> Golden Age Marvel Comics Masterworks Volume 1

Click panels for larger images_________________________

From Human Torch:

NYFD vs. HT!


From The Angel:

The Angel casts his hellish shadow.


From Sub-Mariner:

Namor and Dorma set their sights on lonely Cape Anna lighthouse.


From Masked Raider:

The frontier logic that only the Masked Raider can face down!


From "Jungle Terror":

Heck, let's just say millions of 'em!


From Ka-Zar:

Now this is some jungle terror!


Marvel Comics #1
October 1939 • 64 pages


The Human Torch: 16 pgs • by Carl Burgos
The Angel: 8 pgs • by Paul Gustavson
The Sub-Mariner: 12 pgs • by Bill Everett
The Masked Raider: 8 pgs • by Al Anders
"Jungle Terror": 6 pgs • by Thom Dixon
"Burning Rubber": 2 pgs, text feature • by Ray Gill, art by Gilman
Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great: 12 pgs • by Ben Thompson

Title: “The Human Torch”

First Appearance: Human Torch, Professor Horton, Harris, Sardo, Red

Villain: Sardo, Red

Innovations: Pyrometer, Scientists' Guild

Quote: “This'll be a better world without you, Mr. Torch!”

-- the Fire Chief, aiming his rifle at the Torch, page 12

Synopsis:Professor Horton has perfected an exact replica of a human being in synthetic form, but every time it is exposed to oxygen, it bursts into flame. A panel of scientists from the Scientists' Guild meets with him and recommends they destroy the Human Torch. Instead, he decides to bury him until he can find a method to keep it from bursting into flame. They encase it in concrete and eventually forget about it.

A long time later, the tube the Human Torch is stored in cracks and some oxygen seeps in. He bursts into flames and breaks out of his prison. The Torch races through the streets and firemen unsuccessfully try to put him out. He leaps into a pool in the backyard of the gangster named Sardo. He and his fellow thug Red capture the Torch by encasing him in the now empty pool under glass, without exposure to oxygen. Sardo figures he can put the Torch into play as an arsonist to knock over his enemies. Sardo fools the Torch into cooperating, and they go and burn down the steel factory of a Mr. Harris, who will not pay for Sardo's protection.

The Torch realizes he's being used, though, and when he finds out, he chases Sardo back to his home. Sardo thinks the Torch can't reach him behind his super-thick steel door, but he is able to burn right through it. Sardo tosses a canister of nitrogen at him, which is the first thing that enables the Torch to control his flame! Sardo tries to kill him with sulphuric acid, but accidentally kills himself instead.

The police arrest the Torch, but Prof. Horton takes him into his custody under court order. The Torch is upset that Horton wants to make financial gain out of him, and flies off on his own.

Title: “The Angel”

First Appearance: The Angel, Six Big Men, Lil, Dr. Lang/The Big Boss

Villain: Six Big Men: Gus Ronson, Mike Malone, John Dillon, Trigger Bolo, Steve Enkel, Dutch Hansen; Big Boss/Dr. Lang, Lil

Quote: “See this tommy-gun? It's gonna cut you to pieces...very slowly!”

-- Trigger Bolo, to the Angel, page 6

Synopsis:The Six Big Men lead a crime rampage across the city, but they are threatened by the Angel, a vigilante who stops at nothing to bring them to justice. One by one, the Six Big Men are knocked off by the Angel. Their mysterious leader, though, is Dr. Lang, who is "The Big Boss," and he sends his girl Lil out to help the Angel find ways to kill off the Six Big Men. Dr. Lang thinks that after the Angel mops up the Six Big Men, he and Lil will be able to take the full amount of loot they were all going to split up. But the Angel outsmarts them and stumbles onto their plan, arresting Lang and Lil.

Title: “The Sub-Mariner”

First Appearance: Namor, Fen, Dorma, Karal, Holy One, Rod Nelson, Carley, Anderson, Capt. Leonard McKenzie (in flashback)

Innovations: USS Oracle

Quote: “Congratulations, my son! You have made a good beginning in our war of revenge!”

-- Princess Fen, to Namor, page 6

Synopsis:A team of salvage divers is working a wreck for treasure when they are attacked by a Namor, the Sub-Mariner! He savagely attacks both men, killing them. Namor then turns his attention to the ship, destroying it in mere moments. He heads back to his home, where he is greeted by the "Holy One" who commends him on his attack against the humans. Namor brings the bodies of the two divers as tribute. His mother, Fen, congratulates him on beginning his war of revenge in such decisive fashion. Namor asks her to tell him the story of their past once again, and why their people hate the white earth men so much.

She explains that in the year 1920, a research vessel called the Oracle was doing "experiments" with explosives that killed many of their fellow citizens. Since Fen looked most like a human, she was sent to find out more about what was going on. She fell in love with Capt. Leonard McKenzie, and they sired a child- Namor. She sent back messages to the undersea army that the white men were too strong for them, but they sent an army to fight them anyway. The white men annihilated the attack force, and now, 20 years later, they are ready once again to press an attack against them, and Namor will lead the way!

Later, he takes his cousin Dorma with him to make an attack on the Cape Anna Lighthouse. Once there, they attack the guards who stand watch on the lighthouse and wreak havoc on the controls and equipment. Some navy men come on the scene, and in order to escape, Namor and Dorma commandeer a bi-plane which flies nearby, killing the pilot. Dorma wrecks the plane as Namor swims back home in the ocean.

Title: “The Masked Raider”

First Appearance: Jim Gardley/The Masked Raider, Lightning, Cal Brunder, Slick, Bends, Rowdy

Quote: “People are going to hear alot about us from now on, Lightning!”

-- Jim Gardley, to his horse, page 4

Synopsis:Cal Brunder is the tough guy of Cactusville, and he's putting the screws on Jim Gardley to sell out to him. Gardley fights back and gets arrested on trumped up charges. He's put in the pokey, but pretends he's dying so he can fool the sheriff and sneak out. While in exile, Gardley breaks in a wild, white horse that he names Lightning, trains himself on quick-drawing and precision shooting, and dons a black mask so he can become The Masked Raider, to vow to "forever fight the lawless, bring justice to the oppressed, and help the poor." While Brunder's gang continues its lethal assault on Cactusville- killing the Bleck family- the Masked Raider rides into town and mops up the evil thugs.

Title: “Jungle Terror”

First Appearance: Ken Masters, Tim Roberts, Professor John Roberts, John Crafton

Quote: “We're leaving the first thing in the morning, Tim! And we're going by air!”

-- Ken Masters, page 1

Synopsis:Ken Masters and young Tim Roberts go after Tim's father, the Professor John Roberts, who has disappeared into the jungle while searching for a rare diamond. They fly off in a single-prop plane to look for him, crossing the Caribbean Ocean, but they are followed all the way by evil land baron John Crafton, who wants to get the diamond for himself. Ken and Tim are apprehended by natives when they land. So are Crafton and his men, but they try and fight back, but the natives kill one of Crafton's men named Mike and they are also taken hostage. While imprisoned, Ken and Tim are reunited with Professor Roberts, who is also being held captive. They escape into a hole that leads down into a diamond mine! Crafton has followed them down there, and he threatens them with a pistol to steal the diamonds for him. Crafton is shot down by poisoned arrows from the natives, and Ken holds them off with his gun while his friends escape. They make their way back to the plane, and the three good guys fly off into the distance, with a diamond along for the ride!

Title: “Burning Rubber”

Synopsis:A short story about the auto race tracks. Bill Williams races his Blue Bird auto to victory using his ultra-risky and potentially life-threatening new gas feeder.

Title: “Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great”

First Appearance: David Rand/Ka-Zar, John & Constance Rand, Zar, N'Jaga, Sha, Trajah, Paul de Kraft

Quote: “He knew now why his father had fired at N'Jaga, and why he killed the green snake. His was the code of the jungle...Kill only when necessary.”

-- narrative, from Ka-Zar, page 6

Synopsis:The family of John Rand crash lands in the jungles of the Belgian Congo. John, his wife Constance, and his son David struggle to adapt to life in jungle isolation. No rescue parties are able to find them amidst the thick jungle coverage. Eventually, John's wife succumbs to fever. David takes quickly to living in the jungle, actively befriending the animals he lives amongst. One night, a fierce storm comes and a tree crashes on John, causing him to lose his memory. He begins to think that the jungle is indeed his home, and he gives up any attempts to leave it. Together, he and David become jungle survivors. While David taught his son to read and write, the boy also busied himself by befriending the boars, hippos, elephants and lions that dotted the landscape. Chief among them was Zar, a fierce lion who David saved from drowning in quicksand.

A week later, David and John notice smoke coming from a nearby encampment. It is a white man named Paul de Kraft, an evil man trying to steal emeralds from the African streams. He pictures David and John as threats, so he tries to drive them away. David sneaks into de Kraft's camp, and finds a mirror, which fascinates him. While he holds the mirror, he hears a gunshot. He goes to investigate, and finds that de Kraft has shot and killed his father. David starts to attack de Kraft, but the evil white man pulls a gun up to him. From out of nowhere streaks Zar, the lion, who kills Paul de Kraft. Zar and David are now best of friends, and Zar rechristens David as Ka-Zar, which means "Brother of Zar."

--synopsis by Gormuu

--panel images provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
Marvel Comics #1, Marvel Mystery Comics #2-4

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


MC #1
MMC #2MMC #3MMC #4


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