Marvel Age of Comics
|Marvel silver age
comics are some of the most adventurous and epic stories ever published.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were perhaps the greatest writer-artist team in
comic book history. For kids and grown ups alike they created a wonderous
and strange place known as the Marvel universe. A place where many heroes
began as awkward and ordinary people. Yet in their transformation many felt
tainted and burdened with their super powers. Some felt as they had become
monsters, freaks and outcasts. They were born from the ashes of the Atomic
Age and fought more than fascists of the 1940s.. they now fought their own
As many comic lovers
know, this is Grandaddy of all Marvel comics, the 1939 Golden Age treasure
which started it all for Marvel. Published by Timely (the company that later
became Marvel) it was entitled Marvel Comics #1. It presented the first
appearance of both the original Human Torch and Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner.
They would eventually
fight along side Captain America beating the crap out of the fascists.
Captain America Comics #1, March 1941.
Joe Simon & Jack
Kirby were the hottest team in comics overnight. America was on the verge
of entering WW II, and Cap was the perfect icon of patriotism. Another master
stroke was Adolf Hitler being slugged by Cap on the cover of the first issue!
These Marvel super
hero stories stayed popular throughout the 40s and early 50s. Although their
comics disappeared from the newstands in the mid-fifties, being replaced
by stories of super powered apocalyptic creatures like Fin Fang Foom and
Gormuu. Yet all the Golden Age heros were later revived by Marvel in the
The same origin story
of the Human Torch was beautifully reinterpreted by Kurt Busiek and Alex
Ross in Marvel #0, Marvel Comics 1994.
But this was the comic
that really started the Mighty Marvel Age of Comics, Fantastic Four #1.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
appeared in the Summer of 1961, connecting Marvel's Nuclear Age creature
comics of the 1950's within the same universe (or so to speak.) The "Marvel
Age of Comics" saw the creation of numerous enduring characters such
as Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, the revival of Captain America and
the Sub-Mariner, The Avengers, The X-Men, Silver Surfer, and that's only
some of the good guys! Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were the major
creators of the time.
|For me, comic book collecting is
a slice of pop culture which I have been interested in for more than 25
years. Now as father of two small boys I am collecting the same titles I
did when I was a kid.. Avengers, Captain America, Fantastic Four. I mainly
collect comics for the story and art, the characters, and for the connection
to comic history. I like the changing narrative threads weaved by writers
and artists over the course of time. I buy new and back issues to help fill
in some gaps and have found many great deals on eBay.|
TALES TO ASTONISH
#35, appeared in January 1962 and was the second appearance of Dr. Hank
Pym as Astonishing Ant-man. The classic TTA #27 story, "The Man in
the Ant hill" featured Hank's first appearance and origin, where he
shrunk down to ant size and and made a desperate escape. TTA #35 was his
return as a crime fighting super hero in a new costume and cybernetic helmet.
Hank Pym went on to
become Giant Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket and eventually just Dr. Pym during
his stint as a West Coast Avenger. He was the father of Ultron, an artificial
intelligence experiment gone awry. His guilt from creating the Ultron was
resolved in the recent pages of the The Avengers vol. 3 issue 22. He was
actually a founding member of the Avengers along with the Wasp, Iron Man,
Thor and Hulk.
Avengers #1 hit the stands in September 1963.
One year earlier, in the summer of 1962, a certain wall crawling costumed
hero first appeared in Amazing Fanstasy #15
Hero worship is a deal big for
kids, myself included...
When I was a kid my older brother
and I mainly just collected Marvel comics, we never were big DC fans. We
collected various silver age titles for a number of years and have a large
collection of Avengers, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spiderman,
X-Men, etc.. We grew older, went away to college and stopped buying comics.
But now many years later, a parent myself I have returned to my roots and
started collecting again.
Here are some favorites
from the Marvel Age of Comics..
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, 1964
"Captain America Lives Again"
Fantastic Four #50
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, 1966
"The Startling Saga of the Silver Surfer"
Captain America #100
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, 1967
"Cap in his Own Mag At Last"
I have many favorite comic books artists
but there are only a few who can rub elbows with Jack Kirby. For instance,
someone like Jim Steranko.
Stan Lee & Jim Steranko, 1968
"Shield Origin Issue"
Captain America #111
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, 1968
The 2nd of 3 Steranko Cap comics
I also was drawn to
the tragic figures in the work by Jim Starlin.
Warlock first appeared as "Him"
in the FF #66-67 storyline. He emerged from his Beehive Cocoon as a scientific
experiment and ended up destroying his creators. He scrapped with the Mighty
Thor and eventually became a Demi-God on an alternate Earth. The Power of
Warlock was revived in the late 70's by Starlin and he ended up being killed
off and reanimated several times since. He has become close allies with
the Silver Surfer
in battling against and along side of Thanos,
the mad Titan.
Captain Marvel (Mar-vell)
The earlier Captain Marvel was
drawn by Gil Kane, but Starlin further developed him in later issues. He
was a Kree warrior from another galaxy who was created in the late 60s and
fought the enemy Skrulls. He eventually died of cancer in Starlin's "The
Death of Captain Marvel" in Marvel first Graphic Novel in 1982. Amazingly
this "anti-hero" has actually stayed dead.
Finally, one more
This was the first appearance of
The Vision, the synthezoid Avenger, who was believed to be created from
the recycled android body of the original Human Torch of the 1940s. He was
programmed with the brain waves of Simon Williams, another a tragic hero,
known as Wonderman (who first appeared as a villian in Avengers #9.) The
Vision has been a member of Earth's Mightest Heroes since this issue and
had been married to Wanda Maximoff, The Scarlet Witch (sister of Quicksilver
and the daughter of Magneto.) It was later revealed by John Byrne, in the
pages of the West Coast Avengers more than 20 years later, that Vision was
actually not the Original Human Torch.. or is he? (as eluded to by Kurt
Busiek in the recent Avengers Forever)
Some cool comics
That's about all
for now, more updates to follow.
In the meantime
check out a few of these sites..
Art & Graffix Gallery Virtual Museum & Encyclopedia© tm
Highly Unofficial, Unauthorized, Pirate Page of Marvel Comics Images
Jack Kirby Collector
Simon's Authorized Home and Licensing Page
Museum of Comic Art
Comic Books Main Info Page
Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Index
Tribute to Lee and Kirby: Literary Works
Weiland's Comic Book Resources
FUTURE COMIC BOOK LINKS!
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No copyright infringement
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Larry Kless @ 2000
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