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Marvel Celebrates Soap Legend With Free ‘Guiding Light’ Comic

As your grandmother and soap-obsessed coworker have no doubt told you, “Guiding Light” is coming to an end this week after 72 years. Again, 72 years. It’s officially the longest-running program in any medium, having debuted on radio way back in 1937. (The TV show began in ’52.) To put it in perspective, “GL” has been around longer than Superman and Captain America.

To celebrate this landmark ending, Marvel is offering a free digital version of their 2006 “Guiding Light” comic. (Written by Jim McCann, with art by Udon.) This 8-page oddity originally ran as a back-up in Marvel books, confounding readers with its mish-mash of Marvel heroes and citizens from “Guiding Light”‘s Springfield. (Not to be confused with the much funnier “Simpsons” burg.)The story finds Wolverine, Spidey, and the Avengers coming to Springfield when “Guiding” regular Harley Davidson Cooper suddenly gets powers and literally becomes the “The Guiding Light.” The comic was cross-promoted with an episode called “She’s a Marvel,” where Harley wears a skimpy costume and has weird eye powers. (Frankly, we blame “Passions,” with all its dwarfs and witchcraft, for this nonsense.)

Weirdly enough, “Guiding Light” and Marvel met on another occasion–the show’s costume designer Shawn Dudley designed Storm’s wedding gown. Who knew Marvel editorial had so many closet soap fans?

Wait a minute. Long-running storylines, characters dying and coming back to life, obsessive fans—comics and soaps actually have a lot in common! And, hey, there have certainly been worse comics based on TV shows.

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