Marvel Comics #1 [First Printing]
(October 1939)

Marvel, 1939 Series
 
Volume
1
Price
0.10 USD
Pages
68
Indicia frequency
monthly
On-sale date
1939-08-31
Indicia / Colophon Publisher
Timely Publications
Editing
Martin Goodman
Color
Full Color
Dimensions
Standard Golden Age U.S.
Paper Stock
Newsprint
Binding
Saddle-Stitched
Publishing Format
Was Ongoing Series

Issue Notes

This issue has variants.

The on-sale date is the publication date reported in the U. S. Copyright Office filing found in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 2, Periodicals, New Series, Volume 34, 1939, Number 4. Second class periodical. Copyright number 429173.

Indicia (transcription courtesy of Frank Motler):

Vol.1, No.1, MARVEL COMICS, Oct., 1939 Published monthly by Timely Publications, publication office, 81 Spring St., Newark, N. J. Executive office, 330 W. 42nd St., New York, N. Y. Art and editorial by Funnies Incorporated, 45 W. 45th St., New York, N. Y. Application for entry as Second Class Matter pending at the Post Office at Newark, N. J. Yearly subscription in U. S. and Canada, $1.50; elsewhere $2.00. No actual person is named or delineated in this magazine. Copyright, 1939 by Timely Publications. Printed in U.S.A.

According to Rip at the collector-society.com boards, the print runs were 80,000 on the October edition and 800,000 on the November edition.


Now I'll Tell One (Table of Contents: 1)

Now I'll Tell One / cartoon / 1 page (report information)

Script
Fred Schwab
Pencils
Fred Schwab
Inks
Fred Schwab
Letters
Fred Schwab

Genre
humor
Reprints

Indexer Notes

Inside front cover. Five single-panel gag cartoons. Sequence information from Joe Lovece (August 11, 2006). Also includes the indicia.

[Origin of the Human Torch] (Table of Contents: 2)

The Human Torch / comic story / 16 pages (report information)

Script
Carl Burgos (signed)
Pencils
Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks
Carl Burgos (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
Carl Burgos

Genre
superhero
Characters
The Human Torch (introduction and origin, an android); Prof. Phineas T. Horton (introduction); Mr. Harris (businessman); Tony Sardo (villain, introduction, death), Red (villain, introduction, death)
Synopsis
After the Scientist's Guild convinces inventor Horton to dispose of his new creation, a "human torch", a clever criminal figures out a way to use this creation for his own evil purposes.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

First Human Torch story. The Human Torch wears a blue uniform in this story. He doesn't adopt the Jim Hammond identity until issue #4.

[The Six Big Men] (Table of Contents: 3)

The Angel / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script
Paul Gustavson (signed)
Pencils
Paul Gustavson (signed)
Inks
Paul Gustavson (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
Paul Gustavson

Genre
superhero
Characters
The Angel [Tom Halloway] (introduction); Lil (introduction); The Six Big Men [Gus Ronson; Mike Malone; John Dillon; Trigger Bolo; Steve Enkel; Dutch Hanson] (villains, introduction for all, all die); the Big Boss [Dr. Lang] (villain, introduction)
Synopsis
The Angel is called in to handle a group known as the "Six Big Men" and their mysterious leader, who have taken over an entire city.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

First Angel story, character created by Paul Gustavson.

Ray Gill wrote the series sometime in 1940 according to the Who's Who, so Gill ? script credit removed and replaced with Gustavson.

All Gustavson credits confirmed and courtesy of Terry Gustafson, son of Paul Gustavson.

[Origin of the Sub-Mariner ["Here is the Sub-Mariner!"]] (Table of Contents: 4)

The Sub-Mariner / comic story / 12 pages (report information)

Script
Bill Everett (signed)
Pencils
Bill Everett (signed)
Inks
Bill Everett (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
Bill Everett

Genre
superhero
Characters
The Sub-Mariner [Prince Namor] (introduction and origin); Anderson; Nelson (death); Carley (death); Princess Fen (flashback, introduction); Emperor Tha-Korr (introduction, un-named in story); Dorma (introduction)
Synopsis
Prince Namor, having learned of what the race of white men once did to his undersea kingdom, vows, and is encouraged, to make war on the surface dwellers.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

First Namor story, reprinted from the eight pages of Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 and expanded with four additional pages.

[Origin of the Masked Raider] (Table of Contents: 5)

The Masked Raider / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script
?
Pencils
Al Anders [as Anders] (signed)
Inks
Al Anders [as Anders] (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
?

Genre
western-frontier
Characters
The Masked Raider [Jim Gardley] (introduction and origin); Lightning (Raider's horse); Steve (sheriff); Lordin (rancher); Mr. Bleck (rancher, death); Mrs. Bleck (death); Cal Brunder (villain, introduction); Slick (villain); Rowdy (villain)
Synopsis
When Cal Brunder, who has been forcing small ranchers in Cactusville to sell out to him at his own price, sends his men to the ranch of Jim Gardley, and he won't sell, he has a phony charge of rustling leveled against him.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

First Masked Raider story. Writer revision from Al Anders to ? Anders was an artist only, and the Who's Who lists no writer for this strip. Note added by Craig Delich 2008-11-2.

Jungle Terror: A Complete Adventure Story (Table of Contents: 6)

comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script
?
Pencils
Art Pinajian [as Tomm Dixon] (signed)
Inks
Art Pinajian [as Tomm Dixon] (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
?

Genre
jungle
Characters
Ken Masters; Professor John Roberts; Tim Roberts; Crafton (villain, death); Mike (villain, death); Slug (villain, death)
Synopsis
Ken and Tim are worried about Professor Roberts, who went into the Amazon jungle three months earlier, trying to locate a certain Indian tribe that had in its possession a diamond with hypnotic powers.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

Art identification by Dr. Michael J. Vassallo of the Timely-Atlas list. Note that the 3rd letter in the signature's first name is a dense smudge. The Masterwork edition and Craig Delich interprets it as an "h" (Tohm), while Dr. Vassallo believes it is an "m" (Tomm).

Burning Rubber (Table of Contents: 7)

text story / 2 pages (report information)

Script
Ray Gill [as Raymond Gill] (signed)
Pencils
Sam Gilman [as Gilman] (signed) (illustration)
Inks
Sam Gilman [as Gilman] (signed) (illustration)
Colors
?
Letters
typeset

Genre
sports
Characters
Bill Williams; Fred Turner; C. G. Clark; Ruth Clerk; Ann
Synopsis
Bill has invented a new gas feeder for his race car and is testing it out....at the risk of his own life!
Reprints

Indexer Notes

Artist name added by Craig Delich 2008-11-2.

[Origin of Ka-Zar] (Table of Contents: 8)

Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great / comic story / 12 pages (report information)

Script
Bob Byrd (original story); Ben Thompson ? (adaptation)
Pencils
Ben Thompson (signed)
Inks
Ben Thompson (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
?

Genre
jungle
Characters
Ka-Zar [David Rand] (origin); John Rand (Ka-Zar's father, death); Constance Rand (death, Ka-Zar's mother); Zar (a lion); Chaka (a gorilla); Trajah (an elephant); N'Jaga (a leopard); Paul De Kraft (villain)
Synopsis
A plane crashes into the jungle in the Belgian Congo, and a young boy named David, watches his mother die, and later his father at the hands of Paul De Kraft. The youngster trained in survival tactics by his father, is later re-named Ka-Zar, brother of the mighty Zar, a lion whose life he once saved.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

First Ka-Zar comics story. Adapted from Bob Byrd's "King of Fang and Claw" (KA-ZAR pulp magazine #1). Writer credit revised from Ben Thompson to ?. Thompson was an artist only and the Who's Who does not list a writer for the strip. Last note added by Craig Delich 2008-11-2.
Writer credit further revised 2013-07-08, adapting a pulp story isn't beyond the skills of any penciler.

Editing
Related Scans
Series Information
Table of Contents
  1. 0. [This Month...]
    The Human Torch
  2. 1. Now I'll Tell One
    Now I'll Tell One
  3. 2. [Origin of the Human Torch]
    The Human Torch
  4. 3. [The Six Big Men]
    The Angel
  5. 4. [Origin of the Sub-Mariner ["Here is the Sub-Mariner!"]]
    The Sub-Mariner
  6. 5. [Origin of the Masked Raider]
    The Masked Raider
  7. 6. Jungle Terror: A Complete Adventure Story
  8. 7. Burning Rubber
  9. 8. [Origin of Ka-Zar]
    Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great
This issue was most recently modified by:
  • Henry Andrews
  • Tony R. Rose
  • Craig Delich
  • Andrew Shor
  • Mike Nielsen
  • Merlin Haas
  • Kelly Langston-Smith
  • Patrick Lemaire
  • Ray Bottorff Jr
  • Jim Van Dore
  • R. S. Martin
  • Lou Mazzella
  • Ramon Schenk
  • Peter Croome
  • Gregory Fischer
  • Jochen G.
  • Kauldi Gilibert
Issues in this series have been indexed by:
  • Lou Mougin