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Perhaps Mr. Fantastic and Plastic Man have a support group that he can join – House of Secrets #68

October 18, 2010

Two stories in this one, and the Eclipso entry comes first. I know Eclipso primarily through his early 90’s summer crossover in the DC annuals, Eclipso: The Darkness Within. If I recall correctly, the anchor two-parter of that event was drawn by Bart Sears, who had a feature running in Wizard around that time called “Drawing Powerful Comics” or something. While I appreciated his efforts to give young saps like me a primer on anatomy and illustration, I always thought that it should have been called “Drawing Hideous Comics.” Not a fan. But I digress.

In “Eclipso’s Deadly Doubles!!” by Bob Haney and Jack Sparling, the cursed and beleaguered scientist Bruce Gordon finally thinks that he’s uncovered away to rid himself of his Eclipso transformations for good:

I’ll take your word for it, doc.

He makes good progress on his experiments, and, to celebrate this chance to shuck his villainous alter ego for good, takes his girl to, where else, a science fair:

While there he’s exposed to an artificial eclipse, which almost changes him into Eclipso (If that’s true, it kind of begs the question — would Superman draw power from a yellow sun seen on TV? I understand the reasoning behind making his transformations more readily triggered, but “artificial” eclipses seem a bit lame). Though he escapes that thanks to a well-timed camera flash from his partner, Professor Bennet, he decides to get on with his experiment immediately. Eclipso is banished to another dimension, and it seems to be a success. That is, until:

Things fall apart from there, story-wise, and Gordon travels to the alternate dimension, where he defeats the original Eclipso but in the process reattaches him to himself. There’s one thing of note — the way Eclipso wields his sinister black diamond reminds me of the “crushing your head” guy from The Kids in the Hall:

Arnold Drake and Mort Meskin bring us the Mark Merlin tale, “The Return of the Morloo.” The Morloo is a mindless creature from, you guessed it, another dimension, one that screams “Oooyahh!” a lot. This one has been enslaved by the evil Doctor-7 — it kind of looks like a friendly Jim Henson creation:

Mark Merlin’s a combination of Doctor Strange and a WASP-y accountant, whose assemblage of occult artifacts comes in handy when fighting crime (he later became Prince Ra-Man). Here he is dousing the fire with his briefcase full of mystical junk:

Doctor-7 is looking for radium to make a potion that will upgrade his Morloo into the monster on the cover. He succeeds. Well done, Merlin.

Doctor-7 then begins his reign of, if not terror, at least goofiness. One of his tricks includes making people think they’re beautiful, then turning the tables on them:

I think I’ve been on blind dates with a couple of those broads.

Merlin foils these minor schemes, Doctor-7 wearies of his interference, and our hero is fortunate to transfer his mind into his cat before his body’s placed in the cover predicament:

Once his girlfriend/partner has freed him from this curse, Merlin goes to summon his own “good” Greedo-looking Morloo. Merlin and Doctor-7 battle it out through their proxies like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and when Merlin’s Morloo starts to return to his own dimension, it grabs Doctor-7’s and takes it along for the ride:

Evil is thwarted again.

I wasn’t really crazy about either of these stories. The Eclipso entry was a bit trite and pointless, but the Merlin escapades were perhaps a little bit better. The pre-transformation Morloo looks like it would make a pretty good kids’ plush toy. Maybe it came from the Fraggle Rock dimension or something.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2010 9:39 pm

    The Morloo was featured in the last four episodes of Dial B for Blog, the greatest comics blog ever.

    • October 21, 2010 9:08 am

      After I had typed up my post I did a quick web search on the Morloo and read the Dial B for Blog episodes. Kind of weird that those would be the last entries, but the Morloo was so goofy looking I can kind of understand it.

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