Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Batman 290!

Ever find something again after decades that really freaked the hell out of you at the time?

Something you'd forgotten about completely, probably from way back in your childhood - and then, decades later, it just re-appears out of nowhere, with no warning, no context, and a big shudder goes up your spine, you flash cold, and there's that spasm of dumb fear where your brain recognizes the thing, but before it's figured out what it is or why it knows the thing - and it's sort of like the vertigo spins now, everything crashing inwardly for a frozen long minute, and then you think OH - MY - GOD!!!?

I love those moments.

For me, the Jack Chick comicbooks (stuff like Exorcists or Chaos, not the tracts) were like that.

And Batman 290 was like that.

Originally published in August 1977, which means I would have been almost five years old at the time. I just happened upon this picture the other day while surfing, and I almost collapsed in my chair with the gibbering horrors.

I've since read up on the storyline, and frankly it sounds pretty dumb to me now (Skull Dugger's Killjoy Capers!?); at the time though, as a little kid back in '77, whoo -- that story, and most particularly this cover by Mike Grell, seemed really, really scary.

I guess it was the one-two punch of Batman, powerless and held back by demons he's not even aware of, while at the same time you've got the creepy-looking Skull Dugger killing this guy (who is obviously in great pain) by projecting a skull onto his forehead.

Crazy stuff.

If you've got a I-saw-this-thing-and-it-freaked-me-out similar story, I'd love to hear it!

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