Cool Comic Covers is a weekly (almost) look back at some of the most interesting, intriguing, and engaging artwork in pop culture. This week:

Fear #1, by Marvel Comics

I don’t know why I love swamp monsters. It has something to do with the primal idea of the very earth or soil coming alive beneath you, perhaps. Or the idea of “ashes to ashes, muck to muck”? Or maybe as horror stories go, generally speaking it’s gross, without being gory.

Regardless, swamp monsters are one horror trope that I gravitate to.

Anyway, i discovered this after a publisher asked me to write a story about a character named “Monstrom”. Now, the character called “Monstrom” has nothing to do with swamp monsters, and I doubt that the publisher had even heard of this obscure Marvel comic. But I was delighted to find it!

Drawn by Jack Kirby, he also drew the seven page short story featuring “Monstrom”. If collectibles like this weren’t so pricey (this issue runs about $70, from what I’ve found) I’d have this in my collection. It’s a great example of swamp monster-ness!

Later, much later, Marvel would debut Man-Thing and DC would debut Swamp Thing — two other swamp monsters I’m a fan of. But I also enjoy these one-off swamp monster stories, and Monstrom, to me, is a much truer example of what a swamp monster really should look like. I’m sure Man-Thing and Swamp Thing will show up later in a future Cool Comic Covers entry, of course.

~ Ben

Previous Cool Comic Covers:
#3 — “From Beyond the Unknown” #12
#2 — “Action Comics” #419
#1 — “Weird Science-Fantasy” #27

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