Friday, January 16, 2015


Weird, a knife-wielding maniac riding an octopus is exactly what I wanted for my tattoo.

When your chief opponent parades about under the scintillating sobriquet of something like “Dynamic Man,” you probably feel the pressure to bring your A-game. Such is the case with The Sea Horror (or, as one caption referred to him and which I much prefer, The WEIRD Sea Horror), a sub-aqueous hunchback who harassed the Allied war effort for a single appearance back in Dynamic Comics No.9 (May 1944).

Sung to the tune of "Miss Otis Regrets"
Sporting the ultimate in wet looks, the Sea Horror was a gaunt-visaged subsea ghoul sporting moist green locks and a terrifying rictus of a leer. Alleging to be the vengeful spirit of a man drowned at sea, the Horror’s primary raison d’etre on dry land was allegedly to protect his resting place from the ministrations of salvage workers. More specifically, though, the amphibious ghoul has gold on his mind – ten million dollars’ worth of gold bars, sunken in the derelict vessel! He recruits local mobster Moxie Murdock and Moxie’s right-hand man to retrieve the gold, outfitting the duo with scuba suits while traipsing across the ocean floor himself seemingly unaided.

Besides breathing underwater, the Sea Horror boasts tremendous strength – he slaughters a few sailors off-handedly and hucks an anchor at a meddling Dynamic Man without much more effort than flicking a walnut across a table. He also seems to fall into the Aquaman school of commanding aquatic life with some sort of mental command, inasmuch as he’s able to sic both an octopus and a giant clam on our hero during a furious battle beneath the waves, and – displaying a peculiar form of panache – wield a swordfish like a stiletto in an effort to lance Moxie Murdock through the face. I bet he could also throw starfish like shurikens and bludgeon a dude to death with a haddock.

Ultimately, with Moxie and his pal having successfully hauled the gold bars to the Sea Horror’s hideout, the avenging ghost of the deep reveals himself to be nothing more than a disguised Nazi agent – why, those rats! “This gold is mine,” he explains to his doomed hirelings, “I am Baron von Zeil, Nazi Agent! I posed as the Sea Horror merely to get the gold to shore! Now I will go back to Germany! Ha, Ha!” It’s the last “Ha” that really twists the knife.

Baron von Zeil gets away with nothing, as Dynamic Man promptly shows up, knocks him unconscious with a speedy blow, and then underlines the technical specs of the Sea Horror’s powers. “Pretty clever” admits Dynamic Man, ripping a wide hole in the back of the Sea Horror’s shirt, “He had an air-tank strapped to his back which circulated air through his plastic face mask!” I guess that explains everything … um, except where he got his tremendous strength and how he commanded fish to kill for him. Well, what’s life without a little mystery? Let’s just allow Baron von Zeil to die in jail and move on with our lives.

The swordfish also seems uneasy about all this.

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