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    Timely Comics Trademark Application and Registration for "The Angel" (April 23, 1940). The first of these extraordinary documents shows that the United States Patent Office has granted registration of a trademark to "Abraham Goodman, doing business as Timely Publications, his heirs or assigns" (note that Abe Goodman was the brother of publisher Martin Goodman). The second is the application for a trademark for "the accompanying drawing," the logo shown here for "The Angel." Furthermore the application also says that "The trade-mark has been continuously used and applied to said comic strip series in [Marvel Mystery Comics] since the date of first publication, to wit: August 31, 1939." These two pages and a third blank page are ribbon-bound and measure 8" by 12".

    There's so much to analyze here we hardly know where to begin.

    -- Having the date of Marvel Comics #1's publication stated outright is an eye-opener in itself -- compare to the 9/15 arrival date penciled on the copy shown in Gerber's Photo-Journal.

    -- Of course, the Angel never actually got his own book! And while an Angel logo does appear on some Marvel Mystery covers starting with #10, it's totally different lettering, not the Superman-style raised letters shown here. Of course, as litigious as DC was known to be, that similarity may well be the reason Timely didn't use the style shown here. The Angel logos on Mystic and Sub-Mariner covers are also different, with the one used on Sub-Mariner #1 perhaps most similar to the one shown here. Judging by penciled arrival dates on copies we've seen of the comics, this registration was issued at approximately the same time as Marvel Mystery #8 was on the stands -- since the Angel was the star of four of the first eight Marvel Mystery covers, it's fair to assume he was considered to be the anthology book's breakout star at the time, and this a strong candidate for his own book. Of course, the notion that a character who originated in an anthology comic could even get his own book was still quite new -- if we're not mistaken, only Superman and the Blue Beetle had made that jump to this point in time.

    A remarkable piece of memorabilia for any Golden Age fan!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    19th-21st Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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