This was the first “direct market” issue, which means it was sold only at specialty comic book stores. The story itself is a one-off involving a mutated rat. Very creepy, and, for its time, very adult. It signaled a new era for comic books: Gone would be the drug store spinning rack, and the future would be in higher prices, better quality paper and, for the most part, better quality comic books.
However, it also heralded the beginning of speculators: People who would buy comics for investments rather than pleasure. Eventually, this would lead to variant covers; dealers overbuying #1 issues and keeping a hidden stock in the back, which they’d pull out a few weeks later and sell at inflated prices; and Todd MacFarlane basically being a dick and saying “people will buy anything I draw so give me my own Spider-Man title and let me cram tons of shit into it and prove what idiots my fans are.”
But I get ahead of myself.
Moon Knight was good to the direct market, and the direct market was good to Moon Knight: Without this niche market, the book would have been cancelled.
Roger Stern takes on the writing chores, and with remarkable art by Sal Buscema and Klaus Janson, Stern suggests that Hulk is a manifestation of Bruce Banner’s childhood frustrations. Bill Mantlo, nearly 100 issues later, would take this to the next level suggesting that Banner was abused as a child.
As reported by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. I’m printing it here because, hey, comics!
1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violenc
3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence