Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #53 (August 1987)

Wow! A few issues back, when I offered some left-over No-Prizes for the best letters telling why the X-Men were so popular, I never expected  to be deluged by the ton of mail we received!

All I can say is, our meritorious Marvel No-Prizes must be the most sought-after artifacts next to Aunt May’s recipe for chicken noodle soup!’

Well, all the answers were so ingenious and so well thought out that there’s only one way to distribute the notorious No-Prizes in a fair and equitable manner. We’ll simply award them to EVERYONE who took pen in hand (or typewriter, or pencil, or even crayon) and bombarded us with enough mail to make my eye doctor thank you for all the money I had to spend at his office last month!

And, to demonstrate even more of the legendary Lee generosity, I’ll now print the names of the writers of the first twenty-five letters we received. (See? Promptness pays! Also, this is a terrific, albeit sneaky way for me to fill up a lot of space without having to think of anything to write!)

Okay, here are the fortunate frantic ones who have been so fortuitously favored by the fickle hand of fate…

Mark Gilson, Ryan Vincent, Bob Nolan, Adam Grabinski, Charles McPhearson, Kyle J. Bertelsen, Chris Kleman, Padraic Healy, Leoney Berg, Matthew Ludwick, Jeremy Heier, Jason Rico, Russell M (no last name), Brian Albertson, Lori Anderson, Jeffrey Thompson, Jeff Burke, Alex Pogel, Dana Dixon, Jeremy Augenstein, Todd Sullivan, Valerie Rappeneeber, Andrew Vernon, Sylvain Zimmer, and Adrianne Cook.

As for all you others, we applaud you, too. Stand tall and proud, No-Prize laureates! You know who you are!

But, the time has come to end the suspense. I know you’e all wondering what the letters said. What is it that all of Marveldom Assembled finds so wondrous about the X-Men? Well, here it is – the consensus of opinion, all summed up in one meaningful little word…


That’s right, almost every letter praised the clever and realistic characterization which sets the X-Men apart and which makes it must reading for more comic book fans than any other title.

And speaking of characterization – the most popular character in all of comicdom is about to be married! Yep, Spider-Man is giving up his bachelor life when he and gorgeous Mary Jane Watson tie the know BOTH in Spidey’s newspaper strip AND in his own comic book (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #21)!

Nothing like this has ever been done before! (No, you foolish person, we don’t mean nobody’s ever gotten married before! We mean no wedding has ever been shown in a newspaper strip AND a comic book at the very same time!) How do we do it? With great difficulty! Why do we do it? To prove how clever we are! When do we do it? In June of this year!

So don’t dare miss THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #21 on sale on June, or the June installments of the Spider-Man newspaper strip which appears in more than 500 papers throughout the world! No, no, no, Irving Forbush! You don’t have to buy all 500 of them – the one on sale in your town in quite enough! Sheeesh!

Well, that’s it for now. But before we tearfully take our leave, be sure to ask yourself this burning question – have you hugged your neighborhood mutant today?