Real Name: Vincent Durand

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Criminal

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: New Orleans police, Papa Genoux

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile in New Orleans

First Appearance: Mystic#52/1 (October, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: A wanted felon, Durand displayed no paranormal abilities--but he was in good physical shape, which helped him in eluding the police.

Although he seemed to doubt the power of the supernatural, for a time Durand's destiny was apparently guided by Papa Genoux using a Voodoo effigy.

Durand drove a (possibly stolen) 1946 black sedan (Louisiana license tag N-714143).

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black

(Mystic#52/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Vincent Durand is largely unrevealed, but while in New Orleans, he committed a series of robberies on local merchants, and on more than one occasion he used his gun to threaten decent citizens (see comments).

   At some point, under unrevealed circumstances, Durand became acquainted with Papa Genoux and the members of a local Voodoo-like cult; he also learned of the cult's use of effigies, a practice which he thought foolish (see comments).

(Mystic#52/1) - While being pursued by the police, Durand burst into the headquarters of Papa Genoux's cult in the middle of their ceremony, and he begged them to hide him. Papa Genoux complied and opened a secret panel in the wall for the fugitive to conceal himself--although one of the cult members objected to this because Durand was bringing them trouble, Papa Genoux assured the cultist that they would deal with Durand later... in their own way.

   The police entered the cult headquarters and searched for Durand, but they couldn't find him; because the police knew that Durand was associated with their group, Papa Geroux and the cultists were arrested as accessories to Durand's crimes. As they stood before a judge, Papa Genoux admitted he and his group knew Durand, but they knew nothing of any crimes with which he may have been charged, and he insisted his group considered it a major sin to speak a falsehood. The judge believed Genoux's words, but he told them of the crimes Durand had committed, then he dismissed all the cultists.

   Papa Genoux and the cultists returned to their headquarters and released Durand from his hiding place. Genoux glared at Durand with any icy stare, for the fugitive had brought shame to the cult, and he urged Durand to surrender to the police and confess his crimes. But Durand stubbornly refused, and as he walked out of the cult's headquarters, he mockingly thought to himself that he wouldn't be surprised if Papa Genoux tried "that foolish effigy trick" to make him give himself up--little did Durand realize that Papa Genoux was preparing to do just that!

   A short while later, as he roamed the streets at night, Durand was spotted by two cops who chased after him; Durand ran into an alley, not realizing that it was actually a blind alley--unknown to Durand, his actions were being directed by Papa Genoux chanting to an effigy of him.

   Durand came up to a dead-end at a blank wall, so he climbed a fire-escape ladder to the roof of the building, then tried to escape from the pursuing law-enforcers by jumping to the roof of a neighboring building, only to miss his footing by inches, but he managed to cling to the roof's ledge with his pained fingertips--Papa Genoux had manipulated Durand's mishaps with the effigy.

   The policemen urged the clinging Durand to surrender, but he refused, and he was now certain that this bad turn of events was the result of the cult using an effigy of him. Before the police could reach him, Durand lost his hold and dropped from the roof, but his fall was broken when he struck several laundry lines on the way down, and he landed on the street uninjured--all these events were by the arrangement of Papa Genoux, who used the effigy to prevent Durand from being harmed. As he went into hiding, Durand was determined to get the effigy and prove to himself that all of his misfortunes were merely coincidental.

   At midnight, while Papa Genoux slept, Durand broke into the cult's headquarters and took the effigy. As Durand climbed into his car, he narrowly escaped being apprehended by a police officer, but the lawman managed to call the police station with a description of Durand's vehicle as the fugitive drove away.

   Near dawn, Durand was driving in the hills in the southwestern part of the state when he saw pursuing police cars in his rear-view mirror. In an attempt to finally put an end to the "phony" Voodoo hold on him, Durand tossed the effigy out the car-window, and the figurine plummeted five hundred feet to the river below.

   But then Durand suddenly became panic-stricken when he realized that whatever happened to the effigy might happen to him as well. With a fatalistic shrug, Durand turned his car around and headed back toward the pursuing police--he wouldn't admit that he believed in effigies, but still, there was no sense in taking chances! (see comments)

   Durand apparently surrendered to the police, and presumably the effigy's power over him was neutralized.

Comments: Created by Carl Wessler (writer) and Wally Wood (artist)

And that's the way the story ended, so the final fate of Vincent Durand was unrevealed and left to the interpretation of the reader. I guess Durand was lucky that his story didn't appear a few years earlier, before the implementation of the Comics Code, otherwise he might have met a more gruesome ending (i.e. Durand might have thrown the effigy into a furnace, or a wood-chipper, or something equally as deadly).

Although it was mentioned that Durand had previously used a gun, he didn't display a firearm in this story--maybe it was confiscated by the police after one of his earlier crimes.

It was never explained exactly how Durand became acquainted with Papa Genoux and the cultists--maybe he worked odd jobs for them; or maybe he had tried to become a member of the cult, with the intent of using the secrets of Voodoo to commit crimes, but he had second thoughts and withdrew.

This 4-page story -- The Effigy! -- would be reprinted in Book of the Dead#4 (March, 1994).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Vincent Durand has no known connections to:

Papa Genoux has no known connections to:

The effigy of Vincent Durand has no known connections to:

Papa Genoux

The high chieftain of a Voodoo-like cult in New Orleans, Genoux and the other cult-members (at least four) made their headquarters in a shoddy waterfront building. The group considered it a major sin to speak a falsehood.

Papa Genoux and his group somehow became acquainted with criminal Vincent Durand (see comments), and when Genoux learned of the crimes Durand had committed, he urged the fugitive to surrender to the police, but Durand refused.

Papa Genoux was angry because Durand had brought shame to the cult, but he hoped to make Durand see the errors of his ways by using an effigy of the fugitive.

As he spoke a narrative chant to the effigy, Papa Genoux was manipulating Durand's actions as the fugitive was fleeing from the police--although he caused Durand to experience misfortunes, Papa Genoux also prevented the fugitive from being injured.

But Durand managed to elude the police, and he later stole the effigy from the sleeping Papa Genoux.


Effigy of Vincent Durand

A wooden figure carved in the likeness of criminal Vincent Durand, it was used by Papa Genoux to manipulate Durand's actions so the criminal would give himself up to the police and pay for his misdeeds.

But despite the supernatural influence over him, Durand refused to surrender to the pursuing law-enforcers. Durand later stole the effigy from the sleeping Papa Genoux. As he was driving in his car, Durand noticed police cars following him, so he tossed the effigy out the window and let it drop five hundred feet to the river below, thinking he would finally be free of the effigy's influence.

But when he realized that whatever happened to to effigy might happen to him as well, Durand became panic-stricken, so he turned his car around and apparently surrendered to the police--presumably, the effigy's supernatural influence over Durand was then neutralized.


images: (without ads)
Mystic#52/1, p1, pan1 (Main Image - desperate Vincent Durand enters headquarters of cult, various cult members look on)
Mystic#52/1, p3, pan5 (Headshot - Vincent Durand, clinging to ledge of building's rooftop)
Mystic#52/1, p3, pan3 (as Papa Genoux's narrative chant directs Durand's actions, Durand leaps from rooftop to neighboring building to elude police)
Mystic#52/1, p3, pan7 (Durand plans to take effigy from Papa Genoux)
Mystic#52/1, p1, pan3 (Papa Genoux arrested by New Orleans police)
Mystic#52/1, p2, pan4 (Papa Genoux begins to use effigy on Vincent Durand)
Mystic#52/1, p2, pan7 (Papa Genoux manipulates the actions of Vincent Durand with effigy, as cultist watches)
Mystic#52/1, p4, pan1 (Vincent Durand takes effigy from cult's headquarters)
Mystic#52/1, p4, pan5 (Vincent Durand tosses effigy out of window of his car)
Mystic#52/1, p4, pan6 (effigy of Vincent Durand plunges down to river)

Mystic#52/1 (October, 1956) - Carl Wessler (writer), Wally Wood (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 09/30/2018
Last updated: 09/30/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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