In the spring of 1984, Marvel Comics published a very strange one-off called Generic Comic Book, which was exactly as advertised: an all white cover to mimic ‘80s generic food labeling, an all white and nameless hero to the same end, completely one-dimensional characters and situations and a heavy reliance on tired tropes… so basically it was any old B-grade comic, only pointedly worse. I discovered it in the bargain comics box of my favorite toy shop, marked below its 60¢ cover price. You would have bought it, too.
The story begins with several pages of expository dialogue and internal monologue. We see right out of the gate that our hero has a girlfriend, but that’s about all that’s right with his crapsack life, and the girlfriend doesn’t even last past the first page. She’s literally put on a bus, never to be seen again. Our hero is broke. He wants to buy a house for himself and his girl, but he lives with his parents and also needs money to—I shit you not—“get little Bobby the operation he so desperately needs.” A professional writer got paid to write that line. I’m not bitter.
Could someone tell the letterist about “to” and “too?”
On his way home, our hero’s problems are compounded when he gets mugged by some generic goons. Acting out in frustration, he smashes the Three Mile Island snow-globe (RELEVANT SOCIAL ISSUE YOU GUYS) from his prized collection of glow-in-the-dark crap, setting in motion one of the most admirably preposterous superhero origin stories I’ve ever read: breaking the Three Mile Island snow globe atomically activated all the other iridescent stuff in the room (SEE? SEE? TOTALLY RELEVANT!), giving our hero super strength, super vision, super hearing—and bleaching his hair bright white.
If you can’t read whitey’s pin, it says “HEAVY MEAT.” I want to hear that band.
This is only the beginning… much, much more after the jump…