Published April 29, 2019

Marvel's Bronze Age: The Comics of the 1970s

Want to see where some of your favorite Marvel Comics began? Here's your Marvel Unlimited reading guide!

Marvel's 80th Anniversary

Do you think you know Marvel’s Bronze Age? Earth’s Mightiest Show has a quick explainer of the bossest era of Marvel Comics in the video above – and now has the reading guide to go with it!

The 1970s were a big decade for big introductions – so many of Marvel’s most popular characters made their first appearances during this time. While their respective decades-long journeys may have changed them over time, you can read where their stories first began! All of the following issues are available on Marvel Unlimited, so fire up your app and take a trip back in time!


Your favorite Canucklehead made his very first appearance in INCREDIBLE HULK #181, pitting the mutant brawler against the Jade Giant!

Incredible Hulk (1962) #181

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The Punisher

Frank Castle’s first-ever Marvel mission? Kill Spider-Man! Billed as one of the most deadly assassins, the Punisher had a very specific approach to his targets – and in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129, he thinks Spider-Man is up to no good!

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #129

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Ghost Rider

The ‘70s were all about the supernatural, and Ghost Rider was one of the spookiest characters to come out of the decade! Can a guy with a flaming skull on a motorcycle actually be a hero? Read his debut in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5 to find out!

Marvel Spotlight (1979) #5

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Luke Cage

Sweet Christmas, Harlem’s Hero has arrived! Luke Cage aka Power Man made his first appearance in LUKE CAGE: HERO FOR HIRE #1 and has since helped out the Avengers, the Defenders, and his future wife/mother of his daughter Jessica Jones!

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire (1972) #1

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The kung fu craze kicked down the door of pop culture in the 1970s, and Marvel would never miss out on such compelling characters! Shang-Chi’s first story, one of self-discovery and destiny, appeared in SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15!

Special Marvel Edition (1971) #15

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Colleen Wing

The first of the future Daughters of the Dragon Colleen Wing arrived as Iron Fist’s saga unfolded in the pages of MARVEL PREMIERE #19. Just a mysterious stranger in a cab when she first met Danny Rand, Colleen Wing soon proved to be much more than just an ally – she was a fierce fighter!

Marvel Premiere (1972) #19

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Misty Knight

Not to be outdone, Misty Knight arrived just two issues later in MARVEL PREMIERE #21, fighting Iron Fist when Colleen Wing goes missing. The other Daughter of the Dragon pulls no punches – pun intended – warning Danny Rand, “This is Misty Knight – and nobody messes with her and hers!”

Marvel Premiere (1972) #21

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The origin story of Peter Quill began in MARVEL PREVIEW #4, a black and white story about an orphaned young boy who discovered that he wasn’t the Earthling he assumed he was – but he’d grow to be a kooky young man who talked to owls and found a new purpose in the stars!

Adam Warlock

Billed as “Tomorrow’s Super Hero Today,” Adam Warlock blasted into Marvel Comics in MARVEL PREMIERE #1, in which he found himself fighting the likes of Hulk, Thor, and then leaving the galactic realms of space for Earth!

Marvel Premiere (1972) #1

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The 1970s kept reaching beyond the galaxy we knew and into worlds beyond! Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the universe, set her own tone right away when she vowed to kill Adam Warlock on her very first page in STRANGE TALES #180.

Strange Tales (1951) #180

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The Mad Titan is first introduced in IRON MAN #55, being threatened by none other than a captive Drax! It’s Drax who telepathically warns Tony Stark about Thanos and the massive threat he poses to the entire universe. It would be just the first time Iron Man would come face-to-face with Thanos…

Iron Man (1968) #55

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Jean Grey was one of the original X-Men, known then as Marvel Girl. But in the ‘70s, Marvel Girl grew up – and she was becoming a major force among the merry mutants. In UNCANNY X-MEN #101, Jean Grey became Phoenix, and the X-Men would never be the same.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #101

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Ms. Marvel

The future Captain Marvel made a feminist splash in MS. MARVEL #1. Carol Danvers first appeared in CAPTAIN MARVEL as Cape Kennedy’s security chief. Her encounters with the Kree, however, turned her into a Super Hero with cosmic powers!

Ms. Marvel (1977) #1

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Howard the Duck

One of the weirdest characters to come out of the subversive Seventies was Howard the Duck, who quacked his way into the Marvel Universe in ADVENTURES INTO FEAR #19. He’s a talking duck with an attitude. ‘Nuff said!

Adventures Into Fear (1970) #19

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Want to learn more about eight decades of Marvel history? Visit for more about Marvel's 80th Anniversary!



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