Dig These 13 Sensational MARVEL VALUE STAMPS

A first-rate selection from Series A…

This week, we reported that Abrams ComicArts and Marvel would be releasing the Marvel Value Stamps 2024 Day-to-Day Calendar, which will reprint each of the stamps from the 1970s. Click here for the funky lowdown but also enjoy this look back by columnist Jim Beard. — Dan


Collectors: You may want to sit down for this.

A few years back, while doing research for a Marvel.com article, I came across something that I was sure didn’t exist — an uncut 1970s comic from my own childhood collection. Why is that so amazing?

I cut up all my Marvels for their Marvel Value Stamps.

My copy of Thor #224 from 1974 has an intact lettercol with its MVS, #87 from Series A, in perfect condition. I about swooned when I discovered it. Stunned, I stared at it for several minutes, reveling in its pristine goodness and wondering how it ever escaped the scissors.

Y’see, every once in a while, I chide myself out loud for cutting up my comics, but my wife always reminded me that not only was I a child at the time but the stamps were meant to be cut up. Yeah, I know; that’s tantamount to treason these days but back then it was the thing to do — heck, Marvel would even sell you a stamp album into which you could paste those little squares of pulp paper.

Funny times. More innocent times, yes, but also peculiar to today’s sensibilities. I often miss them. The Marvel Value Stamps represent one of those odd corners of the comics industry that the House of Ideas occupied, that singular space where they made you feel part of something special, something unique you couldn’t get anywhere else. I suppose in some ways it was the early ’70s version of sending away for a secret decoder ring.

I’d also like to note that this is the one and only issue of Thor that I own from my childhood. See, my father bought me all my comics back then, from 1972 until about 1978, and to this day I often find it difficult to figure out how he’d choose one comic over another to buy me. The mystery will simply have to prevail. For now, I get to gaze at my mint-condition Marvel Value Stamp — which by the way is of J. Jonah Jameson.

No wonder I didn’t cut that one out.

I picked out 13 favorites from among Series A for us all to enjoy. As I was selecting, I kept telling myself not to just pick my favorite Marvel characters, but those images that I believe made for a dynamic presentation as a stamp.

Let’s see how I did…

#4 – The Thing – Ben Grimm to kick things off, of course.

#7 – Werewolf – Lady, please control your dog. Sheesh.

#9 – Captain Marvel – Always loved this drawing of Cap, and the stars are a nice touch.

#16 – Shang-Chi – Great shot with a lot of punch.

#20 – Brother Voodoo – How close do you want to get, bunky?

#29 – Baron Mordo – I actually like this one more than the Dr. Strange stamp.

#32 – The Red Skull – Such an atypical shot, but Kirby could sell anything.

#41 – The Gladiator – A lesser-known baddie, but the colors work really well on it.

#44 – The Absorbing Man – More Kirby dynamism at work.

#50 – Black Panther – Nice idea to spotlight him with a full moon.

#63 – The Sub-Mariner – Always loved that costume, and it really pops off that red background.

#84 – Dr. Doom – Is that like the scariest shot ever of Doom?

#98 – The Puppet Master – Never any mistaking this man for a good guy.


— Classic MARVEL VALUE STAMPS to Be Re-Released as a Page-A-Day Calendar. Click here.

MARVEL VALUE STAMPS History Book Gets New Release Date. Click here.

JIM BEARD has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.

Check out his latest releases: Rising Sun Reruns, about classic Japanese shows on American TV; a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting; his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding World; and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

He’s also published novels about a character very much like G.I. Joe (and Big Jim and Action Jackson): DC Jones – Adventure Command International.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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