What was this comic I saw as a child?
October 24, 2013 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Alien blood parasites grow inside of people and then suddenly burst out once they've reached full size. What the heck was this comic book I saw in the late 80s?

I only have the vaguest memory of this, but even though it's a silly premise I was at an impressionable age and the imagery has haunted me for years.

This was a mainstream comic book, probably Marvel or DC, circa the late 1980s (although it could have been a few years later -- let's say sometime during the Bush Sr. administration). I only remember two parts:

1. Some kind of demonic-looking monster suddenly bursts out of a person's skin, in public. This may be a distorted memory or bad comic-book art or artistic license or all three, but I remember the creature implausibly being larger than the person it burst out of.

2. Somebody investigating the incident (and several related ones, I think) discovers tainted blood at a hospital blood bank, with tiny mysterious embryos floating in it. Apparently these creatures were infecting people through blood transfusions, then tearing out of their victim once they'd grown to full size.

I think all the action took place in a hospital. I don't recall any superheroes being involved. I was never much into comic books so I don't have any context to work from. Does anyone know what this could have been?
posted by neckro23 to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Response by poster: Zureal on IRC suggests it might have been part of the Bloodlines series, but 1993 seems too late (I would have been the ripe old age of 14 already) and the details don't seem to fit...
posted by neckro23 at 9:17 AM on October 24, 2013

It's probably not it, but I immediately thought of the Bloodlines event from DC in 1993. There were lots of giant alien parasite things.
posted by PlutoniumX at 9:17 AM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: I did some poking around the DC wiki and I'm now convinced it might have been Bloodlines, but I can't figure out which issue/storyline it may have been. I'm well aware that memory can be a really tricky thing. So, some caveats:

1. It might not have been aliens-bursting-out-of-people. Maybe I'm misinterpreting/misremembering a sudden attack by one of the Parasites. The pictures of them aren't really ringing any bells, but it's not like they're terribly distinctive designs (it definitely wasn't the furry one). Their size seems about right (a few times taller than a normal human).

2. It was possibly not blood, but spinal fluid, maybe? I dunno. The little (nonhuman) embryos floating in jars of fluid is my most vivid recollection. I definitely interpreted it at the time as an infection storyline.

3. Maybe it was a research facility of some sort instead of a hospital.

4. If Superman or Batman or another familiar DC hero had been involved, I would probably remember. I've never been terribly interested in comics, but I would have recognized them. It's possible I'm just remembering a small part of a larger story, though.
posted by neckro23 at 9:51 AM on October 24, 2013

This is probably way too obvious and doesn't even fit all your criteria (unless you're misremembering), but: Aliens? (Ring any bells?)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:53 AM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: No, it definitely wasn't Giger's Alien. That one I'm familiar with!
posted by neckro23 at 9:57 AM on October 24, 2013

Could it have been part of the Xmen Villain "Brood" series? They were entirely an Alien rip off.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:34 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Brood is a good guess and would fit your time line better.

Back to blood lines, I seem to recall that they had smaller attack mouths and I remember one bursting through the chest of someone.

I turned 14 late in 93 so I was almost the same age (and probably have the same memory issues)

I wonder if you read one of the non-powered Batbooks and someone was undercover in the hospital. Robin?

The Blood Bath 1 and 2 may have had a scene where what you described happens, but those had pretty much everyone in them.
posted by PlutoniumX at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: Interesting. The time period for this Brood storyline matches up and fits my recollections better. I'll have to do some more digging.
posted by neckro23 at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2013

Best answer: Someone sent me a pair of messages on YouTube, of all places (apparently this person doesn't have a Mefi account):
This is going to sound odd but I saw a post you made about a comic you saw as a child and ive been searching for weeks trying to find the exact same comic. I am hoping you found out what the comic was that you were searching for. Things that convince me we are/were looking for the same comic is my own distinct memories of the monsters bursting out of people, them being all different types, and the tiny ones in glass jars in a blood bank and a hospital being involved. I really hope you get this message and are able to help, its been driving me nuts!
If you got my last message - dont worry i've found it!


Honestly i'm 100% sure thats the one you were after as well. I've just geeked out after looking for weeks, and litterally looking at every comic front cover released by DC and Marvel from 1992 until 1984 when I finally found it.

Hope you get this, and if you hadn't found the comic yet, you get the answer you were after.

Cheers, Mike
The blood bank panel on the linked page outs this as the correct answer, and I'm pretty sure the two-page spread shown is the "bursting out" scene I was thinking of.

So, the comic in question was ROM #55, from 1984. This also aligns with my memory of there being no obvious "superheroes" in the comic. Either it was a few years old when I saw it, or I was even younger and more impressionable than I thought...

Thanks, Mike!
posted by neckro23 at 11:19 AM on August 14, 2014

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