AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: Marvel’s Simon Garth: The Zombie!
In 1953, the forerunner of Marvel Comics, Atlas Comics, released the fifth issue of their horror anthology title, Menace.
In this issue, in a standalone story written by Stan Lee and drawn by Bill Everett was the debut of a character known only as, The Zombie.
The short story offered no background, just the simple setup of a zombie walking the swamps who is controlled by a mysterious evil man in a hidden cabin. After the story first appeared the character sort of disappeared.
Then in 1974, editor Roy Thomas plucked the character from obscurity and made him the star of his very own horror themed magazine called Tales of the Zombie.
The magazine re-printed Lee’s original Menace story, but then Thomas had Steve Gerber and Joe Buscema craft a prologue story, Altar of the Damned, to fill out the zombie backstory and give the character a name; Simon Garth. Gerber and Buscema then did another story called Night of the Walking Dead to continue the character’s adventures forward.
New stories in each issue of the magazine were mostly done by Steve Gerber and Pablo Marcos. Other notable contributers included Doug Moench and Chris Claremont. Simon Garth’s final appearance in this magazine would be in issue 9 which awesomely culminated in a story arc at his daughter’s wedding.
The magazine would actually go release issue 10, but it featured the character Brother Voodoo and not Simon Garth.
Since the 70s, Simon has popped up in appearances all over the Marvel Universe including Spider-Man, Blade, Dracula and, most recently, was a main character in Marvel Zombies 4.
He’s not had his own series again, but he did get a few mini-series in 2007 under the Marvel MAX imprint.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.