Marvel Premiere is an American comic book anthology series that was published by Marvel Comics. In concept it was a tryout book, intended to determine if a character or concept could attract enough readers to justify launching their own series, though in its later years it was also often used as a dumping ground for stories which could not be published elsewhere. It ran for 61 issues from April 1972 to August 1981. Contrary to the title, the majority of the characters and concepts featured in Marvel Premiere had previously appeared in other comics.
|Publication date||April 1972–August 1981|
|No. of issues||61|
Marvel Premiere was one of three tryout books proposed by Stan Lee after he transitioned from being Marvel Comics' writer and editor to its president and publisher, the others being Marvel Spotlight and Marvel Feature. The advantage of such tryout books was that they allowed the publisher to assess a feature's popularity without the marketing investment required to launch a new series, and without the blow to the publisher's image with readers if the new series immediately failed.
In addition to giving established characters a first shot at a starring role, Marvel Premiere introduced new characters and reintroduced characters who no longer had their own titles. Writer Roy Thomas and penciler Gil Kane revamped Him as the allegorical Messiah Adam Warlock in Marvel Premiere #1 (April 1972). Doctor Strange took over the series with issue #3 and writer Steve Englehart and artist Frank Brunner began a run on the character with issue #9. The two killed Dr. Strange's mentor, the Ancient One, and Strange became the new Sorcerer Supreme. Englehart and Brunner created a multi-issue storyline in which a sorcerer named Sise-Neg ("Genesis" spelled backward) goes back through history, collecting all magical energies, until he reaches the beginning of the universe, becomes all-powerful and creates it anew, leaving Strange to wonder whether this was, paradoxically, the original creation. Stan Lee, seeing the issue after publication, ordered Englehart and Brunner to print a retraction saying this was not God but "a" god, so as to avoid offending religious readers. The writer and artist concocted a fake letter from a fictitious minister praising the story, and mailed it to Marvel from Texas; Marvel unwittingly printed the letter, and dropped the retraction order. In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Englehart and Brunner's run on the "Doctor Strange" feature ninth on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels".
Iron Fist first appeared in issue #15, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Gil Kane. Other introductions include the Legion of Monsters, the Liberty Legion, Woodgod, the 3-D Man, and the second Ant-Man (Scott Lang). The series also featured the first comic book appearance of rock musician Alice Cooper.
Though Adam Warlock, Doctor Strange, and Iron Fist were all given their own series following their tryout in Marvel Premiere, many of the later features were never meant even as potential candidates for a series. In some cases, such as the Wonder Man story in issue #55 and the Star-Lord story in #61, the writer simply wanted to do a story featuring that character and there was not a more appropriate place for it to be published. Some features, such as Seeker 3000 (issue #41), were conceived specifically for Marvel Premiere but with no real plan for a series. Later in the title's run, Marvel Premiere was used to finish stories of characters who had lost their own series including the Man-Wolf in issues #45–46 and the Black Panther in issues #51–53.
- #1–2 - Adam Warlock (moved to his own series)
- #3–14 - Doctor Strange (moved to his own second series)
- #15–25 - Iron Fist (moved to his own series)
- #26 - Hercules
- #27 - Satana
- #28 - Legion of Monsters
- #29–30 - Liberty Legion
- #31 - Woodgod
- #32 - Monark Starstalker
- #33–34 - Solomon Kane
- #35–37 - 3-D Man
- #38 - Weirdworld
- #39–40 - Torpedo
- #41 - Seeker 3000
- #42 - Tigra
- #43 - Paladin
- #44 - Jack of Hearts
- #45–46 - Man-Wolf
- #47–48 - Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
- #49 - The Falcon
- #50 - Alice Cooper
- #51–53 - Black Panther
- #54 - Caleb Hammer
- #55 - Wonder Man
- #56 - Dominic Fortune
- #57–60 - Doctor Who (reprints from Marvel UK's Doctor Who Weekly)
- #61 - Star-Lord
- Marvel Masterworks Warlock Vol. 1 includes Marvel Premiere #1–2, 288 pages, February 2007, ISBN 978-0785124115
- Essential Doctor Strange Vol. 2 includes Marvel Premiere #3–14, 608 pages, December 2007, ISBN 978-0785116684
- Essential Iron Fist Vol. 1 includes Marvel Premiere #15–25, 584 pages, October 2004, ISBN 978-0785115465
- Essential Marvel Horror Vol 1 includes Marvel Premiere #27, 648 pages, October 2006, ISBN 978-0785121961
- Essential Werewolf by Night Vol. 2 includes Marvel Premiere #28, 576 pages, November 2007, ISBN 978-0785127253
- Invaders Classic Vol. 1 includes Marvel Premiere #29–30, 248 pages, July 2007, ISBN 978-0785127062
- The Chronicles Of Solomon Kane includes Marvel Premiere #33–34, 200 pages, December 2009, ISBN 978-1595824103
- Weirdworld includes Marvel Premiere #38, 312 pages, April 2015, ISBN 978-0785162889
- Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now includes Marvel Premiere #56, 184 pages, February 2010, ISBN 978-0785140429
- Star-Lord: Guardian of the Galaxy includes Marvel Premiere #61, 424 pages, July 2014, ISBN 978-0785154495
Marvel Movie PremiereEdit
The similarly-named Marvel Movie Premiere was a one-shot black-and-white magazine published by Marvel in September 1975. It featured an adaptation of The Land That Time Forgot by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Sonny Trinidad.
- Marvel Premiere at the Grand Comics Database
- Buttery, Jarrod (April 2014). "Ready for the Spotlight". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (71): 6.
- Cassell, Dewey (April 2014). "Marvel Feature". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (71): 14.
- Brennaman, Chris (April 2014). "Marvel Premiere". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (71): 19–32.
- Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 155. ISBN 978-0756641238.
Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane allowed 'Him' to meet another [Stan] Lee-[Jack] Kirby character, the godlike High Evolutionary.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 156: "Dr. Strange began a new series of solo adventures. He got off to an impressive start with this story scripted by Stan Lee and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith."
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 160
- Cronin, Brian (December 22, 2005). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #30". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
We cooked up this plot-we wrote a letter from a Reverend Billingsley in Texas, a fictional person, saying that one of the children in his parish brought him the comic book, and he was astounded and thrilled by it, and he said, "Wow, this is the best comic book I've ever read." And we signed it "Reverend so-and-so, Austin Texas"-and when Steve was in Texas, he mailed the letter so it had the proper postmark. Then, we got a phone call from Roy, and he said, "Hey, about that retraction, I'm going to send you a letter, and instead of the retraction, I want you to print this letter." And it was our letter! We printed our letter!
- Sacks, Jason (September 6, 2010). "Top 10 1970s Marvels". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 165: "Marvel combined the superhero and martial arts genres when writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane created Iron Fist in Marvel Premiere #15."
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 175: "Invaders writer/editor Roy Thomas decided to create another team of Golden Age superheroes."
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 179: "In Roy Thomas' story set in the 1950s, test pilot Chuck Chandler...was somehow imprinted on his brother Hal's glasses."
- Rivera, Joshua (July 17, 2015). "Ant-Man is such a complicated comic-book character, it's a miracle they made a pretty good movie about him". Business Insider. Archived from the original on August 16, 2015.
- Michelinie, David (w), Byrne, John (p), Layton, Bob (i). "To Steal An Ant-Man!" Marvel Premiere 47 (April 1979)
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 191: "Writers Jim Salicrup, Roger Stern, and Ed Hannigan and artists Tom Sutton and Terry Austin collaborated with musician Alice Cooper on Marvel Premiere #50."
- Kraft, David Anthony (w), Pérez, George (p), Giacoia, Frank (i). Marvel Premiere 45 (December 1978)
- Kraft, David Anthony (w), Pérez, George (p), Villamonte, Ricardo (i). "Stargod!" Marvel Premiere 46 (February 1979)
- 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): 59–60.
- Marvel Premiere at the Comic Book DB