HODIAH TWIST




Real Name
: Hodiah Twist

Identity/Class: Extradimensional?/Alternate Earth? (see comments) 1930s era human

Occupation: Consulting Detective

Group Membership: none

Affiliations: partner of Conrad Jeavons;
   
Mildred Argot, Teddy Durrance, Hawk's Father, Leroy Hayes, "Inspector", Gladys Jones, Jeffrey Winters , Colonel Witherspoon

Enemies: Madame Angela, Hellhound of Ravenflight, Christina Lawrence, Jeffrey Winters

Known Relatives: wife (deceased)

Aliases: none

Base of Operations: Manhattan in the 1930s

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2 (Oct. 1973)

Powers/Abilities: Strong deductive abilities (although is inclined to reject supernatural explanations in favor of mundane ones ); powerful hypnotic powers (enough to out-hypnotize a vampire).

History:

(Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - Hodiah Twist was a wealthy American whose fortune was wiped out during the Stock Market crash of 1929. Further, his wife committed suicide by slashing her wrists and Twist was the one to discover her dead body in a bathtub of bloodied water. As a result of his double trauma, Twist retreated into a fantasy personality patterned after the character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, recasting himself as Holmes, and his trusted butler Conrad Jeavons as his Doctor Watson.

(Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - By the early 1930s, it would seem that, despite his eccentricity and obvious unbalanced mental state, Twist's deductive powers had been of use to the Police, since a New York Police Captain (whom Twist called "Inspector") called on him for help. Twist's earlier cases have so far been unrevealed.

(Vampire Tales#2) - Twist was called upon by the Police Captain known to him as the "Inspector" to solve the seemingly unexplainable murder of Leroy Hayes, whose body had been found drained of blood in a locked room on the Wharves.

Revelations by Hayes' friend, Teddy Durrance, led Twist and Jeavons to a vampire brothel managed by Madame Angela, and filled with other vampire girls led by the sultry Christina. While Twist, who refused to believe in the existence of vampires, engaged into a hypnotic contest of wills with Madame Angela, Jeavons fought, and ultimately killed, Christina and the other vampire whores. Having prevailed, Twist forced Madame Angela to walk into sunlight, which caused her to turn to ashes, surprising the amateur detective.

(Marvel Preview#16) - At the Inspector's request, Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons investigated a series of bloodthirsty murders which had taken place aboard the Eighth Avenue Elevated Train. Aboard the train they boarded that night were the middle-aged Mildred Argot (who fancied herself a detective), Col. Witherspoon, the beautiful Gladys Jones, and a starstruck boy, Jeffrey Winters.

The bloody attacks began. Colonel Witherspoon was murdered in horrific circumstances, then Mrs Argot, while all the while Twist looked for a rational explanation. But in spite of his obstinate refusal to believe in the supernatural, Twist was finally forced to confront the truth: the boy Winters was a werewolf.

Twist saved Gladys, then fought the Werewolf on top of the railcars. The Werewolf ended up decapitated by a low bridge, and was finally killed by Jeavons with a silver blade.

(Amazing Adventures#32 - fb?) - In the future on
Earth-Killraven, Hawk (one of Killraven's Freemen) remembers how "in 1995" (when Hawk was 15, "over twenty years" ago), his father (name unrevealed) liked to immerse himself - to the point of addiction - in the virtual reality universe of the world of Hodiah Twist.

The specific adventure referenced here is one where Twist and Conrad Jeavons have traveled to England (presumably?) to investigate the murders attributed to the Hellhound of Ravenflight. Twist believed that the murders were the work of a human murderer who had taken pains to make them look like a beast's. But as Twist expounded his theory, he was suddenly attacked by a very real Hellhound. The virtual reality story then stopped as Hawk's father's heart gave way and he passed away uttering the words, "This was one helluva story."


Comments: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).

The "reality" of Hodiah Twist: In the Earth-Killraven story, Hawk accuses his father of becoming addicted to the Hodiah Twist VR dramas, using them to escape an unbearable reality - which is of course a mirror-image of the origins of Hodiah Twist - and Hawk says, "This Hodiah Twist was never real." His father responds, "He was always real." Then Hawk retorts, "And he's a racist," to which his Father replies, "First, he's not real, now he's a racist. You can't have it both ways."

Since this appearance in Killraven is the only thing that connects the Hodiah Twist stories to the Marvel Universe, one is led to the inference that, on Earth-Killraven, Hodiah Twist was either an entirely fictional character (who was himself based upon another fictional character) or a real-life character, whose exploits had been fictionalized (e.g. à la Reilly Ace of Spies, for example).
    Fictional characters within the Marvel Universe or other fictional settings have been described as Metafictional. However, as I see it, any reality seen in the Marvel Universe does actually represent another alternate reality, even dream versions--Snood.

Further, in the
Marvel Preview story, Jeffrey asks Twist if he is a hero, like "Doc Savage or The Shadow" and Twist responds, "I'm not familiar with either of those gentlemen". Later when Jeffrey mentions Hopalong Cassidy, Twists reacts in the same fashion. Again, there is an ambiguity: is Jeffrey referring to "real" heroes or "fictional characters"? Certainly Doc Savage did exist in the Marvel Universe, and there has been several Doc Savage / The Shadow crossovers...

So ultimately, the question of whether Hodiah Twist's adventures took place on Earth-616 or another Earth remains ultimately unanswered.


"Profile by" Jean-Marc Lofficier.



Clarifications:

Hodiah Twist should not be confused with

Conrad Jeavons should not be confused with

Madame Angela should not be confused with

Mildred Argot should not be confused with

Christina should not be confused with

Teddy Durrance should not be confused with

Leroy Hayes should not be confused with

Hellhound of Ravenflight should not be confused with:

Gladys Jones should not be confused with

Colonel Witherspoon should not be confused with

Jeffrey Winters should not be confused with



Conrad Jeavons

Name: Conrad Jeavons

Identity/Class
: Human

Occupation: Butler/Assistant to Hodiah Twist

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2 (Oct. 1973)
    full appearances: Vampire Tales#2/8 (2/8(fb), 2/8, Marvel Preview#16, Amazing Adventures#32(fb)?


Powers/Abilities: Reasonably competent fighter (he was able to kill several vampire women), loyal, pragmatic, not afraid of confronting the supernatural.

History:  Conrad Jeavons was already Hodiah Twist's trusted friend and/or manservant when Twist's mind snapped and he retreated into his Sherlockian fantasy. Out of compassion for his friend, Jeavons went along, playing Dr. Watson to his friend.

For Jeavons' adventures with Hodiah Twist, see
above.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).







Mildred Argot


Name: Mildred Argot

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Unrevealed.

First Appearance: Marvel Preview#16

Powers/Abilities: Strong deductive abilities.

History: (Marvel Preview#16) -  Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons investigated bloody murders that took place aboard the Eighth Avenue Elevated Train. Aboard the train were the middle-aged Mildred Argot (who fancied herself a detective), Col. Witherspoon, the beautiful Gladys Jones, and a starstruck boy, Jeffrey Winters who, later, was revealed to be a werewolf. The beast killed Mildred Argot as she tried to solve the mystery.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer, uncredited), Richard Marschall (editor, credited instead) and Gene Colan (penciller) and Tony de Zuniga (inker).

Mrs Argot prides herself on her detective abilities and says to Twist: "I've heard of you, Mr, Twist... I pride myself on having a perceptive ear and eye... Mildred Argot at your service... You've heard of me, I trust?" (To which Twist replies, "Not that I recall," but then he also does not recognize the names of Doc Savage, The Shadow and Hopalong Cassidy...)

We can infer from the above exchange that Mrs Argot expected to be recognized by Twist as a colleague. I would surmise that Mildred Argot is none other that Patricia Wentworth's
Miss Maud
Silver
. "Mildred" and "Maud" both start with M and Argot is sort of close to argent (silver). Miss Maud Silver's first full-fledged case was THE CASE IS CLOSED (1937). She first appeared as a minor character in Wentworth's GREY MASK. (1928). Wentworth also chronicled the cases of Miss Maud Silver's Scotland Yard contact, Chief Inspector Lamb. There is more info on her here.
(Info courtesy of Win Eckert.)



Teddy Durrance


Name: Terry Durrance

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2

Powers/Abilities: None

History:  (Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - Teddy Durance dared his friend Leroy Hayes to visit Madame Angela's brothel.

(Vampire Tales#2) - After Leroy Hayes' body was found drained of blood in a locked room on the Wharves, an angry Teddy Durrance visited the residence of
Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons, who were investigating the case, and told them all he knew.


Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).



Leroy Hayes


Name: Leroy Hayes

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2

Powers/Abilities: None

History:  (Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - Teddy Durance dared his friend Leroy Hayes to visit Madame Angela's brothel.

(Vampire Tales#2) - There, he was killed by the vampire
Christina. Later, his body was found drained of blood in a locked room on the Wharves.


Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).



"Inspector"


Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Captain, NYPD

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2

Powers/Abilities: None

History:  (Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - Hodiah Twist's deductive powers were of use to the New York Police, since an otherwise unidentified Police Captain (whom Twist called "Inspector") called on him regularly for help.

(Vampire Tales#2) - Twist was called upon by the Police Captain to solve the seemingly unexplainable murder of
Leroy Hayes, whose body had been found drained of blood in a locked room on the Wharves.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).



Gladys Jones


Name: Gladys Jones

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Champagne dancer and lodge house entertainer.

First Appearance: Marvel Preview#16

Powers/Abilities: none.

History: (Marvel Preview#16) -  Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons investigated bloody murders that took place aboard the Eighth Avenue Elevated Train. Aboard the train were the middle-aged Mildred Argot (who fancied herself a detective), Col. Witherspoon, the beautiful Gladys Jones, and a starstruck boy, Jeffrey Winters who, later, was revealed to be a werewolf. The beast almost killed Ms Jones, but she was saved by Twist's intervention.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer, uncredited), Richard Marschall (editor, credited instead) and Gene Colan (penciller) and Tony de Zuniga (inker).










Colonel Witherspoon


Name: Witherspoon (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Colonel (retired).

First Appearance: Marvel Preview#16

Powers/Abilities: None.

History: (Marvel Preview#16) -  Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons investigated bloody murders that took place aboard the Eighth Avenue Elevated Train. Aboard the train were the middle-aged Mildred Argot (who fancied herself a detective), Col. Witherspoon, the beautiful Gladys Jones, and a starstruck boy, Jeffrey Winters who, later, was revealed to be a werewolf. The beast killed the Colonel, hung him and tearing out his tongue.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer, uncredited), Richard Marschall (editor, credited instead) and Gene Colan (penciller) and Tony de Zuniga (inker).











Jeffrey Winters


Name: Jeffrey Winters

Identity/Class: Human - Werewolf

Occupation: None.

First Appearance: Marvel Preview#16

Powers/Abilities: As human, none; as werewolf, the boy possessed the typical powers associated with werewolves: superhuman speed and strength (from enhanced to superhuman levels), invulnerability to ordinary weapons or injury including decapitation, being only vulnerable to silver.

History:  Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons investigated bloody murders that took place aboard the Eighth Avenue Elevated Train. Aboard the train were the middle-aged Mildred Argot (who fancied herself a detective), Col. Witherspoon, the beautiful Gladys Jones, and a starstruck boy, Jeffrey Winters who, later, was revealed to be a werewolf.

After killing Col. Witherspoon and Mrs Argot, the beast attacked Gladys. Twist saved her, then fought the Werewolf on top of the railcars. The Werewolf ended up decapitated by a low bridge, and was finally killed by Jeavons with a silver blade.


Comments
: Created by Tony Isabella (writer) and Gene Colan (penciller) and Dan Adkins (inker).

Jeffrey Winters asks Twist if he is a hero, like "Doc Savage or The Shadow" and Twist responds, "I'm not familiar with either of those gentlemen". Later when Jeffrey mentions Hopalong Cassidy, Twists reacts in the same fashion.

It was hinted in the story that it was Jeffrey's incoming puberty that had brought the change into a werewolf.




Madame Angela


Name: Angela DiPalma

Identity/Class: Human vampire

Occupation: Brothel Madame

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2

Powers/Abilities: As a vampire, Angela possessed the standard powers and weaknesses, including superhuman strength and durability, physical transformation (able to assume the form of a bat), the need to consume human blood, weakness to religious icons, etc.

History:  (Vampire Tales#2) - Leroy Hayes visited Madame Angela's brothel where he was killed by the sultry vampire Christina.

(Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - Later, his body was found drained of blood in a locked room on the Wharves.

(Vampire Tales#2) -
Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons were called upon by the Police Captain known to him as the "Inspector" to solve the seemingly unexplainable murder.

Revelations by Hayes' friend,
Teddy Durrance, led Twist and Jeavons to Madame Angela's. While Twist, who refused to believe in the existence of vampires, engaged into a hypnotic contest of wills with Madame Angela, Jeavons fought, and ultimately killed, Christina and the other vampire whores. Having prevailed, Twist forced Madame Angela to walk into sunlight, which caused her to turn to ashes, surprising the amateur detective.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).



Christina Lawrence


Name
: Christina Lawrence

Identity/Class: Human vampire

Occupation: Whore

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2

Powers/Abilities: As a vampire, Christina possessed the standard powers and weaknesses, including superhuman strength and durability, physical transformation (able to assume the form of a bat), the need to consume human blood, weakness to religious icons, etc.

History:  (Vampire Tales#2) - Leroy Hayes visited Madame Angela's brothel where he was killed by the sultry vampire Christina.

(Vampire Tales#2 - fb) - Later, his body was found drained of blood in a locked room on the Wharves.

(Vampire Tales#2) -
Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons were called upon by the Police Captain known to him as the "Inspector" to solve the seemingly unexplainable murder.

Revelations by Hayes' friend,
Teddy Durrance, led Twist and Jeavons to Madame Angela's. While Twist, who refused to believe in the existence of vampires, engaged into a hypnotic contest of wills with Madame Angela, Jeavons fought, and ultimately killed, Christina and the other vampire whores.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (penciller) and Carlos Garzon & Klaus Janson (inkers).




Hellhound of Ravenflight


Name
: Hellhound of Ravenflight

Identity/Class: Supernatural monster

First Appearance: Amazing Adventures#32

Powers/Abilities: Unknown - presumably keen senses, superhuman strength, dangerous claws and fangs.

History:  Hodiah Twist and Conrad Jeavons traveled to England (presumably?) to investigate the murders attributed to the Hellhound of Ravenflight. Twist believed that the murders were the work of a human murderer who had taken pains to make them look like a beast's. But as Twist expounded his theory, he was suddenly attacked by a very real Hellhound.

Comments
: Created by Don McGregor (writer) and P. Craig Russell (penciller) and Dan Green (inker).

The Hellhound of Ravenflight was part of a Virtual Reality Hodiah Twist adventure experienced by Hawks's Father in 1995 on
Earth-Killraven.


Images:

Hodiah Twist:
Amazing Adventures#22, page 23, panel 1
Vampire Tales#2, page 66, panel 3
Marvel Preview#16, page 12, panel 3
Vampire Tales#2, page 63, panel 6
Marvel Preview#16, page 8, panel 2

Conrad Jeavons:
Vampire Tales#2, page 71, panel 8
Marvel Preview#16, page 15, panel 5

Mildred Argot:
Marvel Preview#16, page 9, panel 4

Teddy Durrance:
Vampire Tales#2, page 65, panel 4

Leroy Hayes:
Vampire Tales#2, page 61, panel 5

Inspector:
Vampire Tales#2, page 63, panel 2

Gladys Jones:
Marvel Preview#16, page 9, panel 2

Col. Witherspoon:
Marvel Preview#16, page 9, panel 3

Jeffrey Winters:
Marvel Preview#16, page 17, panel 4
Marvel Preview#16, page 25, panel 5

Madame Angela:
Vampire Tales#2, page 71, panel 5

Christina:
Vampire Tales#2, page 62, panel 7

Hellhound of Ravenflight:
Amazing Adventures#22, page 24, panel 1


Appearances:
Vampire Tales#2 (October, 1973) - Don McGregor (writer), Carlos Garzon (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Amazing Adventures#32 (September, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Craig Russell (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Marvel Preview#16 (Fall 1978) - Don McGregor (writers), Gene Colan (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Richard E. Marschall (editor)


Last updated: 09/09/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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