Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Marvel "Stridex" Vintage Pack reprints (1994)

Back in the Other Life I used to hang out with lots of fine folks in the comics industry. During that time I had the opportunity to pick up at cons and through other fans some odd things. While going through the boxes of comics I still have I re-discovered some Marvel reprints which I had all but forgotten I had. I know that Debbie David worked on at least one issue as a colorist and I think that Carl Gafford may have had a hand in some as well.

The other day I was trying to catalog some of these books on Comic Collector Live. I found several were in the database listed as “Stridex 1994 reprints”, so I did some Google searching. I discovered that the books were produced by Marvel for distribution by the J.C. Penney chain as the “Marvel Vintage Pack.” One way to recognize them is the Stridex ad that appears on all the back covers.

The reprints are of Marvel titles dating from the early 1950s thru the mid-1970s. There are fifteen books in the set I have (originally sealed in a plastic bag), and I wonder if there were additional issues. I have looked in the Grand Comic Database and eBay, among other resources, and compared some of the original covers to these reprints and they appear exactly the same in every way. Even the ‘price tag’ had not been changed, reflecting the then current price of the title.

Here’s a list of the books I have:

Amazing Fantasy #13; Amazing Spider-Man Special #5 ; Avengers #88 (Harlan Ellison story, pt.1); Captain America #109; Fantastic Four #66 and #67 (Introduction of Him/Warlock); Incredible Hulk #140 (Harlan Ellison story, pt. 2); Sgt. Fury #13 (Captain America & Bucky appearance); Sub-Mariner #8; Thor Special #2; Tomb of Dracula #25; Uncanny X-Men #26 (intro of Banshee) #62 and #63 (Ka-Zar appears); Young Men #25 (on which Debbie is given credit for coloring in an addition to the indicia)

Internally, the advertisements had been changed to current ones promoting commercial products found in mainstream comics of the ‘90s. The one odd exception is YOUNG MEN, which reproduces what appear to be the original ads, but with the Stridex ad on the back cover. Otherwise, even the indicia on the splash page of the issues seem to reflect the original publication information of each book. They all have “Second printing” following the indicia, in different font and all caps.

Anybody know anything else about these books?

As I get time I may review some of these books, just for old times sake.
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