Thursday, June 16, 2011

Captain's Library: MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER "Five Miles Down" Conclusion

When millionaire Matthew Mallison is offered the opportunity to finance a 100-mile shaft into the earth in exchange for the majority of profits from the extracted minerals and metals, he agrees.
After a year, the shaft is five miles deep.
The millionaire insists on seeing where his money is going, and is told, besides riches aplenty, a huge cavern where underground life may exist has been discovered.
Mallison takes an expedition down the shaft to the cave and...
Despite the blurb above, there was no "next issue"!
In fact, this was the only issue of the only comic ever published by this company, Trans-World Publications!
Art by comics legend Bob Powell, who illustrated a similar series for Harvey Comics called The Man in Black Called Fate.
We'll be presenting some of those tales over in our brother blog, Hero & Heroine Histories™.

The Mysterious Traveler did return in a different series from another publisher (Charlton Comics) almost a decade later, called Tales of the Mysterious Traveler, which featured some of the earliest work by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.
We'll be presenting some of those tales later this year.

As to the radio show itself...
From 1943 to 1952, The Mysterious Traveler was one of many anthology series (including The Whistler, Inner Sanctum, and Lights Out) with an ongoing spooky "host".
The concept was that you had just boarded a train, the Mysterious Traveler was sitting across from you, and to kill time until you reached your destination, he would tell you a tale...
(remember, there were no iPods or WalkMen in those days.)
Of the 370 or so episodes produced, only about 70 survive.
Ironically, neither airing of the episode "Five Miles Down" has ever been recovered, though the script exists.
An absolutely superb page about the series can be found HERE.
The show produced two spin-off series, Sealed Book and Strange Dr. Weird, both of which just recycled Traveller's scripts with new hosts!

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