What mysteries lurk in the depths of space? What threats could come screaming from out of the stars at any given moment? And how can a second-rate comic book publisher wring five pages out of this premise to fill some space in the back of a early sixties suspense comic? Well, here's a hint: it starts with a jumping catfish.

What lurks within? And why are they spelling Doctor Doom's name wrong? And DO catfish jump? I mean, they're bottom feeders. Anyway, here comes a spaceship, by thunder!

"It's The Great Pumpkin, Doctor Droom!" will return after these messages.

An alien spaceship lands in a field and twelve hours later the earth-shattering news has flashed across the whole... county. I guess word doesn't travel fast wherever these hayseeds are busting sod. Anyway, Grampa Corncob knows about a lecturer in Center City who can help them out! Not about the aliens, something about crop yields, Grampa is thinking about the guy from the county extension service.

Ditching his cash-paying customers to take a phone call, Dr. Droom drives off in his convertible to prepare to drive those aliens off the face of the Earth! In his convertible, maybe.

Maybe he can handle mystic occult alien forces, but Dr. Droom could use some advice on good posture.

Using his mystic power to source construction equipment and secure the necessary permits in mere hours? He IS the master of the occult!

Droom learned the mysteries of the astral plane while immersed in the ancient traditions of inner Tibet, but he learned to operate a crane and wrecking ball during his time with the Ironworkers Local 472 in New Jersey.

It never fails! You move into a new place, you get settled in, and WHAM, there go the neighbors with another all-night dance party! I'm calling the super.

By slowing his breath intake, Droom placed himself into a deep mystical trance. And then, after his nap, he was refreshed and ready to continue with this whole alien spaceship thing.

Peaceful? Welcome? Friendship? We must have landed in the Earth nation known as "Disneyland!"

We have failed! We can never conquer a race so welcoming and friendly, and yet posessed of balls so mighty!

You see, I took the precaution of making the aliens think that they were talking to a construction derrick! You'd be surprised at how often this works.

The aliens might have attacked small human beings made of flesh and bone, but there was no way they were going to attack mighty steel derricks and wrecking balls! And it's a good thing these aliens somehow navigated their way across countless light years to Earth, entered our atmosphere and landed safely, and yet they never once so much as looked out their window to see what was happening on this new planet. They heard a boom, they trusted a voice in their head, they got scared, they left.

At this point I'm pretty sure we could take those aliens. I mean, we have a lot of construction derricks! Let's get them back down here and kick their ass.

As long as we use the brains destiny gave us we'll always be able to defeat invaders... just as long as they DON'T use the brains destiny gave THEM.

Of course, seeing how crowded outer space is, I have my doubts any other aliens will ever be able to get anywhere near Earth without crashing into one of the dozens of moons and planets zipping around up there right next to us. So long, pumpkinheads!

Now you may be asking yourself, why have I never seen this Dr. Droom fellow around? Well, it's because there were some changes made.

In the 70s they dusted old Droom off, turned him from "Oriental" to Caucasian, changed his name to Dr. Druid, and got busy inserting him into reprints of comics much like the one we just made fun of. And in the 80s and 90s and 00s they continued to haul him out whenever they needed a master of the mystic arts who wasn't Dr. Strange and who looked enough like Anton LaVey to almost be legally actionable. Well, back to the unknown with you, fella.

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