THE CLAWS OF THE CAT #5: The Lost Issue

In 1972, Marvel Comics entered its second phase. Editor Stan Lee had been promoted to Publisher and, momentarily, President, and Roy Thomas had been made his successor. What's more, former owner Martin Goodman was gone, as was the limitation on how many releases the company could put out which had been imposed upon them by … Continue reading THE CLAWS OF THE CAT #5: The Lost Issue


Every year, the Smith Haven Mall near to where I lived held a week-long crafts fair. For seven days, assorted artists and craftspeople would set up little booths throughout the Mall and hock their wares. And every year, there wound up being two or three guys selling back issue comic books out of cardboard boxes. … Continue reading BHOC: MARVEL COLLECTORS’ ITEM CLASSICS #1

(Not So) Great Covers: FANTASTIC FOUR #81 (and MARVEL’S GREATEST COMICS #63)

Here is another example of the phenomenon that we looked at last time: a perfectly fine cover image by Jack Kirby that has been deliberately colored in such a way as to render it unattractive and unappealing. As I said last time, going to this sort of monochromatic color scheme was a last ditch move … Continue reading (Not So) Great Covers: FANTASTIC FOUR #81 (and MARVEL’S GREATEST COMICS #63)

(Not So) Great Covers: THOR #153

You'd see this happen from time to time in the mid- to late-1960s on the Marvel books. There's be a cover like this one that somebody--either editor Stan Lee or publisher Martin Goodman--didn't like, feeling that it was too cluttered and difficult to read from a distance, and it would get colored in a horrific … Continue reading (Not So) Great Covers: THOR #153

The Last Sub-Mariner Story (of the 1950s)

In 1953, after an absence on the newsstands of four years, Martin Goodman resurrected his company's three big successful super hero characters from the 1940s; Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. By all accounts, this decision to bring back these heroes appears to be in response to the strong reaction the new ADVENTURES … Continue reading The Last Sub-Mariner Story (of the 1950s)

Brand Echh: The Scorpion #1

As we've discussed multiple times in the past, Atlas Comics was Martin Goodman's short-lived publishing endeavor in which he attempted to prove that he, not editor Stan Lee, was responsible for the success of Marvel Comics after the ouster of his son Chip Goodman from the firm. Goodman wasn't so much interested in selling comic … Continue reading Brand Echh: The Scorpion #1

The First Spider-Man Parody

The Marvel revolution of the early Silver Age took those toiling in the field entirely by surprise. That's entirely due to the fact that, prior to 1961, Martin Goodman's publishing enterprise, whether it was known as Timely or Atlas or Marvel had been producers of enormous amounts of shlock. Goodman's professed publishing strategy was to … Continue reading The First Spider-Man Parody


It's been said over the years that Marvel's publisher Martin Goodman had an unwavering faith in the sales appeal of Ant-Man. How much of that was due to him hearing about the sell-through numbers on the earliest appearances of the Atom over at rival DC I do not know--but it does account for the reason … Continue reading WC: TALES TO ASTONISH #38