Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dr. K's Halloween Countdown Presents: The Man Who Couldn't Be Pushed Around!

The cover of Unknown Worlds 30 (1964), by Kurt Schaffenberger, is one of my all-time favorite covers, mainly because it perfectly sums up my own personal philosophy:

The unfortunate thing is, I do get pushed around, all the time, and often by those who are much smaller than me. But it helps to dream.

It's also unfortunate that the story which this cover represents, "The Man Who Couldn't Be Pushed Around," written by Kurato Osaki and drawn by Paul Reinman, does not live up to the promise of the cover. That's surprising for a story that is about a professional wrestler who goes to Hell to wrestle Satan.

In this tale that falsely advertises itself as offering "thrills of mystery," professional wrestler Robert Harkness dies in a train accident and finds himself at the gates of "The Unknown," which is some sort of middle-ground afterlife where--and I'm guessing here--dead babies go. Whatever it is, it's got a lot of people dressed in gray cloaks and a fog machine that would make 70's era KISS jealous.

The Unknown is being threatened for takeover by Satan himself, and when the leaders of the Unknown see that Robert can hold his own against Old Nick, they enlist him to dissuade the Devil from further aggression.

So, Robert goes to Hell and proceeds to wrestle Satan.

In this story, Satan is kind of a wuss, and Robert defeats him easily. When Satan balks at Robert's demands, Robert changes the game and decides to take over Hell by himself. Satan relents, and signs a contract indicating that he will no longer attack the Unknown.

Man, that Satan loves his contracts.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Having Satan as a character is always gold.