Marvel Comics in prose--an unofficial guide

Marvel Comics in prose
an unofficial guide

Marvel Comics' super heroes have had a long and tumultuous history in prose, some of which I've had the privilege to be involved in. This page will serve as a guide to all the Marvel-related prose that has been published since 1967. The whole list is further down the page, but first, an overview:

Bantam was the first publisher to do Marvel novels, with two books in the late 1960s -- The Avengers Battle the Earth Wrecker by Otto Binder (1967) and Captain America: The Great Gold Steal by Ted White (1968). Both these books, sadly, are out of print.

So are all the books in the second run of Marvel novels, done by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books imprint ten years later. They started with the Spider-Man novel Mayhem in Manhattan by Len Wein & Marv Wolfman in 1978 and ended with Paul Kupperberg's Murdermoon featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk in 1979. Between those were nine other books, eight of them novels, one a short-story anthology called The Marvel Super-Heroes.

The biggest Marvel novels program to date was jointly published by Berkley Boulevard and the now-defunct Byron Preiss Multimedia Company. I was the Editorial Director of that line from its inception in 1994 until October 1998, and served as a consulting editor thenceforth until assorted legal problems caused the line to be halted in June 1999 (those problems had nothing to do with Marvel's ongoing bankruptcy mishegos at the time, but do relate to the reasons why BPMC is now a defunct company). Those problems were hashed out, and Berkley published the remainder of their line of books in 2000. Over six years, the line produced 45 novels and seven anthologies. I also contributed to the program as an author, cowriting Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath with José R. Nieto in 1998 and writing stories for four of the anthologies.

From 1996-1997, BPMC and Pocket Books teamed up to produce a run of young adult books, most of them featuring Spider-Man, and including two choose-your-own-adventure books by Richie Chevat. BP Books/ibooks produced a line of books, distributed by Simon & Schuster, which kicked off in 2000 with Michael Jan Friedman's X-Men: Shadows of the Past and ended in 2002 with Steven A. Roman's X-Men: Chaos Engine Book 3: The Red Skull. This program was only tangentially related to the Berkley/BPMC program -- it did finish off Adam-Troy Castro's Sinister Six trilogy -- but I had nothing to do with it.

In addition, Marvel's recent spate of movies have resulted in novelizations of those films: HarperEntertainment published the novelization of Blade in 1998, with Black Flame novelizing Blade Trinity in 2004 (the second film was never novelized). Del Rey published the novelizations of all three X-Men films in 2000, 2003, and 2006, the first two Spider-Man films in 2002 and 2004, the Hulk movie in 2003, and The Punisher in 2004. Onyx put out the Daredevil movie novelization in 2003. Of late, Pocket has cornered the market, handling Elektra in 2005, both Fantastic Four films in 2005 and 2007, Spider-Man 3 in 2007, and Ghost Rider in 2007.

Most entertainingly, Pocket produced a Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men team-up novel by Michael Jan Friedman in 1998. This was when Marvel had the Trek comics license, and so two comics crossovers were done, as was this novel (on which I served as a consulting editor).

Pocket Books picked up the license to do Marvel novels in 2005, kicking off with Greg Cox's Fantastic Four: War Zone, followed by my own Spider-Man novel Down These Mean Streets. The line will continue into 2008 with novels featuring the X-Men, the FF, Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Ultimates, and more.

If you wish to order any of the Marvel novels, you can do so from the good folks at Amazon.com via this list:

The Whole List

Here's the complete list of titles from 1967 to the present, subdivided by character, within that by publisher, and within that in reverse order of publication (most recent book first).

Spider-Man: Spider-Man: Down These Mean Streets -- art by Joe Jusko

X-Men: X-Men: Codename Wolverine -- art by Luis Royo Team-ups: X-Men & the Avengers: Gamma Quest Book 1 -- art by Julie Bell The Avengers & the Thunderbolts -- art by Duane O. Myers Avengers: Captain America: Captain America: Holocaust for Hire -- art by Dave Cockrum Daredevil: Fantastic Four: Generation X: Wolverine: Wolverine: Road of Bones -- art by David Mack Hulk: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Empyre -- art by Joe Jusko Iron Man: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Doctor Strange: Silver Surfer: Blade: The Punisher: The Ultimate Super-Villains -- art by Mike Zeck & Phil Zimelman Ghost Rider: General:

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