If 1962 is considered the year the Marvel Universe began to walk, then 1968 is the year it learned to run. In 1968, several long running Atlas/Marvel titles (Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, Strange Tales) came to an end to make way for a new generation of ongoing titles that lit the comic world on fire and ushered in the Marvel Age of Comics!
If you were lucky enough to twirl through a spinner rack in 1968, you would have had the privilege of being there for Captain America #100 (continuing from Tales of Suspense #99), Silver Surfer #1, Hulk #102 (continued from Tales to Astonish #101), Sub-Mariner #1, Iron Man #1, Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Doctor Strange #169 (continued from Strange Tales #168). The Marvel Universe experienced a dramatic growth spurt in 1968 and these key issues represent the best that Stan's bullpen had to offer.
Not all of these new series lasted, but these characters did. 1968 was a benchmark year for Marvel and these issues are a must-have for Marvel fans and Silver Age junkies like myself. They are available in various Marvel Masterworks volumes and other TPBs. If you're a purists like me, you'll want the original issues in the best condition financially possible. Unlike the pricey Marvel key books of the early 1960s, these books can be found in the more affordable range of a few hundred rather than a several thousands. For both serious and casual collectors, they are prized additions to any collection. As the proud owner of a few of them myself, I can vouch whole heartedly for that statement.
- Eddie deAngelini
Many of these keys issues can be found reprinted in Marvel Masterworks volumes and other various TPBs.