© Patrick McKenna - METRO HALIFAX
Dave Howlett of Strange Adventures holds the new variant cover for the new Amazing Spiderman No.1 featuring the town clock in Halifax.
In the chill of night, at the scene of the crime, like a streak of light, he arrives just in time – that’s 7:20 according to the Halifax Town Clock.
Bolts of electricity then light up the sky, and Spider-Man falls toward Brunswick Street.
This scene comes to life as Marvel Comics’ friendliest neighbourhood superhero swings into town Wednesday on covers of the Amazing Spider-Man issue No. 1, where Peter Parker returns after more than two years of mind-control by Dr. Otto “Octopus” Octavius who went by “Superior Spider-Man.”
Strange Adventures owner Calum Johnston said he wanted an exclusive cover of the issue as soon as Marvel announced the return of Parker, and teamed up with Moncton artist Nick Bradshaw to bring something uniquely Halifax to the design.
“Taste is in everyone’s own eye, but I think ours is pretty spiffy,” Johnston said Tuesday as he waited for the delivery truck to drop off hundreds of Haligonian Spideys.
Johnston said he wanted Bradshaw to create the cover because he’s a “terrific artist” and knows him well, although Bradshaw draws X-Men and Wolverine comics and had never handled Spider-Man.
“We thought the clock-tower was obvious, sort of the iconic image,” Johnston said.
Johnston has ordered special covers before, including one of Godzilla crushing the comic-book store, and said a unique cover grabs attention.
“A lot of folks will drop in just to purely buy this issue,” Johnston said. “Hopefully also they read the comic and go ‘This is kind of fun,’ and then they want to get the next one and the next.”
With the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie out this weekend, and Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, Johnston said now is the perfect time for Spidey to catch new fans – just like flies.
The $5.99 “giant-sized issue” is available in both covers for now, but Johnston said he’s hoping some of the variant issues stick around until summer tourists come into town because they always ask “‘What do you have that we can’t get anywhere else?’” he said.
But Johnston won’t be stashing any special issues away to gather cobwebs.
“I’d be happy if we had them through the summer, but I’ll be just as happy if we sell out in a couple weeks,” he laughed.