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This is the sixty-second in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous sixty-one.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel had a special insert in an issue of Fantastic Four because they irked the Nixon Administration.
In Fantastic Four #128, there was a puzzling four-page, glossy insert in the middle of the issue, for no added cost.
Roy Thomas explains it in the letter column of the issue, but I’ll first give you some back story about what happened.
In the early 1970s, inflation was a mess in America. Costs were skyrocketing.
With books released the month of Fantastic Four #116, Marvel raised their prices from 15 cents to 25 cents, a huge increase at the time, but Marvel’s answer was to make the 25 cent books giant-sized.
Sadly, cost restraints were such that Marvel had to make the books normal-sized after just ONE month, but at a price of 20 cents per issue.
Meanwhile, though, the Nixon Administration had implemented a price freeze for the nation. So when the Wage and Price Control Board heard that Marvel ESSENTIALLY raised prices by charging 20-cents for 32 pages, they were upset.
But after things got hashed out, there was no big “to-do” about it, and Marvel offered up what was essentially their form of community service – a free, full-color glossy insert in Fantastic Four #128!
Here is Roy Thomas on the situation, from that issue’s letter column…
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