Thursday, 2 August 2012

Fifty years ago today - August 1962.

As time flies by faster than Quicksilver's ferret, we launch, feet first, into yet another month.

And that can only mean one thing.

It's time to see what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to exactly fifty years ago.

Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man origin, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko cover

With the Fantastic Four and the Hulk on holiday, thanks to their mags still only coming out once every two months, it creates an opening for a living legend to makes his début - as Spider-Man swings into our lives while Stan Lee promises us a message about the, "New Amazing!"
Journey into Mystery #83, Thor makes his debut and quickly sees off the Stone Men from Saturn

And Spider-Man's not the the only legend to be making his début - because Thor too appears for the first time.

Could nothing stop the irresistible rise of the company that wasn't yet called Marvel?


Boston Bill said...

Martin Goodman did his best to stop it. He took one look at Spider-Man and cancelled Amazing Fantasy, much to Stan's frustration.

Months later, finally convinced that this weird comic might have some potential, he cleared a space for Amazing Spider-Man no 1 by cancelling...The Hulk!

Kid said...

Well, I'm not quite sure that's how it happened, Boston Bill. Amazing Fantasy was cancelled due to poor sales, not because it featured Spider-Man. For more details on the matter see

Steve, the name may not yet have been appearing in the indicia, but I've always understood that the little boxed 'MC' on the cover stood for Marvel Comics.

Boston Bill said...

Kid, AF was indeed cancelled due to poor sales - but back in the day, it took them months to get sales figures in. Never the less, Goodman had the biggest hero of the Silver Age and there was a long wait before he appeared again (after sales and letters proved his popularity).

While he was wise to have faith in Stan, Jack and Dick, I don't think Goodman knew a hit without sales figures.

Interesting blog btw - I didn't know that the announcement for continuing adventures of Spidey were later edited out. I used to pick up the Marvel reprints that actually reprinted the whole comic, ads and all - that's the best way to do it!

Simayl said...

Boston Bill...
which re-prints published the entire comic, ads and all? Would be interesting to see them, which series were published this way?

Kid said...

Bill, it did indeed take months to get sales figures in, so obviously Goodman's decision to cancel AF was based on the sales of earlier issues. Clearly, issue 15 was meant to be a new direction for the title, but when Goodman saw how poor the figures were for previous issues, he cancelled the magazine on or about the time it went to press and was too late to stop.

Simayl, in the '90s there was a series of reprints called Marvel Milestone Editions, reprinting various classic issues.

Boston Bill said...

Thanks, Kid. I was wracking my brain trying to remember the name of the Marvel Milestones. The covers were shrunk and surrounded by a silver border, lest some nitwit purchase it believing it to be the real thing.

It was especially fun to read the sleazy ads and the two-page (!) letter pages!

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