Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
Marvel Tales #2 – January 1965
Cover art by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko
As part of this past week’s celebrations at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, the 50th anniversaries of Marvel’s The Avengers, X-Men, and Doctor Strange have all been observed (in addition to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the 75th anniversary of Superman, among others.) And you would think, in order to commemorate this magnificent milestone, that it would be easy to find a comic with all of those classic Marvel heroes featured on the same cover … alas, it was much harder than you imagine.
Nevertheless, NERDVANA’s cracker-jack team of comic-book historians (meaning they enjoy a fresh box of Cracker Jacks while perusing comic-book covers – especially the toy surprise inside) has located this classic cover from 1965 that not only has the original Avengers, X-Men, and Doctor Strange; it also has the incredible Hulk (who celebrated his 50th anniversary last year.)
The “Special King Size Annual” issue of Marvel Tales #2 reprinted a collection of classic origin tales of some of the then burgeoning comic-book company’s heaviest hitters, including X-Men #1 (originally from September, 1963), Avengers #1 (originally from September, 1963 [released in July, 1963]), and Strange Tales #115 (that contained the origin story of Doctor Strange, originally from December, 1963.)
As the cover text described the book, it’s “The greatest collection of mighty marvel classics ever assembled,” which was probably a true statement when it was published in 1965. Another fun item regarding this cover is its proclamation that the stories are “Movie-length Epics!” Who would have guessed that 50-years later these heroes would be some of the biggest stars of the silver screen? (Dr. Strange is currently rumored to be part of Marvel’s “Phase Three” movie line-up that begins in 2015.)