Marvel Comics Super Special
Marvel Comics Super Special was a 41-issue series of one-shot comic-magazines published by Marvel Comics from 1977 to 1986. They were cover-priced $1.50 to $2.50, while regular color comics were priced 30 cents to 60 cents, Beginning with issue #5, the series' title in its postal indicia was shortened to Marvel Super Special. Covers featured the title or a variation, including Marvel Super Special, Marvel Super Special Magazine, and Marvel Weirdworld Super Special in small type, accompanied by large logos of its respective features.
|Marvel Super Special|
|Publication date||September 1977 – November 1986|
|No. of issues||40 (#1-6 and #8-41)|
These primarily included film and TV series adaptations, but also original and licensed Marvel characters, and music-related biographies and fictional adventures.
Issue #7 was withdrawn after completion, and never published. Issue #8 was published in two editorially identical editions, one magazine-sized, one tabloid-sized.
The premiere issue, dated simply 1977, featured the rock band Kiss in a 40-page fictional adventure written by Steve Gerber, penciled by John Romita Jr., Alan Weiss, John Buscema, Rich Buckler, and Sal Buscema, which saw the quartet battling Marvel supervillains Mephisto and Doctor Doom. The members of the band had samples of their blood mixed into the ink used to print the first issue. Kiss reappeared in an occult adventure in issue #5 (1978). With that issue, the series' title in its postal indicia was shortened to Marvel Super Special.
Marvel's licensed pulp fiction character, Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, which was concurrently appearing in a long-running color comic book, starred in issues #2 (1977) and #9 (1978), with adaptations of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer published as issues #21 (1982) and #35 (Dec. 1984), respectively. An adaptation of the movie starring Marvel's original spin-off character, Red Sonja, appeared as issue #38 (1985). The other Marvel properties to be featured were the character Star-Lord in #10 (Winter 1979), the feature Weirdworld in #11-13 (Spring - Fall 1979), and Howard the Duck in #41 (Nov. 1986), the final issue.
Issue #3 featured an adaptation of Close Encounters of the Third Kind by writer Archie Goodwin and artists Walt Simonson and Klaus Janson. Simonson described working on the adaptation as "the worst experience of my comics career" due to the lack of visual reference and the inability of Marvel to obtain the likeness rights to the lead actors in the film. Except for a biography of The Beatles in issue #4 (1978), the remainder adapted fantasy, science fiction, and adventure films of the day, including Blade Runner, Dragonslayer, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, and two Star Wars, two Indiana Jones, and two James Bond movies, and such other films as Jaws 2 and the children's musical comedy The Muppets Take Manhattan.
The sole TV series adaptation was of Battlestar Galactica in issue #8 (1978), which was published in two editorially identical editions, one magazine-sized, one tabloid-sized. This special was partially redrawn and expanded into three issues when Battlestar Galactica became a monthly comic book series. The adaptations of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (issue #15) and Blade Runner (issue #22) were also reprinted in standard comic book format.
Each issue included text features and other additional material.
Marvel Super Special #7, an adaptation of the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by writer David Anthony Kraft and artists George Pérez and Jim Mooney was promoted on the "Bullpen Bulletins" page in Marvel Comics cover-dated January 1979. It was never published in the U.S. "because the book was late and the movie proved to be a commercial failure," according to a contemporaneous news account, which added, without substantiation, that, "Reportedly, Marvel's adaptation was published in Japan". A French translation was published by Arédit-Artima under two covers, one for the French market and one for the French-speaking Canadian market. A Dutch version with yet another different cover was published.
Penciler George Pérez, recalled that Marvel had
...nearly zero cooperation from the Robert Stigwood company [which produced the film] and we didn't realize that the [movie] script was still in so much flux that things we were putting in the comic were not going to appear in the movie and things we didn't know about were going to be added to the movie. The plot was so convoluted and cheesy — even on the printed page — and after a while we realized it was not really going anywhere. They said they were going to have all these superstars appear at the end of the film and, of course, in the end they couldn't get them — not that we could have used them anyway, because we didn't have the licenses to use their likenesses. Also, I was paired with a very incompatible inker because the book was running so late. I was doing a terrible job on it, Jim Mooney was a terrible fit for me — though he did the best he could — [and] it was just one disaster after another. It was one of the nadirs of my career. I was so grateful that the book never got an American release. I've yet to see a copy of Sgt. Pepper.
|1||1977||Kiss||Original story by Steve Gerber, Alan Weiss, John Buscema, Rich Buckler, Sal Buscema, and Al Milgrom. 900,000 print run; sales of "roughly half a million."|
|2||1977||Savage Sword of Conan||Adaptation by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Alfredo Alcala of Robert E. Howard's Black Vulmea's Vengeance.|
|3||1978||Close Encounters of the Third Kind||Adaptation by Archie Goodwin, Walt Simonson, and Klaus Janson of the Columbia Pictures film directed by Steven Spielberg.|
|4||1978||The Beatles Story||Original story by David Anthony Kraft, George Pérez, and Klaus Janson.|
|5||1978||Kiss||Original story by Alan Weiss, Ralph Macchio, John Romita Jr., and Tony DeZuniga.|
|6||1978||Jaws 2||Adaptation by Rick Marschall, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer of the Universal Studios film directed by Jeannot Szwarc.|
|7||unpublished||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||Adaptation by David Anthony Kraft, George Pérez, and Jim Mooney of the Universal Studios film directed by Michael Schultz.|
|8||1978||Battlestar Galactica||Adaptation by Roger McKenzie and Ernie Colón of the pilot episode of the ABC television series created by Glen A. Larson.|
|9||1978||Savage Sword of Conan||Adaptation by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Tony DeZuniga of Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp's "The Blood-Stained God"|
|10||Winter 1979||Star-Lord||Original story by Doug Moench, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer|
|11||Spring 1979||Weirdworld: "Warriors of the Shadow Realm"||Original story by Doug Moench, John Buscema, and Rudy Nebres.|
|12||Summer 1979||Weirdworld: "Warriors of the Shadow Realm"||Original story by Doug Moench, John Buscema, and Rudy Nebres.|
|13||Fall 1979||Weirdworld: "Warriors of the Shadow Realm"||Original story by Doug Moench, John Buscema, and Rudy Nebres.|
|14||1979||Meteor||Adaptation by Ralph Macchio, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer of the American International Pictures film directed by Ronald Neame.|
|15||December 1979||Star Trek: The Motion Picture||Adaptation by Marv Wolfman, Dave Cockrum, and Klaus Janson of the Paramount Pictures film directed by Robert Wise.|
|16||Spring 1980||The Empire Strikes Back||Originally published in Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Adaptation by Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, and Carlos Garzon of the Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox film directed by Irvin Kershner. Reprinted in Star Wars issues #39–44.|
|17||Summer 1980||Xanadu||Adaptation by J. M. DeMatteis, Rich Buckler, Jimmy Janes, Michael Netzer, Brent Anderson, Joe Brozowski, Al Milgrom, and Bill Sienkiewicz of the Universal Studios film directed by Robert Greenwald.|
|18||1981||Raiders of the Lost Ark||Adaptation by Walt Simonson, John Buscema, and Klaus Janson of the Lucasfilm/Paramount Pictures film directed by Steven Spielberg.|
|19||1981||For Your Eyes Only||Adaptation by Larry Hama, Howard Chaykin, and Vince Colletta of the Eon Productions/United Artists film directed by John Glen.|
|20||1981||Dragonslayer||Adaptation by Dennis O'Neil, Marie Severin, and John Tartaglione of the Paramount Pictures/Walt Disney Productions film directed by Matthew Robbins.|
|21||1982||Conan the Barbarian||Adaptation by Michael Fleisher and John Buscema of the Dino De Laurentiis Corporation/Universal Studios/20th Century Fox film directed by John Milius.|
|22||September 1982||Blade Runner||Adaptation by Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, Carlos Garzon, Dan Green, and Ralph Reese of the Warner Bros. film directed by Ridley Scott.|
|23||Summer 1982||Annie||Adaptation by Tom DeFalco, Win Mortimer, and Vince Colletta of the Columbia Pictures film directed by John Huston.|
|24||February 1983||The Dark Crystal||Adaptation by David Anthony Kraft, Bret Blevins, Vince Colletta, Rick Bryant, and Richard Howell of the ITC Entertainment/Henson Associates/Universal Studios film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.|
|25||1983||Rock & Rule||Adaptation by Bill Mantlo of the Nelvana Limited/CFDC/Famous Players/Canada Trust/MGM film directed by Clive A. Smith.|
|26||1983||Octopussy||Adaptation by Steve Moore and Paul Neary of the Eon Productions/MGM/UA Entertainment Company film directed by John Glen.|
|27||1983||Return of the Jedi||Adaptation by Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, Carlos Garzon, Tom Palmer, and Ron Frenz of the Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox film directed by Richard Marquand. Later re-printed as a four–issue limited series.|
|28||1983||Krull||Adaptation by David Michelinie, Bret Blevins, and Vince Colletta of the Columbia Pictures film directed by Peter Yates.|
|29||1983||Tarzan of the Apes||Adaptation by Sharman DiVono, Mark Evanier, and Dan Spiegle of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes.|
|30||1984||Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom||Adaptation by David Michelinie, Jackson Guice, Ian Akin, Brian Garvey, and Bob Camp of the Lucasfilm/Paramount Pictures film directed by Steven Spielberg.|
|31||1984||The Last Starfighter||Adaptation by Bill Mantlo, Bret Blevins, and Tony Salmons of the Lorimar Productions/Universal Studios film directed by Nick Castle.|
|32||1984||The Muppets Take Manhattan||Adaptation by Stan Kay, Dean Yeagle, and Jacqueline Roettcher of the Henson Associates/TriStar Pictures film directed by Frank Oz.|
|33||1984||The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension||Adaptation by Bill Mantlo, Mark Texeira, and Armando Gil of the Sherwood Productions/20th Century Fox film directed by W. D. Richter.|
|34||1984||Sheena||Adaptation by Cary Burkett and Gray Morrow of the Columbia Pictures film directed by John Guillermin.|
|35||December 1984||Conan the Destroyer||Adaptation by Michael Fleisher and John Buscema of the Dino De Laurentiis Corporation/Universal Studios film directed by Richard Fleischer.|
|36||1984||Dune||Adaptation by Ralph Macchio and Bill Sienkiewicz of the Dino De Laurentiis Corporation/Universal Studios film directed by David Lynch.|
|37||1984||2010: The Year We Make Contact||Adaptation by J. M. DeMatteis, Joe Barney, Larry Hama, and Tom Palmer of the MGM film directed by Peter Hyams.|
|38||1985||Red Sonja||Adaptation by Louise Simonson, Mary Wilshire, and Vince Colletta of the Dino De Laurentiis Company/MGM/UA Entertainment Company film directed by Richard Fleischer.|
|39||1985||Santa Claus: The Movie||Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Frank Springer of the TriStar Pictures film directed by Jeannot Szwarc.|
|40||October 1986||Labyrinth||Adaptation by Sid Jacobson, John Buscema, and Romeo Tanghal of the Henson Associates/Lucasfilm/TriStar Pictures film directed by Jim Henson.|
|41||November 1986||Howard the Duck||Adaptation by Danny Fingeroth and Kyle Baker of the Lucasfilm/Universal Studios film directed by Willard Huyck.|
- Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 180. ISBN 978-0756641238.
Marvel Super Special #1 featured the rock band Kiss as super heroes battling Mephisto and Doctor Doom, aided by the Avengers, the Defenders, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David (June 16, 2011). "Blood Money". Snopes.com. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Lamar, Cyriaque (December 11, 2010). "KISS vs. Doctor Doom is the best and/or worst comic you'll read today". io9. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
The band poured vials of their own blood into the comic's red ink.
- Marvel Comics Super Special at the Grand Comics Database
- Catron, Michael (July 1981). "Marvel to Adapt Four More Films". Amazing Heroes. Stamford, Connecticut: Fantagraphics Books (2): 20–21.
- Friedt, Stephan (July 2016). "Marvel at the Movies: The House of Ideas' Hollywood Adaptations of the 1970s and 1980s". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (89): 59–73.
- DeFalco, Tom "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 228: "This issue adapted the story line of Howard the Duck, the first major motion picture based on a Marvel character."
- Nolen-Weathington, Eric; Ash, Roger (2006). Modern Masters, Volume 8: Walter Simonson. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1893905641.
- Edwards, Ted (1999). "Adventures in the Comics". The Unauthorized Star Wars Compendium. New York, New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 82. ISBN 9780316329293.
In 1980 The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters and Marvel published their adaptation of the movie in a few different formats. The earliest version appeared in a paperback-size book followed by the magazine-size Marvel Super Special #16, and then in regular comic book form in six parts.
- Edwards, p. 87: "The adaptation of Return of the Jedi was published in Marvel Super Special #27 and in a separate miniseries, once again penciled by Al Williamson and inked by Carlos Garzon."
- Star Trek at the Grand Comics Database
- Blade Runner at the Grand Comics Database
- "The Sgt. Pepper Snafu". The Comics Journal. Stamford, Connecticut: Fantagraphics Books (44): 12. January 1979.
- "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (in French). Comicsvf.com. n.d.
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at the Grand Comics Database
- Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2003). Modern Masters Volume 2: George Pérez. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-1893905252.
- Pérez in Nolen-Weathington, p. 30
- "Kiss Scores, Beatles Bomb," The Comics Journal #45 (March 1979), p. 15.
- Friedt, Stephan (December 2015). "Santa Claus: The Movie". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (85): 62–64.