This ad scared the living crap out of me when I was a teenager.
I remember when I first saw this ad. Definitely got my attention.
It certainly unnerved me. Though tbh I don’t think I realized it was an ad. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t realize the “submit your registration” insert was actually a create-a-character contest. (Mind you I was 12 or 13, had just gotten into comics, and, well, the fact that the first issue I read was that NM where that bullied kid commits suicide… it definitely left a mark.)
EDIT: Tumblr seems to have mangled what I added to this, so trying again.
I probably first saw this while reading a random issue of Transformers or Amazing Spider-Man, long before I got into Marvel. It made no sense to me—it certainly didn’t suggest that I needed to read the X-books or Power Pack to see what happens next. Mostly it reinforced my attitude towards superhero comics in the 1980s—they look interesting, but they’re confusing so I could never follow them.
This (along with a convoluted ad for West Coast Avengers from the same period, and Secret Wars II) runs through my head whenever I see Marvel making a fumbling attempt to appeal to new readers, or acting as if an old fan like me cannot understand the perspective of a new reader. Because I still remember being in their target demographic, and thinking I wasn’t smart enough to handle all the insider-y stuff in their comics.