Saturday, January 25, 2014

MY FAVORITE COMICS - Marvel Treasury Edition The Astonishing Spider-Man #18

This one was my gateway into the Marvel universe way back in the late 1970s and I must say I was scared. I still couldn't read but I was smart enough to follow the story though the drawings and they generated strong emotions in me. Nowadays I'd probably list this as horror fiction and like the best horror it made me feel simultaneously repulsed and attracted to this strange world. I already knew Spider-man from the animation tv series with the catchy intro song (Spider-man, Spider-man, does whatever a spider can ...) and all the related merchandise but seeing him on print felt different: I found him scary! The guest-heroes on this book (the original X-Men, the Werewolf, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist) seemed like monsters and the villains... well, if the heroes were scary, then the villains were the stuff of nightmares. To this day I can still remember the unmasking of The Orb, villain on the Ghost Rider adventure, and the strange fate of Drom, the Backwards Man, villain on the Iron Fist segment. There are so many images from this comic that I still find haunting like the covers by Bob Budiansky and Ernie Chan or the initial splash page of the X-Men crossover, pencilled by Gil Kane and featuring Peter Parker having a nightmare with Morbius the Living Vampire. Imagination unbound!

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