Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Guess Which One Of Your Favorite Superheroes Is An Oz Fan?

In Spectacular Spider-Man #56 (volume 1), Spider-Man's first encounter with villain Jack O'Lantern is recounted. When Spidey first sees him, paramedics are carrying the villain on a stretcher. Look at this dialogue:

Image Copyright of Marvel Comics

Yeah... in case you couldn't read that, Spidey thinks to himself, "Of course a fella who dresses up like a human spider shouldn't talk about looking weird . . . but this guy really takes the cake! I mean . . . a pumpkin-head? What's he supposed to be, a refugee from Oz?"

Meanwhile the lead paramedic says "Let's hustle, boys! The word came down to get this Jack O'Lantern guy into the prison ward on the double!"

Anyhoo... A man with a pumpkin for a head makes Spidey think of Jack Pumpkinhead from the Land of Oz. Apparently, Peter Parker has read the Oz books...

The comic book is dated 1981, four years before "Return to Oz," and remembering Jack's incarnations from the adaptation of The Land of Oz on The Shirley Temple Show in 1961, Barry Mahon's The Wonderful Land of Oz, and Filmation's Journey Back to Oz is unlikely.

Or maybe he picked up Marvel's 1978 comic book adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz that they tried to sell off remaining copies of for a few years...

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