BOOO! Got a real mystery for you this week, in fact there's a whole house full of mystery!! What's the Secret of the Stolen Faces, you ask? Well, they were a mid-60s "mod" rock group that had a strong influence in the psychedelic... oh, no, sorry, that's the Secret of the Small Faces.
In the Secret of the Small Faces, er, Stolen Faces, Mr. Cat Whiskers wishes he could start his life over so he might once again experience the fun and excitement of frittering away time and money. Luckily, a weird square-jawed bodybuilder in a purple hoodie pops into his house... I just know there's a joke in here somewhere about hoodie-wearers and "stand your ground" laws but maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away. Anyway, this doesn't take place in Florida. Probably.
OK, the first mystery: The purple-hooded weirdo is actually a long-running, recurring DC character who, if both Wikipedia and the DC Wikia are to be believed, was created in 1972... except this here comic is dated in July 1963. I know this is something only the loneliest of comic book nerds would care about, but what's the deal here DC? This is clearly the same guy who hosted Weird Mystery Tales and Secrets of Haunted House in the 70s. So why does this story not seem to exist among official histories of DC? THIS LONELY COMIC BOOK NERD NEEDS TO KNOW.
Anyway, Destiny's first job is boring Mr. Whiskers with the tale of 3 other people who wanted to start over, including this faded starlet who wishes she was young again, so she could once again experience the thrill of getting old...
...and this mob boss on the lam who wishes to change his appearance to get away from the law (without doing anything drastic, like shaving his moustache or changing out of his green plaid suit and white ascot)...
...and finally a high-flying loser.
These 3 folks are all lured to Mr. Whisker's house, which suddenly looks like an old timey castle such as those seen in Hammer Horror films, and then...
Notice Destiny's attempt to rename the very comic he's appearing in, almost as though he knows he'll be written out of the entire company's history for another 9 years. "Y-yeah, that's it... House of DESTINY! Got a nice ring to it, don't it!!" Nice try buddy.
Suddenly Max Whiskers pops out from behind a curtain... this is his house, remember... and yells at Destiny for leaving all those stolen faces lying around the antechamber. Because this has all been going on after Max first meets Destiny... a few minutes ago? Days ago? I have no idea. I thought Destiny was telling Max some stories about random people and suddenly their faces are hanging in his stone castle like flies on one of those sticky plastic strips. ARGH, whatever, the now-faceless people are sent elsewhere, elsewhere, elsewhere!
Elsewhere, where our washed-up actress is now a washed-DOWN actress with a pretty new face, which she mustn't tell anybody about, never! I guess face-changing messes up the parts of your brain that know grammar.
But of course, a jealous co-star dropped a bomb on her, thus ending her career, and eventually, her life. This sort of thing was inevitable, I guess...? Does this happen a lot in Hollywood? Let's just give Destiny the benefit of the doubt and say yes.
Meanwhile, the mob boss has lost the green plaid and ascot and started all over, and now he is... another mob boss. Before, he was on the lam from the law, but What is his new destiny?
Pretty much what you'd expect.
well, third time's the charm, right? The loser politician is now a winner! Yay!! Face changing had no adverse effects at all!
No, wait. Oops.
I think I'm beginning to see why DC may have tried to forget this story, given what happened a few months later in Dallas, Texas and all. I guess the next mystery is, did this very comic book inspire Lee Harvey Oswald to do his infamous deed? No, probably not, but the timing is such that DC was likely pretty alarmed by it, since the JFK assassination was a huge national trauma. Also, something something grassy knoll something something Abraham Zapruder.
Once again all temporal logic is thrown out the window as Max interrupts the story that Destiny's telling, except it's not a story because those 3 people were really there and months and months passed and was everybody killed at the exact same time, and it all got reported on a TV news report Max was watching with Destiny months later or what???? IT'S A MYSTERY!
So apparently none of that actually happened, and everyone's back where they started, and the actress can pursue more mature acting roles in the absence of psychotically jealous ingenues, the mob boss can turn himself in to the police who can offer him witness protection from his own gang, and the politician can return to politics so he can, er, get assassinated under his own name I guess.
And at the end, Max paces around his Medieval Times castle, suddenly realizing what a foolish waste of time this whole thing was, while Destiny, or Fate, or whatever's face pops up in the caption box, looking out pleadingly at the editors to give him another shot. Not until 1972, whatever your name is!!
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