Thursday, October 25, 2012
At The Stroke Of Midnight!
This remains the scariest single comic book story I've ever read, at least one that was supposed to be scary. It is Jim Steranko's finest single comics work in my opinion. This ghost story is an exquisite gem, that yields more excitement the more you examine it and the many facets which make it sparkle so brilliantly. I think I found it so memorable, because as a young fellow reading it, I did not completely understand what I was beholding, but I knew in my core that what it added up to was some nasty stuff. The tricks with time really pull you along. Sam Rosen must be given kudos also, as his lettering does precisely what it should, be available readily to the eye, but rarely intrusive into the core of the imagery, a real challenge in this tiny panels. Only the great Eisner ever designed a comic book page which compelled the reader so completely and utterly. This is Steranko at the top of his game.
Now I am not gonna dismiss the John Romita cover which adorns the debut issue of Tower of Shadows. The ominous image is a dandy, and while less in your face than Steranko's rejected image, it does give a stronger hint about what is beneath it. I don't think Digger's leering mug is helping though, so Steranko's blending of the logo and box works best for me as far as t hat goes.
All in all a masterpiece of fright.