- No Horton, I'll be free, and no one will ever use me for selfish gain - or crime!
- -- Human Torch
Appearing in "The Human Torch"Edit
- Human Torch - (First appearance)
- Professor Horton - (First appearance)
- Mr. Harris - (Only Appearance)
- Unknown press members
- Unknown Firemen
- Unknown policemen
- Unknown citizens
- Unnamed city
- Professor Horton's laboratory - (First appearance)
- Sardo's personal estate - (First appearance)
- Harris' warehouses - (First appearance)
- Spruce Street - (First appearance)
- Police headquarters
- Earth-616 (Second appearance)
Synopsis for "The Human Torch"EditProfessor Horton is holding a conference with the press, ready to reveal his creation to the world - the first android. He reveals that there is difficult problem with his discovery. Leading the press into the lab, Horton points to a man in an air-tight, glass cage whom he calls The Human Torch.When air is let into the chamber, the man's entire body catches fire. The press in the room demand him to destroy his creation "before some mad man can grasp its principles and hurl it against our civilization!" The scientist refuses. Later, he is contacted by The Scientists Guild, who come that evening. They also recommend destruction of the android since the flames cannot be controlled.
They come to a compromise. The Human Torch is sealed within a steal tube which is then sealed in a block of concrete. Horton vows to find the secret to controlling the flame.
However, some time later there is an explosion outside Horton's bedroom window. He finds the Torch gone. It is revealed that there was a slow oxygen leak in the steel tube. The Torch runs through the streets of the city, confused as to why everything he touches catches on fire. Some firemen douse him with water, but it just turns into steam. Realizing he is causing damage, the Torch dives into a pool in an effort to put out the flame.
Inside the house with the pool, there are two men: Sardo, a business men, and Red, his not-so-smart lieutenant. Sardo realizes the Torch could be worth a lot of money, if used correctly. The two men go to Acmen Warehouses - Inc. to sell some fire insurance. Sardo threatens that if the company doesn't buy it, they won't have any steel left. Mr. Harris, the company's president, refuses the offer and kicks the man out.
Sardo and Red place The Human Torch in a glass tube filled with water and transport him to a warehouse. There, they place him inside and throw a weight at the glass. As it shatters, the Torch bursts into flame. He quickly realizes what they are up to, and escapes with a mighty leap. The flames make him lighter than air. He burns Sardo's house down, but can't seem to find the criminal himself, who is hiding in the steel underground lab. After taking care of Sardo's men, the Torch locates the lab. Sirens catch the attention of both men.
Horton and the firemen arrive on the scene. The professor notices a nitro-tank in the flames and rushes towards it, but the Torch gets there first and melts it before it can explode. The gas puts out his flames. The fire chief fires a gun at him, but the bullet melts on his super-heated skin. The Torch returns to Sardo, who attempts to bargain for his life. The man ends up throwing a tank of sulfuric acid at the flaming android, but it backfires and explodes before even reaching the target. Sardo is killed in the blast.
After using another tank of nitro, The Torch discovers he can now control the flames and throw fireballs. While walking down the street, covered in flames, he is surrounded by the police. The Torch apologizes and demonstrates his control over the fire. The police take him to court where he explains Sardo's evil plans. They let him live with Professor Horton, who takes full responsibility. The Torch explains his control over the fire to Horton, who sees it as a money-making opportunity. The Torch realizes that humans will only continue to use him for their selfish purposes and escapes through the ceiling to be free.
Appearing in "The Angel"Edit
- The Angel - (First appearance)
- Six Big Men - (Only Appearance)
- Lil - (Only Appearance)
- Local businessmen and city officials
- The mayor & his secretary
- The police commissioner
- Shorty and other workers for the Six Big Men
- Unnamed city
Synopsis for "The Angel"Edit
The Six Big Men (consisting of Dutch Hansen who specialized in extorting protection money from night clubs; Trigger Bolo, who controlled a protection racket for retail delivery companies; Mike Malone who controlled all the illegal gambling dens; Gus Ronson who extorted local restaurants; John Dillon who ran a racket on the subway system; and Steve Enkel who would influence politicians, judges and juries) are terrorizing the city.
Eventually Dr. Lang (really the gangs leader), pretending to be a civic minded citizen would gather a bunch of like minded individuals and would be sworn in by a judge as special investigators. They would then seek to hire the costumed hero known as the Angel to hunt down and eliminate each of the racket bosses. The Angel had already taken up the job and made his presence known, leaving Dr. Lang to believe that his plan was coming to fruition.
The Angel would first go after Ronson after he was acquitted of crimes thanks to a crooked jury. Unaware that the Angel had sneaked into the back seat of his car, Ronson would be strangled to death by the vigilante. Going after Mike Malone next, he would land a killing blow on the crook. Witnessing this John Dillon would attempt to flee the Angel, jumping out a window and falling to his death. Lil would provide the Angel with the location of Trigger Bolo and be captured by his thugs. However, before Bolo could mow the Angel down, Lil would order him and Steve Enkel to take the Angel out into the woods to be executed. There Lil would double cross Bolo and Enkle, freeing the Angel and in the ensuring fire fight both Bolo and Enkle would shoot each other.
The Angel would next catch Dutch Hansen before he was making a deposit of all the stolen loot and slay him as well. Curious about who would go and pick up the loot at the safety deposit box, the Angel would stake it out and catch Lil and Dr. Lang in the act of attempting to collect it. He would capture them and turn them over to the authorities, learning of their plot to double cross their colleagues in the process.
Appearing in "The Sub-Mariner"Edit
- Sub-Mariner - (Second appearance)
- Unknown Captain
- Rod Nelson (Only appearance; dies)
- Ev Carley (Only appearance; dies)
- Anderson - (First appearance), (Death)
- Peters - (First appearance), (Death)
Synopsis for "The Sub-Mariner"Edit
A salvage diver is the S.S. Salvage vessel are working a wreck for treasure when he finds an ancient knife and brings down another diver. They search the wreckage and then they are attacked by Namor, the Sub-Mariner! He savagely attacks both men, stabbing one and crushing the diving helmet of the other. Namor then turns his attention to the ship, wrecking the propeller and running it aground. He heads back to his underwater home, where he is greeted by the "Holy One" who commends him on his attack against the humans. Namor brings the bodies of the two divers as trophies. His mother, Fen, congratulates him on beginning his war of revenge in such a decisive manner. Namor asks her to tell him the story of their past once again, and why their people hate the white earth men so much.
She explains that in the year 1920, a research vessel called the Oracle had journeyed to Antarctica and was doing "experiments" with explosives that killed many of their fellow citizens. Since Fen looked most like a human, she was sent to find out more about what was going on. She fell in love with Capt. Leonard McKenzie, and she became pregnant by him. The sailors could not understand how she was able to swim in the freezing water. She learned their language and sent back messages to the undersea army that the white men were too strong for them, but they sent an army to fight them anyway. The white men annihilated the attack force, and now, 20 years later, they are ready once again to press an attack against them, and Namor will begin this war.
Later, he takes his cousin Dorma with him to make an attack on the Cape Anna Lighthouse. Once there, they attack the guards who stand watch on the lighthouse and wreak havoc on the controls and equipment hoping to destroy some of the ships that use it's beacon for safety. Some naval men come on the scene, and in order to escape, Namor and Dorma commandeer a bi-plane which flies nearby, killing the pilot. Dorma wrecks the plane as Namor swims back home in the ocean.
Appearing in "The Masked Raider"Edit
- Masked Raider (First appearance)
- Lightning (First appearance)
- Steve - (First appearance)
- Cal Brunder (Only appearance; dies)
- Slick - (Only Appearance)
- Bends - (Only appearance; dies)
- Rowdy - (Only appearance; dies)
- Lordin - (First appearance)
- Bleck - (Only appearance; dies)
- Cactusville - (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Masked Raider"Edit
Cal Brunder, a big league has become a menace of Cactusville, using his army of thugs to try and force the smaller ranchers into selling up their property. One night they attempt to coerce Jim Gardley into giving up his land but he refuses and fights back. Brunder's goons get the drop on him and take him to their boss, who gives Gardley one last chance to surrender his land, a request that is also refused. Cal has his men take Jim to the sheriff and have him charged on trumped up cattle rustling charges and he is locked in jail.
Realizing the old sheriff is not cut out for his job anymore, Jim feigns being sick in order to trick the sheriff into opening his cell and Gardley knocks him out. Stealing a horse and riding out into the wilderness, Jim lets the horse free and then raids his own ranch for supplies. He spends the next number of days practicing his shooting skills until he has become a crack shot. Seeking a horse, he spots a white stallion running free and one day is surprised to see that it had been caught and penned in by a farmer. Freeing and taming the horse, he names it Lightning. Jim then decides it is time to go after Cal Brunder, and swearing to fight crime he dawns a black mask and dubs himself the Masked Raider.
Meanwhile, back in town Cal Brunder gets opposition from the Bleck Ranch and sends his boys to shoot the ranch owner and burn the ranch to the ground as a warning to the other ranches to give up their properties. When the sheriff confronts Cal about it, Cal warns the sheriff against opposing him. Soon Brunder's reign of terror nets with success as the ranch hands prepare to deal with him.
However, just after Cal hears the news he is alerted that one of his men has been shot. Pegged to his corpse is a note, a warning to Brunder and his men that they will pay for their crimes. After gaining the support of the sheriff the Masked Raider rides into Cal Brunder's ranch and begins dusting it up with his hired goons. As the Masked Raider deals with these goons Cal attempts to escape on horseback. However the Masked Raider ropes him in a lasso and pulls him off his horse. He then turns Brunder and his men over to the sheriff to be sent off to jail. After the Masked Raider leaves, the sheriff wonders if the Masked Rider will go after bigger criminals.
Appearing in "Jungle Terror"Edit
- Professor John Roberts - (Only Appearance)
- John Crafton - (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "Jungle Terror"Edit
After Professor John Roberts has been gone for three months searching the jungles of the Carrebian to find a diamond that can supposedly enslave people, his friend Ken Masters and nephew Tim Roberts decide to travel out to find the missing scientist. As they fly out from Florida in their own plane, they are soon aware that hey are being followed by John Crafton -- a rival plantation owner.
Unfortunately for Ken and Tim, their plane cracks up and they crash, and while they survive they are soon captured by some of the local natives. Crafton and his men land safely and when they are confronted by the natives as well, they try to fight them but one of John's men is killed before they can flee the scene.
In the native village, Ken and Tim are brought to the chief who sentences them to death and sequesters them in a prisoners hut until it's time to be executed. To their surprise Professor Roberts is there as well. The Professor explains that the natives were friendly to him until they realized that he was after the diamond and locked him up. However, he had just recently found a passageway hidden in the floor and the trio decide to use it to try and escape the natives.
They find themselves in a cavern that leads them to a massive stockpile of diamonds. Before they can begin collecting them they are confronted by John Crafton and his goon Slug who found the cavern while fleeing from the natives. The natives catch up and slaughter Crafton and Slug. Ken, taking Crafton's pistol holds the natives at bay while Ken and the Professor flee. Ken catches up to them just as they find Crafton's airplane and the trio uses it to escape unscathed.
When the boys lament about being unable to collect the diamonds, the Professor shows them a smaller diamond that he managed to grab before their escape.
Appearing in "Burning Rubber"Edit
- Bill Williams - (Only Appearance)
- C.G. Clark - (Only Appearance)
Synopsis for "Burning Rubber"Edit
Bill Williams is a race car driver with something to prove when the audience laughs at his shabby looking Blue Bird race car. Deciding to go on the race alone, he sends his mechanic Fred Turner to find his girlfriend Ann. Ann is told by Fred that Bill has been moody because he has been working on a new gas feeder system for his race car that they have been proposing to C.G. Clark the motor magnet. When Fred explains that Bill is testing it out on the road this moment and that a minor flaw could have a dangerous catastrophe. Ann shows the plans to Clark and wins the sale and then has Bill flagged out of the race before he has an accident. When Bill realizes what Ann had done for him he is as happy as can be.
Appearing in "Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great"Edit
- Ka-Zar (First appearance)
- John Rand (Only appearance; dies)
- Constance Rand (Only appearance; dies)
- Zar (First appearance), the lion
- Paul DeKraft (First appearance)
- Sha (First appearance), the lioness
- Chaka (First appearance), the gorilla
- Quog (First appearance), the wild pig
- Nono (First appearance), the monkey
- Kru (First appearance), the buzzard
- Wal-Lah (First appearance), the hippopotamus
- N'Jaga (First appearance), the leopard
- Trajah (First appearance), the elephant
- Mubangi - (Only appearance; dies)
- Belgian Congo
- Belgian Congo
Synopsis for "Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great"Edit
John and Constance Rand, along with their three-year-old son David, are flying to Cairo, when their aircraft crashed into a Belgian Congo jungle. Though all three survived the crash, Constance shortly died of her wounds. John decided to look after and dedicate his life to his son, teaching him how to survive in the wild. Permanently deluded after being hit by a falling tree, he made the jungle their home. David grew up, strong and healthy, in harmony with the jungle and the creatures dwelling inside it, even saving Zar the lion from a cruel death, trapped in quicksand.
One day, they both encountered a group of natives led by a fat white man. John tried to make them leave the sacred jungle before they profane it. The white man, Paul DeKraft, was a vicious criminal on a treasure hunt and would not so easily be convinced to turn back. So John Rand was shot in his sleep, and his son would have met the same fate if not for Zar. The lion, remembering the young man who saved his life, scared the whole gang away.
The feline later took the boy into his lair, accepting him as brother. He would now be called Ka-Zar, brother of Zar, and would earn the respect of all the jungle creatures.
- First Marvel Comic published.
- The stories of this issue are reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
- Ka-Zar first appeared in October 1936 in a Manvis Publishing Company pulp magazine called Ka-Zar. Two more issues of the magazine were published (in January and June 1937) and Ka-Zar did not appear until "Marvel Comics #1".
- The Angel story in this issue mimics much of the plot of The Saint in New York by Leslie Charteris.
- The first page of this issue shows a "funnies" page named "Now I'll Tell One!".
- This issue is sometimes referred to as "Marvel Mystery Comics #1", as the next series' storyline is in Marvel Mystery Comics #2.
- Some copies of this issue will have a blackened Oct. on the cover and instead have Nov. in its place. This is due to Timely selling out with over 80,000 issues sold in with the first printing in 1939. This prompted Timely to print a second printing with the Nov. date added.
- This comic is referenced throughout The Venture Bros. Season 4 premiere "Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel", where the mint-conditioned comic's loss in value as the Venture family uses it is a recurring joke.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Marvel Comics Vol 1 1 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Marvel Comics series
- Images from Marvel Comics Vol 1 1
- Reviews about Marvel Comics Vol 1 1
Links and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
- ↑ The 1st story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
- Fantasy Masterpieces #9 - 1st story
- Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus HC #1 - 1st story
- Golden Age of Marvel Comics TPB #2 - 1st story
- Marvel Comics Vol 2 #1 - 1990 reprint, 1st story
- Marvel Comics 70th Anniversary Edition #1 - 1st story
- Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics #1 - 1st story
- Wizard Ace Edition: Marvel Comics #1 - 1st story
- The 2nd story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
- The 3rd story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
- Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus HC #1 - 3rd story
- Golden Age of Marvel Comics TPB #1 - 1st story
- Invaders #20 - 2nd story
- Marvel Comics Vol 2 #1 - 1990 reprint, 3rd story
- Marvel Comics 70th Anniversary Edition #1 - 3rd story
- Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics #1 - 3rd story
- Marvel Masterworks: The Sub-Mariner HC #1 - 1st story
- Marvel Milestones: Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner and Hulk #1 - 3rd story
- Sub-Mariner Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 - 3rd story
- Wizard Ace Edition: Marvel Comics #1 - 2nd story
- The 4th story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
- The 5th story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
- The 7th story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
All hail the mighty Marvel Comics. Issue #1 of a far-reaching franchise. This issue was actually a pretty good read, being that it was created in the late '30s and covered multiple stories. I never understood why there were always about 30 stories to each issue back then. Was it because of the need to get "more bang for your buck" (or 10 cents originally), a way to be easy on the writers/artists, or just to see which story sells and then push that character more? Anyhow you look at it, it seemed to work, otherwise there would be no Marvel today. Because of this mix, I will take each story on separately and hopefully get my points across without boring too much along the way. Contents
"Now I'll Tell One" - Funnies sectionEdit
This issue begins with a one-page "funnies" section. Alright, back in the day when the Great Depression was clearing itself out and the world was about to plunge itself into war, people needed to just laugh. Odd thing is that their humor... well, IMHO kind of sucked. Sure, it was a comic book and many more youngsters than adults read it and probably chuckled, but these jokes are not like reading your Sunday newspaper funnies. This was the quick, one-panel and almost political-type of humor that just didn't cut it. You get the interesting pictures along with a quick one-liner joke. Anyway, if you ever get to read one of the reprints featuring these funnies, I would recommend quickly moving to the "meat" of the comic rather than wasting your time.
The Human TorchEdit
Taking into account that this was written over 70 years ago, this story was actually rather good. I think I started off thinking it was going to be dull and very out-dated, but it has all the workings of your comic stories of today as well as people actually were drawn being smoking, maimed and sometimes killed (which in this post-censorship era, is rather interesting). I mean this issue might have be rated "T" these days. Not only was the feel of the story surprising, but it actually had some funny comments and scenes in it. I was actually smiling at how one second the Torch was absently destroying the city and then was laughing at the fire truck just because he likes the bells. Another interesting thing is the plot lines that were displayed in comics back then. This issue tells you all the whos, whats, wheres AND whys as well as tells the entire story in only a few pages. It leaves you wanting to find out, "what will happen next time on...". No wonder the Human Torch continued to be one of the stars of future issues.
Comics back in the day were violent compared to now. The first six scenes are of the mobster-like "Six Big Men" killing a restaurant owner, beating up a city official and subway worker, and even blowing up a delivery truck business. Ironically, not only are the bad guys killing people and roughing them up, the main character seems to not have any problem taking out his own kind of "justice" on the bad guys (while writing rhymes on notes for the police to track him). Not sure how people back in the day felt about vigilantes, but it was definitely okay being portrayed in comic books. I likened the Angel to the current "Punisher" feel of justice (and even has a plain outfit with a single object on the chest. Though the Angel does have a non-aggressive "angel wings" logo instead of a skull... scary.) Overall, the story flowed well, but was just a little disjointed in some points. Still, I would have probably picked up the next issue on the Angel just to see how he dealt with the next villains.
The Sub-Mariner never made sense to me. Why did someone in the sea ever have winged-feet and was able to fly? This story is pretty interesting though as a dramatic race-war (and again with a pretty violent protagonist). Of course, Namor was one of those characters who was born of an Atlantean and a land-dweller and tries to take revenge on the one side of his family, partly because he doesn't understand them and partly because they shun the other half of him. His overall adventure in this story is of revenge and he definitely gets that done by killing several people and destroying a lighthouse. He finally takes off in a bi-plane to destroy it. This overall story is was not hitting the mark for me, but it is definitely easy to see why people followed his further adventures as he is simply finding his way in the world of land-dwellers and learning how to both help the needy and hurt the evil.
The Masked RaiderEdit
I was never one of those "cowboy story" readers. Sure, I thought the West was interesting and some of the real-life characters from back then were cool, but for reading a comic about any of them, I think I would have passed on them back then. Unfortunately, my appreciation of these stories has not changed and this one was just as bad. I truthfully cannot even come up with a good blog about this story.
This story tries very hard to be a mystery "Indiana Jones" story, but doesn't really accomplish it. The story/characters were canned for future issues and it was not difficult to see why. It left much, to be desired.
If I purchase a comic book it is normally for the graphics and comics... not for a written story (I know. I'm obviously off in thinking that). This story definitely was one I could barely keep my eyes open for. If anyone can finish this one-page short-story about a race-car driver, let me know how it ends.
The story here is one we should all be able to see -- Tarzan. They both almost even have the same NAME! Interesting thing about this one though is the approach. Sure, it's an origin story of someone we all knew as kids, but this one tries to at least teach you new animals while exploiting a known character that was stranded and orphaned in the jungle, raised by animals, and then hunted by -- and hunts -- an evil poacher. Really, Marvel??? Really? Somehow Ka-Zar and his adventures make it into future issues. Rant completed.
Overall EditOverall the comic was a strong beginning, lacking middle, and then a very soft ending. Like I said though, it's the first and it was worth the read. Just glad we made it past the '30s though.