addicted to marvel tales annual 1 (marvel comics 1964 part 2)

This article is one of twenty-four ‘book reviews’ addressing my introduction to and immediate addiction to Marvel superhero comics in the summer of 1964. Before reading this, I recommend that you read the first part, “addicted to marvel comics 1964,” which provides the background for the what follows here and subsequent articles. These twenty-four individual parts will be pieced together into one article under the original title of “addicted to marvel comics 1964.”

I was just shy of 13-years old at the time, a perfect age to be smitten with the wonders provided by the Marvel bullpen. I had been reading comic books for years (who hasn’t by that age?) but had somehow been unaware of Marvel’s appeal, instead reading the DC pantheon of do-gooders. 1

Before proceeding with this installment, I recommend that you read the first, “addicted to marvel comics 1964 (part 1).” It provides some explanation and background for what follows in this and subsequent articles.


AdamStrange

I confess: I was fond of one science-fiction-based DC character: Adam Strange with usually fine if often sterile art by Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson, and Gil Kane appeared in Mystery In Space.

The first one is always free

When I felt the first pangs of Marvel addiction in the Summer of 1964 (and the blame was laid on my friend Jon May in the first part of this series that I just recommended that you read), the titles with October and November 1964 cover dates were available in stores throughout the Wilkes-Barre area. So were three special titles: Fantastic Four Annual #2, Spiderman Annual #1, and Marvel Tales Annual #1.

The first two of these jumbo-sized editions featured brand new stories by Lee and Kirby and Lee and Ditko accompanied by reprints from earlier issues of each title. The third was a new title and consisted entirely of reprinted strips from several titles from the previous two years. 2

There was no organized comic book collecting in 1964 in most small towns and cities. There were fanzines, notably the Rocket’s Blast Comicollector (which I will discuss in a future article), but finding back issues was not an easy task—especially if you wanted those comics with their front covers intact.

So the Marvel Tales Annual was greeted with enthusiasm by fans and soon-to-be collectors such as myself. I say this as more than an assumption because sales must have been healthy as the book remained on retail shelves for months rather than the few weeks that a normal comic was available before its return or its destruction. 3


Hawkman

My brother Charles was a fan of Joe Kubert’s Hawkman, who was the star of The Brave And The Bold. But there was no sign of addiction or even psychological dependence from either of us for either of them. (And I don’t recall my baby sister Mary Alice ever having any interest in comic books outside of the usual childhood reading we all had then.)

Comics without covers and the Back-Date Book Store

I grew up in Kingston, Pennsylvania, a sort of Leave-It-To-Beaver-Land (white, working-class, mostly crime and drug free) that adjoined Wilkes-Barre, the hub of Wyoming Valley and center of the once thriving anthracite coal mining industry. On South Main Street, a few blocks from the Public Square (the center of the city, geographically and emotionally) was one of the city’s chief sources of cultural enlightenment: the Back-Date Book Store (BDBS).

This operation purchased every left-over (therefore back-dated) magazine and comic book from every mom-and-pop shop—because that’s what they all were in the days before corporate chains ruined doing business in these here United States—and every wholesaler in the area, each county in the state having a single one-stop wholesale supplier. The BDBS then sold them to the public as ‘back-dated’ magazines.

Meaning they weren’t used!

Nope, they were usually worse than used.

Back then, both retailers and wholesalers were able to return unsold periodicals for credit. The actual act of returning the full magazine was expensive due to shipping, so the retailer merely cut the top off of the cover—which had the title, cover date, and price—and shipped bundles of these strips of paper back to the wholesaler. 

This was actually a time-consuming procedure. Plus, the razor blade usually sliced through the top pages of the magazine’s interior (or guts), making it useless for resale! So stores took to simply ripping the full front cover off of the magazines and sending the covers back for credit.

Then the retailer and the wholesaler sold the guts of the left-over magazines to stores such as the Back-Date Book Store, usually for a penny per comic book and anywhere from two to five cents for magazines. Note that periodicals that retained interest and value after their shelf-life rarely showed up at BDBS, Playboy being a perfect example.


JimmyOlsen_coverless

This is a copy of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #49 (December 1960) without its cover. This is how my brother Charles and I bought and read countless comic books in the early ’60s. While coverless comics for 5¢ apiece were fine prior to my transmogrification into a Marveladdict, afterward the “change” they were completely unacceptable! PS: Charles and I never bought Jimmy Olsen comics, even for a nickel—wudda wimp!

So it was that coverless comic books could be purchased for a nickel apiece or six for a quarter! When my brother Charles and I were younger, going to Back-Date with our quarters was a big deal: it was the reading of the comic book that was most important—we didn’t mind no how that the covers were missing!

Well, we didn’t mind much. Hell, we were dumb kids! Once in a white moon, we found a comic completely intact. Ahhhhh, that was a moment to cherish. 4

And what does this have to do with my addiction to Marvel comics and my need (getting stronger every day) to acquire a complete run of each title in the best condition possible?

Nothing.

By the time that I began collecting Marvels in ’64, I had already stopped frequenting the Back-Date Book Store. I had no hope of actually finding the comic books there or anywhere that I wanted in any kind of collectable condition (for me then, collectable meant being intact)

But then a bloody miracle happened!

The tale of which I will save for the second major chapter in my story (tentatively titled “marvel comics 1965”), the telling of which is months away.

Back to the summer 0f ’64 . . .

The year’s greatest collector’s item!

The first Marvel Tales Annual collected “six big, thrilling, uncut origin tales of your mighty Marvel super heroes”: the incredible Hulk, the amazing Spiderman, the mighty Thor, the returning Ant-Man with the winsome Wasp, the suspenseful Iron Man, and the expanding Giant Man, and one superduperless group of war heroes, the growling Sgt. Nick Fury and his howling commandos!

But wait—that’s seven heroes! What is going on? This first Marvel Tales Annual includes in this order:

1) the complete Spiderman story from Amazing Fantasy #15;

2) the first half of the story in The Incredible Hulk #1 which explains the monster’s origin;

3) the complete Ant-Man story from Tales To Astonish #35, although Henry Pym’s first experience with shrinking himself appeared in TTA #27, which is not included;

4) two pages from Tales To Astonish #49 introducing Ant-Man’s transformation into Giant-Man;

5) an excerpt from Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #1 explaining the formation of the unit;

6) the issue’s only original piece was a nice bit of filler/fluff titled “Meet the Gang in the Merry Marvel Bullpen!” that consisted of photos of members of the Marvel staff (although missing Steve Ditko);

7) the complete Iron Man story from Tales Of Suspense #39 followed by three pages of Tony Stark in his new red and gold suit from TOS #48; and

8) the complete of Thor story from Journey Into Mystery #83.

Here is a brief review of the annual and my response as a 13-year old to these golden oldies as best I remember them fifty years later. 5


MarvelTalesAnnual1b

Marvel Tales Annual 1 (June 1964)

Cover art: The cover features five images by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia with Spiderman by Steve Ditko. Static grid-like layout serves the needs of the title and the white backdrop allows each of the characters to stand out of the cover.

Comments: Finding Marvel Tales Annual #1 as soon as I began collecting was a BIG deal for me: having the origins of several of my new favorite fictional characters all in one place for only a quarter! To repeat myself, comic book collecting was unorganized and decentralized. All I knew was that finding yesterday’s comics in decent shape (cover intact, neither tattered nor chewed) was difficult—and I hadn’t a clue as to their value should I find someone who wanted to sell one to me as a collectable item!

At the time, I figured that Marvel Tales Annual #1 had been issued no later than June 1964, in time for summer reading. It was on sale throughout the summer along with the other two annuals, so I also assumed that the three were issued simultaneously.

This first volume reprinted seven stories from six titles. I am listing them below in the chronological order of release of the individual titles.


Hulk1mini

The Incredible Hulk 1 (May 1962)

Cover art: Jack Kirby/George Roussos

Comments: Great cover! Kirby’s drawing and the placement of the figures is both dramatic and graphically effective: the ghostlike image of the Hulk not only overwhelms Dr. Bruce Banner, it overwhelms the viewer.

Good inks from Roussos (they look Kirbyish) coupled with excellent use of the limited palette of the four-color process capture some of Kirby’s raw power. This is one of my favorite covers of the early Marvel period 1961-1963.

Feature: “The Hulk”
Writer: Stan Lee (and Jack Kirby)
Interior art: Jack Kirby/Paul Reinman

Comments: Dr. Bruce Banner, a non-athletic scientist (were there any other kind in the world of comic books in those days?) works for the US military designing bigger and better bombs to defend the American way of life (which meant then and means now to kill civilians in third world countries). During an experiment, he is exposed to a bombardment of gamma rays.

(There really are gamma rays: electromagnetic radiation of an extremely high frequency and are therefore high energy photons and biologically hazardous.)

Instead of dying, he is transformed into a huge, hulking gray monster at night—a creature all Freudian/Thanatosian id, seemingly devoid of social consciousness. (And Kirby’s design for the Hulk is based on Boris Karloff’s monster in the Frankenstein movies of the ’30s.) But when the sun comes up, the good, civic-minded, patriotic Dr. Banner returns to normal. 

BorisKarloff_Frankenstein

This is a publicity still of Boris Karloff in his classic and unbeatable make-up as ‘the monster’ created by Dr. Victor von Frankenstein in the Universal Studios movie Bride Of Frankenstein from 1935. Flesh out the face, tint it babypoo green, and—voila!—you have one of Marvel’s favorite super-anti-heroes!

Looking back at Stan Lee in 1962, was the philosophical essence of the Hulk a look back for him at Marlon Brando in The Wild One—the modern anti-hero still being a rather fresh concept? (“Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?” “Wudda you got?”)

MarlonBranodWildOne150

Marlon Brando as the punk Johnny Strabler in Columbia Pictures movie The Wild One from 1953. Jettison the cap, flesh out the face and tint it babypoo green, and you have a sickly looking Brando who bears no resemblance to any Marvel superhero! But the ‘Up yours!’ attitude remains . . .

Or was the Hulk a prescient look into an American future filled with sociopaths (many elected into office) and mass-murderers (many elected into office)?

Moot questions. (Look it up . . .)

For the story, the plot was predictable, the art serviceable: Kirby’s pencils were weakened by Reinman’s brush. 6

When I bought this annual, I did not know that the Hulk had had his own comic, as there wasn’t a Hulk title available in 1964. The Incredible Hulk only lasted six issues before being discontinued.

Addiction Level: 2

Comments: Much as I would like to say that I was immediately smitten with the Hulk, it’s just not so. I was not particularly drawn to or engaged with the Banner/Hulk dichotomy and so he was far from my favorite Marvel character. I saw him as a knock-off of the Thing with Ben Grimm’s rage magnified and a heaping dose of stupidity thrown in.

Based on the lack of sales, I was in the majority.

Based on the origin story, an AL of 2 may be generous.

But someone at Marvel was obsessed with Bruce Banner’s nocturnal identity and the Hulk (who turned green along the way) kept popping up in other titles, often as an enemy to one of the other costumed heroes. My response remained the same: regardless of how many times and under what circumstances they brought back the Hulk, I found him less than inspiring.

Within a few years, the Hulk’s disaffection from and alienation in his own country and culture struck a resonant chord with the nascent hippie movement and he became somewhat of an underground hero, along with Spidey and Doctor Strange. (Coincidentally, all three were drawn by Steve Ditko, a conservative’s conservative later in his career). 7

Coincidentally, he was also adopted as a mascot by countless jocks across the country. It was sometimes disconcerting to leave a hippie pad with a Hulk poster on the wall and find myself at a dorm room at Wilkes College with a Hulk poster on the wall . . . 


AmazingFantasy15mini

Amazing Fantasy 15 (August 1962)

Cover art: Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko

Comment: Mediocre cover art for one of the most important comic books ever published. Ditko’s inks on Kirby’s pencils have never really worked effectively, and it doesn’t work here. Even the colors are drab.

Feature: “Spiderman”
Writer: Stan Lee (and Steve Ditko)
Interior art: Steve Ditko/Steve Ditko

Comments: Teenage egghead who is a bully-target gets bitten by a radioactive spider and develops a variety of powers supposedly related to arachnids. As a superhero, he applies his intelligence to supplementing those powers through science—the web-thrower he develops in his spare time is worthy of the world’s finest weapons designer.

He also taps into previously unknown but apparently latent superduper powers in art and fashion to design one of the most effective and distinct costumes in the Marvel universe!

Of course, his first thoughts are towards making a little money (for good reason, not mere greed) and his attempts to capitalize on his newfound powers inadvertently lead to the death of his beloved uncle.

So it is that the amazing Spiderman’s origin is based in tragedy and guilt.

Nice if inauspicious début.

Addiction Level: 3

Comments: Classic if derivative superhero origin story (are there any other kind?) modestly belies the amazing future of the amazing Spiderman. This first appearance is modest: Ditko’s art is okay but would blossom in a few issues (at least in regards to Spidey and his enemies; his stock characters always looked, well, stock) and Lee would get a better grip on the narrative. 

Being a nerdy teenaged bully-target in 1964, I was totally caught up in Puny Parker’s attempts to reconcile his newfound powers (a metaphor for Peter and Neal’s awakening sexual potency, right?) with his established method of dealing with the world and the people in it plus his need to keep some continuity in his normal life. All in all, a humble beginning for a modern legend. 8

Like Superman, the handsome but withdrawn Peter Parker will have to continue to hide his secret identity from his peers (here his high school classmates) and allow himself to be bullied by asshole jock Flash Thompson and made to look a pathetic coward to his first crush, blonde hottie Liz Allen.

Later in the series, he has to maintain this demeanor at work, where his asshole boss J. Jonah Jameson bullies him relentlessly in front of his second crush, brunette hottie Betty Brant, a wallflowery version of Betty Page. (Of course, eventually poor Petey ends up with a bevy of beauties, notably redhead Mary Jane Watson and platinum Gwen Stacey, things that rarely come true for egghead/bully-target/mama’s-boys in the real world of Consensual Reality.)

Based on this origin story, an AL of 3 proved to be a mighty under-assessment of Spidey’s durability and sheer amazingness. I was hook-line-and-sinkered on Spiderman based on the comics that I read at Jon’s; this only made the addiction stronger.


Journey83_Original

Journey Into Mystery 83 (August 1962)

Cover art: Jack Kirby/Joe Sinnott

Comments: Good cover with decent art: the circular trail made by the swinging hammer-head adds to the effect. And look how lean Thor is! 9

Feature: “The Power Of Thor”
Writer: Stan Lee and Larry Leiber
Interior art: Jack Kirby/Joe Sinnott

Comments: While on a trip to Norway, meek and mild-mannered (aren’t they all?) and lame American Dr. Donald Blake encounters alien invaders. Hiding in a cave, he finds an old stick and pounds it against a rock in frustration. The impact transforms the stick into a magic hammer (unnamed in the story but called Mjölnir in the legends) and the doctor into Thor, the Norse god of thunder.

Whereas some form of science is offered as an explanation for the superpowers of Marvel’s other heroes, two received their power through magic: Doctor Strange through the ‘mystic arts’ and Thor through an old pre-Christian religion.

As an origin story, this is outside everyone’s mold, so it has a little verve. But the character of Blake-as-Thor has zero charisma and the god is devoid of a sense of humor, wit, or irony. Also, he is a clean-shaven blonde; in Norse legend, he was a bearded redhead. Here he is leanly muscular; with time, it appeared that he was an original user of anabolic steroids, which bulked him up but did nothing positive for his personality.

Addiction Level: 2

Comments: This is an okay origin issue, but nothing to shake a stick at. The Thor strip would become more magical under Kirby’s story direction and emerging artistic vision, and would be both burdened and elevated by Lee’s often absurd dialog. (The word penultimate has never been the same to those of us who grew up reading Thor in the ’60s.)

Nonetheless, it was always a fun read with some awesome artwork as time went by. Regular inker Vince Colletta had a more illustrator-like approach than most comic book embellishers, which gave Kirby’s pencils a very different, ‘lighter’ feel than usual (although it lessened the impact of Kirby’s vision).

While Stan Lee would use aspects of the Norse religion (primarily the gods and their heavenly world Valhalla), at no times were any of them treated with religious respect. They are merely story elements. When Kirby became involved as uncredited co-writer, he took the godness to even greater heights but still ignored the actual sense of the religion that these gods should engender in puny Earthlings.

But got more interesting when Kirby started playing with the cosmicness of it all. So I would have to say that my AL of 2 was a reasonable response to this origin story; but that it rose to a 3 as time went on and Thor and Odin and Loki and the other cast of characters developed—although Kirby and Lee never developed any really interesting villains for Thor.


TalesToAstonish35mini

Tales To Astonish 35 (September 1962)

Cover art: Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers

Comments: A Kirby cover in line with the many covers that he had drawn for this title when it was a potpourri of monster and science fiction stories. Nothing special.

Feature: “The Return Of The Ant-Man”
Writer: Stan Lee (and Jack Kirby)
Interior art: Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers

Comments: Here scientist Henry Pym invents two serums: one shrinks a man to ant size and the other restores him to his full size. He develops a fascination for ants and learns how to communicate with them electronically, in effect becoming their leader. Thus is born Ant-Man, plainly derivative of one of DC’s most uninteresting characters, the Atom, with a touch of The Incredible Shrinking Man thrown in.

Addiction Level: 2

Comments: As my description above should make clear, Ant-Man and his sidekick and object of affection, the Wasp, were among Lee and Kirby’s least memorable creations. The main man was so forgettable that within a year Lee and Kirby would be planning to completely alter the nature of the character’s powers.

But whether Ant Man was still more exciting than the Atom. Of course, this title wasn’t very successful on the store shelves so Marvel would eventually turn Ant-Man into the even less interesting Giant-Man. (Refer to Tales To Astonish 49 below.)

Based on this origin story, an AL of 2 may be generous.


TalesOfSuspense39_mini

Tales Of Suspense 39 (Mar 1963)

Cover art: Jack Kirby/Don Heck

Comments: Kirby’s design for Iron Man’s suit of armor is a throwback to cheesy ’50s science-fiction movies—think Robby the Robot in 1956’s Forbidden Planet. (Remember that ’50s movies were only a few years old in 1963 but already dated.) And it worked for me: another one of my favorite covers of the early Marvel period 1961-1963.

Feature: “Iron Man Is Born”
Writer: Stan Lee (and Jack Kirby)
Interior art: Don Heck/Don Heck

Comments: Millionaire playboy/businessman/inventor Tony Stark designs a weaponized suit of armor for the US military to defend the American way of life (which meant then and means now to kill civilians in third world countries).

Stark finds that he needs the suit’s electronic capabilities following a heart attack. The suit makes him a super-soldier and instead of giving it to the Army as intended, he keeps it and fights bad guys as Iron Man. Not a bad origin, as it is plausible. (Even more so today with technology.)

Addiction Level: 2

Comments: Despite a super-powerless superhero, mediocre scripts, and artwork better suited to a romance comic (courtesy of Iron Man co-creator Don Heck), I was a fan.

While my AL never rose much, I just kept liking Iron Man regardless of the changes they put him (rather, his armor) through: from the clunky gray to the sleek and smart red and gold.

Based on this origin story, an AL of 2 seems in hindsight to have been accurate.


SgtFury1mini

Sgt. Fury And His His Howling Commandos 1 (May 1963)

Cover art: Jack Kirby/Jack Kirby

Comments: Good if unexceptional Kirby cover, but still a helluvalot more kinetic than DC’s established and more successful war titles.

Feature: “Seven Against the Nazis”
Writer: Stan Lee (and Jack Kirby)
Interior art: Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers

Comments: We are introduced to the resourceful sergeant and his scrappy command as they rescue members of the French resistance. So-so story and characters. Basically, Lee and Kirby give us Kirby’s Boy Commandos from the ’40s all grown up in the ’60s (although the action takes place in the ’40s). 10

Addiction Level: 2

Comments: There were a number of comic books at the time devoted to the near superhuman exploits of American GIs in WWII, the best and longest running being Joe Kubert’s excellent Sgt. Rock, the star of DC’s Our Army At War comics. The question then was couldn’t Marvel have given Sgt. Fury another rank so as not to seem like a rank imitation? Corporal Fury? Captain Fury?

This was another comic that took place in the European theater, leaving us with the question, “Did any American war comic book hero of the ’50s and ’60s see action in the Pacific?” Had they pitted our heroes against the Japanese, then this title could have been Sgt. Fury & His Jammering Jarheads!

Many of the ideas were based on Kirby’s actual experiences during the war and it of course featured Kirby’s art on the cover and on the story for this first important issue.

Based on this origin story, an AL of 2 may be generous. This title never really improved a lot. A few years later, the past-middle-aged Fury took on another role and another strip as Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., where he got play play James Bond (and receive some of the most innovative artwork in all of comicdom when Jim Steranko was given the assignment)


TalesToAstonsih49mini

Tales To Astonish 49 (November 1963)

Cover art: Don Heck/Stan Goldberg

Comment: Solid if unexceptional cover; the erased pieces of Giant Man’s legs add a nice touch to the art.

Feature: “The Birth of Giant-Man”
Writer: Stan Lee (and Jack Kirby)
Interior art: Jack Kirby/Don Heck

Comment: Scientist Henry Pym uses his serums to change from the Ant-Man (see Tales To Astonish 35 above) to Giant Man, where he was able to reach a height of twelve feet. In his new guise he encounters the Eraser, an ‘eliminator’ from an alternative/parallel universe that shares the same space with Earth. These people have been monitoring Earth for years. When they learn that we have the atomic bomb, they enter our universe with their erasers.

The story was hackneyed and the art was basically Kirby roughing pages for Heck. They work but it’s neither artist’s best effort.

Addiction Level: 2

Comments: Ant-Man and his connection to the billions of tiny critters that share this planet with us was a potentially interesting character. That potential was never realized, artistically or commercially, and so one of Marvel’s least successful superheroes was drastically changed into an even less interesting character.

Even with the winsome Wasp remaining at his side, this was one of Marvel’s least developed features and I felt little for the loss of one and the gain of the other.

Based on this origin story, an AL of 2 may be generous, but Giant Man was one of the least impressive characters among Jon’s pile of comics. They should have stuck with Ant Man and given him more creative attention.

WHAT IF: So, instead of the issues that Jon May had brought to the cabin with him (mostly issues of a 1964 vintage), what if he had brought the seven comics that found their way into Marvel Tales Annual? What if they had been lying around the cottage those days back in the Summer of ’64, and I had spent a week reading and rereading them, would I have given up any semblance of free will and gladly become addicted to Marvel superhero comics?

I don’t really know. Perhaps not.

A summing up of my responses to these early issues

While I was delighted to have instant access to these older titles through the Marvel Tales Annual and be able to read the origin stories of these Marvel heroes, what impressed me most was how derivative these (super) heroes had been and how far Marvel had advanced in a few years. The art of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko especially had improved, had matured, so dramatically that it was as if different artists bore the same name! Oh, and that young writer Lee kept getting better!


Ditko_DrStrange300

Postscriptually, this article, “addicted to marvel tales annual 1 (marvel 1964 part 2),” is a small part that will be pieced together into one article under the original title of “addicted to marvel comics 1964.” That larger article is one of several that I intend to post concerning my comic book collecting in the ’60s.

The second scheduled article deals with a shop on North Street in Wilkes-Barre so tiny that it made Puterbaughs look like an emporium! The old man (and man-o-man was he old) that owned the store paid 2¢ apiece for used funnybooks and sold them for a nickel. And man o man what I bought at that store . . .



Footnotes:

1   I placed thee term ‘superheroes’ in single quotes to call attention to the fact that they do not all have ‘super powers’ as they are normally understood in comic books: Iron Man simply has a highly functional suit of armor, Doctor Strange is Master of the Mystic Arts (a magician), and Thor is a bloody pagan deity. The term costumed crimefighters is more accurate.

2   Marvel’s annuals were seventy-two pages for 25¢ versus the usual thirty-two pages for 12¢ of a regular comic book. This was eight more pages for a penny but the annuals actually had fewer ads so it was bit more generous than that.

3   Did Marvel and DC do a single printing of their 25¢ annuals like the regular 12¢ titles—which fell under the heading of periodicals and therefore subject to certain rules to maintain their fourth class status with the United States Post Office—or did they do repeat printings as the orders came in? Never dawned me to think about this topic before.

4   Wyoming Valley, home to anthracite coal mining for decades, was so polluted that everything white was gray. Truckers used to remark about knowing their proximity to Wilkes-Barre by the dinginess of the houses that should have sparkled whitely. So for me, seeing a truly white moons at night was a rarity.

5   The “winsome” Wasp? The word winsome means “attractive or appealing.” Are we to assume that her attractiveness was a primary power in which she overcame the bad guys who overcame her good guy boyfriend?

6   I am not picking on Mr. Reinman here—the statement about inkers weakening the impact of Kirby’s art was true regardless of whose brush was applied to the Kirby’s pencils throughout his lengthy career as perhaps the world’s greatest comic book artist/creator.

7   Ditko’s most personal creation has been Mr. A, a vigilante supposedly based on aynrandian objectivism, which reduces the world to good and evil but leaves lots of room for capitalism, which is apparently always a force for good. The good are always good; the bad, always not so good (and deserving revenge and punishment). Alan Moore based his sociopathic Rorshach in the extraordinary Watchmen series.

8   Great Grommett in Heaven! Did I say “potency” there while referring to my still 12-year old you-know-what? Perhaps “stirrings” would be more appropriate. Then it would read “Peter and Neal’s awakening sexual stirrings” which is awkward but serviceable.

9   Little did Kirby or anyone else at Marvel know that a few years from now seeing such ‘trails’ would be interpreted by many LSD users and investigators as hallucinatory rather than increased visual acuity.

10   Remember when the French were our friend and allies—before the wackadoodle right turned them into something else because they had the sense to challenge the Bush and Blair administrations over the existence of WMD in Iraq?


1 thought on “addicted to marvel tales annual 1 (marvel comics 1964 part 2)

  1. Neal, that’s not a cover to an original JIM 83. The colors were altered in the digital age on modern reprints. The original looked like this:
    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMDQ4/z/IfIAAOSwaNBUhyzq/$_57.JPG

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