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Thrilling Adventure Stories

January 11, 2013 By Walter Durajlija

Martin Goodman had parlayed his success in pulps into the Timely line of comics. That venture, of course, evolved over the years into Atlas and then Marvel Comics, which he ultimately sold to Cadence Industries Corporation. Goodman, though, decided he wasn't done with comics.

In the mid-1970s, his Seaboard Periodicals launched the Atlas-Seaboard line of comic books and black and white magazines, billing it, “The New House of Ideas.” Despite an interesting line-up of creators and promises of great things to come, the new Atlas never became the new Marvel.

That didn't mean there wasn't some great material there. The Atlas-Seaboard line-up had some gems, and one of them was Thrilling Adventure Stories magazine.

Wrapped in a rather generic cover by the great Ernie Colon, the first issue of the series included Tiger-Man (who would star in his own comic from the company), Kromag (who would also pop up in #2), a beautiful Lawrence of Arabia story (part one of what was supposed to be a series) illustrated by Frank Thorne, and an interesting World War II prison camp piece by Russ Heath. The stories were punctuated by text pieces on the films of Alistair MacLean and the then-upcoming Doc Savage movie. All in all, it looked very much like one of the Warren magazines of the period, which isn't much of a surprise given the influence of writer-editor Jeff Rovin, who had worked at Warren.

Thrilling Adventure Stories #2 was one of the great B&W comic magazines ever. Under a Neal Adams cover, readers found the work of Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson, a second Kromag story by veteran illustrator Jack Sparling, a police action tale by Russ Heath, a war story illustrated by EC veteran John Severin, and even a story with art by the legendary Alex Toth, rounding out what might have been one of the best creative line-ups ever featured in a black and white magazine. Cover dated August 1975, these tales were packaged with a text feature on The Towering Inferno in what was to be the last issue of the series.

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