MARVEL COMICS, 1964: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

13 GROOVY COVERS from another great year in the Silver Age… (aren’t they all?)

Guest columnist Peter Bosch — author of the newly released American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s — is back with another rundown of his fave Silver Age covers, this time covering Marvel in 1964. (Last time it was DC in 1963. Click here to check that out. You’ll dig it.)

Fab! Oh, and dates are publication dates, by the by.


I was there in 1963 when the first issues of X-Men and The Avengers, etc., came out; however, it was in 1964 that my interest in Marvel kicked in — and the first item on the list below is why:

The Avengers #4 (Mar. 1964). I bought The Avengers #1 in 1963 when it came out but after reading the second issue (the one with the Space Phantom) I thought to myself that the comic wasn’t a very interesting read. The stories needed something special. Two issues later, Marvel delivered the goods with the return of Captain America. From then on, I was hooked.. This iconic cover was drawn by Cap’s co-creator, Jack Kirby, and inked by George Roussos.

Two-Gun Kid #68 (Mar. 1964). This comic has a great Kirby cover (with Roussos inking him again). The Purple Phantom was both a Johnny-Come-Lately version of the 1950s Ghost Rider published by Magazine Enterprises and he was a forerunner to Marvel’s Ghost Rider copycat.

Daredevil #1 (Apr. 1964). This is still a terrific cover by Jack Kirby and Bill Everett. Daredevil was not the first blind superhero (DC’s Dr. Mid-Nite beat Matt Murdock by 23 years), but he was the best.

Fantastic Four #26 (May 1964). The Avengers, the Hulk, and the FF together! This tale was so big that it took two issues of Fantastic Four (#26 and #27) to tell. This Kirby cover had Sol Brodsky inks.

The Amazing Spider-Man #13 (June 1964). Steve Ditko was a master of atmospheric eeriness, and this cover demonstrates that. It was the first appearance of Mysterio, a villain that always came through for mind-bending stories (and one movie) in years to come.

The Amazing Spider-Man #16 (Sept. 1964). A delightful Ditko cover of Spidey with Daredevil. Plus, I always liked the Circus of Crime — and DD was the only one capable of not falling under the spell of the Ringmaster’s hypnotic hat.

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. Three Spider-man comic books in a row! The cover to this annual, which featured a new story, was one of Steve Ditko’s best. And the inside art was no slouch as there were several full-page drawings by Ditko of Spider-Man in individual battle with his six foes.

Marvel Tales Annual #1. No new stories here but an amazing collection of reprints and a cover with various illustrations by Kirby and Ditko that showed how in just two years Marvel had established a new universe of captivating characters that would challenge DC.

Fantastic Four Annual #2. Still a great Kirby cover all these years later. (Inked by Sol Brodsky.)

Tales of Suspense #58 (Oct. 1964). Marvel really did seem to invent superheroes battling each other. At DC, the good guys were all best buddies. Tales of Suspense was Iron Man’s home since #39 (Mar. 1963). This issue’s story was an 18-page preamble to Captain America sharing Iron Man’s space in the title. The cover was pencilled by Kirby and inked by Chic Stone.

Tales of Suspense #59 (Nov. 1964). And here was Cap doing that just, with a dynamic welcoming cover and a fun inside story by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Captain America would share Tales of Suspense with Iron Man through Issue #99 (March 1968) and then take over the full comic under his own title with #100 (April 1968).

Daredevil #5 (Dec. 1964). Wallace Wood was the Neal Adams of his day, making every comic special with his art. This was his first DD comic art (with beautiful coloring by Stan Goldberg) and, two issues later, Wood redesigned Daredevil’s costume with a more appropriate all-red version.

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13 (Dec. 1964). It was inevitable. Captain America was almost the only current Marvel hero of the early 1960s that could also appear in new stories set during World War II (Reed Richards and Ben Grimm were others). A great cover pencilled by Kirby and inked by Chic Stone.


— DC COMICS, 1963: Oh, What a Year! Click here.

— 13 Groovy TELEVISION COMIC BOOKS of the 1960s. Click here.

Historian Peter Bosch is the author of American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s, from TwoMorrows. It’s available at comics shops and booksellers but you can also order it directly from the publisher. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Wish I still had my copy of DD #1. That’s a pretty iconic cover for that era. I sold mine in ‘84 to buy a used ‘72 Nova.

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  2. Some great, classic covers. 1964 was a fantastic year for Marvel. I have all of the Spideys.

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  3. 1964 was a breakthrough year for Marvel as the existing titles matured and new ones, like DD, Cap in TOS and Hulk in Tales to Astonish, debuted. I’m happy to own 9 of the 13 issues posted here.

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