Monday, October 29, 2007

Favorite Marvel Comics Character by Month in the Silver Age

I had the idea for this mini-project while browsing The Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Index ( for the umpteenth time.

Jan. 1961-Oct. 1961 No superheroes yet!
Nov. 1961-July 1962 Thing (Fantastic Four #1-5)
The Fantastic Four had no in-house competition for superheroes at first during this formative first year, but no one could match the Thing for unprecedented pathos in a superhero character.
Aug. 1962 Spider-Man (Amazing Adult Fantasy #15)
Until Spider-Man, that is – the ultimate teenage geek wish-fulfillment fantasy. The first story is one of the best origin stories ever.
Sept. 1962-Feb. 1963 Thing (Fantastic Four #6-11)
The jury was still out at this point as to what would happen with Spider-Man. Luckily…
Mar. 1963 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #1)
The saddest thing is that Marvel was STILL hesitant about Spider-Man, and only launched his new title bi-monthly. So we get this flip-flop between Spider-Man and the Thing for awhile.
Apr. 1963 Thing (Fantastic Four #13)
May 1963 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #2)
June 1963 Thing (Fantastic Four #15)
July 1963 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #3)
Aug. 1963 Thing (Fantastic Four #17)
Sept. 1963-June 1964 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #4-13)
July 1964-Sept. 1964 Thor (Avengers #6-8)
But what’s this? The Avengers was just starting to live up to its potential of being the best superhero group of them all, thanks mainly to its powerhouse Thor, who always stole the show.
Oct. 1964-Jan. 1965 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #17-20)
Steve Ditko showed he really shines on these multi-issue storylines, so much so that he just seemed to be phoning in the single issue stories here.
Feb. 1964 Captain America (Tales of Suspense #62)
Meanwhile, Jack Kirby was doing great things with Capt. America , making him better than he ever was in the ‘40s.
Mar. 1964 Thor (Journey into Mystery #114)
Oh, and Jack Kirby was transforming Thor from a superhero comic book into a modern Wagnerian opera.
Apr. 1964-Feb. 1966 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #23-33)
The last, great Ditko issues.
Mar. 1966-Apr. 1967 Thing (Fantastic Four #48-61)
Just in time for Kirby to rebound on the FF and turn this into his truly innovative work.
May 1967 Goliath (Avengers #40)
But I can’t help it, I still really like the Avengers, even though Roy Thomas was comfortable with keeping it a 2nd-tier team. And Goliath was Henry Pym at his best for the next 15 years.
June 1967 Thor (Mighty Thor #141)
The FF was taking a breather from greatness, allowing other stars to shine again.
July 1967 Hulk (Tales to Astonish #93)
Aug. 1967 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #65)
By now, the Thing’s pathos was wearing thin, and the cosmic storylines made Reed’s brain more important than superpowers.
Sept. 1967 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #52)
Oct. 1967 Thor (Mighty Thor #145)
Nov. 1967 Goliath (Avengers #46)
Dec. 1967-Feb. 1968 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #69-71)
Mar. 1968 Hulk (Tales to Astonish #101)
Apr. 1968-May 1968 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #59)
And in some months, none of the titles were so great anymore. John Romita’s Spider-Man was certainly a let down from Ditko’s greatness.
June 1968-July 1968 Captain America (Captain America #102-103)
Aug. 1968 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #1)
Wow, what a comic book this started out as! Why didn’t more readers get it at the time? Thank goodness it was bi-monthly, though, or no one else would have had a month to shine.
Sept. 1968 Captain America (Captain America #105)
Oct. 1968 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #2)
Nov. 1968 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #66)
Dec. 1968 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #3)
Jan. 1969 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #82)
Feb. 1969 Dr. Strange (Avengers #61)
Best all-issue ad for Dr. Strange’s comic book he ever got! Even, in my estimation, beats out Silver Surfer this month.
Mar. 1969 Capt. America (Captain America #111)
A sample of how good Steranko could be.
Apr. 1969 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #85)
May 1969 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #86)
June 1969 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #6)
July 1969 Capt. America (Captain America #115)
Aug. 1969 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #7)
Sept. 1969 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #8)
Oct. 1969 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #9)
Nov. 1969 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #10)
Dec. 1969 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #11)
Jan. 1970 Capt. America (Captain America #121)
More uneven goodness from Cap.
Feb. 1970 Black Panther (Avengers #73)
Roy Thomas seemed to understand that the Panther worked best as a solo hero.
Mar. 1970 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #14)
I first read this, years later, retold for Spidey Super Stories!
Apr. 1970 Scarlet Witch (Avengers #75)
May 1970 Scarlet Witch (Avengers #76)
What a classic this two-part story was.
June 1970 Human Torch (Fantastic Four #99)
Because his relation to Crystal always made a good excuse to show off the Inhumans again.
July 1970 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #100)
Only Reed could guess exactly which robot-using villains made all those robots.
Aug. 1970 Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four #101)
A reprint of this issue was my first FF acquisition!
Sept. 1970 Silver Surfer (Silver Surfer #18)
Back as a hiccup, better than it had been before, and then gone again as it was getting good.
Oct. 1970 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #89)
Fighting one of his greatest enemies, naturally.
Nov. 1970 Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #90)
Dec. 1970 n/a
Nothing good this month, signaling the end of the Silver Age.

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