Ok, how about this for an idea.  We take it in turns to post a favourite (British spelling) comic cover every day.  This went really well on the comic fan website that I used to frequent.  What we tried to do was find a theme or subject and follow that, until we all got bored with that theme.  I'd like to propose a theme of letters of the alphabet. So, for the remainder of October (only 5 days) and all of November, we post comic cover pictures associated with the letter "A".  Then in December, we post covers pertaining to the letter "B".  The association to the letter can be as tenuous as you want it to be. For example I could post a cover from "Adventure Comics" or "Amazing Spider Man".  However Spider Man covers can also be posted when we're on the letter "S".  Adventure Comic covers could also be posted when we're on the letter "L" if they depict the Legion of Super Heroes.  So, no real hard, fast rules - in fact the cleverer the interpretation of the letter, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

And it's not written in stone that we have to post a cover every day. There may be some days when no cover gets posted. There's nothing wrong with this, it just demonstrates that we all have lives to lead.

If everyone's in agreement I'd like to kick this off with one of my favourite Action Comic covers, from January 1967. Curt Swan really excelled himself here.

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So, he's really "Molecular Structure Alteration Man." Which also begins with M.

Much like Meteor Man, who appears at center of this hypothetical crossover, and whose powers seem unconnected to meteors :


Philip Portelli said:

The Melter didn't use heat to melt Iron Man's armor. His beam altered its molecular structure to liquefy it. It could only affect one type of material at a time: metal, wood or stone. It had no effect on flesh.

Marvel Boy debuted in his own title in 1950 but by #3 it was renamed Astonishing and he was gone by #6 (O'51). He went on the reprint circuit in Marvel Tales #13-16 (Ma-S'68) and Marvel Super-Heroes #19 (Ma'69).

He was finally revived in Fantastic Four #164-165 (N-D'75) as the crazed Crusader and was killed off (apparently). Yet two years later, his stories were again reprinted, this time in Marvel Super Action #4 (N'77), right in the middle of Captain America's run! 

Was it for copyright purposes? Or was it because there was a new Marvel Boy/Man being introduced in Captain America #217 (Ja'78) who would later get redubbed....Quasar!!

Oh and the original popped up in the semi-classic What If #9 as well!

The reference to "Lee, Ditko & Heck" in that big red arrow blurb brings up the question is this one of the first instances (if not the first) at Marvel or DC wherein the cover made a point of giving the names of the creative team that produced the interior work, and not counting covers with the artist's signature?  I know touting the writer & artist(s) has been a selling point for most comics of the last 20 years or so but ToS #47 came out at a time when aside from Marvel, most comics made no reference to who wrote, drew or inked the stories.  Of course, there was that early issue of the FF where Lee & Kirby were drawn on the cover and were characters within the story. In this instance, the creative team isn't woven into the story but Lee is using their names as part of the sales pitch to Marvel's fans who have been around long enough to already be as familiar with Lee & his top artists as with the superheroes themselves.

Richard Willis said:

The first appearance of the greatest Marvel villain, the Mysterious Melter

Philip Portelli said:

Was it for copyright purposes? Or was it because there was a new Marvel Boy/Man being introduced in Captain America #217 (Ja'78) who would later get redubbed....Quasar!!

Probably to protect the trademark, much as the Kree Captain Marvel was created to secure the "Captain Marvel" trademark. But I must admit there are other "Marvel" names Marvel never has secured: "Mr Marvel", "Marvel Woman".

Oh and the original popped up in the semi-classic What If #9 as well!

Under the name the Crusader the original Marvel Boy was the villain in Fantastic Four #164-#165. Spoiler warning. When Marvel Boy found the Uranians had been killed in a natural disaster he blamed the bankers who had delayed him on Earth. When he returned to Earth he went on a rampage. He absorbed too much power from the sun through his bands and was killed.

Mighty Crusaders #4 "Too Many Superheroes".

The Mighty Crusaders #1 "The Origin of The Shield"

Sgt. Fury 41. Dino Manelli!  Keep those cards and letters comin' in!

Hoy

Mighty Crusaders #6 "In The Toils of the Maestro"

I have quite number of these 60's Archie Comics Mighty Crusaders issues and the thing that springs to mind most when reading them was how awful they were!  Reading them certainly showed me how much better both DC and Marvel comics were in the same era; the difference in quality of the stories is quite astounding.  I think if I had been introduced to The Mighty Crusaders in 1967, instead of The Legion of Superheroes, I would not have been such a big fan of superhero comics.  This difference in quality is made even more strange given the fact that Jerry Siegel wrote a lot of the early Mighty Crusaders stuff.  Was this difference therefore, because of editorial quality? Did the editors at Archie just give Jerry free reign to write whatever he pleased without imposing any sort of rules/guidelines?   Certainly the editors at both Marvel and DC played a very significant role in developing their characters in their respective comics.  Perhaps that was what was lacking at Archie; the editorial team just saw a bandwagon and decided to jump on it.

“The reference to 'Lee, Ditko & Heck' in that big red arrow blurb brings up the question is this one of the first instances (if not the first) at Marvel or DC wherein the cover made a point of giving the names of the creative team that produced the interior work…?”

Not the first; this one (10 months earlier) springs to mind.

"He absorbed too much power from the sun through his bands and was killed.":

Yeah, but he got better. :)

Three more covers with Mowgli (Four Color #s 487, 582, 620.)

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