- Codey – Bunty Picture Story Library #343 (1991)
Amy inherits her Great Uncle Harry’s ventriloquist dummy, which surprises her as she didn’t know him that well. What surprises her more though, is when Codey (the dummy) starts talking to her. He gets her in trouble when people think she is throwing her voice, saying nasty things. He wants to make it big, but Amy tries to refuse. He threatens her family, so she has to go along with things.
She unsuccessfully tries to get rid of him a few times, which doesn’t make Codey to happy. It seems he is getting stronger, and has the power to get inside her head and make her say things like she was the Dummy! At a show, she runs into an old man, Mr Morton, who claims Harry stole Codey from him years ago. Codey says horrible things to Morton and the old man collapses. Later Amy goes to visit Mr Morton in hospital, she talks to his daughter who tells her that Codey is a jinx and she should get rid of him. Amy decides to donate him to a museum, but Codey doesn’t want that. Amy puts him down stairs so she won’t have to listen to him all night. The living room catches on fire that night. Luckily Amy and her family escape but Codey is burnt up.
Evil dolls/ventriloquist dummies another common theme for these comics. As I’ve mentioned before, the picture story libraries were more limited in what they could compared to ongoing weekly issues . So a story like Charlie Chatterbox, had more depth to his character and the story had more of a build up to his motivations. Codey is simply evil and there is a lot of unanswered questions in the story.
It is unclear why Uncle Harry left the dummy to Amy in the first place, although it could be because he was still under the influence of Codey. How Codey could not only talk but also make Amy say things and influence her dreams is a mystery. The idea of a dummy making words coming out of someone else, is interesting but it is only used once, so it’s hardly developed. It seems to be a just a throwaway power for the convenience of one scene.
The parents are a bit pushy, they do relent in the end when Amy says she doesn’t want to do ventriloquism anymore, but first they just sign her up for talent contests and don’t even listen to her. So Amy has a hard time, with being scared by Codey and pushed by her parents. She does try to stand up for herself at times and she is concerned about keeping her family safe, but a lot of time she just seems helpless.
Codey’s motives just seem to be to get famous, but he doesn’t help himself by being rude and sometimes nasty to everyone including the agents that are there to help him. There is no potential nice side to him. He is just nasty and evil. His act usually involves him being cruel. He doesn’t want to end up in a museum, but you’d think if he was that powerful he could find some way around it, he sat up in Harry’s attic for so long, you’d thing he had patience. Somehow he throws himself on to the electric fire, so he can avoid going to museum and probably hopes to take whole family with him.
I quite like the cover art, it is not crowded and looks interesting, the dummy looks mean and creepy. The art inside isn’t bad but again, I think “Charlie Chatterbox” made better use of shadows and angles to make a dummy seem bigger and more threatening. Codey is a menacing character and the story isn’t bad but it is a story that has been done better before.