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 as well having Stan Lee humming the tune in some of his perils throughout the game.[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]