Marvel Comics and Horror: A long Relationship

ARTICLE4If you are a fan of Marvel you’ll know that it was much more than just the superheroes that we tend to see today. There has always been a side to the comics that touch on the world of horror, but they also released comics that were much more focused on the scarier side of life.

When we look at the pop culture phenomenon that Marvel is these days, the focus on the superheroes and the many super villains provides an almost family friendly product that can be used for movies, can be licensed for games for people that want to explore play bingo or other fun times and now look to be moving into bigger Triple A style games. Will we see the more horrific characters from Marvel’s past? It will be interesting to see.

When we look to the more mainstream horror side of Marvel there is of course characters like the Green Goblin whose fantastical look and maniacal behaviour could easily live in the world of horror. Of course if we want something even darker, you don’t have to look much further than Venom and Carnage for the more extreme. If you want to take a look at even darker and more tragic characters, there are more than a few characters in the Marvel Universe that will feed that urge for blood, carnage and villainous motivations.

Other characters that fit in this mould are arguably people such as Dr. Doom and even more obviously Dr. Morbius. Trying to cure himself of a rare blood disease, his experimentations with vampire bats led to the inevitable…becoming a vampire.

Moving away from the superhero stories though Marvel have a history of horror comics such as Werewolf by Night (which you have to go all the way back to 1971 for and you can pick up for a good $1,000 at least!!). A superhero of a kind, the werewolf was seen as more of a tragic character suffering from his lycanthropic urges. What Werewolf by Night proved though was that Marvel could have a popular horror comic.

With the success of Werewolf by Night it also saw crossover events, with Spider-Man, and even Dracula. The Spider-Man event comic, Marvel Team-Up #12 released in October 1973 was important because it showed the continuity of the Marvel Universe.

If you are a horror fan it is well worth reading more about Marvel’s horror releases and how they influenced the current generation of superheroes. The terrors of the night may have been ghoulish, but they also have their place in Marvel history.


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