Friday Favorites: Who says this isn't the Marvel Age of Marvel Age?

I'm not a collector of old fanzines - even though I do keep meaning to go back and search for some old Amazing Heroes issues - but I have a hard time passing up issues of Marvel's old in-house promo mag Marvel Age whenever I come across them in the cheapie bins. It was one of my favorite publications from the House of Ideas when I was a kid, something I'd always pick up whenever I was able to make it to a comic book shop, and something I was happy to start getting regularly once it began getting newsstand distribution. It was the first thing I read that really made me feel plugged in to comics fandom, like I was finally let into the club and could now be shown "the good stuff."

And reading it today, it holds up surprisingly well. The old interviews and articles about then-new series are awesome nostalgia chow fodder, a definite time capsule of a very particular time in Marvel's publishing history. The annuals, which would often include short comics about a book's history and upcoming storylines, were especially good for that (track down Annual #3 if you can, featuring an issue-long edition of The Fred Hembeck Show, with these promo strips taking the place of talk show guest clips). It's fun to look back and see people who are big today just getting started, too. And, of course, it had some of the best, most eye-catching covers on the stands. Here are a dozen of my favorites:

(Click to make 'em Galactus-sized.)

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