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Eclipso Pt. 4: House of Secrets #66-67

Title: House of Secrets

Issue #: 66

Cover Date: May/June 1964

On Sale Date: March 12, 1964

Writer: Bob Haney

Artist: Alex Toth

Editor: Murray Boltinoff


The Two Faces of Doom

In the past, Eclipso, Dr. Bruce Gordon’s evil alter-ego, has turned the powers of his black diamond and cunning genius loose upon the world – but now, in a startling development, the master of darkness gains a new and more deadly power and shows an even more terrifying side…

In the vast lab complex beneath Solar City’s ruins…

When Bruce arrives to help with a “moving menace” powered by some energy source within a crashed meteor, he forgets about an impending eclipse. He changes into Eclipso and drives off in the car… with Mona inside…

Professor Bennett and Mona find Eclipso collapsed and it seems that the gun’s rays did change evil Eclipso into a power for good. Or did they…

Prof. Bennett and company use helicopters to suspend a lead sheet over Eclipso and Mona throws a light bomb.


Title: House of Secrets

Issue #: 67

Cover Date: July/Aug. 1964

On Sale Date: May 14, 1964

Writer: Bob Haney

Artist: Alex Toth

Editor: Jack Schiff


Challenge of the Split Man

In his eternal duel with his diabolical other self, Eclipso, Dr. Bruce Gordon has tried many desperate measures – but none has had the disastrous effect that comes when the young scientist attempts to make Eclipso good – instead of evil…
My mind’s made up! I was on the wrong track with the ultra-violet gun! If I’m ever to rid myself of Eclipso, I need more data on his origin, and there’s only one way to get it!

When a tumbling bounder falls toward a hole in Mophir’s cave, it causes a “miniature eclipse” and Bruce transforms briefly into Eclipso and back.

Eclipso steals their airplane and heads to Scotland to commandeer the robot R into going on a destructive rampage. When the good guys arrive to save the day…

Bruce chases Eclipso and tosses a flare at him.



House of Secrets issues #66 and #67 are the last two featuring art by Alex Toth. He also did the cover of #67 (Dick Dillon and Sheldon Moldoff did the cover of #66.) The best thing about these covers, though, is that they both feature Eclipso! His first full cover, with Mark Merlin as the secondary feature, was #66. However, both Eclipso stories in these issues are still the second ones, following Mark Merlin.


Issue #66 is also the first for editor Jack Schiff, replacing Murray Boltinoff, who was with House of Secrets since it began with #1. I wonder if there will be letters about the new artist or editor in future issues; neither one of these has the regular letters column.


After seven stories now, some of the character tropes are becoming clear. One is that Bruce Gordon gets involved in situations that distract him so that he forgets about impending eclipses.


We're also back in these issues to Eclipso hiding his costume at the end of an appearance...

...and finding them when he returns the next time.

I think I said this last time: I appreciate the explanatory detail, but far stranger things have happened than having someone change into their alter ego and suddenly be wearing different clothes. That's two panels wasted in #66!


A charming trope that I'm enjoying are the cryptic ending quotes. In #66, Bruce says, "...because we all know he'll be back." In #67, he says, "...only time holds the answer." These statements are like little cliffhangers that tell us there's more to come.


I like that #67 is sort of a direct sequel to #66. There's a reference to the same ultra-violet gun:

I don't know if we credit writer Bob Haney, or editor Jack Schiff, for such attention to detail.


Finally, issue #67 does a recap of the story so far just like comics seem to do every few issues. I imagine it's good for new readers. I like these little "mini-stories" because sometimes they focus on only the parts of the backstory that are currently important, and sometimes they have new and creative artwork.

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