Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Classics - Fantasy Masterpieces #7

Time can be scary.

Take this issue of Fantasy Masterpieces, printed in 1967. When I read it, I was amazed to be able to read stories from the earliest days of Marvel, with stories dating back to 1940 - 27 years in the past (to an 11-year-old, that's an eternity).

Here I sit today, looking at that comic printed 45 years ago, and I think 27 years doesn't seem like such a long time anymore.

But in the '60s, it was almost impossible to read an adventure from the Golden Age of Comics. Reprints were very rare, and most of them focused on more "recent" stories from the late '50s and early '60s.

I believe Fantasy Masterpieces was the first comic to consistently reprint those old stories (though it mixed in some '60s monster magazine stories to fill out the issue).

And while I was interested to see those stories, I have to admit - I wasn't impressed. The art was very crude (though the printing didn't help much), and the stories were pretty thin, too.

This issue included a story from Marvel Mystery #8 (1940) with the Human Torch fighting the Sub-Mariner (if just on the last page), there's an early adventure of Namor from Marvel Mystery #3 (1940) as he learns to fight the Nazis, and a Captain America adventure from issue #7 of his series (1941) involving a deadly baseball game.

But even if the stories were a far cry from the far more polished fare Marvel served up in the '60s, it was still a treat to see these comics from the long-ago days of my parents.

That new cover by Gil Kane didn't hurt, either.

So, not a great comic (though Golden Age fans would probably disagree), but still a great treat for a young fan.

Grade: B

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1 comment:

Peter Wallace said...

I loved these books! I thought it was so cool to read those ancient stories!