Hello and welcome to another week of comic book greatness in Ye Olde School Café! This week’s installment will bring some terror from beyond the mortal plane, something so frightening it’ll make you run away screaming! It’s SuperNatural Thrillers #5! For those of you that don’t know this title, you’re in for a real treat. The series was first published in 1972, and was part of an attempt by Marvel to cash in on the horror anthology craze at the time. If you give a listen to the Monsters & Metal podcast, you get a real good history lesson on these type of books. This title was one of four that came out around that time, and although it only lasted for fifteen issues, it left its mark on the comic books of the 1970s! Well, let us dispense with the formalities, and get down to the story. Written by Steve Gerber with art by Rich Buckler (Roy Thomas, editor).
As two young lovers sit in the arid climate of the desert, an enormous shadow appears behind them. The two people are shocked at what they see, and then, towering over them, is The Mummy! The man quickly grabs his pistol and fires at it, but it has no effect. The Mummy swats him aside like a child, and then it turns its attention to the girl. It stares a hole through her soul, but decides to spare her.
A few days later, we see a man named Doctor Skarab as he’s working in his study in Cairo. He’s startled by two of friends, Ron and Janice. He tells them about how he finally translated some ancient scrolls that tell a story. The story is one of a lost time in Egypt, when they enslaved a tribe of Africans called “The Swarilis.” These people had one advantage, though, their leader. The warrior king named N’Kantu, whose heart was matched by his size and strength. Even after months of slave labor, his will would not break. He rallied his people and they fought for their freedom. He fought his way to the chamber of Nephrus, the high priest. N’Kantu had already disposed of the pharaoh, but when he tried to attack the priest he was paralyzed by some sort of mystical fluid that the priest hurled at him. His punishment was that he would be mummified, but not just that. He would also be given an elixir to sustain his life forever, so he would know about suffering.
Fast forward to the here and now, and we see Skarab and his two friends talking about the possibility of N’Kantu possessing the fountain of youth in his body. Skarab believes that if they could find the body, that it might still be animated. Ron doesn’t agree with him, but before you know it, they turn towards the television and see a mummy creating quite a bit of a catastrophe downtown. They summarize that by height , weight, etc., it might just be him. Just as they are talking about a plan of action, the door bursts open and N’Kantu falls to the floor, exhausted.
Skarab and the others get outside, but then the Mummy follows them right out. The army is there, and that’s an issue, but anyway, they tear gas him, and he becomes so enraged that he rips a telephone pole out of the ground, and just as he’s about to swing it, he gets electrocuted from the dangling wires that snapped off during the melee. The police and Skarab move in, but are weary because they don’t yet fully understand what they are dealing with. Soon enough, though, they will. Well, that’s it for now, but tune in next time, and we’ll take another trip down the path of comic book treasures! See you next time!