Marvel Super-Heroes (comics)

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Marvel Super-Heroes
Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (Dec. 1967), the character's debut. Cover art by Gene Colan and Frank Giacoia
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateDec. 1967 – Jan. 1982
No. of issues94
Main character(s)
Creative team
Written by
  • Stan Goldberg
Editor(s)Stan Lee

Marvel Super-Heroes is the name of several comic book series and specials published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]


The first was the one-shot Marvel Super Heroes Special #1 (Oct. 1966) produced as a tie-in to The Marvel Super Heroes animated television program,[1] reprinting Daredevil #1 (April 1964) and The Avengers #2 (Nov. 1963), plus two stories from the 1930s-1940s period fans and historians call Golden Age of comic books: "The Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner Meet" (Marvel Mystery Comics #8, June 1940), and the first Marvel story by future editor-in-chief Stan Lee, the two-page text piece "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" (Captain America Comics #3, May 1941).

This summer special was a 25¢ "giant", relative to the typical 12¢ comics of the times.[2]

First series[edit]

Fantasy Masterpieces #10 (Aug. 1967), reprinting the cover of the Golden Age series All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946)

The first ongoing series of this name began as Fantasy Masterpieces, initially a standard-sized, 12¢ anthology reprinting "pre-superhero Marvel" monster and sci-fi/fantasy stories. With issue #3 (June 1966), the title was expanded to a 25-cent giant reprinting a mix of those stories and Golden Age superhero stories from Marvel's 1940s iteration as Timely Comics. Fantasy Masterpieces ran 11 issues (Feb. 1966–Oct. 1967) before being renamed Marvel Super-Heroes with #12 (Dec. 1967).[3]

While continuing with the same mix of reprint material, this first volume of Marvel Super-Heroes also began showcasing a try-out feature as each issue's lead. This encompassed solo stories of such supporting characters as Medusa of the Inhumans, as well as the debuts of Captain Marvel (#12),[4] the Phantom Eagle (#16)[5] and the Guardians of the Galaxy (#18).[6] The Spider-Man story drawn by Ross Andru in issue #14 was originally planned as a fill-in issue of The Amazing Spider-Man but was used here when that title's regular artist John Romita Sr. recovered more quickly than anticipated from a wrist injury.[7] Andru would become the regular artist on The Amazing Spider-Man several years later.[8]

Under either name, this series' Golden Age reprints represented the newly emerging comic-book fandom's first exposure to some of the earliest work of such important creators as Jack Kirby, Bill Everett, and Carl Burgos, and to such long-unseen and unfamiliar characters as the Whizzer and the Destroyer. Fantasy Masterpieces #10 (Aug. 1967) reprinted the entirety of the full-length All-Winners Squad story from the (unhyphenated) All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946). Fantasy Masterpieces #11 (Oct. 1967) re-introduced the work of the late artist Joe Maneely, a star of 1950s comics who had died in a train accident.

Original features[edit]

Issue (cover date) Character(s)/Story title Writer(s) Penciller(s) Inker(s) Collected in Marvel Masterworks
(Dec. 1967)
"The Coming of Captain Marvel" Stan Lee Gene Colan Frank Giacoia Captain Marvel Volume 1 978-0785111788
(March 1968)
Captain Marvel in "Where Walks the Sentry" Roy Thomas Gene Colan Paul Reinman
(May 1968)
Spider-Man in "The Reprehensible Riddle of the Sorcerer" Stan Lee Ross Andru Bill Everett Spider-Man Volume 8 978-0785120742
(July 1968)
Medusa in "Let the Silence Shatter" Archie Goodwin Gene Colan Vince Colletta The Inhumans Volume 1 978-0785141419
(Sept. 1968)
"The Phantom Eagle" Gary Friedrich Herb Trimpe Herb Trimpe The Incredible Hulk Volume 7 978-0785166689
(Nov. 1968)
"The Black Knight Reborn" Roy Thomas Howard Purcell Dan Adkins The Avengers Volume 7 978-0785126805
(Jan. 1969)
"Guardians of the Galaxy" Arnold Drake Gene Colan Mike Esposito
(as "Mickey Demeo")
The Defenders Volume 4 978-0785166276
(March 1969)
Ka-Zar in "My Father, My Enemy" Arnold Drake and
Steve Parkhouse
George Tuska Sid Greene Ka-Zar Volume 1 978-0785159575
(May 1969)
Doctor Doom in "This Man, This Demon" Roy Thomas and Larry Lieber Larry Lieber and Frank Giacoia Vince Colletta Marvel Rarities Volume 1 978-0785188094
(Nov. 1969)
"Tales of the Watcher: Melvin and the Martian " Stan Lee Tom Palmer Tom Palmer

Marvel Super-Heroes became an all-reprint magazine beginning with #21 (July 1969) (except for an original "Tales of the Watcher" story in #23), and a regular-sized comic at the then-standard 20-cent price with #32 (Sept. 1972). This reprint series lasted through issue #105 (Jan. 1982).[3]

A second series titled Fantasy Masterpieces ran from #1-14 (Dec. 1979–Jan. 1981), reprinting truncated versions of the 1968 Silver Surfer series, and Adam Warlock stories from Strange Tales and Warlock.

Other iterations[edit]

In September 1979, the Marvel UK series The Mighty World of Marvel was retitled Marvel Superheroes[9] after a brief run under the title Marvel Comic.[10]

The name itself reappeared, without a hyphen, as part of the title of a 12-issue, company-wide crossover miniseries Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars (May 1984–April 1985).[11] The 1985-1986 sequel was titled simply Secret Wars II.

Next came the 15-issue Marvel Super-Heroes (vol. 2) (May 1990–Oct. 1993),[12] published quarterly and which generally printed "inventory stories", those assigned to serve as emergency filler. The first issue featured a Brother Voodoo story drawn by Fred Hembeck in a dramatic style rather than his usual "cartoony" art.[13]

The final series of this title was the six-issue Marvel Super-Heroes Megazine (Oct. 1994–March 1995), a 100-page book reprinting 1970s and 1980s Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man and Hulk stories in each issue.[14]


  1. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 119. ISBN 978-0756641238. To help support the new animated television show, Martin Goodman told Stan Lee to produce a comic called Marvel Super Heroes.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Marvel Super Heroes #1 at the Grand Comics Database.
  3. ^ a b Marvel Super-Heroes at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 125: "Captain Mar-Vell was a Kree warrior sent to spy on Earth, by Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan."
  5. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 131: "Aviation buff Herb Trimpe, who flew his own biplane for many years, teamed up with writer Gary Friedrich to create flying ace the Phantom Eagle."
  6. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 134: "The Guardians of the Galaxy were a science-fiction version of the group from the movie Dirty Dozen (1967) and were created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Gene Colan."
  7. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1960s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 43. ISBN 978-0756692360. When John Romita sprained his wrist, Marvel hired artist Ross Andru to draw a fill-in issue of The Amazing Spider-Man to give Romita time to recover. However, never less than a consummate professional, Romita turned in his work on schedule as promised, leaving the company with an extra Stan Lee-scripted Spider-Man story on their hands.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Saffel, Steve (2007). "An Exploding Icon The 1970s". Spider-Man the Icon: The Life and Times of a Pop Culture Phenomenon. London, United Kingdom: Titan Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-84576-324-4. Having done a special stand-alone Spider-Man story in Marvel Super-Heroes #14, May 1968, Andru came aboard as the ongoing artist with Amazing #125, October 1973.
  9. ^ Marvel Superheroes / Marvel Super-Heroes (Marvel UK) at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ Marvel Comic at the Grand Comics Database
  11. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars at the Grand Comics Database
  12. ^ Marvel Super-Heroes (Marvel, 1990 series) at the Grand Comics Database.
  13. ^ Hembeck, Fred (n.d.). "Secrets Revealed! Why I Goof on Brother Voodoo!!". Archived from the original on August 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Marvel Super-Heroes Megazine at the Grand Comics Database

External links[edit]

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