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Marvel Preview

Entry updated 13 September 2021. Tagged: Comics, Publication.

US letter-size black-and-white Comics magazine. 34 issues, July 1975 to February 1983, printed on cheap newsprint-quality paper by the Marvel Comics subsidiary imprint Curtis Magazines. The title changed to Bizarre Adventures from #24 (1980) on to the end; the final issue was published in standard Comics format on glossy paper. Dennis O'Neil was usually the credited editor. Publication was nominally quarterly but in fact erratic.

Marvel Preview was a showcase title featuring various characters each issue, plus adaptations of literary works including much sf, Horror and Sword-and-Sorcery, the latter adapting some of Robert E Howard's characters including King Kull and Solomon Kane. Aimed at mature readers, stories often featured strongly implied Sex and were at times distinctly violent. Several characters made their first or early appearances here, such as StarLord (#4), and Rocket Raccoon (#7); these issues became sought-after collector's items after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Tales were generally of a dark nature compared to the action-adventure colour comics; relatively few involved major or well-known Marvel characters. The latter included the Black Widow, Moon Knight, the Punisher, Thor, and some members of the X-Men. Issues featuring additional non-Marvel characters included Man-God appearing in #9, part one of an adaption of Gladiator (1930; rev 1949) by Philip Wylie which for unexplained reasons was never completed. A version of Stephen King's "The Lawnmower Man" (May 1975 Cavalier) appeared in #29. Several horror tales featured Marvel's Monster characters, including Blade the Vampire Slayer, Dracula, Satana, and the Zombie, mostly in left-over material from Marvel's defunct line of black-and-white horror comics. Creators involved included John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Howard Chaykin, Steve Englehart, Bill Mantlo, Mike Ploog, and Jim Starlin. Covers, generally vibrant and comparing well to many sf Pulp covers, were by such artists as Earl Norem (1924-2015), Bob Larkin and Boris Vallejo. [GSt/DRL]

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