Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Ranging in price from one dollar and ninety-five cents to two dollars and fifty cents, these sleek little paperbacks were handsome and highly useful additions to the collection in the late 70's. It was in these little beauties that I first read in their entirety the earliest adventures of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Hulk and the Fantastic Four. The adventures of Captain America I'd been able to read some years before in various reprints and annuals, but the others I had only in incomplete form. So these brightly colored tomes, printed on solid white stock were at once pretty and useful, a rare combination indeed.
These particular characters were all getting various levels of love in other media at the time. The Hulk leading the pack was still in the midst of a highly successful TV run, and Spidey had a show too. Cap had a couple of TV movies which Doc Strange getting one of those. Only the FF were not getting some prime time love, but if memory serves they did have a cartoon going about this time, the one with H.E.R.B.I.E.
The only one of these I did not buy was the one dedicated to Spider-Woman, which reprinted stories myself had recently purchased. I wonder if this is one of the earliest instances of what amounts to a bookshelf reprint which we find so common in these modern days of the trade.The issues here were in some instances less than a year old when this handy volume hit the stands, showing surprising confidence in the character, or at the least a strong desire to create demand.