In 1968, Martin Goodman achieved success with the distribution company Independent News and saw an increase in the number of titles Marvel published each month.
With an increase to 24 titles per month Marvel cancelled the three split titles and the six characters all got their own titles.
That wasn't the end of the new titles, though, as seven other new titles appeared.
In addition, Marvel Super-Heroes continued to be a showcase for characters to star in their own stories.
Financially the return was getting better each year for Marvel, who were now out-selling the opposition with fifty million sales a year.
Return of the Black Knight
The introduction of Dane Whitman as the Black Knight, in Avengers 048, is the third time the Black Knight appears in the Marvel Universe.
Sir Percy of Scandia had a short run as the Knight in the fifties, and the second Knight, Nathan Garrett, had previously fought Iron Man. Garrett was also Whitman's uncle.
Whitman met Sir Percy in the story featured in Marvel Super-Heroes 017, when Whitman would take possession of the ebony sword held by Sir Percy.
This would help increase Whitman's strength, but would be a curse as well - the sword seeks control of anyone who possesses it.
Gwen Stacy's father is introduced in Amazing Spider-Man 056, created by Stan Lee and John Romita.
He is also a friend of Joe Robertson and both would discuss Spider-Man often.
New Titles Galore...
With the increase in titles each month, Marvel had an opportunity to create many new titles.
The three split titles all stopped and were replaced by six new titles. Tales of Suspense became Captain America (100), Tales to Astonish became Incredible Hulk (102), Strange Tales became Doctor Strange (169), and new titles appeared for Sub-Mariner, Iron Man and Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD.
In addition, Captain Marvel was rapidly promoted to his own title after just two stories in Marvel Super-Heroes in May and Captain Savage got his own title after appearing regularly in Sgt Fury.
Other new titles in the year would see the two short-lived humour books Groovy and Pussycat, a new series for the Silver Surfer, and a magazine version of Spider-Man, which would last two issues.
The westerns bore some of the brunt with cancellations for two long-running titles, Kid Colt Outlaw (139) and Two-Gun Kid (092). Some small compensation for western fans, the introduction of a new reprint title, Mighty Marvel Western.
...And A Special One-Shot
The conversion of the split titles left a small problem with Iron Man and Sub-Mariner losing the titles they appeared in.
The solution was a special one-shot featuring the last 11-page stories for each character.
Captain Simon Savage first appeared as 'the skipper' in Sgt Fury 010, and after five more appearances he was awarded his own title.
The first eight issues have 'Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders' on the cover, with issue 009 the book is called Capt Savage in the indicia, and 'Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders' on the covers until the title is cancelled with issue 019.
The Death of Professor X
Issue 042 sees the death of Professor X, leader of the team.
Furtunately this Prof X is not the one we have all known since issue 001, he will return before the title is cancelled with issue 066, but a character known as the Changling.
The Changling was dying anyway, and helped Xavier by making the world believe he was dead so that he could work behind the scenes to thwart the Z'Nox, an alien race.
Also Making Their Debut
Madame Masque debuts against Iron Man in Tales of Suspense 097.Whitney Frost is the daughter of Count Nefaria.
The Wrecker is given his powers in error by the Norse Queen Karmilla, intending them for Loki. (Thor 148 )
Destiny appears for the first time in Tales to Astonish 101, the man who took away Sub-Mariner's memories prior to the story in Fantastic Four 004, where the Human Torch discovered the amnesiac Namor.
Details of Marvel Titles For 1968
221 issues were published in 1968
All issues have been scanned.
Of the 221 scanned issues, 217 are c2c
Capt Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders v1 001 (Jan)
Groovy v1 001 (Mar)
Captain Marvel v1 001 (May)
Iron Man v1 001 (May)
Sub-Mariner v1 001 (May)
Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD v1 001 (Jun)
Pussycat v1 001 (Oct)
Spectacular Spider-Man v1 001 (Jul)
Silver Surfer v1 001 (Aug)
Mighty Marvel Western v1 001 (Oct)
+ Amazing Spider-Man v1 059 c2cO
+ Avengers v1 051 c2cO
+ Captain America v1 100 c2cO
= Daredevil v1 039 c2c
+ Fantastic Four v1 073 c2cO
+ Incredible Hulk v1 102 c2cO
+ Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner v1 001 c2cO
* Marvel Collector's Item Classics v1 014 c2c
* Millie the Model v1 158 c2c
= Not Brand Echh v1 007 c2c
* Rawhide Kid v1 063 c2c
= Sgt Fury v1 053 c2c
= Strange Tales v1 167 c2c scanned by Flattermann
+ Thor v1 151 c2c
+ X-Men v1 043 c2cO
IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DOWNLOADED THE CHRONOLOGY VERSION 001
= Title appeared in version 001 of the Chronology and is unchanged
+ New scan replaces version from version 001 of the Chronology
* Title is new to the Chronology
c2c - cover to cover
c2cO - Official Marvel scan
remix - a full version of the comic sourced from reprints
24pgs - not a c2c,usually just the cover and story pages
fc only - front cover only where the comic is missing
About the Complete Marvel Chronology
The Complete Marvel Chronology (CMC) is version 2.0 of the Marvel Chronology (MC).
The MC was created by cyager69 aka Chuck, who uploaded Marvel comics beginning with Fantastic Four 001 (Nov 61) through to the issues published in Jun 1997.
When Chuck was unable to continue the uploads I took over the MC and uploaded the remainder of the issues through to December 2008. Additional uploads added various titles not cover-dated with a specific month (the 'Decades' uploads) and seven Fill packs added new scans for issues missing when the original uploads were done for the 70's through to the 90's.
With none of Chuck's original uploads online, the decision was to either upload the original version of 1961-1996 or go with a brand new, full version incorporating the missing genres, such as romance, western and humour, and including the imprints which Chuck intended to upload following the completion of the MC.
The CMC will cover Marvel's entire seventy year history. At present I am uploading the years beginning with 1960 and these uploads will continue right through to December 1996. After that I have not finalised what will follow, but the likelihood will be that I go back to upload the 39-59 period, and then upload the 97-09 period again. When I do upload version 2.0 of 97-09 there will be many additions and many new scans.
News and Notes
CMC Poll I have set up a Poll at the h33t and Demonoid forums, it's the same at both so only one vote is needed.
I would like to gauge your opinion on which era of the Timely-Atlas period to upload once the current 1960-1996 period is completed. It's still some time away but it would be useful to know if there is a preference generally for one era over the other.
I hope as many of you can vote so that the results are representative of the majority of collectors of the CMC.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to cast a vote.
This upload is the first of three covering the year 1968, the next featuring May to August will be uploaded on Monday, and the third on Tuesday.
Original Art This upload sees scans of the original art for Amazing Spder-Man 067, the first of three issues which have been scanned. The other two will be in the the 1969 upload.
If any other examples of original art surface I will include those, too.
Books used as research material in completing the CMC include -
Marvel Chronicle - Tom DeFalco
Marvel Vault - Roy Thomas and Pete Sanderson
Tales of the Implosion - Tom Lammers
Standard Catalogue of Comics 5th Edition
Thanks to all the scanners, editors and uploaders who make the scans available.
Thanks for the support of all those who seed the CMC.