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Marvel Superheroes celebrated with big issue

March saw the release of our Marvel issue, celebrating the characters that we have all known and loved since the comics began back in 1939. It’s a big issue, with stamps, minisheet, PSB, retail booklet and generic sheet available.

Even if you aren’t a Marvel fan, you can still appreciate the skill in the drawings and the cool designs.

If you have a mix of Cotswold and Stuart covers, you will notice that we have a range of different designs (as suggested by a few of you in our recent survey!). Most of you will have also enjoyed the special offers that were applied to this issue. This is definitely something we will be doing for bigger issues in the future!

Marvel Origins & Marvel UK

The origins of Marvel date back to the late 1930’s, when publisher Martin Goodman saw the new comic-book format enjoying worldwide success, and decided to enter the market under the name Timely Comics. Marvel Comics #1 was released in October 1939, and was the first appearance of Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner and Carl Borgo’s Human Torch. Other comics followed, such as Joel Simon and Jack Kirby’s Captain America #1 in March 1941. This particular issue included the first story by a young intern called Stanley Lieber, using the pen name Stan Lee.

Marvel UK was formed in 1972 to repackage US titles for the British market. The first two publications – The Might World of Marvel and Spider-Man Comics Weekly were both huge hits. These were soon followed by Captain Britain Weekly in 1976. As the company became part of the US boom of 1902, they released a horde of titles on the US market such as Death’s Head II, Warheads and Wild Thing, some of which sold almost half a million copies.

Did you know….?

  • One of the UK’s early editors was Neil Tennant, before he found fame with the Pet Shop Boys.
  • In the early 1990’s, Michael Jackson tries to buy Marvel Comics so that he could play Spider-Man in his own produced movie.
  • After releasing the Tale of the Zombie in 1973, Marvel trademarked the term ‘zombie’ for use in their comic books. They held the trademark until 1996, when they realised the trademark was almost impossible to enforce.
  • Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather, asked Stan Lee if he could try and write a comic strip. Lee agreed but Puzo found it too difficult. However, it didn’t put him off; he went on to write some of the best-selling novels of all time!
  • Marvel was the first comic book to give a black superhero his own comic book. Luke Cage made his first appearance in Luke Cage: Hero for Hire No. 1 in June 1972.
  • When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were creating villains for the Marvel Comic Books, they turned to the Bible. Out of that inspiration came Galactus (God) and Silver Surfer (Satan).
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