Dime Mystery Meme #8: Mad science protagonists

Dime Mystery Meme #7: Mad embalmers
Dime Mystery Meme #9: Mad science victims

With mad science we get into some tropes I really love. There’s a lot of illustration here, so I’m going to divide it across two categories: protagonists and victims. The protagonists are female characters who are someone participants in, or in opposition to, some mad science venture or another. Let’s begin with some protagonists, like this very late-period cover, from May 1945.

Unfortunately I don’t have much information about this cover, but a read suggests that while there’s fear here, our cover girl might be being given a warning that she might be able to do something about, rather than a premonition of unavoidable fate.

More spooky perhaps is from way back at the start of Dime Mystery’s publication history, this cover from March 1934 (issue ISFDB entry here.

Our heroine is getting an injection from a shady character, but at the same time this doesn’t read like a coercive situation. She’s not bound or held at gunpoint; rather, she’s looking in a mirror with what looks to me like a hopeful expression. Does the mystery shot convey beauty? Restore youth? To be sure, if this young woman knew what sort magazine her story was in, she might not be quite hopeful, but still, this illustration is a long way from the norm for the shudder pulps.

In at least one instance in Dime Mystery’s publication history, again fairly late (September 1942), we have a heroine who goes to full-on gun-wielding protagonism.

I don’t know the details of the story, but it sure looks like Dr. Mad here is about to get his ass kicked — or perhaps his brain punted.

2 thoughts on “Dime Mystery Meme #8: Mad science protagonists

  1. That evil nurse with the gun threatening the poor man with the brain transplant and the neck electrodes… she is doing everything she can to threaten his cyborg-American rights. Horrors, indeed!

  2. Whose brain was it?
    Abbey something-or-other..

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