Monday, 13 March 2017


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS.  Art by Walter Simonson

Back at the end of 1983 or beginning of '84, I purchased
TALES OF ASGARD Volume 2, Number 1, with its beautifully
rendered WALT SIMONSON cover, and determined one day to
acquire Volume 1, Number 1 of the self-same title.  That issue had
been published in 1968, and it's possible I had seen it in some back
issue comic shop in the intervening 15 or 16 years between both
volumes, but, if so, I'd never felt the need to own it at that time.
Now, of course, I couldn't have the second one without
also having the first.

The years came and went without me ever obtaining the
aforementioned classic, but a year or so back, MARVEL pub-
lished a 6 issue series of all the Tales of Asgard stories - and then
released them in a hard-cover Omnibus-sized book.  (It's just been
released in a standard-sized softcover edition also.)  I now had all the
stories in their restored and re-coloured glory, not to mention a few
of the original THOR comics in which some of them first appeared.
What need now had I of the original 68 page 1968 comic?  If it was
anything like the 1983/'84 special, the artwork suffered from line
drop-out on VINCE COLLETTA's fine inking, rendering the
printed pages far less detailed than their original back-up
appearances in Thor's own monthly magazine.

Art by Jack Kirby & Frank Giacoia

Well, the answer is obvious - none, really.  So when I spied
the coveted issue on sale on ebay recently, I must've hesitated
for all of two seconds before snapping it up it to add to my already
vast collection.  What can I say?  Only other rabid collectors will
fully understand the need to fill that missing gap in a run - even
if you already have other presentations of the contents.

I now have the MASTERWORKS editions, as well as
the AVENGERS UNITED printings (a U.K. publication),
the recent re-coloured 6 issue series, the THOR OMNIBUS, the
MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION issues, the hardback book, the
1984 Walt Simonson covered comic - and now I have the '68 Special
as well.  (Only 27 or 28 years after I first decided to one day make it
my own.)  I have every Tales of Asgard story ever printed, in either
partial or complete presentations of these mini-classics.  Surely
now I can draw the curtains on that particular compulsion
to have a complete set of these stories?

You'd think so, wouldn't you?  But I'm finding that
recent release of the softcover edition mighty tempting.
Will someone please save me from myself?  


LeicesterJim said...

Hate to draw your attention to this, but, Eagle printed Tales of Asgard during 1968 in black and white. I don't have a copy to hand, but I bet Vinnie Colletta's inking showed up a treat!

John Pitt said...

I would have grabbed that standalone issue myself too, had I spotted it, as I never did see it in the spinner racks! Incidentally, do you happen to know if ALL the Tales Of Asgard were reprinted in the Eagle, or just some / one of them?
Anyway, I am glad that you brought up the subject of Masterworks, as I was just thinking today that, "I'm going to suggest to Kid that I'd love to see a series of posts just about his Masterworks!"
( still as cheeky as ever, eh? )
I've only got a few of them, -a couple of X-Men, Avengers, Spideys and FF's, plus one Hulk, DD, Thor and Iron Man!

Phil S said...

Oh my god. Remember I was saying I find it so odd reprints now sell for large amounts of money? Look at the prices for these graded NM issues of Tales of Asgard. I guess I think of comics the same as books. First issues are worth money and subsequent reissues are worth less. Yes I'm a collector but I wouldn't pay big money for reprints know what I mean.

I think part of my reaction is I bought this comic many moons ago to read and I find it insane people would pay so much for a reprint collection.

Kid said...

I've got the first issue it appeared in, LJ, and have just looked at it. The strip had a sort of wash added, so that it looked like the 'contents' pages in the inside covers of Marvel Collectors' Item Classics and Marvel Tales, etc. The first story was inked by George Roussos (using the name Bell), not Colletta 'though.


How about that, JP? It's almost as 'though you'd read LJ's comment before submitting your own. Offhand, I'm not sure how many issues of Eagle the strip appeared in, but it started in February 1968 and Eagle was merged into Lion in April 1969, so it's possible that all the Tales Of Asgard strips were reprinted in its pages. Couldn't say for sure 'though. I've actually done some posts on Masterworks before, but we'll see what the future holds, eh?


I've just bought a nm copy of Marvel Tales #11 for a few quid, PS, yet I see that some people are asking well over £100 for it on eBay, so I know what you're saying. I guess it's only people who had those reprint issues when they first came out who'd pay large sums for them, because they want to recapture a slice of their childhood.

Anonymous said...

Kid, I know you listen to Radio 4 so you've probably heard of The Listening Project where two people talk about a subject for five minutes. A couple of days ago there was an episode where a married couple talked about their vast collection of stuff that they had accumulated over the years. They admitted it was an albatross around their necks but couldn't bring themselves to get rid of any of it...guess who I was reminded of ?

Kid said...

Let me apply my mighty brain to your question, CJ.

H'mm, no, just can't think of anyone. Give us a clue.

Rip Jagger said...

One of my favorite Kirby covers. Bought it off the stands way back in the day and literally read the cover off it. Marvel, Kirby, Norse Myth -- Awesome!

Rip Off

Kid said...

This was the second version of the cover, RJ, because Stan Lee requested some changes to the layout of the first. I always felt that the Thor figure in his original attempt was better - not quite so stiff-looking.

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