As a big Elvira fan, and an enormous fan of genre comics, I can’t begin to make you understand how much I adore Elvira’s House of Mystery. It’s an awesome mix of the two, and while some may deem the book’s content a little watered down, it still manages to entertain (hello, there’s a shout out to the original House of Mystery’s host, Cain – tell me that ain’t awesome!) on a respectable scale.
The first issue of the book sports an amazing cover image, with Elvira front and center, cleavage included. It’s also a full 64-page book, which means we’ve got more material to absorb than anticipated. And as for that material, it’s pretty solid. Again, I think the stories are a little on the lighter side of the macabre, but that’s understandable given the still-active Comics Code Authority. Those uneducated scum bags once banned any book with the words werewolf or vampire anywhere in the book, you can pretty much guarantee that a comic with a title like House of Mystery, hosted by the famed host and recognizable sex symbol, Elvira, is going to be chewed up before it makes its way to the masses.
I’m not mad at DC for the potency, or lack thereof within the book. Soft or not, it’s a really engaging read with a couple memorable stories and a lot more participation from Elvira than most hosts ever enjoy.
Joey Cavalieri, Philip Clarke, Dennis Yee (among others) are impressive in handling writing duties while Ron Wagner, Tom Grindberg, and Bob Oksner (among others) do a stellar job with the art… which I must again point out, never leaves Elvira’s cleavage out of the picture for long.
There are a number of awesome stories – each arranged in anthological fashion – and they’re pretty diverse in nature. Among this reader’s favorites are The Realm, Death Likes a Lullaby, Once Upon a Time and the wraparound, which, as you’ve probably rightfully assumed, is the story that features Elvira. There isn’t a terrible tale within the lot, but these three worked best for my preferences. Fortunately for anyone who looks into this one, the book is generally well-rounded, even if it is rather tame.
This is a throwback book that unfolds like a throwback book. It’s an obvious nod to the golden days of EC and an open love letter to DC’s old anthology, House of Mystery, but it’s modern in comparison. However, modern in comparison is still throwback for this book, as it’s more than 30 years old. But old stands up, and it stands strong.
You’re more likely to find a digital copy of this book than a physical copy, but if you can track down a physical book, grab it immediately. This is a book better held by human hands than read on a monitor, or phone screen. It’s a timeless beauty… appropriate, eh?