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Pow! to the People

A history of the comic-book business shows how our superheroes got made

I can still remember what it felt like to pick up my first Marvel comic book, The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, in 1965 at a store near my home in the Philadelphia suburbs. I was already a comic fan, devouring issues of Superman and Batman.

This was something different. Inside, writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko wove a tale that put the arachnidan hero in the surrealistic realm of Doctor Strange, a master of the mystic arts. It was thrilling, even a little

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