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Welcome to the four hundred and thirteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and twelve. This week, learn the truth behind the backwards issue of Amazing Spider-Man! Discover how Chris Claremont wrote a year’s worth of stories with an X-Men member that he ended up having to stop using after just three issues! Finally, marvel at the strange origins of the Starjammer named Hepzibah!
NOTE: We’re trying something a BIT different just for this week and having two pages rather than three. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1 and 2 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Marvel was going to do a backwards issue of Amazing Spider-Man that you would need a mirror to read.
In late 1982, Marvel came out with John Byrne’s Fantastic Four #252, which was told in “landscape” format…
Here’s an example…
At the time, FF’s assistant editor joked that FF editor Tom DeFalco felt that if people thought that THAT was something, wait until they see the backwards issue of Spider-Man!
That comment was then taken and published in fan papers as a real project.
DeFalco picked up on the idea and in the next fan press conference, DeFalco revealed the backwards issue of Spider-Man!! An issue that you would need a special Spider-Man mirror to read! Here is one of the sample pages of art…
This, of course, was a hoax.
DeFalco just had someone take an inventory story (they told the gathered fan press that the issue was drawn by then-regular Amazing Spider-Man artist John Romita Jr. but it was really Don Perlin) and reverse the dialogue. The “official Spider-Man mirror” Was just a regular white mirror that they had stuck a Spider-Man sticker on.
DeFalco used the whole meeting to throw in little hints that it was a joke, like noting that it would be a #1 in April (April 1st, April Fool’s Day). Very clever stuff by DeFalco.
Thanks to reader Steve for suggesting this one (he remember reading something about a reverse issue of Spidey years ago) and thanks to Marvel Age #1 for the information and the page!
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On the next page, learn which X-Men character Chris Claremont wrote a year’s worth of stories for before he had to give the character up three issues into his run!
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