> Golden Age Marvel Comics Masterworks Volume 1

Click panels for larger images_________________________

From Human Torch:

The Torch gives a mean hotfoot!


From The Angel:

It's the cape that gives him his immense power!


From Sub-Mariner:

Namor is one moody lookin' fella.


From Masked Raider:

Let me repeat: this ain't a purty picture!


From American Ace:

Conspiracy, Castile d'Or style!


From Ka-Zar:

Ka-Zar meets Trajah, king of the elephants.


Marvel Mystery Comics #2
December 1939 • 64 pages


The Human Torch: 16 pgs • by Carl Burgos
The Angel: 8 pgs • by Paul Gustavson
The Sub-Mariner: 12 pgs • by Bill Everett
The Masked Raider: 8 pgs • by Al Anders
American Ace: 6 pgs • by Paul J. Lauretta
"Death-Bird Squadron" starring the Angel: 2 pgs, text feature • by David C. Cooke, art by CJM
Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great: 12 pgs • by Ben Thompson

Title: “The Human Torch”

First Appearance: Johnson, Blackie Ross, Lola

Villain: Red, Blackie Ross, Lola

Innovations: revealed that Professor Horton was killed by the Torch in MC #1, Torch can tell hisflames what to do by verbal instruction

Quote: “You've got the jitters, Blackie. No one can laugh in boiling lime! Let's get out of here...”

-- Lola, reassuring Blackie that the Torch has been killed, page 7

Synopsis:The Torch's origin is recapped, along with the news that he killed his creator, Professor Horton. The Torch is taking in the Tipton Auto Races in his human guise, when a car suddenly races off track and explodes. The Torch "flames on" and goes to save the driver, but he's dead. More cars burst aflame, when he spots an airplane flying overhead. The police think the Torch is responsible, and they lock him up. In jail, he meets a fellow named Johnson who tells him the car accidents are the fault of Blackie Ross, who firebombs them from above via airplanes. The Torch escapes from his cell so he can track Ross down. He heads out to the Anita Raceway, where he sees an airplane firebombing another car.

The Torch forces the plane down to the ground, but before he can get any info from him, the plane explodes and the fire department shows up, so he splits. Later, Sardo's old pal Red spots the Torchin his human form and calls his new boss Blackie to fill him in on his whereabouts. Blackie's girl Lolahelps him formulate a plan to trap the Torch. She goes to see the Torch and cries about her brotherbeing killed in a racetrack mishap engineered by Blackie Ross. She leads him to him, but it's really a trap, where they dump him into a vat of water, then pour him into a vat of hot lime. They leave, thinking they've killed him, but the Torch can escape even hot lime!

The next day, the Torch breaks up another auto race debacle set up by Blackie Ross,and this timehe's able to chase down the big boss himself! He chases Ross into a steel mill, where Ross and hiscompatriots are all waiting for him in asbestos suits. They try all manner of defense methods tostop him- water hoses, pouring molten steel on him- but they cannot stop the Human Torch and theyrun for their lives. The Torch's cellmate- Johnson- rides up in a cop car to pick up the Torch. He tellsthe Torch he's an undercover man and they join each other to chase down Blackie Ross.

Johnson takes the Torch out to Blackie Ross' hideout, driving 110 mph in his roadster, but that'stoo slow for the Torch, who flies off to face the villain. Blackie Ross realizes the Torch is on to him, so he speeds down the runway in his airplane, but the Torch forces him down with a well-thrown ball offlame. Blackie and Lola try to get away via a car, but the Torch chases him down and knocks hiscar off the highway. As it erupts into flames, Blackie screams for his life, and the Torch negotiatesBlackie's confession in order to save him. Blackie agrees and the Torch turns his confession over to the cops.

Title: “The Angel”

First Appearance: Jane Framan, Sumner/LeLong

Villain: Sumner/LeLong

Innovations: Lost Temple of Alano

Quote: “Be careful- your worst enemy may act as your best friend! Guard the map of the treasures if you value your life!”

-- The Angel, in a note to Jane Framan, page 3

Synopsis:Jane Framan is wandering through Hong Kong, doing research on the Lost Temple of Alano, when she is attacked by an unknown assailant. Though he is traveling in civilian clothes, the Angel is there to help save her, but the bad guy escapes. Another man named Sumner stops to help her as well, and this man scurries her off to a hotel in a ploy to be helpful. The Angel tracks down the man who attacked Jane Framan, and figures out that he was in cahoots with Sumner; they were trying to get the map to the Lost Temple from her. Back at the hotel, the Sumner gives up pretenses and pulls a gun on Jane, demanding she lead him to the treasure. The Angel swoops in to rescue Ms. Framan. After he knocks out her kidnaper, he tells her the man is actually Lelong, a man who has longed for many years to steal the treasure of the Lost Temple of Alano, after killing the original owner of the map. He's perpetuated the myth of a "curse" by killing all other owners of the map, so he could keep them away from it.

Title: “The Sub-Mariner”

First Appearance: Pinkerton, Foley, the Drayson Girl

Innovations: Namor acts as a human "sprinkler system"

Quote: “This girl will be useful to me in my crusade against you murderous Americans!”

-- Namor, page 10

Synopsis:Namor continues on his campaign of violence against America. He swims into New York harbor and is sucked into the sewer systems, crashing through huge water tunnels and into the power buildings, where he menaces the electrical workers there. He flies into Central Park and swims in a lake, recharging his power. He steals the clothes off a bum so he can walk undetected through the city streets, and is nearly run over when he climbs up through a manhole in the middle of Fifth Avenue. He decides he needs better clothing, so he cases a ritzy place in uptown. He pushes his way past the butler Pinkerton, when the lady of the house comes out smoking a cigarette. Amazingly, she drops her cigarette and it starts a fire. Namor goes to save her dress from burning her up, and he flushes water out of his body to put the fire out. He decides he wants to make time with the girl, who is on her way to the hospital, and he follows her there. He goes into the emergency room and grabs her to take her with him. He flies to the docks with her, but the police give chase. He kills a bunch of policemen, including one that chases him into the water. But one cop manages to save the girl and take her back to the dock. Namor decides to just go ahead and get out of town, and he swims away.

Title: “The Masked Raider”

First Appearance: "Hook" Tebbs, Tex, Dead Shot, Slick, Miguel

Quote: “I've worked out a plan for holdin' up the gold bullion train at Prairie City- we'll need a coupl'a men. Handy with their smoke poles! Find 'em...pronto!”

-- "Hook" Tebbs, to Tex, page 1

Synopsis:The Masked Raider infiltrates the gang of "Hook" Tebbs, a range-robber who's been harassing the folks all over the area of Rawhide Range. The Tebbs boys think him to be a new recruit, but once he find out where Tebbs is storing all the proceeds from his roberries, the Masked Raider wastes no time taking care of them. The sheriff helps arrest the bad men in the end.

Title: "American Ace"

First Appearance: Percy Wade, Queen Ursula, Josef

Villain: Queen Ursula, Josef

Quote: “Ah, revenge!!! Josef, it will be sweet, and the first country to taste my wrath is Attainia! I'll crush the dogs. I'll wipe them off the Earth!”

-- Queen Ursula, page 2

Synopsis:Queen Ursula returns from exile to lead the European nation of Castile d'Or to battle against the rest of the continent. She convenes with her military chief Josef on her plans for revenge against Attainia, the country which led the revolt against her. They assassinate one of Castile d'Or's leaders, then implicate Attainia in the political murder. Ursula comes out of hiding and returns to power to hype up a fever among her countrymen to fight Attainia. Meanwhile, young Perry Wade, an American mining engineer, flies his single-prop plan through Castile d'Or. Merely on his way to his next mining search mission, he stumbles into all out war in the cities and countrysides. He lands his plane, and all around him, bombs explode, bullets fly, and people are dying.

Title: “Death-Bird Squadron" featuring the Angel

Synopsis:Giant bombers versus the Angel's love of peace! How can he hope to win?

Title: “Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great”

Villain: Bardak, Chaka, Tupat

Guest Appearance: Zar, Sha, Trajah, Ganya, Kru

Quote: “That one was Tupat. The madness has come upon him!”

-- Trajah, explaining the actions of the rogue elephant Tupat, to Ka-Zar, page 6

Synopsis:Ka-Zar gets in a fight with Bardak, a gorilla from the tribe of Chaka, over possession of a mirror left behind by Paul de Kraft. Ka-Zar whips him in a fight, and Bardak runs away. Zar tells him he should have done away with him when he had the chance. Zar's mate Sha is resentful of Ka-Zar and doesn't trust him. Ka-Zar interacts with Trajah, lord of the elephants, after a rogue elephant threatened him. Bardak heads into Zar's camp to steal the mirror while he and Ka-Zar are gone, but Sha stumbles onto him. The villainous ape grabs one of Sha's cubs and jumps into a tree. Ka-Zar leaps after him and saves the cub, stabbing Bardak to death. Ka-Zar warns Chaka not to have any more gorillas mess with him and his friends. Sha now trusts Ka-Zar.

--synopsis by Gormuu

--panel images provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
Marvel Comics #1, Marvel Mystery Comics #2-4

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


MC #1
MMC #2MMC #3MMC #4


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