Marvel Events Part I: The Golden Age

by GregFahlgren

First chapter of a series of blogs detailing the Events and Crossovers of the Marvel Universe.

Hello there, and welcome to part one of my series detailing the history of crossover events in Marvel Comics!!!

Now, the inspiration for this is two fold: One, curiosity, as I've always wanted to find out the exact timeline for the big crossovers for myself. Secondly, it is a little hard to seek out these stories on the net, so I thought I'd help everyone out and give you all some information of what these stories were about, and why they were important to the history of comic book's largest publisher.

Through these posts, I will talk about the most important storylines that changed the Marvel Universe forever. I’m going to start us off with the Golden Age of Comics from WAY back in the 1940s, a time where the terms “crossovers” and “events” were rare, if they were at all. Well, what are we waiting for? LET’S GO TRUE BELIEVERS!!!

Namor vs The Original Human Torch

Hero vs Hero for the First Time!

This one dates back all the way to 1940, and is widely considered to be the first true crossover in the history of Marvel. The story features two of Marvel’s original heroes, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and android Jim Hammond aka The ORIGINAL Human Torch, battling it out over Manhattan. Namor in his early days was a controversial character, many of his actions could be viewed as villainous, even if there was a certain justice to his reasoning. In one such story, he threatened to sink the island of Manhattan under a tidal wave. This brought the attention of Human Torch, and the two fought each other in a fire vs water showdown. This battle took place in two separate books, Marvel Mystery’s 8 and 9. Each book told the same story, one from Namor’s point of view, the other from Hammond’s.

Though brief, this was a landmark event in the comic book industry, and makes the first time to my knowledge of hero vs hero battle, as well as crossover period. It also established the idea of shared universe between Marvel titles, eventually leading the two heroes teaming up with Captain America in World War II.

It didn’t seem like much at the time, but looking back, this two-issue story changed the direction of comic books forever.

All-Winners Squad

The First Super-Team

Marvel Comic’s first real super-team (the only team I can think of that predates them in comics are the Justice Society of America), the All-Winners Squad was a story arc that took place in 1946. The idea was to have a story featuring all the big superheroes of the time. Captain America, Namor, Human Torch, Bucky, Toro, Miss America, and Whizzer were the big names back then, so Marvel published a two part story featuring the whole group in All Winners Comics 19 and 21. Though their adventures were short lived, this team was the first of its kind for Marvel, and was the basis for later super-teams the Avengers, X-Men, and Defenders, much like the JSA was four the JLA and its contemporaries.

To Be Continued

End of an Age

The Golden Age didn’t feature many crossovers for Marvel, or any company for matter. The business at the time just didn’t along for it, companies and creators rarely working in concert with one another. However, these two events laid the groundwork for the future of the industry, the creators have no idea at the time what they were making possible. But it wasn’t until the Silver Age where Marvel really started to get that ball roll, which  is what we’ll be exploring in The Silver Age, coming soon to blog near you!

Until then, Happy Reading True Believers!

Updated: 01/02/2016, GregFahlgren
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