> Golden Age Marvel Comics Masterworks Volume 1

Click panels for larger images _________________________

From Human Torch:

Martians trap the Human Torch!


From The Angel:

No, these are not Grateful Dead fans!


From Sub-Mariner:

Don't mess with Betty Dean, NYPD's top woman cop!


From Masked Raider:

The horse's name is Lightning!


From American Ace:

An important job? That doesn't involve finding radium? GET OUT!!!


From Ka-Zar:

This is a nifty panel composition to start the story off.


Marvel Mystery Comics #3
January 1940 • 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
"Siegfried Suicide": 2 pgs, text feature • by David C. Cooke, art by Bill Everett
Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great: 12 pgs • by Ben Thompson

Title:"The Human Torch"

First Appearance: Mr. Carson, Diane Carson, Ritton, Martians, Captain Ott

Villain: Ritton

Death: Mr. Carson

Quote: "Bah! All I can get on this blasted set is static and blurred vision!"

-- Mr. Carson, messing with the controls of that new-fangled television set, page 1

Synopsis: The genius industrialist Carson is on a train watching television when he has a chance meeting with the Human Torch. They discuss his new invention in TNT explosives, when suddenly the train is attacked by Martian space-planes! The train crashes and Carson is pinned down by debris. The Martians rush up to him and demand his formula for TNT. He refuses, and the Human Torch makes a surprise attack, driving the Martians away. Carson dies, but not before making the Torch promise to give his daughter the formula.

After securing the safety of the rest of the train passengers, the Torch speeds off to see Diane Carson. She's being hassled by Ritton, who also wants the formula. The Torch chases him off, and he gives the formula to Diane. They go to a lab and work on it, realizing that it is indeed a potent way of developing TNT. On their way to test it further, the Torch is attacked by Martians. He jumps in a lake to get away, but the Martians encase him in a vacuum tube and transport him to Ritton, who waits for them in a train depot. He's got Diane Carson with him, and he ties her to the train tracks to try and get her to spill on the TNT formula. The Torch escapes his bonds to save Diane, knocking out the Martians.

He chases Ritton, who has commandeered a train locomotive. The Torch manages to catch up with him, but realizes the locomotive is going to have a head-on collision with another train! Ritton leaps off the train, and the Torch decides the best way to fix the problem is to completely melt the train he is on! After, he collects Ritton's limp body and takes him to the authorities. Diane discusses with the Martians that the only reason they attacked was because that was Ritton's plan. They said they had no desire to physically hurt anybody, they were just desperate to get their hands on TNT that would help them destroy an oncoming asteroid, thus saving Mars from total destruction. The Torch and Diane decide to help the Martians out by giving them the formula to save their planet.

Title:"The Angel"

First Appearance/Villain/Death: The Sacred One

Quote: "Where is the girl you kidnapped...before I tear your head off!"

-- The Angel, to the Sacred One, page 4

Synopsis: A woman is abducted by a weird religious cult, and the Angel must stop the leader of the cult before he is able to make her a human sacrifice to the Fire-God. He swoops into the compound where the cultists dance and sway in preparation for the sacrifice. The Sacred One- the leader of the cult- opens a trap door underneath him, but the Angel grabs the woman and leaps out of the way. The Sacred One tries to run away from the Angel, but falls to his death down into the trap door, and his hypnotized cult slaves all follow him, falling down into the depths below.

Title:"The Sub-Mariner"

First Appearance: Betty Dean, Esther, Inspector Peterson

Quote: "They gave me the job of trapping the 'Sub-Mariner.' But I don't see what a mere woman can do when the entire force has failed! The darn maniac flies in the air like a bird, lives in the water like a fish, and on land like a man!"

-- Betty Dean, page 2

Synopsis: Inspector Peterson hatches a plan to take advantage of the affection Namor seems to have for women like the Drayson girl, who he saved from a fire (see MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #2.) He sends one of his most comely police women out to scan the waters for Namor, then jump in when she sees him and pretend she is drowning. The able Betty Dean takes on the assignment, and when she sees Namor swimming towards the Brooklyn Bridge, she jumps on in and feigns drowning. When Namor tries to save her, she pulls a gun on him. He swats it away and drags her far off into the distant waters, where they stumble onto some German subs and destroyers attacking a British commercial vessel.

The Sub-Mariner presses an attack on the Germans, crawling into the U-Boat through the empty torpedo chamber and pummeling the sailors on board. He hops up to the deck and fires the deck gun at the German planes above him, then disables the U-Boat periscope before he attends to the sinking freighter. He pushes the big ship onshore of a nearby island, where Betty Dean has swum to safety. He rescues some of the British sailors, and Betty tries to get him to use his formidable powers for good, not for his evil rampage against America. Namor is persuaded by Betty's words, and considers calling a cease-fire on the hated surface dwellers. At Betty's request, Namor goes off to clear a mine field that has been menacing British ships. He does so, turning the mines against the German U-boats that float nearby. He disables a prop of a U-Boat and delivers it to a British naval ship.

He returns to the island and bids a farewell to Betty so he can return to his people, but she continues to request his help on behalf of the Allied powers.

Title:"The Masked Raider"

First Appearance/Villain: Jed Sirrah, Brace, Dan

Quote: "Sorry I had to shoot, sherrif...but I'll have to help in spite of you!"

-- The Masked Raider, to the sheriff, page 5

Synopsis: Jed Sirrah's hired toughs, Brace and Dan, try to get a couple of landowners to sign off on a sale of their land, but they refuse. The two toughs recognize the local sheriff as an old compadre in crime who's now gone legit, and they threaten him to don't get in their way. Sirrah wants that land bad because it's got oil and gold underneath it. The Masked Raider rides into town, and just as the landowners are about to give in and sell out, he tells them not to- that they have oil and gold to protect. To prove it, the Masked Raider heads into Sirrah's headquarters and takes care of the evil cowboys, turning over documents proving the land value, before riding off into the night.

Title: "American Ace"

First Appearance: Jeanie, Marie

Villain: Queen Ursula, Josef

Quote: "My job is to go around the world looking for minerals that contain ingredients that would benefit mankind. Like radium, for example!"

-- Perry Wade, page 1

Synopsis: As Perry Wade stands amidst the chaos of war in Attainia, he saves a young woman from being crushed beneath falling rubble. She tells him of her sad plight, and he agrees to take her to her home in the countryside. He tells her that his job is to fly around the world looking for minerals that contain ingredients that will help mankind- like radium! He flies Jeanie home to her appreciative sister Marie and her grandparents. They all lament the war that has torn their country apart.

Queen Ursula ramps up the agitation of her people, ginning up a falsely conceived hatred for Attainia. Later, Perry Wade tells his hosts that he must go back to work. They wish he woulud stay, but Wade is loyal to his job, and he flies off into the sky. But he is preyed upon by Queen Ursula's air force, who spot him and fire at his plane. They force him to crashland back in the farm country he had just lifted off from. Jeanie's family nurses him back to health, where Perry finds new resolve to help defend Attainia!

Title:"Siegfried Suicide"

Synopsis: Nothing, not even the fortified line, could stop this soldier of fortune in his wild dash to victory!

Title:"Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great"

First Appearance: Steve Hardy

Villain: N'Jaga, De Kraft (cameo)

Guest Appearance: Steve Hardy, Trajah, Quog, Tuta

Quote: "Come on! Tell me who turned those animals out and then tied you up! You can't expect me to believe that story about a jungle god!"

-- Steve Hardy, to his native help, page 8

Synopsis: Steve Hardy leads a caravan of natives deep into the Belgian Congo, where he sets out to capture animals to take back to the civilized world to keep in zoos. They build a strong pen to confine their first elephant capture- Tuta, a member of Trajah's clan. The king of the elephants comes to Ka-Zar for his help in finding Tuta, and they find Hardy's camp. Ka-Zar cases Hardy's camp, and observes that Hardy is not an evil man, like "Fat-Face" de Kraft, but he sets out to free the animals he has kept nonetheless.

After Ka-Zar's successful campaign to release the captives, Hardy wakes up the next morning to find his animals gone and his native workers tied up. They report tales of the "Great White Jungle God" but Hardy does not believe them. Hardy decides to go out and get more animals to make up for the ones he has lost, but Ka-Zar is there to scare them off when they get too close to a baby rhino. He scares all the natives away from Hardy, leaving him with nobody to help him.

On his way home, Ka-Zar is attacked by N'Jaga the leopard, who pulls a sneak attack on him and almost drowns him under water, but Ka-Zar is able to fight him off. Meanwhile, Paul de Kraft plans his next trip into the jungle....

--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 #2 MMC #3 MMC #4


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