Orgy of Death – A Feverish Golden Age Comic Book Nightmare about Pagan Rituals, Human Sacrifice, and a Lost City!

Story in this post: ”Orgy of Death”
Story and pencils by Jack Cole , Inker unknown
Web of Evil #6 (Quality – Sept. 1953)
Pagan human sacrifice to Moloch Web of Evil
web6_2 _Ancient Phoencia human sacrifice to fire web6_3 _vintage comic book art of Syria
web6_4 _vintage comic book Phoenica sacrifice web6_5 _vintage comic book moloch girl sacrifice
web6_6 _vintage comic book Phoenican preist web6_7 _vintage comic book escape from volcanic islandt
web6_8 _golden age comic book moloch stature escape from volcanic island web6_9 _rare comic book volcano erupting lava fire island
Starting with one of the penultimate titles for Jack Cole, “Orgy of Death” merges two of his obsessive themes. From stories like the Death Patrol series to his work in Playboy, Cole’s work has much to say on the subject of sex and death.

This story, despite it’s promising title, is mostly about obsession itself. This story falls cleanly into the Psychological Breakdowns category of Cole’s Web of Evil stories (for more on this, see my earlier posting here).

The story is colorfully set in a forgotten city, sort of like Shangri-La, or Carl Barks’ Tra-la-la. However, instead of a hidden utopia, we have a barbaric society from the past fixated on human sacrifice.

As the story rolls on, we learn the kindly uncle has schemed all along to throw his niece and the pilot at the blood-thirsty Pagans while he steals their gold. The obsessed archeologist Uncle reminds me very much of the corrupted French tomb raider in the first Indiana Jones movie, in that his passion has overcome his judgment and ultimately, his humanity.

The story ends with a great panel of an erupting volcano, a story element one often finds in Cole’s stories.

The art is very clean, and I suspect Cole must have done very detailed pencils for this one, although the inked finishes were done by someone else, perhaps Alex Kotzky, but my guess is someone else less talented.

The images of the giant fiery statue of Moloch resonate with Cole's CLAW stories from over a decade earlier.
All in all, a very satisfying story.

This concludes our brief look at Cole’s strange, dark last comic book stories for the Web of Evil series. Up next: one of Cole’s earliest adventure stories featuring a tight script and a dense, woodcut style of art that he may have only used once.

1 comment:

  1. Belloq (the corrupt archæologist in Raiders) might actually be Belgian, rather than French.

    ReplyDelete

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