Sunday, March 4, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: December, 1983

ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

December was something of a turning point month for me as a collector. See, I remember wanting to buy G.I. Joe a Real American Hero #21, since Snake-Eyes was the shizzle, but I didn't because a friend was already collecting that book. However, I don't think he ever bought that issue. He did get Uncanny X-Men #179, where my girlfriend Kitty Pryde was being forced to wed a hideous Morlock, but I only got to toss through his copy. I would eventually own all three issues of Marvel's The A-Team mini-series, which were as terrible as they sound, but not for some months (thanks to a dollar store handmade three-pack.) This was not nearly as rewarding as owning the G.I. Joe or X-Men issues would have been.

I bought Hercules, Prince of Power #1, probably due to some misplaced loyalty after having seen the badly dubbed Lou Ferrigno/Sybil Danning Italian film at the theater earlier that year. The comic was probably better than the movie, and I did enjoy that crisp Bob Layton art, but I was not prepared from the "hilarious" gender confusion related to Herc romancing a disguised male Skrull masquerading as a beautiful woman. Also, it was a sequel to an earlier mini-series, so I was annoyed by cornball supporting characters like Recorder and the inexplicable future setting. In fact, subsequent reading in comics and myth made me come to really dislike Hercules in every way, so much that I enjoy Wonder Woman kicking his sorry ass more than is probably appropriate.

Speaking of which, I got Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #88, on whose cover Mr. Hyde prepared to tear Black Cat in two. I swear to you, I never tortured animals are set things on fire, so I cannot explain my fixation with evil done to Felicia Hardy. Today I'd just chalk it up to an irrational hatred of analogues, which would also get me off the hook on the battery of Mockingbird. All this is to say I never cared much for Hyde or his unlikely partner Cobra, so the contents of the actual issue escape me. Not enough cleavage and bloodletting, clearly.

I'm going to let Nathaniel Dusk, Private Investigator #1 in as a squeaker, if only to represent for DC. I bought a water damaged copy of this off a spinner rack at a flea market in the mid-eighties. That bends the rules of this project, but I feel there are enough essential key words in that last sentence to allow for it. This was a moody period number by Don McGregor and Gene Colan, harmed by the funky coloring as DC worked out the process for their upscale printing. I doubt it was revelatory to anyone familiar with Mickey Spillane, but its casual domestic violence was jarring to a kid, and I still feel a little regret over never seeking out the entire mini-series (though I did score #2 out of a quarter box circa 1989.)

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