Marvel Comics Index, vols 8A, 8B, 9A and 9B (1978-82)

The Marvel Comics Index #9A, X-Men

Complied, written and edited by George Olshevsky the Marvel Comics Index was published between 1976 and 1982, and was the first attempt to catalogue and index Marvel Comics’ huge library of superhero titles. The original collection consisted of 12 volumes and Olshevsky created the Indexes utilising his vast collection of Marvel Comics. Here are the last four volumes in the collection, Indexes #8A, #8B, #8A and #8B.

The Marvel Comics Index #9A,X-Men, page 65
The Marvel Comics Index #9A,X-Men, page 65

Olshevsky, who in the late 1970’s laid claim to being the only person to own every Marvel comic ever published, compiled his Marvel Comics Index featuring some of the comic giant’s most popular titles. Each volume provided author and artist breakdowns for each issue, cover photos, character introductions and a guide on using the Indexes. Olshevsky also provided detailed lists of guest stars, cameos and villains, and each book featured a cross-indexed list of creator credits and character appearances. For comic book collectors his Indexes were a gold mine of information – they were also a damn good read.

Marvel Comics Index #8A, Captain America page 4
The synopsis page from Index #7A

The Indexes were priced between $3.95 –$5.95 and measured 215mm x 280mm. They ran from 84 to 120 black and white pages and featured a full-colour original cover specially commissioned from some of Marvel’s most popular artists – including Neal Adams, Jim Sterenko, Brent Anderson and Frank Miller. The books were published by G & T Enterprises while later volumes were distributed by Pacific Comics.

The Marvel Comics Index #9B, The Human Fly
Listings for The Human Fly from Index #9B

In this last batch of Indexes we have breakdowns for some of Marvel’s heavy-hitters including Captain America, Iron Man, The X-Men and Daredevil. Also included are listings for Ghost Rider, The Champions, Ms. Marvel, The Black Panther, Nova and, oddly enough, The Human Fly. Based on the exploits of a Canadian stunt performer, The Human Fly was Marvel’s first comic book based on a real-life person, and although I admire Olshevsky’s thoroughness, the inclusion of this short-run title (it closed after 19 issues) is a little strange.

The Marvel Comics Index #5, The Mighty Thor contents page
Franc Reyes contents page from Index #5

As this is my last post on the Marvel Comic Index it seems only fair that I draw attention to the Contents pages from all 12 volumes. They also featured specially commissioned artwork, but from artists perhaps not as well known as those who contributed to the covers: John Allison (Index #1); Peter Iro (#2, #3, #4); Franc Reyes (#5, #6, #7A, #7B, #8B); Rick Hoberg (#8A, #9B) and Jim Valentino (#9A). Although I’m familiar with Reyes, Valentino and Hoburg  I confess that I’d never heard of Peter Iro, who, according to Marvel.wikia.com  worked briefly for the company as a letterer and inker.

The Official Marvel Index to Avengers, #7
The last Indexes O wrote for Marvel, 1988

In each edition of the Indexes Olshevsky had announced seven more collections in the series (volumes #10-16), which would feature Team-Up titles, War Heroes, Vampires, Martial Arts Heroes, amongst others. However these volumes were cancelled when Olshevsky began to collaborate directly with Marvel to write and edit a series of Indexes for the comic book giant. Olshevsky had originally published the first 12 volumes of his Marvel Comics Index independently, with Marvel’s permission. When the comic giant saw how successful the Indexes had become they contracted him to write more volumes, which they published throughout the 1980’s. Although Olshevsky bowed out of the project in 1988 Marvel continued publishing versions of the Index until 2013.

Although all the information contained in the 12 editions of the Marvel Comics Index can now be found online I’ve a great affection for these printed editions. Not only were they an invaluable tool as I collected comics as a kid, they were also a hugely entertaining read. Second-hand copies of the Indexes can be found on Amazon and ebay but they’re not that readily available, and anyone wanting to own a complete set will have their work cut out tracking them all down. It’s ironic then that a series of books meant to help facilitate the collection of comics should themselves become collectors items… not a bad legacy really.

Below are Indexes #8A, #8B, #9A and #9B with annotations. I’ve already looked at volumes #1, #2, #3, and #4 here, while volumes #5, #6, #7A and #7B are here. 

Marvel Comics Index #8A, Heroes From Tales of Suspense

Marvel Comics Index #7A:
Heroes from Tales of Suspense: Captain America

Published December 1978
Wraparound cover artwork by Jim Steranko

Indexed in this volume:
The Yellow  Claw #1-4; Tales of Suspense #39-99; Captain America #100-235; Captain America Annual #1-4; Giant-Size Captain America #1 and Marvel Treasury Special: Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles.

Also included is a cover gallery of Golden Age  comics featuring Captain America

The Marvel Comics Index #08, Heroes From Tales of Suspense

Marvel Comics Index #7B:
Heroes from Tales of Suspense: Iron Man

Published December 1979
Wraparound cover artwork by Ken Steacy

Indexed in this volume:
Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1; The Invincible Iron Man #1-118; The Invincible Iron Man Annual #1-4; Giant-Size Iron Man #1; Amazing Adventures #1-39; The Inhumans #1-12; The Cat #1-4;  Ms. Marvel #1-21; The Man Called Nova #1-23; Omega the Unknown #1-10 and Skull the Slayer #1-8

The Marvel Comics Index #9A, X-Men

Marvel Comics Index #9A:
X-Men

Published November 1981
Wraparound cover artwork by Brent Anderson and Terry Austin

Indexed in this volume:
The X-Men #1-152; The X-Men Annual #1-5; Giant-Size X-Men #1-2; Amazing Adventures (vol. 3) #1-14; Ghost Rider (vol. 2) #1-63 and The Champions #1-17

Also included is a Golden Age cover gallery featuring Venus

The Marvel Comics Index, #9B, Daredevil Marvel Comics Index #9B:
Daredevil

Published April 1982
Wraparound cover artwork by Frank Miller and Josef Rubinstein

Indexed in this volume:
Daredevil, The Man Without Fear #1-81; Daredevil, The Man Without Fear Annual #1-4; Giant-Size Daredevil #1; Marvel Adventure #1-6; Jungle Action #1-24; Black Panther #1-15; Shanna the She-Devil #1-5; Black Goliath #1-5; The Human Fly #1-19 and Dazzler #1-14

Advertisements