The celebrated Mr. K visits the 1970s Marvel rival that just didn’t make it…


For comics, the 1970s were the best of times and the worst of times. It was the age of Conan, it was the age of New Gods, it was the epoch of the Superman/Spider-Man crossover, it was the epoch of the death of Gwen Stacy, it was the season of Skywald Comics, it was the season of Atlas/Seaboard Comics.

Let us speak then, of Atlas/Seaboard Comics, the comic book company created in 1974 with some of the dough Martin Goodman made selling Marvel Comics to the Perfect Film and Chemical Company (just screams “comic book publishing,” doesn’t it?) in 1968.

According to John Romita in a 2001 interview, “Chip (Goodman, Martin’s son) was supposed to take [Martin’s] place [as editorial director when Martin’s contract for the position ended in 1972]. But that part of it must not have been on paper, because as soon as Martin was gone, they got rid of Chip. That’s why Martin started Atlas Comics. It was pure revenge.”

Whatever his motivation, Martin sunk his money into a company that was, at the time, paying the highest rates in the business (so as to attract established talent to the new endeavor), plus guaranteeing the return of original art and granting creator rights for original concepts.

It worked, at least in the beginning when Atlas titles boasted work by Alex Toth, Neal Adams, Russ Heath, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood and Howard Chaykin. But in the end, all that was left of the hard work of such staffers as editors Jeff Rovin and Larry Lieber (yeah, Stan’s kid brother… y’think Martin was giving his old employee the finger?) and production managers Steve Mitchell and, for a few minutes during the company’s last days, my brother Alan (from whence the above vintage Atlas production schedule came), was, according to Wikipedia, “a total of 23 comics titles and five comics magazines (that) were published before the company folded in late 1975. No title lasted more than four issues.”

Here then, in alphabetical order, though the pickings were limited (and with minimal commentary due to the house move we’re in the middle of), MY 13 FAVORITE ATLAS/SEABOARD COMICS COVERS:

The Barbarians #1 (June 1975). Pencils by Rich Buckler, inks by Buckler or Jack Abel.

Blazing Battle Tales #1 (July 1975). Cover by Frank Thorne.

The Brute #1 (February 1975). Cover by Dick Giordano.

Demon Hunter #1 (September 1975). Cover by Rick Buckler.

The Destructor #1 (February 1975). Pencils by Larry Lieber, inks by Wally Wood.

Devilina #1 (January 1975). Painted cover by Alberto Pujolar.

Fright #1 (June 1974). Cover by Frank Thorne.

The Phoenix #1 (January 1975). Cover by Dick Giordano, from a layout by Sal Amendola.

The Scorpion #1 (February 1975). Cover by Howard Chaykin.

Thrilling Adventure Stories #2 (August 1975). Cover by Neal Adams.

Tiger-Man #2 (June 1975). Cover by Frank Thorne.

Weird Tales of the Macabre #1 (January 1975). Cover by Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

Wulf the Barbarian #2 (April 1975). Pencils by Larry Hama, inks by Klaus Janson, with Larry Lieber alterations.


— PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite Bronze Age MARVEL Monsters. Click here.


Sure, you know Paul Kupperberg as the prolific writer of over a thousand comic books for such characters and series as Superman, Aquaman, Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Life with Archie, Bart Simpson, Scooby-Doo, and dozens more for DC Comics, Archie Comics, Bongo Comics, and others, and that he is also the creator of the series Arion, Lord of Atlantis, Checkmate and Takion, and is a former editor for DC, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine. But Paul is also the author of numerous books, including the superhero novel JSA: Ragnarok and the comics industry-based murder mystery, The Same Old Story, not to mention (but we will anyway) Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comics, I Never Write for the Money, But I Always Turn in the Manuscript for a Check, Direct Comments: Comic Book Creators in their Own Words, The Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg and Son of the Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg. You can follow Paul at and at

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. I remember the comics but not the magazines. I could swear some went as far as Issue 6. Nice to see S.Ditko at it again.

    Post a Reply
  2. I owned Phoenix and Destrctor & another Atlas title Planet of the Vampires where astronuts return home and everyone has been turned into vampires. The book had a very planet of the apes feel.

    Post a Reply
  3. I remember these were pretty hit and miss, but I guess that’s to be expected with a new start-up company. I really liked a few of these. It would have been nice to see them figure it out and get a foothold. Maybe I am misremembering, but it felt like they were pushing some boundaries. The Planet of the Vampires was a fun concept!

    Post a Reply
  4. The Grim Ghost #2 by Ernie Colon was my favorite Atlas cover, it’s a stunner. I was nine when Atlas came out and I was pretty excited to get in on the ground floor of a new publisher with some great talent. The comics seemed edgier and more violent and disturbing than the other comics of the day, but sadly they were gone too fast to have an impact.

    Post a Reply
  5. I had a beat up dog eared copy of Scorpion #1 for years until some time in the mid 1980s I found a dealer that was selling all the line for .75 to $2.00 each.
    After a couple of orders I tracked down the main comic titles.
    There are some gems there Scorpion #1 and 2, Phoenix 1-3, Destructor #1-3, Grim Ghost #1-3, and Ironjaw are personal favorites.

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: