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Unexpected 111
"The Wheel of Misfortune"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND February - March, 1969

Pencils: Jerry Grandinetti Inks: Bill Draut Story: Dave Wood

(Originally Reviewed On 03/11/02)

Four men: Eric "The Schemer" Frazer, "Cracker" Benson, Ralph "The Racer", and "Bull's-Eye", the brain, a safecracker, a getaway driver, and a triggerman who'll find themselves on the wrong side of the wheel of misfortune! In their hiding place, that of a millionaire's mansion, whose owner is away on a cruise, each share a laugh as they lay eyes upon the wheel of misfortune, and decide to take it out for a spin!

"Cracker" Benson stares at the horrific face on the wheel, which is to be his fate, while Ralph "The Racer" sees that his features will be bloated, "Bull's-Eye" sees an outline filled with holes, and Eric "The Schemer" Frazer sees that he'll soon have trouble breathing. With the break over, the gang begin their plan, entering the getaway car, where they don the false badges, which will get them through the gate of the race track, where the cash room awaits...

"Bull's-Eye" keeps two guards at gunpoint, while Eric" The Schemer" Frazer asks "Cracker" Benson if he can open the safe without blasting, but the safecracker is confident that the acid he's pouring onto the lock will insure their two million dollar withdrawal. Just then, another guard enters the room, causing a startled Benson to drop the tube, which splatters and begins to burn at his face! "Bull's-Eye" shoots the guard, while Frazer offs the other two, each pausing to see what's become of Benson. Alarms and the sound of an approaching police car sends the getaway car on its way.

Schemer and Ralph see that Benson's face has been eaten away by the acid, and that the safecracker has fainted from the pain, but now "Racer" concentrates on eluding the authorities, but one of the rear tires blows out, sending the car towards the cliff, with two of the gang managing to leap from the speeding car, but "Racer" and Benson have fallen to their watery grave. "Bull's-Eye" tells Schemer that things are happening, just as the wheel predicted, and Schemer knows that when "Racer's" body is recovered, he'll be both bluish and bloated, just as the figure he saw on the wheel. "Bull's-Eye" knows that he's next, wondering what the figure riddled with holes means. Schemer tells him that it's probably a coincidence.

The police arrive and beginning shooting, with "Bull's-Eye" knowing at last what the figure on the wheel meant. Now, Schemer is left, he manages to elude the police and returns to the hideout, where he looks at the wheel, and the image of a man choking to death. Figuring that it means that he's to die in the gas chamber for killing the guard, he decides to leave the state of California for Nevada, where he'll cheat the wheel of his fate. Crossing the border between the states, Schemer knows that he needs money to leave the country...

Seeing a bank, he parks alongside of it, using a tire jack to snap the iron bars on the window, then making his way inside. He listens to the tumblers falling into place, and soon, the door opens. Schemer is eager to see what he can find in the small bank, but there is no money to be found, but then, he realizes that the walls are lines with safety deposit boxes, where no doubt, there are jewels and cash to be had. Heading out of the safe, Schemer retrieves a fire ax...

Schemer pulls the ax back, but it cracks open a pipe, which releases gas into the room! Realizing his predicament, Schemer makes for the door, but finds it slammed shut from the draft of the window he broke. Trapped, he knows that the wheel's prediction has come true, and he can only wonder how it could foresee their misfortunes.

Unfortunately, Schemer and his gang failed to see the figure, which was hidden behind the wheel of misfortune... that of a female figure, which represents Justice!

Dave Wood created Ultra The Multi-Alien and Mr. Freeze. He also wrote Star Hawkins.

In the Silver Age, Amos Fortune would use a different type of wheel, which would cause misfortune for The JLA.

Steve Chung
"The Review of Misfortune"