Merry Marvel Marching Society

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Merry Marvel Marching Society (often referred to by the abbreviation "M.M.M.S.") was a fan club for Marvel Comics started by Marvel editor Stan Lee and/or Marvel publisher Martin Goodman in 1964.

History[edit]

Following teaser promotion in Marvel comic books cover-dated November 1964, Marvel Comics introduced the company's in-house fan club, the Merry Marvel Marching Society, in its comics cover-dated February 1965, released in the fall 1964. Generally abbreviated as the "M.M.M.S", the club offered readers a $1 membership kit that initially included a

  • welcoming letter
  • membership card
  • one-sided, 3313 rpm record, "The Voices of Marvel"
  • scratch pad
  • sticker
  • pinback button and
  • certificate.[1] The company offered permutations of this kit, plus additional promotional merchandise such as posters and sweatshirts, through comics cover-dated October 1969.[2]

As author Marc Flores, who writes under the pen name Ronin Ro,[3] described,

Stan made up cards and had production people Sol Brodsky and Marie Severin help create a pin, eight stickers prominently featuring the heroes, "a nutty new notepad," a minibook, a pencil, a certificate, and a membership card. Stan wanted his bullpen to join him in a special recording he'd include in the $1 membership kit. Most of the bullpen was willing, except for [Steve] Ditko.[4]

The club proved successful, with Marvel secretary and club coordinator Flo Steinberg remarking that they "were working seven days a week just opening these envelopes" containing the subscription fee.[4] Soon, the club offered a range of other money-spinning products, including:[4]

The ranks of M.M.M.S. membership, all identified by three-letter abbreviations (such as Q.N.S. for "Quite 'Nuff Sayer" to F.F.F. for "Fearless Front-Facer") were invented by young comics fan Mark Evanier.[citation needed]

The M.M.M.S. was absorbed into the subsequent Marvel fan club, Marvelmania International, in 1969. This second club lasted until 1971. A third official Marvel Comics fan club, FOOM (Friends of Ol' Marvel) followed from 1973 to 1976.

In popular culture[edit]

The character of Hiro Nakamura on Heroes is reported to be an M.M.M.S. member in the episode "Don't Look Back".

The M.M.M.S. is mentioned in the end-theme of the syndicated 1966 TV show The Marvel Super Heroes, which featured the lyric "You belong to the Merry Marvel Marching Society".[citation needed] The "Merry Marvel Marching Society" song also played during the end credits of the video game Lego Marvel Super Heroes.[citation needed]

Audio[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ House ad, Marvel Comics issues cover-dated February 1965
  2. ^ Ballman, J. The Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectibles from M.M.M.S. to Marvelmania, p. 80. (Totalmojo Productions, 2007) ISBN 978-0-9815349-0-9
  3. ^ Ives, Nat (January 31, 2005). "MediaTalk; Who Deserves The Credit (and Cash) For Dreaming Up Those Superheroes?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Ro, Ronin (2004). Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution. Bloomsbury. p. 84. 

External links[edit]