Twilight Zone #1 (1962) Review

These early Gold Key books typically featured two or three Twilight Zone tales. The first story in this particular book is titled Perilous Journey, while the second is known as Do Not Touch Exhibit and the final piece is called Voyage to Nowhere.

In Perilous Journey two skiers make their way down a treacherous mountain. They’re doing what they can to prevent getting themselves lost, but one of these men, Larry, can’t help but be a little reckless. It’s a mistake he’s going to regret very soon.

Larry suddenly plummets into a hole in the ground. Where the hole came from is anyone’s guess, and where that hole leads Larry is strange and extremely foreign. In fact, Larry doesn’t just transport to another time, he finds himself trapped in a magical world where nothing we know as humans stands up. It’s a strange place to be, but it could become something horrifying if Larry can’t manage to get himself back to his reality.

Of course, we get a twist. That twist however will not be spoiled. These old Twilight Zone books aren’t impossible to track down. While they do sport a somewhat hefty price tag, they’re absolutely worthy of a purchase. So I recommend you look into them!

A strong mood is set early, and we the reader understand that we’re in for some well-written and beautifully illustrated pages.

Do Not Touch Exhibit picks up as the police are hot on the trail of a petty criminal. He darts down an alley and finds a window to jump through, effectively avoiding a dead end. Before we can say holy history, our crook is hiding behind an exhibit; the building he broke into looks to be some sort of museum.

When he hides behind that exhibit, however, the world as he knows it gets turned upside down. He reappears in the middle of ancient war territory, and the locals aren’t exactly friendly or trusting. To say he goes through a bit of grilling is an understatement.

He ends up behind bars. But that doesn’t last long, as he breaks free, only to run head-first into a war with the Indians. The Indians outnumber the men hundreds to one, and suddenly that prison cell looks nice… it’s just too bad he isn’t likely to make it back.

We get another great spin in the final pages. Again, I won’t spoil it, but I will label it a very effective finale.

And finally, our closing story, Voyage to Nowhere sees two fishermen battling merciless waves and dense fog. But out of nowhere comes a female voice. The voice of an angel who seems to be lost at sea. The men attempt to lend a hand, but before they can get her to safety a savage wave sends her boat crashing into a massive rock, an explosion of wood and carnage lights up the sky, and the stranger is gone. Or is she?

The answer may be found in the absolute last place one would expect: a local bar.

Great opener from Gold Key!

Rating: 4/5

Twilight Zone #1

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