Sunday, 28 August 2016

Legion of Monsters #1 (Marvel Magazine/1975)

Marvel attempted to break into the black & white adult orientated market in the early seventies with a number of magazines mostly based on characters from their mainstream comics line. None of the titles lasted for more than a couple of years despite the high standard of art & writing on the most part. By 1975 the Marvel horror line had disappeared.

This left the publishers with a large inventory with nowhere to publish. As a result Legion of Monsters was "born". This magazine was designed to feature all their horror characters and Marvel hoped one title would succeed where five had failed. Sadly this was not to be since only the one issue was ever published and the advertised second edition never made it to press.

The Legion of Monsters kicks off with a very passable tale of The Frankenstein Monster who gets accused of murder after following a Princess to a fancy dress ball where he appears not to be out of place. As one might expect all does not turn out well.

The second story introduces readers to the Manphibian another "silent" character from outer space seeking vengeance on one of his people who murdered to woman he loved. A passable tale and Manphibian does get reused in the unrelated Legion of Monsters tales that kicked of in Marvel premier further down the line.

The remaining stories are continuations of two Dracula stories which might have put new readers off not having read the earlier parts.

There is however one short self contained story that I am sure has been reprinted elsewhere, The Flies. A shocking tale of a freak who looks after flies and gets bullied. Kids do not give people ideas about ripping wings of flies..honestly you wouldn't have seen that coming...

A publishing flop mores the pity as these magazines were overall quite good. Marvel just swamped the market with these comparatively  expensive comics which sold not quite enough to keep them going. The one unfortunate side effect of their line was to put rival publishers Skywald out of business. Only Warren kept the flag flying for "adult horror".

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