Recently, a good fellow on this board and I were discussing writing a review or two of the Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense pre-hero monster period (roughly the first 3 years), and I thought I'd get onto that project tonight.

While reading an introduction by Stan Lee, he divulged that he found it clever to make all stories start in the first person, as well as the titles in TTA. (Example:  I found the Entrance to Nowhere; I am the Living Ghost; I Killed them All; I wrote the final review, etc.)

I had never tumbled to this before, and as I check, I found he was right. The first ten issues of TTA all follow this pattern.  I wondered if it continued through the entire run, which I now have... all four volumes of TTA Mastererworks.   So I looked at the table of contents, and by far, all the titles through issue 15 all follow this pattern. I'll have to read the stories to see if the are told in the first person, as I suspect they are.

Then i started wondering if Tales of Suspense might have a similar pattern of naming that I missed.  So, I flipped open the first Masterworks volume of TOS, and what did I find?
The Table of Contents for TOS volume 1 reprints the Table of Contents for TTA volume 1.

My heart sank.  Did I just buy two copies of the TTA masterworks volume 1 because some shmo slipped the wrong book inside the dust-jacket?  I flipped back and forth through the book.

No, it was only that the table  of contents was wrong. Has this been noted before somewhere?

(and in case you are wondering, I did find a lot of titles that started with "I....." in TOS, but mainly in 11-13 or so... others creep in from time to time, but it looks like they gave it up about then. Still, Ditko manages to slip one in now and then...)

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This started me thinking, I wonder if there have been other bonehead mistakes like this one elsewhere in the Masterworks series...and I immediately thought of two.

Unbelievably, in the first volume of the Marvel Masterworks that reprints the Fantastic Four, in issue #5 when Doctor Doom captures Sue, all the backgrounds are shaded light sky blue.  And in the process of printing or preparing the pages for production, four pages are flipped around, appearing out of order in the original print run.  This was well documented at the time.

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Second, in first or second Daredevil Masterworks volume there  is at least one page that appears tinted orange.  That is, the entire page is off-color, and appears that a color plate has been made in error.  It's a jarring sight, that takes you right out of the story, but it's how the first printing appears, and I imagine it has been well noted, though I doubt if it has been corrected.

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What other bonehead mistakes are  you aware of?
I'm not talking about a simple mis-directed thought balloon or a tail of a speech bubble that leads to the wrong person.  I'm talking about something grossly wrong that should have been caught!

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I found this a minor thing but on the description on the back cover of Essential Defenders Volume # 3 they reprinted the description of the contents of Essential Defenders Volume # 2

In my copy of the reprint book "The Essential Showcase 1956-1959" pages 3 and 5 in the Adam Strange story, "The Planet And The Pendulum" are switched.

Andy

I've got an old issue of Fantastic Four from the mid-1970s that says on the cover that it's the "World's Greatest Comic Magazine" but in fact, it wasn't all that great.

The 1st printing of the 1st FF Masterworks, the entire FF #1 issue (just the 1st issue, not the other 9) had a major "trapping" problem.  That is, because they were using digital printing for the first time, and had not figured out what the HELL they were doing, some of the technical settings were set wrong, resulting in WHITE GAPS around every single black line on all the pages.

This sort of thing turned up on quite a few comics around the time the publishers were switching over from traditional to digital printing.  But for many years, I didn't know what it was, or what could have caused it.  Then I published a book myself, and in dealing with the tech guy at Morgan Printing (in North Dakota), I heard about "trapping".  It took some time, but eventually, I understood what he was talking about, and it suddenly explained that EXTREMELY annoyng problem.

Incidentally, not long after the Masterworks book was put out, they reprinted FF #1 in a "Milestone" edition (that is, just the one issue, like a regular comic).  When I went back to re-read all the stories, i dug out the Milestone so i cold re-read FF #1 without having to put up with that horrid visual problem.

The only other problem like this that comes to mind was the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES Archive which featured Dave Cockrum's entire run in one book.  Someone REALLY F***** up the printing on it, the linework reproduction was AWFUL.  And they saw it, and realized it.  But too late, the book had already been shipped!  But DC did the right thing.  They put out the word that they realized the problem... and they did a 2nd printing with the problem fixed.  Anyone who wanted could TRADE IN their bad copy for a good one.  I did.  but not before comparing the 2 printings side-by-side.  MAN, that 1st printing was TERRIBLE!!! And here, it was one of the volumes that no doubt fans had been most looking forward to (along with the volumes containing the Jim Shooter-Curt Swan-George Klein run, which was even better).

I think we all realized that in about 1970, Dave.  It just took some of us longer than others to accept it.

Dave Blanchard said:

I've got an old issue of Fantastic Four from the mid-1970s that says on the cover that it's the "World's Greatest Comic Magazine" but in fact, it wasn't all that great.

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