Originally published in October 1966, this issue of The Mighty Thor featured a classic Jack Kirby cover with a horde of attacking humanoids, a stoic muscular robot, and a menacing giant face emerging from a background of Kirby’s trademark power bubble matter.
It was December 1965 when I first got my hot little hands on this copy of Fantastic Four #45 — you can probably tell from the condition it’s in. With these stress marks and creases it’s not super valuable any more, but the colors are bright, the paper is white, and it’s still worth a lot more than 12 cents.
This issue featured the first appearance of one of my favorite obscure Marvel characters: Lockjaw, the giant bulldog with antennae.
Tonight’s image from the Lizard Collection is an unusual and somewhat rare item: issue #1 of “Iron Man and Sub-Mariner,” published in April 1968. It’s unusual because issue #1 was also the only issue ever published by Marvel Comics under this title, by design.
At this time, Marvel was promoting all of the characters who were in “shared” comic books (Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, and Strange Tales) to their own titles. To resolve the story lines, they put together this one-shot book, with two stories featuring Iron Man and the eternally angst-ridden Prince Namor, with penciling by the great Gene Colan. (An odd publishing strategy, never to be repeated.)
Our copy of this book is in excellent condition, with small flaws on the cover but white pages and brilliant inks throughout.
For completeness, here’s the back cover, with an ad for Norman Rockwell’s Famous Artists School.
Marvel’s “Not Brand Echh” was a short-lived (13 issues) attempt at humor in the style of Mad Magazine, mostly poking fun at their own superhero characters, but occasionally taking shots at their DC rivals as well. The Lizard Collection’s copy of the first issue (published in August 1967) isn’t in tip-top condition, but then, neither was the comedy.
Published in March 1966, the cover of Strange Tales #143 is a great example of Jack Kirby’s techno-baroque style.