Mystery! Suspense! Chaos! Thrills! The Unknown! Intrigue! SHADOWS FROM BEYOND! Water stains! Charlton! Cereal Box Printer! Stories seemingly written via MadLibs! Get ready for all this and more in SHADOWS FROM BEYOND!
First up is a story about the trial of a concentration camp commandant, fittingly told by the hostess of this comic, who is problematically referred to as a "Gypsy", one of the groups targetted for elimination by the Nazis.
ANYWAY, an open call is made for any rando to step up and be the nazi creep's lawyer but the only person who will step up to defend him is
a CNN reporter uh, I mean, a ghoulish weirdo with crazy eyes. At least it looks like he's having fun!
Since this is a post-Comics Code comic, Schneider's crimes are weirdly vague and don't directly reference any kind of violence or death, which means that he's facing a Nuremberg-like trial for, uh, tearing up someone's pardon from a concentration camp, because that was definitely a real thing. All you had to do was drop the charges... of being Jewish I guess...? Or maybe this was exclusively a prison for women who talk like Frankenstein's monster... I don't know, the truth is the word "Nazi" is never actually used and I have a feeling the only editorial oversight this story saw was by someone who made sure nothing too salacious or violent or in any way interesting made its way in.
And since this is a Charlton comic, the ghoulish-looking lawyer's fiendish plan to acquit Schneider is to stare at the witnesses and ask them the same question over and over and going "are you sure? Huh? You sure?" until they get fed up and leave.
Also, since this is a Charlton comic, it was apparently written by trolls. Seriously, their idea of a sympathetic witness is a concentration camp executioner who was "only following orders"?? How is this guy not on trial?
Short story shorter, because let's face it, this thing is laboured enough as it is, the ghoulish lawyer gets Schneider acquitted and then takes him back to his old death camp where he runs away from ghosts I guess? I mean, that's how that one episode of The Twilight Zone ended, and this is obviously a ripoff of that, so yeah.
Bullshit dude, you specifically promised NOT justice at the very start of the trial! Look:
Make up your mind buddy, sheesh
Now on to the next mind-shattering tale of Suspense! Chaos! Thrills!, in which our Romani hostess tells the fortune of a man with the mysterious ability to disappear from one panel to the next with no explanation! In fact, I find myself wondering if he took out a few crucial panels on his way out the door because that is one clumsy transition there.
You know this guy is a bad dude because he's cheap enough to want a fortune teller arrested just to get his dollar back. I don't think that's how small claims court works, buddy.
Haskell's friend Bill knows that Haskell is a con man who'd cheat his own grandmother to make a buck, so he does what any honest man would do and gently chides Haskell as they go to cash a cheque.
Luckily, Bill is incredibly stupid and agrees to run a company built on a literal swamp, because "architects" can fix it.
I feel like there's some sort of metaphor for current-day political events here, but to tell you the truth I'd rather just leave that alone.
Bill, your friend didn't show you how to take the risk out, he gave you a Shoney's Big Boy kids' menu.
"The first building is sinking already" is a hilarious line, because it indicates the workmen knew they were gonna sink the entire time they were constructing, they just didn't think it would happen as quickly as it did. Some lucky guy's gonna win the office betting pool!
"Cut to the chase", you're thinking, "what ironic punishment was meted upon this greedy conman?" Obviously, since the ex-death camp commander was sent back to his camp to be haunted by the ghosts he created, this guy's probably got a punishment that's similarly tailored to his sins. That makes sense, right? Because what are Charlton comics if not totally logical and coherent and narratively satisfying?
Ah, yes, the perfect comeuppance to a remorseless businessman, a... subway that goes into outer space like Galaxy Express 999. HEE HEE HEE
Honestly, of all the faults this story has, the fact that it somehow isn't titled "The Sky's the Limit" is somehow the most egregious.
We're not out of the woods yet though! We have one more tale of Intrigue! etc. Actually it's a tale of a poor, honest, hard-working landlord, because of all the persecuted minorities in the world today, landlords surely have it the hardest. Actually the most remarkable thing about this story is that this isn't Steve Ditko.
His tenants are, naturally, terrible people who relentlessly hound the poor man while throwing around all the weight of the Landlord-Tenant Act, because rules regulating landlords for the health and safety of their tenants is obviously Communism.
...so anyway blah blah blah, ironic comeuppance, the nagging tenants are also sent into outer space, because if you can't think of a logical twist ending for your story just send the fuckers to outer space already, c'mon, we gotta get this comic printed so we can continue our cereal box run.
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