Friday, July 28, 2006

More Newtons: The Avengers

The Avengers were one of the first titles in the Newton range, along with The Amazing Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Conan, the Hulk, Dracula and Planet Of The Apes. At the same time titles such as Iron Man and Thor were announced, but didn't appear until well down the track.

The Avengers ran for fifteen issues and spawned one Annual that I know of. Luckily it's one title that I have all the issues (and annual) for this index will be as complete as possible.

THE AVENGERS #1
Published June 1975

Contents:

The Coming Of The Avengers by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #1)
The Origin Of Dr. Strange by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Strange Tales #115)
Dr. Strange: Master of Black Magic by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Strange Tales #110)

Technically this should be considered as part of the second wave of Newton Comics, but as it was advertised and planned to be launched with the debut titles, it can be looked upon as being part of the first wave. Unusually the back-up stories were vintage Lee/Ditko Dr Strange but that appears to fit in with the Newton policy of printing whatever came to hand.

The poster in this issue was of the Thing.

THE AVENGERS #2
Published July 1975

Contents:

Battle The Space Phantom by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman (The Avengers #2 )
Now Walks The Android by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko & George Bell (Tales To Astonish #61)

The poster in this issue was of Conan.

THE AVENGERS #3
Published July 1975

Contents:

Captain America Joins The Avengers by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & George Roussos (The Avengers #4)
The Crimson Dynamo by R. Berns & Don Heck (Tales Of Suspense #43)

Issue #3 (USA) was skipped in favour of this issue. Issue #3 eventually did see print, but not until later in the series. Of note is the cover colours being askew or missing altogether. This would become common with this series.

Fittingly the poster was a Captain America image by Jim Steranko.

THE AVENGERS #4
Published August 1975

Contents:

Invasion Of The Lava Men by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman (The Avengers #5)
Trapped by the Red Barbarian by Robert Berns & Don Heck (Tales Of Suspense #42)

This issue kept the new continiuty in place, reprinting as it does the next issue in the (USA) series. At this point the title was bi-monthly.

I have no details on the poster at this stage.

THE AVENGERS #5.
Published August 1975.

Contents:

The Mighty Avengers Meet The Masters Of Evil by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Chic Stone (The Avengers #6)

The Black Knight by Stan Lee & Don Heck (Tales Of Suspense #59)

Issues one to four of The Avengers (Newton) re-printed issues one, two, four and five of the The Avengers (USA) respectively. Thus issue 3 was overlooked and not reprinted until issue #6 (Newton) which threw the title off completely from the start.

The poster was of Dracula.

THE AVENGERS #6.
Published September 1975.

Contents:

The Avengers Meet Sub-Mariner by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman (The Avengers #3)

This is the most common Newton, in my opinion anyway. It turns up everywhere - I once bought a lot of Aussie comics and found 10 copies of this issue. However, like all Newtons, copies with both the poster and swap card intact are a premium.

The poster was of Spider-Man & The Human Torch, the Swap Card was numbered Series A, #5 - Amazing Spider-Man.

THE AVENGERS #7.
Published September 1975.

Contents:

Their Darkest Hour by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Chic Stone (The Avengers #7)

Hawkeye The Marksman by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales Of Suspense #57)

By printing issue #3 (USA) in the previous issue, Newton was thus able to get the title back on track, reprint wise. Sharp eyed collectors and historians will automatically know that the latter story has more than six pages, as is printed here, but that's due to the Newton policy of spreading stories out over multiple issues.

The poster in this issue was of The X-Men. I have no details on the Swap Card.

THE AVENGERS #8
Published October 1975.

Contents:

Kang, The Conqueror by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #8)
Hawkeye The Marksman by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales Of Suspense #57)

The Hawkeye story is a continuation of the previous issue.

The poster was of The Hulk. I have no details on the swap card.

THE AVENGERS #9
Published November 1975.

Contents:

The Coming Of The Wonder Man by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #9)
Hawkeye The Marksman by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales Of Suspense #57)

I do have a better scan of this cover, eventually I'll replace this image. The Hawkeye origin story was wrapped up with this issue.

I have no details on the poster.

THE AVENGERS #10.
Published November 1975.

Contents:

Spider-Man by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Chic Stone (The Avengers #11)
Somewhere Lurks The Phantom by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales of Suspense #63)

The cover colours for this issue were left unfinished - look for the lack of colour detail on Thor's hammer and Captain America's shorts/belt. This issue again does the Newton skip as it misses issue #10 (USA) in favour of issue #11 (USA). Presumably this was to cash in on the popularity of Spider-Man.

I have no details on the poster for this issue.

THE AVENGERS #11.
Published November 1975.

Contents:

This Hostage Earth by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #12)
Somewhere Lurks The Phantom by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales Of Suspense #63).

This issue continues the back-up story from the previous issue. Of note are the comments on the letters page. John Corneille notes that there were, at that stage in the Newton time-line, nine fortnightly titles: Spider-Man, Planet Of The Apes, The Hulk, The Avengers, Dr Strange, Fantastic Four, Conan the upcoming Captain America, plus the Silver Surfer and X-Men as monthly titles.

The poster in this issue was of Captain America.

THE AVENGERS #12.
Published December 1975.

Contents:

The Old Order Changeth by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #16)
When Titans Clash by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Mike Esposito (Tales Of Suspense #65).

Newton more than likely by-passed issues 13-15 (USA) in favour of getting the Avengers more on track with the then current USA title (Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch etc). More interesting comments on the letters page, with a complete breakdown of what was supposed to be published/printed for the next two months, with the great disclaimer, "or sooner if proofs arrive from the USA" in relation to Thor, Daredevil, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner. These comments were made as part of the 'Newton restructuring' policy. In a later post I'll discuss these comments and others in greater detail.

The poster for this issue was of Dr Strange.

THE AVENGERS #13.
Published December 1975.

Contents:

Four Against The Minotaur by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #17)
When Titans Clash by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Mike Esposito (Tales Of Suspense #65)

More sloppy colouring on the cover - Quicksilver's legs, Hawkeye's arrowhead are wrong or just not coloured. This would be the last issue of the Avengers for at least two months and should have been the last issue (Newton) altogether.

I have no details on the poster at this stage.

THE AVENGERS #14.
Published February 1976

Contents:

When The Commissar Commands by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #18)
If Fail A World Is Lost by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Mike Esposito (Tales Of Suspense #66)

Due to the self-enforced shut down in late December /75/early January '76, this title was relaunched where it left off two months after the previous issue had appeared. As such valuable momentum was lost.

I have no details on the poster for this issue as this stage.

THE AVENGERS #15
Published March 1976

Contents:

The Coming Of The Swordsman by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (The Avengers #19)
If I Fail A World Is Lost by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Mike Esposito (Tales Of Suspense #66)

This was the last issue as the title was cancelled, along with the bulk of the Newton range due to poor sales. At this point in time John Corneille estimates that around 3,000 copies per issue were being printed and distributed with returns coming back.

The poster details for this issue are very interesting. My copy appears to be unaltered, however there is no poster. What it does have is the letters page, backing onto an ad for the Newton Spider-Man short and a subscription page (that's right, even at this stage Newton were still taking money for titles that didn't exist). So I'm not sure if a poster was included. There is an iron on transfer on the back cover of Captain America though.

THE AVENGERS ANNUAL #1
Published December 1975.

Contents:

The Monstrous Master Plan Of The Mandarin by Roy Thomas, Don Heck & George Bell (Avengers Annual #1)
Suspected Of Murder by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales Of Suspense #60)
The Death Of Tony Stark by Stan Lee, Don Heck & Dick Ayers (Tales Of Suspense #64)

The only annual in the series. Unlike other annuals this issue actually mirrored the USA counterpart, for the most part. Like most of the Newton product from this time this annual is notoriously hard to locate.

The poster contained in this issue was of the Man-Thing.

Other Avengers stories appeared in: Avengers (USA) #12 in X-Men & The Avengers #1
Avengers (USA) #13 in X-Men & The Avengers #2
Avengers (USA) #14 in X-Men & The Avengers #3

COMING SOON: Newton breakdown and time-line.

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