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 (editor)

Issue Notes

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.
This issue has variants:

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents)

Human Torch / cover / 1 page (report information)

Pencils
Frank Paul (signed as F. Paul)
Inks
Frank Paul (signed as F. Paul)
Colors
?
Letters
?; typeset

Genre
superhero
Characters
The Human Torch
Reprints

[no title indexed] (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. Also includes the indicia.

Five single-panel gag cartoons.

Sequence information from Joe Lovece (August 11, 2006).

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 2)

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

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

First Line of Dialogue or Text
Gentlemen of the press, I call you to my laboratory because I, Professor Horton, have a difficult problem in my latest discovery...
Genre
superhero
Characters
The Human Torch (introduction and origin, an android); Professor Phineas T. Horton (introduction); Scientists' Guild; Mr. Harris (businessman); Tony Sardo (villain, introduction, death), Red (villain, introduction, death)
Synopsis
After the Scientists' 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.

Per Marvel Comics #1000, the Scientists' Guild appear next as the Three X's in Mystic Comics #1 and then as the Enclave in Fantastic Four #66.

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 3)

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

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

First Line of Dialogue or Text
At the point of a gun, a group of racketeers, known as the "Six Big Men," have taken over an entire city...
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. The debut story resembles The Saint in New York, adapted by RKO in 1938.

All Gustavson credits from Terry Gustafson, son of Paul Gustavson.

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 4)

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

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

First Line of Dialogue or Text
Here is the Sub-Mariner!
Genre
superhero
Characters
The Sub-Mariner [Prince Namor] (origin); Anderson; Nelson (death); Carley (death); Princess Fen (also in flashback to 1920); Emperor Tha-Korr (unnamed); Karal; Leonard McKenzie (in narration flashback to 1920 only, unseen); Dorma (introduction)
Synopsis
Prince Namor, having learned what the race of surface men once did to his undersea kingdom, vows, and is encouraged, to make war on the surface dwellers.
Reprints
Keywords
beacon; south pole; The Oracle

Indexer Notes

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

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 5)

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

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

First Line of Dialogue or Text
Cal Brunder, powerful ruler of Cactusville, is attempting to force all the smaller ranchers to sell out to him at his own price.
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 when he won't sell, he has a phony charge of rustling leveled against him.
Reprints
Keywords
Eternity Mask

Indexer Notes

First Masked Raider story, the character's name is inspired by the Masked Rider pulp magazine from 1934.

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

comic story / 6 pages (report information)

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

First Line of Dialogue or Text
At the Florida plantation home of Professor Roberts, Ken Masters and Tim Roberts, the professor's nephew, are talking...
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 an 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.

Burning Rubber (Table of Contents: 7)

text story / 2 pages (report information)

Script
Raymond Gill (credited)
Pencils
Sam Gilman (signed as Gilman) (illustration)
Inks
Sam Gilman (signed as Gilman) (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

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 8)

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

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

First Line of Dialogue or Text
John Rand, young owner of a rich diamond field in the Transvaal, is flying from Johannesburg to Cairo with his wife and their three-year-old son David.
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 in the jungle of 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 renamed 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, October 1936).

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 9) (Expand) /

Brownscope Co. / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 10) (Expand) /

Johnson Smith & Co. / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

Editing
Related Scans
Series Information
Table of Contents
  1. 0. [no title indexed]
    Human Torch
  2. 1. [no title indexed]
    Now I'll Tell One
  3. 2. ["Gentlemen of the press, I call you to my laboratory because I, Professor Horton, have a difficult problem in my latest discovery..."]
    Human Torch
  4. 3. ["At the point of a gun, a group of racketeers, known as the "Six Big Men," have taken over an entire city..."]
    The Angel
  5. 4. ["Here is the Sub-Mariner!"]
    Namor the Sub-Mariner
  6. 5. ["Cal Brunder, powerful ruler of Cactusville, is attempting to force all the smaller ranchers to sell out to him at his own price."]
    The Masked Raider
  7. 6. Jungle Terror: A Complete Adventure Story
  8. 7. Burning Rubber
  9. 8. ["John Rand, young owner of a rich diamond field in the Transvaal, is flying from Johannesburg to Cairo with his wife and their three-year-old son David."]
    Ka-Zar the Great
  10. 9. ["Hi Fellers!"]
    Brownscope Co.
  11. 10. ["Talk — sing — play thru your own radio"]
    Johnson Smith & Co.
This issue was most recently modified by:
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  • Tony R. Rose
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