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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Horror Key Comics Part 14

And we're back with these horror key comics. During this part we'll be heading out of the Bronze Age and see what the Copper Age has in terms of horror comics.

I do question quite a few of these titles as "actual" horror comics, but it seems that others have placed them within the category. This Part 13 link will bring ya back in case you missed it. Anyways, more monsters, supernatural occult and tales of the weird and frightening.

1st Frank Miller comic artwork

Still a bit undervalued is this comic right here. As mentioned before, Twilight Zone was not a straight horror comic, though it did have horror stories in it.

Regardless, the Twilight Zone #84 has the first Frank Miller comic artwork in the three page story "Royal Feast". Definitely one to consider snagging if you're a fan of Frank Miller. Twilight Zone #84 published by Gold Key has the cover date of June, 1978, and it's no easy find online.

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1st appearance I, Vampire

One of the more popular horror characters that DC Comics introduced in House of Mystery was that of Andrew Bennett also known as I, Vampire. The stories of I, Vampire would eventually take over the title as its featured spotlight character.

I, Vampire followed the anti-hero concept like Werewolf by Night. In his stories, Bennett would deem his transformation a curse and seeks to save his humanity. House of Mystery #290 was published March, 1981.

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1st issue to revived series

The Swamp Thing series was revived with this series, a move done to capitalize on the Wes Craven Swamp Thing movie that came out that summer. This 2nd volume of the Swamp Thing series would see the introduction of John Constantine.

Legendary comic writer Alan Moore would also take over the series and revamp the character, bringing him back to more of a true monster instead of a human turned into a monster. Alan Moore's run on the title would make the comic a success

Saga of the Swamp Thing #1 was published May, 1982.

1st issue to horror series

Inspired by the horror comics the EC put out during the Golden Age, Pacific Comics had a short-run in the horror genre. They did push the envelope in terms of brutal and explicitly sexual stories in the pages of Twisted Tales.

This trend of extreme graphic content would further be followed well into the Copper Age by many other comics and publishers. Twisted Tales #1 was published November, 1982. 

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1st Alan Moore on Swamp Thing

Here we have the issue that marks Alan Moore's first issue on the Swamp Thing. Editor Karen Berger gave Moore free reign over the title.

Thus, Alan Moore did a new origin for the character in the next issue after this one, and made quite a few changes. Swamp Thing was no longer a human turned monster, but truly a monster.

The monster somehow absorbed Alec Holland's consciousness while being exposed to his work. So, for fans of the Swamp Thing and Alan Moore, this is a key issue to definitely get. Saga of the Swamp Thing #20 was published January, 1984.

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1st appearance of John Constantine

The 1st appearance of John Constantine in this issue is still one of the sought out keys from the Copper Age even though the TV series bombed. Constantine is a popular character in the DC universe and his occult themed stories can easily put his comics more nearer to the horror realm of comics.

I've spoken of this comic quite a few times already and it's definitely on my want list. Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 is still a good Copper Age horror-related comic to own, and it was published June, 1985. Character was created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben.

1st appearance of Morpheus

Horror or Dark Fantasy? Whatever. Some consider this comic within the horror genre and some don't even though the it does have a horror setting. Creator Neil Gaiman even admitted that the title did start off as such, but after the first 8 issues, it became more of a fantasy tale but rooted in horror.

This comic was Vertigo's flagship title, and Vertigo is an imprint of DC Comics and was created to publish more mature reading or content than their regular, main titles. Under the direction of Karen Berger, Vertigo drafted some of the most revolutionary writers during the time under their flag.

Alan Moore and Neil Gaimon were just some of the awesome talent as well as Grant Morrison. Neil Gaimon's Sandman was suppose to be revival of the Jack Kirby Sandman, but Berger suggested he create a completely new Sandman. Gaimon did make use of older characters from previous horror titles like Destiny who first appeared in Weird Mystery Tales #1 (1972) and made them part of the Sandman universe and mythos. 

The series was a huge critical success. A movie has been proposed and is still in the works. Sandman #1 was published January, 1989.

1st appearance of Dawn

During the Copper Age, the rise of indie comics would further push the boundaries of acceptable graphic content.

Cry for Dawn by Joseph Michael Linsner and Joseph Monks is a traditional horror anthology comic that had "For Mature Readers" slapped on the cover. Cry for Dawn would be another gory comic that often showed explicit nudity and violent acts.

Cry for Dawn is an indie comic and achieved a cult following and the main character of Dawn proved so popular that she was spun off into her own solo series. The first printing of #1 had 10,000 copies, but the 2nd print of issue #1 only had 2,500 copies printed up if you're into that.

Regardless, if you are a horror comics fan, Cry for Dawn #1 is probably one of the few true horror titles from the Copper Age worth snagging. December, 1989 was when this comic was published.

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After the Bronze Age and revival of horror comics, the Copper Age did see a decline in the popularity of the genre at least in comic books. Some horror-themed titles were still being published, but for the most part, there was a pretty noticeable decline. 

PART 15 is ready for reading. Just click the link to continue onward.


  1. Evil Ernie #1 is also nice copper age horror comic to snag. First appearance of Lady Death and Evil Ernie.

    1. Mr. Ernie Evil will be in Part 15, as two comics that I missed from the Copper Age era that should be in this Part 14 here. 9.8 of Evil Ernie #1 sold for $610 last year in October! Nice!