Hot on the heels of DC’s Superman Chronicles Volume 6 released last week, on Wednesday Marvel will release Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Strange Tales, Volume 2. If you like the pre-code suspense/horror books from the very end of the Golden Age of comics, this second collection of Atlas’s Strange Tales title is right up your alley. This is pre-hero Marvel/Atlas horror and suspense at its finest.
This book covers Strange Tales #11 (October 1952) through Strange Tales#20 (July 1953) and features the work of such greats as Bill Everett, Gene Colon, Joe Sinnott, Bernie Krigstein, Jerry Robinson, George Tuska, Dick Briefer (of Frankenstein fame) and many others.
The writing is mostly by Stan Lee, but there are others as well. This volume features the typical horror and suspense stories that were prominent during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, and which eventually succomed to the crusade of Wertham and others. Indeed, these issues of Strange Tales appeared along side EC’s horror and suspense lines on the newsstands.
Although Marvel published Strange Tales until issue 168 (May 1968) featuring the adventures of Doctor Strange, it continued with its run of horror and suspense for many years. The first CCA approved issue was #35 (May 1955) and the content was toned down significantly thereafter. The title changed its focus to the now famous monster stories with issue #70 (August 1959 – can you say, “Fing Fang Foom”?) and to superheroes with issue #101 (October 1962) when the Human Torch began his run of solo stories. Doctor Strange made his first appearance in issue #110 (July 1963), and the rest is history (his origin was told in #115 with a cover date of December 1963). The title became Doctor Strange with issue #169.
This new volume is certainly worth a look for anyone interested in reading some of the classic horror and suspense stories from the pre-code late Golden Age. You can learn more about it at Marvel’s web site. The book has a cover price of $59.99 but can be found at a discount at most online retailers.