This Week in Marvel History: December 6-12
See what happened at Marvel on these dates in its 80-year history!
With Marvel celebrating our 80th anniversary this year, and to scratch my own history and research itches, every week I dig through a whole host of important dates and details for a special segment of TWIM 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 December 6-12!
1983: Leech, a young Morlock with the power to negate another mutant’s powers, debuted in UNCANNY X-MEN #179 by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green. This issue also featured Kitty Pryde’s “wedding” to the Morlock Caliban – highly recommended!
2005: MARVEL ZOMBIES #1 by Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips picked up a nightmarish – and darkly comedic – zombie story that began in ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR. It’s gruesome and fantastic!
1966: The Shocker debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #46 by Stan Lee and John Romita. Spidey fought with one bad arm wrapped in a sling and got his clock cleaned by the villain with the vibro-shock gauntlets. Also, in one panel, Spidey calls Shocker both “Cuddles” and “Dad.”
Mike Murdock—Matt’s “twin brother” —and Leap-Frog made their first appearances in DAREDEVIL #25 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. Mike Murdock was just a ruse, a fake twin personality Matt used as an excuse, but it’s wild and wonderful. As is Leap-Frog, the villain in a big frog outfit, complete with springy feet!
After doing a few covers, Jim Steranko came on as artist and co-writer (plotter) of STRANGE TALES #154. Steranko provided a super cool cutaway of the Helicarrier, and he and Roy Thomas also introduced the massive and menacing Hydra robot, the Dreadnaught!
1970: AVENGERS #85 by Roy Thomas and John Buscema gave us the first appearance of the Squadron Supreme—Nighthawk, Hawkeye, American Eagle, Tom Thumb, Dr. Spectrum, Whizzer, Lady Lark, and Hyperion. Similar to the Squadron Sinister that first appeared in AVENGERS #70, the Supreme team is from a parallel universe (Earth-712), an Earth which is in dire straits when the Avengers arrive. Also, the teams fight and it rules.
1981: The Brood, a nasty insectoid alien race that infects and takes over other creatures, first appeared in UNCANNY X-MEN #155 by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and Bob Wiacek. The X-Men were summoned by the Shi’ar to help with some cosmic problems. There are tons of great scenes this issue – pouty Scott Summers, Wolverine getting annoyed and drinking beer at Avengers Mansion, and more. There’s a great scene where Kitty Pryde transforms her outfit into a Darth Vader costume—so good! And Sleazoids!
2004: Blade: Trinity was released into theaters.
1963: The Scarecrow debuted in TALES OF SUSPENSE #51 by Stan Lee and Don Heck. Scarecrow has trained crows that help him, and we see him working with Communist Cuba, but Iron Man ends up besting the new menace. The issue also has a really gnarly alien story by brothers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, as well as a story about the Watcher and space explorers.
Big Man, as well as the Enforcers – Montana, Fancy Dan, and Ox – debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The first page has a big caption that reads: “CAUTION! THINK TWICE BEFORE STARTING THIS MOVIE-LENGTH TALE! WE FEEL IT ONLY FAIR TO WARN YOU… ONCE YOU HAVE READ IT… ONCE YOU HAVE SAVORED THE THRILLS AND SURPRISES WHICH ONLY SPIDER-MAN CAN PROVIDE… YOU MAY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO EVER AGAIN BE SATISFIED BY LESSER MAGAZINES!” ‘Nuff said, Stan!!
1965: Sharon Carter and Batroc debuted in the Captain America story in TALES OF SUSPENSE #75 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers. Batroc is so dope, Captain America already knows all about him by the time they first meet. ZE LEAPER!
Silver Surfer, the Power Cosmic, and the Surfer’s Board made their first appearances, and Galactus made a final page cameo in FANTASTIC FOUR #48 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Almost half the issue is the end of the big Inhumans saga that’d been playing out the previous few issues, and then BAM, right into one of the greatest stories of all time. We get gorgeous space shots, cool crowd work from Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the Watcher, and even one of Jack’s amazing collage pages. A masterpiece, no question.
Eric Koenig made his first appearance in SGT. FURY #27 by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers. We also find see why Nick Fury wears an eye patch, and it’s so badass, heroic, and glorious. It makes you love him even more.
1969: HOW DO YOU STOP A HUMAN KILLER WHALE? Such is the question posed on the cover of SUB-MARINER #23 by Roy Thomas and Marie Severin as Orka makes his big undersea debut! Definitely worth a look for both Namor goodness and Marie Severin glory!
1962: WHAT A DAY!!! AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko swings into life! After wowing the world in AMAZING FANTASY, Spidey got his own book! This issue also introduces J. Jonah Jameson, his son John Jameson, and the Chameleon. It is also the first Spider-Man/Fantastic Four team-up.
Iron Man and Ho Yinsen debuted in TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck, with Iron Man’s creation getting some input from Jack Kirby. TALES OF SUSPENSE was still an anthology sci-fi/suspense magazine, so it also had a text story and additional comics stories, including “GUNDAR!” by Lee and Ditko!
1964: Medusa (Medusalith Amaquelin-Boltagon) AKA Madam Medusa, the Wizard, Sandman, and Paste Pot Pete – together known as the Frightful Four – debuted in FANTASTIC FOUR #36 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Chic Stone. The Frightful Four gave the FF a whallopin’, but the heroes managed to scrape by. Also, this featured the engagement party of Reed and Sue, complete with lots of cameos!
The Beatles appeared in the Human Torch/Thing story in STRANGE TALES #130 by Stan Lee, Bob Powell, and Chic Stone. It’s a hoot! And in the Doctor Strange story by Lee and Ditko, Baron Mordo assaulted Strange and the Ancient One. Though unnamed, it’s likely the first appearance of mystical baddie Kaecilius.
Deadpool, Domino, and Gideon debuted in NEW MUTANTS #98 by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza. Deadpool was hired to take out Cable, and while he wasn’t as solidified as the Deadpool we see today, he’s still super cool and an instant hit. And Domino rules, coming in as a major badass and cool partner to Cable.
1967: Carol Danvers debuted in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #13 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan. Carol debuted as the head of NASA security in true lady boss fashion. Carol later aided Mar-Vell AKA Captain Marvel in saving the planet and got caught up in the explosion that unlocked her Kree powers, transforming her into the Super Hero Ms. Marvel. But this was just a quick intro to this future hero!
The Hype Box
Can’t-miss news and updates from across the Marvel Universe!