Venus no.19, 1952 (Atlas/Marvel)

One of Bill Everett’s most iconic covers, Venus 19, 1952

Venus no.19, April 1952 pre-Marvel/Atlas, posted for Valentine’s Day. The final issue of horror classic Venus features a hauntingly and gorgeous cover by Golden Age great Bill Everett. Just as much as the flesh mask slips off Venus’ would-be paramour, I love the cloaked skull faces in the back (similar to issue 18’s cover). 

Three stories by Everett inside: Kiss of Death, Demon of the Deep, and The Box of Doom. Pete Morisi contributes “The Madman’s Music!”

This issue is rare, with only 22 CGC surveyed copies. One sold for $780 recently at an auction.

There were rumors that Marvel/Cory Sedlmeier had assembled the complete source material to do a Venus Vol.2 Masterworks restoration. I’m still holding out hope that this gets the green light. In the meantime, enjoy the complete story for “The Box of Doom” in all its pre-code raw bizarreness.

What happens when a delivery man has a package for Venus and the package turns out to be sentient? More than that, the package begs to be opened, promising each of them supernatural power, immortality, and wealth beyond imagining. What does it want in trade? What can be in this box that has such unearthly power? Discover in “The Box of Doom!”

Box of Doom

Venus no 19, 1952: Box of Doom

The funny thing is that earlier in her series, Venus the goddess has immortality, flight, teleportation, and wealth, but no reference to those things here as Bill Everett evolved the character to be more of a mystery writer with no supernatural powers as general interest in heroes waned. This last issue of Venus was six months after Everett’s Marvel Boy had ended in Astonishing no. 6 and he didn’t exhibit powers either in his last appearance (coinciding with Venus no. 16 in October.)

Other stories:

Demon of the Deep

The Kiss of Death

The Madman’s Music


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