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Tales of Suspense 9
"I Saw Diablo! The Demon From the Fifth Dimension!"


Story: Larry Lieber
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Dick Ayers

The legend had come to life. The legend of a monstrous creature who dwelled within the mountains. Now, it was no longer a legend, but real. Now upon its arrival, it was Doomsday! The natives would flee from the demonic monster who had come to destroy them. They knew that nothing could stop Diablo, and for one man, he knew that the legends were true. Diablo lives.

One year ago, in a Trinidad cafe, two men are arguing about a village where the natives claim that a demon dwells high up in the mountains. A guide and adventurer, the third man asks them about the mountain-dwelling demon. The Aztecs claim that a giant demon made of smoke makes his home in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The guide has been from Singapore to Siam, and has never heard of such a thing. Since he's interested, the guide is given a map, and is shown the location. The guide is next seen hopping a freighter from Trinidad. Assuming it isn't some sort of wild-goose chase, and if there is such a creature in the mountains, he will make a million dollar discovery. Docking at Veracruz, the guide travels northeast, and reaches the Aztec village. The natives are fleeing for their lives, and tell the newcomer that Diablo is coming down from the mountain.

Alone in the Aztec village, the guide wonders what manner of beast Diablo could possibly be. Sensing something behind him, he turns and looks upon a living nightmare swirling before him. He does not move as the giant figure draws closer to the deserted village. What he does hear is in his mind, not his ears. His mind is being probed and he can't keep the smoke giant's thoughts out. Diablo will empty his mind of irrelevant thought, and reveal his secret.

Age ago, the alien participated in the great experiment. With his world overcrowded, Diablo traveled through other dimensions in search of a new home for his race. Time and space were his to control. Centuries later, planets were created and worlds died, but still the alien continued on his journey. Stumbling across the puny, three-dimensional world of Earth, he had found what he had sought. Diablo remained silent for ages. Gathering strength and harnessing the energy of the elements, Diablo would once again be the master of time and space. Now, he was ready to strike, and destroy all of mankind.

The guide is convinced that he is having a hallucination, but the alien offers a small demonstration of his power. The hapless human finds himself caught in the smoky mass which comprised Diablo's hand. He is unable to breathe, and is made aware of the alien's might. Diablo does have power, but so do those who dwell on Earth. They are not all as helpless as the hapless natives. The alien does not regard the clumsy weapons of Earth as a true threat. His very name has sent terror throughout the galaxies themselves. The hand weapons of terran soldiers would be as threatening as gnats to an elephant.

The weaponry of the three-dimensional world would not harm the alien. They who are from the Fifth Dimension are as so much smoke. He could not be destroyed by bullets and bombs. Even atomic weaponry would fail, for he could drift from city to city, and millions would be destroyed in a nuclear attack. Planes would be unable to drop their bombs without harming those who dwell below. Once his mission was completed, Diablo would summon the others from the Fifth Dimension, and Earth would be theirs. The green hills of the planet would tremble at the coming of his brothers on their new home.

The guide trembled at the mental images he had been receiving, but while the alien had been painting it, he had gotten an idea. There was only a slim chance for survival and it had to be taken now. The fate of the world was depending on his next move. Pointing a finger at the smoky giant, he informs the alien that there is a weapon that he is not aware of. Intrigued, Diablo would see it before he crushes the human. The guide will show him the power he has. A power which all on Earth possess and one which could destroy Diablo at will. The alien witnesses the human creating a creature of smoke, and then trembles at what he witnesses next. Now it is the alien who turns and flees back to his own world. The planet Earth will never be invaded, for how could they have known. The guide's gamble has succeeded. Diablo fled for the mountains, and by the time the natives returned to the village, the alien had faded from sight. It was a lit cigarette lighter that did it. When Diablo saw the smoke coming from the flame, he thought it was another alien like himself. As he watched, the guide blew out the flame, and the smoke vanished. Figuring that the human could do the same to him, Diablo fled in fright, and plans for a fifth-dimensional invasion of Earth went up in smoke.

This story was reprinted in Monsters On The Prowl #30 (October, 1974).

The legend of Diablo describes a monstrous, hulking thing.

In the Silver Age of Marvel, the legends of the Hulk and the Thing came to pass.

The aliens from the Fifth Dimension must be extremely long-lived.

If the gambit had failed, the people of Earth would be reeling from the Platters's tune, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".

On the mighty world of the Fifth Dimension, the aliens wear headsets, and their receivers have the necessary accessories in Kirby brand equipment.

On the fifth page and the seventh page of the story, readers are treated to the sight of the planet Earth, as terran and alien continue their verbal duel for the fate of a world.

Steve Chung
"I Reviewed Diablo! The Demon From The Fifth Dimension!"