There was an unusual announcement in the Bullpen Page announcement that as of next month Daredevil and Iron Man were going to be combined into the same book, possibly as a split book.

It was odd, as it seemed to come out of the blue, and at a time when Marvel was jumping the price of their books up to 25 cents.

But the change never happened.  That is, the two heroes separate books continued separately.

However, just recently, I was flipping through the covers of Marvel Super-heroes, a reprint book that had variously run the original Avengers and X-men, Sub-Mariner from Tales to Astonish and Daredevil and Incredible Hulk.

But at some point, it would appear that both Iron Man and Daredevil were being run together in reprints.

#28-29-30-31

Could it be that this was the pairing that Marvel's Bullpen Page had  intended in their announcement?


Who knows the story behind this? 

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I remember that, too, Kirk but I think it was to combine the two features like Tales of Suspense, with each getting half the book. Obviously Marvel changed their mind, even though both Iron Man and Daredevil were usually among Marvel's low-sellers.

Unless......they meant to have the two together as a TEAM like Captain America and the Falcon or Power Man and Iron Fist. Maybe Matt Murdock would have been Tony Stark's on-call lawyer or possibly even against him! But I can't see Shell-head thinking, "Oh no! The Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo are attacking! I need Daredevil!"

I've not seen the announcement. At the start of the 70s a Marvel 25c book was a giant. Most of the giants were reprint books, but in 1971 Marvel flirted with the idea of taking its titles to a regular 25c/giant format. The upshot was a number of titles went to the giant size for one month (e.g. Avengers  for #93, Fantastic Four for #116). In 1974 the price of non-giant titles reached 25c. So if the announcement was in 1971 it may be that Marvel was thinking in terms of combining Iron Man and Daredevil into a giant, but abandoned the idea when it abandoned the idea of embracing that format across its line, and if it was in 1974 presumably what was contemplated was a team-up or split book. Like Philip I find a Daredevil and Iron Man team-up book hard to imagine. On the other hand, stranger things have been published.

 

One way to figure out how things were selling in the period is to look at whether they were taken down to bimonthly schedule. I had a quick look at this issue, but haven't checked it properly. Daredevil seemed to go briefly bimonthly sometimes and Iron Man seemed to do so for longer periods.

When I read that, I had a little snarky moment of imaging Stark thinking "Here comes Ultimo. I know! I'll have Daredevil hit him with his stick!" I know it's a billy club but I don't think Tony would necessarily make the distinction ;)

Philip Portelli said:

 Maybe Matt Murdock would have been Tony Stark's on-call lawyer or possibly even against him! But I can't see Shell-head thinking, "Oh no! The Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo are attacking! I need Daredevil!"

Of the two options, I'm thinking it was more likely a split book in 1971...as I remember those books suddenly surging to giant size, and thought that the story must be REALLY important to justify that treatment.  In the case of Avengers #93, It was. For FF #116, well, not so much.  IMHO, the artwork really didn't justify it.  And the lame concept of Doom leading the FF was laughable to begin with.  That storyline, more than anything else, convinced me that the silver age of Marvel was over.  And I started to think about moving on.  It would be about seven months later before I actually did.  But I digress...

I recall this announcement so clearly, and wondered what had provoked it.  Someone also told me that Marvel did a fake-out manuvure of jumping it's prices to 25 cents and bluffed DC into following suit, but then cut them back to a lower price. 

There was also a 3-part crossover between IRON MAN #35 (Mar'71), DAREDEVIL #73 (Feb'71) and IRON MAN #36 (Apr'71). This story was reprinted fairly recently, from both sides, and all 3 chapters were included in each volume.

Note the cover dates are correct. DAREDEVIL was one of several books (including AVENGERS, X-MEN and at least one other) whose cover dates for at least a decade always seemed to be one month "off".  When they had the double-sized 25c issues (which only lasted 1 or 2 months), they adjusted the cover dates, so it looked like they skipped a month, but they really didn't. From then on, all the books had the same cover dates each month.

What I found amusing about this was, when I did my "60's Marvel Re-Reading Project" a couple years back, I compiled a reading list, by month, but, I took this "one month off" thing into account when I assembled my list. And on several occasions, the fact that the I did, made certain inter-book continutity WORK better than if I hadn't. Which just proved to me that it was going on at the time.

When I was a regular reader there was a time when books were getting thinner for much the same price or a few pennies more. I don't know what the market is like today.

I wonder if feedback from retailers suggested it wasn't worth selling comics for 12,15 or 20 cents when they could sell magazines for a lot more in the same spot on the newstand. Publishers may have wanted to combat this by adding more pages and making their entire line 64 pagers (or whatever the page count was in the golden age era of comics). That being so, and with their low sales, Marvel may have thought titles like Daredevil or Iron Man would have to be combined in order to exist. 


It's interesting to think that of all the DC comics only Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman had their own titles in the golden age. Marvel only has Sub-Mariner, Captain America and The Human Torch.

Oh Dandy F,  I think Marvel may have had a few more, but those are the only surviving heroes that were successfully re-introduced into the 60s that stuck. (the only one's who were the same characters, not just the name being recycled, like, say "Daredevil" or "The Vision")

But your point is well taken.

 

 

George, I recall a limerick that a fan wrote in an FF letter's page circa issue 60-61 that said something like,

"Doc Doom on a surf board,

Oh, come'on...

Keep this stuff up and soon

your readers'll be gone."


Well, they didn't leave, and we look at that story arc and the Galactus triology that set it up as some of the high points of the series.

I could have written a similar stanza when #116 came out.

"Doc Doom leading the FF,

Oh, come on...

Keep this stuff up and soon

this reader'll be gone." 

And I was.  It just took another half year before the Avengers got to #100 and I  gave up in High School. I no longer had time to pedal my bike around town looking for the perfect copy of the latest issues. (Obsessive compulsive disorder indeed!)

 

My point was that Doom's arogance and over-confidence, majesty and character as defined over the prior 100 issues would not have allowed him to step in to lead the FF no matter what. In my view, the character MIGHT have taken on the overlord if he felt Latveria was threatened, but to lead the FF... no, he would have been delighted to see that Richards had fallen.  His ego would have demanded that he hold back and gloat.  IMHO.

...Well , yeah , one's own title for a super-hero (we'll leave " not quite " SHs till later ) was a rare honor , generally set up after a while in an anyhology title .

  I believe Wonder Woman was an exception to that , I think she got the special treatment-big push-Title 9 ( hah !!!!!!!!! ) treatment from the start , even if there was some spacing between her first appearance in ALL-STAR then SENSATION , and then WONDER WOMAN , in that order??

Dandy Forsdyke said:

When I was a regular reader there was a time when books were getting thinner for much the same price or a few pennies more. I don't know what the market is like today.

I wonder if feedback from retailers suggested it wasn't worth selling comics for 12,15 or 20 cents when they could sell magazines for a lot more in the same spot on the newstand. Publishers may have wanted to combat this by adding more pages and making their entire line 64 pagers (or whatever the page count was in the golden age era of comics). That being so, and with their low sales, Marvel may have thought titles like Daredevil or Iron Man would have to be combined in order to exist. 


It's interesting to think that of all the DC comics only Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman had their own titles in the golden age. Marvel only has Sub-Mariner, Captain America and The Human Torch.

...Kirk , George , I've heard the same , that Martin Goodman , before he left Marvel , did , indeed , pull something that gave DC the impression that Marvel was permanently going to 48-pagers , leading DC to make a big buy of paper stock to go to 48 pages...Leaving them stuck with the extra paper stock when Marvel quickly switched back to 32 pages for 20c , and forced to stay with the " Bigger & Better " ( generally ) 1/3-ish reprints 48-page format for a while ( Almost a year , IIRC . ) , during which time Marvel finally became #1 - in per-copy sales , I guess?? - which last result I recall being referenc3ed by Roy Thomas , also .

  I do believe the announcement of IRON MAN AND DAREDEVIL was made at the time of the 48-page month , I do think a TOS-style split book was the ( Main , anyhow - remember when DC combined The Winged Warrior and The Tiny Titan into THE ATOM AND HAWKMAN ?????????? ) intent , I even recall a previous " looking back " at it , a Fred Hembeck cartoon from the early 80s that mentioned it in retrospect from that point .

  Was anyone in creative or editorial at Marvel then sincere about this , not knowing that the 48-pages move was an intended fakeout from the beginning ??? THAT'S what's occured to me now.........Weird Age Wonderful !

I doubt it was really a fake-out. Carmine Infantino talked about it in this interview (scroll down to "So the distributor made a decision to go 48 pages at 25¢"). A point Infantino doesn't touch on is that, apparently, back in the day covers were a disproportionately important element in a comic's production costs (I don't know whether that's still true), so larger comics could theoretically give the reader more value for money. In practice, what filled out the comics may not have always been desirable to enough readers.

...Had Marvel ever outsold DC 'til then ?

  I rather thought that either DC , or Dell , were the #1 companies from the late 30s to the early 70s !!!

My source for older sales information is John Jackson Miller's Comichron, which has lists of the average sales figures reported in statements of ownership in the 60s. Click "Yearly Sales" for the lists and the FAQs page for background and arguments for the reliability of the figures. Looking over the lists one needs to bear in mind that new titles didn't have to report and not all titles reported anyway.

 

At the start of the 60s the top-selling reporting titles were Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney's Comics & Stories. In 1961 the former was still the highest-selling reporting title, although its sales had dropped, and the latter didn't report. At that point the content of Dell's comics was produced by Western, which held the licenses. In 1962 they split and Western established the Gold Key imprint. Mark Evanier explained this here.

 

A point to note is that in the period how well a comic sold was partly an issue of how well it was distributed. Also, if I understand correctly in the decade not all comics were distributed at the same level, so in principle a comic might be selling higher numbers but a lower percentage of its numbers. Note that in the interview I linked to Infantino talks about percentage sales.

 

Another point to note is that for most of the 60s the size of Marvel's line was capped (Marvel comics were distributed through DC's distribution arm, and that was part of the deal). So during that decade DC had a much larger line.

 

Incidentally, the companies apparently made decisions about what genres they were going to be active in. In 1960/1961 DC stopped publishing westerns other than Tomahawk, which was not a standard western in the period, but other companies, including Marvel, persisted with them. Marvel dropped its last anthology romance comic in 1963 while DC persisted with them. When Marvel expanded its superhero line in 1962 it did so largely by putting superhero features into its monster comic titles, which is to say, it replaced its monster comics line with a superhero line. To be fair, for a while the monster comics-type stories continued to appear in those comics' backs.

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