"Wings of Death" was a story printed in the first issue of The Twilight Zone comic published by Gold Key Comics.
Sy Jones and Ted Kramer were scientists on an expedition into the jungle to visit the mobile laboratory set up in a native village. Upon arrival, they noticed that it didn't appear that anyone could be found, not even their loyal guide Ako. Stories of superstition began to creep into the two men's psyche. Where had the villagers gone? What had happened to them? The answers they were looking for would be found...in The Twilight Zone.
Cast of characters
Sy Jones, a young American scientist, and his companion Ted Kramer were on a flight into the jungle on an expedition. Sy landed the plane on the crude runway and began to look for their regular native guide through the jungle, Ako. The two men decided to look for the native in his village, where the researchers had established a large hut as a base of operations. They still were not able to find Ako.
Ted took a coffee pot to fill at a nearby stream, while Sy stayed behind. The quiet was broken by a loud cry from Ted, beckoning his friend to join him quickly. Ted arrived to see what the cause of the commotion was. Their guide, Ako, was lying face down in the mud beside the stream! As Sy examined the dead man's body, he noticed a puncture mark on one of Ako's arms. This reminded the young scientist of a story that had been told to him by an old medicine man. It was a story about a vampire owl that inflicted just that type of wound on its victims!Ted regarded the tale as silly superstition, but Sy was shaken by the incident. He insisted that they keep a vigil near the stream bank just in case there really was a vampiric owl and it returned to feed on the deceased guide. Ted consented.
After hours of waiting, they heard a soft whirring sound but saw nothing. Ted dismissed it as a typical nocturnal bird, but Sy was unsure and decided to take a chance. He extended his arm. They heard the sound again, then silence. Suddenly, Sy screamed! Ted struck out at an object hovering near Sy, knocking it to the ground. When the two turned the lantern in the object's direction, they saw an owl with fangs! Sy took the hunting knife he had grabbed from the hut and plunged it through the winged vampire's heart, which killed it. It would have no more victims.
Response and analysis
Notes and annotations
- The setting for the tale is never revealed except for the reference to being located in a jungle without mentioning the specific jungle.
- In Roman mythology, a strix (pl. striges or strixes) or stirge was a legendary creature resembling a nocturnal bird that fed on human flesh and blood, much like a vampire. It was usually described as being an ill omen and resembling an owl. The name Strix, in fact, is used for the name of the owl genus. The creature and its name also influenced the strigoi of Romanian mythology. The strigoi were the evil spirits that rose from their graves at night across the countryside as an animal or apparition.
- Joe Certa - Penciler, inker
- Originally published in color
- Printed on newsprint, 1 page
- Text story; with illustration
- Reprinted in The Twilight Zone (Whitman) 92 and Mystery Comics Digest 06
Notes and references
- ↑ Wikipedia's contributors. 'Strix." Version: May 17, 2009. Retrieved: June 21, 2009.
- ↑ Wikipedia's contributors. 'Strigoi." Version: May 25, 2009. Retrieved: June 21, 2009.
- Bob Klein and Mike Tiefenbacher. "The Twilight Zone no 1 (1962 series)." Grand Comics Database. Retrieved: June 19, 2009.