Ghosts | Issue 41 | DC Comics | August 1975
The specters of a WWII-era ship, a jaguar/ancient god, and a coal-miner’s father inform this tepid trilogy of ghostly tales from the generically-titled DC series.
Ship of Specters
Captain Ferguson’s honeymoon voyage with his wife is interrupted by the appearance of the S.S. Penang, a ghostly derelict ship filled with the corpses of its crew. After attaching a line to tow the rudderless ship back to port, Ferguson discovers his own helmsman dead at the wheel—stricken with the same frozen rictus of fear as the Penang’s doomed sailors.
The potential ghost-ship-as-virus element shades an ending that otherwise features Ferguson simply assuming a “Look how brave I am!” posture to impress his new wife.
The Ghost Beast that Stalked the Night
A revolutionary soldier in Castro’s Cuba encounters a ghostly beast while on guard duty. His rifle bent and covered in teeth marks, the sentry hears the tale of the ghost cat from an old-timer in his squadron.
Questions surrounding the discovery of defiled temples, ghost jaguars that tear flesh but not clothes, and ancient gods fade behind the more fundamental head-scratcher: When did the Aztecs ever settle in Cuba?
Phantom Double of Shaft 12-B
Young coal miner Nye Dawes is trapped underground after a tunnel collapses, seemingly destined to repeat the fate of his father, an explosives expert killed after a cave-in. The ghostly doppelganger that manifests to Dawes presents little mystery, but deviates from the other specters in this issue by seemingly offering aid to the human protagonist.
However, the working conditions of twentieth-century miners in Britain, not to mention the war-time setting during the Blitz of London, offer a much more palpable horror than this friendly ghost.