A seemingly simple, 2-page story of Doctor Occult, the Ghost Detective, actually requires a lot of unpacking. One point is that, in the climactic scene, the scientist seems to be casting a spell, one that can transmute, or polymorph, a human being into a small statuette. It's worth pointing out again that the narrator specifically refers to the villain as a scientist.
Another point is that we see Dr. Occult's magic symbol reflecting the spell back on the scientist. Now, this seems very much like the Superhero power Turn Gun on Bad Guy, but the scientist has no visible weapon. A less literal interpretation of the power might allow it to reflect any form of attack. Or perhaps we need a new spell for spell reflection.
The difficulty we're seeing here in Doctor Occult we've seen before -- it's the trope of magic and advanced science being indistinguishable and it tends to play havoc with a set of game mechanics that tries very hard to keep magic and science separate. Ultimately, I'll have to look at whether this is really the exception, or is it the rule, when dealing with magic in comic books. The latter situation could require a drastic overhaul of H&H.
(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)