Threat (Atlas Comics)

Menace  was a 1953 to 1954 American crime / horror anthology comic book series published by Atlas Comics , the 1950s precursor of Marvel Comics . It is best known for the first appearance of the supernatural Marvel character the Zombie , in a standalone story that became the basis for the 1970s black-and-white comics magazine  Tales of the Zombie  . As well, a standalone story in the final issue has been made by the human robot, aka M-11 , the Human Robot.

The 11-issue series (March 1953 – May 1954) included art by such 1940s Golden Age of Comic Books creators as Bill Everett and George Tuska , and such future industry stars as Gene Colan , Russ Heath , Joe Maneely , John Romita Sr. , and Joe Sinnott . Stan Lee , the future architect of Marvel Comics’ rise as a pop-cultural phenomenon , was first published by Atlas editor-in-chief .

Publication history

Threat  , from publisher Martin Goodman ‘s Atlas Comics , the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics , debuted in 1953 During a cycle of popularity for publisher EC Comics horror comics (  Tales from the Crypt  et al.). Atlas horror / fantasy series  Adventures into Terror  and  Strange Tales  .  [1]  Atlas editor-in-chief Stan Lee sought to distinguish the title by attempting to replicate EC’s specific process, as Atlas Historian Michal J. Vassallo describes:

The influence of [publisher] Bill Gaines ‘ EC line had by now become enormous. Stan was quite aware of what was going on in the industry, and what was his competition was going. EC, under Gaines and artist / editor Al Feldstein , was arguably the industry leader in terms of both editorialally and creatively. EC used [its] small frame of artists to extreme advantage, unique tailoring artistic styles to specific story settings and plots. While he may be quite willing to give a try to give a run for its money. He would like to take over an entire book and do it all himself, like Feldstein did, with his own small group of top-line artists.  [2]

Threat  ran 11 issues, cover-dated March 1953 to May 1954. It was published monthly through issue # 8, then after a three-month hiatus returned for its final three, bimonthly issues. Lee wrote each issue through four comic stories through # 7, and at least two more stories through the end of the title’s run.  [3]

Issue # 12 was in production at the time of cancellation, scheduled for July 1954 cover date. The contents were held as soon as afterward published in the Atlas title  Astonishing  # 35 (Oct. 1954).  [2]

Mention  is considered an example of “pre-code horror”, referring to horror comics published in the Comics Code Authority , in which comics would bear the postage-stamp-sized Comics Code seal.  [2]  The series’ covers, however, each sport a star reading “Comes to the Comics Code”, with a small rectangular box above that reading “Authorized ACMP” This is the main unenforced precursor sponsored by the trade group the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers .  [4]

Creative staff

The series’ primary artist was Bill Everett , who in 1939 had created the aquatic antihero the Sub-Mariner and who was now an Atlas mainstay. For issues # 1-6, he drew the covers and one story each, and drew a story for # 9 and the cover of # 10. The Lee / Everett story “Zombie” in issue # 5 (July 1953) introduced the Zombie , Simon Garth, in a seven-page, standalone story of a zombie outside New Orleans , Louisiana , and the ironic comeuppance visited upon his cruel master.  [5]  The character was revived two decades later the star of the black-and-white magazine horror-comics  Tales of the Zombie that (Aug. 1973 – June 1974), published by the Marvel Comics imprint Curtis Magazines . Marvel comic books into the 2000s.

Another character introduced in a standalone story that was revived decades later a year ago in the five-page story “I, the Robot”, by an unknown writer and artist John Romita Sr. , in issue # 11 (May 1954). Rechristened the Human Robot, the character appeared in a non-canonical, alternate-universe story in  What If?  # 9 (June 1978), as part of a 1950s version of the later-created Marvel superhero team the Avengers .  [6]  The character next appeared in mainstream Marvel Universe continuity in the six-issue miniseries  Agents of Atlas  (Oct. 2006 – March 2007) and the subsequent ongoing series Agents of Atlas  vol. 2 (April 2009-on). Now dubbed M-11 , the Human Robot, it served as a member of a team of artificially or naturally long-lived 1950s superhumans gathered to the globetrotting adventurers of the Agents of Atlas .  [7]  [8]

Other series included artists George Tuska and other 1940s Golden Age of Comic Books veterans Such As single-story contributors Fred Kida , Sheldon Moldoff , Bob Powell , and Syd Shores . Industry newcomers and future stars included Gene Colan , Russ Heath , Joe Maneely , and John Romita Sr. , and Joe Sinnott . Among other artists contributors were Tony DiPreta , Al Eadeh , John Forte , Jack Katz , Ed Winiarski ,Seymour Moskowitz , Paul Reinman , Werner Roth , and Robert Q. Sale . The covers of issues # 7-8 are tentatively credited to Golden Age great Carl Burgos .  [9]  Harry Anderson, two standard databases .  [10]


  1. Jump up^
  2. ^ Jump up to: c   Vassallo, Michael J. (2009). “Introduction”.  Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Threat  . Marvel Enterprises . ISBN  978-0-7851-3509-8 .
  3. Jump up^  Threat  : Marvel, Atlas [Hercules Publishing] imprint, 1953 Seriesat theGrand Comics Database
  4. Jump up^   83rd United States Congress Committee on the Judiciary (Harley M. Kilgore, Chairman) (March 14, 1955). “Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency: Interim Report of the Committee on the Judgment of S. Res, 89 and S. Res .  Congressional Record  . United States Congress. Archived from the original on May 10, 2007 . Retrieved January 25, 2009 .
  5. Jump up^  Reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Menace and elsewhere
  6. Jump up^  Christiansen, Jeff. “Earth-9904: ([If] the Avengers Had Fought Evil During the 1950s)”, The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  7. Jump up^  Agents of Atlas  , Marvel, 2006 Seriesat the Grand Comics Database
  8. Jump up^  Agents of Atlas  , Marvel, 2009 Seriesat the Grand Comics Database
  9. Jump up^  Table of Contents, Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Menace
  10. Jump up^  Threat  at

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