Stan, Jack, and Steve - The 1960's (1961) The Castaway Strikes Back
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ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 1961

In December Dell would raise the cover price of their comics to 15 cents. At the time, that 50% increase was seen as huge. Having had a hold on the market for some time because of the family friendly nature of their titles, the price increase would open the door for DC Comics to have an outstanding year.

The content continued for them, much of it featuring ideas that would serve them for decades.... In Adventure Comics #283, writer Robert Bernstein and artist George Papp would introduce the Phantom Zone (cover by Curt Swan), and in the JLA #4, Green Arrow would join the team (cover by Murphy Anderson). DC promoted it heavily. 

Was this what was noticed by someone at Marvel and turned into "we need a superhero team"?

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ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 1961

Not only that, in Batman #139, writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff would introduce the first Bat-Girl (Betty Kane) to go along with Batwoman (Kathy Kane). Betty was Kathy's niece. Sheldon Moldoff cover. The story is signed as 'Bob Kane'.

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ON NEWSSTANDS MARCH 1961

Whenever I discuss the TRUE history of Marvel Comics, I always say, 'You just have to read all the books in order, and understand some basic truths" in order to SEE very clearly what was happening vs what we were TOLD happened. 

Marvel released 6 titles in March of 1961 (that still averages out to 8.66), and Stan only wrote for TWO of them. And in one, Jack Kirby very clearly wrote the story that covered 19 pages of the issue! Kirby was dominating Marvel, and for March, Goodman even gave him a brand new title: Amazing Adventures.

A much more important title than most people realize...

 

Rawhide Kid #22 - One 19 page story with Jack Kirby, and one 5 pager with Don Heck

Patsy & Hedy #76 - with Al Hartley art 

 

The other 4 were:

Amazing Adventures #1

Tales to Astonish #20 

Tales of Suspense #18 

Strange Tales #85 

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At this point, Stan really has it easy... Jack is writing most of the stories he works on in the Westerns, or occasionally using a short synopsis of a previous story to work from. It's a 'brand' (Kid Colt, Two Gun Kid, Rawhide Kid), so Jack accepts Stan's minor involvement and signing his name as 'writer'.

 

Al Hartley is doing Patsy Walker and Patsy & Hedy (and soon the Linda Carter book) on his own, basically writing and drawing it... even though Stan signs his name as writer.

AL HARTLEY (Alter Ego #61) - Stan Lee didn’t come up with most of the ideas. He really gave me free rein. Actually, I’d just go ahead and write and draw the stories and then send them in. Stan Goldberg was on a different level because he was really an artist and not a writer. That’s why their working arrangement was different from mine. I didn’t have to have plot approval. It was really remarkable because, normally, an editor goes over the --script before sending it to an artist. Stan gave me total freedom and always accepted my work. Stan and I were on the same wave length.

 

Stan Goldberg is doing Millie the Model, Life with Millie, and Kathy on his own, basically writing and drawing it... even though Stan signs his name as writer.

STAN GOLDBERG: Jack would sit there at lunch, and tell us these great ideas about what he was going to do next. It was like the ideas were bursting from every pore of his body. It was very interesting because he was a fountain of ideas. Stan would drive me home and we’d plot our stories in the car. I’d say to Stan, “How’s this? Millie loses her job.” He’d say, “Great! Give me 25 pages.” And that took him off the hook. 

One time I was in Stan’s office and I told him, “I don’t have another plot.” Stan got out of his chair and walked over to me, looked me in the face, and said very seriously, “I don’t ever want to hear you say you can’t think of another plot.” Then he walked back and sat down in his chair. He didn’t think he needed to tell me anything more.

 

Dick Giordano and Vince Colletta had been putting together Love Romances and Teen-Age Romances, until Giordano left, and now Stan will put Kirby on the book to help out. Stan doesn't bother trying to take credit as writer because there's no possibility of them becoming a 'brand name'.

 

Jack does the monster books on his own. That's been the arrangement form the start and Stan is hesitant to approach Jack about it, as he knows Kirby can be temperamental. Reportedly, at the time, Kirby was preparing story ideas for a Human Torch series and some Sub-Mariner and Captain America presentations. Is THIS the reason Marvel finally decides to do a team book?

At this point Stan feels he MUST find a way to reel Kirby in and be able to 'work' with him to get credit (and thus PAY) for the 'writing'. If he can get approval for Kirby to do superheroes again, he can agree to it under the guise that he himself, MUST be involved because they're officially Marvel characters. He can dress it up as 'if the sales go up, you'll be rewarded for it'...

 

Edited by Prince Namor
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ON NEWSSTANDS MARCH 1961

But Kirby jumps the gun...

In Amazing Adventures #1, released in March, the final story in the book is about a character named Dr. Droom (later rechristened 'Dr. Druid'), who would essentially be Marvel's first non-costumed super hero of the Silver Age. Ditko inked the story, thus there is no 'Kirby' signature - remember, Kirby didn't sign ANY of his work - Ayers did it when they worked together...

There's a bit of similarity in what Ditko would use in creating Doctor Strange...

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Edited by Prince Namor
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ON NEWSSTANDS MARCH 1961

For the START of Amazing Adventures #1, Kirby writes and pencils the 2 part 13 page lead story as well as the cover (both inked by D. Ayers). Is Kirby purposely hiding Dr. Droom and keeping him off the cover in the hopes that it will be noticed by readers but UNnoticed by Goodman?

Part ONE:

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ON NEWSSTANDS MARCH 1961

Rawhide Kid #22, Kirby writes and pencils the 4 part 19 page lead story as well as the cover (both inked by D. Ayers). The story is signed 'Stan Lee', but I suspect his involvement was to show Kirby whatever synopsis he gave Ditko for the 2-part 'When the Totem Walks' from Strange Tales #74 and #75 (which was written by someone else), and Jack made it into what we see here.

To refresh your memory, you can read those stories here:

https://boards.cgccomics.com/topic/511971-stan-jack-and-steve-the-1950s-1959-the-uphill-climb/page/10/#comments

and here:

https://boards.cgccomics.com/topic/513663-stan-jack-and-steve-the-1960s-1960-showing-signs-of-life/

Part ONE:

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ON NEWSSTANDS MARCH 1961

In Tales to Astonish #20, Kirby writes and pencils the 4 part 18 page lead story (inked by D. Ayers). Kirby also does the cover and it is suspected that he inked it as well. 

It's interesting here to see Kirby's 'writer' in the story as the 'idea man' bringing fully done stories to is 'faceless' editor...

Part ONE:

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ON NEWSSTANDS MARCH 1961

In Tales to Astonish #20, Kirby writes and pencils the 4 part 18 page lead story (inked by D. Ayers). Kirby also does the cover and it is suspected that he inked it as well. 

His Editor simply says, "Good... Great!! Terrific!!" and the writer says he can do a sequel... something Jack has actually begun doing with the monster stories!

Part TWO:

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