House of Secrets #92 Homage Covers
1st Appearance, 1st Cover Appearance & Origin of DC’s Swamp Thing
Writer: Len Wein
Penciler/Inker: Bernie Wrightson
Cover Artist: Bernie Wrightson & Jack Adler
House of Secrets, launched in 1956, was a classic monthly horror anthology from DC Comics which helped usher in the Silver Age. Each issue featured several short stories, approximately six pages in length, designed to shock and terrify readers. Like many anthology comics of the Golden Age before, House of Secrets featured monsters, supernatural events, magic and assorted damsels in distress and facing certain doom, such as depicted on the now-classic cover of #92, illustrated by master artist Bernie Wrightson.
Bernie Wrightson, along with Len Wein, created Swamp Thing, DC’s most popular monster, whose 1st appearance takes place in one of the short horror tales in House of Secrets #92. Swamp Thing was inspired by an old Hillman Comics character known as the Heap. The now-classic tale of the Swamp Thing’s origin has appeared in several magazines, including DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #9, Roots of the Swamp Thing #5, Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #33, Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis, Swamp Thing Halloween Giant #1, and Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age (Volume 1). The entire magazine has been reprinted in its entirety in DC Silver Age Classics: House of Secrets #92, Millennium Edition: House of Secrets #92 and Facsimile Edition: House of Secrets #92.
Wrightson’s masterful cover for House of Secrets #92 shows a young woman at her dressing table brushing her hair for bed in the light of the full moon. She has sensed something at the open window behind her – a shadow perhaps, created by the light of the moon! –and has just begun to turn to look at the movement which has caught her attention. Readers can’t help but see the green monster with glaring red eyes behind her, watching, waiting. Wrightson creates a palpable tension by perfectly capturing the moment the woman is startled but not yet terrified. Readers can’t wait to look inside to see what happens next!
As a result, Wrightson’s first cover appearance of the Swamp Thing has inspired homages and parodies since its publication in July 1971.
Sources: DC Fandom (House of Secrets #92)