Incomplete Reprints and Other Burning Questions

Here are some questions regarding Marvel Comics reprints.

updated 12/10/2011

Q: Are the 1970-80s reprints incomplete?

A: Yes they are, but it's not as bad as it seems. During the 1970-80s, Marvel Comics made two reductions in page count and one increase in page count. Consequently, pages were removed from the reprints. Depending on the editing, you can sometimes tell where the cuts were made.

  1. On November 1973, the page count was reduced to 20 pages. This didn't affect most reprints since 20 pages was the standard story-length. But the double-featured reprints suffered since their story-lengths were 21-22 pages. Marvel Double Feature, Marvel Spectacular, and Marvel Super-Heroes started omitting a page or two in their reprints.
  2. On June 1975, the page count was reduced to 18 pages. All the reprint titles were affected. Usually two pages were omitted, sometimes even three to four pages for the double-featured reprints.
  3. On November 1980, the page count was raised to 23 pages. Some titles returned to reprinting the complete stories (e.g. Marvel Super Action, Marvel Tales). But others (e.g. Marvel's Greatest Comics, Tales to Astonish) added backup stories so the reprints are still incomplete.

Some of the early Marvel TPBs and other modern reprints are also missing pages. So incomplete reprints crop up everywhere and you just have to be careful. Wherever possible, I have indicated the number of missing pages and the specific pages/panels. You can sometimes fill the gaps by reading the Marvel Comics Indices (Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Marvel Team-Up, X-Men). Otherwise, wait till the Masterworks or Essential books catch up.

Despite these cuts, the old reprints are well worth obtaining. The reprints go quite far before the cuts occur. I also prefer the older, flatter coloring over the newer, over-glossed coloring in the modern reprints. Of course, your preferences might be different. But don't be deterred by the cuts since there are many complete reprints out there.

Q: Do you know of an analogous DC Reprints Page?

A: Unfortunately I don't and I can't create one myself because I'm not familiar enough with the DC Universe. My reprints page does contain info about the DC Special Editions released in the 1980s, but that's because I have most of those issues.

Update: Here's a site that has the DC info (and others): Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics.

Q: Is your site going to include War/Western/Monster/Horror reprints?

A: Sorry it's not. I thought about doing it, but realized it's beyond my capabilities. I don't have any of those reprints nor the original issues. At least with the superheroes stuff, I have most of the reprints and can compare them with the Masterworks or the Essentials.

Q: Where's the latest "X-Men Blow Up The World TPB"?

A: It's not here. I never thought it would happen, but I've lost touch with the Marvel Universe. There are too many titles and I have no idea what's going on. After the Marvel Reboot in 1996, I thought I could catch up but I lost interest after a while. So my reprints page mainly focuses on Marvel comics published before the reboot, with just a smidgen of post-reboot stuff. Besides, there are many other sites that have that info.

Q: Where can I buy these reprints?

A: Check out these sites:

I don't sell comics and I don't know how much your comics are worth. You can get a general idea from the Overstreet Comics Price Guide but ultimately it depends on who's willing to pay for them.

Return to Arthur's Marvel Comics Reprints.

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