Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DC Serial Romance Story - Alex Toth's "20 Miles to Heartbreak" Part Two

Part two originally published in
Secret Hearts #141 (January 1970)*
Cover image from the Grand Comics Database

Ready for the second installment of the four-part DC serial romance story, "20 Miles to Heartbreak?" Get caught up here on the first episode of the Alex Toth/Vince Colletta illustrated story and then read on to find out what happens next!

Part two begins with Melanie accepting a ride from Juan (the bandleader) after deciding to run away from home. It so happens that he too is trying to make his way to New York. Melanie worries that he is leaving because of the incident at the club, but Juan assures her that he has a job set up there and all is cool. As he drives, Juan tells Melanie that the incident wasn't the first time he had felt the sting of prejudice.

As they continue to make their way down the road, Melanie dozes off and begins to think about all the troubles that caused her to leave... her "arranged" marriage to Bill... her mother's overbearing pushiness... her intense romantic feelings for her stepfather...

Juan snaps Melanie out of it when he stops the car at a restaurant for some eats. Juan is very much aware of the fact that upon their entrance, they are looked over by their fellow diners.

Melanie eases Juan's mind by telling him that their stares are inconsequential to her. With a new sense of confidence, Juan asks Melanie out on the dance floor.

The two dance and as Juan stares into Melanie's eyes he utters melancholy words, "Funny, eh, Chicquita [sic], that we had to meet the way we did... on a lonely highway... leaving town...?" Melanie answers that it is sad that it was the only way they even could meet. The two lament over their star-crossed romance, doomed from the start just because they come from different ethnic backgrounds. Things come to a head when the couple is confronted by an older man and woman who threaten to tell Melanie's mother about her liaisons with a "foreigner." As Melanie makes a run for it, she is hit by a car. As Juan rushes to Melanie's side, the bigoted couple cite the accident as punishment for her sins.

Melanie has been rendered unconscious. In her unaware state, the faces of her stepfather, Bill, and Juan fill her head, silently tormenting her. When Melanie comes to, she realizes she is back at home -- the place that is the source of all her troubles. Her mother informs her that Juan has been put in jail and they will try to convince a judge that he lured her into running off from the start. As Melanie protests, an unknown visitor enters, visibly shaking Melanie's mother to her core.

Ohhhh! Who could it be???
I guess you will just have to wait
until next time to find out!

*Scans for this installment are from the reprint issue, Young Love #123 (January 1977)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Vince Colletta's inks obliterated almost all traces of Alex Toth's art.
    Still I find myself rooting for Melanie and Juan. Looking forward to further installments.

    Jake Oster