“Sub-Mariner” 43 p 26 (November 1971)

Sub-Mariner 43 p 26 (November 1971)
by Gene Colan (1926-2011) and Mike Esposito (1927-2010)
13 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Mindquake! / Chapter 2 “…And the Power of the Mind!”
Mindquake! / Chapter 3 “The Changeling War”

Namor makes his way to Boston, where he comes across a mysterious cult led by Tuval, the Mind Master (queue up the strings of doom soundtrack). Tuval turns his attention to a group of teenagers enjoying an outdoor concert and begins absorbing their youth. Spoiler alert: Namor defeats Tuval and frees those under his influence.

The Marvel comics dated November 1971 bore three distinct changes.

(1) The phrase “Marvel Comics Group” moved from the upper left corner to a band across the top, which stayed in place until September of 1983.

(2) The cover art was placed inside a love-it-or-hate-it, solid-colored “frame,” which was mostly “hate-it” and faded out by the end of 1973.

(3) A price increase from 15¢ to 25¢ (with a concomitant change in format to 52-page “giant-sized issues”).

Historically, this last one is seen as the opening move in a gambit that finally made Marvel the industry leader.  The Marvel publisher had a handshake agreement with his counterpart from DC, to make their inevitable price changes in tandem. Unlike DC, Marvel used mostly new material to fill those extra pages (hence the two chapters in this issue).  One month later, Marvel returned to the classic 36 pages (including covers) at a new 20¢ price. With DC locked into a long-term printing arrangement for its own reprint-heavy format, Marvel used their lower prices to dominate the market (at last).

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