Not Brand Echh (Stan Lee/Jack Kirby) - Marvel Comics Group - 1967

In 1967, Marvel issued eight 12-cent parody comics ("Who says a comic book has to be good??" and "The comic magazine for non-believers who hate comic
magazines!") in a failed attempt to compete with the very successful Mad magazine in the parody/satire market.  The comics parodied the DC and Marvel superhero (and misc. other) comic books.  Marvel issued five Giant-size comics after the first eight.  In 1973, Marvel reprised the Not Brand Echh name as a subtitle for three issues of Crazy.  Marvel writers often referred to DC Comics as "Brand Echh."

#1 (August 1967) - "The Silver Burper" (Lee/Kirby/Frank Giacoia/Artie Simek) - The Fantastical Four leader, Weed Wichards is trying to transform the Thung back to regular guy, Bim Grimm using his cosmic beanie cap and molecular twangulator.  It does not work because the dim-witted Thung does not know the difference between "inhale" and "exhale."  Bim then drinks a bubbling, purple concoction that turns him into the Hulk and everything but Bim.  The Human Scorch is being a pest so Weed turns himself into a fire hydrant to scare him away.  Inevitable Girl (Shrew Storm) reminds Weed that Doctor Bloom is on the loose.  Meanwhile, Dr. Bloom (who went to "Evil High") is trying to capture the Silver Burper to further his evil ambitions.  The Four arrive in Bloomland to be tickled by a giant dandelion and frozen by a giant vanilla ice-cream cone.  The IV then sneeze themselves out of the dandelion but Bloom summons the stolen silver surfboard which fails to obey him causing Bloom to threaten world destruction.  However, Thung's head turns into Bloom's head and scares him away.  The artwork is good but the parody falls short of Mad even though Lee & Kirby have added some chicken fat and a few Mad words ("furshlugginer" and "fink").

"The Fastest Gums in the West" (Lee/Roy Thomas/Marie Severin/Simek) - In this western parody, Kid Cold accuses the Rawhead Kid of a stagecoach robbery but then decides to join him and run off with the strongbox full of gold.  Lawyer Madd Hogg (aka the Too-Gone Kid) and his assistant, Bum-Bum (wearing a Goldwater button) decide to catch the Kids for the reward.  The battle ensues and Too-Gone is about to lose when the Ghostly Rider (aka Hey-Jacks White Knight) arrives in a cloud of dust but passes by without helping.  Then, Sheriff Bad Brett thunders in with a posse consisting of the Queen of Hearts, Bum-Bum, an Indian and others.  However, the posse is not looking for the stage-robbers but instead hog-ties Too-Gone for speeding through town.  Well, it's kinda silly but what's the point?  This short four-pager seems to be a parody without a target or a story.

"The Human Scorch Versus The Sunk-Mariner" (Lee/Thomas/Ross Andru/Bill Everett/Mickey Dembo/Jerry Feldmann) - The story opens with Sunk-Mariner slinging halibuts at the Scorch.  Then, Sunk-Mariner uses compressed air to extinguish the flame revealing Scorch to really be 98-Pound Weakling.  Scorch-Weakling re-flames and exits to visit the police commissioner and Betsy Bean.  Dick Tracy and Spider-Man make cameo appearances on page three.  Scorch and Sunk re-engage at the garlic factory until Scorch gets extinguished again.  Then, Chaplain America arrives to complain about the lame storyline.  The Chaplain displays all of his talents as Scorch and Sunk visibly age before his eyes.  Our original stars limp and wheel off to the Land of Oz where other old comic stars reside including Charlie Brown, Orphan Annie, Archie, bearded Dick Tracy, Phantom, Lulu, Mickey Mouse, Little King and Batman.  Apparently, most of the panels are re-captioned from an actual 1940 comic.  The original is probably just as funny.  However, I appreciate the Happy Haven Home for Hoary Halcyon Heroes.

"A Day of Blunder!" (Lee/Friedrich/John Severin/Feldmann) - This war comic parody starts with seven men playing poker with a deck of Old Maid cards.  One of them is Dean Martin in hair curlers.  Sgt. Furious arrives with the Combat board game and rips his shirt.  The story then introduces the Hostile Commandos - Dumb Dumb Doolan (red mustache), Rabble Rouzer (card cheat/rope tricks), Dizzy Conam (loves his mom in Splatbush), Babe Bones (bugler), Deano Martini, Ersatz Kral'tnik (Nazi), Finko Finkerton (umbrella guy) and Happy Sam Sawbuck (pipe smoker).  Boss Sawbuck informs the Hostiles that their next assignment is D-Day.  Snoopy makes an appearance on page three.  The heroes hop a plane that stalls over France.  Rabble saves the plane with his lasso and the crew charges into enemy fire.  The German bullets luckily miss our heroes.  Against all odds, the boys defeat scores of Germans and then Sawbuck runs in with a new mission (Desertion Day).  I guess they couldn't think of a real ending.  Throughout the issue, the editor make reference to Irving Forbush (not Alfred Neuman) which seems to embody their real problem: trying to copy Mad instead of being clever and funny like Mad. [JAM 4/19/2009]

#2 (September 1967) - "Peter Pooper vs. Gnatman and Rotten" (Lee/M. Severin/Giacoia/Al Kurzrok) - Cub reporter (not Jimmy Olsen) notifies Daily Bagle editor J. Jawbone Junkton that Spidey-Man is back in town.  Junkton leaves the office but can't get away from Spidey who is chasing Lizard Man.  Junkton calls Gnatman to exterminate the spidery pest.  Gnatman calls in his lawyers to negotiate the contract.  Gnatman and Rotten are afraid of Spidey-Man but are bound by the contract.  They find Spidey standing on the side of a building reading about hobbits.  They battle each other for three pages until Spidey miscalculates his web toss and crashes to the ground.  Gnatman reports the triumph to Junkton and then Gnatman becomes more popular than Spidey to the distraction of Junkton.  Spidey becomes Peter Pooper again and the girls like him.  Superheroes fight each other and nobody wins.

"Magnut, Robot Biter!" (Lee/Thomas/Don Heck/Dan Adkins/Sam Rosen) - In the future, Magnut destroys evil robots with his teeth.  His girl friday, Needa Brane is so proud of him.  Magnut explains that he bites robots because they are making mankind too soft.  Back to the present, Bony Stark and Luvva Munny are arguing about atomic missiles and Florida property.  Luvva has a Smokey Bear stole.  After Luvva leaves, Bony changes into his Ironed Man suit.  Toto is in the alley.  As Ironed Man, he jumps into his time machine to avoid his 20th century problems.  Magnut sees the time traveler and attacks.  They battle for two pages until Ironed Man ducks into an old abandoned warehouse and runs into Needa.  Needa's father appears to reveal that he is actually a robot and the owner of the evil robot factory.  Father bangs superhero heads until Ironed Man squirts him with his hyper-hydraulic bubble-gum ejector.  Magnut sends Ironed Man back to the 20th century and then realizes that Needa must also be a robot.  Both decide in the end to quit the superhero business and become softies.  Superheroes fight each other and nobody wins.

"The Blunder Agents!" (Lee/Friedrich/M. Severin/Kurzrok) - Knock Furious is shocked by his electric razor.  Outside, the Blunder Agents' heli-carrier is collapsing.  Twelve superheroes speed to the rescue including Wonder Woman and Snoopy.  The vessel crashes and burns but all heroes survive.  The boys go to a bar and are fooshed into their secret underground room.  The landlord is there to collect back rent.  Suddenly, Dynaschmoe breaks through the brick wall with a chip on his shoulder.  Nobody, the Invisible Man also arrives but everyone steps on him.  Schmoe and Furious battle for a while until Furious socks an old lady.  And then, Captain Cockaroach arrives to challenge Schmoe and the Blunders.  The landlord offers the secret underground room to the hero who defeats Cockaroach.   Furious defeats Cockaroach but then is saved from a falling safe by Schmoe.  Furious then knits a weapon out of his socks and finishes Cockaroach.  However, when they return to the secret underground room, they find that the landlord has rented it to the men from U.N.C.L.E. (Nazis).  Superheroes fight each other and nobody wins. [JAM 4/20/2009]

#3 (October 1967) 1. Dr. Darn Bloke found an umbrella in Norway and became the Mighty Sore who can travel through space somehow.  2.  Sanitation worker Brucie Banter gets too close to his secret formula and becomes the Inedible Bulk who moonlights as a frozen pea salesman.  3.  Draft-dodging paperboy is zapped by spies and becomes Charlie America.  Look for cameos by Dick Tracy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, Spiderman, Thing, Henry, Orphan Annie, Mary Worth, Pogo, Flash, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Joker, Aquaman, Sub-Mariner, Iron Man, Thor and Hitler. [JAM 4/23/2009]

#4 (November 1967) 1.  Splat Murdock, aka Scaredevil decides to allow the evil Electrico to expose his secret identity so Splat can marry Miss Rage.  Sensing a trap, Electrico refuses to defeat Scaredevil.  See LBJ, Hubert Humphrey and Spiderman on page eight.  2.  The Sunk-Mariner (Prince No-More) loses his kingdom of Atloontis to Krank in a Monopoly game, battles Aqualungman, and then escapes to the surface world to star first as Dripper and then as Mr. Spook of Star Trick.  3.  While riding the subway to the Bronx with other super-villain, Magneat-o thinks of a way to infiltrate the headquarters of the Echhs-Men by changing into a foolproof disguise.  However, once inside and defeating the Echhs, Magneat-o realizes that he misses them so he goes back into the dungeon for another fight and is defeated by the word balloons that are usually stored in the Dangerous Room.

#5 (December 1967)  1.  The mysterious Forbush-Man (very bad mascot) defeats the Juggernut causing other super-villains to surrender.  Cameos by LBJ, RFK, Woody Allen, Charlie Brown and Orphan Annie.  2.  Charlie America returns in a block of ice to battle the Revengers (Ironed Man, Sore and Giant Sam).  3.  The Thung and The Bulk are fighting for some reason.  They destroy the neighborhood and get in trouble with the Comics Code.

#6 (February 1968)  1.  The Human Scorch gets married to Gristle and goes home to meet her unusual family.  He decides to call Sandyman to chase them away so he can enjoy his honeymoon.  Alas, he loses Gristle and is left with Sandyman's in-laws.  2.  In this parody of West Side Story, Wotta Woman of the Echhs and Dr. Deranged of the Marbles fall in love and sing a lot.  The Echhs and Marbles rumble until Leonardo Burnedstein and Willy Shakespeare arrive to reclaim their stories.  3.  Spidey-Man is in love and Auntie May is worried.  He invites all of his enemies to the wedding but Auntie ruins everything.

#7 (April 1968)  1.  The origin of the Fantastical Four is explained with cameos by Adam Clayton Powell, James Bond, Reagan, Nixon, Frank Sinatra, Dick Tracy, Elvis, RFK, Fred Gwynn, LadyBird, Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, Smokey Bear and, of course, Hitler.  2.  The origin of Stuporman is explained including: how he got extra super powers; where the 31 flavors of Kreeptonite were found; and how all those other super creatures were created including Stupor-rhino.  Cameos are by Ringo Starr, American Gothic, LBJ, Sgt. Furious, the Jokester, Mad Hatter, Smokey Bear, Snoopy, Flying Nun and all those Marble heroes.

#8 (June 1968)  In three separate stories, Forbush-Man tries to join The Revengers, SHEESH and The Echhs-Men.  It's all just too unfunny.  Cameos by Ferd Flinstone, B.C., Alley Oop, Krazy Kat and The Beatles.  Fortunately for all of us, this was the last regular 12-cent issue of Not Brand Echh.  Issues 9-13 were published as 25-cent giants.