Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Avengers Giant Size 84 Page Annual: The Newton edition


This is the cover to Newton Comics' The Avengers Giant Size 84 Page Annual #1:


The cover originally appeared on Marvel Comics' The Avengers Annual #1:



The story contents are as follows:

The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin! [Part 1], originally published in The Avengers Annual #1, September 1967

[The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!] Part 2: To Perish by the Sword, originally published in The Avengers Annual #1, September 1967

[The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!] Part 3: Struggle...in a Strange Land!, originally published in The Avengers Annual #1, September 1967

[The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!] Part 4: ...And a Monster Shall Stalk The Land!, originally published in The Avengers Annual #1, September 1967

[The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!] Part 5: Showdown in Space!, originally published in The Avengers Annual #1, September 1967

The Strength of the Sumo!, originally published in Tales of Suspense #61, January 1965

Among Us, Wreckers Dwell!, originally published in Tales of Suspense #64, April 1965

The splash page to The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin! [Part 1] does not include the Stan Lee Presents introduction to the feature title:


Comparing it to the reprint in The Essential Avengers Vol. 2, the Newton print is unaffected by the Originally Presented in Avengers Annual #1 editorial note on the bottom left hand corner, but presumably this is native to the Essential edition:



The poster in this issue is a black and white enlarged print of a portion of the cover of Man-Thing #1:


This issue was prominently advertised in the Sunday Observer, 30 November 1975:


This would suggest a late-November 1975 publication date. However, it is cover-dated December 1975, and the letter column in this issue advises it is "out 13/12/75". Furthermore the following advertisement appears in this issue:


The Amazing Spider-Man #15 is advertised as Out Next Week. It has already been established that The Amazing Spider-Man #15 was published 20 December 1975. This corroborates the evidence that this issue was published 13 December 1975.

Note also that this advertisement for The Amazing Spider-Man #15 includes the statement at the top NEW, GIANT SPIDERMAN(sic) SPECIAL-50c. This ad is virtually identical to the ad for the same issue in Planet of the Apes #14, apart from the issues advertised in the Bulletin portion of the ad, and the absence of the statement at the top of this ad. This suggests to me that the ad above is the second draft of the two, and further suggests that it might have been added after the initial publication was delayed.

There are other in-house advertisements in this issue. They are: The X-Men with The Avengers #3; Captain America #1; Dracula #9; The Silver Surfer #4; Conan the Barbarian #9; and Doctor Strange #9. All of these issues are cover-dated either November or December, except for The Silver Surfer #4. This issue was cover-dated December 1975 upon publication, but like the ad for The Amazing Spider-Man #15, this ad uses a pre-production image sans the NEW GIANT SIZE MONNTHLY EDITION banner and is Out Next Week:


The late adjustments to the advertisements for the new Giant editions of ongoing series is symptomatic of the changes in the Newton Comics line in late 1975. This issue includes the Free Comic offer, instituted by Newton even before the Heritage Series program took effect, to deal with the overstock of returns; the Captain America Bulletin page announcing the MOST EXCITING NEW PLANS; and the editorial pages listing the new titles - but does not include the subscription page with the new titles as per other December 1975 cover-dated issues.

The indicia title is The Avengers. The GCD lists this issue as The Avengers Annual #1. AusReprints lists it as The Avengers Giant Size 84 Page Annual #1, which is the title I favour. However I do not object to the 'shorthand' The Avengers Annual, especially considering this is one of the Newton issues officially dubbed a Newton Comics Annual in the top left hand corner. On a side note, consider that Marvel refers to the issue as Avengers King-Size Special #1 in the Essentials edition, whereas the GCD lists it as The Avengers Annual, presumably in accordance with the indicia.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Mighty Thor Giant 100 Page Annual: The Newton Edition


This is the cover to Newton Comics' The Mighty Thor Giant 100 Page Annual:


The cover originally appeared on Marvel Comics' Journey Into Mystery #120:


The contents are as follows:

A World Gone Mad!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #113, February 1965

Into the Blaze of Battle!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #117, June 1965

With My Hammer in Hand...!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #120, September 1965

The Power! The Passion! The Pride!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #121, October 1965 

Where Mortals Fear To Tread!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #122, November 1965 

While A Universe Trembles!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #123, December 1965 

The splash page to A World Gone Mad! is omitted. In its place is a modified black and white print of the cover to Journey Into Mystery #113: 


This issue does not include any in-house advertisements or editorial/letter columns, contests or posters. 

As I have mentioned a number of times before, tracking the Thor reprints in Newton Comics is difficult inasmuch as they appeared sporadically and out of sequence. They first appeared as backup features in The Amazing Spider-Man series, and then in various issues such as the two issues of The Mighty Thor, Newton Triple Action, and others. Having said that, the stories in this issue don't appear to have been previously reprinted by Newton. (I will confirm this either way when I have completed my indexing of the Newton comics.)

This issue was advertised alongside others in the Sunday Observer 27 March 1977:


Given it is one of the Latest Releases and Out Now, it must have been published March 1977. The same advertisement appeared in the newspaper a week later. My old copy of this issue had a 6 marked on the cover, presumably by the newsagent, and I have also spotted another copy with a 6 marked on the cover. This data, along with my dating of the post-August 1976 issues affirms the March 1977 publication date.

As per other Newton Comics issues in this period there is no title in the indicia. For indexing purposes I refer to this issue via the cover title: The Mighty Thor Giant 100 Page Annual #NN, as does the listing on AusReprints. The GCD entry opts for The Mighty Thor Annual, which takes a bit more licence in doing so.

The other frustrating thing about the indicia is that it states Copyright 1975 by Newton Comics Pty Ltd. This is manifestly incorrect. I'll have more to say on the Newton indicia in a future post.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Daredevil Special: The Newton ediiton

This is the cover to Newton Comics' Daredevil Special:


The cover image originally appeared on the cover of Marvel Comics' Daredevil #14:


The story contents are as follows:

[The] Mysterious Masked Matador!, originally published in Daredevil #5, December 1964

The Stiltman Cometh!, originally published in Daredevil #8, June 1965 

That He May See!, originally published in Daredevil #9, August 1965 

Sightless, in a Savage Land!, originally published in Daredevil #12, January 1966

The Secret of Ka-Zar's Origin!, originally published in Daredevil #13, February 1966

The Daredevil stories in this issue continue from where Daredevil #2 left off, albeit with gaps. The unpublished Daredevil #3 presumably fills the continuity gap between Daredevil #2 and Daredevil Special. [Newton Triple Action] #NN[4] subsequently picks up the trail.

This is the splash page to [The] Mysterious Masked Matador! as it appears in this issue:


The section above the text box has been modified. Compare to the original page as per my Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil Nos. 12-21 First Printing:

The last page has also been modified:


The last panel ends without the next issue blurb on the original page:


A similar modification is on the last page of The Stiltman Cometh!:


Here's an enlarged scan of the original panel:

This issue includes a number of single-page in-house ads/filler pages:

This is the cover to Newton Comics' previously published Doctor Strange #4

This is the cover to Newton Comics' previously published Dracula #5

This was originally published as the cover to Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man #130

This is the cover to Newton Comics' Captain Marvel #NN Captain Marvel

This was previously published as a Newton Comics poster in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 and Planet of the Apes #3 

This was previously published as a poster by Newton Comics in Planet of the Apes #5 and was subsequently used as a filler piece in various issues in this period such as Newton Triple Action #NN[3] 

It's surprising to find that six pages were used up with filler material when The Secret of Ka-Zar's Origin was printed 10 pages short. Not to mention the fact that the cover is drawn from the Daredevil issue following the Ka-Zar story!

Indexing titles should be a relatively straightforward exercise. As per the GCD rules, the indicia title provides the legitimate title, and if there is no indicia title, then one defaults to the cover title. Plenty of Newton comics have unreliable indicia, especially from this period in the publisher's history. This issue states Daredevil as the title in the indicia, which is clearly insufficient if we are to distinguish it from the two issues in the regular ongoing series. Daredevil Special appears to me to be the appropriate title. However, as per other Newton issues, the Giant 100 Page banner begs to be included in the title, so I have no quarrel with anyone referring to this issue as Giant 100 Page Daredevil Special, or Daredevil Giant 100 Page Special, even if some grammatical licence is necessary to do so. 

As per my batching of issues in the post-August 1976 period I date this issue to January 1977.