> Marvel Masterworks Library

Atlas Era Tales to Astonish Masterworks Vol. 1
Regular Edition Cover

Vol. 57: Tales to Astonish
Variant Edition Cover

Marvel Masterworks: Tales to Astonish Vol. 1

Tales to Astonish #1-10

(Vol. 57 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

First Print
Release Date: January 25, 2006

REGULAR ED. ISBN: 0-7851-1889-6 • List Price: $49.99
VARIANT ED. ISBN: 0-7851-1890-X • List Price: $54.99

272 Pages

Written by Stan Lee

Penciled by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Buscema, Al Williamson, Don Heck, Joe Sinnott and others

Introduction by Stan Lee



TTA #01: Jack Davis, "I Foiled An Enemy Invasion!"



TTA #04: Carl Burgos, "I Love A Mermaid!"

TTA #05: Jack Kirby, "I Was Trapped by the Things On Easter Island!"

TTA #08: Don Heck, "Mummex - - King of the Mummies!"

TTA #09: Jack Kirby, "Return of the Genie"

TTA #09: Don Heck, "I Saw Droom, the Living Lizard!"

TTA #09: Doug Wildey, "Fangs of the Bear"

TTA #10: Don Heck, "Only I Know How the World Will End"

TTA #10: Steve Ditko, "Something Lurks Inside!"

TTA #10: Jack Kirby, "The Strange Power of Simon Drudd!!"

TTA #10: Text Story, page 1 of "The Heat's On!"

And the complete story to "No Way Out!" by Steve Ditko, from TTA #9:



Marvel Masterworks have brought you classic stories from Marvel's Silver Age super hero heyday and the start of it all with its Golden Age. Now thrill to the first offering of Marvel's Atlas Era! Before the dawn of the Marvel Age, the comics world sat astride the shoulders of Atlas Comics – a world full of gun-fighting outlaws, romantic heartbreak, death-defying heroism in battle, terrifying depths of horror, and visionary science fiction. In TALES TO ASTONISH return to the days when atomic monsters roamed the Earth and alien invasions were a daily occurrence. Marvel's classic creators will make you quake at the sight of the 9th Wonder of the World! You'll tremble before the Things on Easter Island! Beware the might of Mummex - King of the Mummies! Flee before the Giant from Outer Space! Dare defy the Floating Head! Prepare to be Astonished! Collects TALES TO ASTONISH #1-10 (1959-1960).

Collecting TALES TO ASTONISH #1-10

(from official Marvel solicit)


October 10, 2005

GORMUU: Once you guys figured out you were going to do a Monster Masterworks volume, the natural question to ask next is, why Tales to Astonish as the first choice?

MARK: We knew we wanted to do a volume featuring classic Kirby and Ditko monster stories. As I recall we solicited your opinion as to possible volumes we could do. Internally we narrowed it down to Tales to Astonish or Tales of Suspense because unlike Journey Into Mystery or Strange Tales where the great Kirby stuff isn’t until far later in the series, we can start off from the inception of the title with #1. In choosing between the two, at a quick glance Suspense seemed to be a tad more science-fiction oriented than Astonish, so we went with Astonish.

CORY: Little known fact about our new offices: That panel in the men’s room? It opens to the Ninth Dimension. Titano is the towel man in the men’s room now. He was getting stingy with the paper towels on me, so I made him a deal. I get paper towels and he gets a Masterworks. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

GORMUU: While we certainly hope this won't be the last such Monster Masterworks, obviously sales will dictate if and how soon we'd see more. And while everyone loves a good monster yarn, this volume will lack the marquee names of the superhero era, like FF, Captain America, Iron Man or Thor. Is there a feeling in the Masterworks Inner Circle that this book will settle in at the middle or lower part of the sales charts, or is this a sneaky dark horse to surprise?

MARK: It’s hard to say. We won’t truly know the demand for this sort of material until we try with a volume. I think we’ve chosen a volume with a broad spectrum of fantastic creators that will appeal to any comic fan.

CORY: I haven’t placed my bet yet. I did beat David Gabriel on our "which will sell more" bet, Captain Marvel Vol. 1 or Thor Vol. 4. I would expect a healthy showing for Tales to Astonish. Even though some readers may fret the lack of super heroes, I expect they’ll be a minority overtaken by those interested in the fantastic artwork by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, John Buscema, Al Williamson and Jack Davis. That’s not a list to turn your nose up at!

GORMUU: For sure, anyone who is a fan of seminal comics artists like those mentioned will want to check this volume out. What's restoring the work of these greats been like for you, Mark?

MARK: I love this stuff, but it’s certainly having its ups and downs. After a recent move of our film archives, we finally have a more comprehensive inventory of what materials we actually have. It was surprising to us that much of this film still exists as we’ve had difficulty in the past finding 60s super-hero materials let alone non-hero stuff. Aside from that our biggest difficulty has been finding reference for the books. We don’t have copies of any of these issues. That greatly hampers our abilities to do much of anything even if we have the film – we have no color reference to recolor the pages; we can’t check if the materials scanned are the final printed versions of text. Through various sources and calls for help in the fan community on this site and others, we’ve managed to pull together usable reference on all but #4, #6, and #7. If you’re out there and have a copy of any of those issues you’d be willing to scan for us, please, please, please e-mail me at mbeazley@marvel.com. We want to make these books as close to the originals as possible, but we’re limited to the resources we have, so if you can help in any way, we’d greatly appreciate it.

GORMUU: Are there any standout stories for you now that you've gotten to sit down and read a few of them while preparing the book?

CORY: Droom all the way. (Keep an eye out for him in FF/Iron Man!)

MARK: Hard to say...as a former archaeology major I’m somewhat partial to Mummex, King of the Mummies. Between him and Gomdulla there seem to be several enormous mummies running around Ancient Egypt!

GORMUU: October saw a deluge of Monster books from Marvel- four new one-shots, two recurring mini-series with monsters aplenty (FF/Iron Man: Big In Japan, Nick Fury's Howling Commandos), a Marvel Milestones Monster issue, and Stoker's Dracula by Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano in hardcover, Essential Werewolf By Night (following August's Essential Ghost Rider), and...okay...my fingers are getting tired....

Plus October's big announcement that monsters are invading Masterworks with the reprinting of the first ten issues of Tales to Astonish!

Marvel fans want to know: what's gotten into you people?!?!?

CORY: What can I say? I ♥ monsters. KAIJU BIG BATTEL was on my brain as an interesting cross-pollination of Japanese and America popular culture. After checking out a Big Battel show in New York, it hit me that we had to take a book I edit- Exiles- into a big monster world— it’d just be too much fun. I migrated over to the Marvel Knights office before we brought that story fruition within the pages of Exiles, but my monster obsession reared itself again in the form of Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan. The monster love carried over the wall to Mark Paniccia, and before you know it, we had a monster month on our hands.

MARK: October is a natural month to release things monster-themed and several of the editorial staff (myself included) like to use Halloween as an excuse for putting out as many classic monster and horror-themed books as we can. The October Essentials were originally going to be Ghost Rider and Werewolf by Night, but the new Ghost Rider series moved to September so we moved accordingly. The Stoker’s Dracula HC was always intended for a Halloween release. That project was a true labor of love on my part – reteaming Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano to finish the adaptation so it could eventually be collected together in one gorgeous volume. I’ve seen a printed sample of Stoker’s Dracula and I cannot recommend this title highly enough. I’m amazed at how great it looks.

GORMUU: While we're on the subject of Stoker's Dracula, I recall a few glitches led to some blurred pages in the original comic run? Did those issues get addressed for the hardcover edition?

MARK: Originally we had difficulty finding quality source material for the first chapter of the story -- pages reprinted from Dracula Lives #5. We thought they would suffice, but when they printed in the comic, none of us were thrilled by the results. In our efforts to improve upon those pages for the collection we discovered that Dick had a large number of the original art boards from the adaptation, 30+ pages of the 76. He graciously lent them to us and we replaced all of those pages throughout. That combined with a better inventory of our film library allowed us to improve the most problematic pages. The paper stock chosen for the book also absorbs more ink enhancing the wash effect. It's really a great package collecting the entire story in one fantastic volume.

GORMUU: Finally, this question will come up for sure by the time fans get to read the book in January, so might as well get the information out now- which of you in the bullpen was the one who "Found the Ninth Wonder of the World?"

MARK: Who else but Kirby could?

CORY: Don’t say that too loud! Titano will cut out the free mints!

While Cory and Mark straighten out Titano with Marvel's human resources department (or would that be 'monster resources'?), why not amble over to the interview I had with Cory about the new ATLAS ERA MASTERWORKS, of which Tales to Astonish Vol. 1 is merely the first!

Issues Reprinted
Tales to Astonish #1-10


TTA #1

TTA #2

TTA #3

TTA #4

TTA #5

TTA #6

TTA #7

TTA #8

TTA #9

TTA #10


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