Monday, October 22, 2012

'The Kiss of Death', featuring Satana
from Vampire Tales (Marvel / Curtis)
No. 3, February, 1974

Never one to shy from exploiting a concept originating from a competing publisher, in the Fall of 1973, Stan Lee introduced Satana, 'The Devil's Daughter', in issue 2 of the Marvel / Curtis black and white comic magazine Vampire Tales

Satana was a rather blatant effort to appeal to the same reader demographic then being captured / massaged by Warren magazine's Vampirella. Indeed, in Satana's second appearance, in issue 3 of Vampire Tales (February 1974), Marvel even employed the skills of artist Esteban Maroto, a regular contributor to the Warren publications.

However derivative a character Satana was, Maroto's artwork holds up very well, nearly 40 years after the fact.


Starting in 2010, Marvel has been reprinting its Vampire Tales issues in paperback format, with three to four issues per volume, and ~ 200 pp per volume. Three volumes have been released to date, available at prices under $10 for good-condition, used, copies.

I haven't purchased any of these, but reviewers at amazon take pains to point out that these are not trade paperbacks in the 'Marvel Essentials' format, but are in fact sized closer to a mass-market paperback. 

I can't see the wisdom of getting excited over such a series, particularly in light of the fact that the various prose and photo essay pieces Marvel used to pad out their magazines' page count also are reproduced.....but then again, good-condition issues of the original Vampire Tales go for a pretty price at eBay. So if you're looking to recapture that 70s 'vampire nostalgia', these digest-size compilations are one way to do it.......

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