This Week in Marvel History: August 9-August 15
See what happened at Marvel on these dates in its 80-year history!
With Marvel celebrating its 80th anniversary this year – and to scratch my own history and research itches – every week I’m digging through a whole host of important dates and details for a special segment of This Week in Marvel called… (wait for it) … This Week in Marvel History! Important comics, storylines, character appearances and moments, real world releases and special Marvel milestones—it’s all part of TWIMH! Here are just a few Marvel History notes for the week of August 9-15!
1962: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced Alicia Masters in FANTASTIC FOUR #8 – as well as her father the Puppet Master. Alicia would remain one of the most important supporting characters in the Fantastic Four canon when she finally made an honest man out of Ben Grimm in the current run by writer Dan Slott. Puppet Master remains a thorn in the FF’s side, currently making trouble for the newlyweds on their honeymoon.
Another FF foe debuted in the Human Torch story by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby in STRANGE TALES #102—the Wizard. A child-aged, less evil clone of the Wizard can currently be seen in the pages of FUTURE FOUNDATION!
1966: Mary Jane Watson made her full debut in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #42 by Stan Lee and John Romita, finally meeting Peter Parker and delivering the classic, iconic opener, “Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot!”
1965: A trifecta of triumph in the Marvel Universe happened today!
- Gorgon of the Inhumans debuted in FANTASTIC FOUR #44 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The rest of the Inhuman royal family came into the picture next issue.
- One of the coolest concepts and designs in the Marvel Universe, Eternity, the embodiment of the multiverse, debuted in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange Story in STRANGE TALES #138. Eternity is a cosmic abstract, like Death, Order, Chaos, Love, Hate, and immensely powerful. Eternity recently made an appearance in ULTIMATES 2 by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman, and crew.
- And over in AVENGERS #21 by Stan and Don Heck, Erik Josten debuted as Power Man. He’d later go on to adopt the embiggened identities of Goliath and Atlas.
1976: Jigsaw made his first appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #162. The story by Len Wein and Ross Andru also featured Nightcrawler and the Punisher. Jigsaw would continue on as one of the Punisher’s most persistent and dangerous enemies.
1964: A prime packed day for Marvel history!
- TALES OF SUSPENSE #59 is the first of the series that featured Captain America in his own story. Cap was in the previous issue, but starting here, Cap shares top billing on the book alongside Iron Man. This would continue for a few years until issue #100 when Cap would take over the title entirely. This is when the book was renamed CAPTAIN AMERICA and Iron Man got his own solo series. This issue also includes the first appearance of Edwin Jarvis, the Stark family butler and beating heart of many an Avengers squad.
- Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced Ned Leeds in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18.
- Wonder Man AKA Simon Williams, debuted in AVENGERS #9 by Stan Lee and Don Heck. Simon was given massive power by Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil in order to defeat the Avengers. He switched sides a few times in this issue before seemingly dying. But Wonder Man is made of ionic energy and later came back to life to find his life deeply connected to the adventures, triumphs, and tragedies of the Avengers.
- In the pages of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange story in STRANGE TALES #126, we met Strange’s future (now former) wife Clea for the first time, as well as one of his most fearsome enemies Dormammu and his Dark Dimension.
- In the letters section of FANTASTIC FOUR #32, Marvel printed a letter from a young fan named George R. R. Martin of Bayonne, New Jersey. He praised the work by Stan, Jack, and crew in FANTASTIC FOUR #29, but also pointed out some something they missed, ending his letter by saying: “I’ll wish you good luck on all forthcoming books, but Stan, don’t pull any more returning villains out of your hat. Next time tell us how they remade the scene—o.k.? o.k.!”
1970: Captain Stacy, father of Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen, died heroically saving the life of a child caught in chaos of a Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus fight in the landmark AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #90 by Stan Lee and Gil Kane.
1981: Texas-based team the Rangers come together in INCREDIBLE HULK #265 by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. The team consists of Red Wolf, Texas Twister, Phantom Rider, Firebird, and Shooting Star (the latter two made their debuts in this issue).
1969: Lots of mighty Marvel moments today!
- Carol Danvers was caught in the crossfire between Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg in CAPTAIN MARVEL #18, a moment that seemingly led to her powers and becoming Ms. Marvel. Later on it was revealed that the Psyche-Magnitron that she careened into in this issue was not the cause of her powers; she is genetically half-Kree.
- It’s a big issue full of debuts in AVENGERS #69, with the Grandmaster and the Squadron Sinister—Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, Nighthawk, and a new Whizzer—all making the scene for the first time this issue.
- In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #78 by Stan Lee and John Buscema, Hobie Brown AKA the Prowler clashed with Spidey for the first time. In an alternate universe, Hobie Brown became Spider-Punk!
1998: The Winter Guard, Russia’s answer to the Avengers, was seen for the first time in the pages of IRON MAN #9 by Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen. They’ve recently been seen in the pages of AVENGERS and have had numerous members over the years including Red Guardian/Steel Guardian, Ursa Major, Darkstar, Crimson Dynamo, Red Widow, and more.
1968: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6, one of the biggest, boldest, most bombastically beautiful and bodacious books of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s run was released on this date. Sue Storm went into labor and Reed Richards believed she was in grave danger because of the cosmic radiation in her blood. So Reed, joined by Ben and Johnny, went to the Negative Zone to get some anti-matter to save her. We got an incredible adventure with the trio battling Annihilus, in his first appearance. This issue also introduced the Cosmic Control Rod and welcomed the birth of an as-yet-unnamed Franklin Richards.
Stan Lee and Larry Lieber introduced Peter Parker’s parents, Mary and Richard Parker, in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #5.
1985: Boom Boom, future member of New Mutants, X-Force, and Nextwave debuted in SECRET WARS II #5. She and the Beyonder ate hot dogs and alien pizza together!
1991: It’s a huge X-Men day as X-MEN #1 and UNCANNY X-MEN #281 were both released. All the X-books go through big changes at this point, but the two biggest are here. X-MEN #1 is the big launch by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, which sold millions of copies, and it’s regarded as one of the seminal moments in X-Men history. What’s sometimes overlooked is what happened with UNCANNY X-MEN, as Claremont’s legendary run ended with issue #280. Issue #281 was plotted by Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio, with a script by John Byrne and art by Portacio. The story featured the first appearance of the time-traveling Trevor Fitzroy and the death of most of Emma Frost’s young charges, the Hellions. The horrific panel of Tarot being blasted by sentinels is forever burned into my mind.
2003: Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert reimagined the Marvel Universe of long ago in MARVEL 1602 #1.
1950: Apache Kid, who debuted the month prior, got his own series with APACHE KID #53. Like other titles, it started over with its numbering later, but the previous 52 issues were for Reno Browne, Hollywood’s Greatest Cowgirl, and Margie Comics, and Comedy Comics—with Super Rabbit!—and originally as Daring Mystery Comics.
1972: NIGHT NURSE #1 by Jean Thomas and Winslow Mortimer brought back the relatively obscure 1960s character “Linda Carter, Student Nurse” and showed that Linda was now a registered nurse! It also introduced Christine Palmer and Georgia Jenkins – all three would use the moniker Night Nurse.
For more about these events and more Marvel news and history, tune in to This Week in Marvel every Friday wherever you get podcasts!
For more about Marvel’s 80th Anniversary, visit marvel.com/marvel80!
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