Friday, December 29, 2017

"The End" Week: Dead of Night #11!

Timing is everything. Hit at the right moment, and you can capture the world's imagination. Miss your chance, and you might debut in the last issue of a series, then have two more books cancelled before you can appear again, like the Scarecrow here. From 1975, Dead of Night #11, "Enter: the Scarecrow" Written by Scott Edelman, art by Rico Rival.

This has a real Night Gallery feel to it, since a mysterious painting of a scarecrow is involved: a pair of burglars in goat-head masks attempt to steal it, but are instead brutally killed by the mysterious, laughing Scarecrow. Later, an art collector (with an assist from his brother) buys the painting at auction, beating out a loud, and threatening, crabapple. Said crabapple is of course the head of the goat-masked "Cult of Kalumai," and they steal the painting and the collector's girlfriend. Beneath the painting of the scarecrow is the devil-like "visage of Kalumai," and with that and a little human sacrifice they plan to bring back their god. The Scarecrow smashes in Batman-style, then kills the hell out of all the cultists. The scarecrow painting is mysteriously restored...

It's left mildly ambiguous here if the Scarecrow is something mystical, or a really good mystery-man type. His timing was off, though: this was the last issue of Dead of Night, and he had been slated to appear in Monsters Unleashed and Werewolf by Night but both were cancelled before he could appear! His storyline was seemingly wrapped up in Marvel Two-In-One #18; yet he would appear much, much later, but as the "Straw Man," since his name had been taken by the Ghost Rider villain the Scarecrow!

After years of Batman comics featuring the villainous Scarecrow, it's odd to see a more-heroic one; but I vaguely remember the Disney movie The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, which also could've been an inspiration for this book.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Shit, this actually looks good! I need to watch that Disney Scarecrow movie too. Heard it was good.