12/27/05 -  Part 6 will cover the Alka Seltzer/US Club wrap found in Marvels cover dated October 1973...

Military Insert Mania - Part 6

Marvel Inserts

-The Alka Seltzer/US Club Wrap-

October 1973

Three months after the appearance of the Mennen wrap, another ad insert was placed in Marvel comics sold in military exchanges.  The Alka Seltzer/US Club (AS/Club) wrap.  The wrap goes by either name in collecting circles due to the ads that appeared on the insert.  The wrap is not found in the centerfold like the NDS/MJ inserts.  The ad was placed directly behind the front and back covers on similar slick paper.  The ad campaign lasted exactly one month and can be found in Marvel comics cover dated October 1973.

Page 1 contained the Alka Seltzer ad.  Based on the cartoon, it's clear the ad was focused towards military members.  A somewhat gruff Army sergeant is shown yelling at a lowly private with accompanying text hyping Alka Seltzer as curing headaches as well as upset stomachs.  Looks to me the Sergeant could use some medication himself....

Page 2 advertised the United Service Club.  The Club claimed they could get you great deals on flying your family to either London or Frankfurt.  $278 roundtrip from Los Angeles for example.  I've never been able to get a roundtrip ticket to the States for less than $700.   It looks good on the surface but since this ad came out in the early 70s, I'm not sure that the costs would seem cheap in 1973 dollars.  For awhile I wondered if it was possible there was another wrap that focused on trips to Pacific areas.  Didn't make sense that a GI in Japan or Thailand would care to send his/her family to Europe with them not being there.  I finally found confirmation these wraps were indeed in Pacific copies when I bought a couple of Oct 1973 issues containing the wraps with a stamp on the back identifying them as being bought at the Yokota AB, Japan base exchange.  So the Pacific GIs were apparently out of luck...

Page 3 is a recruiting ad targeted to boost Army re-enlistment.  Since the Vietnam War was still going on, I'm sure the retention rate from draftees wasn't high.  In some respects, the Army is currently having the same trouble due to extended deployments to Iraq.  Retention rates are down significantly over the last three years not only in the Army, where the problem is most acute, but military-wide as well.

Page 4 features a mail order music cassette and 8-track ad, with slight modifications, as was found on the Mennen wrap and NDS insert. 

Below is an example of the AS/Club insert wrap taken from Marvel Spotlight #12 Oct 1973.  Click on thumbnail scans for a bigger view of each page.  The same insert was used throughout all Marvel titles...

AS/Club Insert Page 1 AS/Club Insert Page 2

AS/Club Insert Page 3 AS/Club Insert Page 4

The AS/Club inserts can be found in the following comics (I've confirmed those with an asterisk as having the insert):

Adventure into Fear #17 *

Amazing Spider-Man #125 *

Astonishing Tales #20 *

Avengers #116 *

Captain America #166 *

Chili #25

Combat Kelly #9 * Newly Confirmed

Conan the Barbarian #31 *

Crypt of Shadows #6 *

Daredevil #104 *

Defenders #9 *

Doc Savage #7 *

Fantastic Four #139 *

Frankenstein Monster #6

Ghost Rider #2

Gunhawks #7

Hero for Hire #14 *

Incredible Hulk #168 *

Iron Man #63

Journey into Mystery #7 * Newly Confirmed

Kid Colt Outlaw #175

Marvel Premiere #11 *

Marvel Spotlight #12 *

Marvel Tales #46 *

Marvel Team-Up #14 *

Marvel's Greatest Comics #45 *

Marvel Super-Heroes #39 *

Mighty Marvel Western #27 

Millie the Model #225

Monsters on the Prowl #26

Rawhide Kid #116

SGT Fury and his Howling Commandos #115 *

Special Marvel Edition #13 *

Strange Tales #170

Sub-Mariner #66 *

Thor #216 *

Tomb of Dracula #13 *

Two Gun Kid #113

Uncanny X-Men #84

Vault of Evil #6 *

Warlock #8 *

Werewolf by Night #10 *

Western Gunfighters #18 

Where Monsters Dwell #24 *

Again, the AS/Club insert can only be found in Marvels cover dated October 1973.  The inserts were not carried in other companies' comics such as DC or Gold Key.  Also, if the comic has the insert it should have a MJ cardboard insert in the centerfold.  Comics shouldn't have one or the other.  Comics missing one or the other is an incomplete comic in my opinion and should be treated as missing a page.  I have a couple of theories on why this is.  One found without the MJ insert was probably pulled out by a GI for ease of reading.  The cardboard inserts can make reading the comic awkward.  One without the AS/Club insert was probably pulled by a comic collector or dealer due to the GI actually cutting out the coupons.  Pulling the insert out eliminates the stigma of having a comic with a coupon missing and increases it's price in the marketplace.  Remember, both should be stapled in the comic...

So that concludes the Marvel military insert series for now.  It's recently come to my attention another wrap could have been placed in Marvels in the mid 80s.  I won't be able to confirm this until I get access to my collection in March.  If so, I'll write another article covering the wrap.  Until then, I'm going to continue with the other comic companies which carried the MJ inserts.  Next up is DC and that'll be the focus of Part 7...