When Strikes a Looming Deadline!

30 Story Titles and Cover Blurbs That Follow a “When Strikes [Scary Noun]!” Format 

Given the preponderance of English majors and ex-journalists among comic writers, it’s easy to see how they might be tempted to resort to an archaic phrase or a handy Shakespeare quote to come up with a quick title for one of their stories.

This “When Strikes the [blank]!” one, though… it’s got me stumped. As far as I can tell, it’s not a nod to a quote from Shakespeare or the Bible; it just seems to be a common way for comic writers to say, “Hey, this bad guy you see here? He’s back. And he’s about to strike.”

Works for me:

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1. “When Strikes the Scorpion!”
Startling Comics #20 (Standard, 03/43)

2. “When Strikes the Silver Surfer!”
Fantastic Four #55 (Marvel, 10/66)

3. “When Strikes the Squadron Sinister!”
The Avengers #70 (Marvel, 11/69)

4. “When Strikes the Sinister Seeker!”
Fantastic Four #144 (Marvel, 03/74)

5. “When Strikes the Vampire!”
Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1 (Marvel, 06/74)

6. “When Strikes the Gladiator!”
Daredevil #113 (Marvel, 09/74)

7. “When Strikes the Silver Dagger!”
Doctor Strange #5 (Marvel, 12/74)

8. “When Strikes the Asp — Even an Immortal Must Fall!”
Supernatural Thrillers #11 (Marvel, 02/75)

9. “When Strikes the Scorpion!”
The Amazing Spider-Man #146 (Marvel, 07/75)

10. “When Strikes the Netherspawn!”
Man-Thing #22 (Marvel, 10/75)

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11. “When Strikes the Wrecker!”
Marvel Spectacular #19 (Marvel, 11/75)

12. “When Strikes the Samurai!”
Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #11 (DC, 08/76)

13. “When Strikes the Kraken!”
Kull the Destroyer #17 (Marvel, 10/76)

14. “When Strikes Attuma?”
The Avengers #154 (Marvel, 12/76)

15. “When Strikes the Goldbug!”
Power Man #42 (Marvel, 04/77)

16. “When Strikes the Silver Dagger!”
Marvel Team-Up #77 (Marvel, 01/79)

17. “When Strikes the Stilt-Man!”
Marvel Action #22 (Marvel UK, 07/81)

18. “When Strikes the Sentinel!”
Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #31 (Western, 03/82)

19. “When Strikes Diablo!”
Iron Man #159 (Marvel, 06/82)

20. “When Strikes… the Faker!”
Masters of the Universe #10 (Marvel UK, 07/86)

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21. “When Strikes the Octopus!”
The Spectacular Spider-Man #124 (Marvel, 03/87)

22. “When Strikes the Slasher!”
Web of Spider-Man #37 (Marvel, 04/88)

23. “When Strikes Konzilla!”
Masters of the Universe Adventure Magazine #19 (Marvel UK, 04/89)

24. “When Strikes — The Hand!”
Daredevil #294 (Marvel, 07/91)

25. “When Strikes the Mechamorph!”
Nightwatch #3 (Marvel, 06/94)

26. “When Strikes the Sorceress!”
Legionnaires #42 (DC, 11/96)

27. “When Strikes the Assassin… Spiral!”
Marvel Fanfare #5 (Marvel, 01/97)

28. “When Strikes a Gladiator!”
The Uncanny X-Men #341 (Marvel, 02/97)

29. “When Strikes Protocide!”
Captain America #35 (Marvel, 11/2000)

30. “When Strikes Agent Morgan!”
Plastic Man #6 (DC, 07/2004)