Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Groove's Christmas Faves: 1974 Marvel Treasury Special aka 1974 Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag

Cover art by John Buscema with tinkering by John Romita, Sr.

Merry Christmas, Groove-ophiles! Was it really forty years ago that Young Groove finagled a buck-fifty to purchase the 1974 Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag (aka Marvel Treasury Special 1974)? Ol' Groove can still see a stack of those tabloid-sized treasures stuffed into the bottom of one of the magazine racks at Mack's. I remember my breath catching in my chest, and the blood rushing to my brain. I had to have it! My folks, bless 'em, saw it as an early Christmas present and didn't bat an eye (though it seems there was more garbage than usual to take out that week--or is that just me?). I didn't care. I had it! I carefully carried that card-stock covered cornucopia of comix to the car, carefully pulled back the cover, and this is what I saw on the short ride back home...

John Romita, Sr. was at the top of his game with this frontispiece. Every character looked cool and slick!

 I'd missed the first issue of Marvel Team-Up, so this was a treat! Cool story (including what many call the debut of Misty Knight) by Roy Thomas and Ross Andru. Nice Christmas-sy start...

 Didn't get a Christmas vibe from the DD vs Subby tale, but I s'posed (rightly) that it originally saw print during the Holiday Season. Loved the story, DD's never-give-up attitude and of course the Wally Wood art. I later learned that this story was important because it was the debut of DD's all-red outfit!

 I had the Amazing Adventures ish this Black Widow classic came from, and loved the sad story. Colan and Everett's art was even more amazing on those tabloid-sized pages! Wow!!

 Again, this two-parter didn't scream "happy holidays", but I was wise enough to know that this two part FF spectacular guest-starring both the Hulk and the Avengers was something so special that it definitely deserved to be wrapped up and presented as a holiday gift. Too young to have gotten FF #'s 25-26 when they came out, I was thrilled to read those classic Lee/Kirby tales here!

 Big John B.'s Thing in a Santa suit seemed natural for Benjamin J. Grimm--figured he was on the way to deliver presents to Franklin Richards--and seeing old covers was always a treat in those pre-internet days!

Loved this literally behind-the-scenes back cover by Big John B. What a cool idea! I always got a giggle out of the Hulk's scrunched-up present. Bet it was a pair of purple pants!

Ah, the memories. How many of you Groove-philes were fortunate enough to have had your stocking stuffed with this magnificent mag back in '74? Let's rap about it in the comments!


  1. I had this one, too! I was as thrilled as you were to get it. The Treasury Editions were basically my introduction to all things Marvel and I read all of these stories over and over again. Thanks for reminding me about how cool this was!

  2. Didn't have this one; instead, I had the Holiday Grab-bag that came out two (?) years later - you know, the one with the super-hero snowball fight!
    However, two of the stories featured in this one - the Thing vs. Hulk throwdown and DD vs. Subby - were also reprinted in Marvel's Greater Superhero Battles, which I received as a Christmas present one year. So I always associate those two stories with the holidays...

  3. I did, indeed, get this when it came out, Groove, although I'd forgotten that the Daredevil story was in it. I loved these Treasury Editions, still got a handful of them tucked away. I'm thinking maybe I need to dig out them out, again. The first Fantastic Four one was amazing, & the Howard the Duck one will always bring a smile to my grumpy ol' boat race. have a smashing Christmas, Groove!!!!

  4. I loved this edition when it hit the stands back in the day, and I still do. My original copy saw a lot of action. I must've read it at least a million times, drew a bunch of the panels, loaned it out, etc. I found a good copy on Ebay a couple of years ago. When I got it, I read it like it was the first time. Its amazing how memories from 40 years ago came flooding in!

  5. I definitely had this issue in my stocking on that Christmas morning forty years ago. And it blew my 8-year old mind! Thanks for sharing this classic with us, Groove, and have a fantastic Christmas!

  6. I was 12 years old at the time. This (along with about 20 others) still takes pride of place on my bookshelves.



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