Re:Covers: A Month of Spooky #23

Everything is dark. You are tightly bound. The air is thick. You hear a dull, but constant thud on the the surface above you. And just before you black out you realize, you are being buried alive...by day twenty-three of Spooky covers! Oozing from today's wounds of despair is Vault of Evil #15:

Vault of Evil #15

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One might argue that the cover to VOE #15 belongs to the Monster Chase category. But it more correctly belongs to a category I call Setting the Trap (aka Leading You to Your Doom). These covers typically involve two characters, with Character A leading Character B into an obvious (at least to the viewer) doom. Now with this particular cover, Character A happens to be the Devil, but that doesn’t change the motive. He isn’t chasing Character B; he’s leading him---and thus the distinction in category.

This cover makes the cut not only because it offers such valuable advice (Don’t Shake Hands with the Devil---who knows what diseases he may be carrying), but also because the action taking place is ambiguous.

Has the gentleman already shaken hands with the Devil (and that’s the reason he’s falling off the roof); or is the mere presence of the Devil enough to cause him to fall off the roof? In either case, it’s problematic.

If he falls of the roof before he shakes hands, the Devil may “win,” but without completing the deal (and potentially losing a soul). And if Character B falls off the roof immediately after shaking hands, can the Devil really claim to have fulfilled his part of the contract? If so, I guess you really can’t trust the Devil!

Or maybe Character B's wish was to be able to fly...ooh, tricky Devil!

So one scream for such scholarly advice, and another for complete bewilderment as to what is happening here. Watch your step!

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