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Snark Blocker: Rarely Viewed First Issues

For today’s snark blocker, I thought it would be fun to take a look see at the first issues of some notable titles, titles where we normally don’t look at their first issues.

It’ll be a hoot (thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for the covers)!

So enjoy!


Wow! Brave and the Bold and Showcase sure changed didn’t they??
love that cover blurb “If you dream of riding in a thundering chariot…”

It would be great to find out the names of some of those artists. Some of those covers have some astoundingly mature art styles, especially for the golden age!

Journey Into Mystery looks like Bill Everett, maybe?

That Tales Of Suspense cover is georgous! I wholeheartedly agree with T.

What the heck is happening in that Strange Tales cover. It’s like Porthos is leading some poor schlub to his unholy doom.

re: Tales to Astonish:

What the HELL is that thing?

Awesome. Other than Detective Comics, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of these.

Uh… are those supposed to be shadows on Miss America? They look… odd.

Jason B.: It kinda looks like a giant dark gray turtle.

I used to own that Tales to Astonish #1, but sold my copy during grad school to pay (most of) a month’s rent.

Ah, good times.

tales of suspense is don heck

The level of gratuitous cheesecake on that Miss America cover is nauseating. Was Frank Cho’s granddad the penciller?

Shouldn’t Amazing Adventures #1 be in this post? It would seem to fit the bill precisely… (For those who don’t know, it changed it’s title, first to Amazing Adult Fantasy and then, for a single issue, to Amazing Fantasy…)

So what’s the *8th* Wonder?

you’d think with a woman in a short skirt standing in the middle of the action there’d be a little less violence and a lot more of them trying to get a look up under there…


August 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Some of these I have never seen before.
Awesome stuff.

I would have thought that DETECTIVE # 1, and STRANGE TALES # 1 were fairly common enough.
I’m so used to seeing those reproduced over the years in various books about comics and whatnot.

The MISS AMERICA cover is also fairly well represented in books about the medium.
However, I think I’ve only seen that JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY cover once or twice before.
I forgot how powerful it was.

AMAZING ADVENTURES # 1 should be on this list.
It’s a great book, features the first Silver Age Marvel hero (Dr. Droom – whom would later be renamed Dr. Druid), and is one of my prizes in my personal collection.

Great topic.
Good show!


The 8th wonder in ficttion is usually considered to be King Kong.

brian lockhart

August 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm

For anyone who’s interested…
Back in I think the 1990s or late 1980s DC reprinted a half-dozen of the Batman and … Brave and Bold issues. Each also reprinted as a back-up feature some of the Golden Gladiator/Viking Prince/Silent Knight stories.
Not quite sure of the order of the printings, but from what I could gather, issue 1 of this reprint series is, except for the Batman reprint, a pretty much story for story reprint of Brave and the Bold 1. I think that’s kind of cool.

I remember the Strange Tales and Journey into Mystery ones from that big (official?) history of Marvel Comics from 1990. They freaked me out as a kid.

“The Brave And The Bold” – a title that actually didn’t sound silly when the comic began.

I love the Tales of Suspense cover – they have to wear glass helmets to contain their own atmosphere, but they can wear short sleeves that bare their arms. That’s space!

yo go re:

Actually, as long as the planet has an atmosphere that is about Earth pressure & temperature, and isn’t touch-toxic or corrosive, one could easily go around with short sleeves.

Most factual works on the feasibility of terraforming Mars point out that the atmosphere will be up to the correct pressures & temperatures from the terraforming process long before it actually would become breathable by humans (in terms of composition), so colonists present could use a setup not too different from that picture (if not a simple respirator mask) with normal clothing to go do work outside.

(personally, I think I’d prefer the helmet – less chance it would get knocked off by an accident, and anything that would crack it would probably have enough force to kill the unarmored wearer, anyway)

DC reprinted the early Brave Bold issues in the 80’s–including #1.
I have them somewhere, unless I sold them.

R. J. Sterling

August 5, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Yes, that’s clearly a planetary surface rather than space, and an atmosphere other than breathable by humans is implicit. I just hope when at long last we terraform Mars we don’t grow monsters such as the one on that cover. Regarding Miss America, why try to look up a woman’s skirt when she has tights on under it? And some of those covers look too good for the Golden Age because they aren’t from then, but from the 1950s. If you think of the Golden Age as the first age of superhero dominance of comics, you have to end it no later than 1951. The period between then and the introduction of Barry-Flash shouldn’t count as the Golden Age.

Until I saw this I thought Silent Knight was a damn strange choice for a story in the recent Brave and the Bold storyline where he teams with Superman, now I see it was more of a tribute…

R. J. Sterling

August 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I went back and looked at the ‘Miss America’ cover again. What cheesecake?! Was that a joke?

The apparent original premise of Brave & The Bold actually makes a lot of sense for that title, if you think about it.

It’s sad that comic books were so much more diverse then…

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