Creatures on the Loose #26
I was born the same year this comic came out but if I was of comic reading age when it was released there would be no way I could resist buying this from the newsstand. The cover is amazing. Please allow me to elaborate.
First up is the corner box and the logo. Back when comics were sold on a newsstand they were usually lined up in such a fashion that you could only see the corner box. For this reason Marvel comics would put the characters that appeared in the comic in the corner box. That was done so that some young Avengers fan only needed to search for Captain America and Iron Man’s faces to snag a copy of their favorite comic from the shelf. In this case the barbarian warrior brandishing a sword and shield would be enough for me to at least look at this comic.
Now if I had pulled it from the shelf I would have been sucked in with that great logo. Thongor! Go ahead, say that out loud. The name alone makes one think of a muscle bound hero battling evil forces to save a kingdom or princess.
Next there is some fantastic trade dress. “Doom of the Serpent Gods” “Sword vs Sorcery in the Land that Time forgot!!!” These phrases written in bold fonts are exciting and promise the reader some wonderful action, all for twenty cents.
Finally there is the main image. There is a hideous beast about to devour a beautiful woman currently tied to a stake. The hero Thongor has sprung into action and appears ready to drive his massive sword though the creature’s skull. In the background a crowd appears to be cheering for the lizard beast and throwing spears at Thongor. It is electrifying.
All the images, trade dress and logo make this comic irresistible and if I were seven years old again, kneeling on the newspapers, I would have begged my mom for this sword and sorcery adventure.
This cover definitely looks like the work of John Romita.
Good eye Ben, that’s impressive. He’s not credited in the issue but I looked it up on Comic Vine and he is listed as a creator on this issue so I’ve got to believe you’re correct about the cover.