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    "The Iron Messiah!"

    The Phantom Stranger teases the tale about to unfold. Cyberneticist, John Kweli, is returning home. The train Kweli is riding on suffers a mishap, derails and explodes. The Phantom Stranger pulls Kweli from the wreckage. Kweli awakes in a hospital, to the familiar face of his friend, Ororo. Kweli has returned to Africa too late. His father, a tribal chief, has already passed. Kweli, with Ororo, drives out to the tribal camp, to find soldiers loading several of the men into trucks. Ngumi, the tribe's spiritual leader, spurns Kweli's return. Though Kweli is the rightful chief, by lineage, Ngumi has usurped control.

    Ngumi has turned the tribe towards the worship of Chuma, a Warrior God. Kweli returns to the city, with Ororo. En route they are attacked by a lion. The Phantom Stranger suddenly appears, wrapping the lion within his cape. When he unfurls his cape, the lion is gone. Kweli recognizes the Phantom Stranger as the man who pulled him from the wreckage. As suddenly as he appeared, the Phantom Stranger disappears. Kweli meets with Amos Trent, the oil baron who has been sending soldiers to forcibly evict the tribe from it's oil-rich lands. Their meeting does not go well.

    Suddenly, inspiration strikes Kweli. Sequestered away for several days, Kweli constructs an automaton who will serve his tribe as Chuma, their Warrior God. Chuma dispatches the soldiers and rallies the tribe to his cause. With the tribe flocking to follow Chuma, Ngumi finds his power base eroding. Ngumi reports the situation to Trent. Discovered by Chuma's tribal warriors, Ngumi is executed for his betrayal. Chuma corners Ororo, and professes it's love for her. Ororo spurns the machine, professing her love for Kweli. Chuma abandons the tribe's fight against Trent's security forces.

    The Phantom Stranger confronts Chuma, and convinces the robot to rethink it's course of action. Moments before the tribe is about to be overwhelmed by Trent's security forces, Chuma joins them on the battlefield. The tribe rallies around Chuma, and the tide begins to turn. Seeing it's rival pinned down by heavy gunfire. Chuma elects to murder Kweli, in the hopes of winning Ororo's affections. With the battle won, the tribe praises Chuma. Ororo, though, bore witness to the murder, and turns the tribe against Chuma. A rock, hurled by a tribal warrior, becomes a grenade, as it passes through the Phantom Stranger's shadow. Chuma is struck and destroyed.

    I Battled For The Doom Stone

    This story was originally published in My Greatest Adventure #61 (November, 1961). A plot synopsis for this story can be found at the link.

    Satan's Sextet

    The music of Satan's Sextet compels a group of partygoers to follow the band into the ocean. Only Satan's Sextet resurfaces. Doctor Terrance Thirteen, the famed Ghost Breaker, encounters a half-drowned man, Willard Wentworth, on the beach. Wentworth had hosted the party, and been drawn into the sea with his other party guests. A powerful riptide, though, had pulled him away, and cast him back upon the shore.

    Thirteen returns to Wentworth's home, to find it full of strangers, and Satan's Sextet still performing. Thirteen sees no evidence that the music is entrancing anyone at the party, lest of all Thirteen himself. Pretty girls put beads, and flowers, around the necks of Wentworth, and Thirteen. Satan's Sextet draws the partygoers out into the ocean. Wentworth and Thirteen feel an irresistible compulsion to follow.

    Moments before he drowns, Thirteen realizes the beads are releasing a powerful hypnotic hallucinogen, keeping him in the music's power. Thirteen removes his, and Wentworth's beads, before both men return to the shore. Thirteen confronts the lead musician of Satan's Sextet, who is revealed to be Wentworth's son, Steve. Thirteen beats Steve into unconsciousness, then turns the whole band over to the authorities.

    "I Scout Earth's Strangest Secrets!"

    This story was originally published in House Of Secrets #23 (August, 1959). A plot synopsis for this story can be found at the link.



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    Retro Review 3: Deceitful covers, Part 1 0

    Opening remarks:Well, first off I'd like to address the elephant in the room-namely how culturally insensitive the cover is. While addressing such stereotypical attitudes in comics is enough to consume volumes of books, the story itself is actually pretty thoughtful and offers an interesting take on cross cultural perceptions. That being said, the Stranger's opening blurb is a bit more than problematic. These are scans from my copy of the comic so I apologize for the quality and cropping in adva...

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