Thursday, June 26, 2008

Memoirs of a Bronze Age Baby: The Unexpected #220

Although I loved monster movies, horror comics and all things that go bump in the night as a kid, I think that deep down, I was a bit of a scaredy cat. I liked all of those things, but i always approached them with some trepidation. The fact that I had terrible recurring nightmares involving werewolves and King Kong probably didn't help, but I soldiered on. I would have been 9 years old when this issue came out (right around Christmas, 1981). It was definitely the Joe Kubert cover that sold me on it, as I don't think that I'd bought a copy of the Unexpected before this one. What a Cover! So innovative, so eye catching, so... well, unexpected.

Looking back, the DC anthologies from 1973 suffered greatly from inconsistency, but this one is rally quite good. I re-read it the other day, and I was surprised at how many of the images had stuck in my mind. The lead story is a partial rip-off of EC's "All Through the House"story about a less than jolly Santa Claus. Nothing original, but well done - very suspenseful. The next story is a rather haunting tale of aliens and love. The third story is probably my favourite, as it involves the some young tourists getting their comeuppance. Having seen the trailer for 'The Ruins', I get the feeling that those producers owned this comic as well. The final story is a very original and charming story about a troll who ultimately ends up under the Brooklyn Bridge with very nice Paris Cullins art. I read this one repeatedly as a kid, and I am so happy to say that it still holds up quite well. Just seeing that Kubert cover makes me fell warm all over.

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