The first publication using the title was the amateur magazine Marvel Tales, also known as Marvel Tales of Science and Fantasy, published by Fantasy Publications in Everett, Pennsylvania. The magazine ran five issues cover-dated May 1934 – Summer 1935. Despite its reportedly non-professional status, the magazine, which appeared in at least two sizes during its run, published a story by the already established Robert E. Howard, "The Garden of Fear", in issue #2 (July–Aug. 1934), and "The Creator", an early example of religious-themed science fiction by the noted Clifford D. Simak, in #4 (March–April 1935).
Red Circle's Marvel Tales
(May 1940). Cover artist unknown.
The next was a pulp magazine from future Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman. Goodman, who published under a variety of corporate names, released five issues of the science fiction magazine Marvel Science Stories (Aug. 1938 – Aug. 1939), which then changed its name to Marvel Tales for two issues (Dec. 1939 & May 1940) under the Red Circle imprint. The title changed again, to Marvel Stories, for two final issues (Nov. 1940 & April 1941).
The story "The Test-Tube Monster" by George E. Clark, in the May 1940 issue of Marvel Tales, was reprinted in the paperback anthology Superheroes (Sphere, 1978), edited by Michel Parry, as an example of an evil superman.
The series was briefly revived from 1950 to 1952, when three further issues were published as Marvel Stories and three more as Marvel Science Fiction.