"Marvel had hardly back-up features"
|Posted: 23 January 2023 at 5:52pm | IP Logged | 7
Depends on how far back you go. In the 60s Marvel had several titles that were double features- Amazing Adventures (Black Widow/Inhumans), Strange Tales (Human Torch/Doctor Strange), Tales to Astonish (Giant Man/Hulk), etc.
In the 70s Marvel mostly used backups and anthologies for reprints, but not always. Marvel's magazine sized anthology books are one of the notable exceptions. They contained new material that was often very good.
In that respect, although Marvel produced less backup material than DC, I think their strategy was better, because they reprinted great stuff that people would buy, and they didn't package it with garbage.
I remember buying issues of Marvel Tales that had Lee & Ditko Spiderman stories as the lead feature, with Ditko's early Doctor Strange stories as a backup feature.
I think I still have an issue of Marvel Superheroes that led with a Jack Kirby X-Men story. The main backup was Daredevi vs. Namor by Wally Wood, and the third feature was a Hulk story with (maybe) the first appearance of the Leader.
Those are much better packages than a really bad Flash story with a 6 or 8 page Firestorm backup, even though Firestorm had early Perez art. Having said that, those Firestorm stories were great, and are exactly the type of hidden gems this thread is about.
In the 80s Marvel seemed to shift strategies again, and started using quarterly anthology books like Marvel Superheroes and various holiday specials to showcase new talent. Marvel Comics Presents was a notable exception, where they utilized some big name talent on rotating features.
Edited by John Wickett on 23 January 2023 at 5:56pm