Friday, 4 September 2015


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

This one has a convoluted history, so let's see if I can explain
it coherently.  MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #1 was a one-shot
tie-in to the cartoon series that was on U.S. TV at the time.  Later,
after 11 issues, FANTASY MASTERPIECES changed it's name
to Marvel Super-Heroes, which lasted until #105 in 1981/'82.

Therefore, if you possess #s 1 & 12 of this comic and have
vainly sought for #s 2-11, you can now relax - they don't exist!
On a personal note, I first got this issue at a church jumble sale on
Saturday 7th October 1972 - the very same day that The MIGHTY
WORLD Of MARVEL #2 went on sale.  The one you see above is
a replacement, as I didn't keep my original copy.  (The previous
owner had used it as a dartboard and it was full of holes.)

If you recall this comic, feel free to wax lyrical about it in the
comments section.  Free therapy - what more do you want?


Paul McScotty- Muir said...

I wasn't aware of that or it was a tie in to a cartoon show. I have picked up in my travels a few "Marvel Super Heroes" titles (not in great condition but readable) and a couple of Fantasy Masterpieces" some good stuff (although the printings not great in my copies). I assume the King Size Super-Heroes edition , going by the dates (11 monthly issues of FM etc) came around the middle of the Fantasy Masterpieces 11 issue run- I can imagine a few collectors are not aware of this lol

John Pitt said...

Well explained, sir! I had this, all the Fantasy Masterpieces and MS-H's #12-16 but put them all back in circulation in '81!
Why did I do this?
Because I was a FOOL!!

Kid said...

McS, FM #1 is dated Feb '66, so it would've come out around Nov '65. As the MSH one-shot came out around July '66 (dated Oct in the indicia), that means that FM preceded MSH by about 8 months. FM being bi-monthly for its 11 issues means that MSH #1 came out around the same time as FM #4. So #12 of MSH is actually a #1 of sorts.


On to eBay with you, JP. You can have them all back again for mere money.

Phil said...

Had that comic it was rough when I got it and fell apart. Funny I don't remember the Namor / Torch story much. What I remember reading golden age Marvel reprints was the art was hard to see since it reproduced muddy and everyone looked like they were inkling with their eyes closed the lines were so thick. Remember I was reading Curt Swan and Jim Mooney doing Superboy or Infantino Flash with their beautiful brushwork so when I saw Burgos and golden age Everett I couldn't stand the art. Later Everett of the 60s and 70s I like a lot.

Kid said...

I think the problem was that Marvel didn't have the original proofs to print those Golden Age stories, Phil, so they were sourcing the pages straight from old comics and then (poorly) retouching and recolouring them.

TC said...

This was the first Marvel comic that I ever read. I vaguely remember buying it in a drugstore or grocery store when my family stopped off on the way back from a vacation trip to Florida.

1966 was the year I "graduated" from Disney and other "funny animal" comics to the "serious" (relatively speaking) superhero genre. The Batman TV series was sort of the gateway drug for me (and a lot of other kids my age). In the previous six months I had read several DC comics (Batman, Superman, Justice League), but had I don't think I'd heard of any of the Marvel characters before.

"Marvel Super Heroes" was an umbrella title for five solo TV cartoon series (although with occasional team-ups and crossovers) starring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Sub-Mariner, and the Hulk. Avengers #2 was adapted for a Hulk episode, and Avengers #4 and some of the Kooky Quartet issues were adapted for the Captain America series.

IIRC, the Torch vs. Sub-Mariner story was an excerpt from Marvel Mystery Comics #8 (1940); I believe the rest of it was reprinted in Fantasy Masterpieces.

Kid said...

The comic's tucked away again, TC, so I can't check, but I think you're right about the Torch versus Subby tale. How does it feel to see the cover again after almost 50 years?

Joe S. Walker said...

With hindsight the Kirby/Ditko/Heck fantasy stories reprinted in Fantasy Masterpieces were pretty poorly reproduced too, even though they were only a few years old at the time. I think Marvel were just no good at looking after their old stuff.

Kid said...

I think the trouble was, Joe, that Marvel reproduced from stats (and sometimes from stats of stats) which resulted in a lot of line dropout. That's why some of the Kirby strips inked by Vince Colletta looked so poor when they were reprinted; most of Colletta's fine inking was lost and clumsily retouched in places by someone using what looked like a biro or felt pen. That happened with other strips too, of course.

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