Duke Hustles Marvel Comics in 1985

Hey kids! Duke says you can subscribe to Marvel comics at last year's prices! Sweet, now I can renew my Rom sub! Comic house ads are always interesting to check out, particularly when you can see that titles available back when.

I'm trying to pin down the artist on this ad. Frank Springer was the penciler at the time, and it looks like his style, though I suppose it could also be Mike Vosburg. I don't think it's Trimpe, but I could be wrong. Any guesses?


  • Yep, pretty sure that’s Springer’s work. His faces always seemed heavily influenced by the ’50s/’60s Disney style, just like this take on Duke does.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    It’s nice to go back and read these little ads from a time when Marvel didn’t have 27 mutant titles all going on at the same time.

  • James From Miami

    I actually like it because it makes Duke look very heroic, like Superman(but, shouldn’t that had been Hawk in that ad, instead of Duke?). I find it really strange that both G.I. Joe, and The Transformers comics, are considered special titles. I remember those comics having the same price as the other Marvel comics. Anyway, looking at that artwork, makes me wish that all of today’s serious action adventure cartoons, had human characters, and animals, drawn looking realistic like this. Instead, the people who make these type of cartoons today, want to either copy the 90’s Disney movies artwork, or the Batman The Animated Series artwork. You know, the so called, “animated” style. Like, Transformers Animated, The Spectacular Spider-Man(Spider-Boy is more like it, though), and all of those other similar looking cartoons. And they had the nerves to cancel Young Justice. By the way, sorry to hear about your basement. I hope everyone, and everything, is fine.

    • Marvel began printing G.I. Joe on premium paper and charging a premium price with issue #34 that was released in January of 1985. (I think Transformers was, too.) That’s why they were “Special Titles”.

      • James From Miami

        Thank you for that information. I didn’t even know about that. I always thought that the paper that was used in the 80’s was the same throughout the decade, until the early 90’s, when the paper became glossy, and the artwork looked more clean. Without the color bleeding that was so common with the Transformers comics. Well, at least the comics that I had, had that problem. I never knew why that was. Or what caused it.

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