Saturday, October 30, 2010

Countdown to Halloween: Retro-Review - Adventures Into the Unknown #1, Part 5!

The fifth full story in this book is “Haunted House,” a six-page story with art by King Ward.
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The haunted hijinks begin after the jump!

The story opens at the offices of the Eager-Beager Detective Agency, run by Benny and Fred. Fred's girlfriend, Lorna, wants the duo to come with her to the law offices of Fielding and Jones, for the reading of Lorna's uncle's will. Although Lorna's uncle died ten years before, the will is being read now, and Lorna stands to inherit a million dollars, assuming she'll spend the night that night at the old Brent Mansion! Of course, the mansion is supposed to be haunted by the “vengeful ghost of old Horace Brent.” And just as naturally, Benny and Fred will go along with Lorna!

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So, the trio arrive at the mansion, and come across a portrait of old Horace Brent, and then Lorna feels a cold draught from somewhere. Suddenly, the lights go out, and an awful laugh is heard! When the light from the candle is restored, Fred, Benny (who hid under a table when the light went out) and Lorna start to search the house. Climbing the stairs, they hear a clinking of chains, and at the top of the stairs... a ghost! Benny scrambles down the stairs, but trips and falls. When he's starting to get back on his feet, he sees a yellow skeleton, standing their with its hands at its waist. Upstairs, Lorna and Fred look for a secret panel that the “ghost” may have disappeared into (although Lorna says that secret panels only exist in comic books). Benny runs back to Fred and Lorna and tells them about the skeleton, but Fred is not convinced anything supernatural is going on!

Suddenly, Uncle Horace's ghost appears on the steps, but Fred, still unconvinced, tries to shoot it, to no effect! Fred starts to become convinced, and says Lorna won't come to harm, because he'll protect her, but then...

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They take an axe to the panel after it closes, and dart down the stairs after Lorna! When they get to the bottom of the stairs, they find the yellow skeleton attacking Lorna, but Fred has had enough, and punches the skeleton! The skeleton falls to the floor, and is unmasked as Lawyer Jones, Fielding's partner! They hear a scream, and the four find Fielding on the floor, murdered! Jones admits that they'd embezzeled half of Horace Brent's estate since he died, and that Fielding tried to make her lose out by scaring her out of spending the night, since Fielding was the alternate heir.

Lorna still has half a million to collect, but there's just one thing... who used the cane found at the body to kill Fielding? Lorna realizes it's Uncle Horace's cane, and points out the picture...
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Overall, this was a pretty good tale! I was kind of reminded of Abbott and Costello, or perhaps more Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis! Would you believe Hope and Crosby? Whatever, I liked it!

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