HEADSTONE P. GRAVELY
Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human civilian;
citizen of the United States of America
formerly TV show host;
formerly mortician (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Digger (Roderick Krupp), Gary
Lee, Barry Windsor-Smith, Tom Sutton
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Tower of Shadows, Los Angeles, California
First Appearance: Chamber of Secrets I#1 (October,
Powers/Abilities: Headstone P. Gravely possessed no
known superhuman abilities. He was a talented storyteller who visibly
enjoyed thrilling his audience with tales of ghouls, ghosts and gore. To
emphasize his role as the formal mortician, he wore a top hat and a tuxedo.
Gravely wore glasses.
(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1 (fb) - BTS) - The man who would become known as Headstone P. Gravely was approached by a television producer to co-host two late night horror TV-shows with Roderick Krupp, who called himself Digger. Playing off the ghoulish theme of the shows and the fact Krupp used to be an actual grave digger, he took on the role of mortician Headstone P. Gravely. They took turns hosting the three short TV-plays that commonly comprised an episode.
(Chamber of Darkness I#1) - For his first ever story,
Headstone chose It's Only Magic,
in which a little boy managed to outsmart a malevolent djinn who granted
three wishes that would only result in death and destruction.
His second tale, Mr. Craven Buys His Scream House, centered on Mr. Craven who inherited his grandfather's haunted house and, after some initial mishaps, learned to accept the abode's unique personality.
(Tower of Shadows I#2/3) - For One
Hungers, Gravely allowed an unidentified man who was mutated into a
horrible, hungry creature, to narrate its adventure. Ravenous, it
chased hippies Denny and Sheila who eventually figured out that the
monster was mostly fed by emotions and screams. Keeping quiet, they allowed
it to chase them until it died from starvation.
(Chamber of Darkness I#2) - Gravely recounted the precautionary tale entitled Forewarned Is Four-Armed in which a man who tried to warn humanity of an impending alien invasion was ignored.
(Tower of Darkness I#3) - Headstone shared The Moving Finger Writhes...!, the story of poorly educated, down on his luck Harry Swann who discovered a book that foretold his future. Using the magical tome's knowledge, Swann quickly became a rich man betting on the horses at the racetrack. However, annoyed by his wife Ethel's shenanigans, he followed the book's predictions and sabotaged her car's brakes. Shortly after she perished, Harry died as well in an incident the book didn't disclose beforehand.
(Chamber of Darkness I#3/2) - Gravely introduced a modern retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story The Tell Tale Heart.
(Chamber of Darkness I#4/2 - BTS) - Headstone kindly allowed comic artist Tom Sutton (April 15th, 1937 - May 1st, 2002) to recount the history of The Man Who Owned The World, which featured the world's richest man buying a cryo-chamber to survive and experience the future, only to learn that he was the last human on Earth after mankind had abandoned their terrestrial existence for a new life in space.
(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Both TV programs were eventually cancelled, though they'd developed such a fan base that the shows eventually became cult classics and were scheduled for DVD release.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer), John
Buscema (pencils), John Verpoorten (inks)
Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone revealed that all the stories Digger and Gravely introduced were actually TV shows hosted by equally sinister hosts in much the same way Rod Serling would introduce his Twilight Zone series, or Vincent Price, Wolfman Jack and Elvira, Mistress of the dark. Considering many Marvel artists introduced stories along the way, it seems obvious they appeared on the TV show, which at the very least suggests a connection between them and Gravely and Krupp.
But, was Headstone really a mortician? Maybe, maybe not...
Consider this: following the revelation all his appearances as
"mortician Headstone P. Gravely" were part of a TV show, it's not unthinkable
he was simply an actor who assumed the name and profession for added
So, what happened to Headstone? He hasn't made any
appearances in over 40 years. Maybe he retired from showbiz altogether
to live a quiet life, happily enjoying the proceeds and residuals the reruns
and DVD releases of his old TV shows generated. Maybe, but if your
stage name is Headstone and your co-star is a ghoulish grave digger whose
favorite past time is burying people alive... I wouldn't bet on it.
Profile by Norvo.
Headstone P. Gravely should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Chamber of Darkness I#1, p1, pan1 (main image)
Creatures on the Loose I#14, p32, pan6 (at the mental hospital)
Creatures on the Loose I#14, p23, pan1 (introduces himself )
Chamber of Darkness I#1 (October, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), John Verpoorten (inks)
Tower of Shadows I#2 (November, 1969) - Neil Adams (writer/pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Chamber of Darkness I#2 (December, 1969) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Syd Shores (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Tower of Shadows I#3 (January, 1970) - H.P. Lovecraft & Roy Thomas (writers), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), John Verpoorten & Dan Adkins (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Chamber of Darkness I#3 (February, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), John Verpoorten (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone (January, 2006) - Michael Hoskin (headwriter), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Last updated: 02/27/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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