Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: March, 1984

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.

In March of 1984, I bought the digest Best of DC #49 from my most reliable source for new comics, the neighborhood 7-11. I can't explain why I would do that. I've never been big on the cutesy animal genre, and the dated humor did not tickle my funnybone. I think I just liked the cover by Jim Engel, and was roped in by the unfulfilled promise of a good time. At least when Stanley and His Monster showed up in Kevin Smith's Green Arrow, I had a legitimate frame of reference (whereas he probably had a copy of Who's Who.)

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #91, why did I buy you? The appearance of the Black Cat? Black costume Spider-Man? Misplaced allegiance to Al Milgrom? How could any of that trump the horror of heroes trapped in the flesh folds of a nearly nude and thoroughly rotund Blob? Maybe it was the melodrama of the seeming demise of Unus the Untouchable, a victim of his own powers, who otherwise meant nothing at all to me? For some reason, the Blob sobbing wide runny tears at the end stuck in my mind.

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #3 was a bit too true to its name. The first I'd heard of the series was when I eavesdropped on some older kids talking about it at a flea market booth. I guess reading 0-2 new comics a month wasn't keeping me in the loop. I asked the dealer about it (probably my first conversation with a "specialist," as opposed to someone with a stack of well read comics to sell for a couple of bits each in the corner with the other children's stuff.) He pointed to a bagged and boarded copy of #1 up on a wall for $12.00. Dear Lord, how could any comic be worth such a fantastic amount of money? This must be the next "Dark Phoenix!" I could only swing the cover-priced third issue, which itself reflected a painful fifteen cent cost increase across the Marvel line. It was an okay story, with Spider-Man punking the X-Men. I didn't understand why heroes were at such odds with one another, but it was neat to see them all in one place with nice art. I decided to try to collect the rest of the series, and for the most part, I did (a first!)

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