Amazing Spider-Man #138
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #138
Of course we also need a super-hero plot, so while staying at Flash's place, a mutant called the Mindworm tries to hypnotize everyone in the apartment complex.
Spidey stops him.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #115
A few issues later, the letters column ran a statement apologizing for any resemblance between the Mindworm's residence and an actual house. It turns out that Gerry actually did base the house on an actual place where a mentally challenged man lived.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 10, 2011 5:57 AM
I was really glad when they finally started to acknowledge that Peter and Flash had really become friends over the years. That kind of writing was what made Spider-Man as good a series as it was.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 7, 2015 8:28 AM
My friends and I debated over whether this character was meant to be the same creature as the psychic vampire/mutant from C. M. Kornbluth's classic SF tale "The Mind-Worm." Having seen Marvel adapt Ted Sturgeon's "It", Van Vogt's "Black Destroyer," and other stories, it seemed possible, but I don't recall seeing Kornbluth's name anywhere.
If not, it was pretty ballsy to not only rip off another writer's character but even give him the same name!
Posted by: Mike W. | March 16, 2016 10:35 PM
Superhero comics have always ripped off classic and pulp sci-fi. I will give you that they usually filed off the serial numbers first when swiping something though.
Posted by: Red Comet | March 17, 2016 12:03 AM
I love how Ross Andru used actual places for his backgrounds during his run on this book.
To expand on Mark's comment, in the Marvel Masterworks where this is reprinted Gerry Conway says "Marvel got into a bit of legal trouble when the owner of the house Ross used as visual reference for the home of the Mindworm complained that neighborhood kids were hanging around hoping to catch a glimpse of the guy with the oversized brain." In issue #149, they ran the disclaimer "We regret the fashion in which we depicted the Mindworm's house in the November 1974 issue, as it is an actual residence located in the Rockaway section of Queens."
Posted by: Andrew | March 17, 2016 7:41 AM
Posted by: BU | March 17, 2016 10:13 AM
I was going to say I doubted Conway would have stolen a Kornbluth idea just because of his age; a young writer at that time would be more likely to imitate Ellison or Moorcock. But Conway was one of the writers on the "Worlds Unknown" title Marvel published the previous year (including the awesome adaptation of Sturgeon's "Killdozer!"), so that makes it a more plausible possibility. Do Kornbluth's story and this one have more in common than the name?
Posted by: Andrew | March 17, 2016 12:40 PM
A lot of older science fiction stories were reprinted in paperback anthologies in the 60s/70s. Kornbluth's story was reprinted in a 1967 Tandem paperback that took its title from it.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | March 17, 2016 3:30 PM
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