Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1960s FF Cartoon: Diablo!



Saturday, June 27, 2009

1967 Fantastic Four Puzzle!

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You know, someone should've really written a story to go with this puzzle image, because I sure as heck don't recognize the hooded villain there!

Cover of the Week: Marvel's Greatest Comics 47!

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OK, I feel like rambling on a bit... any of you reading this who weren't reading comics in the 1970s are probably wondering what's up with the reprint books? While Marvel may have made it out like they were getting newer readers a chance to catch up, the real reason they existed was to take up shelf space. In the pre-comic shop days, when kids would go to the store to buy comics, there was usually just one spinner rack in place to hold all the Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Archie, and Charlton comics (and for a brief time, Atlas, too). The more titles a publisher had out, the more rack space they could get (although usually only for a week, as new stuff would come in and be stuck in front of what was left from the previous week's shipment, if any books were left, anyway).

When the Marvel Age of Comics started, Martin Goodman's distribution was the same company who distributed DC's comics, and they limited the number of titles that Marvel could produce per month. For a while, Martin and Stan got away with producing more titles by making some books bi-monthly, from what I've read... other times, books would be cancelled and new titles started willy-nilly if Martin decided a book wasn't selling up to snuff.

In the late 60s or so, when Marvel changed distributors, the number of titles they could produce went up, because they didn't have those limits anymore... and so all the two-in-one titles like Tales of Suspense, Taless to Astonish, and Strange Tales were cancelled, and the features in each book got their own titles... some took over the numbering of the original books (like Captain America, Hulk, and Dr. Strange) while others got to start with #1 (like Iron Man, Sub-Mariner and SHIELD).

Now, the original Marvel reprint books were bi-monthly (as well as giant-sized, like DC's 80-Page Giants of the 1960s)... but that wasn't an issue when the new distributor came on board. Still, it wasn't until the very early 1970s that the reprints started coming out all over the place! You had Marvel's Greatest Comics with the Fantastic Four (obviously), Marvel Super-Heroes reprinting Tales to Astonish with Sub-Mariner and the Hulk (and later, when they got to the point where the Hulk stories were from his series, Subby got a new TTA reprint title), Marvel Triple Action started out with reprinting FF tales but went to Avengers stories pretty quickly, and of course Marvel Tales continued reprinting Spider-Man stories.

These were joined later by a revived Fantasy Masterpieces reprinting the Silver Surfer series, Marvel Double Action reprinting Tales of Suspense with Iron Man and Captain America, and still later by Astonishing Tales Vol. 2 reprinting the early X-Men!

DC was no less guilty of flooding the market with reprints... by that point, the 80-Page Giants had given way to 100-Page Super-Spectaculars (although those would later be downgraded to a "giant" status), but they also had some short-lived reprint titles like Secret Origins, Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Villains, and titles like Super-Team Family which were mostly reprints. Some titles that had been cancelled in the late 1960s came back in reprint form for a bit (like Challengers of the Unknown), and there was even a two-issue Legion of Super-Heroes reprint title, too!

But market considerations aside, for kids just starting to read comics in the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s, it was an amazing time. If you were a Fantastic Four fan, you got two titles a month to read (eventually joined by Giant-Size FF, but I don't know that those were any more frequent than bi-monthly at best... and we can't forget the short-lived Human Torch reprint book, or the later Marvel Two-In-One)! Spider-Man fans? You had Amazing Spidey, Marvel Tales, Marvel Team-Up, and by the end of the decade, Spectacular Spider-Man, as well!

Yes, it was an amazing time... especially if you were reading the books about the history of comics that were being written at the time... it seemed like you'd no sooner read about some Golden Age character than a story with that character would turn up somewhere! Or you'd read about some classic Silver Age story, and it would appear in one of the reprint books!

Today's newer comics readers don't know how great they have it now, with all the trade paperback collections constantly in print, CD-ROM colllections, too, plus the on-line stuff that's starting to happen...

...but still, for me, my personal Golden Age of Comics has to be the 70s.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Marvel Novels!

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Marv Wolfman, who wrote the FF's book for a time (and is perhaps best known for creating the New Teen Titans) wrote the FF entry in the 1970s Marvel Novel series, and it was a pretty good read, too!

Cover of the Day: Marvel's Greatest Comics 36!

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That's a seriously awesome cover there, don't you think? Not as good as the Kirby original, but still awesome!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Power Records Book and Record Set!

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Here's one of those cool Power Records sets that came out in the 1970s, using a real Marvel Comic as the basis for the record and reprinting it, too (although often with some text changes that were badly lettered in).

If you want to check this out for yourself, well, here's a YouTube video someone put together with it:




But I'm sure if you search the web, you'll find an MP3 download available somewhere!

Cover of the Day: Marvel's Greatest Comics 31!

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Reprinting a true classic!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Watcher Slurpee Cup from 1974!

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Sorry about the quality of this photo... I really should look at upgrading my Slurpee Cup photo files!

Cover of the Day: Marvel's Greatest Comics 25!

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The FF story in this issue has been adapted into cartoon form at least twice... in the 1960s FF cartoon (where Namor was replaced with a new character) and in the 1960s Marvel Super-Heroes Cartoon series, where Namor was teamed with the X-Men instead of the FF! I've never seen that cartoon, so I can't say much about how that worked out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fantastic Four Water Gun!

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Have I written about AHI before? Azrak-Hamway International was a division of Remco Toys, and they're probably best known for their line of rack toys and the like, usually featuring Batman, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man, and others... so far as I can tell, this water gun is the only Fantastic Four item they ever produced! It's a bit reminiscent of Han Solo's gun, but on the other hand, if you were role-playing the FF, I suppose you could call it the FF signal flare gun!

Cover of the Day: Incredible Hulk 152!

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They may be overshadowed by the titular star of the book, but the FF's definitely there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

1971 Marvel Buttons!

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The FF is represented in this batch by the Thing and the Surfer! Sorry about the glare on this photo - blame the seller!

Cover of the Day: Marvel Super-Heroes 74!

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Reprinting a Hulk issue the FF guest-starred in. Don't worry, the original will show up here one of these days...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fantastic Four T-Shirt!

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This one looks like it came from one of the Marvel Treasury Edition covers... too bad the photo doesn't show the whole shirt!

Cover of the Day: Marvel Collectors' Item Classics 10!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Marvel Super-Heroes French Stamp Set!

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And there's the Torch and the Thing in there... no Sue or Reed, though!

Cover of the Day: Marvel Collectors' Item Classics 14!

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And the FF get pretty much the whole darn cover to themselves!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Incredible Hulk Portfolio Plate 4!

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Of course, this is included here because it's a Hulk Vs. Thing battle... it's hilarious to me that Ben's got that cigar firmly in his teeth... and was he buying his shirts from the same place Luke Cage did?

Cover of the Day: Marvel Collectors Item Classics 8!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Torch and Thing Patches!

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These are probably the same patches I recall seeing advertised in the comics themselves in the late 1970s.

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four Annual 12!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thing Bottle Cap from Argentina!

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Have I mentioned that Argentina had an amazing array of super-hero toys and collectibles? Here's the Thing bottlecap produced there, part of a massive series of collectible bottlecaps. It may have been a Pepsi thing down there, but I don't know for certain.

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four Special 7!

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I suspect by this time, the Specials/Annuals had gone to all-reprint.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Slurpee Cups!

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Featuring a Jack Kirby-drawn Thing!

Cover of the Day: Amazing Spider-Man #1!

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Man, remember the days when the FF would guest-star in a comic to increase sales, instead of Spider-Man (or Wolverine, or whoever else is "hot" these days?)...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Super-Villain Team-Up #7 Cover by Jim Starlin and Alan Weiss!

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Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 189!

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As the Dreaded Deadline Doom hits Marvel, this issue reprints the Torch/Torch battle from an FF annual.... for the second time, I believe!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

1975 Topps Human Torch Sticker!

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Here's one of the FF-related stickers from the 1975 Topps Marvel Superheroes sticker set!

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 183!

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It's a two-for-one post today, since the Grand Comics Database had this photo of the issue with two different prices!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bootleg Thing Toy!

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This bootleg is just so awful, I had to save the photo!

Cover of the Day: Marvel's Greatest Comics 30!

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Back when MGC was still a giant-sized book, you'd get two FF issues reprinted in each issue! And as you can see, sometimes you'd get new cover art, too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

1970s Paperback Book!

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Before the Masterworks, before the Essentials... there were these paperback books, reprinting the earliest Marvels (and some later ones, too). I don't recall if this one was in black and white or color.

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 182!

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Would it be spoiling this issue for anyone reading this if I say who the Brute really is?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fantastic Four 94, Page 11, by Jack Kirby!

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Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 181!

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I've just noticed that Reed has a tendency to say that something is a particular person's fight, and they can't be helped...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Heroes World Catalog Page!

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I don't think I've come across a single eBay listing for that Thing toy, ever!

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 73!

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Even when they've previously met, Marvel Superheroes still have a tendency to fight each other when they meet!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

1974 Marvel Value Stamp Book Pages!

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Yes, this is the reason why, when you're buying 1970s Marvels, you should always check the letters page... because if there's a square cut out of it, it's because of these things!

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 164!

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Bringing Marvel Boy into the modern-day Marvel Universe, and preparing the way for Marvel Man, aka Quasar!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Reed Richards Supercar!

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These Supercars don't look like any vehicle the FF ever used... but they are kind of neat, aren't they? I'll have more of these here in the future.

Cover of the Day: Fantastic Four 161!

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And we can see on this cover that either a) Johnny Storm was never good at palentology at all, or 2) Tyrannosaurs looked completely different in the Marvel Universe.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dr. Doom Patch!

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Yes, it's a different Dr. Doom patch than the one I'd previously posted here!

Cover of the Day: Marvel's Greatest Comics 84!

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And here we have the reprint edition of the issue that was cover of the day not too long ago!