Marvel Value Stamps 89 – 100
We did it, friends! We’ve made it to the last page of my Marvel Value Stamp Book!
It has been a house of horrors, to be sure, but it has also been a bit cathartic, confronting the sins of my comics collecting past, one grim page at a time.
I’ll also admit that it’s been a little … fun? Nostalgic, at least. Sure, I lament the damage done to my old Marvels, and even if I never would have sold any of them, the “replacement cost” I’ve incurred still rankles.
But this survey has also taken me back to the Summer of 1974, and that kind of remembrance is really what Longbox Graveyard is all about.
there’s some karma … my very own social media icon turns up on the last page!
I was new to comics in 1974, and my first exposure to many Marvel characters came through those Value Stamps. On that level, at least, the scheme was a marketing success. I might never have known about Byrrah, or Puppet Master, or even (yes!) the Mole Man if not for finding these portraits on the letters pages of the books I read and re-read that lazy summer. Along with those pithy little marketing messages typed in the footer of most pages (“You’ll gasp at THE ASP!”), Marvel Value Stamps helped alert me to the warp and woof of a larger Marvel Universe … an imaginative tapestry that obsesses me to this day.
So, yeah, Marvel Value Stamps cost me some money, but they also helped cement me into a lifetime hobby. I guess we can call it even.
- #89 Hammerhead: Captain America #178 – $9
- #90 Hercules: Marvel Team-Up #24 – $8
- #93 Silver Surfer: Marvel Two-In-One #25 – $5
- #95 Mole Man: Amazing Spider-Man #136 – $51 (1st app of Harry in Goblin costume)
- #96 Dr. Octopus: Avengers #130 – $19
- #99 Sandman: Amazing Spider-Man #137 – $37
- #100 Galactus: Sub-Mariner #72 – $9
That brings the grand total for replacing my defaced Marvels to … $3274. To be honest, that’s less than I thought it would be. Sometimes looking at facts rather than emotions can put your fears to rest.
Something I haven’t touched on much, though, is the violence Marvel Value Stamps did to the comics collecting hobby as a whole. Even when these books were new on the stands, I remember coming home one day and opening a brand-new issue to see some jackass had ripped the stamp out of my book and put it back on the rack, without even paying. And raise your hand if you’ve ever sourced a Marvel comic through eBay only to find a chunk of the letters page removed! It’s been decades, and we are still dealing with the fallout!
It just goes to show, as much as I’ve exorcised my Marvel Value Stamp demons with this month-long blog series … these are a dark gift that will keep on giving. You never know where the Curse of the Marvel Value Stamp will … pop up … next!
TOMORROW: Tournament of Terror Winner Announced!