Category Archives: Comics History

Marvel Comics Index, vols 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1976-77)

The Marvel Comics Index #03, The Avengers, Defenders, and Captain Marvel

In the mid-1970’s George Olshevsky was probably one of the most envied comic book fans in the world, for he could lay claim to a unique boast: he was the only person to own every Marvel Comic ever published. Olshevsky utilised this vast collection by attempting to assemble the first complete catalogue of the company’s inventory, the Marvel Comics Index. Continue reading Marvel Comics Index, vols 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1976-77)

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Captain America: The Great Gold Steal (1968)

Steve Rogers – Captain America – was a man out of his own time. Some times the memories would come – as they had earlier this day when there were no diversions and no escapes left – but they were painful memories, and not at all the memories of normal men.

Captain America was not, in any sense of the word, a normal man.

Captain America: The Great Gold Steal was published by Bantam Books in July 1968 and was the second attempt to translate a Marvel Comics property into a prose novel. Sadly it shared the fate of its predecessor and failed to find an audience, quickly vanishing without trace. Well, almost.

Continue reading Captain America: The Great Gold Steal (1968)

The Avengers Battle The Earth-Wrecker (1967)

The Avengers Battle The Earth-Wrecker

“Finish them off, Goliath,” ordered Karzz. “Pick up that iron club and see that nothing recognizable remains of them. Go… do as I say.” But Goliath was hesitating, a bewildered look on his face, like that of a man coming out of a dream. “But they… my friends,” he said brokenly. “Won’t… can’t harm them”. 

The Wasp helplessly watched Karzz shine his headband device at Goliath, who again subsided into a mindless slave with slack jaws and transfixed stare. In a trance the mighty man picked up a huge spiked iron club that lay ready and strode ponderously toward the nearest limp Avenger.

Published by Bantam Books in June 1967 The Avengers Battle The Earth-Wrecker was Marvel Comics’ first attempt to adapt their successful range of superhero comics into prose novels. Ultimately the experiment failed and the book is all but forgotten today.

Continue reading The Avengers Battle The Earth-Wrecker (1967)

The Complete Fantastic Four

The Complete Fantastic Four, issue #1
The history of Marvel UK in the 1970s

The Complete Fantastic Four

In 1972 American comic giant Marvel launched a UK subsidiary to tap into Britain’s lucrative weekly comic book market. The success of their first title, The Mighty World of Marvel, gave them a foothold in the UK and over the next five years Marvel UK consolidated their position by launching another ten weekly titles, featuring reprinted stories starring some of their most popular characters, including Spider-Man, The Avengers, Dracula and The Hulk. These comics successfully mimicked the tried and tested formula of their British counterparts: cheaply priced (and printed) black and white comics featuring a selection of different stories, or strips, as well as competitions, puzzles and Letters pages. It quickly became apparent that there was a place for Marvel in the British market and between 1972 and 1977 the US giant hit an almost unbroken run of successful titles. Continue reading The Complete Fantastic Four