Lee & Kirby & Ditko & Everett: The linked stories of X-MEN #1, AVENGERS #1 and DAREDEVIL #1

I've seen different bits and pieces of this story told in assorted places, but I cannot recall anyplace where the entire sequence of events was laid out in a single recounting, so I thought that was worth doing. In the spring of 1963, with the super hero titles that his firm had been producing doing … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ditko & Everett: The linked stories of X-MEN #1, AVENGERS #1 and DAREDEVIL #1

Making The Shield Into Captain America

Captain America was not the first patriotically-themed super hero to appear in comic books. That honor is reserved for The Shield, headliner of PEP COMICS for MLJ (eventually ARCHIE) who first appeared in the inaugural issue of that series, the creation of Harry Shorten and Irv Novick. Like most of the early super heroes, the … Continue reading Making The Shield Into Captain America

Brand Echh – The Destructor #1

Attempts to tap into the Marvel style weren't limited to only the 1960s. One of the most blatant attempts happened in the 1970s, and represented a tragedy of unfulfilled potential. In 1974, after he had sold Marvel and thereafter his son Chip had been pushed out of the company in favor of Stan Lee, Marvel … Continue reading Brand Echh – The Destructor #1

3M Cover Proof – FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5

I saw this posted by its current owner and I thought it was worth both sharing with a wider audience and explaining in a bit greater detail. What you see below is the 3M proof for the cover to FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5. Also sometimes called a progressive proof, this would have been sent to … Continue reading 3M Cover Proof – FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5

Brand Echh – Captain Marvel #1

Here's a book that pissed off both Marvel and DC's brass--both for different reasons. It's also a really good example of the kinds of schlock that started to turn up on newsstands as novice publishers began trying to jump onto the pop art super hero craze that kicked off in the mid-1960s. There are no … Continue reading Brand Echh – Captain Marvel #1

Brand Echh – Sick #48

In the mid-1960s, Joe Simon was in the middle of a court battle attempting to recapture the rights to Captain America, an effort which would eventually come to nothing in part thanks to an affidavit made out by his old partner Jack Kirby specifying that he was aware at all times that everything created for … Continue reading Brand Echh – Sick #48

Brand Echh – Unearthly Spectaculars #2

Upon hearing that Captain America co-creator Joe Simon had joined forces with Harvey Publications to release a new line of super hero titles to capitalize on the new wave of costumed hero popularity, both Martin Goodman and Stan Lee were concerned. They both had a ton of respect for Simon's commercial abilities, and feared that … Continue reading Brand Echh – Unearthly Spectaculars #2

Brand Echh – Fly Man #35

In their masterful two-issue summation of the WORLD'S WORST COMICS, James Schumeister and Rich Larson gave a particular adroit description of the books put out under the Mighty Comics banner. They said that it was as though Russian spies had smuggled out a copy of a Marvel book and had tried to reverse-engineer it. That … Continue reading Brand Echh – Fly Man #35

The Last Captain America Story

CAPTAIN AMERICA was a phenomenon when the series debuted in the very last days of 1940. It was by far the best-selling title that publisher Martin Goodman had in his Timely line of comics, and the character would go on to headline in other books as well--ALL WINNERS COMICS, ALL SELECT COMICS, USA COMICS and … Continue reading The Last Captain America Story

Lee & Kirby & Ditko: A Clue in the Saga of Joan Lee

There is an often-told anecdote about the early days of Marvel and what inspired that era of creativity. I believe it was first widely shared publicly in the pages of ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS, though Stan Lee may have shared it during his college lecture circuit tours earlier. And it goes like this. By the … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ditko: A Clue in the Saga of Joan Lee