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In September, 1939 a new voice hit the newsstands and changed the comic-book world forever: Marvel Comics #1, with its blazing Human Torch cover, had arrived And this 64-page pulp package wasn't your typical assortment of super-powered, straight-laced, do-gooders - this was something completely new. The amazing android creation of Dr. Phineas Horton, the Human Torch was ne In September, 1939 a new voice hit the newsstands and changed the comic-book world forever: Marvel Comics #1, with its blazing Human Torch cover, had arrived And this 64-page pulp package wasn't your typical assortment of super-powered, straight-laced, do-gooders - this was something completely new. The amazing android creation of Dr. Phineas Horton, the Human Torch was neither man nor hero - he was a blazing force of nature that shocked and unsettled mankind. Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the half-human/half-Atlantean, ventures from his undersea kingdom into the world of man - not with a mind set on peace, but towards vengeance These two characters would form the foundation for the style of conflicted hero that defines Marvel to this day, and you'll see them evolve across twelve full issues from their raw forms into the battling fire and water mega-hits of the Golden Age Featuring an extensive essay on Marvel's pulp magazine pre-history, publisher Martin Goodman, and the birth of Marvel Comics by noted historian Will Murray, and topped off with special bonus features including original artwork and items never seen since 1939, this collection forms the cornerstone of Marvel history essential for every comic book fan, collector and historian Collects Marvel Comics #1, and Marvel Mystery Comics #2-12.


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In September, 1939 a new voice hit the newsstands and changed the comic-book world forever: Marvel Comics #1, with its blazing Human Torch cover, had arrived And this 64-page pulp package wasn't your typical assortment of super-powered, straight-laced, do-gooders - this was something completely new. The amazing android creation of Dr. Phineas Horton, the Human Torch was ne In September, 1939 a new voice hit the newsstands and changed the comic-book world forever: Marvel Comics #1, with its blazing Human Torch cover, had arrived And this 64-page pulp package wasn't your typical assortment of super-powered, straight-laced, do-gooders - this was something completely new. The amazing android creation of Dr. Phineas Horton, the Human Torch was neither man nor hero - he was a blazing force of nature that shocked and unsettled mankind. Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the half-human/half-Atlantean, ventures from his undersea kingdom into the world of man - not with a mind set on peace, but towards vengeance These two characters would form the foundation for the style of conflicted hero that defines Marvel to this day, and you'll see them evolve across twelve full issues from their raw forms into the battling fire and water mega-hits of the Golden Age Featuring an extensive essay on Marvel's pulp magazine pre-history, publisher Martin Goodman, and the birth of Marvel Comics by noted historian Will Murray, and topped off with special bonus features including original artwork and items never seen since 1939, this collection forms the cornerstone of Marvel history essential for every comic book fan, collector and historian Collects Marvel Comics #1, and Marvel Mystery Comics #2-12.

39 review for Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus, Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    The Marvel Golden Age Omnibus is an extraordinary book. It collects the first 12 issues of Marvel Comics, plus a great introduction to the volume giving you gads of information about Martin Goodman and the founding of Marvel Comics. Plus this basically smashes together, three Marvel Masterworks productions, you also get three introductions by the great comic writer, editor, and historian Roy Thomas. Plus you get reproductions of the covers of Marvel's pulp predecessors and some rare pictures. In The Marvel Golden Age Omnibus is an extraordinary book. It collects the first 12 issues of Marvel Comics, plus a great introduction to the volume giving you gads of information about Martin Goodman and the founding of Marvel Comics. Plus this basically smashes together, three Marvel Masterworks productions, you also get three introductions by the great comic writer, editor, and historian Roy Thomas. Plus you get reproductions of the covers of Marvel's pulp predecessors and some rare pictures. In terms of the comics themselves, the stories of the Human Torch and Namor the Submariner loom large. I have to admit that I enjoyed these Torch stories more than any of the others I've read. These are all from before the Human Torch acquired a sidekick. To be honest, in this era, he was a better character. The Torch is actually an Android created by a scientist with power over flame. In early stories, the Torch does some accidental damage and criminals attempt to control the Torch. Believing that his own creator intends to exploit his powers, the Torch breaks free, accidentally setting his creator's house on fire and killing him. After these initial stumbles, the Torch begins a string of purely heroic and noble deeds and even joins the police department at one point. It seems after the first couple issues that everyone both in the comic book and the writers too, forget the Torch is not really human. he acts human, has emotions, and a conscience. Mirroring the actions of Superman a couple years earlier at DC, the Torch burns down a row of tenements against the wishes of politically powerful slum wards which makes him briefly a wanted fugitive. Prince Namor is an entirely different case. Liking this character is a guilty pleasure as he's so schizophrenic that it's scary. He begins the book determined to defeat Americans and destroy the surface world. He's a half American half Atlantean. Like the Torch, he begins the stories by causing a few regrettable deaths because he doesn't understand the surface world. Things turn around in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 and then decides to fight Hitler more than a year before America joined the war. But he gets bored with that after an issue. Then he decides to do good and be kind to Americans but he's made to answer for his previous crimes and sentenced to death. As he's a big name character, that doesn't work, so Namor goes back to trying to destroy the Americans. This sets up the Human Torch v. Namor battle that is hinted at in Issues 7 and 8, but the real battle for 20+ glorious pages in issue 9 of Marvel Mystery Comics. It's one of the greatest Golden Age stories told by either company. At the end of the day, Namor is really hard to figure. He can try and destroy an entire city and then stop in the middle to save a baby whose nurse ran away from terror from his antics. He can sink the ship of an American that's coming after him with Captain Ahab-esque obsession but then allow the prisoners captured from the boat to escape. That makes him complex and interesting. The art on the first three Sub-mariner comics are simply beyond almost anything that was done in the Golden age at all. These stories were often to be continued or cliffhangers. Beyond these two charactesr, the book has issues that really highlight the differences between most DC Archives collections and the Marvel Masterworks. If DC were reprinting this comics you'd have Namor and Human Torch Archives containing nothing but Namor and Human Torch stories. But Marvel does all the back up features, some of which were really terrible. Not all of them were. Tarzan knock-off Ka-zar was actually a winner in my book. The story told in the first five or six issues is complex, particularly as it was adapted from a story published in a pulp. The character was fun and the situations were great action and adventure. This was a well-done script and a gem in the book despite some offensive racial stereotypes. On the other hand, Masked Raider appeared in every issue and was really mixed. A few issues had clever mysteries, but most were really short stereotypical westerns. The Angel received a lot of fanfare and several cover appearances, but was really boring with a couple exceptions. The stories were repetitive and unlike with the Submariner and the Human Torch, we really get no clue who this guy is, where he comes from, or what his powers are. He fights typical monsters and you know he's going to win but you never know why. The robot Electro appeared throughout most of the book and got better moving from horrible to very bad. The original concept had Professor Zog design the robot Electro as a super robot who fought crime and performed daring deeds. He was initially controlled by operatives who were known only by their numbers and they proceeded through the first three stories or so to have unobstructed triumph. What could be better than nameless people operating a robot and achieving goals with no real conflict? Eventually, they ditched the numbered operatives and added some conflict. It never was a good strip but it was certainly better than it had been before. And a later upgrade to Electro displayed the face of the operator on a television screen which may have been an inspiration for Stan Lee or Steve Ditko when they wrote of the creation of an anti-Spider-man robot that displayed the face of the operator. American Ace was an abortive Buck Rogers type serial that was replaced by the Ferret, who was supposed to be a master detective who had a pet ferret and solved mysteries. The Ferret was totally forgettable and was replaced by Terry Vance, a boy detective with a pet monkey. Yes, the concepts were strikingly similar-sleuth with pet solves crime, but the Vance stories were much better. It was lighter, more fun, and the mysteries were better. If you were a kid in the 1940s you'd love Terry Vance and want to be like them. In addition to this, we have the text stories which were required by regulation to be in comics for decades and really these were a waste of space particularly to do up in such high quality. Still, the historic nature of the book and the awesomeness of the Human Torch and Submariner, along with some great Kazar and Terry Vance stories make the book worth reading. However, with its $120 plus price tag, this is one book I don't recommend paying retail for.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Wilcox

    Wonderful collection of the first twelve issues of Marvel Mystery Comics, published by the company that eventually becomes Marvel Comics. Introduced are long time characters such as the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner and Ka-Zar and other less known characters such as The Angel, the Masked Raider, and Ferret. Very good stories for many characters but the Masked Raider and Ferret stories were fairly weak compared to the rest. A great treasure trove of early comics though - not sure was worth the Wonderful collection of the first twelve issues of Marvel Mystery Comics, published by the company that eventually becomes Marvel Comics. Introduced are long time characters such as the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner and Ka-Zar and other less known characters such as The Angel, the Masked Raider, and Ferret. Very good stories for many characters but the Masked Raider and Ferret stories were fairly weak compared to the rest. A great treasure trove of early comics though - not sure was worth the hefty $125 price tag.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly McCubbin

    Let me start by saying that I really revel in the naivete of stuff like this. I love 40s radio drama. I love early comics and pulp writing. I love melodrama. That all said, this is solidly a historical document and pretty rough going, entertainment-wise. The earliest appearances of the original Torch and the Sub-Mariner are very interesting and you can definitely feel, with Namor, a sea change (See what I did there?) in how this kind of pulp was told in comics. He's a true anti-hero and sometime Let me start by saying that I really revel in the naivete of stuff like this. I love 40s radio drama. I love early comics and pulp writing. I love melodrama. That all said, this is solidly a historical document and pretty rough going, entertainment-wise. The earliest appearances of the original Torch and the Sub-Mariner are very interesting and you can definitely feel, with Namor, a sea change (See what I did there?) in how this kind of pulp was told in comics. He's a true anti-hero and sometimes is just anti. It's a shot across the bow to see how more complex characters might do and his success is important to Marvel's future. That said, the supporting features, The Angel, Ferret, Ka-Zar, etc... Are pretty rough going. The art occasionally perks up, but the writing rarely does. More interesting than fun and you will find yourself pretty desperate for a Jack Kirby to show up soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard Martelle

    Nostalgic

  5. 5 out of 5

    Douglas S

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chas

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dhruvang Arya

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jameson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anneke Nel

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason Curtin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ravenel Mansfield

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rdbolt

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Rhodes

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eugene booker

  20. 5 out of 5

    C Gram

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  23. 4 out of 5

    John Petty

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lula

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon Bergdoll

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joshlynn

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darren

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Jaz

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Ponder

  31. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Welch

  32. 5 out of 5

    James Zanghi

  33. 5 out of 5

    Richard Anderson

  34. 5 out of 5

    Julian Patton

  35. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  36. 4 out of 5

    Arthur

  37. 4 out of 5

    Darin

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Baer

  39. 5 out of 5

    Paul Porry

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