Marvel Treasury Edition No. 13 Cover – Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag by Kane, Romita and Sinnott

Another holiday season and another Christmas reprint special from the House of Ideas. Pencilled primarily by Gil Kane – with touchups by John Romita – and inked by Joe Sinnott, I wonder how many people thought it was off the wall to have the Thing dressed up as Santa with Thor and Hulk as his reindeer. Plus Ben Grimm is Jewish and Thor came from the Norse gods.

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Marvel Treasury Edition No. 6 Cover – Doctor Strange by Frank Brunner

Frank Brunner was at Marvel Comics for only a decade, but he made an impact with each comic he did, foremost among them his collaborations with writer Steve Englehart on Doctor Strange in Marvel Premiere and volume two of Doctor Strange.

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Amazing Spider-Man No. 102 Cover by Kane and Giacoia

The last issue of the Six-Armed Spider-Man saga, writer Roy Thomas used the larger page count to tell the chilling origin of Michael Morbius and deliver a final battle between Morbius, Spider-Man and The Lizard.

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Amazing Spider-Man No. 101 Cover by Kane and Romita

How do you top giving Spider-Man four extra arms in a last-page reveal of Amazing Spider-Man No. 100?

You put Spidey up against a brand-new character once again acceptable due to changes in The Comics Code: Morbius the Living Vampire! And for good measure you add The Lizard trapped somewhere between his monstrous persona and his human form of Dr. Curt Connors.
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Amazing Spider-Man No. 100 Cover by Romita and Giacoia

It was a time of transition. The Sixties were ending, leaving a very different world than when they'd begun. The Silver Age in comics was giving way to the Bronze. The Seventies would be a decade of experimentation in packaging for new publishers and slow decline for Marvel and DC until they worked out a different model of distribution.

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Blade Runner: The Comic Book Adaptation by Williamson & Garzon

Blade Runner came and went during the summer of 1982, neither a hit nor an outright flop. The film would garner its audience and appreciation in the years that followed, aided by the growing home video market. Today it’s regarded as one of science fiction film’s best.

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Marvel Treasury Edition No. 30 - X-Men Fractures by Dave Cockrum

Rarer than regular tabloids that reprinted popular material were the special editions that contained new material prepared expressly for their oversized pages.

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Marvel Treasury Edition No. 29 by Severin & Tartaglione

If you were reading comics between 1975 and 1980 or so, tabloid-sized comics were a wonderful thing to find on the newsstand. Oversized with cardstock covers, they most often reprinted older material. Seeing some of your favourite stories printed big was an awesome thing to experience.

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Daredevil Poster by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson

It had made Miller a star creator, first joining Daredevil as its penciller and then becoming its writer as well. Aided and abetted by Klaus Janson, the finishing inker and colourist played a larger and larger role over time as Miller's pencils became simplified layouts.

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FOOM No. 9 Cover by Jim Starlin

Here's another cover to FOOM, Marvel's 1970s fan magazine. Jim Starlin was making waves at Marvel as a writer and artist with a strong interest and ability in science fiction and all matters cosmic. He began with Captain Marvel, injecting new life into that character, and by the time of this issue in 1975, he had revived and was revolutionising Adam Warlock.

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FOOM No. 14 Cover by John Buscema & Tom Palmer

FOOM was the successor to the MMMS and was the fan service of the MCG. Translated for the less geeky: Friends of Ol' Marvel was the successor to the Merry Marvel Marching Society and was the fan service of the Marvel Comics Group.

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The Incredible Hulk Annual No. 5 Cover by Kirby, Abel & Romita

This was the second appearance of Groot – made famous in recent years by his association with Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy films from Marvel. But 11-year-old me had wangled the price of a comic out of my mother as a way to keep me occupied while we attended my cousin's wedding.

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Captain America No. 1 Cover by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby

Coming a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour – the event which precipitated the US's entrance into the Second World War – Captain America was created by two young Jewish New Yorkers: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. With the Nazi government in Germany already persecuting Jews and other groups they wished to eliminate, Cap was the perfect patriotic avatar for young Americans eager to get into the war in Europe. Punching Hitler square on the jaw is an iconic depiction of the Golden Age of comics.

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Iron Man No. 67 Cover by Gil Kane and Mike Esposito

I have to admit, I've never read many issues of Iron Man, but when a lady at work said her son liked Marvel more than DC, I figured ol' Shellhead would be appreciated for one of my restoration and re-colouring posts. It ended up being a fun piece to work on.

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Wizard No. 10 Cover by Rob Liefeld

Rob Liefeld had started at DC, then moved on to Marvel where he co-created characters like Cable and became one of their most-popular artists. In '92, he and other artists left Marvel to form Image Comics, and Liefeld's book was Youngblood.

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Wolverine No. 10 Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

By 1989, Bill Sienkiewicz had cemented his place in comics as a creator to be watched. With early work on Moon Knight, moving on to The New Mutants, a great Dune movie adaptation, and stunning painted and collage work on Elektra: Assassin.

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Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 14 Cover by Frank Miller

A standout issue from 1980, Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 14 was drawn by rising artist Frank Miller, inked by Tom Palmer and written by Denny O'Neil. The cover is strong and memorable and the original colour scheme is solid. Still, couldn't resist working with it.

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X-Men No. 137 Cover by Byrne & Austin

It had been an incredible run, making stars of Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin. The trio had first worked together on a memorable Star-Lord tale in Marvel Preview No. 11, but it's X-Men they're most remembered for. No. 137 is a standout issue in a standout series, and there's been controversy about it ever since it came out due to the editorial battle between the book's creative team and then-editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. The creative team wanted Phoenix to live, Shooter made sure she died.

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Giant-Size Chillers No. 3 Cover by Hannigan & Wrightson

From August 1975, this was a reprint issue of horror stories wrapped in a new cover. And what a cover. The darn thing nearly leapt off the rack at you and it remains a favourite, so giving it an updated treatment was a natural thing for me to do.

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Doctor Strange Miller Open Graph

Doctor Strange by Frank Miller

Frank Miller was on the rise. He was soon to take over writing Daredevil, a book he was already drawing and getting noticed for. In February 1981, this Marvel house ad appeared, announcing that he and Roger Stern were going to be the new team on Doctor Strange. But it wasn't to be. According to Roger Stern:

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Giant-Size Blog Headers

Online friend Richard Guion (aka Cousin Dick) was kind enough to give this site a couple of plugs on his blogs Giant-Size Marvel and Giant-Size Geek, and I returned the favour by making new blog headers.

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Giant-Size Marvel Template

Marvel Comics Giant-Size Cover Template

I've rebuilt and coloured a lot of vintage comic book covers. Now, it's your turn. Here's a template for Marvel's Giant-Size comics of the mid 1970s. I'd love to see what you create in the comments below.

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Marvel Preview No. 4 : Star-Lord by Gan and Wrightson

Star-Lord first appeared in Marvel Preview No. 4, cover dated January 1976. The character was named by Marv Wolfman, and Steve Englehart created the character from there. Steve Gan was the artist.

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Doctor Strange (1978) DVD Cover

You have to feel for the folks over at Shout Factory. They got the rights to re-release the 1978 Doctor Strange TV movie to tie in with the release of the new feature film starring Benedict Cumberbatch. And they went to the effort to remaster it from the original film elements. That's dedication, and one of the reasons genre film and TV lovers love Shout like cinephiles love Criterion and Kino Lorber. They do things right.

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Spider-Man & Daredevil Special Edition No. 1 Cover by Frank Miller

Frank Miller had completed the Daredevil run with Klaus Janson which had made him a top creator at Marvel. His next major project would be 1983's Ronin limited series.

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The Original Star-Lord Covers

His mother murdered by aliens, Peter Quill wanted revenge and his only goal was to get out into space to see it through. The early Star-Lord adventures were darker in tone than what we see today. They also had some great covers by top illustrators. Here they are as originally published, and new versions as Star-Lord magazine.

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The X-Men Chronicles by Dave Cockrum

From 1981, Cockrum's hand-painted cover for this one-shot fanzine.

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Uncanny X-Men No. 138 Cover by Byrne & Austin

One of the iconic covers in a run of iconic covers by Byrne and Austin. With fresh type and colour by me.

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The Silver Surfer by John Buscema

I ran across a really grotty copy of the late John Buscema's pencils for this page from The Silver Surfer v3 No. 110. Detailed below are the steps from inks to layout to turn it into a cover.

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ROM the Space Knight by Jeff Slemons

One of the early integrations of electronic features into an action figure, the ROM action figure didn't do well in the market, but the Marvel comic lasted 75 issues and four annuals. He'll return to comics in 2016 via IDW Publishing.

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Star-Lord by Byrne & Austin

Back in 1976, Marv Wolfman – then editor-in-chief for Marvel Comics – came up with the name Star-Lord and passed it on to writer Steve Englehart to flesh it out. The result appeared in Marvel Preview #4, January 1976.

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The Silver Surfer by Kirby & Sinnott

From Fantastic Four No. 55, Oct 1966. Kirby's energy and Sinnott's precision are in top form as the Silver Surfer returns.

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Pro! NFL Cover by John Buscema

From 1970, John Buscema does a Marvel group of characters for Pro!, an NFL official progam.

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Superman vs. Spider-Man Cover by Andru, Giordano & Austin

When this came out in 1976, fans went apeshit. And rightfully so. For the first time, rivals DC and Marvel teamed up for mutual profit. Written by Gerry Conway, pencilled by Ross Andru (with some polishing by Neal Adams), figure inking by Dick Giordano and background inks by Terry Austin. It was a whole lot of fun to read.

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Amazing Fantasy No. 15 Cover by Steve Ditko

For a rejected cover, it's made its rounds over the years. Steve Ditko submitted this image, but Marvel's then-publisher Martin Goodman rejected it. Gone was Ditko's downward-looking POV to be replaced by an upward-looking Kirby-pencilled version.

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The Amazing Spider-Man No. 701 Cover by Steve Ditko

The Amazing Spider-Man was cancelled after issue No. 700. I'll be honest, I hadn't picked up the book since the 70s. Black costumes, clones, brand new days and all the rest just seemed like something I wanted to avoid. But you can't ignore Spider-Man. C'mon. He's SPIDER-MAN. And there were a lot of great issues I have read multiple times, and will likely read again.

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Marvel Team-Up No. 4 Cover by Kane & Giacoia

I was a wee lad in the summer of 1972. I liked Spider-Man a lot. His cartoon (the 1967 series) was on TV (and still rules today). But it wasn't until Mom gave me 20¢ in the drugstore that I bought a copy of this, my first comic.

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