In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.
Reader Garth G. wrote in to ask:
I recall a Justice League comic book about Rutland Vermont and its comic book angle for its Halloween celebration. But, I think Marvel also had stories around that event. So, when was the first story that took place at Rutland Vermont?
Garth is referring to the Rutland, Vermont Halloween Parade, which was organized by comic book fan Tom Fagan (who sadly passed away in 2008). Since Fagan was into superhero comics, he managed to get the parade to take on a superhero bent. This was well before people dressing as superheroes was normal, so this was a really big deal to the comic book community in the late 1960s/early 1970s, so a lot of comic book writers really appreciated what was going on there. The parade was discussed in comics as early as the letter column in 1964’s Detective Comics #327, which, interestingly enough, was the first “New Look” Batman issue…
The parade first made its way into comics in 1970’s Avengers #83 (by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer)…
It’s next appearance was in a DC Comic, in the Halloween issue the following year in Batman #237 (by Neal Adams, Denny O’Neil, Dick Giordano, Bernie Wrightson and Harlan Ellison)…
The next year, Marvel and DC did an awesome crossover featuring the parade in a few different titles. Maybe I’ll do a piece on that for this Halloween (I know, I know, a little early to talk about Halloween).
Thanks for the question, Garth!
If anyone has a suggestion for a future edition of When We First Met, just drop me a line at email@example.com!
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