Monday, 30 January 2012

The Gauntlet Of Fate

This is a strip i've kinda ignored up till now, which is a bit unfair, so let's have a look now shall we?
The premise of the tale is that the Gauntlet drifts from owner to owner down through the centuries, bringing "justice to all who possessed it - the good or the bad".
I've always thought of it as being in the vein of the Amicus anthology films of the 60's and 70's which had a linking device (usually Peter Cushing) to tales of folk getting their just deserts.
And that's really strong here, as the tale is set in a second-shop that's the dead spit of Mr Cushing's one in "From Beyond The Grave".

The Gauntlet has been found by a tramp, who tries to sell it to the shop owner, "Ebenezer Mold" who, the caption tells us is "a sharp and miserly character". Really, with a name like that? No way!
Anyway, the old scrooge recognises the Gauntlet as being about 16th century and worth at least a hundred pounds - but only gives the tramp five bob.
So, that's the die cast, we know he's gonna cop for it and the fun is in waiting to see just how.
We don't have long to wait: at the stroke of midnight the Gauntlet comes to life, bursts out of the safe, plays a harp to wake the old codger, drops a stuffed crocodile on him, pushes a samurai suit at him, then ends the torture by plopping itself onto the hand of an upright skelton to point and accuse the miser.
Brainbox that he is, he decides if he wears the glove he can control it.
No way - the Gauntlet makes him dust and clean the antiques and shop, then write out bargain price price tags and open up the shop.
And stands there helpless - but not actualy saying anything to the customers - as everything in the shop is bought from him.
With the shop cleared out, with no profit made, the really rather unrepentant bloke chucks the Gauntlet into the dust cart passing.
And that's it. A fun little tale, but not exactly a memorable one.
Couple of other things to note from this issue of Thunder dated 21st November 1970:
"Fury's Family" is one of those strips i was never fond of, really not liking the main character and, especially, the odd, bizarre one colour colouring it always had, which really detracts from the really rather nice moody art:

Still, one thing i did gain this time is that, in true Skippy The Bush Kangaroo tradition, i now know that "Mikka Mikka Mikka!" is chimpanzee for "The winged one's want my help? They tell of a horned animal in trouble?" and "Twee Chwweek! Trikka!" actually means "A wounded deer".

Thanks for that Fury.
The other thing is "Black Max", which has the usual cliffhanger ending but, for once, isn't too fantastical or silly, with real tension as Tim struggles to escape the Giant Bat but then being shot by Max and falling into a huge crater.

Lovely stuff.

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