"GLASS OF DOOM"
Classification: Magic item
Creator: Unrevealed (see comments)
User/Possessors: Winters (first name unrevealed)
First Appearance: Mystery Tales#25/2 (January, 1955)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: A rectangular mirror mounted within an ornate frame, the "Glass of Doom" (see comments) seemed to be a mystical portal to an extradimensional "after-life," and it could be used to restore the life of its possessor. When the possessor died, his body was apparently transported into the shadowy world that existed beyond the mirror's face. The possessor could then pull another person into the mirror to take his place in the "after-life," while the possessor returned to the world of the living. It is unknown how many times this procedure could be repeated.
History: (Mystery Tales#25/2 (fb) - BTS) - The origins of this mysterious mirror are unknown, but at some point its face was covered over with black paint. Under unknown circumstances, the mirror eventually came into the possession of an elderly pawnbroker named Winters, who placed it on display in his pawnshop.
(Mystery Tales#25/2) - One evening, armed robber Dan
Maley went into Winters' pawnshop, and at gunpoint he ordered Winters to
tell him what was the most valuable item in his shop. Without
hesitation, the old man pointed to a mirror--its face painted over with
black paint--leaning against a wall; Winters said it was so valuable
because it could restore life. Thinking that the old man was
joking with him, the angry Maley pistol-whipped Winters; the old man
fell, struck his head on an andiron, and died. Panicking, Maley
quickly grabbed the money from the cash register and fled the shop, but
as he walked down the street, he had second thoughts about the painted
mirror--maybe there was gold or silver hidden behind the paint.
Maley returned to the pawnshop, and to his surprise he noticed that Winters' body was gone. But more concerned with finding hidden treasure, Maley grabbed a paint scraper and began to chip away the paint from the mysterious mirror. When he cleared a small patch, Maley glimpsed something past his reflection--what he saw wasn't behind him, it was inside the mirror! As he scraped more of the paint from the mirror's face, he saw a shadowy, unearthly, moonlit landscape and the silhouette of a man walking towards him. Maley scraped away more paint so that he might be able to figure it all out. But when the weird mirror was scraped clean, to Maley's horror, he saw the shadow-causing man come into terrifying view--it was Winters, the dead pawnbroker! Nearer and nearer the old man stalked until his palms seemed to press against the inside of the mirror glass. In desperate fury, Maley flattened his hands against Winters' palms, as if to push the dead man in the mirror back to oblivion. But suddenly, Maley felt two clammy hands grip his wrists and he was swung into the lugubriously gloomy looking-glass. Maley next found an impenetrable wall of glass between himself and Winters, who was back in his pawnshop, while Maley was now within the mirror!
As Dan Maley vainly pounded his fists against his glass
prison wall, he saw Winters smile gleefully as the old man took a brush
and daubed the weird mirror with thick black paint.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Ed Winiarski (artist)
Earlier, in Captain America Comics#67/1--"The Secret Behind the Mirror!"--(July, 1948), Cap (Jeff Mace) had an adventure involving a similar dimensional portal mirror; it is unknown if that mirror has any connection with the "Glass of Doom".
In regards to the "Glass of Doom": In this short 4-page story--"Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall!"--the mirror was never identified, but under the story-title was a black circular caption warning the reader to "Beware--The Glass of Doom!", so I went with that for a name for this particular looking-glass.
...And then I thought: Maybe the mirror was centuries old
and it was named for its creator, and maybe that creator was an ancestor
of a certain Gypsy-turned-Latverian-despot (Considering his
attempt to contact his dead mother,
this mirror might be of interest to him).
Or, for that matter, it could be older still, and maybe
its original owner was Thulsa
Here are some other enchanted mirrors that have trapped people like the Glass of Doom:
"The Macabre Mirror!" [Strange Tales I#87 (August, 1961)] and "The Man In The Mirror!" [Tales of Suspense I#38 (February, 1963)]. Plus Tales to Astonish I#27 (January, 1962) 2nd story-"Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall..."-- has an enchanted mirror with an undead sorcerer inside trying to get out (he took control of Anne Carter until her husband Bill broke the mirror).
The story was reprinted in Beware#6 (January, 1974).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The "Glass of Doom" has no known connections to:
Winters has no known connections to:
Dan Maley has no known connections to:
An elderly pawnbroker, he operated a pawn shop in an unidentified city.
At some point, he acquired a mirror that could restore
life. He was killed when Dan Maley tried to rob him, but he was
returned to life by the mirror and used it to imprison Maley; Winters
then painted over the mirror with black paint.
An uneducated and unrepentant thug, he robbed Winters the
pawnbroker. After killing the old man, Maley found Winters behind
the face of a mysterious mirror. The two exchanged places, and
while Winters was returned to the world of the living, Maley was trapped
behind the glass of the mirror.
images: (without ads)
Mystery Tales#25/2, p4, pan4 (Winters in mirror, Maley pressing against glass)
Mystery Tales#25/2, p4, pan5 (Maley pulled inside mirror)
Mystery Tales#25/2, p4, pan6 (Maley in mirror, Winters looking at mirror)
Mystery Tales#25/2, p4, pan7 (Winters painting over mirror, Maley trapped inside)
Mystery Tales#25/2, p2, pan6 (Dan Maley)
Mystery Tales#25/2 (January, 1955) - unidentified (writer), Ed Winiarski (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 08/03/15
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