Ideas were flying fast and furious at Marvel at the start of 1964. Lee and Kirby had introduced The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4, unleashed the first proper Hulk Vs. Thing battle in Fantastic Four #25, and revived Golden-Age icon Captain America in Avengers #4, while Lee and artist Don Heck had given readers Black Widow's first appearance in Tales Of Suspense #52.
So when the first issue of a new title went on sale on February 4th, it seemed like the next logical step in the Marvel's expansion. The company had been running house ads trumpeting the book for a couple months, and the cover loudly declared itself to be in their best tradition of greatness and innovation. But the truth is that Daredevil's genesis was difficult, and #1 was arriving a full six months after it was originally slated.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
Face front, true believer! This week we're taking a look at Stanley "The Manley" Lieber, aka Stan "The Man" Lee! Join us, effendi, as we take a peek under Stan's Soapbox to learn the secrets of how he got into comics, what he did when he got there, and what he's been doing since he left. Don't be an Irving Forbush and miss out. Excelsior! Where's the beef? Ba-da-ba-ba-ba I'm lovin' it!
Comic fans have debated about just how much Stan Lee contributed to the creation of Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer and the Avengers for decades. Most likely, it'll be a point of debate for many more, considering that his collaborators --- artists Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Bill Everett, to name three --- have said all they'll likely say on the matter.
But this point is inarguable: Stan Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber on this day in 1922, co-created some of the most enduring, popular and beloved superheroes in popular culture. He is as responsible as anyone for the success of Marvel Comics. And he's still going strong as a cultural force.
The world of Funko just got a little bit more animated thanks to the new additions coming to the anime portion of the Pop line. No longer will you have to worry about trying to hunt down import figures for the likes of Sword Art Online, Fairy Tail, Soul Eater or Naruto, as you'll be able to pick up vinyl figures based on those starting right now. Yeah, you heard me (read me?). Not only did Funko announce these new figures, but they're actually available today. Perfect time for stocking stuffers.
Interestingly enough, this is the first time many of these properties are making the leap to the Pop format. Given how long Pops have been around and how absolutely bonkers fans of these anime shows are, it's hard to believe Funko is only just getting around the releasing these. It bodes well for the future of anime at Funko, too.
On this day in 1962, one of the most important characters in comics history made his debut; the greatest fictional newspaper editor and publisher in the superhero genre (sorry, Perry White): John Jonah Jameson. Making his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #1 (cover dated March 1963, but released in December 1962), J.J. is such a fascinating and complex part of the Spider-Man mythos that to refer to him as just a newspaper editor is to do the man a disservice.
It’s been said that Doctor Doom is not just one of the greatest supervillains of all time but rather that he’s the supervillain, the one that defines them all.
Whenever Doom appears, he's always a huge threat. That’s evident from his very first appearance in Fantastic Four #5 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, when he kidnaps Sue Storm and forces the rest of the FF to travel back in time to steal Blackbeard’s treasure to help him conquer the world. He later teamed up with Namor the Sub-Mariner to send the team into space --- by literally magnetizing the Baxter Building and attaching it to a rocket ship. Of course, he double crosses Namor and the FF. But Namor gets the upper hand and gets the FF back to Earth, leaving Doom on an asteroid careening out into space. But do you think that stopped him?
After the long string of successes Hot Toys has had with its various Marvel-themed figures, it actually not all that surprising to learn there will soon be a Stan Lee figure coming from the Hong Kong-based company. This actually isn't the first time the Marvel legend has been captured in figure form, as NECA, Funko, ToyBiz and more have all tried their hand at bringing the living embodiment of comic book history to life before. However, very few have been as true-to-life as Hot Toys' latest piece, which brings Stan to life in all his grandfatherly glory right down to the Members Only jacket.
It's a curious thing that most toy companies have captured Stan well beyond his glory days in the Marvel Bullpen, and instead have focused on his semi-retired persona as the cameo du jour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This current version is the more recognizable though, I suppose, but it would have been an interesting take to showcase Stan "The Man" in a younger guise back when he was still influencing the biggest guns in the business on a daily basis. It's also a tiny bit sad that Hot Toys' penchant for realism and accuracy depicts the Marvel mainstay in such a fragile form.
The Comics Code Seal of Approval, adopted on this day on 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America, is an instantly recognizable image to generations of comic readers. Its modest black-and-white brand adorned the covers of countless mainstream comic books for the better part of six decades, assuring buyers that the contents of their favorite title had met with some not-entirely-clear standards of suitability, and serving as a lingering reminder of an era when comics has been considered a serious threat to society.
With October just around the bend, that means it's time for cooler weather, cooler costumes and the biggest comic book convention on the east coast. Yes, New York Comic Con is bearing down on us faster than we're prepared to deal with it, but that's okay. We'll make do. In addition to incredible amount of stuff happening at the show, there will be a lot of great stuff up for grabs.
As busy as Funko was at San Diego Comic-Con, its plate looks to be equally as filled at NYCC this coming year. This week, Funko is unveiling all of its planned exclusive items, with a new batch coming every single day. While the availability of each is likely to be a bit more open than it was at SDCC, these things will still be limited. If you're hoping to get any, definitely plan ahead and around any and all panels you hope to make it to this year.
It remains a bleak time for the female comic audience, and for other minority audiences. The recent debacle with Hercules is merely the latest of Marvel’s many ghastly faux pas; for every two steps forward, it seems to take two steps back: it publishes more female titles only to end the majority of them with Secret Wars, and it tantalizes us with Hercules only to promote the status quo inside of continuity.
It is easy to lose faith in the publisher’s ability to reform from within, but Marvel has had the key to equal, positive representation for over fifty years now.
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