Saturday, October 19, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19

Monster: Baba Yaga

Appearance: "The Dragon's Eye - Part 2: Russian Into Danger" Scooby-Doo #60. July 2002.

Joe Staton: Penciller, Horacio Ottolini: Inker, Tom Orzechowski: Letterer, Paul Becton: Colorist, Digital Chameleon: Separations, Harvey Richards: Assistant Editor, Joan Hilty: Editor

The old crone of Russian folklore, Baba Yaga flies through the forests, perched within her giant mortar and propels herself with the matching pestle. The wind blows upon her arrival, and wailing ghosts often accompany her on her travels. She erases any traces of her passing with a silver birch broom. 

While she often bestows wisdom and magical gifts upon virtuous heroes, encountering Baba Yaga is more often something to be avoided. As a reminder of this, the witches home is surrounded with a fence made of bones, topped with lantern eyed skulls. 

Baba Yaga lives in a screeching mobile hut which sits atop huge chicken legs, which walk it through the forest. The hut's windows serve as eyes, and it seems to have a personality of its own.  For servants, she has three pairs of eerie, bodiless hands to carry out her bidding. 

Baba Yaga was one of six different culture specific villains used in "The Dragon's Eye," a serial story I crafted for Scooby-Doo which took the Mystery Inc. gang around the globe in a race against a mysterious villain, who used characters from regional folklore as identities under which to commit crimes. In this case, the crime was the theft was of a special Faberge egg, and Baba Yaga's mortar was dressed up hover platform controlled by a steering mechanism in the pestle. 

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