Marvel Treasury Special #1 - 2001: A Space Odyssey

One of the strangest comics ever done. Written and drawn by Jack "King" Kirby, this is a "adaptation" of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: ASpace Odyssey. Why a comic book adaptation of one of the most cerebral, non-action sci-fi movies ever made? Why an adaptation eight years after the film had been released? Why Jack Kirby?

I have to say, the first time I read this, I was completely flummoxed as to what I was reading--the combination of Kubrick's moody think piece with Jack Kirby's bombast? But since then, I've read some appreciations of the book by other writers, so maybe I need to give this another go-round.

Also features a 10-page photo feature on the movie.

84 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

In The Jack Kirby Collector #33, there is an entire article devoted to Kirby's 2001 book by John Alexander, with this little passage speaking directly to the issue of its treasury size.

Annie - 1982

Reprint of Marvel's 2-issue movie adaptation by Tom DeFalco, Win Mortimer, and Vince Colletta. This was one of Marvel's last treasury comics.

I'll admit, only bought this because it was a treasury comic--I mean, Annie? But the more I think about it, the less reason there is to goof on this book. This was probably one of the last times a major comic book company was still trying to capture young readers, new readers, female readers. So Marvel gets points for trying.

Comes with bios of the actors, text pieces about the film and comic strip, even a filmography of director John Huston!

Has that spooky Hulk "Power" Marvel house ad on the back cover. Must have scared the crap outta the little kids enjoying the book!

68 pages.

Marvel Super Special #8 - Battlestar Galactica - 1978

Written by Roger McKenzie, art by the great Ernie Colon.

I guess Marvel (and a lot of other people) were guessing this was going to be the new Star Wars; of course it didn't quite work out that way.

In either case, this is a pretty good adaptattion--Colon give the proceedings some real life with his quirky art style. Comes with some neat pin-ups and text pieces about the show.

52 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Buck Rogers - 1979

This is a strange little (well, big) hybrid--it has Marvel's logo on the cover, but the indicia says it was published by Western Publishing. The creative team behind it--Paul S.Newman (Wow! An actor and a comic book writer! Where'd he find the time?), Frank Bolle, and Jose Delbo--are clearly Western's people. So what up?

Anyway, this was another sci-fi property swimming in the wake of Star Wars. The TV series was fairly successful, as was a toy line, but as a comic Buck never seemed to really click. I do remember liking the movie (and subsequent TV show) when my Dad took me and my sister to it...good times.

68 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Marvel Special Edition #3 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind - 1978

This is a fun adapatation of a mostly talky movie by Archie Goodwin, Walt Simonson, and Klaus Janson, yet I think it works pretty well. I'm surprised Marvel didn't run with this and turn it into a series ("Guest Starring...The Starjammers!")

It's been mentioned in a couple of magazines before about the hassle Columbia Pictures put Archie and Walt through in the making of this book--confidentiality agreements, veiled threats, etc. Cripes, it's just a comic book. Relax.

Says #3 on the indicia, but #1 on the cover! Reprint of the Marvel Super Special adaptation .

52 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

 

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera #1 - 1977

By Mark Evanier, Kay Wright, and Scott Shaw!, this is a really fun story--perfect for kids (obviously), but it doesn't talk down to them, and has just enough one-liners to make older kids smile.

Stars every nearly every star in the HB sky--the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Top Cat, Magilla Gorilla, and (my personal favroite) Hong Kong Phooey!

As far as I know, these three Funtastic World books were all-new material.

52 pages.

New! I was reading an old issue of The Comics Journal that had an interview with Mark Evanier, and over the course of a thorough talk, he mentions the three Marvel/Hanna-Barbera treasury books twice, so I thought I'd post those comments here.

If you want to read more from Mark about these books, click the Interview graphic above to read the interview Mark did with TreasuryComics.com!

 

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera #2 - 1978

>>This is one of the only treasury comics on this site that I do not personally own--though I'm trying to change that.<<

That was then. Now I do have a copy of this in my grubby little hands. Ebay is a wonderful thing.

Like the other two Funtastic Worlds, this was written by Mark Evanier, and drawn by Dick Bickenbach, the great Dan Spiegle, Tony Strobl, and Kay Wright.

As you can see from the cover, it stars most of the HB favorites--Yogi Bear, Scooby, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Top Cat, QuickDraw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound, Wally Gator, and more! Instead of one long story, this is made of several individual ones, though Scooby and the gang do get to team up with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt! Also comes with pages of games and puzzles.

And, also like the other two Funtastic Worlds, this is a really fun comic.

52 pages.

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera #3 - 1978

"The Man Who Stole Thursday" by Mark Evanier, Scott Shaw!, Dan Spiegle, and others.

This is another great, fun story; perfect for kids with just enough smart lines to keep older kids interested.

Marvel had a brief dalliance with the HB characters in the late 70s--not only did they do these treasuries, but they had a regular monthly HB series, as well. Obviously they didn't do too well, since Marvel stopped them shortly thereafter. Too bad--these characters are pretty much gone from comics now. Where's Dell Comics when you need them?

52 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

 

G.I. Joe - 1982

"The Ultimate Weapon of Democracy." Ah, the 1980's.

The story is "Operation: Lady Doomsday", a reprint of G.I. Joe #1 by Larry Hama, Herb Trimpe, and Bob McLeod. Also has some pin-ups and (surprise! surprise!) an ad for the toy line.

I enjoyed this comic as a kid, but now that I look back on it, it makes me a little queasy--our heroes here, shooting guns off in every direction. Maybe I'm overthinking it.

In any case, Joe was very successful for Marvel, the series running for over a hundred issues, so somebody must have been into it.

Again with the "Parkes Run"!

68 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

The Wizard of Oz - 1975

The first ever collaboration between DC and Marvel...and it's The Wizard of Oz? Yep, the Wizard of Oz! Face front, true believer!

This was during a ground-swell of popularity for the Oz movie in the 70s. It had started running on TV and become a big smash Mego had spent a lot of money and promotion on a big toy line.

By Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Tony deZuniga with covers by John Romita. Also has some bio-pages on the actors and some stills from the movie. And even though DC has their name on the cover, this is essentially a Marvel comic--they get first billing, and the creative team is all Marvel.

84 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

From comics historian John Wells: Over at DC, Sheldon Mayer was working on an adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, which he would write and illustrate. Carmine Infantino mentioned the project to Marvel's Stan Lee, who revealed that they were also working on such an adaptation.

As related in 1985's The Oz-Wonderland Wars #1, the two companies decided to jointly publish the venture. The project underwent a further metamorphosis and, with Marvel's creative team at the helm, it appeared in August of 1975 as MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz.

Click the image to see the original ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Marvelous Land of Oz - 1975

The second of the Oz adaptations, starting (and ending) the move into the books. Man, these Oz books started getting weird.

By Roy Thomas and Alfredo Alcala, this one is entirely a Marvel production.

At the end, there is an ad for "Next issue: Ozma of Oz." It even has a release date (Feb. 3, 1976)! Did this thing ever see print? I've never seen or heard of any further volumes, but from what I remember, Marvel pretty much put their books out on time, for the most part. Any chance there are copies of this sitting in a Marvel warehouse somewhere?

84 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Ozma of Oz

Ozma of Oz Ad - 1975

Above, I wondered what became of this book, Ozma of Oz, the planned third Oz adaptation. For a book to actually be advertised--with a release date, to boot--I assumed it had to be pretty near completion. So what happened?

I finally got around to asking the Oz series writer, Roy Thomas, what became of this book, and here's what he said: "Alfredo Alcala drew (perhaps with layouts by Marie DeZuniga--that's what she claimed on LAND OF OZ, anyway, but I never got around to asking Alfredo about this) and I wrote the treasury-sized OZMA OF OZ, and we had front and back covers done by John Romita.

But then Marvel's lawyers discovered the third Oz book hadn't yet fallen into public domain, as it apparently has now... so I was told to stop DOROTHY AND THE WIZARD IN OZ, on which I'd already begun to work by making notes on the adaptation...and all that remains now that I know of are photocopies of most (but not all) pages, though with a number of the pasted-on balloons having fallen off."

Argh, what an ignominious end to what was probably a great book! Hmm, maybe I'll find a set of those photocopies one day...

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Smurfs - 1982

Published by Marvel, but produced by Peyo. Like the Buck Rogers treasury, this seems to have been prepared by another company then distributed by Marvel.

This was probably the last of the Marvel trearuries--there are no months listed on these, so this one, G.I.Joe, and Annie, all being published in 1982--are the last round-up for Marvel's treasury comics. Weird way to go out.

This book mostly consists of one-page joke strips, with individual titles above--some weird ones, too, like "Birds Do It, Smurfs Do It" (!) and "Sometimes in Winter I Gaze Into the Smurfs" (?!?).

Like I said about the Annie book, you've got to give Marvel credit for trying to reach out to another audience with these books--this was just as newsstand comic distribution was breathing its last, before kids were mostly driven away from comics completely.

*Smurfsigh*

68 pages.

Fun Fact! From Treasury Hunter Don C.:"The Smurfs were a newspaper strip, and had been running for a long time overseas before the 80's. (Netherlands I think. They were originally called the "Scroumphs" or something like that. A term I'd been told meant "whatchamacallit.") I think the treasury book, and most of the Marvel comic, were actually reprints of original paper strips."

Fun Fact #2! This from Treasury Hunter Mickael: "Hi, i like your site very well, but I have discovered an error--big in this part of world ;)-- 'Smurf' ('Schtroumpf' in fact) was not a comics strip but was edited in a magazine ('Spirou') in Belgium (and not Netherland) with native french language. They appear in 1958's 'Johan & Pirlouit' album and rapidly became very popular in Belgium & France."

Marvel Special Edition #1 - Star Wars - 1977

One of, to me, the best movie-to-comic adaptations ever!

By Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, and a host of others, Marvel's Star Wars manages to put across the excitment and fun of the movie. while still having it feel like a Marvel comic.

Reprinting Star Wars #s 1-3, this was one of the best ideas for a treasury--what film is better suited by the format?

Also, this is the part of the adaptation that features the long-cut Jabba the Hut sequence. In the comic, Jabba is normal sized, but with a green, Play-Doh-y face, and hair sticking out the sides of his head, resembling not so much a fearsome crime lord than somebody's Uncle Morty.

60 pages.

Marvel Special Edition #2 - Star Wars - 1977

Part 2 of the movie adaptation, again by Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, and others.

Like the first three issues and the Jabba scene, this second set of issues features yet another scene missing from the released film--the scene where Biggs and Luke talk, just before their attack on the Death Star. It's a good scene, and I was glad to see Lucas finally reinstate it for the special editions (oh, if I only I could say that about all the changes he made...)

Not so great is the added panel where, after Porkins is gunned down by the Empire, we get a tearful close-up of Biggs thinking "So, long, Piggy...you will be avenged!" Ye gods! Are we sure Lucas didn't write the adaptation?

Reprinting Star Wars #s 4-6, it has a full-page ad for Star wars #7, the first original comic book Star Wars story. I remember seeing an ad for the book, and practically vibrating off the floor, I was so excited over the idea of new Star Wars adventures.

60 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Marvel Special Edition #3 - Star Wars - 1978

I think this is the first treasury reprinting another treasury!

Star Wars comics must have been big sellers, for them to reprint the adaptation again, just a year later. This is a collected edition of parts 1 and 2 of the Star Wars movie adaptation.

A big ol' book of fun and adventure!

114 pages.

Marvel Special Edition #2 - The Empire Strikes Back - 1980

Reprint of the Marvel comics' adaptation by Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, and Carlos Garzon.

In the original comics version (seen in the Star Wars monthly, starting with issue #39), Yoda was portrayed as a purple being, about 6 inches tall. In this version the art has been changed in places so Yoda resembles his movie likeness, yet his diminished size is still there. Very weird seeing a Yoda the size of The Atom.

Unlike the Star Wars adaptation, this version doesn't have any scenes or dialogue not in the released film. *sigh*

It was a shame that by 1983 Marvel was no longer doing treasury comics. Otherwise they could have reprinted their adaptation of Return of the Jedi in this format, and completed the trilogy. *double sigh*

I've always wondered who or what "Parkes Run" was. Treasury Hunter Jim Tyne offers: "Parkes Run was a publisher or packager of coloring books. I had a few Tarzan coloring books with them listed as publisher."

Good to know! So how'd they get their hands on this?

100 pages!

 
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