Monday, 16 March 2015


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

It had been done before of course.  Telling 'untold' adventures
in a hero's early career wasn't a new idea from MARVEL, whose
first nine issues of The RAMPAGING HULK (in 1977) presented
stories meant to be set between the last ish of his own mag and his first
appearance in TALES To ASTONISH.  True, the stories were later
dismissed as fictional imaginings of an alien called BEREET, but it
was a brave try at recapturing the raw fun and energy of Hulkie's
first six outings, 'though for a slightly more mature audience.

UNTOLD TALES Of SPIDER-MAN was pretty much the
same concept, fitting somewhere amongst Spidey's earliest esca-
pades by STAN LEE & STEVE DITKO.  The 25 issue series (not
counting, for the moment, a FLASHBACK ish, two Annuals ['96 &
'97], and a card-covered Special ['98/'99]), was mainly by KURT
DeFALCO & RON FRENZ were also contributors.

It's a nice little run, part of Marvel's 99 cents line, created in
an attempt to attract new readers who may have been deterred by
the standard cost of  $1.50 or $1.95.  The series is available in an
OMNIBUS edition if you'd like to catch up on it, or you could try
tracking down the individual issues on eBay if, like KRAVEN,
you enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

In the meantime 'though, you can enjoy
 this first instalment in a four-part post.


John Pitt said...

These are completely new to me, I didn't even know of their existance.
Nowadays there has been so much "in-between" stuff published that there are entire websites out there devoted to sorting everything out into chronological reading orders. All of this makes things very complicated for my imaginary reprints!

Kid said...

I think comics companies shot themselves in the foot when they first allowed re-imaginings of characters' histories. Now they feel they have to reboot them every few years to sort out the mess, which leads to an even bigger mess.

Dunsade Dave said...

Untold Tales was, I think, the highpoint of Marvel's 99c line, far better than the terrible Avengers Unplugged or the horrendously ugly Uncanny Origins. I also seem to remember a 99c title that had one-off Daredevil and Ghost Rider stories, but can't remember the name...

Untold Tales of Spider-Man was actually a pretty good series though, and often better than the 'real' Spider-Man books in the mid-90s!

Kid said...

I've got the Uncanny Origins series, and I thought the Dr.Strange issue was a pretty good tale - quite touching in its way. In fact, I think it had Daredevil and Ghost Rider origins (not 1005 sure), so could it actually be the comic you're thinking of, DD?

Dunsade Dave said...

I thought that, storywise, Uncanny Origins was ok, but the art was really not to my taste- especially the Cyclops issue.

Btw, Kid, a little googling has helped solve the other 99c title I was thinking of- it was called Over The Edge. I can remember reading an issue with Ghost Rider as a little light bedtime reading in the early hours of the morning when I came home from a night out, curled up on my bed with the cat snoring away in his basket. Funny thing, that cat hated anyone reading a newspaper in the house- if you read a paper in his presence, he'd either sit on it or scratch it to pieces. He never objected to me reading comics though.

Kid said...

I don't recall that particular title, DD - I must've missed it. Comics smell better than newspapers - that'll be why your kitty never destroyed any. I agree about the art on Uncanny Origins - it could've been better.

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