Monday, April 21, 2008

House of Mystery #166 (4/67)

"Would you believe a fantastic ray that transforms ordinary men into indestructible giants?" You'd better, because that's the premise of "VULTURE'S CRIME GOLIATHS!" A mammoth "monster-man" unloaded an armored car in the U.S., attracting Marco Xavier's attention 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. The American branch of the worldwide criminal organization VULTURE invented the molecular-ray that produced the titan, but the effects were only temporary. A new cylinder developed in Europe would make the change permanent, but the cops stateside were already on the lookout. Mr. V believed beloved playboy Marco Xavier could sneak it in without incident. For 50K, Marco would give it a shot, though he was also comitted to failing Faceless if he could.

Arriving stateside, Xavier was greeted by press and groupies. "Oh, Marco darling--We've been dying to see you again!" they cried. "That goes double for me, sweethearts--but business before pleasure, you know!" While resting from the trip in his hotel room, Manhunter spotted a pair of building painters taking a fall, and came to their rescue. This incident hit the news, which reached Zook's little orange ears. "EEK! Manhunter back in the states! I must go and find him!"

Meanwhile, Xavier made the drop to his contact, then doubled back as the Manhunter to reacquire the cylinder. J'Onn learned that he'd jumped the gun, since there was a VULTURE base these goons could have led him to. "I pulled a real boner! But maybe... by playing it smart... I can make up for my goof!" He took a dive before VULTURE's monster-man in order to dupe them into a lead. Unfortunately, Zook arrived to "save" his buddy, having used his antennae to locate him*. Zook froze the normal humans, but couldn't halt the goliath. For once, the Martian Marvel got to upstage the tike, and put the man-mountain on his smug ass besides! While Manhunter explained the situation to Zook, who sighed, "Golly-wolly! Then I spoil everything by barging in!"

They were lucky enough to have one of the goons sneak off on them. It would be no fun for Zook to just use his antennae to track the guy, so MM deduced his location instead. Just as a group of six men are about to get blasted by the giant-making ray, Manhunter burst in and bopped each on the head in turn. He smashed the ray, though he noted to himself, "That cylinder I handed over was a fake duplicate! Your ray wouldn't have worked in any case."

With the problem solved, a brief reunion followed. "I miss you so much, Manhunter! You be coming back soon?" J'Onn replied, "Soon as I hunt down and destroy VULTURE, Zook! ...I hope it's real soon--because I miss you, too!"

*"Zook possesses built-in directional antannae which, like radar, enable him to track electronically any person he has known or seen previously. -Ed."

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