Dec 20, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 299: Superman #328, October 1978


There was something sinister going on in this comics. A strange Kryptonian virus capable of fusing different kinds of matter with living tissue comes to Earth, intent on fusing with Superman. The virus is a semi-sentient micro-organism that becomes sentient and craves power. I'll say, from a very early age, the idea of a disease that becomes sentient and starts taking over the body has terrified me. In fifth grade, the teacher read to us at Halloween from a collection called The Headless Roommate and Other Stories. It was gory and silly, but I was a sensitive kid, and one of the stories was about that very thing. And every since I've had it in the back of my head when I get sick.

So here, Superman is taking on a very personal fear of mine. It would be fascinating to go back through the history of villains he's confronted and see how many actually are manifestations of deep set fears. Perhaps that's better as a thought experiment than an actual one.

The second feature is a weird little mystery tale, a bit gothic actually, in which Clark helps to expose a decades old murder at a creepy old house. Corrupt lineages, seemingly magical occurrences - sort of the same era as the Wrightson/Wein Swamp Thing. Was there a strange, superheroic Gothic revival at DC in the mid to late Seventies?

All signs point to yes.

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