Monsters On The Prowl #10: "One Last Wish!"

Monsters On The Prowl #10
"One Last Wish!"
April, 1971

STAN LEE: Editor
DON HECK: Pencils
JEAN IZZO: Lettering

Daring Don Heck asks when was the last time the reader had hoped that
their future could be altered by three wishes which could be held in one
hand?  For the answer -- ask Jay High... and his "One Last Wish!"  A
sudden sound from the next room has High hiding his gun.

He greets his mom and tells her that he was just going through some
things he brought back from Vietnam... for a present for her anniversary.
She hadn't known of this, but had come when she heard his footsteps.
Jay gives his mom a magic medallion which is supposed to grant the owner
three wishes, and give them whatever they want.  What she doesn't know is
that a peasant had tried to bribe her son with it, but Jay had shot him,
and took it anyway.  The mother accepts her son's gift, but tells him
that he should keep the wishes for himself.  Jay High doesn't believe in
wishing, then tells his mom that he loves her.  When his wife shows him
what their son have given them for their anniversary, Roy continues to
smoke his pipe, and tells Jay that if he really wants to surprise them...
he should get himself a job.  After being discharged from the Marines,
the younger High hasn't done much of anything.  On the contrary, Jay has
got a feeling that he'll soon have more than enough money, after he
returns from a certain appointment, that is.

Roy wonders why his wife is so soft on the boy who should be able to take
care of himself now.  Jenny regards her son as a sensitive youth, and
regrets that they didn't have the money to live in a better place... or
have Jay attend college.  The father knows that his son wouldn't have
lasted in college, nor does he seem to want to work.  Grabbing ahold of
the Vietnamese medallion, Jenny High wishes that her son would receive
the money he's been after.  Roy sighs and looks around the living room
for the money to suddenly appear out of nowhere.  The mother saw no harm
in wishing the best for her son, and it wouldn't hurt for his father to
do the same.

It is only a matter of minutes when the police begin to surround the
building.  They have come in pursuit of a criminal, and Jay High regrets
that he had failed to shot the clerk before the man pressed the alarm
button.  If he is caught, it will mean a life sentence.  His only hope
for escape is to head underground.  Inside the apartment, Jay hands his
parents a briefcase, and tell them to hide it.  He'll return when the
heat's off.  While one of the officers heads up to the roof, the other
two flank the door to the apartment. 

Jay tells his parents to stall the police, while he heads out the window.
CRASH!  As a youngster, Jay High would jump from the fire escape to his
friend's place in the next building.  Unfortunately for him, time has
aged the fire escape, and his weight upon it is too much to bear.
KRRIIIIKK!  AAAAAAAA  As his parents look on in horror, an officer tells
them that the doctors are on the way.  Help arrived too late to save a
life, and on the day which would have been their son's birthday... Roy
and Jenny High are at the cemetery.

Back in the apartment, the father is smoking a pipe, while the mother
wishes that there was something they could do.  Even with a bad heart,
Roy knows that they must live with what happened to their son, but Jenny
thinks otherwise.  Rubbing the medallion once more, the tearful mother
wishes that her son would come back.  CLANK!  CLANK!  CLANK!  CLANK!  The
sounds begin to echo from the direction of the fire escape.  Roy High
cannot believe what he is hearing, but Jenny hears the footsteps making
their way up the ladder.  CLANK!  CLANK!

CLANK!  CLANK!  The father can only imagine what his son looks like,
after being buried for months.  His wife would not realize this, until it
was too late.  With only one more wish remaining, Roy High wishes that
Jay would go back to the grave.  The footsteps have stopped, and Jenny
High sees nothing outside, but the fire escape...  Daring Don Heck
wonders when was the last time the reader hoped that their future were
altered by three wishes which could be held in one hand.  The one who
would know this is Jay High.

Don Heck is the story's host, and is carrying a shovel, to boot.

As in many Mike Friedrich stories, there is the element of the generation
gap between Jay and his parents.

George Tuska inking works well with the pencils of Don Heck.

Jean Izzo provides a fine sampling of Marvel lettering style in the early

As in the first story featured in this issue, there is a character who is
fond of pipe-smoking.

Roy and Jean High resemble a middle-aged Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts.

After coming under fire, Jay High tries for an escape, and find the
weight of his crime too much to bear.

When a loving mother wishes that her son would return to them, it appears
that it is an escape from an underworld of fire.

Knowing the state of his son after all these months, Roy High makes the
final, fateful wish.

The story premise is based on "The Monkey's Paw".

Never rub a Vietnamese medallion, nor shake hands with a monkey's paw.

If I had three wishes, I'd wish for:

Peace of mind.

Good health.

Financial security.

With my luck, I'd probably find myself locked inside of a bank vault by
story's end.

Steve Chung
"One Last Review"