|I bought MARVEL COMICS SUPER SPECIAL #16: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK before the film was released in the summer of 1980. The full-color, full-length adaptation was written by Archie Goodwin with dazzling artwork by Al Williamson. It was a very nice package.|
I wanted to wait until after I'd seen the film to read the magazine but I figured I'd give it one quick flip through just to see what the art looked like (it was terrific). While flipping pages, my eyes came to rest on the page that illustrated the big reveal (and possibly the pivotal moment in the entire STAR WARS mythos). Yep, I saw (even though I didn't really want to) a panel featuring Darth Vader, his right arm outstretched to an off-panel Luke Skywalker. The word balloon contained those immortal words "no, Luke, I am your father" D'oh! I had inadvertently seen the one thing I really shouldn't have.
I did keep this information to myself however and it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the film. After all, there were still plenty of other surprises to be discovered in EMPIRE and seeing it all on the big screen was an entirely different experience than reading it in a comic book (no matter how well done the comic was).
Lesson learned: don't peak! Not even a little bit.