Real Name: Hodiah Twist

Identity/Class: Human (1930s era)

Occupation: Consulting Detective

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: partner of Conrad Jeavons;
    investigated death of
Leroy Hayes;
   encountered Mildred Argot, Teddy Durrance, Gladys Jones, Colonel Witherspoon;
Hawk's father was a fan

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

Known Relatives: Unidentified wife (deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: An apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1930s

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#2/6 (Oct. 1973)

Powers/Abilities: Twist possessed strong deductive abilities (although he was inclined to reject supernatural explanations in favor of mundane ones ) and powerful hypnotic powers (enough to out-hypnotize a vampire). He was a capable hand-to-hand fighter, skilled at using the objects around him as shields or melee weapons.


Height: 6' (by estimation)
Weight: 145 lbs. (by estimation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond

(Vampire Tales#2/6 (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.

(Vampire Tales#2/6 (fb) - BTS) - Having lost his original home to his financial woes, Hodiah and his trusted trusted butler Conrad Jeavons relocated to Manhattan, where they experienced waiting in bread lines and staying in lodging houses for the homeless run by the Salvation Army (see comments).

(Vampire Tales#2/6 (fb)) - 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 a Holmes-like detective, and Jeavons as his Doctor Watson-like assistant. People pointing out the similarities between him and his inspiration tended to raise Hodiah's ire, presumably because it threatened to puncture his fantasy.

(Vampire Tales#2/6 (fb) - BTS) - Twist's earlier cases remain unrevealed, but despite his eccentricity and obviously unbalanced mental state, his deductive powers proved of use to the police, to the extent that they sometimes called on him for assistance in tricky investigations; he also gained a reputation for having "hypnotic eyes." His living conditions improved slightly too, as he and Jeavons moved into an apartment on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Despite the building itself being far from extravagant, Hodiah ensured the interior was decorated to dismiss all suggestions of poverty. However, his financial woes were not completely resolved, as he sometimes failed to pay his utility bills for months at a time.

   In the early 1930s Twist took notice of a string of recent killings where the victims had been found drained of blood and with their throats savaged.

(Vampire Tales#2/6 - fb) - Soon after this a New York Police Captain (whom Twist called "Inspector") called on him for help.

(Vampire Tales#2/6) - The "Inspector" sought Twist's aid in solving the seemingly inexplicable murder of Leroy Hayes, an African-American man whose body had been found drained of blood in a locked room on the wharves. Hodiah reasoned that the culprit had merely used a magnet to pull down the metal latch from the outside. Examining the corpse, Twist noted
multiple shades of lipstick around Leroy's wounds, and deduced that Leroy's assailant had been a deranged woman.

(Vampire Tales#2/6 - BTS) - Twist also realized that this was another in the same series of killings he had been following. Leaving the wharves, Twist noticed that he was now being followed by another African-American man.

(Vampire Tales#2/6) - That evening back in his apartment Twist pondered over the mystery. Hearing a minute sound of a flick knife being readied on the fire escape outside his open window, Twist calmly welcomed the intruder, the man who had been following him since the wharf, as he slipped into the room. As the man lunged at the seated Twist with a knife, Hodiah casually blocked the strike with a thick wooden drinks tray, then kicked his assailant to the ground, leapt over to the fireplace to grab a vase, and smashed the intruder over the head with it, telling the man that he clearly wasn't cut out for breaking and entering. Hearing the commotion, Jeavons raced in, but paused on seeing the intruder vanquished, and Hodiah instructed him to fetch rum to give to the man while he explained himself. Struggling slowly to his feet, the man angrily demanded to know who Hodiah thought he was, "Sherlock Holmes or sumthin'," earning a second vase to the head from a suddenly enraged Hodiah. Needing to calm himself, Hodiah momentarily left Jeavons to watch their intruder while he fetched the drinks instead of the butler.

    Returning a few moments later, Hodiah convinced the still agitated man to explain his actions. The newcomer, Teddy Durrance, revealed that he had believed Hodiah and "his people" had murdered his friend Leroy because Leroy had dared to visit a brothel, Madam Angela's, located far downtown from Harlem and staffed by white women. In response to this lead Hodiah and Jeavons headed over to Madam Angela's, and Hodiah instructed his friend to enter the premises posing as a prospective client and provide a distraction while he reconnoitered the premises. Slipping round the side of the building Hodiah ascended the fire escape and broke in to Madam Angela's private quarters by smashing bodily through the window, but as he began to scan the room for clues, he was interrupted by the arrival of Angela. Unsurprisingly angry to find Hodiah there, Angela challenged him, but Hodiah countered by accusing her of being so full of hatred towards men that she had turned to murder. Shocked at this suggestion, Angela angrily corrected him, stating that she was a vampire and that he would not leave the room alive. With the normally observant Hodiah seemingly choosing to ignore the fact that Angela had no reflection in the room's mirrors, Hodiah rejected her claim, insisting she was merely delusional and acting out her fantasy of being a vampire on the men who visited the brothel. Extracting his fob watch, he held it up intending to hypnotize Angela out of her "delusion," prompting derision from the vampire at his belief he could best one for whom mesmerism was an innate power, and the pair began a struggle of wills as each attempted to hypnotize the other.

(Vampire Tales#2/6 - BTS) - Whether protected by his remarkably strong will or his own form of insanity, Hodiah prevailed, and though Angela remained aware her actions were not of her own choice, she was compelled to do as Hodiah instructed.

(Vampire Tales#2/6) - Seeking to prove to Angela that she was merely insane, Twist made Madam Angela walk outside to face the dawn sunrise. Jeavons, who had suffered his own ordeal besting the other vampires, spotted them and shouted to Hodiah to stop, but the sunlight struck Angela, who rapidly turned to ashes, surprising the amateur detective. Looking at the burning remains, Jeavons decried the fact that now they had no evidence to show to the inspector to prove what had really happened.

(Amazing Adventures#32 (fb) (see comments)) - Twist and Conrad Jeavons traveled to Ravenflight Manor to investigate murders on the nearby moors that had been attributed to the Hellhound of Ravenflight. Examining the latest victim, Twist deduced that the murders were the work of a human murderer who had taken pains to make them look like a beast's, noting that while a jagged gash showed where the victim had supposedly been savaged by the creature's teeth there were no scratches on the man's remains, with Twist stating that an animal's kill would not be so clean. Additionally, he pointed out that the tracks left differed in depth from imprint to imprint, which Twist felt indicated they were man-made. But as Twist expounded his theory, he was suddenly attacked by a very real Hellhound.


(Marvel Preview#16) -  In 1937 (see comments) a string of grisly murders took place on Manhattan's elevated trains, all happening on nights of the full moon across the space of several months. Twist joined the investigation, and spotted what the police had missed, that no train was ever used twice. Since only one remained as yet unused in the killings, Twist predicted the murderer would be among the passengers on that line during the next full moon. A fortnight before that date, Jeavons suggested to Twist that since the killings happened on full moons the murderer could be a werewolf, but Twist dismissed this as hackneyed and preposterous.

(Marvel Preview#16) - On the night in question Jeavons accompanied Twist onto a train on the relevant line, with the detective explaining to his friend why he believed it might lead them to their target. They boarded a carriage containing four other passengers - the dancer Gladys Jones, who immediately judged them to be a pair of weirdos; the curmudgeonly retired soldier Colonel Witherspoon, who scowled at them, with contemptuous disdain; the middle-aged amateur detective Mildred Argot, who showed only detached interest; and fourteen year old Jeffrey Winters, a lover of heroic tales who immediately became fascinated by Twist's Sherlockian garb...and who was secretly their killer, as he was also a dangerous werewolf.

  As Twist bemoaned to Jeavons about the decline of the elevated trains and insisted that New Yorkers would never accept having only the subway to rely on, Jeffrey got out of his seat and went into the adjacent carriage. Twist noticed the boy visibly recoiling at something therein, so he and Jeavons went to see what had caused this reaction. It proved to be the remains of a recently slain man (Randy, whom Jeffrey had killed only minutes before Twist and Jeavons boarded the train).The other passengers also followed, curious to see what was causing the fuss. Twist instructed his fellow passengers that it would be best if they remained seated, prompting the uncooperative Witherspoon to demand to know who the detective thought he was that he thought he could tell them to do anything, but Twist rebutted by pointing out he worked with the police and that he would be asking the questions. Hearing Twist identify himself, Mildred informed him that she had heard of him, stated that she prided herself on having a perceptive ear and eye and introduced herself, adding that she assumed he had likewise heard of her. This assumption was immediately shot down as Twist somewhat curtly responded that he had not. Jeffrey inquired whether Twist was a hero like Doc Savage or the Shadow, prompting Twist to reply he was not familiar with either. Gladys responded in disgust at the thought of being forced to stay on the train in the presence of a corpse, and insisted that she would be getting off at the next stop. In answer to this, Twist stated that none of them could be allowed to leave until the murder was solved, but did agree that they should all disembark together at the next stop to wait for the authorities. To prevent this, Jeffrey covertly cut power to the lights, then in the darkness swiftly ran from one end of the car to the other in wolf form, slipping past Twist in the dark and using his immense lupine strength to bend all the exit doors, trapping everyone in the carriage. Still unaware of the killer's true nature, Twist nevertheless correctly deduced that their prey had trapped them after hearing his intention to alert the authorities, though Jeavons wondered whether their opponent might have been spurred into action by Gladys' words instead. Pulling candles from her voluminous purse, Mildred offered them to Twist, allowing them to restore some light to their situation, though their limited glow left much of the carriage shrouded in darkness. Softening his previous stance towards Mildred, Twist stated that he was in her debt as she had shown a noteworthy willingness to help.

   Terrified that she was about to die, Gladys bemoaned that her mother had always said she would come to no good, and Witherspoon cruelly retorted that in his estimation she had a bad beginning too. As the train pulled into a station, Twist and Jeavons attempted to prise the doors open to no avail, and while their attention was focused there, Jeffrey swiftly murdered the colonel and took a swipe at Twist's head, who had his back to the carriage while examining the door, but missed because the train suddenly lurched forward, causing Twist to stumble and duck at the crucial moment. When Jeavons pointed out that their predicament meant no one could get in either, Twist completed the thought - that the killer had to be still in the car with them. Gladys came over to demand Twist stop playing games and let her off, insisting she was not staying just so the colonel could insult her, Twist could subject her to his "Victorian melodramas,"  and she could be forced to stare at Randy's remains. At her mention of the colonel, Jeavons noticed Witherspoon's absence from his seat, and as the group moved closer they discovered Witherspoon's corpse, his tongue ripped out and skull crushed, and the body suspended from a hanging loop.

   As Twist lifted Witherspoon's body down, Jeffrey rejoined the group in human form once more. Mildred asked to examine the body, positing that Witherspoon had been killed by having oxygen injected into his veins, causing an air bubble that stopped his heart. When Twist pointed out Witherspoon's much more brutal and very obvious fatal injuries, an undeterred Mildred responded that this did not rule out her theory. Twist declared to Jeavons that Mildred was "bonkers," but suggested they let her amuse herself examining the body while they instead locate exactly where Witherspoon had been slain. As they moved from the corpse, Twist put an avuncular arm on Jeffrey's shoulder and ushered him along with them, asking the boy his name. Answering the question, Jeffrey added that current events weren't like the Saturday matinees, noting that when people were killed in the monster or cowboy movies it was never this bloody. Seeking to drew the boy's mind away from such lurid things, Twist tried to make conversation by asking Jeffrey what he wanted to be when he grew up, suggesting either a train engineer or a cowboy-hero? Jeffrey admitted he didn't really understand much that was happening to him lately, adding that when he was near ladies like Gladys he started feeling strange. Laughing at the thought that the boy was naturally confused about puberty and beginning to notice girls, Twist advised the lad that what he was experiencing was quite natural. Twist began espousing his philosophy on life, saying the boy should make select people important in his life and stand fast by them, and keep a sense of importance about whatever he did, and not let the world take that away, but the more practically minded Jeavons interrupte, reminding Twist that they still had a pair of murders to solve, with the culprit evidently in the blackened train car with them. As he said this, Mildred called over telling him not to worry, as she believed she had solved the case, stating to Twist that she knew he had tried his best but that he should have consulted her earlier. Sardonically, Twist asked her what she surmised, suggesting that perhaps she thought everyone aboard the train was the killer, and Mildred confirmed that was indeed her theory.

  With the investigators' attention focused on Mildred, Jeffrey became the wolf again, stunned the inattentive Gladys with a blow from behind, then doused the candle. As the carriage was plunged once more into total darkness, Twist called to Jeavons to remain alert and monitor every inch of their car, but despite this intended vigilance, Jeffrey grabbed Mildred and threw her bodily through one of the car windows. Her body lodged half in and half out of the carriage, and though Twist quickly came to her aid, he immediately realized that the impact had killed her. Meanwhile Jeffrey reverted to his innocent looking human appearance. Noticing that neither Gladys nor Jeffrey had audibly reacted to the incident from their end of the carriage, Twist and Jeavons hurried to check on their safety, and found Gladys just waking up, with her head on Jeffrey's lap. The boy asked Twist why he seemed to be unafraid despite what was happening, and the detective told him that heroes were those who decided on a course of action and followed it to the conclusion despite the dangers they encountered on the way, a sentiment that Jeavons immediately endorsed. Impressed, the boy told Twist that Hopalong Cassidy couldn't have said it better, prompting the detective to state that the boy had friends with uniquely bizarre names. Twist then turned to Jeavons, noting that they needed to relight the candle and under no circumstances should any of them leave the presence of the others. Shifting off of Jeffrey and standing up, Gladys bemoaned that they would all die on the train, then waxed philosophically about how everything was dying anyway and how her life had turned out. Twist meanwhile pointed out to Jeavons that since (in his estimation) neither Gladys nor Jeffrey were capable of such slaughter, they were left with only one alternative, and Jeavons asked if he meant his suggestion, a werewolf. Lowering his voice to a whisper, Twist rebutted this as absurd, instead believing that one of the victims they had presumed dead must actually be still alive and the killer. Jeavons vocally disagreed, saying that was as far fetched as his werewolf theory, but Twist insisted that the colonel could have faked his demise with some clever make-up and approached Witherspoon's corpse, demanding he stop his pretense.

    Behind them Jeffrey began to look distressed, and as the boy clutched his head, Gladys suddenly realized something was wrong, and tugged at Jeavons sleeve so that he too turned. Together the pair witnessed Jeffrey's transformation into his lupine form; focused on Witherspoon, Twist missed the change but was swiftly alerted to the werewolf's presence by Jeavons, his rebuke to his friend for continuing to perpetuate his "nonsensical" theory dying in Twist's throat as he looked into the beast's eyes. The creature advanced menacingly on the terrified Gladys, seemingly having forgotten about the others, but Twist leapt between Jeffrey and his prey, then blew burning ash from his pipe into the werewolf's eyes. Roaring in agony, the werewolf instinctively sought to reach cool open air, ripped through the carriage roof and leapt out onto the top of the train, ignoring Twist's cries as he appealed to Jeffrey to fight his curse. Ignoring Jeavons' pleas to let Jeffrey go and leave him for the police to deal with, Twist pursued, insistent that he had to try and save the boy, rather than let him continue to suffer under his lunar affliction. Jeffrey ran along the top of the racing train, and when Hodiah called to him the werewolf turned to face him, thus failing to notice a bridge the train was fast approaching. One of the low beams caught the werewolf, instantly decapitating him, but despite this the now headless monster continued moving, stumbling towards Twist with arms flailing like it was seeking fresh prey.

   Down in the carriage, Jeavons glanced round for a weapon and suddenly recalled the silver dagger pendant Mildred Argot had been wearing round her neck. Taking it, Jeavons climbed onto the train roof, but not before the headless werewolf reached Twist and bore him to the ground. As its talons began ripping through the soft flesh under his jaw, the detective fought futilely to push it away. Racing to his friend's rescue, Jeavons stabbed Jeffrey, and the finally slain werewolf''s limp body fell from the speeding train. Twist reached out as if trying to bring the boy back, then realized the inadequacy of his actions. As Jeavons cradled his injured friend, Twist stated in broken sentences "Jeavons, my friend, let us see if we can retire...this whole business. I do believe everything is dying...All is coming to an end." Clinging to Twist, Jeavons insisted that wasn't true, responding that "NO! This train, for one thing, good friend! It goes on." And as the train continued to hurtle on, Twist asked his "yes, but to where? Where and what?" (see comments)

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

   The "reality" of Hodiah Twist: In Amazing Adventures#32, set 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 the Ravenflight one mentioned above. Though not outright stated, the landscape resembles the moors seen in various adaptations of Hound of the Baskervilles, implying that Twist and Jeavons have traveled to England. We only see a brief excerpt from this story, and it's hard to be sure whether the VR participants are controlling the characters as if in a game, or merely experiencing a set story from the perspective of the characters. As such how accurate any aspect of the tale is to "real" events in Twist and Jeavons' lives is impossible to say. Heck, given that the VR ends with Twist apparently about to be savaged to death by a wolf-like creature, the VR drama might be a massively inaccurate portrayal of Twist's demise during his werewolf encounter, shifted by the simulation from a crowded Manhattan El train to the desolate English countryside. - Loki

    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." The virtual reality story ended when Hawk's father's heart gave way and he passed away uttering the words, "This was one helluva story."

    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. 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.
   This question has since been answered as the Werewolves profile in the 2007 Horror Handbook mentioned Twist's encounter with Winters.

   There are no instances where Twist is seen near any characters who have already established heights, so I've ASSumed he's of similar height and weight to Sherlock Holmes.

   We're not told explicitly that Hodiah stayed in a Salvation Army lodging house, but we're told that his apartment is decorated in such a way as to dismiss such things from Hodiah's version of existence, which suggests he's trying to reject such an experience.

   The date of the werewolf incident isn't given in the story, but we do have some clues as to when it took place. One of the characters, Gladys, mentions that if they die on the train they'll never know if La Guardia will get re-elected as mayor; while she could be saying this any time after he was initially elected (1933), her comment gives the impression that it's close to the time that he needs to run for office again, which happened in 1937 and 1941. Gladys, who appears to be no older than her late twenties, remembers his previous campaign, in 1933, and recalls that the repeal of prohibition (in December 1933) temporarily put her out of work, which counts against the story taking place in 1941. Additionally, the elevated trains went into serious decline around the late 1930s, with the Sixth Avenue line closing in 1938 and other following over the next few years. So it would seem most likely that the werewolf on the El incident took place some time in 1937.

   Though it's not explicitly stated, the end of the werewolf encounter feels very much like Twist has suffered fatal injuries. The description of Twist feeling "the taloned bone carving through the soft underside of his jawline" is at minimum a serious wound (and might result in contracting lycanthropy), and perhaps even fatal if his throat's been ripped out, and Twist's fatalistic statements about "retiring the whole business...everything is dying...coming to an end" combined with Jeavons' bizarre rebuttal where he points out the train is still going, plus them both uncharacteristically calling one another "friend/good friend" during the exchange, gives it the feel of Jeavons trying to comfort his dying friend.

   The cover of Marvel Preview#16 features Twist and Jeavons in rare color images, but depicts Jeavons as somewhat stockier than he does in the actual stories, and has Twist wearing the kind of cap Jeavons wore in his Vampire Tales outing, rather than the deerstalker Twist habitually wears.- Loki

Profile by Jean-Marc Lofficier.

Hodiah Twist should not be confused with


Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human (1930s era)

Occupation: Police Captain

Group Membership: NYPD


First Appearance Vampire Tales#2/6 (Oct. 1973)

Powers/Abilities: None

History:  (Vampire Tales#2/6 - 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#2/6) - 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. 

(Marvel Preview#16 (fb) - BTS) - In 1937 a string of grisly murders took place across several months on nights of the full moon, with all the victims being slain on Manhattan's Elevated trains. The inspector was among the officers who investigated the case (see comments), hoping to capture the killer.


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

   It's not confirmed that it is the same inspector in Marvel Preview#16, as he's only mentioned and not seen, but for the moment, in absence of information to the contrary, I'm running with the assumption that it was the same guy. - Loki


Hodiah Twist:
Amazing Adventures#22, page 23, panel 1 (main)
Amazing Adventures#22, page 23, panel 3 (headshot)
Vampire Tales#2/6, page 66, panel 3 (Jeavons explains how Hodiah discovered his dead wife)
Amazing Adventures#22, page 23, panel 1   (desolate moors near Ravenflight)
Marvel Preview#16, page 8, panel 2 (Twist and Jeavons about to board the El)
Marvel Preview#16, page 12, panel 3 (on the El as the lights go out)
Marvel Preview#16, page 24, panels 1-2 (fighting the werewolf to defend Gladys)
Marvel Preview#16, page 27, panels 1-2 (struggling with the werewolf atop the train)
Marvel Preview#16, page 27, panel 5 (in Conrad Jeavons' arms, dying?)
Vampire Tales#2/6, page 63, panel 6 (looking very Sherlockian)
Marvel Preview#16 cover (Twist and Jeavons)

Vampire Tales#2/6, page 63, panel 2

Vampire Tales#2/6 (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)

First Posted: 04/18/2004
Last updated: 10/24/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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