Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
Creatures on the Loose #30 – July, 1974
Cover art by Gil Kane
Who’s excited for the Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse tonight? Unless you are a full-fledged lycanthrope, ruing the day you became afflicted with your shape-shifting curse, then you’ve gotta be pumped for this event, which hasn’t happened since 1982 and that we won’t see again for another 18 years.
To help celebrate the incredible astronomical spectacle, this week’s CCCC is going to focus on our therianthropic brethren, specifically Marvel’s Man-Wolf, also known as John Jameson, son of the infamous Daily Bugle publisher (and ultimate Spider-Man hater), J. Jonah Jameson.
John was a test pilot/astronaut and he actually appeared in the very first issue of Amazing Spider-Man back in 1963, when Spidey saved his test space-capsule from crashing. He would go on to be seen in several other Spider-Man storylines throughout the years, but in 1973 his life took a terrible turn for the worse.
In Amazing Spider-Man #124, John Jameson returned from a mission to the moon, where he acquired a weird gemstone souvenir on its surface, which he has attached to a necklace that he wears. But the moonstone has grafted to his skin and is turning the unfortunate astronaut into a white-haired werewolf with an extreme dislike for ol’ web-head.
I’ve always enjoyed it when Marvel mixes old school horror characters with their modern day superheroes, like the X-Men meeting the Frankenstein Monster, or even having the Silver Surfer go up against Dracula (yes, it really did happen.) But I’ve always had special love in my heart for the John Jameson/Man-Wolf – Peter Parker/Spider-Man – J. Jonah Jameson love/hate triangle.
In Creatures on the Loose #30, shortly after his debut in ASM, Man-Wolf got his own series as he took over as the book’s headliner (a position previously held by “Thongor, Warrior of Lost Lemuria!”) The junior Jameson would go on to appear in several other non-Spidey books, in various guises, and he even had a brief appearance in the Spider-Man 2 movie, firing my hopes that we might one day see Man-Wolf on the big screen. It could still happen…
In the meantime, while we’re waiting for the Blood Moon to appear, join me in hearing “the action come alive” in this YouTube video (below) of Amazing Spider-Man #124, which was one of the book & record sets that Marvel produced back in the seventies. You can also learn more about the “Blood Moon” by checking out this article on usatoday.com.
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