Transformation Completed is a short story written by Al Feldstein and drawn Wally Wood that appeared in EC’s Weird Science #10 (cover dated Nov/ Dec 1951). Feldstein’s plot here is a simple one although with surprise twist. Widower Emil Hinde is a controlling father who doesn’t approve of his daughter Terry’s boyfriends, especially her current beau Lee. Having given up medical practice, Hinde spends his time concentrating on medical research when he’s not obsessing about ways to control Terry’s life. For her part, Terry seems intent on embracing the 1950s version of YOLO as much as she can and that means marriage in order to escape her father. What Terry is unaware of is the fact that her father conducts experiments on rabbits and it’s this research that Hinde thinks will give him the means to break up Terry and Lee.
Since coming across this story in Fantagraphics’ black and white Spawn of Mars and Other Stories, a compilation of Wally Wood’s EC sci fi work, I’ve wondered what the average reader might have thought about it back in 1951. Much speculation can be made since letter columns didn’t exist in 1950s comics and transgender people weren’t widely known or understood in the US. Just over a year later Christine Jorgensen entered the American consciousness when she was sensationally outed in lurid tabloids. Certainly a transgender theme like this, and Charlton Comics’ Transformations in Space Adventures #7, would have been heavily censored if not outright rejected by the early Comics Code Authority if EC had tried to publish it. One thing is certain though: the surprise ending is the only way this story ever saw print.
Spawn Of Mars And Other Stories is available from Amazon.
Read Transformation Completed to find out if old Emil was successful with his scheming!