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House of Secrets

Comic Books

Publisher: DC

House of Secrets #92 appeared in the summer of 1971. Published by DC Comics, that issue is regarded as a milestone in the history of horror comics. It introduced the single most popular swamp monster-hero of all time: Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing was co-created by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, whose art graces the cover of House of Secrets #92. On the cover, Swamp Thing appears in the background in a menacing stance. Swamp Thing is actually one of comics' most tragic characters, a scientist transformed by a freak accident who then gains supernatural ability over flora, but must seek a way to convey his lasting love for a woman unfamiliar with his inhuman state. As a horror comics guru, Wrightson's career is envied by many of his peers and admired by scores of fans. His ambitious 1970s graphic retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is regarded as his masterpiece, but he has many feathers in his cap, including stories that feature Batman and Spider-Man, as well as the early run of Swamp Thing, which was spun off from House of Secrets #92. More recently the artist has returned to his Frankenstein roots to collaborate with writer Steve Niles on Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Writer Len Wein is likewise a career comics icon. As a professional writer and editor for over four decades, Wein has contributed to Batman, Green Lantern, X-Men, and many other titles. He is an inductee in the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. House of Secrets experienced three stops and starts between 1956 and the late 1990s. Its second and most popular run — of which issue #92 was a part — saw it revamped as an edgier horror anthology to rival the likes of Warren Publishing’s Creepy and Eerie. Its occult-focused stories were introduced by a caretaker host, Abel. (Abel was the counterpart of his predecessor Cain, the host of another DC horror anthology called House of Mystery.) That incarnation lasted from 1969 to 1978. Wrightson’s covers and interior artwork on the two companion titles are the prime reasons for their collector appeal. While issues of House of Secrets are obtainable, key issues like #92 grow more scarce as copies in Very Fine or better condition become archives in the collections of personal collectors. The issue ranks #8 on Overstreet’s Top 10 Bronze Age Comics list. A copy in NM/MT 9.8 auctioned in June, 2015 for $14,000.

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