Graphic Comic Review John Jakes Chamber of Chills Four THE Demon From Beyond

A stand alone horror comic story that was later to have a sequel in the Dr. Strange series.


This is a very odd and obscure comic strip that features no major super-heroes, but which served as a prequel to a later Dr Strange adventure, and this gets included in Marvel’s Dr. Strange anthologies. Fans of the Dr. Strange series appreciate its addition for completionism’s sake.

Jakes acknowledges the co-authorship of Edgar Allan Poe, as the story cheerfully plunders elements of Poe’s own work.

It’s a flimsy premise for a story. Murdoch Adams, and American visiting England, takes shelter from a storm by standing in an old abandoned church graveyard mausoleum.

While there, he sees a sleep-walking, but living entranced beautiful woman rise from a coffin, and walk to the nearby woods, where she is to be sacrificed to a rising demon by a Satanic cult.

Murdoch uses a gun (as if he could carry one freely in Britain) and tries to shoot the demon as it manifests. It chases him and the girl, but settles in the end for the soul of a priest who Murdoch calls on to exorcise it.

Murdoch falls instantly in love with the voluptuous girl concerned and vows to stay with her forever to protect her from any future demonic attacks.

With that, the story ends and seems to go nowhere. It lacks the convenient neat twist or final note of horror you might expect of such a short story. The consequences would not be seen until a Doctor Strange story that came out later on the same year.

Other stories in the Dr. Strange series do not conveniently recap the back-story in so much repeat material. He often took up stories started in issues of The Avengers or Spiderman, but we don’t have those stories given in their entirety to save us seeking them out in archives or comic collector fayres. This one does spare readers such additional expenditure, but for a story that is not really worth the effort.

Arthur Chappell


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