Royal Mail Stamps 2019 - Marvel Comics, 14 March 2019

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19 February 2019
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Bam! Pow! Whoosh! Royal Mail’s latest stamps pay homage to Marvel comic book characters including The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and Thor, each of whom have starred in numerous blockbuster movies. But the stamp set has a British link too, as our preview reveals

To many stamp collectors the appearance of this previously unannounced set will go alongside the similarly commercial issues of recent years, such as the extensive Star Wars series and last year’s Game of Thrones set, which recreated photos of characters from the fantasy TV series.

This time we go into the world of comic books and there’s no doubting the Marvel universe – eighty years old this year – is blockbuster material, with a seemingly continous stream of movies telling the intertwined tales of these super-heroes. However Royal Mail are also touching upon the British links with comic book empire Marvel, not least the intriguing British characters that appeared on the pages of UK comics in the 1980s.

Read more about comic book characters on stamps with our 'longer read' guide…

The fifteen-stamp set includes ten 1st class values, each showing a Marvel character, while an accompanying miniature sheet presents a specially created comic strip, entitled Avengers UK, made up of five more stamps. So what of the characters on the ten stamps?

Many will be familiar to us all, and have their roots in the USA versions of the Marvel comics. We see Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther, all stars of their own films in recent years, and the first two have previously appeared on a variety of stamps. But then there’s the more unfamiliar names Peggy Carter, Captain Britain and Union Jack.

Peggy Carter seems like a rather pedestrian name for a super-hero, according to her biography, she was working for the French Resistance in the Second World War when she met and fell in love with Captain America. The two fought the Axis powers together before they were separated by the war. Peggy went on to become a leading agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division).

Captain Britain first appeared in 1976 in Captain Britain Weekly, a comic exclusively available for the UK market featuring the first character created by the imprint Marvel UK. The character was drawn by Alan David, amongst others, who is responsible for the artwork across the stamp set, while writers included Alan Moore, perhaps most famous for The Watchmen graphic novel.

Also known as Brian Braddock, Captain Britain was chosen by magician Merlyn to be Britain’s greatest protector. Granted amazing powers, Brian became Captain Britain and soon learned he was part of a multidimensional Captain Britain Corps and has fought alongside Excalibur and the Avengers to keep his country – and the world – safe from harm. One wonders what the character’s take on Brexit would be, but perhaps such a dvisive storyline would even trouble the strongest willed super-hero.

Union Jack is the third comic-book character whose name is unfamiliar to most. The story goes, the original Union Jack was Lord James Falsworth, who fought in the First World War. When his descendant refused to take on the role, the mantle was passed to Joey Chapman, a working class hero from Manchester, who has gone on to fight alongside the Knights of Pendragon and the Invaders. The character first appeared in 1976 and returned in 2011 for a new story.

Stamp souvenirs

As with other more commercial British stamp sets, there is a huge range of related collectables available, with one eye squarely on the non-stamp-collector market. Take a vist to the dedicated website (www.royalmail.com/marvel) and you’ll see the full range on offer.

The presentation pack (£12.99) is worth mentioning – and you can win a copy on our website – as it includes all fifteen stamps alongside a set of stickers including sound effects, logos and comic book narratives to ‘help you create your own Super Hero adventure’. All ten original Super Hero pencil sketches are printed behind each stamp, a separate protective carrier for the stamp miniature sheet features a striking image of Thanos, and a n original specially commissioned fold-out illustration by Marvel comic book artist Neil Edwards, featuring each of the ten Super Heroes pitted against their nemeses.

A stamp set (£6.99) features the ten 1st class stamps, and a separate minature sheet (£4.99) is also available.

A 24-page prestige stamp book (PSB) retails for £17.45 and features four special panes which include all fifteen Marvel stamps as well as a pane of definitive stamps with the iconic Comics Code Authority seal of approval (which used to be appear prominently on comic book covers) at the centre. A limited edition version (priced at £64.99) is limited to 4,995 copies and also features a ‘selectively colour printed’ Spider-Man tin presentation case, a special edition retro Spider-Man PSB front cover, and an individually numbered laminate certificate featuring a classic comic book scene from The Amazing Spider-Man.

There are six different first day covers, two for the ten stamps (£8.60), two for the mini-sheet (£6.20) and two featuring the pane of definitives from the PSB (£6). Meanwhile, medal covers are available at £24.99 and, for the silver medals, £99.99.

Add in signed and framed stamps and mini-sheets, and individual enlargements of the stamp designs; press sheets, stamp cards, a retail stamp book, and first day envelopes and there’s something for every comic-book fan, though even GB collectors with super-powers will surely struggle to add an example of every offering to their albums.

The full list of stamp-related products is as follows:

Product name

Code

Price

Stamps

AS4355

£6.70

Miniature Sheet

MZ138

£4.71

Stamp Pack

AS4355R

£6.99

Miniature Sheet Pack

MZ138A

£4.99

Presentation Pack

AP457

£12.15

First Day Cover Stamps

AF442

£8.60

First Day Cover Minisheet

MF136

£6.20

First Day Cover PSB pane

HF086

£6.00

Stamp Souvenir Cover

AW099

£8.60

Miniature Sheet Souvenir Cover

AW100

£6.20

First Day Envelope – Hulk

AE397

£0.30

First Day Envelope – Thor

ME133

£0.30

Prestige Stamp Book

YB082

£17.45

Collector Sheet (Generic Sheet)

AT107

£7.70

Retail Stamp Book

UB421

£4.02

Full Stamp Sheet 1

AS4355BFS

£33.50

Full Stamp Sheet 2

AS4355CFS

£33.50

Half Stamp Sheet 1

AS4355BHS

£16.75

Half Stamp Sheet 2

AS4355CHS

£16.75

Spider-man BU Medal Cover

AM062

£24.99

Spider-man Silver Medal Cover

AM065

£99.99

Hulk BU Medal Cover

AM063

£24.99

Hulk Silver Medal Cover

AM066

£99.99

Avengers BU Medal Cover

AM067

£24.99

Avengers Silver Medal Cover

AM068

£99.99

Stamp cards

AQ274

£7.20

Classic Comics Stamp Souvenir Folder

AW104

£24.99

Stamp Artwork Collector Set

AW110

£34.99

Limited Edition PSB

YB083

£64.99

Press Sheet

PZ039

£93.25

Framed Stamps & Minisheet

N3156

£49.99

Framed Collector Sheet

N3157

£39.99

Framed Gallery Prints

Various

£79.99

Framed Stamps & Minisheet signed by Alan Davis

N3165

£195

Framed Stamps signed by Neil Edwards

N3166

£145