Written by Stan Lee, art by Jack Kirby and George Tuska, lettering by Artie Simek
Wander down to your local Rexell drug store a month later, grab Tales of Suspense #75 from the ("Hey Kids! Comics!" spinner rack, plop your 12¢ down on the counter, and roll it up in the back pocket of your Toughskins to read later on in your treehouse. Flip open the open and the first thing you see is
Wha...huh? What the Sam Scratch is goin' on here? Where did his parachute go? And by all that's holy and good, how will Captain America survive? How will the Cap survive?!?
Still, where did that chute go? Now, there were no No-Prizes (is that a double negative?) given for solving a mystery in 1966, but if I was to have a shot at it, let's see...it might go something like this: As Captain America floated to Earth on his parachute, a technician who had been blown free of the wreckage of the Red Skull's ship hurtles past him. In the blink of an eye Cap instantly realizes that, like those contractors for hire on the second Death Star...
...that this guy is an innocent, a simple Joe jus' doing his job, so he goes into a power dive, hands the guy his parachute, allowing Mister Independent Contractor Work-for-Hire to float gently to safety, and Cap continues plummeting downwards, knowing he'll be able to pull himself to safety, just the way Cap always does.
At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. And I betcha I woulda won a No-Prize for it. Because Cap always thinks about the little guy.
Still, even without a No-Prize, folks are gonna notice. (Remember: comics are not just for kids anymore!) From the letters column of Tales of Suspense #78, a few months later:
The No-Prize disappeared in the 1980s after substantial differing ideas on how and why to award them, thus removing one way among many to connect the readers with the true Marvel Bullpen Experience. The demise of the No-Prize is sadly mourned by yours little stuffed trulyit seems that maybe Marvel just doesn't want you to point out errors (and I'm bettin' there a lotta 'em) these days. Another error-related practice that has long fallen out of vogue at Marvel is the occasional actual editorial correctionan admission in the letter column or the Bullpen Bulletins that "We goofed!", making our pals at Marvel seem just that much more human and approachable. Why, here's a great example from Fantastic Four #201 (December 1978):
Written by Marv Wolfman, layouts by Keith Pollard, finishes and inks by Joe Sinnott (finished art), coloring by Francoise Mouly, lettering by John Costanza
But in the letters page of FF #204, Mighty Marv takes the time to issue an apology and correction: apparently Reed spritzed the evil killer microbe with his contact lens fluid, making it the most ineffective alien threat until those spaceguys in M. Night Shaymalan's Signs landed two miles from the beach.