Our Strange Story Of Suspense this week is so suspenseful and dramatic that it will cause all your muscles to clench in a rictus-like spasm of absolute tension! Doesn't that sound inviting?
Our tale begins in the decaying heart of the most primitive jungle in the world. The smartly-dressed bellboy? Hey, even in jungles, luggage has to get from point A to point B and Philip Morris must be alerted to his telephone call.
Who sent Regis Philbin these mysterious plane tickets? Why is the darkest jungle of Africa populated by Caucasian men in smart suits and natty hats? Oh, the suspense!
The mysterious voices and the gassing are pretty suspenseful, to be sure, but what's really got me fascinated is how Regis Philbin's hat just sort of pops off his head in the first panel there. Nothing says "Hitchcockian levels of tension and mystery" like flying hats.
DOODLEDY DOODLEDY DOODLEDY DOO.... and we're flashing back to Regis and how he came to be in this suspenseful situation! Turns out he was in the Korean War where his hatred for the Communist enemy is matched only by his contempt for their failure to conduct the war in a sensible fashion!
Machine guns, enemy soldiers, tanks... none stood in the way of Regis and his all consuming hatred for the Communists. But what will he do now that the war is over? Will he travel the world fighting Communists and Communism?
Yes. Yes he will. The stiff right arm of Regis will defeat evil Communism whereever it may be found!
You read comic panel! Man speak in pidgin English, explain why he punch man with knife! Knife-man evil, punch-man good! You stay, Mlguna, me give you detailed lecture on international geopolitical theories of mid 20th century! Mlguna, come back!
DOODLEDY DOODLEDY doodledy doo.. and we're back in present day where we now understand that Regis has spent the postwar years punching Communism in the face one Communist at a time, and the Comintern agents have decided to fly him to New York and kill him. So it's bad that they want to kill him, but at least he gets a free trip to New York out of the deal. SO! We are now at the climax of our strange story of suspense! What kind of amazingly satisfying ending have the writers whipped up to give this story a rousing sendoff and make the preceding five pages all worth while? Let's see!
And that's it. NO IT IS NOT I WHO WILL DIE, IT IS YOU WHO WILL DIE! Cue looming hands... and we're done! No explanation, not even a clue as to how Regis survived, just an anonymous phone call and a promise to take a long rest. So, what? Did they suddenly realize they had to end the story on the very next panel? Did they just say "Aw, to hell with it, nobody's going to be reading this far anyway?" I realize that comic book writers never got paid very much, but sometimes we're OK with that. Because sometimes... sometimes they don't WRITE very much.
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