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1/04/2020 10:01 pm  #1


Sequencing monthly and quarterly Timely issues

Historical text from Comixfan:

RobFJ

Nov 12, 2011, 01:39 pm

The online bibliographies in Marvel Universe for Captain America and Sub-Mariner, taken from the OHOTMU, use a particular dating scheme for interpolating Timely titles with quarterly cover dates (eg Spring, Summer) between contemporary issues with monthly dates. This system has also been the basis for the before and after appearances in the Timely parts of the recent Index of Captain America, and affects some of the character histories in the Marvel Mystery Handbook.

Unfortunately I think I have noticed a systematic error in the dating of the quarterly Timely comics, exposed by the reprints of adverts for these comics in Golden Age Marvel Masterworks.

The situation is confused by the fact that the bibliographies give month-dated issues dates 3 months prior to their cover dates, I presume to reflect the actual publication dates of Timely comics. (This is sometimes obscured because I believe the listings are also intended to describe the chronology of the characters. So continued stories are combined into the same month. And some stories considered out-of-publication-sequence are inserted in the relevant places.)

Some adverts in reprinted comics back up this 3-month backdating. (Most ads aren't helpful because they just say that a comic is out now, or will be out soon.)
Marvel Mystery Comics #17 and Human Torch #3 have ads for Captain America Comics #1 cover-dated March 1941, but they say it is on sale December 20th 1940.
HT#3 also has an ad for Mystic Comics #5 (also March 1941) on sale December 15th 1940.
MMC#20 and CAC#4 have ads for USA Comics #1, cover date August 1941, with on sale date April 20th which is actually 4 months ahead.
(An earlier ad in CAC#1 for USA#1 to be available January 20th should be ignored because it was an aborted launch with different advertised contents.)

The 3-month rule is also supported by the appearance of 'Remember Pearl Harbor' discs on the covers of issues with cover date April 1942 (MMC#30 and CAC#13). These would be published in January, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor at the end of December 1941.


There are even more examples of ads with publication dates for quarterly-dated comics. Some of them are:-
MMC#13 and #14 have ads saying HT#2 (Fall 1940) was published September 25th 1940.
MMC#15 says HT#3 (Winter 1940/41) was on sale December 10th 1940.
MMC#18 and Daring Mystery Comics #7 claim Sub-Mariner Comics #1 (Spring 1941) came out March 1st 1941.

These suggest a relationship between quarterly cover dates and publication months as follows:-
Fall issues published in September.
Winter issues published in December.
Spring issues published in March.
And we can complete the set with
Summer issues published in June.
This last connection is approximately supported by:-
MMC#21 and #22, CAC#5 and USA#1(Aug) all claiming All Winners Comics #1 (Summer 1941) was available May 20th 1941.
HT#5a having Young Allies #1 (Summer 1941) on sale July 10th 1941.
Finally
AWC#3 putting YA#2(Winter 1941/42) at November 25th 1941 is also only 1 month out.

So we have 2 patterns:-
Month-dated issues published 3 months ahead of their cover date.
Season-dated issues published on the above schedule.
Both of these rules can slip by a month.

Using the basic patterns we can also relate season-dated comics to the cover date of month-dated comics published at the same time.
As a general rule:-
Spring quartelies are with June cover-dated monthlies, published in March.
Summer quartelies are with September cover-dated monthlies, published in June.
Fall quartelies are with December cover-dated monthlies, published in September.
Winter quartelies are with March cover-dated monthlies, published in December.

There is support for this scheme in other ads which just say that issues are already out or will be out soon. The general pattern for monthlies advertising other monthlies is that comics refer to others comics as on sale now if they are published in the same month or the previous month. Comics coming soon will be available next month. (Of course there are some slight exceptions to these rules.) If we apply my proposed linkage between monthlies and quarterlies, we find that ads across that divide mostly fit that pattern too.

The 'Remember Pearl Harbor' discs appeared on monthly issues cover-dated April and May 1942 plus 1 issue in June. Unfortunately no quarterly issues had this disc, so they are no help corroborating the monthly-quarterly link.

However this is the central problem with the Cap and Namor bibliographies, and Cap's Index.
These sources generally relate quarterlies and monthlies as follows:-
Spring issues with March cover-date monthlies, backdated to December for publication.
Summer issues with June cover-date monthlies, backdated to March for publication.
Fall with September cover-date monthlies, backdated to June for publication.
Winter issues with December cover-date monthlies, backdated to September for publication.
(Again there are some 1 month slippages.)

Ie quarterlies in the bibliographies and Index are 3 months adrift.

(When looking at ads for quarterlies in monthlies or vice versa, sometimes the distinction between already out and forthcoming can be out by 1 month. But not by 3 months.)

Moving the quarterly issues 3 months forward has some beneficial effects:-

Mystic Comics v2#1 is monthly cover-dated October 1944, backdated to July. Mystic Comics v2#2 is quarterly dated Fall 1944. If Fall were backdated to June then #2 would have come out before #1. Changing to September publication avoids this problem.

In Sub-Mariner Comics #1 (Spring 1941) the Atlantean emperor is killed (or put in a coma) and Namor takes over. If Spring quarterlies were equated to March cover-dated monthlies, then it would have been published in the same month as MMC#17. But the emperor appears in MMC#19 cover-dated May. Moving Spring quarterlies to June cover-dates puts SMC#1 with MMC#20. It can then be read between MMC#19 where the emperor is alive, and MMC#20 where he's dead. Also in SMC#1 SM 'borrows' some radium from New York. In MMC#20 he returns it.

The HT+SM story in MMC#17 (March 1941) refers to the Atlantean fleet as heavily damaged, which happened in the SM story in HT#3 (Winter) (which itself followed directly fromn the HT story in the same issue). This works better if Winter quarterlies are published alongside March ones than if HT#3 happened 3 months earlier.

There are probably other connections I haven't noticed yet.

I don't know what you can do about it at this late date. But I hope my efforts are of some help in future indexes.

Rob F Johnson




Andy E. Nystrom

Nov 24, 2011, 07:56 pm


I don't have anything to say specifically but you've clearly done your research and I didn't want that to go uncommented on, especially since there's no Like button per se. I hope that this info does manage to get some official use at some point because I did find it to be an interesting read.




RobFJ

Jan 6, 2012, 09:32 am


My revised scheme for aligning quarterly issues with monthly ones can throw light on some other corners of Timely. One of these is the question of Patriot's first appearance.

There is no argument about his origin, which is in the text story in Human Torch #4. This is set a year before his other tales. The question is rather which is his first illustrated story.

Patriot has such stories in HT#4 Spring 1941 and #5a Summer 41 (and also guests in the main story in #5b), and has a continuing strip in Marvel Mystery Comics from #21 dated July 41.

There is no entry for Patriot in the online OHOTMU bibliographies, but their dating system would have HT#4 Spring->March, HT#5a Summer->June, MMC#21 July ...

My scheme has HT#4 Spring->June, MMC#21 July, MMC#22 August, MMC#23 September + HT#5a Summer->September ...

Both systems seem to have the first appearance in HT#4. But many sources claim the 1st app is MMC#21.

The Golden Age Handbook has HT#4. (But it also says he has no origin story.) However I haven't found anywhere else that agrees. (Earlier Handbooks that I have only list his 1st modern app in Marvel Premiere #29.)

The copies of the Overstreet Guide that I have say MMC#21.
The online Marvel Universe entry has 1st app MMC#21.
The Chronology Project has MMC#21, HT#4, HT#5a, HT#5b, MMC#22 ... (deviating from both dating schemes).
The online sites International Heroes and Guide to Marvel's Golden Age Characters both have MMC#21.
It is possible that one source, say an early Overstreet, put MMC#21 as the 1st app and others since then have copied it.

Looking at the evidence of adverts:- MMC#19 says HT#4 is on sale soon, MMC#20 has on sale now, MMC#21 doesn't have an ad, and HT#4 has MMC#20 on sale soon. This would suggest that HT#4 came out between MMC#19 and #20, making it definitely the 1st app of Patriot. But the ad dating isn't necessarily foolproof. My scheme would put HT#4 with MMC#20, and my 1 month leeway would allow it to be in the same month as MMC#21. Then either of them could be first.

While I'm on the subject of Patriot, now that MMC#21-24 are available in a Masterworks I've noticed a big difference between Patriot in HT and MMC. Both titles have Jeff Mace with his girlfriend Mary (no surname as yet), and their newsman pal Casey. But there seems to be a disagreement over whether Mace works for a newspaper too.

In the story and text origin in HT#4 he's definitely a reporter. In HT#5a Casey is referred to as a *fellow* newshawk. But in that issue Patriot gives the story of the events to Casey, without any suggestion that he could have written it up himself as Mace.

This generosity extends throughout the available MMC stories. Casey always gets the story. In fact in #21 Jeff gives it to him directly, rather than as Patriot. Mace is never referred to here as a reporter. Indeed in #21 Mary calls him a playboy.

There is a similar disagreement over whether Mary is a reporter too. MMC has no hint of this. But HT#5a talks about Jeff Mace and Mary and *their* fellow newshawk Casey. And HT#4 can be read as saying that they all 3 work at Consolidated Press/News.




RobFJ

Jan 16, 2012, 08:07 am


Some other characters that can be studied in the light of my alternate dating scheme are Young Allies and Red Skull.

The Young Allies grew out of appearances of the Sentinels of Liberty in early issues of Captain America Comics. Bucky was depicted as leader of one local SoL group, in his non-costumed identity. The group didn't know that their Bucky was Captain America's Bucky.

The group had adventures with Bucky and Cap in the text story in CAC#4 and the 3rd Cap story in CAC#5. Then there were some SoL members in Bucky's school in the 1st story in CAC#6 (probably some of the same SoL group). And in that issue's text story Bucky, still out of costume, recruited the help of an SoL member.

During these stories there is some evidence that the SoL group includes the future Young Allies. The CAC#5 story has someone who looks very like Whitewash, and the CAC#6 school story includes a dead ringer for Tubby Tinkle. These 2 stories also have boys who could be Knuckles and Jeff. The boy in CAC#6's text story definitely isn't a member of Young Allies.

Then CAC#8's text story by Stan Lee calls 4 boys the Young Allies (with 2 of the names slightly wrong - an early example of Stan's Bob Banner syndrome?). Bucky is depicted as in costume in the illustration. But it is unclear from the text that he is, or whether the Young Allies know Bucky is Bucky.

The CAC issue cover and publication dates (in 1941) are, in both the OHOTMU and my own dating systems:-
CAC#4 (Jun->Mar)
CAC#5 (Aug->May)
CAC#6 (Sep->Jun)
CAC#8 (Nov->Aug)

The OHOTMU dating system would place YA#1 as (Summer->March), near CAC#4. The online Cap bibliography puts it in that month later than CAC#4, and the recent Index agrees with that order.

My system has YA#1 as (Summer->June), placing it near CAC#6. I can interpret that as between CAC#6 and #8. This easily accommodates the YA members possible appearances in CAC#5 and #6 as before Bucky revealed his identity and formed the YA.

However proponents of the OHOTMU system could say that the unnamed boys in CAC#5 and #6 weren't really the YA boys. Or maybe they were keeping the YA and Bucky's identity secret from the rest of the SoL group.

The are some other connecting links between issues of CAC and YA. I'll discuss Red Skull below. The only other one I know of is that Black Talon appears in CAC#9 and then YA#2. And this one works in either scheme.
OHOTMU dating would have CAC#9 (Dec->Sep), YA#2 (Winter->Sep). Cap's bibliography has them both in Sep, in the necessary order. Cap's Index agrees with that order.
My dating has CAC#9 (Dec->Sep), YA#2 (Winter->Dec), obviously the right order.

Modern Marvel says there have been several people behind the mask of Red Skull. But as far as I can tell from the issues available to me, Timely/Atlas seems to have treated them all as the same person, up to and including the version working for the Communists in the 50's. I haven't seen any name given for him other than George Maxon, which was used only in the 1st appearance.

I'm going to examine the earliest Timely issues themselves. I'm not going to consider modern tales that have been interpolated between them. I'm going to ignore modern retcons for the moment.

The earliest appearances of RS are in CAC#1,3,7,16, YA#1,4 and All Select Comics #2.

The relevant facts from the initial appearances are:-
CAC#1 Maxon appears to die of his own poison.
CAC#3 Maxon says he was immune to his own poison. He appears to die in an explosion.
CAC#7 CA&Bu think RS dead in the explosion. RS just says he's back, with no explanation. He appears to drown.
YA#1 RS knows Bucky. No-one mentions previous events. RS gets captured.
CAC#16 RS escapes prison. He falls from a plane.
YA#4 RS says he had a parachute. He falls from a cliff.
The story in ASC#2 hasn't been reprinted, so I don't know if it made any reference to YA#4.

The sequence of stories seems to be as listed above. There is a chain of connections from CAC#1 to CAC#7, and from YA#1 to YA#4. The weakest link is between CAC#7 and YA#1, but RS in YA#1 still appears to be the same as in the previous chain.

My dating system suggests:-
CAC#1 (Mar->Dec40)
CAC#3 (May->Feb41)
CAC#7 (Oct->Jul41)
YA#1 (Summer->Jun41)
CAC#16 (Jul->Apr42)
YA#4 (Summer->Jun42)
ASC#2 (Winter->Dec43)
This is all OK except that CAC#7 and YA#1 are the wrong way round, by a month. YA#1 should be with the Sep monthly CAC#6.

A detailed look at the adverts at the time is interesting.
No Sep monthlies have ads for YA#1.
The only Summer quarterly with an ad for YA#1 is HT#5a. This gives it a future date Jul 10th, ie with Oct's monthlies in my scheme.
YA#1 itself has an ad for the Oct Mystic Comics #6 as on sale now, and strangely it has 2 ads for the Oct CAC#7, one as on sale now, the other as on sale soon.
The Oct MMC#24 and CAC#7 have ads for YA#1 as on sale now.
This suggests to me that YA#1 was published in Jul, 1 month late on my scheme.
This makes RS's appearances in CAC#7 and YA#1 in the same month. And I can choose to make YA#1 after CAC#7. Or at least after the 1st story in CAC#7, which was the RS one.

OHOTMU's dating would have:-
CAC#1 (Mar->Dec40)
CAC#3 (May->Feb41)
CAC#7 (Oct->Jul41)
YA#1 (Summer->Mar41)
CAC#16 (Jul->Apr42)
YA#4 (Summer->Mar42)
ASC#2 (Winter->Sep43)
This brings YA#4 back to the month before CAC#16, and YA#1 comes well before CAC#7, so my deduced Timely order doesn't hold.

The Cap bibliography follows that dating exactly, and puts both YA issues in the 'wrong' places.

As it happens RS has a bibliography too. This too has YA#1 before CAC#7. But it puts YA#4 after CAC#16. It manages to get away with that, even though it categorises events by date, because it only categorises by year, not month, and so doesn't distinguish between Mar and Apr.

The Cap Index doesn't bother with dates, but moves YA#4 to immediately after CAC#16, referring in a NOTE to YA#4's flashback to CAC#16. However it claims that the RS in YA#1 wasn't the real one.

This brings me to the evolution of the modern Marvel history of RS.

Tales of Suspense #65 retold the 1st RS story from CAC#1. Here it claimed that RS had replaced the real Maxon. So no version of RS was actually named Maxon. Tales of Suspense #66 began a story in which Cap met the real RS, having deduced that 'Maxon' was just a pawn working for the real RS. This story doesn't correspond to any Timely tale. The 'Maxon' RS is never given a real name.

1983's OHOTMU didn't mention Timely comics, but did confirm that Maxon was not the real RS. RS's real name was unknown here.
The real RS was named Johann Schmidt in CA#298 in 1984, and this name was reflected in 1986's OHOTMU.
1989's OHOTMU Update included Timely comics in its information. It said RS's 1st appearance was CAC#7. Maxon was a fake in CAC#1 and CAC#3. It also said the RS in YA#1 was probably another fake pawn.

This is how things stood for many years. Then.....
2004's OHOTMU Golden Age had RS's 1st appearance as CAC#1. (This may have been a mistake at the time.)
2007's OHOTMU RS bibliography had RS's 1st appearance as YA#1, then CAC#7, CAC#16, YA#4.
2009's OHOTMU HC had RS sharing CAC#1 with Maxon. It described YA#1's RS as definitely another fake.
2010's CA Index agreed with that, but was confused about YA#4. The entry for CAC#7 said YA#4 may have a fake RS. The entry for CAC#16 said YA#4 had the real RS, and YA#4 followed CAC#16.

The Marvel Chronology Project has reflected these later changes. I have some snapshots of RS entries.
Up to at least 1999 MCP didn't have Timely entries.
The 2007 OHOTMU RS list YA#1, CAC#7, CAC#16, YA#4 appeared in MCP as early as 2002.
(Strangely MCP 2002's CA listing contradicted this, having YA#1 after CAC#10, much later than even my redating. This is the only time in any of the sources mentioned here that I've seen YA#1 after CAC#7. But MCP later moved CA's YA#1 back to after CAC#4, as per the OHOTMU dating system.)
2008 MCP added CAC#1 but didn't drop YA#1 from the appearances of the real RS.
Current MCP agrees with the latest OHOTMU/Index consensus CAC#1, CAC#7, CAC#16, YA#4.

Of course I don't know the reasoning behind all these changes.

If Johann Schmidt needed to be separated from 'Maxon', then CAC#7 was a good place to do it, as RS doesn't actually say that he survived CAC#3's explosion, just that he (who we now call Schmidt) is still alive. Putting him in CAC#1 with 'Maxon' explains why he knows CA&Bu and his own henchmen in CAC#7.

If the OHOTMU dating system (its supposed relation between monthly and quarterly issues, but not necessarily its 3 month backdating) was the accepted theory all along, then its dating of YA#1 would be awkward as CA&Bu say in CAC#7 that the last time they saw RS was in CAC#3. If this is the (or a main) reason for saying YA#1's RS wasn't 'Maxon' or Schmidt (and CA&Bu knew that because they captured and unmasked him, and he's in prison), then my reshuffle removes that reason. (However you may think a more valid reason is that the YA shouldn't have been able to make a fool of the real RS. And the real RS shouldn't get captured.)

Of course I must admit that the extra modern tales that have been inserted in this era will have severed some of the links that validate the chain of Timely appearances. But I don't believe that means we should change the Timely sequence without good reason.




Stuart V

Jan 16, 2012, 09:13 am

RobFJ wrote:

The real RS was named Johann Schmidt in CA#298 in 1984, and this name was reflected in 1986's OHOTMU.

I'll have to leave the chronology points to other index team members more aware of the ins and outs of Cap's chronology than I, or for when I have more time to wade through it, but I'll say this now: Your statement above is incorrect.




captainswift

Jan 16, 2012, 05:01 pm

  Stuart V wrote:

I'll have to leave the chronology points to other index team members more aware of the ins and outs of Cap's chronology than I, or for when I have more time to wade through it, but I'll say this now: Your statement above is incorrect.

Specifically, that in 1984, Red Skull's name is revealed to be "Shmidt" (no "c"), and that's how he's listed in the handbook, although a number of recent writers have added the "c" into it.




RobFJ

Jan 17, 2012, 04:53 pm


I stand corrected about the spelling of Shmidt. Thanks for pointing it out.




RobFJ

Jan 18, 2012, 08:02 am


For my last trick (you may be glad to hear) I'm going to apply my dating system to mentions of Pearl Harbor or other events in the succeeding month. I'm going to consider issues that the Captain America and Sub-Mariner online bibliographies attribute to August 1941 to March 1942 (the reason for the wide spread will become clear).

I'm going to ignore modern interpolated stories. I'm also going to ignore the story from Sub-Mariner Comics #23 which his bibliography brings so far forward in order to justify Shark's inclusion in Avengers #71/Invaders Annual #1.

The titles mentioned are Captain America Comics, Marvel Mystery Comics, All Winners Comics, Young Allies, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner Comics.
The ex-OHOTMU bibliography version of cover dates and backdated publication dates is:-
Aug 41
CA Biblio has CAC#8 (Nov->Aug)
SM Biblio has MMC#25 (Nov->Aug), MMC#26 (Dec->Sep)
Sep 41
CA Biblio has CAC#9 (Dec->Sep), AWC#3 [Winter->Sep], YA#2 [Winter->Sep]
SM Biblio has AWC#3 [Winter->Sep], HT#6 [Winter->Sep], SMC#4 [Winter->Sep]
Oct 41
CA Biblio has CAC#10 (Jan->Oct)
SM Biblio has MMC#27 (Jan->Oct), MMC#28 (Feb->Nov), MMC#29 (Mar->Dec), MMC#30 (Apr->Jan)
Nov 41
CA Biblio has CAC#11 (Feb->Nov)
SM Biblio has nothing
Dec 41
CA Biblio has CAC#12 (Mar->Dec), AWC#4 [Spring->Dec]
SM Biblio has HT#7 [Spring->Dec], SMC#5 [Spring->Dec], AWC#4 [Spring->Dec], MMC#31 (May->Feb)
Jan 42
CA Biblio has CAC#13 (Apr->Jan)
SM Biblio has nothing
Feb 42
CA Biblio has CAC#14 (May->Feb)
SM Biblio has nothing
Mar 42
CA Biblio has CAC#15 (Jun->Mar), AWC#5 [Sum->Mar]. YA#4 [Sum->Mar]
SM Biblio has SMC#6 [Sum->Mar], HT#8 [Sum->Mar], MMC#32 (Jun->Mar), AWC#5 [Sum->Mar]
The recent CA Index basically agrees, except it puts YA#4 later after CAC#16.

The bibliographies list every issue in the month of its supposed publication date except some issues of MMC.
MMC#25-26 are combined in MMC#25's Aug.
MMC#27-30 are combined in MMC#27's Oct.
MMC#31 with publication date Feb is 3 months early in Dec.
Then there's a gap until MMC#32 resumes correctly in Mar.

These issues haven't yet been reprinted in Masterworks so I can't check them. But Grand Comics Database holds some information on them.
MMC#25-26 is a continued story, so is reasonably placed in its 1st month.
But MMC#27-30 appear to be individual stories, and so have no reason to be lumped together.
Except that MMC#31 has to be placed in Dec, because its SM story dates itself Dec 11-14, and its HT story is described as immediately after Pearl Harbor.

Timely comics have been featuring anti-Nazi and anti-Japanese stories since the beginning, so it isn't always obvious which stories are set after the US enters the war. But the Spring quarterlies have many mentions of the US at war.
HT#7 has a HT story which says the US is at war, and a SM story on Wake Island after it's taken by the Japanese.
SMC#5 has a SM story set after Manila falls.
AWC#4's HT story is after war is declared.
YA#3 (not in the bibliography because Cap isn't in it) is also after war is declared.

There is a question whether these stories could have been produced in time for issues published in Dec. MMC#31 isn't a problem because it was published in Feb. In fact Timely only managed to get "Remember Pearl Harbor" on the covers of monthlies issued in Jan, not the ones in Dec. And that would be easier than getting stories written and drawn.

In more fact the fall of Manila wasn't until early Jan, so SMC#5 couldn't be be published in Dec. And Wake Island didn't finally succumb until very late in Dec, making HT#7's Dec date impossible too.

My publication dating, without combining MMC's, throws a new light on the subject.
Aug 41
CAC#8 (Nov->Aug), MMC#25 (Nov->Aug)
Sep 41
CAC#9 (Dec->Sep). MMC#26 (Dec->Sep)
Oct 41
CAC#10 (Jan->Oct), MMC#27 (Jan->Oct)
Nov 41
CAC#11 (Feb->Nov), MMC#28 (Feb->Nov)
Dec 41
CAC#12 (Mar->Dec), MMC#29 (Mar->Dec), AWC#3 (Win->Dec), YA#2 (Win->Dec), HT#6 (Win->Dec), SMC#4 (Win->Dec)
Jan 42
CAC#13 (Apr->Jan), MMC#30 (Apr->Jan)
Feb 42
CAC#14 (May->Feb), MMC#31 (May->Feb)
Mar 42
CAC#15 (Jun->Mar), MMC#32 (Jun->Mar), AWC#4 (Spr->Mar), YA#3 (Spr->Mar), HT#7 (Spr->Mar), SMC#5 (Spr->Mar)
I can move the SM continuation in MMC#26 back to Aug. But I don't have to bunch up MMC#27-30.
The Summer set of quarterlies has dropped of the end. (I could have added Fall ones in Sep.)

The Spring quarterlies are out in Mar, just after MMC#31 in Feb.
The Winter quarterlies in Dec, and monthlies in Jan haven't had time to put the war in their stories. (Even though the Jan monthlies had Pearl Harbor on the covers.)
The Feb MMC#31 had time to react. The quarterlies had to wait until Mar. But they were also able to mention Wake Island from late Dec and Jan's Manila attack.

Ie it took 1 month to get current events on the covers, but 2 months to get them in the stories.


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