March 16, 2009

Where Creatures Roam #5 [1971]

This issue contains a reprint of the 5-page "He Waits in the Dark" from TALES TO ASTONISH #24 [1961].  In a run-down tenement building in Europe, a janitor laments the sorry state of repairs, and quits when the landlord, who lives in luxury, refuses to spend any money fixing the place. A mysterious new man takes over the job, and makes some repairs on his own, then gives the landlord a chance to change his ways.  That doesn't happen, of course, so the new janitor sends the tenants away and waits in the cold and dark until the landlord, in his quest for his rent, enters the building and is condemned to stay with it forever as both blink out of existence.

Kind of a vague morality play, but a lot of things worth noting in the art. Ditko really sells the poverty of the tenants contrasted with the luxury of the landlord, and the cold and dark really comes through.  That sequence at the bottom of the page below really works well, the deep shadows with just enough detail to create a sense of impending doom that you know is coming.

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