Mysteries come in all shapes and sizes. Big mysteries, little mysteries, weird mysteries, everyday mysteries. And then there's today's mystery, the mystery of what exactly the writer and artist were trying to do, the mystery of how the editor let it see print, and the mystery of how it managed to be part of a professional newsstand comic book - not once, but twice.

Are the vampires? Are they ghouls? I don't know. You tell US, comic book! Do your job!

Anything can come crawling out of the ground on those hot clammy nights. Hobos. Tramps. Drifters, transients, vagabonds and vagrants. Hope you've got a lot of spare change in that natty blazer, pal.

They only want... to tell you about how they were on their way to a job interview and their car ran out of gas and their aunt needs to get to the hospital and their dog is sick and when their house flooded they realized they needed exactly thirty seven dollars and twenty three cents, anything will help, and no, they didn't tell you this same exact story three weeks ago. No sir.

Every step they take closer to you, you ask yourself a question, and that question is, why aren't you asking THEM these questions? Because YOU don't know!

"Oh! You gang of decrepit, raggedy-ass hobos who haven't touched soap in fifty years are going to somehow make me rich? Well now, that's a different story! I'm 100% on board with your plan now!"

Unless you happen to work in the mining or excavation trades, what's the deepest hole you ever dug? Two feet? Three feet? Deeper than that is no big deal.

Okay, so you follow the crew of decrepit troglodytes down into their creepy cave in search of wealth. Roll a D20. No, I'm not going to tell you what for. (DM pauses, looks at something behind his screen) Okay. You see the devil. He wants to shake hands.

Why, that's enough gold to make even a hundred hobos rich! Start knocking some divots out of that giant nugget, and - no! Wait! Stop before you destroy us all! What's visible through the little hole? Is it catastrophic devaluation of the precious metals investment industry?

So we're on a little journey here. We started off with vampires or maybe ghouls, and then it turned into tunnelling hoboes guarding a giant gold nugget, and now we've just taken a sharp left turn into fairy tale territory because this is now a story about a treasure guarded by a dragon, a story about a Joseph Campbell hero journey into the underworld where he's got to solve a riddle and undergo a life changing experience and complete his hero's journey so some screenwriting-class dolt can swipe it for his spec script.

But let's take a break here and pause for a word from our sponsor!

Gee, if there's one thing these tunnel-dwelling derelicts need, it's to fix their hair. Luckily Kenner's Easy Curl Gender Role Reinforcement Device #7 is here to make you and your hair attractive to all the boys at the dancing school. Because if there's one place you're gonna meet boys, it's dancing school. Right fellas? And now back to our exciting ghoul vampire hobo tunnel gold dragon adventure.

So fifty years ago, in 1924, this tunnel-hobbyist guy found the nugget and then was menaced by the dragon and then used the nugget to trap the dragon. Sure, fine, that's some quick thinking there.

And having trapped the monster, he sat there, seemingly travelling back in time to 1903, because the production guy at Marvel forgot to change the date in this caption, he sat there for fifty years just thinking. Not eating, not drinking, didn't need to go to the can or see sunlight, he just sat there. So now we're into Rip Van Winkle territory here, except he goes out and finds another guy and convinces him to also sit around thinking. And every year they return to the surface and find another person who really wants to sit in a hole in the ground thinking about how to get the gold without releasing the dragon. Admittedly, that's a lot of gold, but finding dozens and dozens of men willing to entomb themselves, this tells me something about this community's mental health issues.

So now, we've had the setup, we grasp the conundrum facing our gold-hungry mole men, now is the time where we get the lightning bolt of the shock ending that will bring it all home and make it all worth while.

And... the answer is... there's no answer. Give up! Admit failure and walk away from the whole stupid situation - just like this story's writer did. Now we've seen some half-assed endings before but this one is so clumsy and abrupt that if you're like me you're saying to yourself "well, this is a reprint of a '50s story, certainly the original story was longer, had a different ending, maybe the reprint was relettered or changed somehow. Surely that's what happened, Marvel in the '70s changed it."

Sorry, here's that original 1950s ending - it's exactly the same. Slightly more vibrant colors, sure, but otherwise the same fakey non-conclusion. And in conclusion let me just say that if a bunch of raggedy figures start clawing their way out of the ground around you, for your own sake I hope they're vampires or ghouls and not guys who spent the last fifty years underground, staring at a gold nugget.

Become a Patron! Hey gang, thanks for reading Mister Kitty's Stupid Comics! If you enjoyed it and want to show your appreciation, you can now become a patron by hitting that Patreon button above! Or, you can hit that PayPal button on our home page, or turn off your ad blocker so's our advertisers know you're out there! And remember to visit our YouTube channel, our Facebook group and our Instagram? Why don't you.