Topps Comic Book Heroes Sticker Sets Included The Marvel Monsters
Released by the Topps Company in 1975 and 1976, these stickers showcase just how much monsters were in the mix at the House of Ideas. Marvel Comics was in a golden era of creativity and had their own legion of monsters, grounded in the Universal Monsters archetypes but firmly planted in the Marvel Universe, alongside their own macabre creations. So it’s no surprise that when Topps released sticker sets titled Comic Book Stickers featuring characters from Marvel Comics, that monsters were in the mix.
Comic Book Heroes 1975
The 1975 set was just called “Comic Book Heroes Stickers”; it wasn’t until 1976 that the mighty Marvel brand got its name on the pack as “Marvel Super Hero Stickers”.
Marvel Super Hero Stickers – 1976
While not nearly as monster-focused as the 1975 series, the 1976 Marvel Super Heroes stickers included the addition of Blade and repeat performances by Dracula and Son of Satan. The checklist included in each pack also assembled into a large puzzle of Conan the Barbarian.
These stickers are easy to find individually, so it’s not unrealistic to set a goal of collecting a complete set. For completists, there are further variations of the stickers than shown above. Card backs can be found in both tan and white. Tan backs are believed to come from a test run. Some cards can also be found with subtle differences in the copyright info.
A quick scan of current eBay listings comes up with empty wrappers, individual stickers ranging from $3-$10 based on condition, sticker lots, a sealed sticker set for $50 and an display boxes ranging from $100 (empty) to $500 (full).
For 1970s kids, there were few combinations as powerful as Marvel Comics and Power Records. Known for their book and record combo sets, Power combined the graphic awesomeness of comic books with the imagination-stirring storytelling of narrative records.
Popular with collectors of all stripes, we’ll focus on Power’s monster records in this series, beginning with the great Werewolf by Night in Curse of the Werewolf!
Listen to the full record here:
Produced by Herb Davidson and Charlotte Saunders and written by Roy and Jean Thomas and Gerry Conway, with interior art by Mike Ploog and cover art by Neal Adams and Tom Palmer. Most of the story is reprinted from Marvel Spotlight #2 but thelast 8 pages are from a storyline that occurred in Werewolf by Night #15, where there was a crossover with Dracula, and included art by Gene Colan.
If you’re like me and like to collect higher grade items, then expect to pay around $35-50 for a VF/NM vinyl/sleeve combo of this 1974 book and record combo.
Of course, online shoppers can track down copies in the usual places:
The Legion of Monsters (Marvel Comics Group, February 1975)
Action in the Mysterious Marvel Manner!
Written by Bill Mantlo
Drawn by Frank Robbins
Inked by Steve Gan
Lettered by Karen Mantlo
Colored by Janice Cohen
The Most Spine-Tingling Team-up of All!
Once Ted Sallis, now The Man-Thing
Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider
Morbius the Living Vampire
Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night
About Marvel Premiere #28
In its nearly decade-long run (1972- 1981), Marvel Premiere served as a proving ground for a host of new characters. Iron Fist, Woodgod, Caleb Hammer, and many others made first appearances in Marvel Premiere. Other characters, like the Falcon and Jack of Hearts were featured here in their first solo stories. And yes, Marvel Premiere was also the venue at which Alice Cooper made his first comic book appearance.
Marvel Premiere #28 is a classic monster comics lovers delight as it combined many of the Marvel Monsters into a super-team of sorts – Ghost Rider, Morbius, The Man-Thing and Werewolf by Night all had solo comic titles at the time and since team-ups were all the rage in super hero titles, it only made sense to capitalize on that with a monster team-up and Marvel Premiere was designed to test new concepts. The Legion of Monsters only made one appearance in Marvel Premiere and didn’t spin off into their own title.
in the early 1970s, Marvel had been publishing multiple black-and-white horror anthology monster comics in the magazine format under its Curtis Magazine imprint as a means of bypassing the Comic Code Authority but they had canceled most of those titles by 1975 to focus more on super hero, action and science fiction genres. Following the Marvel Premiere issue, Curtis launched a stand-alond magazine titled Legion of Monsters in an effort to consolidate all their classic monsters comics titles into one magazine. The new line up was more horror-based (Ghost Rider was out; Manphibian and the Living Mummy were in) but unfortunately only one issue was ever published.