Marvel Bronze Age
During the 80’s Frank Miller was hired to continue the title and did so in a similar vein to previous writer Roger McKenzie. Resuming the drastic metamorphosis the previous writer had begun, Miller took the step of essentially ignoring all of Daredevil’s continuity prior to his run on the series; on the occasions where older villains and supporting cast were used, their characterizations and history with Daredevil were reworked or overwritten. Most prominently, dedicated and loving father Jack Murdock was reimagined as a drunkard who physically abused his son Matt, entirely revising Daredevil’s reasons for becoming a lawyer. Spider-Man villain Kingpin was introduced as Daredevil’s new nemesis, displacing most of his large rogues gallery. Daredevil himself was gradually developed into an antihero. In issue #181 (April 1982), he attempts to murder one of his arch-enemies by throwing him off a tall building; when the villain survives as a quadriplegic, he breaks into his hospital room and tries to scare him to death by playing a two-man variation on Russian roulette with a secretly unloaded gun. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Almost immediately, [Miller] began to attract attention with his terse tales of urban crime.” Miller’s revamping of the title was controversial among fans, but it clicked with new readers, and sales began soaring, the comic returning to monthly status just three issues after Miller came on as writer.
Charles Lippincott, Lucasfilm‘s publicity supervisor, initially approached Stan Lee in 1975 about publishing a Star Wars comic book prior to the film’s release to appeal to the film’s most likely audience. However, Lee declined to consider such a proposal until the film was completed, and was only persuaded otherwise in a second meeting arranged by Roy Thomas, who wanted to edit the series. Considering movie tie-in comics rarely sold well at that time, Lee negotiated a publishing arrangement with no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000 at which point legal arrangements could be revisited.
Marvel Comics Group published a series of Star Wars comic books from 1977 to 1986, lasting 107 issues and 3 annuals. According to former Marvel Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter, the strong sales of Star Wars comics saved Marvel financially in 1977 and 1978. Marvel’s Star Wars series was one of the industry’s top selling titles in 1979 and 1980.The only downside for Marvel was that the 100,000 copy sales quota was surpassed quickly, allowing Lippincott to renegotiate the royalty arrangements from a position of strength.
Marvel Treasury Edition is a series published by Marvel Comics from 1974 to 1981. It usually featured reprints of previously published stories but a few issues contained new material. The series was published in an oversized 10″ x 14″ tabloid (or “treasury”) format and was launched with a collection of Spider-Man stories. The series concluded with the second Superman and Spider-Man intercompany crossover. Marvel also published treasuries under the titles Marvel Special Edition and Marvel Treasury Special as well as a number of one-shots.
Marvel Two-in-One continued from the team-up stories starring the Thing in the final two issues of Marvel Feature and lasted for 100 issues from January 1974 through June 1983. Seven annuals were also published. Artist Ron Wilson began his long association with the title with issue #12 (November 1975) and worked on it throughout its run. With issue #17, the series had a crossover with Marvel Team-Up #47, which featured Spider-Man. The second Marvel Two-in-One Annual was a crossover with Avengers Annual #7 both of which were written and drawn by Jim Starlin. The “Project Pegasus” storyline in Marvel Two-in-One #53-58 saw the introduction of the name “Quasar” for the Wendell Vaughn character and the transformation of Wundarr into the Aquarian.
Many notable comics creators contributed to the series, including Steve Gerber, Frank Miller, Jack Kirby (who did pencils on several covers during its run), John Byrne, John Buscema, George Pérez and Marv Wolfman.
Marvel Two-In-One ended after one hundred issues and was immediately replaced with a Thing solo series.
The first appearance of Frankenstein’s Monster in the Marvel Comics Universe came in the five-page horror comics story “Your Name Is Frankenstein”, by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Joe Maneely in Menace #7 (Sept. 1953), from Marvel’s 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics. The following decade, a robot replica of Frankenstein’s Monster appeared as an antagonist in The X-Men #40 (Jan. 1968), by writer Roy Thomas and penciler Don Heck, and was destroyed by the titular team of mutant superheroes. The actual Monster first appeared in Marvel Comics continuity in a cameo flashback in “The Heir of Frankenstein” in The Silver Surfer #7 (Aug. 1969), by writer-editor Lee and penciler John Buscema.
The character received an ongoing series, titled Frankenstein in the postal indicia and initially The Monster of Frankenstein (issues #1-5) and later The Frankenstein Monster as the cover logo, that ran 18 issues (Jan. 1973 – Sept. 1975). This series began with a four-issue retelling of the original novel, by writer Gary Friedrich and artist Mike Ploog. Several more issues continued his story into the 1890s, until he was placed in suspended animation and revived in modern times.
An early 1970s Spider-Man story led to the revision of the Comics Code. Previously, the Code forbade the depiction of the use of illegal drugs, even negatively. However, in 1970, the Nixon administration’s Department of Health, Education, and Welfare asked Stan Lee to publish an anti-drug message in one of Marvel’s top-selling titles. Lee chose the top-selling The Amazing Spider-Man; issues #96–98 (May–July 1971) feature a story arc depicting the negative effects of drug use. In the story, Peter Parker’s friend Harry Osborn becomes addicted to pills. When Spider-Man fights the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn, Harry’s father), Spider-Man defeats the Green Goblin, by revealing Harry’s drug addiction. While the story had a clear anti-drug message, the Comics Code Authority refused to issue its seal of approval. Marvel nevertheless published the three issues without the Comics Code Authority’s approval or seal. The issues sold so well that the industry’s self-censorship was undercut and the Code was subsequently revised.