House of Secrets (DC Comics)

The House of Secrets  is the name of many mystery , fantasy , and horror comics anthologies published by DC Comics . It is notable for being the title that introduced the Swamp Thing character. It had a companion series titled  House of Mystery  .

Publication history

First series

The original Silver Age series ran 80 issues, from November / December 1956  [1]  to September / October 1966.  [2]  In addition to short, “one-off” stories, several issues featured the adventures of modern-dress sorcerer Mark Merlin who first appeared in issue # 23 (August 1959). The dual-personality super villain Eclipso (“Hero and Villain in One Man!”) Was created by Bob Haney and Lee Elias and was introduced in issue # 61 (August 1963)  [3]  [4]  and continued to the series’ end . Prince Ra-Man the Mind-Master bowed in # 73 (July-August 1965) and was a Doctor Strange-style “replacement” for Mark Merlin.  [5]  [6]  Prince Ra-Man twice battled Eclipso.  [5]  [7]  [8]  The “Prince Ra-Man” feature ended in  House of Secrets  # 80 (September-October 1966), the final issue of the series.  [9]  Other, lesser continuing features included “Peter Puptent, Explorer”; “Dolly and the Professor”; “Doctor Rocket”; and “Moolah the Mystic”.

Revival (second run)

Cover of  House of Secrets  # 92 (July 1971), introducing Swamp Thing . Cover art by Bernie Wrightson .

The series was revived three years later with a definite article as  The House of Secrets  , beginning with issue # 81 (Aug.-Sept. 1969). Now its horror and suspense tales were introduced by a host named Abel ,  [10]  who would also host the satirical comic  Plop!  . His brother Cain hosted  House of Mystery  . Swamp Thing first appeared in  House of Secrets  # 92 (July 1971) in a stand-alone horror story set in the early 20th century written by Len Wein and drawn by Bernie Wrightson .  [11] The woman appearing on the cover of this issue was modeled after future comics writer Louise Simonson .  [12]  The Patchwork Man , a character from the  Swamp Thing  ongoing series, was in the process of becoming a feature of the issue.  [13]  [14]

The revival of  House of Secrets  , Neal Adams , Bernie Wrightson, and Michael Kaluta , ran through issue # 154 (Nov. 1978), with six months passing between # 140 (February-March 1976) and # 141 (August -September 1976). It was then ‘merged’ into  The Unexpected  with issue # 189,  [15]  through issue # 199. The series was 68 ad-free pages, allowing all parts to be full-length issues.

The House of Secrets also came to life in Abel lives. Writer Mike Friedrich and artist Jerry Grandenetti introduced the house and explained its origins.  The Sandman  series is revealed both in the real world of the DC Universe and in the Dreaming, as a repository for secrets of all kinds.

The building itself was constructed for a Senator Sanderson using only materials from Kentucky, and went under the spell that only pure-blood Kentuckians would be able to live there. Later, Sanderson’s wife went insane in the upper floors, leading the senate to sell the house. The next four owners, none of them pure Kentuckians, found themselves driven away for various reasons. The following is the location of the original location, but the location of the site is much greater than that of its owners, and it is less than 200 yards from the Kentucky state line in a graveyard. Whether by fate or some mystical alignment, the companion House of Mystery stands at the other end of the graveyard. Shortly after this, Abel was driven to the house and entrusted to his caretaker by a man who revealed himself to be an aspect of the House’s existence, but making vague references to an employ. Abel was showing living in the House of Mystery in the quarterly DC Special  # 4, published one month earlier (July-Sept. 1969).

The character of Abel would later, in the 1980s and 1990s, become a recurring character in  The Sandman  and related series such as  The Dreaming  .

Second series

Main article: House of Secrets (Vertigo)

DC’s Vertigo imprint revived the name  House of Secrets  as new title and concept. Here the House of Secrets was a mobile manor, appearing in different places. The building itself is haunted by the Juris, a group of ghosts who summon those with secrets in order to judge them and pass sentence. To the Juris, all offenses carry the same weight, from rape and murder to a crucial moment. A runaway named Harper Harper Stumbled upon the House of Secrets and took up the position of an unwilling witness. their secret.

This series ran 25 issues, plus a two-part  House of Secrets: Facade  Special. This  House of Secrets  was creator-owned except for its title which was licensed by DC to the series creators. The letters column in issue # 6 indicates that for legal reasons, they could not include Cain and Abel in the stories. This series was used for the framing story in the first Vertigo  Winter’s Edge  special, featuring Rainfall on the art gallery in the house by  Sandman  ,  The Dreaming  ,  Hellblazer  ,  The Invisibles  ,  The Books of Magic  , The Minx  ,  Sandman Mystery Theater  and  Nevada  .

Secret Six headquarters

In the mid-2000s, the Secret Six made their headquarters in the House of Secrets. Scandal stated in issue five of  Villains United  that the House would not show up on the gold scans or mystical surveillance. She also said that Mockingbird claimed the House was a “house of victims.”

In other media

The House of Secrets appeared in the  Young Justice  episode “Secrets”. In the series it was depicted as a magic shop across the street from Greta and Billy Hayes .  [16]

Collected editions

  • The Jack Kirby Omnibus  includes stories from  House of Secrets  # 3-4, 8, and 12, 304 pages, August 2011, ISBN  1-4012-3107-1
  • Showcase Presents : Eclipso  collects Eclipso stories from House of Secrets # 61-80, 296 pages, August 2009,ISBN 1-4012-2315-X
  • Showcase Presents: House of Secrets
    • Volume 1  collects  House of Secrets  # 81-98, 544 pages, August 2008, ISBN  978-1-4012-1818-8
    • Volume 2  collects  House of Secrets  # 99-119, 496 pages, October 2009, ISBN  1-4012-2523-3
  • The Steve Ditko Omnibus  Volume 1 includes  House of Secrets  # 139: “The Devil’s Daughter” and  House of Secrets  # 148: “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Jack Oleck and Steve Ditko , 480 pages, September 2011, ISBN  1-4012-3111- X
  • House of Secrets Omnibus  collects  House of Secrets  vol. 2 # 1-25, 752 pages, April 2013, ISBN  978-1-4012-3673-1


  1. Jump up^  Irvine, Alex ; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). “1950s”.  DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle  . London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley . p. 81. ISBN  978-0-7566-6742-9 .  The mystery-suspense anthology series  House of Secrets  began the eighty-issue of its first incarnation in December.
  2. Jump up^  House of Secrets  at theGrand Comics Database
  3. Jump up^   Wallace, Dan (2008). “Eclipso”. In Dougall, Alastair.  The DC Comics Encyclopedia  . London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 112. ISBN  0-7566-4119-5 .
  4. Jump up^  McAvennie, Michael “1960s” in Dolan, p. 109: “In August’s House of Secrets # 61, writer Bob Haney and artist Lee Elias used a black diamond to transform Dr. Bruce Gordon into Eclipso.”
  5. ^ Jump up to: b   Markstein, Don (2010). “Prince Ra-Man, Mind Master” . Don Markstein’s Toonopedia . Archived from the original on October 12, 2012 . Retrieved October 11, 2012 .  The Mark Merlin … Mark Merlin … was not working. Superheroes were what was selling, so that’s what Mark needed to be replaced. But rather than simply using Mark Merlin anymore, and introducing something new where he’d be trained, they’ve been trying to retain some form of support.
  6. Jump up^  Haney, Bob (w), Baily, Bernard (p), Baily, Bernard (i). “The Death of Mark Merlin” House of Secrets  73 (July-August 1965)
  7. Jump up^  Haney, Bob (w), Sparling, Jack; Baily, Bernard (p), Sparling, Jack; Baily, Bernard (i). “Helio, the Sun Demon!”  House of Secrets  76 (January-February 1966)
  8. Jump up^  Haney, Bob (w), Sparling, Jack; Baily, Bernard (p), Sparling, Jack; Baily, Bernard (i). “The Master of Yesterday and Tomorrow!”  House of Secrets  79 (July-August 1966)
  9. Jump up^  Haney, Bob (w), Baily, Bernard (p), Baily, Bernard (i). “The Death of the Six-Sided Sun” House of Secrets  80 (September-October 1966)
  10. Jump up^  McAvennie “1960s” in Dolan, p. 134: “Abel never earned any respect from his brother … Yet it did not stop him from reopening House of Secrets with issue # 81, following the series’ three-year hiatus.”
  11. Jump up^  McAvennie “1970s” in Dolan, p. 146: “‘Swamp Thing’ was the name of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s turn-of-the-century tale, and its popularity with readers has a modernized version of the character in its own series.
  12. Jump up^  Levitz, Paul (2010).  75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking  . Cologne, Germany: Taschen . p. 481. ISBN  978-3-8365-1981-6 .  When Swamp Thing debuted in this issue of  House of Secrets as a “one-shot”, it would lead to an enduring hit franchise, a future comic book writer Louise Simonson.
  13. Jump up^  Conway, Gerry (w), Redondo, Nestor (p), Redondo, Nestor (i). “Reprise: The Patchwork Man” House of Secrets  140 (February-March 1976)
  14. Jump up^   Kingman, Jim (January 26, 2010). “DC Shake-Up (and fallout): The Patchwork Man” . Comics Bulletin . Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.  Despite the potential, the intriguing cast, and the interesting plot points,  House of Secrets  was suddenly ‘canceled’ after issue # 140 – The Patchwork Man was going to be an ongoing run in the series.
  15. Jump up^   Wells, John (October 24, 1997), ” ‘ Lost’ DC: The DC Implosion,” Comics Buyer’s Guide  , Iola, Wisconsin (1249), p. 132,  Following its cancellation with # 154,  House of Secrets  was merged with  The Witching Hour  and  Doorway to Nightmare  in  The Unexpected  , which was expanded to Dollar Comic size to accommodate the changes.
  16. Jump up^  David, Peter (writer); Oliva, Jay (director) (November 18, 2011). “Secrets”.  Young Justice  . Season 1. Episode 18. Cartoon Network .

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