Halloween Spooktacular 2008

TGIF: Marvel Halloween Spooktacular 2008

Marc Guggenheim, Christos Gage, Marcos Martin and more celebrate Halloween with their personal most frightening Marvel moments!

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Happy Halloween guys, gals and ghouls! We've reached the most horrifying holiday of the year and thus the end of our week-long Halloween Spooktacular celebration. But before we head off to fill our baskets and bellies with goodies, we've got a few more treats in store for you good folks, including our second annual poll of Marvel creators and editors about their most terrifying experiences as Marvel fans (check out last year's edition here). It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
TONY ISABELLA (former writer of CAPTAIN AMERICA): Most of my truly scary Marvel moments involve editors, artists, getting angry phone calls from "martial arts masters," being invited to visit a guarded community after writing "Welcome to Security City" for the POWER MAN title, and getting mugged in my penthouse apartment. Gee, maybe I should write a book about all that stuff someday. However, if you're going to limit me to actual comic books...

TOMB OF
DRACULA

Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan's TOMB OF DRACULA. It was always suspenseful, but, every few issues, they'd throw something really shocking at their readers. The unexpected death of a character. Some scary background information. And the trick that always got me: introducing us to some person, making them an interesting and likeably character, and then killing them in the next panel. No one has ever done an ongoing horror series as well. TOM BREVOORT (Marvel Executive Editor): I don't know about scary per se, but I can remember finding the issues [of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN] involving the original Gwen Stacy's clone storyline being kind of icky and unsettling. Beyond the fact that Gwen suddenly seemed to have returned from the dead, she was walking around like a zombie at the beck and call of the Jackal. And then, when it turned out that the Jackal was Pete and Gwen's crazy biology professor who'd had the hots for Gwen and cloned her after her death—that was some pretty twisted stuff. TODD NAUCK (artist of AMERICAN DREAM): A scary Marvel moment that comes to mind first is when Venom first appeared looking for Peter Parker and found Mary Jane alone in their apartment. She first thought it was Peter in his black costume until she realized it wasn't Peter at all. Venom was very threatening and

Son of Satan

menacing. Peter came home to find her in shock trembling in a corner and he swore he'd get rid of his black costume since it reminded her of her encounter with Venom. CHRISTOS GAGE (co-writer of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE): The Son of Satan scared the daylights out of me as a kid. I mean, he was the Son of Satan! And he had a pitchfork that shot fire! Plus he always looked really, really angry. I could not think of anything good that would come from hanging out with an angry guy with a fire-shooting pitchfork, I can tell you that. MARCOS MARTIN (artist of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN): Scariest Marvel moment? The 90's BILL MESSNER-LOEBS (former writer of THOR): For the purposes of this essay I'm gonna assume that "awe" and "fear" are the same thing. I had been following [UNCANNY X-MEN] about a year and a half when Jean Grey, whose new powers had been hinted at rather than defined, took off Scott Summers' glasses and completely negated the power of his Cyclops blasts, so she could see his eyes while they made love. Now all we constant readers knew those blasts could break through solid steel and stagger the Hulk. He never removed his goggles and the few times he

Bullseye kills
Elektra

had, chaos had been let loose. So the fact that Jean could effortlessly, on a whim, make those powers...not exist...sent a shiver of pure superstitious terror down my spine. Bad things were gonna happen. And they did. STEVE WACKER (Marvel editor): There's no scarier panel ever than the shot of Bullseye killing Elektra from DAREDEVIL #181. That panel alone aged me from 12-to-26 in a split second. LAUREN HENRY (Marvel assistant editor): The latest incarnation of the Phalanx, in last year's Annihilation Conquest, scared the bejeezus out of me. The first time you see their infestation signature on a character—this weird cross-hatching around the eyes, as if there's something crawling just under the skin…oh man, it still creeps me out. MARC GUGGENHEIM (writer of YOUNG X-MEN): What moment scared me the most? MARVILLE. Is this a trick question? Runners up: KICKERS, INC., Sue Storm's "sexy" costume and Obnoxio the Clown. RALPH MACCHIO (Marvel Senior Editor): I think the time I was most scared for one of my heroes was way back in an early JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY featuring Thor, in which he fought the Destroyer for the first time.

Howard Hellstorm

This guy had been made virtually all powerful by Odin himself, so even Thor wasn't going to be able to stop him. But the panel that really made me fear for the Thunder God's life was when the Destroyer unleashed a bolt of "limitless force" from his very fingertips and sliced Thor's uru hammer in two! Gahhhh! I thought nothing could damage Mjolnir, but the Destroyer did it and now I thought it was all over for my hero. But the son of Asgard survived by his wits and made it through. For Asgaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard!! BILL ROSEMANN (Marvel editor): I was too young to fully understand the story within, but there was a HOWARD THE DUCK cover that featured him in a Hellstorm costume that scared the beejeezies out of me. I was used to Donald and Daffy—not Satan's feathered friend! MICHAEL HORWITZ (Marvel assistant editor): Three words: Flesh. And. Bones. I thought nothing could possibly out-creep the Needle (see SPIDER-WOMAN v2 #9, back issue hunters!), the gimp-masked terrorist who walked around in a onesie with a sewing needle the size of a crowbar and literally stitched up people's mouths.

Flesh and Bones

I was wrong. Like everyone else, I read THE LONERS and fell in love with Mattie Franklin, the former Spider-Woman who occasionally sprouts these pot-sticker things from her back and sasses people. So I went and dug up her late 90's series to see what sort of cuteness she got up to back in the day. The book isn't cute. Instead, Mattie fights Flesh and Bones, two supermodel sisters who sold their souls to stay skinny; one turned into a skeleton and the other…into a giant bag of skin that eats people and then throws them back up. Oh, and in case that wasn't horrible enough, they let their other sister die because she was fat. Oh, and Mattie gets eaten by Flesh and rips her way out like an alien tearing through John Hurt's intestines. And then we meet the twins' demonic parents, who of course wear cod-pieces. I'm not making this up and I'm sure there's a metaphor somewhere....but I don't really care. I'm too busy booking my next therapist's appointment. PHIL JIMENEZ (artist of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN): Um, hello! Comics aren't scary, they're funny! Everybody knows that! Check out the official Marvel Shop for the best mighty Marvel merchandise!

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