Everything You Need to Know About 'Marvel Comics Presents'
Discover the history of Marvel's premiere anthology series!
Anthology comics might not be as big these days as they once were, but the concept of offering more than one story featuring a variety of different characters and creators helped build the foundation of the House of Ideas!
Back in the '30s and '40s, when Marvel Comics was still known as Timely Comics, they published books like MARVEL COMICS (which then became MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS with issue #2) and CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS. Both series not only introduced the world to characters like Human Torch, Namor, and Cap, but also included many other tales of daring deeds.
Timely eventually changed into Marvel, and the field of titles–including TALES TO ASTONISH, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, and STRANGE TALES–all featured vignettes of characters before giving way to the Super Heroes we all know and love today.
In the 1980s, Marvel decided to get back to its anthological roots with a title aptly called MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS. Initially anchored by multi-part ongoing stories starring X-folks, the bi-weekly series also included three other 8-pagers by a range of creators ranging from the famous to the unknown.
When the series debuted in 1988, Wolverine graced the cover as well as the story called "Save The Tiger" by Chris Claremont and John Buscema. Steve Gerber and Tom F. Sutton also kicked off the Man-Thing tale "Elements of Terror." Meanwhile the Shang-Chi yarn "Choosing Lines" debuted from Doug Moench and Tom Grindberg, followed by Al Milgrom's "Fear Itself" story starring Silver Surfer.
The first three stories carried through the next several issues with others featuring Steve Rogers during his stint as the Captain, an extra-rocky Thing, Thor, and Daredevil.
Wolverine headlined the series until he handed those reigns over to Colossus, followed by Cyclops, Havok, Excalibur, and then back to the ol' Canucklehead who held on to the spot from issue #39 to issue #141, including Barry Windsor-Smith's epic "Weapon X" from #72-#84 (which happened to debut 28 years ago today!).
As the series progressed from its 1988 launch to the end of its first 175-issue run in 1995, it not only offered readers a chance to read characters who probably couldn't support their own series or limited series, but also a place for new creators like Scott Lobdell (who would go on to write the X-Men) who cut his teeth on stories like "Piece of Cake" in MCP #9 and a Syrin piece in #43 among others.
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS made a comeback in 2007, running for 12 issues. This time around, the book played host to two 12-part tales and then two other shorter pieces. The new volume offered the likes of Kathryn Immonen, Rich Koslowski, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Robert Venditti, and Marco Checchetto their first gigs at Marvel.
And last week, the beloved series returned with none other than Wolverine gracing not only the cover, but the first story by Charles Soule and Paulo Siqueira. He's joined–both on the glorious Art Adams glossy and in the issue itself–by Namor and Captain America. Greg Pak and Tomm Coker crafted the tale of the underwater royal, while Ann Nocenti and Greg Land created the Cap legend.
Future installments of MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS will not only include characters like Gorilla Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Doom as well as more on the Sentinel of Liberty and Logan, but also the talents of David and Maria Lapham, Mark Waid, Daniel Acuna, and maybe the next big creator at the House of Ideas!