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Thursday, February 14, 2008

One is the magic number

Short and sweet entry this time. Just wanted to share this picture with you. Last week I pulled my Silver Age number 1s for a photo op.
Why I did it I'll explain later, but at the moment I just want you to take a look at the pic and look at the number 1s...and think about when #1 isn't #1. Confused ? Read on.

I put my nine most important (Silver Age) first issues in the picture, but only 6 of them have a #1 on the cover...but I assure you they are all "first issues". So what's up .
Well Fantastic Four #1, Avengers #1 Amazing Spider-man #1, Iron Man #1, X-men #1 and Silver Surfer #1 are self explanatory, but what about Amazing Fantasy #15...why does this Marvel Uber key carry the number #15 ? Well because it was the 15th issue in the series that spotlighted various new heroes/concepts and nobody had any idea that this Spider-man character would stick. Well he did and because of this we are stuck with this strangely numbered issue as the first Spider-man issue.

And what about Hulk #102...In 1964 the Hulk became the backup feature in Tales to Astonish (sharing the book with Giant-Man) and when in 1968 Marvel finally was able to renegotiate their distribution deal they seized the opportunity to expand their monthly titles and gave the Hulk his own book.
Tales to Astonish had run tot #101, so it seemed logical to continue the numbering on the first Hulk issue and so it came to be that the first issue of Hulk V2 was issue #102

Same thing with Captain America. Tales of Suspense had run to issue #99 when in 1968 Marvel could finally give both heroes (Cap and Iron Man) their own books. Cap continued the TOS numbering and started at #100. For some reason they didn't follow this logic with Iron Man and the first Iron Man issue got a #1 on its cover. But it could have easily (and logically) been #100 as well.

But why did I pull the issues and take the pic ? Why now ? Well mainly because this is the last time these books were all in my possession Two of the books in the pic have left my collection. I no longer own Amazing Fantasy #15 or X-men #1. I didn't sell them, I didn't lose them and they didn't get stolen. Nothing like that...I traded them.
To find out why I was prepared to do away with these two super keys, and more importantly what I got in trade...tune in next week

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