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Book details
  • SubGenre:Comics
  • Language:English
  • Pages:280
  • eBook ISBN:9781667897691

Marvel Comics The Timely Years 1939-1949

A Reader's Guide to Marvel Comics in the 40s

by Brad C Bishop

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Marvel Comics started in 1939 when a magazine publisher named Martin Goodman first published his first comic book titled, of course, Marvel Comics. Over the next decade, Goodman's company, then identified as Timely Comics, would publish over 1200 comic book issues containing not just superhero stories, but funny animals, teen humor, romance and westerns. This book looks at each of those issues (or as many as could be found) and the over 300 characters created and featured in those issues. It looks at how those characters evolved over the years and how the events and culture of the times affected the stories. It is for anyone interested in the origins of superheroes like Captain America or Namor the Sub-Mariner or such characters as Patsy Walker, the Two-Gun Kid, Millie the Model and even Ziggy Pig & Silly Seal!
The origins of what we call the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually go back to 1939, when Martin Goodman, the owner of a small magazine company, published his first comic book, hoping to follow in the success of the recently created Superman. This first comic book was entitled simply Marvel Comics. It contained several stories featuring superheroes like the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner, but a western hero called the Masked Ranger and a Tarzan-like jungle hero named Ka-Zar. A year after that first issue, Goodman would publish the first issue featuring a character named Captain America. Goodman's company, under the name of Timely Comics, would go on to publish over 1200 individual comic book issues over the next decade with the help of a young editor named Stan Lee. After the end of World War 2, superheroes would fall out of fashion and Timely would branch out into other genres such as wacky humor, funny animals, teen humor, romance, detective stories and westerns. During the 40s, the writers and artists would create over 300 different characters for the company, some more successful than others. This book takes a look at every issue published (or as many as could be found) and every character created during the 40s. It examines which characters were featured in each issue, how the magazines changed through the decade and how the characters evolved (if at all). It looks at how the events and the culture of the 40s affected the stories and the characters and, sometimes, the comic book industry itself. This book is for those comic book enthusiasts who want to explore the early years of not only the superheroes like Captain America and the Sub-Mariner but also such characters as Patsy Walker, the Two-Gun Kid, Millie the Model and even Ziggy Pig & Silly Seal, who may not be well-known now but, in their time, sold millions of comic books!
About the author
Brad Bishop is originally from a small town, Elizabethtown, in Lancaster County, PA, where he grew up reading comic books through the 60s and 70s. He moved to the Dayton area of Ohio to attend college and spent 30 years teaching High School Math. He is now retired and spends his time travelling, performing in community theater and reading old comic books.