Monday, May 1, 2017

Marvel Comics, Marvel Mystery Comics (Timely Comics)

May 6 is Free Comic Book Day. As typical here at The Toy Box, that means we're dedicating the entire month to look at some of our favorite comic book series from yesterday. As is customary, we're only looking at series that have completed their run, so we're not looking at anything current. Sorry, folks. No Walking Dead just yet.

Marvel Comics
Timely Comics

This is it, folks. This is where the era of the super hero all started. 1939's Marvel Comics, published by Timely Comics. Though it is technically considered to be issue number one, you won't actually find that anywhere on the cover or inside the pages.

The book featured The Human Torch, and Namor, The Sub-Mariner all under one cover. If that wasn't enough, it also featured characters that would become staples of the Golden Age era of comic books; Ka-Zar, The Masked Raider and The Angel.

"Wait a minute," you say. "How can this be accurate if this comic is from Timely Comics?" Let's take a trip through history for that answer.

Timely Comics was the first publishing "arm" of publisher Martin Goodman. Though Goodman used the Marvel branding on several books, most notably by labeling books with, "A Marvel Comic", it wouldn't be until 1961 that Marvel Comics was officially adopted as the companies name / brand.

Though the book is a great read, you're only source for this is probably going to be a digital copy online. Comic guides value the book's worth at over $500K, Probably not something many of us could part with on a whim.

Marvel Mystery Comics
Timely Comics
1939 - 1949

Marvel Mystery Comics is the official continuation of the title. The book started with issue number two in 1939, and picked up with the now famous Human Torch and Namor characters. Over time, other characters would also make appearances - Most notably was Captain America in issue 81.

Due to the period in which these books were published, you will notice that they lean heavily on WWII themed stories which feature the heroes battling it out with Nazis and the Japanese. As such, in today's perspective, the can seem, shall we say, not so politically correct. Still, if you can appreciate the stories for their period "correct" narrative, they are still good reads.

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  1. I have a newfound respect for Namor and the Human Torch,still around after so long.

    1. More classic than Superman or Batman.

    2. Yeah I agree Toy Box, much more classic. I always als thought the Golden Age Marvel/Timely characters were so much better than DC. On the other hand, the Torch in the golden age was an android that has returned from time to time but it is amazing that the character idea of torch, and the characters of Cap and Namor have endured all this time!

    3. Agreed. There aren't many golden age characters that still appear to these days. They have definitely endured the test of time.

      I didn't actually know that the golden age Torch was an android. Thanks for the info. Definitely store that away in my memory banks for later.



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