Last week, comic book writer Jim Zub introduced the #fourcomics hashtag, looking for comics that influenced people growing up. There are so many different ways that could be taken, and the response has had all of us digging into our long boxes to seek out long lost treasures.
First up on my list is Star Wars #1. This is one of the first comics I ever remember reading, and it started me slowly towards my lifelong love for the comic book medium. Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, and Marie Severin adapted George Lucas’ screenplay into a six-part series, which actually debuted BEFORE the movie launched. Based on the success of the movie, Marvel made Star Wars into an ongoing monthly comic, albeit with their hands tied by story constraints imposed by LucasFilm. The series ran for nine years, ending with issue #107.
Next up is DC Special Series #1, a.k.a. DC’s 5 Star Super-Hero Spectacular. This was a case where I saw the cover and just had to have it. The cover is done by Neal Adams. In recent years, as Adams has rejoined the comic convention circuit, I have picked up a black & white print of this cover, which hangs in my nerd cave. The comic itself featured five of my most favorite members of the Justice League/Super Friends. Truthfully, these were probably inventory stories that DC had already purchased – the Batman story was intended for the Kobra title which had been canceled. But don’t view these as filler stories. This comic lived up to its title billing, as all five stories are solid reads.
I also included Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #11. My knowledge of Spidey came from his adventures on The Electric Company. Medusa, with her living hair, scared the heck out of me as a kid. in doing research for my Essential Showcase site, it appears that this story was originally intended for Marvel Team-Up, but it appears the “Dreaded Deadline Doom” struck the PPTSSM creative team, and forced Marvel to find a story to put in there that month.
Finally, I listed Emergency! #1, which I never knew existed until I was much older. As a kid, Johnny and Roy were my first heroes. I had the MEGO figures and the Emergency! board game and I was a faithful viewer of the new episodes and the reruns. If I had known about this comic, I would have been all over it as a kid. The cover is by Joe Staton, who I normally associate with DC Comics, and the interior art is done by John Byrne. Amazing stuff!
OK, that’s my #fourcomics! Now take a moment and tell me yours!