Saturday, January 21, 2012

Marvel Firsts The 1970s Volume 1

This first volume of three Marvel Firsts 1970s hit the stands this past week and I was downright eager to add this great chronological volume to my collection. I own all of the individual issues already, but the years covered in this first one (1970-1973) are a real sweet spot for me.

It's fantastic to look through the volume and see these vintage stories, some great, some good, some just okay, but all indicative of this time for Mighty Marvel when the company was reaching out in various genres to expand.

None of the many licensed items are here (Conan, Kull, Doc Savage, Gullivar of Mars, etc.) but lots of core Marvel goodness is included, and you do get great cover galleries for the books not here in their appropriate slots chronologically.

There are some very sweet Neal Adams covers, as well as prime examples of the Gil Kane and Bill Everett duo as well as some dynamite stuff by Kane alone. 1972 might just well be dubbed at Marvel the "Year of Ploog" as Mike Ploog's influence on the company was immense.

Amazing Adventures - Inhumans & Black Widow - August 1970

Savage Tales - Man-Thing - May 1971

Marvel Spotlight - Red Wolf - November 1971

Marvel Feature - Defenders - December 1971

Marvel Spotlight - Werewolf by Night - February 1972

Amazing Adventures - The Beast - March 1972

Marvel Premiere - Warlock - April 1972

Tomb of Dracula - April 1972

Combat Kelly & The Deadly Dozen - June 1972

Hero for Hire - June 1972

Outlaw Kid - June 1972

Marvel Spotlight - Ghost Rider - August 1972

Gunhawks - October 1972

The Cat - November 1972

Shanna the She-Devil - December 1972

The Monster of Frankenstein - January 1973

Amazing Adventures - Killraven - May 1973

You can really get a nice sense of the framed cover design Marvel used through 1972. It was ultimately rejected, but it gives the covers of this time a really distinctive character.

I'm really looking forward to the next two volumes. The second should be arriving anytime and the third seems scheduled for this summer.

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  1. Call me sad but I've not felt so excited since the "Origins of Marvel Comics" books came out in the mid-1970s.

  2. I have to agree with you on that.

    I have all of these stories but these volumes are just so very sweet in there concept that I yearn to have them in this format. There's a sense of the greater Marvel Universe here that gets missed in other collections for the all the hoohah.

    There's no text stuff here, and maybe there should be a preface by Roy or Gary or Mike, but these definitely have that magic despite that lapse.

    Talk about pictures equaling words, these volumes do that.

    Rip Off

  3. I've never seen Outlaw Kid before but that cover would convince me to buy it. I think I need these!

  4. It's one of Gil Kane's best. The story alas is not as good. It's got some typical Dick Ayers artwork.

    Apparently Marvel was so impressed with the sales of the reprints of Outlaw Kid (Doug Wildey artwork inside) that they started it new.

    The new stuff didn't sell as well.

    Rip Off

  5. I have most of these issues but there's enough here that I'm going to get this book anyway. Thanks for posting the covers for each of the issues presented in the book -that's an easy way for people to figure out what's in it.

  6. Nice post, Rip --

    I've ordered this from Amazon, so it should be here very soon. I don't have all of the issues, as my collection has been whittled down over the years. Steve W.'s comment above about this being the modern version of "Origins", "Son of Origins", etc. is spot on. I will definitely get all three volumes.

    Another comment -- it's difficult to believe that these Essential-sized volumes are in color for only a $30 cover price, but it's true. Many thanks to Marvel for putting out such a great book at a truly affordable price.



  7. Karen - I love to gather covers and manipulate this classic art. It tweaks my memory and hopefully the memories of others. Glad they serve a practical purpose.

    Doug - I wince at $30 but given what else Marvel sells it is actually a good price point. I love the heft of these volumes too, the paper stock is ideal.

    Rip Off

  8. Got my copy today (ordered it Saturday after reading your article--thanx for the reminder!)--love it! Like you, I've got most of the originals, but having all these great firsts between two covers is, indeedy-doo, as close to Origins and Son of Origins as you can get these days!


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