Sunday, 27 April 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Staying with Subby, let's now take a quick look at an earlier,
1968 issue of his own mag, plus a couple of reprints.  Above is the
original cover of PRINCE NAMOR, The SUB-MARINER #8, in
which ol' wing-feet goes toe-to-toe with The THING.  Below is the
eighth issue of volume two of TALES To ASTONISH, in which the
original black background has been replaced with a green one.
(And the interior tale is abridged by a couple of pages.)

Next up (below) is a 1994 second printing of the first version,
the interiors of which were reproduced from the '68 negs and are
actually clearer and brighter than the original.  It has new ads, but,
that apart, is a faithful facsimile of the first printing, including the
indicia, Bullpen Bulletins and letters pages.  The cover is obviously
sourced from a stat of the original art, taken before the highlights
around Namor's outline (to make him stand out better from
the background) were added. 

Note also that the figures in covers two and three have motion
lines around them which the first one lacks, showing that they were
removed before it was sent to the printers.  Isn't it interesting to see
all the little revisions that covers go through in the stages leading
up to the published result?


Colin Jones said...

Tales To Astonish #5 from April 1980 was the first Subby comic I bought. In fact April 1980 is when I seriously got into U.S. Marvel comics rather than just buying them now and again as I'd been doing up to then. In my opinion Marvel UK had gone totally downhill in its' attempt to create "British style" comics and luckily the U.S. comics were becoming much more available and they were proper Marvel.

Kid said...

One thing's for sure, CJ - British Marvel was nowhere near as good as it had been back in 1972. As for the American mags, they seemed to be quite prevalent in Scotland from around the mid-'70s onwards.

Gey Blabby said...

It's like spot-the-difference. It's just a shame that Namor has the price stamped on his back in the first one. I think I like the third one better; the white outline in the first one makes him appear to be pasted on. And the motion lines look unconvincing at best. Still prime JB but.

Kid said...

I wonder if it was Buscema's idea to have a black background, or the inker's - maybe even Stan's? I kinda like the middle one, but they're all good.

Colin Jones said...

I forgot to say that I much prefer the green background and I very likely had that issue of Tales To Astonish.

Kid said...

Just a shame it had two pages edited from it, JP.

John Pitt said...

Which makes me wonder just WHY were any Subby stories chopped in TTA .Vol.2? It's not as if there was another character in, like Vol.1.

Kid said...

Marvel still only had 17 pages of comic strip content in their mags at this time, JP.( They went up to around 22-24 a few months later.) The original story was numbered 1-20, but two of those pages were only half pages, so for the reprint they joined them together to count as one - making 19 pages in all. Therefore, they had to edit out two of them to bring the count down to 17. It happened in quite a few regular-sized reprint mags until the page count increased.

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