Real Name: Grimm (first name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Human magic user (1960s era);
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: The widow Korak
Enemies: Max Kole
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Grimm the Gypsy" (as called by a Transylvanian villager)
Base of Operations: Her house somewhere in Transylvania
First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#22/3 (August, 1961)
Powers/Abilities: The corpulent Madame Grimm was a sorceress with some unspecified degree of magical ability.
Although seemingly benevolent, Grimm magically empowered a pair of drumsticks which would bring trouble to percussionist Max Kole.
Height: 5' 7" (by approximation)
Weight: 230 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: White (see comments)
(Tales to Astonish I#22/3 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Madame Grimm and how she came to possess her magical abilities is unrevealed. At some point, Madame Grimm settled in a village in Transylvania; she got the reputation for using her mystical talents to help others, such as when she cast a spell on the widow Korak's farm to give her a rich harvest.
(Tales to Astonish I#22/3) - One night, Madame Grimm received a visit from American jazz percussionist Max Kole; Kole asked her to cast a spell to make him the greatest drummer in the world. But Madame Grimm initially refused Kole's request, for she could read in his face that he was motivated by jealousy, and he only sought glory that he hadn't earned. Although Kole promised to pay her well, Madame Grimm nevertheless told him to leave. In desperation, Kole picked up a chair and threatened to wreck Madame Grimm's home unless she helped him. The sorceress saw that she was dealing with a sinister man; since she detested violence, Madame Grimm agreed to do what Kole wished, but she warned him that he would know no happiness, for nothing good could come to those who hadn't earned it.
Madame Grimm recited a magical incantation upon a pair of drumsticks (see comments), causing the wooden sticks to become animated and play the drum by themselves. Then the drumsticks flew into Kole's hands, and he played like never before, which greatly pleased him.
Having done as Kole wished, Madame Grimm ordered him to leave her home... (For the continuation of these events, see Max Kole's sub-profile below)
Madame Grimm's subsequent fate is unrevealed.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Steve Ditko (artist).
Despite her odd hair- and skin-coloring in most of the panels where she
appeared (which I'll attribute to
artistic license), Madame Grimm was shown to be a Caucasian woman
with white hair in one panel.
Although it wasn't clearly stated, I assume Kole brought the drum and drumsticks along with him when he visited Madame Grimm, and that she didn't just happen to have them laying around her house.
This 5-page story--For Whom the Drum Beats!--would be reprinted in Creatures on the Loose I#20 (November, 1972).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Madame Grimm has no known connections to:
Max Kole has no known connections to:
The home of the sorceress Madame Grimm, it was a rat-infested hovel near a village in the mountains of Transylvania.
One night, American drummer Max Kole made a visit to Madame Grimm's house; he went inside to have her cast a spell to improve his drumming.
--Tales to Astonish I#22/3
A pair of ordinary drumsticks, they were animated by a magical incantation recited by Madame Grimm.
The drumsticks were able to play independently, but when in the hands of Max Kole, they forced him to play non-stop.
--Tales to Astonish I#22/3
Kole was the secondary drummer for The Swinging Six, an American jazz ensemble. An envious and petty man, Kole was jealous of the lead drummer "Taps," because "Taps" always got the adoration of the audience whenever the band played. The lazy Kole sought an easy way to improve his drumming skills.
The Swinging Six were on a European tour; while they were in Transylvania, Kole overheard two locals talking about how Madame Grimm had cast a spell to help one of the residents. Thinking that the sorceress could magically improve his skills and make him the greatest drummer in the world, Kole visited Madame Grimm's house. When Madame Grimm refused his request, Kole threatened to wreck her home, which forced her to cooperate, but she warned him that nothing good could come to those who hadn't earned it. Madame Grimm magically animated Kole's drumsticks; the sticks flew into Kole's hands, and he was able to play like never before.
The Swinging Six flew back to the United States, and Kole's fame exploded overnight as he became the undisputed king of the drums. But after a concert, Kole was unhappy, for in his hands, the drumsticks beat like things possessed; he found he had to continuously have at least one stick in his hand all the time to tap out a rhythm--this interfered with Kole's eating and sleeping. Driven to near madness, Kole finally hurled the drumsticks out the window with a great deal of effort--but he was horrified to see them return!
As the drumsticks flew back into his aching hands, Kole was overwhelmingly compelled by Madame Grimm's spell to return to his drums and continue his seemingly endless drumming...
--Tales to Astonish I#22/3
images: (without ads)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Madame Grimm (with drum and magically-empowered drumsticks))
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p3, pan3 (Headshot - Madame Grimm warns Max Kole)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p3, pan4 (Madame Grimm begins to recite magic spell over drumsticks, Max Kole in background)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p4, pan3 (Madame Grimm (foreground) orders Max Kole (background) to leave her house)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p2, pan5 (Madame Grimm's house (exterior))
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p3, pan1 (Madame Grimm's house (interior), Max Kole, Madame Grimm)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p3, pan7 (magically-empowered drumsticks play drum by themselves)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p5, pan5 (magically-empowered drumsticks return to window sill after Max Kole has thrown them out)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p2, pan3 (jealous Max Kole watches "Taps" (background) sign autographs)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p5, pan6 (magically-empowered drumsticks return to Max Kole's hands)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3, p5, pan7 (Max Kole forced to play drums by magically-empowered drumsticks)
Tales to Astonish I#22/3 (August, 1961) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Steve Ditko (artist)
First Posted: 04/20/2018
Last updated: 04/20/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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