Welcome to part 4 of Comic Relief. To see the full series, go to the Comic Relief Index.
I mentioned in the previous installment of Comic Relief that the third appearance of Lady Satan (in Red Seal Comics #17 in 1945) was reprinted in Weird Horrors #1 in 1952. But I must admit, at the time I had only casually glanced at Weird Horrors #1, and had not read it. But now, having read it, I realize that it wasn’t merely reprinted, but actually drastically reworked into a very different story, with completely new dialogue and whole panels removed or added. So the question becomes, is it an improvement? Another way to phrase this might be, would you ever expect the kind of hack writer who takes a seven year old story and pastes his own new dialogue over it to improve anything?
Let’s take a look and find out!
Well, it’s mostly like the original. They removed Lady Satan’s domino mask, and changed Underbite’s hair to white and pants to brown, but other than that it’s the same image…except….
Wait! “The Werewolves Howl”? It’s called Lady Fucking Satan, not The Werewolves Howl! What the fuck?
“Josephine LeBlanc”? That’s bullshit! Her name is motherfucking Lady Satan.
And she lives in New Orleans now? If that were the case, then the animal in question wouldn’t be called a “werewolf”. It’d be called a Loup-garou or Rougarou. Get your Cajun lycanthropy facts right! Just talk to someone from New Orleans. It’s not that hard.
Anyways, like the original story, this one begins with Lady Sa—-errrm, Josephine LeBlanc driving through the middle of nowhere and stumbling upon some lost children. The dialogue is changed to offer additional (and unnecessary) exposition, but it’s pretty similar to what we got in the original story, with one glaring exception. The children automatically know who “Nurse LeBlanc” is. In fact, everyone in this story seems to know who she is. Do nurses ever gain that level of celebrity and/or notoriety?
This is something you come across often if you read Golden Age comics: Captions that explain what you’re looking at in the panel. It’s annoying, but it’s something you get used to. The practice continued into the Silver Age, and even some modern day writers of the hackier persuasion do it.
But, please, comic book writers, don’t do this. Let your artist’s images speak for themselves. If you feel like you must offer additional explanation, then either A) the art sucks and lacks clarity, or B) you’re just pasting unnecessary verbiage on the page.
Also, I can’t help but notice those trees in the background. This is supposed to be New Orleans, right? Well, I lived in New Orleans for a while, and most of the trees have Spanish moss growing on them, so I can’t help but notice its absence in the background. This story is set in New Orleans in name only, isn’t it? Yes, indeed, as later there’s a scene set in the “bayou”, and yet not a single Cypress knee is visible. This is what happens when you take a story set in a generic setting and shoehorn it into a specific setting.
Anyways, the story proceeds mostly like the original, except that Josephine LeBlanc lacks the magical powers that Lady Satan suddenly obtained in the original, meaning that everything that happens is more boring. For instance, in the original Lady Satan repels the werewolves with Xanda Power. I have no idea what Xanda Power is, but it sounds cool. In this one?
*Yawn.* It would’ve been more interesting if she had actually gotten rabies.
And of course the Creepiest Panel Ever makes a reappearance, but with more dialogue than in the original.
How the fuck does everyone just know who Nurse LeBlanc is? And why would a nurse be dressed with a red cape?
And why does the author of this piece of shit think you can improve a story simply by throwing in more dialogue? In almost every panel of the reprint, the gross amount of dialogue has been increased. This is not how good writing works.
Anyways, so Not-Titty Satan follows the car again, it goes over the bridge again, and she has to rescue the children again, and she tracks him back to his lair again. Only with no magic involved. Boring.
But wait, you ask. In the original, Lady Satan vanquished Master Werewolf with magical finger fire. How will non-powered Josephine LeBlanc accomplish this? Well, see for yourself…
Um, what? Is it ether, or Vapor of the Vampires? Is it both? Why does it kill him? Why does it come in that weird looking flask? And why does it completely annihilate his corpse? Why is the complete lack of evidence a running theme in this story? Why does he think she drowned, when earlier on an inserted panel showed him clearly see her with her head above water? How does she know that werewolves are allergic to ether? Is this just common knowledge among nurses in New Orleans? How does she know to go to the old plantation? Why the fuck was it so important to set all this shit in New Orleans?
Ugh. I’m wasting my time asking all these questions. The ultimate answer to all of it is, “Because they took a Lady Satan comic and sucked all the life out of it.” The original was campy good fun, the remake was just plain dull. Kinda like the relationship between the original Total Recall and its shitty remake. And I can’t help but wonder if they didn’t change her name because in 1952 they were afraid to call a hero “Satan”.
Fuck you, 1952.