Atomic Age Horror (Pre-Code)

For many Horror aficionados, this era might be the only true comics worthy of the name “horror“.

In the Atomic Age, genres of every stripe hit the newsstands. Superhero title are on the decline with pre-Marvel Timely eliminating or converting all their mainstay titles in place of genre titles. Sub-Mariner Comics becomes Best Love between June and August 1949 (some sites say the title became Amazing Mysteries, but that title started in May with #32 while Sub-Mariner Comics #32 came out the following month. Best Love started on #33 in August, so this seems like the most likely progression).

Even heroes of the moment, such as Blonde Phantom, have their titles turned into romance, in her case, Lovers between March and May 1949. The Human Torch becomes Love Tales also between March and May 1949. Flagship title Marvel Mystery Comics becomes the horror title Marvel Tales between June and August 1949.

Even previous top-seller Captain America Comics can’t remain unscathed, becoming Captain America’s Weird Tales and then is canceled two issues later. The title went into an odd publishing schedule after July 1949, with the first retitled Weird Tales not seeing print until cover date October 1949 with the next and last issue arriving with cover date February 1950.

Captain America’s Weird Tales #75, February 1950.

Venus survived by morphing through several genres before her final two years of publication when she starred in horror tales featuring art by Bill Everett.

With a cover like this, it’s surprising venus was canceled. Art by Bill Everett, cover of Venus 19, April 1952.


EC Horror

Atlas Horror

Harvey Horror

Yoe Books Collected Horror