Tales To Astonish #32: "The Girl In The Black Hood!"

Tales To Astonish #32
"The Girl In The Black Hood!"
June, 1962

Script: Larry Lieber
Art: Don Heck

The photographer was famous and wealthy.  She also kept a secret and was
known as "The Girl In The Black Hood!"

The time is the Roaring Twenties, with the photographs all that remain of
the girl named May Dusa.  Her photos were in display in a museum, with
one particular shot winning her first prize.  Those who have come to see
the exhibit can sense the fine, sensitive nature of her work.  The male
visitors wonder why the photographer never lets her face be seen, and
they also wonder if the eccentric's face matches her flawless figure.
Among those at the gathering is one with robbery on his mind, and he can
see that the photographer must be rich.  A caper with no risk is the type
he prefers.  The criminal makes an appointment to have his picture taken,
and the sitting is set for 3 P.M next Tuesday.

"Mr. Jones" is eager to grab the money and see what her face looks like.
The door is open, the room is empty, and he is able to search for a
hidden safe.  "Jones" finds it behind a picture frame, eyes the safe, and
knows that he could unlock it with his eyes shut.  The photographer's
voice calls out to him, and "Mr. Jones" is ready to for his appointment.

She is ready to take his portrait, but the client is not ready to have
his picture taken.  He has come to rob her, and leave no witnesses.
"Jones" orders her to come out from behind the camera, but the girl
photographer refuses.  He can take the money, she won't call the police,
but she won't remove the black hood.  Now he is really curious to see
what she looks like, and by the count of three, his gun will go off.
One...Two... Three...  "Mr. Jones" is about to get his wish.

If he has come to see her face, then he shall.  "Jones" gasps only once,
after taking a good long look at her.  All is now silent in the studio
belonging to May Dusa.  If his lips were still able to move, "Mr. Jones"
might be able to say her name a bit faster... Medusa!

This story was reprinted in Giant-Size Dracula #2 (September, 1974).

I do enjoy the splash pages for these short stories, with the girl about
to remove the black hood, and the gun pointed at her.

One of the visitors at the exhibition resembles the late Joseph Stalin.

If this story had been a live-action episode, I would have cast J.D.
Cannon ("McCloud") as "Mr. Jones."

For the part of May Dusa, I would have picked Leslie Parrish ("The
Manchurian Candidate") to play her.

The would-be robber should have resisted the temptation to watch this
particular birdie.

Even with the nest of snakes on her head, May Dusa is as pretty as a

Steve Chung
"The Review In The Black Hood!"