year.  For the first of these Marvel compiled the stories of two characters who didn’t have enough material to warrant a full book on their own.  This time around Marvel’s gone even more obscure, needing 6 different sources to make a book.

The characters have nothing in common, and despite the title most of them don’t have much to do with horror either.  So what do we have here:

The Living Mummy, one of two classic horror archetypes in the book, but which is actually more of a superhero comic.

Brother Voodoo, the black Doctor Strange.  Actually the highlight of the book, largely due to the Gene Colan art, and despite the first appearance of the Black Talon (who actually makes sense as a villain if you can look past the fact that he dresses in a chicken costume).

Gabriel the Devil-Hunter, the only story here that was written for one of Marvel’s horror mags.  A fairly typical exorcist story.

The Golem, the old Jewish legend done as a superhero story, which died after two issues.

Modred the Mystic, A second rate Dr. Druid (which officially makes him an F-list character).  Not actually bad, just unnecessary and made worse by later giving him ties to the continuity black hole that is Wundagore Mountain.

The Scarecrow, An absolutely awful filler comic that I can’t even begin to explain (seriously the plot doesn’t make any sense and it’s sometimes impossible to follow the story from panel to panel).  About all I can say in its favor is that the character design is fairly good.

All told there is nothing to tie this book together.  But as a grab bag of 70’s Marvel its great, and is without a doubt the coolest book they’ve published in a long time.

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