Marvel Comics #1

    Marvel Comics » Marvel Comics #1 released by Marvel on October 1939.

    The first issue of Marvel Comics published by Timely in 1939.

    Short summary describing this issue.

    last edited by pikahyper on 08/06/19 03:37PM View full history

    'Now I'll Tell One!' - (unknown)

    A page of single-panel gag strips.

    'The Human Torch' - (Burgos)

    Professor Horton meets with members of the press to discuss that he is having trouble with his latest creation the first synthetic human whom he dubs The Human Torch. He keeps The Human Torch in a cylindrical tube that is completely free of oxygen for the moment the Android is exposed to the air it bursts into flames. The reporters are terrified of Horton's creation and urge him to destroy it but he cannot bring himself to so.

    As an alternative, Horton has the Human Torch sealed in a concrete tomb until a time in which he can develop a cure for his creation's condition. Sometime later, the Human Torch broke free from his tomb and the flaming android causes a panic in the streets. Confused as to why he cannot stop his body from flaming, the Torch ultimately leaps into the inground pool owned by Anthony Sardo, the notorious mobster.

    Recognizing the Torch, Sardo has the Torch contained so he can use the android's flame powers to carry out insurance fraud. After inadvertently burning down a building, the Torch rushes back to Sardo's mansion and burns it to the ground. In clashing with his foe, the Torch is doused with liquid nitroglycerine. This turns out to be the catalyst that the Torch needed to be able to control his powers. In the ensuing clash, Sardo is killed in an explosion. After showing the authorities that he can now control his powers, the Human Torch explains how Sardo manipulated him and the android is released into the custody of Professor Horton. However, when Horton reveals that he intends to exploit the Torch for financial gain, the android abandons his creator deciding to use his powers to fight crime and injustice.

    'The Angel' - (Gustavson)

    The gang known as "The Six Big Men" consolidate their power by taking over the city's rackets. This wave of violence rocks the city. The authorities attempt to stymie the gang war, they go to the mayor for assistance. As they consider hiring the vigilante known as the Angel, they are surprised when the costumed hero tosses a note through the mayor's window informing them of the identities for the Six Big Men and a vow to end their reign of terror.

    The first is Gus Ronson the head of the restaurant protection association, who is strangled to death in his car after a rigged jury cleared him of murder. Mike Malone, the head of a gambling ring, is later beaten to death by the hero and his associate -- another one of the Six -- is sent plummeting out a window to his death. It's then that the Angel is warned by a mysterious woman that his next target, Trigger Bolo, will be waiting for him. Despite this warning, the Angel is captured by Trigger Bolo and his men. However, before they can execute them the mysterious woman --named Lil, and Steve Enkel order Trigger to stop. They then take the Angel outside of town and tie him to a tree in order to kill him there.

    However, Lil frees the Angel, allowing him to kill both Trigger Bolo and Steve Enkel. Fleeing the scene, Lil tells the Angel that the next member of the Six Big Men is Dutch Hansen. After killing Hensen, the Angel finds some important paperwork. He then rushes to the home of Doctor Lang, the final member of the Six as well as Lil. He discovers that they were helping the Angel eliminate the other members of the gang so they could reap all the money themselves. With their scheme exposed, the Angel takes them into custody.

    'The Sub-Mariner' - (Everett)

    Divers from a salvage ship encounter a strange man swimming around a derelict on the sea floor. There they are astonished to discover a man within the ship who can breathe underwater. This is Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who thinks that these invaders are robots. With his enhanced strength, Namor slays the divers and sinks the vessel above.

    He then takes the dead men to his underwater home and presents them to his ruler, the Holy One. The Holy One and his mother are shocked to discover that these "robots" are actually men from the surface. When they congratulate Namor for killing the two men, Namor asks his mother why his people hate the surface dwellers. Fen tells her son of a day many years ago when sailors from the surface damaged their kingdom by blasting ice flows with explosives in order to pass through the frozen waters above their kingdom. Fen was sent to the surface to spy on these invaders as she was able to breathe on the surface longer than most.

    Discovered aboard one of the vessels, Fen befriended the captain and tried to learn what he could about them. Returning to the oceans, she warned the Holy One that they were no match for the surface dwellers. A subsequent attack failed. Now, twenty years later, Namor is their greatest warrior and the only one of their people who can breathe both on land and air who will avenge his people from the destruction caused by the surface world. After learning this, Namor goes to the surface with his cousin Dorma, who insists on joining him.

    The pair swim to the first sign of surface civilization, the lighthouse at Cape Anna. Namor and Dorma attack the lighthouse but the authorities begin arriving in numbers too large for the pair to deal with. Spotting a plane passing, the pair force themselves onboard. Once getting a safe distance away, Namor tells Dorma to return to their kingdom as what he will do next he must do alone.

    'The Masked Raider.' - (unknown)

    When Cal Brunder the tycoon of Cactusville tries to strongarm all the smaller ranchers to sell out to him, Jim Gardley is a resistant holdout. However, Brunder and his gang frame Gardley of cattle rustling. Locked up at the sheriff's office, Jim refuses to give up and feigns illness in to stage a breakout.

    Fleeing into the desert, Jim begins figuring out his next move and decides that he has to abandon his horse as it could easily give him away. He soon finds a white horse out in the wild and tames the majestic steed, naming it Lightning. Soon, Gardley begins wearing a mask and calling himself the Masked Raider, vowing to fight for justice from now on.

    Meanwhile, Cal Brunder and his men continue terrorizing area ranches, forcing them to sell their properties. Soon, the Masked Raider makes his presence known by attacking one of Brunder's minions and leaving a note vowing to punish Brunder for his crimes. After convincing the sheriff to let him go after Brunder, the Masked Raider quickly dispatches the gang. Trying to flee, Cal Brunder is snared in a lasso by the masked vigilante and turned over to the sheriff to face justice.

    Jungle Terror - (Dixon)

    Ken Masters and Tim Roberts plan to rescue Tim's Uncle who disappeared in the jungle while searching for a diamond with magical powers. However, the owner of the adjoining plantation, John Crafton and his henchmen follow them intent on finding the diamond for themselves.

    The next morning Ken and Tim leave Florida in a plane headed for the Caribbean. Realizing that they are being followed by another plane, Ken and Tim try to evade their pursuers only to discover that their plane has also been sabotaged. Crash landing in the jungle, the pair are captured by a tribe of locals. Not far away, John Crafton and his men have landed and are also captured by the locals.

    Meanwhile, Ken and Tim are imprisoned in a hut where they discover that Tim's uncle is alive and a prisoner as well. When the coast is clear, the trio escapes from the hut and discover a cave filled with not one diamond, but thousands. Unfortunately, John Crafton and his men had escaped capture and found the cave as well. Before Crafton and his men can kill the three explorers, the tribal warriors find them and slaughter Crafton and his minions. Recovering Crafton's gun, Ken and the others use it to keep the natives at bay long enough for them to escape in John Crafton's plane.

    It's on the way home that Ken and Tim are delighted to learn that Tim's Uncle managed to grab one of the diamonds before they fled the cave.

    Burning Rubber: A Short Story About The Auto Race Tracks - (Gill / Gilman)

    A text story about a race car driver and auto mechanic who risk everything in one last race!

    Adventures of Ka-Zar The Great - (Byrd / Thompson)

    John Rand, his wife, Constance, and three-year-old son, David, were traveling to Cairo from Johannesburg when their plane crashed in the jungles of Congo. Thanks to John the family is able to survive and wait for rescue. The son, David, makes friends with the animals, particularly the lion known as Zar. However, there were still dangers, such as the leopard known as N'Jaga. As John taught his son how to survive in the jungle, the Rand family held out in the hopes they will be rescued. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Constance died due to illness.

    Following the death of his wife, John decided that the clearing where she was buried would be their new home. Over the following years, John and David lived in the wild. David began learning the skills needed to survive and also befriended the many animals such as Quog the warthog, Wal-Lah the hippo, and Trajah the elephant. The greatest of these animals were still Zar the lion who kept peace in the area. One day, Zar was trapped in some quicksand, David saved the lion and returned him to his family.

    Not long after this, David and his father encountered Paul De Kraft, who was searching for emeralds in the region. Determined to find riches no matter what saw the Rands as a threat and sought to eliminate them. When De Kraft lit the Rands hut on fire, it cost John Rand his life. Before Paul could murder David, he was saved by Zar who then drove the emerald hunter away. David was then adopted by Zar, rechristening himself as Ka-Zar, defender of the jungle, and vows to avenge the death of his father.


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               With this one folks you can't miss! In the course of this one issue emerge some of the most iconic characters ever to grace the pages of the realm of comics. The Human Torch, Namor, Ka-Zar and The Angel. All the greats of the Golden Age of Comics and I love them to death this has to be one of my favorite books from the golden age just barely besting Detective Comics #27 for the top spot mainly due to the length of the stories and how each one held my interest with nail biting suspense...

    6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

    It all began here 0

        History in the making. Marvel history could go no deeper than this issue. Marvel Comics issue 1 would introduce dynamic and new storytelling to an audience that would find themselves excited over this one comic. Introducing Stories with a Science Fiction twist to it, only one storyline and hero would be the focus of heroism in this comic, who would be known as the Angel.   The Cast Human Torch (Jim Hammond) and Sub-Mariner would display themselves as characters who would be different and ou...

    5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

    Timely Enters the Comic Biz 0

    Timely's first foray into comic publishingMartin Goodman began Timely's comic book publishing with Marvel Comics. This 10¢ book introduced a number of interesting characters like Ka-Zar (borrowed from the pulps), Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch. Though most of the characters had superhuman powers, they could hardly be considered "heroes", and in fact Sub-Mariner and Human Torch seemed to be closer to villains than heroes.The book opens with a page of single panel gag strips called 'Now I'll...

    3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
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