In the early 1960s, the comic book industry enjoyed a period of new creativity and enthusiasm, generated by the hugely successful comeback of the superhero genre. But there was bad news too - its traditional sales points were starting to fail. The small stores that had carried comic books for decades found themselves pushed out of business by larger stores and supermarkets, and newsagents started to view the low cover prices (and therefore tiny profit margins) comics had to offer as a nuisance. The comic book industry desperately needed to open up new sales opportunities and markets and tap into a new customer base.

One place these potential buyers could be found was the growing number of those very supermarkets and chain stores. But in order to be able to sell comic books at supermarkets, the product would have to be adjusted.

By looking at the logistics and displays of these outlets, DC Comics came up with the answer to breaking into this promising new market: simply package several comic books together in a transparent plastic bag.

The result was a higher price per unit on sale, which made the whole business of stocking them much more worthwhile for the seller. The simple packaging also showed that the items were new and untouched, while at the same time blending in with most other goods sold at supermarkets, which were also conveniently packaged. Outlets were even supplied with dedicated Comicpac racks, enhancing the product appeal even more as the packaged comic books could be displayed on rack hooks in an orderly and neat fashion.


  DC's "comicpacks" were a success - so much so that other publishers quickly started to copy it.

After a short series of Marvel Multi-Mags in 1968/69, the House of Ideas fully embraced the marketing concept as of the early 1970s, selling multiple comic books packaged in a sealed plastic bag to a customer base they could hardly reach otherwise: people shopping at supermarkets and large grocery stores.

It didn't really matter therefore that buying these three comic books in a comicpack for say 74˘ (rather than from a newsagent for 75˘ in that case) clearly presented no real bargain - it was the opportunity and convenience to pick up a few comics at the same time parents and adults did their general shopping.

Neatly packaged, it almost became an entirely different class of commodity.


The surge in popularity of superheroes in comic books since the early 1960s had cooled off somewhat by the end of the decade, and publishers and editors were looking to expand into other genres. Horror was one of them, and it proved popular enough to see a whole slew of titles launched by several publishers. None, however, was anywhere near as prolific as Marvel, who covered much of the market with a barrage of different horror titles - and this MARVEL MULTI-MAGS from mid-1974 provides a glimpse into Marvel's haunts of horror in the early 1970s.

VAULT OF EVIL #12, WEIRD WONDER TALES #5 and DAREDEVIL #112 are all issues from the August 1974 cover date run.

This meant that they were actually on sale at newsagents in May, although there could be quite a delay in terms of actual availability of MARVEL MULTI-MAGS at some sales points of up to nine months (Brevoort, 2007) - no real surprise, considering the packaging and distribution process.

No titles had permanent slots in the MARVEL MULTI-MAGS, although some did show up in a reliably regular way.

Daredevil was such a title, but Vault of Evil and Weird Wonder Tales most definitely were not - in fact, their presence in this MULTI-MAGS is, at least based on the data currently available, a singular occurrence. In other words: no other issues of those two titles are documented as having been part of the selection of any MARVEL MULTI-MAGS other than this 1974 specimen.

Somewhat surprisingly, Marvel's all-out venture into the horror genre during the early and mid-1970s is vastly under-represented in the MULTI-MAGS.
This is all the more surprising as the "Haunted House of Ideas" came up with two very diverse concepts on how to handle horror. The innovative approach was to incorporate classic gothic horror characters into storylines not too far removed from the superhero tales, giving birth to such classic 1970s titles as Tomb of Dracula, Ghost Rider, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, and Frankenstein Monster.

The classic approach to horror, however, was the anthology format, where one issue would contain on average four short tales of horror. Initially Marvel produced original material or adaptations of classic tales for this format, but soon ran out of editorial steam and artistic man-power and thus reverted to simply reprinting material from the 1950s. It was an easy way to build up an enormous market presence, dominate the shelves and spinner-racks, and corner as much as possible of the horror genre's popularity at the time.

In 1973 alone, Marvel launched six such anthology titles: Crypt of Shadows, Beware, Dead of Night, Uncanny Tales (later re-titled Uncanny Tales from the Grave) along with the two titles featured in this MARVEL MULTI-MAGS, Vault of Evil and Weird Wonder Tales.

Data regarding Marvel's MULTI-MAGS is currently derived entirely from known existing examples and unfortunately lacks any systematic foundation that could be gained, for example, from production or distribution lists. In that respect, attempting to analyze MARVEL MULTI-MAGS could be likened to the task faced by an archaeologist; the overall picture is based on inference in an attempt to fill in the blanks and gaps.

Things get even more muddled and sketchy when looking at the early years of the 1970s. Currently, only two examples of MARVEL MULTI-MAGS are documented each for 1972 and 1973, and the numbers only go up slightly for 1974 (four) and 1975 (seven). It is only as of 1976 (with twenty known different MULTI-MAGS examples) that the data becomes somewhat more stable and allows for some amount of analysis.

Nonetheless it is very clear that Marvel kept its horror titles in the MULTI-MAGS to a bare minimum, with the only known inclusions to date being in

1972: (Adventure Into) Fear #10 and Supernatural Thrillers #1
1973: Worlds Unknown
#3 (actually more of a sci-fi anthology title)
1974: Tomb Of Dracula #23, Monsters on the Prowl #29,
Vault of Evil #12, Weird Wonder Tales #5 (actually more of a sci-fi anthology title)
(Adventure Into) Fear #29
1976: Ghost Rider #18,
Tomb Of Dracula #49
1977: Tomb Of Dracula #56,
Ghost Rider #27
1978-1979: none

This brief review doesn't include several issues of Godzilla (which is hardly horror material to start with and was very much toned down to a young audience by Marvel) but highlights the rather glaring absence of any issue of Werewolf by Night and Frankenstein Monster.

Marvel's decision to practically ignore any and all horror material for their MULTI-MAGS is in somewhat stark contrast to their main competitor DC, who throughout 1974 even included consecutive numbers of some of their horror (anthology) titles in their DC SUPER-PACS (such as House of Secrets and Witching Hour). It is therefore unlikely that the people in charge of filling the Marvel three-packs would have shied away from horror primarily because of worries of content (especially since sword and sorcery was well represented by the likes of Conan, Kull and even Red Sonja); it seems more likely that other titles were, quite simply, deemed more attractive and thus better sellers. And by 1975 the horror genre had lost most of its momentum anyway and was on a downward path of cancellations, leaving only 3 of the 19 titles published in 1974 in circulation by 1979.





August 1974
(on sale 8 times a year)
On Sale:
7 May 1974

Editor -Roy Thomas
Cover - Larry Lieber (pencils) & Vince Colletta (inks)

Vault of Evil was launched in February 1973 as an anthology title and, for the entirety of its 23 issues run, generally featured four horror stories, all of which were reprinted from Marvel titles from the mid- to late 1950s.

By that time, even Marvel's anthology horror titles that had carried original material had been reduced to all-reprint titles, but a nifty way of embellishing the "vintage" quality of the contents of Marvel's horror anthology titles on the news stands was to package it all behind brand new covers.

Commonly based on the first story reprinted, they certainly added some "buy this comic book" oomph, even though they often only had a very loose connection to the actual contents featured on the inside pages. The artwork for those horror anthology title covers was entrusted to some of the best cover artists Marvel had throughout the Silver and Bronze Age as well as some newly emerging talent.

Vault of Evil thus saw the work of Gil Kane, Bill Everett, Larry Lieber, Frank Brunner, Rich Buckler, Russ Heath, Ed Hannigan and Ron Wilson on pencils and Tom Palmer, Frank Giacoia, Mike Esposito, Klaus Janson, Mike Ploog, John Romita, Ernie Chan and Pablo Marcos on inks.

The titles of all of Marvel's anthology titles somewhat reflected the heritage of their contents (which most commonly was reprinted stories from the 1950s), and even Marvel's advertising announcements struck up that very same chord:

"VAULT OF EVIL #1: You've wandered into the Chamber of Chills - and come shuddering out of the Crypt of Shadows! Now, it's time to enter - the Vault of Evil! Some of the scariest spook-taculars of all!" (February 1973 Bullpen Bulletin)

The stories reprinted in Vault of Evil #12 are some of the more obscure material that Marvel dug up for its horror reprint titles - only one story is attributed to the artist (Fred Kida), and whilst individuals with specialist knowledge have been able over time to identify the other artists involved, the writers remain unknown. But even if the stories had featured full credits, most if not all of the names would not have meant much to readers in 1974.

"Locked in!"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Menace #11
(May 1954)

Pencils - Bob Powell
Inks - Bob Powell

Author, Letterer and Colourist unknown

  "Close Shave!"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Spellbound #14
(April 1953)

Pencils - Fred Kida
Inks - Fred Kida

Author, Letterer and Colourist unknown

  "The Hangman's Noose"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Adventures into Terror #12
(October 1952)

Pencils - Ed Winiarski
Inks - Ed Winiarski

Author, Letterer and Colourist unknown

  "Only One to a Customer"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Uncanny Tales #29
(February 1955)

Pencils - Sy Moskowitz
Inks - Sy Moskowitz

Author, Letterer and Colourist unknown

Fred Kida (credited as artist for "Close Shave" from 1953) started out in the business as inker and then artist in 1941, joined Atlas (Marvel's predecessor) in 1952 for a few years (including their horror titles), and then returned to Marvel in the early 1970s mostly as an inker on titles such as Iron Man, Luke Cage, Godzilla, and Marvel UK's Captain Britain. Kida also worked on the Spider-Man syndicated comic strip in 1981-1986 and 1996-1997.

Bob Powell (1916-1967) was mostly known for his Golden Age work, but did a few late stints for Marvel in 1965 on Giant-Man, Human Torch, Daredevil and Hulk stories.

Ed Winiarski (1911-1975) started out as a cartoon-movie animator before becoming part of the first generation of Golden Age comic book artists; he produced a number of horror stories for Atlas in the 1950s.


Fred Kida

Very little is known about Seymour "Sy" Moskowitz, who seems to have been active in the comic book industry for a short spell only during the mid-1950s.
The stories in Vault of Evil #12 all follow the usual (think EC Comics) "tale with a twist" pattern, of which "The Hangman's Noose" is a prime example: businessman cuts himself extra profits by using cheap materials for his rope factory, gets called out by his partner who threatens to expose him, chokes said partner and decides to kill him by making it look like suicide by hanging, but as soon as he leaves the scene the rope he used, made from crappy material, breaks and the partner lives to tell the police all about it. Stan Lee himself would refer to these as "O. Henry stories" (Lee & Mair, 2002), referencing the famous short stories by William Sydney Porter (writing under the pseudonym of O. Henry) which almost always featured surprise endings. Most of the reprinted stories in Marvel's anthology titles would then add more or less of a supernatural twist to this plot template.
  As a 12 or 13 year old back in the mid-1970s I used to quite enjoy these reprint horror stories, even though it was clear to me even back then that I wasn't looking at what I considered the "usual Marvel standard". Today, it seems fair to say that this material hasn't aged well - not even some nostalgic tickle for this kind of material can prevent an overall feeling of disappointment.
  For obvious reasons, Marvel's reprint horror titles did not run letters pages.

Fred Kida would later work on Marvel UK's Captain Britain stories.





August 1974
On Sale:
30 April 1974

Editor -Roy Thomas
Cover - Larry Lieber (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks)

Weird Wonder Tales was launched in December 1973 and, like Vault of Evil, originally featured three or four short stories per issue, all of which were reprinted from Marvel titles from the mid- to late 1950s.

"We've a couple of other new mags debuting this go-round, too, for those of you who simply can't get enough of our macabre mystery-type thrillers. Don't miss your collector's-item editions of a trio of winners called UNCANNY TALES, THE DEAD OF NIGHT, and WEIRD WONDER TALES! The latter, incidentally, features startling sagas of a more science-fiction nature, drawn by some of comicdom's finest!" (Marvel Comics March 1973 Bullpen Bulletin)

The material reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales was indeed mostly concerned with aliens rather than ghosts and ghouls, and it did frequently contain some classic artwork by the likes of Steve Ditko or John Romita.

Weird Wonder Tales also stood out a bit due to the fact that as of issue #19 (December 1976) the title switched gears to a degree, by reprinting the Doctor Droom story from Amazing Adventures #1 from June 1961. Renaming the character "Doctor Druid" (in order to avoid confusion with Doctor Doom), the original material was heavily edited but heralded more Doctor Druid stories for the remaining three issues of Weird Wonder Tales, the final two of which were reprints of stand-alone stories altered in order to include the character. Issue #22 (May 1977) was the final issue, as cancellation hit yet another of Marvel's horror anthology reprint title.

Weird Wonder Tales #5 was, of course, still a long way off from those changes, and featured the standard reprint formula.

"The Thing in Cell 13!"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Strange Tales #81
(February 1961)

Script - Stan Lee
Pencils - Steve Ditko
Inks - Steve Ditko

Letterer and Colourist unknown

(5 pages)
originally published in
Astonishing #36 *
(December 1954)

Pencils - Pete Tumlinson
Inks - Pete Tumlinson

Author, Letterer and Colourist unknown

* reprint source erroneously given as Astonishing Tales #36

  "I, the Robot"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Menace #11
(May 1954)

Pencils - John Romita
Inks - John Romita

Author, Letterer and Colourist unknown

  "The Invaders"
(5 pages)
originally published in
Tales to Astonish #34
(August 1962)

Script - Stan Lee
Pencils - Steve Ditko
Inks - Steve Ditko
Lettering - Artie Simek

Colourist unknown

* reprint source erroneously given as Strange Tales #81

The editorial perspective regarding horror titles by that time was quantity over quality, as Roy Thomas (who was officially in charge) freely admits with regard to the very little time devoted to most individual titles:

"We just had so many we weren't paying much attention, and were just sort of throwing them out." (Cooke, 2001)

Roy Thomas

  This lack of editorial attention is quite evident in Weird Wonder Tales #5, as no less than two out of the four stories reprinted featured wrong indications as to where the material had been published before.

"Maybe if I - and later Marv and Len - if we'd kept on top of everything - but it was just such an awful lot of work, and so some of it just kind of got away from us." (Cooke, 2001)

In the end, the non-superhero reprint titles were little more than fillers in an attempt to gain market share - or, maybe even more importantly, prevent the competition from doing so.

"We did flood the market (...) and DC would have to match it (...) lots of stuff came out in the '70s because of this approach." (Cooke, 2001)

All four stories reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales #5 concern themselves with actual or attempted visits or even invasions of aliens, and as such offer little to no variety.

However, anyone familiar with the Simpsons TV series will immediately be struck by the resemblance of the Martians in "Greed" and the aliens appearing regularly in the Simpson's annual Halloween specials Treehouse of Terror.

Supposedly the inspiration came to the Simpsons creators from an EC Comics cover, but a search on reveals nothing that would immediately support that claim. So who knows, maybe Simpsons fans have Pete Tumlinson (1920-2008) to thank, whose work appeared from the late 1940s through the 1950s in titles published by Marvel's predecessors Timely and Atlas.

Time has not been kind to Weird Wonder Tales #5, the contents of which have aged rather badly. But at least there is some artwork by Steve Ditko and John Romita (albeit certainly not their finest).





August 1974
On Sale:
30 April 1974

Editor - Roy Thomas
Cover - Gil Kane (pencils) & Frank Giacoia (inks)

"'Death of a Nation?" (18 pages)
Story - Steve Gerber
Pencils - Gene Colan
Inks - Frank Giacoia
Lettering -
Annette Kawecki, Gaspar Saladino (splashpage)
Colouring - Petra Goldberg

STORY OVERVIEW - Daredevil invades Black Spectre's airship but is captured and finds himself and Shanna the She-Devil guarded by the brainwashed Black Widow while Mandrill carries out his plans, threatens to use nuclear bombs, moves into the White House, and takes over the US. However, Daredevil successfully breaks down the spell compelling Black Widow and, with Shanna joining them, they crash into the Oval Office and take Mandrill down for good.

Daredevil #112 concludes a fairly complex story arc that writer Steve Gerber kick-started four issues prior, in Daredevil #108 (March 1974).
Gerber, who knew fellow comic book fan and St Louisan Roy Thomas, had started working for Marvel in late 1972 and was moved around titles to learn the ropes.

"In those days, Daredevil was one of a couple of books that were routinely assigned to new writers. The book sold fairly consistently, but not very well, so there was nothing major at stake if the writer flubbed it. It served as a low-risk arena in which writers could hone their craft. I had been writing Iron Man for a while - another book that was used the same way back then - and was very eager to move on to Daredevil." (Steve Gerber in Mithra, 1997)

Gerber took over from Gerry Conway as of Daredevil #97 (March 1973, actually titled Daredevil and the Black Widow), and after scripting two issues together with Conway was given sole author's reign as of issue #99. He would stay on the title until late 1974, co-plotting his final issue (Daredevil #117, cover dated January 1975) with Dave Cockrum, and his run remains a highlight of the title.


Steve Gerber

Steve Gerber would, of course, go on to become one of the defining American comic book writers of the 1970s, but he is certainly better known for his signature work on Howard the Duck and Man-Thing than his stint on Daredevil.
Initially Roy Thomas had hired Steve Gerber with the idea of making him an associate editor, but ended up focussing on Gerber's strength: creativity.

"At the time, he wasn't a staff kind of person, at least in terms of what Marvel needed, but he was a real good writer and did some interesting things" (Roy Thomas in Amash, 2007)

His work on Daredevil, not unlike the storylines he wrote for the Man Without Fear, has multiple facets to it.

"There are germs of some fine ideas herein, hints of an epic that could have been more adequately explored, shades of characterization worthy of bringing into sharper focus (...) In Daredevil, we find [Gerber as] a wordsmith beginning to find an original voice and his work on the Man Without Fear is just wild and weird enough to be enjoyed as true artefacts of a medium that was trying to grow up and have a say in this strange and wondrous world." (Cooke, 2015)

Other than the occasional change in writers, Daredevil had also witnessed some truly major changes in terms of storylines: As of issue #87 (May 1972), Gerry Conway had moved the Man Without Fear to San Francisco (the first major Marvel character to leave the confines of New York City).
  Matt Murdock had since returned to the Big Apple three issues prior to Daredevil #112, but he was still partnered with the Black Widow (who had been a major reason for Murdock to relocate to San Fran').

The former KGB spy had also become Daredevil's logo-sharing co-star as of Daredevil #92 (October 1972), which actually was Daredevil and the Black Widow #92. This title change stayed in place for 17 issues, after which things reverted back again to the original as of Daredevil #108 (March 1974). The character roundel featuring the Black Widow to the right of the cover logo would however remain in place much longer and was only dropped as of Daredevil #125 (September 1975).

Gerber didn't much care for Daredevil's co-star since it didn't match with his take on the personalities of both Matt Murdock and the Man Without Fear.

"If I recall, Black Widow also left during my run on the comic. And I have to say, in all honesty, I didn't miss her. I think Daredevil works better as a loner. One of the keys to understanding the Daredevil character is that he's one man alone, in darkness. Mitigate the totality of that darkness and the character becomes much less interesting. Natasha was a mitigating factor. However much I may have liked looking at her, she just didn't belong in Daredevil." (Steve Gerber in Mithra, 1997)

One thing that remained fairly consistent over quite some time with Daredevil, however, was the artwork. Gene Colan had been an oustanding and instantly recognizable asset to Marvel as an incredible artist since the 1960s, and his lengthy run on Daredevil made it one of his signature series.

Colan had first drawn the Man Without Fear for Daredevil #20 (September 1966) and ended up pencilling 91 issues between that first assignment and Daredevil #370 (December 1997), with uninterrupted runs between issues #20-#49, #53-#82 and #84-#100 (in 1974 he also drew issues #110, #112 and #116).

Steve Gerber admired Gene Colan's work, and in many ways they were a perfect match.

"You have to remember, Gene's style was very unusual even for the 60s and 70s. He was among the few artists at Marvel who hadn't been hugely influenced by Jack Kirby. Over the years, Gene did manage to adopt certain elements of Kirby's storytelling and apply them, particularly to his action scenes, but the way he draws is completely different. Colan works with light and shadow as much as he does with outline. He's as concerned with the people in a story as he is with its action (...) I love his work." (Steve Gerber in Mithra, 1997)


Gene Colan

Daredevil #112, being the climax end of a multiple issues story arc, features plenty of action and fight scenes, providing Colan with ample opportunities to let his dynamic and cinematographic artwork fill up the panels.

"Most of the inspiration came from films and to me the movie screen was just one gigantic comic book panel." (Gene Colan in Best, 2003)

  Gerry Conway also enjoyed a positive and successful collaboration with Gene Colan on the title.

"[Gene Colan's] contribution to the kind of stories we told [in Daredevil] is (...) dramatic." (Conway, 2015)

And Colan himself was in the flow of things too.

"Every time I did a job I was basically entertaining myself, having a good time with it, and I enjoyed that." (Gene Colan in Best, 2003)

Coming in at the end of a five part storyline has its own ups and downs; you get to read the end, but you may have no precise idea of what was going on previously.
But then that's what editorial's "instant recaps" on splash pages were for, bringing you up to speed with the bare necessities in order to at least have some context. And that's exactly what the splash page of Daredevil #112 did.

This didn't exactly make the MULTI-MAGS an ideal way of getting your Marvel comic book fix. However, one needs to bear in mind that this was a common fate of the average comic book reader in the 1970s Bronze Age, whether his or her comic books came packaged in a plastic bag or as single issues from a display or spinner rack. Back in those days, an uninterrupted supply of specific titles was, quite simply, not guaranteed.

Not worrying too much about possible gaps in storylines thus became something of a routine - it simply was a part of being a comic book fan in the 1970s.


Another aspect of being a Marvel fan in the 1970s were the monthly Bullpen Bulletins (which were the responsibility of the editor-in-chief) and the in-house advertising (often with mouth watering cover reproductions), and purchasers of this MULTI-MAGS even got a two-for-one regarding the Bulletins. The reason for this is both simple and confusing at the same time - a bit like the actual Bullpen Bulletins of that very period.

Since all three titles contained within that poly-bag carried an August cover date, one would expect all of them to carry the August 1974 Bullpen Bulletins - but that is not the case. Cover dates were usually three months ahead of the actual on-sale date (to lengthen their shelf life at the news agents if they weren't snatched up quickly). therefore comic books with an August 1974 cover date would usually have gone on sale in May 1974 - which is the case for Vault of Evil #12, and why we find an August 1974 Bullpen Bulletins inside.


August 1974 Bullpen Bulletins and Bonus Page

Now for the confusing part.

While both Daredevil #112 and Weird Wonder Tales #5 also carry August 1974 cover dates, they actually went on sale the very last day of April 1974. This didn't affect the monthly Daredevil #112, which also carried the August 1974 Bullpen Bulletins (not the least because the previous issue of Daredevil had gone on sale 2 April 1974), but the bi-monthly Weird Wonder Tales #5, although on sale on the same day as Daredevil #112, had obviously come out of the previous production month's cycle - and therefore boasted a July 1974 Bullpen Bulletin.

But that wasn't quite the end of it. Marvel was announcing so many new titles and concepts at the time that they started to feature a second, "bonus" Bullpen Bulletins page.


July 1974 Bullpen Bulletins

But confusingly enough, Weird Wonder Tales #5 doesn't carry the bonus page to go with the July 1974 Bullpen Bulletins, but the one that complements the August 1974 Bullpen Bulletins.

Readers of Weird Wonder Tales #5 would thus have noticed the back-and-forth dance Marvel was doing on their new range of double-sized editions within that single issue, since the July Bullpen Bulletins advertised Super-Giant Spider-Man #1 for 60˘ and the August Bonus Page featured a full-page ad for Giant-Size Spider-Man #1 for 50˘...

The latter half of 1974 was a period of utter chaos at Marvel regarding pricing and title announcements. Whilst this was bewildering to some and amusing to others, the backlash of throwing out more and more new titles would become painfully visible in 1975, when creative teams were thrown together and then torn apart again almost on a monthly basis in order to somehow get those titles out. This then was only the shape of things yet to come...

As for the actual Bullpen Bulletins' contents, the August 1974 edition pretty much contained what its title promised: Of Mix-Ups, Monsters, and Matrimony!

Stan's Soapbox lead the way with the "most eagerly awaited announcement of the year" - the planned publication in October 1974 of THE ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS as a "prestige library edition" in collaboration with Simon and Schuster. The book would of course go on to be a milestone event for Marvel and be an actual game-changer, but readers were warned to "start saving our shekels sahib" because "it won't be cheap".

In the various ITEM! bullet points, the confusion over the newly launched Giant-Size line continues (as hinted at above), changing over from 52 pages for 35˘ to 68 pages for 50˘.

Other than that, Deathlok is given a spotlight plug for his first appearance in Astonishing Tales #25, 1974 is hailed as "The Second Age Of Marvel Comics", and no less than two weddings (including Gerry Conway marrying Carla Joseph) are relayed to readers.
  Some MARVEL MULTI-MAGS were treasure troves, some less so, but in terms of being different (with one superhero, one horror anthology and one sci-fi anthology title, plus two months' worth of Bullpen Bulletins), this August 1974 MARVEL MULTI-MAGS certainly stands out.

  Today, any MARVEL MULTI-MAGS is a time capsule; opening this plastic bag right here offers a nostalgic glimpse into what it was like to be a comic book reader in August 1974.

So what else was going on back then?

  John Denver was at the top of the US Billboard Chart in early August 1974 with "Annie's Song", while the UK saw George McCrae at number 1 with his "Rock Your Baby".
  The New York Times Bestseller list for August 1974 was topped by John LeCarré's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" - where it would remain until early October 1974.
  Monthly stats are somewhat unreliable when it comes to movies, but the highest grossing film in the US in 1974 was "The Towering Inferno", which also topped the British box office that year.
  Popular TV shows in the US in 1974 were "Little House on the Prairie", "Happy Days", "Rockford Files" and "Six Million Dollar Man", while the UK's top hitters in 1974 on TV were "Porridge", "Sweeney" and "Rising Damp".



  "Comic packs" not only sold well for more than two decades, they also offer some interesting insight into the comic book industry's history from the 1960s through to the 1990s. There's more on their general history here.
  There's more on the background and the history of the Marvel Multi Mags here.
  You can read more about Marvel's "superheroes from the crypt" and the history of horror titles published by the House of Ideas in the 1970s here.
  There's more background information on Marvel's first steps into the horror genre in 1969 here and in 1970 here.
  You can read more about the early 1970s "war of the shelves" between Marvel and DC here.

AMASH Jim (2007) "Roy Thomas Interview", Alter Ego #70

BEST Daniel (2003) "Gene Colan Interview", Internet Archive (originally posted online at

BREVOORT Tom (2007) "Marvel Multi-Mags", Blah Blah Blog, originally published online 28 April 2007, reposted 18 April 2020

CONWAY Gerry (2015) "Matt and Natasha's San Francisco Adventure", Marvel Masterworks Daredevil, Vol. 9, Marvel

COOKE Jon B. (2001) "Son of Stan: Roy's Years of Horror", Comic Book Artist #13

COOKE Jon B. (2015) "Lock Back in Angar", Marvel Masterworks Daredevil, Vol. 10, Marvel

LEE Stan & George MAIR (2002) Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, Simon & Schuster

MITHRA Kuljit (1998) "Interview with Steve Gerber",



(c) 2023

uploaded to the web 27 February 2023