FOOM, a.k.a. Friends Of Ol’ Marvel, was the successor operation to the haphazard Marvelmania International once teh latter had gone belly-up. Stan Lee, now Marvel’s publisher, still saw value in having a fan publication that could further ingratiate the readership with Marvel, as well as a place where the assorted licensing efforts that they’d begun to get involved with could be promoted to a purified audience of hungry consumers. The club was promoted in early 1973, and Jim Steranko licensed the rights to package the whole thing. According to Steranko, he did the whole job for nothing apart from two pages of advertising within the magazine where he could hawk his own wares. This arrangement lasted for four issues, after which FOOM was brought in-house once more at Marvel and put together by a variety of other people. This first issue was released on February 1, 1973.
It’s worth pointing out that this Fantastic Four Checklist includes some bad data, especially as regards who inked the first four issues of the magazine, and so shouldn’t be taken at face value today.
For each of the four issues he worked on, Jim Steranko designed a stylish board game for the centerspread. This first one, of course, features his signature character, Nick Fury.
Let’s stop here at the halfway point of this first issue, and pick things up at some future moment.
FOOM #1 was included with the inaugural FOOM Membership Kit, which we’ll showcase below. The entire thing was delivered wrapped in this stylish Hulk mailer. (The recipient’s address was pasted into the Hulk’s mouth.)
A few years ago as part of the MARVEL LEGACY promotion, we produced a new issue of FOOM for the first time in several decades, and I appeared in a pastiche of this first issue’s introductory editorial by Stan.