May 30, 2008

Marvel Tales #83 [1977]

Some odd splitting of the Spider-Man reprints fronting the book around this time gave them a hole to plug in the 5-page "Goodbye to Linda Brown" story from STRANGE TALES #97 [1962]. Marvel not being known for it's subtlety at the time, they replace the blurb on the splash page with one pointing out that the kindly older couple in this story are "Uncle Ben" and "Aunt May", appearing two months before a more famous couple by that name in AMAZING FANTASY #15. The resemblance is slight, but amusing.

Other than that coincidence, the story is a slight one. A couple share their seaside home with their wheelchair bound niece, Linda Brown, with some hints of a mysterious past. It turns out she inherited some sort of sleep-walking, or in her case rolling, trait from them, and one night rolls out to the sea, and it turns out she's a mermaid. Yeah, I don't quite get it either. It doesn't even have the strong visual hook that redeem some of the more silly of these stories, although the scene with Linda rising out of bed in her sleep is nicely done.

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