The Heap

Cover to Airboy ComicThe HEAP first appeared in HILLMAN Comics' Airboy Comics series with #4 back in 1945. He also showed up in the ECLIPSE Comics' AIRBOY series in 1986.

The Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections Division Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection lists the following information about appearances the Heap has made:

The Von Emmelman Castle
8 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 4, no. 7 (Aug. 1947)
SUMMARY: Old Mr. Turner has had the Von Emmelman Castle shipped from Germany, stone by stone; Turner's heirs suspect each other of killing him, but the Heap, prowling through his boyhood castle, turns up the real murderer: an embezzling attorney.
I. The Heap. k. Castles. k. Heirs. k. Embezzlement. k. Attorneys. k. Lawyers. Call no.: PN6728.1.H5A35v.4no.7

The Man-Eating Plants in the Sacred Acre
8 p. in Airboy Comics v. 5, no. 1 (Feb. 1948)
SUMMARY: A wealthy grandfather dies in South America and is buried(consumed by giant man-eating plants) in The Sacred Acre; his granddaughter Estella and her renegade cousin Delos from Chicago struggle over the rancho; The Heap sees film of Delos cheating his former self (Baron Von Emmelman) at polo, and feeds Delos and friends to the man-eating plants.
I. The Heap. k. Plants. k. The Sacred Acre. k. Grandfathers. k. South America. k. Burial. k. Chicago. k. Cheating. k. Polo. Call no.: PN6728.1.H5A35v.5no.1
The Ugly Murders
8 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 5, no. 6 (July 1948)
SUMMARY: A man who murders people because he is ugly, meets the Heap and goes into shock at seeing someone uglier than himself.
I. The Heap. k. Murders. Call no.: Film 15791, r.104
The Messenger of Death
8 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 6, no. 8 (Sept. 1949)
SUMMARY: Death's messenger shows up to claim a relative of Baron Von Emmelman, mistaking him for the missing aviator; The Heap's origin is retold, and Mother Nature shows up to defend both The Heap and his relative.
I. The Heap. k. Death. k. Relatives. k. Origins. k. Mother Nature. Call no.: Film 15791, r.105
Egyptian Book of the Dead
9 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 7, no. 7 (Aug. 1950)
SUMMARY: August Bocke drank a preparation made by Von Emmelman from heiroglypic instructions and is cursed with eternal life; Bocke searches the pyramids looking for the Book of the Dead; the Heap catches up with him in passageways under the Sphinx.
I. The Heap. k. Book of the Dead. k. Heiroglyphics. k. Eternal Life. k. Curses. k. Pyramids. k. The Sphinx. Call no.: Film 15791, r.259
Monster Sequence
7 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 7, no. 11 (Dec. 1950)
SUMMARY: A horror film crew witnesses a struggle between the Heap and another monster on a Danish island.
I. The Heap. k. Horror Films. k. Film Crews. k. Danish Islands. k. Islands. Call no.: Film 15791, r.259
The Hands of La Manchez
9 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 7, no. 12 (Jan. 1951)
SUMMARY: Mysterious hands order a Spanish bullfighter to betray his friend in the ring; he decides to die himself instead, but The Heap saves him.
I. The Heap. k. Spanish Bullfighters. k. Bullfighters. k. Rings. k. Death. Call no.: Film 15791, r.259
Fire Queen of the Andes
9 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 8, no. 7 (Aug. 1951)
SUMMARY: A volcano called the Fire Queen of the Andes gives off rejuvenating vapors, that soon also turn the user to stone.
I. The Heap. k. The Andes. k. Volcanoes. k. Rejuvenation. k. Petrification. k. Vapors. k. Stone. Call no.: PN6728.1.H5A35v.8no.7
The Black Panther
8 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 9, no. 4 (May 1952)
SUMMARY: The tyrant of ancient Rome's Cyprus was called the Black Panther for the cruelty of the gladiatorial games he held; his descendant, Joe Scorpio from Chicago, tries to revive the games and The Heap intercedes.
I. The Heap. k. Panthers. k. Tyrants. k. Ancient Rome. k. Rome. k. Cyprus. k. Cruelty. k. Chicago. k. Gladiators. Call no.: Film 15791, r.33
The Man of Moonlight
6 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 9, no. 5 (June 1952)
Title from magazine cover.
I. The Heap. k. Moonlight. Call no.: Film 15791, r.33
The Seventh Gargoyle
7 p. in Airboy Comics, v. 9, no. 7 (Aug. 1952)
SUMMARY: In 16th-century France, a gargoyle stolen on the day the new cathedral is finished comes to life and haunts the town, until The Heap defeats it.
I. The Heap. k. Gargoyles. k. 16th-Century France. k. France. k. Cathedrals. k. Coming to Life. k. Haunting. Call no.: Film 15791, r.33
(p. 30) in The Collector's Guide : The First Heroic Age, by Jerry Bails (Detroit, Mich. : J. Bails, 1969). -- Call no.: PN6725.B28 1969
(p. 376) in The World Encyclopedia of Comics / ed. by Maurice Horn (Philadelphia : Chelsea House, 1999) -- Call no.: PN6710.W6 1999
(p. 407) in Crawford's Encyclopedia of Comic Books, by Hubert H. Crawford (Middle Village, N.Y. : Jonathan David Publishers, 1978). -- Call no.: PN6725.C7 1978
(p. 22) in The Encyclopedia of American Comics, ed. by Ron Goulart (New York : Facts on File, 1990). Call no.: PN6725.E64 1990
(p. 135) in The Great Women Superheroes / Trina Robbins (Northampton, Mass. : Kitchen Sink Press, 1996) Call no.: PN6725.R59 1996
(p. 956) in Historia de los Comics / J. Toutain, J. Coma (Barcelona : Toutain, 1982-1984?) -- Call no.: PN6710.H5 1982a
(p. 74) in Horror Comics, the Illustrated History, by Mike Benton (Dallas, Tex. : Taylor, 1991) -- Call no.: PN6725.B383H6 1991
(p. 309-310, 447, ill. 310) in The World Encyclopedia of Comics, ed. by Maurice Horn (New York : Chelsea House, 1976). Call no.: PN6710.W6 1976
Outer Sanctum!
(Dep't: Horror) / art: W. Elder. in Mad, no. 5 (June-July 1953)
Notes: Radio, Inner Sanctum, The Heap. -- Data from index in Mad #350 -- Reprint call no.: PN6728.2.E15M3a 1986
Heap Mini Series : archival files assembled by Eclipse Comics. -- 1 folder : ill. ; 25 x 38 cm. -- Call no.: MS213

The Image years

Heap has also made some more recent appearances. Michael Huffman first alerted me to these appearances in an Image news item:

Monstrous comic character The Heap will make his return in Spawn #72. SPAWN creator Todd McFarlane purchased the bankrupt ECLIPSE three years ago, acquiring such properties as AIRBOY, The BLACK TERROR, MIRACLEMAN, and The HEAP,says "I've been spreading the layers of SPAWN out for over 70 issues now. I intend to begin another layer with some of the ECLIPSE Comics characters. Not with a bunch of new books, but with characters that will enhance the SPAWN foundation that has already been built."

Cover to Spawn 73Well, The Heap storyline actually made its appearance in Spawn issue 73:

This continued in issues 74 and 75as well.

According to the new origin by Todd McFarlane & Brian Holguin the Heap was Eddie Beckett, a street bum who died in an alleyway holding a pile of Spawn's NECROPLASM. Next thing he knew a toxic beast had staked a claim on his body, stripping flesh off bones and forming The Heap. The character bears no relation to its earlier incarnation. I can't really see why they just didn't create a new name to go with the new character..

About the only good thing to come out of this was that McFarlane Toys have produced an action figure of The Heap as part of the Spawn Series 12 toy range.

Picture of the Heap figure

As one of the few Muck Monster accessories ever made this is one for all us swamp-heads to track down.

Other references:

  • PSYCHO (Jan.1971 - #24,Mar.1975)
    (Skywald Publishing; B+W magazine) M-049 #2 VG/FN $ 10.00 (3/71)
    1st app. The Heap, Frankenstein series-b!
  • The Heap is mentioned in Steranko's History of Comics Vol. 2, along with Airboy...
  • I am told that The Heap has made an appearance in a Miracleman comic. Anyone know which one?