“Get up, Ivan! You can’t escape us by dying! We’re not through with you yet!”
“The Russian Devil” from Mystic no.18, March 1953 from pre-Marvel Atlas.
One of Bill Everett’s best covers, as he renders water better than anyone else, including snow! As the original Zombie artist for Marvel, no one does skull faces or rotting corpses like the Master of the Brush. The ground heaves and cracks, spewing out the corpse of Ivan, still wrapped in his tattered shirt.
NOTE: the tombstone says “Ivan Rotov”😁…
The stories inside don’t quite live up to the hype of the cover, though I always admire the volume and creativity that Atlas had across their line.
“In Old Bagdad” by Larry Woromay has Niema, the slave girl, aspiring to greater goals in the court of the Sultan.
“The Drowning Man” by Vic Carrabota has a thief caught red-headed with the jewels in a stateroom on the luxury liner Majestic as the ship slices through stormy seas.
“The Russian Devil” tells the tale of Ivan Petroff, the head of a Soviet gulag. Art by Tony DiPreta.
“Tom Tom” focuses on the brutal overseer of a coffee plantation. Art by Al Eadeh.
The strange “Charlie’s Crime” has art by Jack Abel.
The cover warns “Mystic… The most Eerie stories ever told!” I’m thinking Stan Lee came up with that one; it sounds like something out of the Marvel Age.