Hi, and welcome to the MERRY MARVEL MARCHING ORDER. This site, when it's completed, will provide the user with a fully cross referenced guide to their favorite (and maybe not so favorite) Marvel comics. The chronology does not cover every Marvel title, only those that are in the active timeline. Which means that all of the Avengers (Vol. I) will be covered, but one of the WWII titles, westerns, romance, or books like Creatures on the Loose or Marvel Super Heroes (Vol. I), will only have those books listed that affect the rest of the universe, such as first appearances and such. Reprinted titles will, for the most part, not be listed unless they contain original work.
The reason for the dates chosen are very simple. 1961 is when the Marvel universe really began with the premiere of Fantastic Four (Vol. I) #1, and 1996 was the year of the Onslaught when many of Marvel's mainline comics concluded their first volumes. This wasn't the end of the Marvel universe by any means, but it was a convenient milestone to use as an end boundary. Maybe some day when I have more books (and more time) I'll continue the Chronology to the present.
This is certainly a work in progress (most of the 60's are done and a chunk of the 70's), and the accuracy, unfortunately is only as good as the resources I've been using (some of which conflicted). However, the titles that are underlined are books that I actually own or at least have a reprint of and should be right on the money, but I don't have many of the really, really old books, so the first year or so is kind of sparse. Eventually I hope to complete them all, but until I strike the lottery or something, it will have to remain a fond dream.
The navigation bar at the top of the page is pretty self explanatory, as is the format of the whole site, but if you're having any difficulty with how something works or what was meant by something, please feel free to make use of the Instructions. An easy way to get your feet wet is to click on the "Find by Title" link, then click on an issue of your favorite title (note-some newer operating systems found linking to a particular bookmark on a page can be a little slow at times-please be patient). Or click on "Find by Date" and click on your birthday. And don't forget to visit the Encyclopedia before you leave. It's chock full of surprises, and getting bigger almost daily.
Since its earliest inception, I had hoped to include images of the corresponding covers, scanning them in from the books I personally own. However, I soon realized that many of these actual books (those really really old ones again) I would never own in the foreseeable future, so I secured them from other sources. Even at that, many of the images available weren't pretty, so I cleaned them up as best as possible (see note below), but very few of them, even at that, are pristine. As you go later into the 70's and beyond, most of them are from my own stash. A click on the corresponding image will bring up a larger version of the cover. Gotta love those thumbnails.
Also as an added bonus, there have been included, as with the rest of the site, numerous Easter Eggs. To get you started on your search, the first one is located in the blank space below the cover image of Fantastic Four Vol. I #4 (that's in May of 1962). When you cross the link with your cursor, an actual Easter Egg will appear. Click on it for a bonus related to the issue. Have fun looking for the others, and please remember, as I find items of interest (such books as the X-Men at the State Fair, etc.) I will post more and more hidden treats.
Also, please keep in mind all the books listed herein (including the characters, names and images) are copyrighted and trademarked by Marvel Entertainment.
Thanks for reading and enjoy,
NOTE ON COVER CLEAN-UP
As stated above, many of the covers, some my own and some from other sources, were not pretty when they started out. Thanks to good old Adobe Photoshop however, I was able to make many of them presentable. Beyond the many folds and spine breaks, I think the worse offender was the fact that so many of the covers, some forty years later, were no longer square. It required some jolly rotating and judicious trimming, but as little as I could humanly get away with and still get rid of those pesky voids along one angle of the cover edge. To give you some idea of what I have done, here are a couple of the typical covers and what the finished product turned out to be.
Again, not exactly pristine (notice the pattern in the bad guy's coat was lost in part of the upper sleeve), but a heck of a lot better than they were before. If I wanted to be a little AR about the whole thing and sweat over each cover and make it perfect, I certainly could, for the most part, but considering the number of covers involved (over 1100 just in the 1960's alone) and the fact that this is just a hobby really and not my full time job, I think the covers look just swell the way they are.
Unfortunately, during the course, I
noticed some of the covers had been re-colored from their original and in some
cases their layout was actually altered. As much as it pained me to post those here,
if I didn't have the book of my own to replace it or one from another source, I
had no other choice. I will, however, do my utmost to eventually eliminate
those pale impostors so that every cover here is right from an actual book.
click on any cover to see a larger image