Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marvel Treasury Edition #1: A Super Giant-Sized Smorgasbord of Spider-Man Delight

In 1974 Marvel introduced us to something a heck of lot larger than good old Giant-Size comics: Marvel Treasury Sized Editions. 10” x 13” suckers that were so big, they fell over on the newsstand.  And while they mostly contained reprints, Marvel put in a few special features in the early editions.

Marvel Treasury Edition 1 classic cover by John Romita Sr, 1974

100 Pages of Spider-Man were wrapped around a John Romita (Sr) cover featuring the web-slinger in a classic pose.  I say thee nay—classic is too weak a word. It’s archetypal!  How could a kid not want to buy this comic if they were a Spidey fan?  If I were Disney, I’d take this image and slap it on mugs, T-shirts, and all kinds of merchandise.

Marvel Treasury 1, Spectacular Spider-Man by John Romita

Here is the original art to this Treasury cover. I just looked this up on Heritage Auctions, it sold for $44,812.50! Wow!

Marvel Treasury Edition 1 intro by Stan Lee

The inside front cover featured an editorial by Stan the Man—can you dig his mad mod haircut and full beard?  Crazy, man.

Marvel Treasury Edition 1 Daily Bugle page 1

There was also a double page mockup of the Daily Bugle, with Marie Severin providing the “photographs”.

Marvel Treasury Edition 1 Daily Bugle page 2

The second page of the Bugle shows the Bullpen hard at work and also announces Ross Andru joining Gerry Conway on Amazing.

Marvel Treasury Edition 1 table contents page, classic villains

The table of contents page featured a gallery of headshots by Romita, comprised of Spider-Man’s friends and foes.

Marvel Treasury Edition 1 back cover by Romita Sr

The back cover was another Romita headshot, accompanied by the possibly the most famous quote from any comic book.

I was thrilled to get this in 1974, and I still get one when I pull out my beat up copy.  The Treasury Editions that followed in the first year were pretty good as well—most notably the Fantastic Four (with the Galactus Trilogy) and Conan (with Barry Smith’s Red Nails) editions.  Nuff said!

Update: Comment from my old blog...


Nice post. Like yourself, many Bronze Age bloggers recall these treasury issues with great affection. I'm an oddball on that front, I guess, as it took me the longest time to warm up to this format. The treasuries couldn't be stored with my other comics and they were just too big for my then-little hands. It's only in recent years that I've finally started to add them to my collection. Of course, today, they fill my warm fuzzy like most other Bronze Age books do!


  1. This Treasury Edition #1 was my introduction to Spider-Man and the beginning of a life-long appreciation for both the character and comics in general. I don't know where my original copy ended up but I know it wasn't in great shape the last time I laid eyes on it. Now I'm watching an online auction for two copies of it that ends in a couple days. With any luck this will soon be back in my collection so I can kick back and enjoy it all over again.

  2. I vividly recall the first glimpsing this on the racks in a gift shop in 1974, only one copy. I literally RAN for miles back home to beg for a dollar from my Mom to run back and purchase.

    It's great when parents SEE your exploding excitement over something and open their wallet/purse on the spot.

    I've seen a few later treasuries, but for all the cool extras (inside the covers, etc..), not to mention the awesomeness of the front AND back cover..? This one was the best, never to be outdone.

    It's truely beautiful..

  3. Before my brother brought this home when I was 7, I was building quite the collection of Richie Rich comics. Once I saw this, held it, and read it, I was a convert. That weekend I sold all my Richie Rich comics and began exploration of the Marvel Universe. This first one did always seem the best, but I always loved the first Hulk and Thor treasuries just as much.

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