D&D & Marvel & DC

So I noticed something interesting today. Apparently Marvel Books put out some AD&D board books for kids in the 80s. Some of these characters look pretty familiar:

So why didn't Marvel pick up the rights to do some AD&D comic books? It seems like it would've been a no-brainer. Instead we got DC's take:

So what gives? What happened behind the scenes?


  1. I haven't checked the dates for the books and comics you showed, but maybe DC already had a contract specific to comics and all Marvel could do was illustrated books?

  2. Maybe the kids books were part of the deal for licensing the Marvel Superheroes RPG? How or why, I have no idea. Just a wild idea to throw out there.

  3. Too bad TSR couldn't get more Earl Norem art. Those DC comics with the "hair metal" centaur should be rounded up and burned.

  4. Ringlerun the Wizard. Sweet.

    I still have the old AD&D colorforms set with all the say characters. The ones they made the action figures of.

    What a shame they didn't use those characters in the cartoon as opposed to that baby unicorn and crap.

  5. or thats the bad guy wizard.

    Wanna say Zardoz but he's not coughing up guns for the campers.

  6. the evil wizard was Kelek I believe and Zardoz was the half orc assassin. I used to have a lot of the action figures and even had stickers of all the characters (those puffy stickers from the early 80s). I seem to recall Kelek was in an episode of the cartoon where he was stealing unicorn horns and had a small army of worgs at his command.