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Sunday, June 26, 2005

My Collection - MARVEL TALES [1966 Series]

Marvel Tales [1966 series]
76 issues [1967 - 1989]
7 - 8, 10, 23, 25, 31, 83, 98, 100, 117 - 118, 120, 123 - 126, 134 - 177, 193, 195, 197 - 201, 215, 221 - 228

This is of course Marvel's extremely long running reprint title which brought vintage stories, mostly Spider-Man, to the newsstands for 289 issues (#3 - #291, the first two issues were MARVEL TALES ANNUAL) from 1966 to 1994. No surprise why I have so many of these, as it was the primary cheap source in the 1980s for the original Ditko run on the character, reprinting every Ditko issue (with covers) from AMAZING FANTASY #15 to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38 in the issues from #137 to #177 (in fact, a few issues had never been reprinted until this run. And #134 - #137 reprinted the first few Doctor Strange stories). I had a few of those when they first came out, and that's where I first gained my appreciation for Ditko. Later I would buy as many of those as I could as back-issues, obviously never getting a few, resorting to other reprints until the ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN series came along. Of course, they did sometimes make some changes in the reprints, including updating references to TV shows, which was a minor annoyance.

Along the way I also picked up a number of the early issues, from back when the book was double-sized and had reprints from other corners of the Marvel universe.

For the other back issues, it's mostly stuff I picked up cheap to get a feel for some of the later Spider-Man stuff. Everything I have after #177 was from a run I got out of a quarter bin, half of which never made it to my collection proper but were given away. Some of the stuff is okay, and a few have original content like Fred Hembeck backups as they reprinted comics from the dark days of the 1970s when stories were down to 17 pages.

Despite some better reprints of the material I have now, I'm too sentimentally attached to the reprint of the Ditko run to get rid of any of those. Most of the rest I could stand to get rid of, maybe do that Halloween comic giveaway I always wanted to do. Nothing on the back issue hunt for this one.

A few highlights, other than the Ditko stuff which I'll have to post on in depth some other time:

Kirby's Inhumans back-ups from THOR are reprinted in #122 - #128, so it was a pleasant surprise when I got a few issues in that run.
#200 reprints a great Doctor Strange crossover by Denny O'Neil, Frank Miller and Tom Palmer.
#197 has a short Hercules back-up by Bob Layton. I enjoyed that series.
#159 is from "Assistant Editors' Month" and has a great gag about the regular editor's updating of topical references in the reprints, which thankfully they stopped.

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