How Fans Viewed MARVEL at the Very Beginning

Oh, how things have changed — and haven’t…

One of my favorite things when I read old comics is to check out the letters page, to get a sense of what fans thought of stories and art as they were being produced. There’s no nostalgia for the new, no 20/20 hindsight. Opinions are raw and sometimes, in retrospect, misguided considering how history would look upon such work from the distance of years or decades.

Naturally, you can see the same when it comes to Silver and Bronze Age fanzines, the tentpoles of a burgeoning comics community that would eventually give rise to the internet opinion culture we see today. (For better or for worse.)

I bring this up because a couple months ago, we ran an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Alter Ego #156 that reprinted a 1962 roundtable featuring fans’ views on the fledgling Justice League of America. (Comics luminary Roy Thomas — who edits Alter Ego — was one of the youthful commentators.)

Well, Alter Ego is at it again. The new issue — #157 — is out Feb. 6 and it includes another early-’60s roundtable, this one on the upstart Marvel Comics Group.

Naturally, this is just one small part of the edition. Check out the cover and table of contents:

Anyway, dig this fun glimpse into the zeitgeist of 1963, and what some knowledgeable fans liked — and didn’t.

No surprise: The loved Spider-Man. Huge surprise: They didn’t love Jack Kirby.

Read on…


Alter Ego #157 is out Feb. 6. It’s available at comics shops and other retailers. You can also get it directly from TwoMorrows.


How Fans Viewed JUSTICE LEAGUE at the Very Beginning

13 Reasons to Love MARVEL in the Silver Age

Author: Dan Greenfield

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