Marvel's First-Ever Brand Emblem Is Uncovered on a Surprising Comic – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Collector Matt Bruback uncovers the first comic book — a publication from the 1940s — to showcase the first edition of Marvel Comics’ brand emblem.
Marvel Comics' first brand emblem has been discovered on 1946's Willie Comics #5.
In 2019, comic collector Matt Bruback began looking into brand emblems from various comic book publishers from the 1940s. Brand emblems were made by publishers such as Marvel, DC, Archie Comics and more around that time period in an effort to differentiate themselves from one another at a time when the industry was taking off. When researching the matter, Bruback discovered 1946's Willie Comics #5 was the first comic book to showcase Marvel Comics' first brand emblem.
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Bruback, who was formerly a professional minor league baseball player, noticed the back of Willie Comics #5 had an image of a young man hitting a baseball at school recess. He said, "To discover the first comic book with a Marvel Comics Brand Emblem had a baseball-related Baby Ruth advertisement on the back was surreal. I can’t tell you how personal this project became or me, and my focus quickly changed to identify and share these hidden treasures with the world.”
Bruback continued to research brand emblems for the following three years and developed a system to catalog comic book, the Universal Comic Guide Catalog (UCGC), brand emblems based on copyright date, publication date and alphabetical order. During that time, he looked documented 14 different company brand emblems and 40 first brand emblem logos for companies such as All-American Publication, Archie Comics, Atlas Comics, Charlton Comics, DC, Dell Comics, Educational Comics, Fawcett Comics, Gold Key Comics, Harvey Comics, Image Comics, Marvel, Quality Comics and Valiant Comics.
He then took that system and his findings to CGC in August 2022. "I was impressed with Matt Bruback’s research, locating the Library of Congress dates for each of these issues," CGC president Matt Nelson said. "It provides deeper insight into the creation and publication of these emblems. This kind of information is invaluable to collectors, giving historical perspective and creating another market driver."
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After reviewing the UCGC, Nelson agreed brand emblem information should be added to comic labels graded by the CGC. The company decided to utilize the copyright as the main way to do so and on Dec. 19, 2022, over 100 comics in the CGC's database were updated to include this information. "Matt Nelson is the leader of the most successful comic grading company in history and I’m confident he is doing what is in the best interest of CGC and collectors," Bruback said.
Source: CGC
Brandon Schreur is a comics news editor for CBR, joining the team in February of 2022. Based out of Michigan, the man has a passion for pretty much all things pop culture. Comics? Loves them. Movies? Seen way too many. TV shows? Can binge-watch just about anything in insane amounts of time. Getting to write about all those interests for CBR? He’s living the dream. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandonschreur.


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