4: The Evil Car
Story: Journey into Fear…
Creators: Mario Capaldi (artist); writer unknown
The evil car, also known as Satan’s Wheels and EVL1 (its original licence plate number) is as good as a villain. Plus, it’s one of Misty’s most frightening and exciting creations, especially when the makeover Kevin Fraser gives it changes it from an old, battered ‘30’s model into a modern hot rod, which gives it the look of a huge, black, menacing juggernaut. Its new front bumper looks like an enormous jaw with gnashing teeth that are ready to crush you, and even its new upholstery feels like a coffin. It can drive all by itself, and when it does, it will really “give the cops the runaround” with the most dangerous, crazy driving they ever saw. It can also wreak nasty revenge on those who displease it or get in its way. Janice Fraser, our protagonist, gets a nasty cut on her hand; another girl gets car acid squirted in her face; and a car thief gets a horrible electric shock when he tries to steal the car.
There is nothing quite like this behemoth in the history of girls’ serials about evil objects. While most of the evil objects are toys, jewellery, mirrors, portraits, statues, books or tools, this one is a car that gives a whole new meaning to road rage. Anyone unlucky enough to acquire the car will fall under its influence to relive the lives of its first owners: a gangster called the Kid and his sister Ivy, who conducted a Bonnie and Clyde style rampage. This included crime raids and robberies, crazy driving that tore up the roads, and (accidentally) shooting a policeman dead. Their reign ended when they drowned at Hangman’s Cove, but the car lived on. Each time it finds a new owner it will relive that reign of crime through him, right down to having him dress up and talk like the Kid. In so doing, it will destroy his life and the lives of his family. One owner went to prison because of the Kid-like crime sprees the car forced him into. During the story, Janice and then her brother Kevin are turned into fugitives from the law and nearly drown at the same cove when the car makes its most successful attempt to relive its past through them. And the story ends on an ominous note that another unsuspecting driver may follow suit when he takes a shine to the now-battered and broken car and decides to rebuild it…
3: Dr Bracken
Story: The Body Snatchers
Creators: Maria Barrera (artist); writer unknown
Dr Bracken’s grotesque appearance, which is an abomination of nature itself, puts him straight into the top three. Plus, he’s a madman who has developed botanical weapons that are terrifying, revolting, and a threat to national security. Bracken blames government for his appearance, claiming they pushed him into performing an experiment that backfired. Bracken plots revenge by taking over the country by replacing all the people with plants that he has developed. These plants can be grown into exact doubles of the people they replace, which are equipped with the brain patterns and memories of the real people, while the real people are killed by another of Bracken’s horrifying botanical developments – a giant man-eater plant. But what makes Bracken’s plant people such truly dangerous weapons is their power to control plants, which enables them to turn any plant hostile towards people. For example, imagine you are at home and all your pot plants start attacking you!
2: Mrs Webb
Story: The Black Widow
Creators: Jaume Rumeu (artist); writer unknown
Mrs Webb is the only Misty villain to appear in a sequel, which indicates how popular she must have been with readers. She is the embodiment of one of humanity’s greatest fears – the fear of spiders. She is a mad scientist who is initially out for revenge for the death of her husband. But by the time the sequel appears, her insanity has increased to the point where she is a megalomaniac who is out to rule the entire world, which she will share with her spiders. And these are no ordinary spiders. Mrs Webb has developed extremely poisonous spiders, giant spiders that are so huge they dwarf humans, man-eating spiders that can strip people down to bones and hair, and even a serum that can turn a human being into a spider!
Before unveiling Number 1, here are a few dishonourable mentions:
- Li Huang Lung (Day of the Dragon)
- Norma Sykes (Moonchild)
- Sir Humbert de Quincy (The Ghost of Golighty Towers)
- Uncle Seth (Screaming Point!)
- Madame Blaze (House of Horror)
And now, drumroll please, and turn the page for Number 1…