*DC: Five of the earliest issues of Barry Allen’s Silver Age adventures (his title having begun, alert readers will remember, with #105, having taken over the numbering from the Golden Age Flash Comics). We open with #106 (pictured left), Barry’s second issue, with the debut of the Pied Piper, one of Barry’s longest-running classic foes (currently an occasional anti-hero in the Flash TV show), GD at £230. Issues #108 and #109 are Fair at £40 and £35 respectively, but #111 (pictured right) raises the bar with a VG- copy at £80 featuring one of the Flash’s more bonkers scenes – be fair though, you can’t go far wrong with ‘tough clouds spitting lightning’ to make you wonder what happens next! Finally, we wrap up this ‘Fab Flash Five’ with #116 in FA/GD p at £21.
*DC: “Stop! This is the new Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow!” So proclaimed the 76th issue of what was the Emerald Gladiator’s Silver Age series. With sales falling as GL’s traditional sci-fi adventures began to look a bit dated, editor Julius Schwartz turned to the creative team of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams to add Green Arrow to the title and re-invigorate the series. And that’s just what they did, bringing in contemporary ‘relevant’ storylines dealing in issues such as drugs, racism, pollution, and modern life in 1970s USA of the day etc. The fame of their run extends to this day and it is avidly collected. It all kicked off here in #76, as Social Justice Warrior Green Arrow (himself only newly made over by O’Neil and Adams in Brave & Bold #85) confronts GL with the issues arising on Earth while Green Lantern’s off among the stars. This copy of GL/GA #76 is a very appealing cents copy, no pence price or overstamp, with unimpaired cover scene and only light corner and spine wear. VG+ at £160.
*DC: Not commonplace anywhere, and very seldom seen in the UK, are variant covers of a number of DC comics from the late 1970s to the 1980s, known as ‘Whitman variants’. These are alternate printings, contemporary with the originals, of selected DC titles with the issue number, cover month and DC logo overprinted with Whitman’s insignia. Whitman Comics was known as Western Comics, who used to publish their own comics under the Gold Key imprint (a gross oversimplification of a very tangled business relationship, but don’t worry about it), and had a distribution deal with supermarkets and chain stores. DC licensed some of their titles through Whitman so that they could have their books sold in department stores in the three-in-a-bag format as novelties for children. These were not returnable, unlike newsstand copies, and were intended to remain on sale indefinitely, hence the elimination of the number & date info. Once disregarded as reprints, these are now acquiring some interest as ‘variant editions’. We have a selection of these curiosities on offer: Batman #314, DC Comics Presents #1,#2, & #3 (Issues #1 & #2 are the 4th Superman/Flash race, obsessive chums!) Superboy and the LSH #251, #252, #253 and Wonder Woman #264 listed under their parent titles in our DC section.
*Marvel: Although Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts had premiered some issues earlier, it was Strange Tales #115 which explained how dissolute and egotistical surgeon Stephen Strange had sought help from mystical sources and been drawn on to the path of heroism following a life-altering accident. This, however, was a secret well-kept by Marvel, who were still plugging the Human Torch as a solo star at this point, and as such gave his match-up with Spidey foe the Sandman all the cover space, without even mentioning the Doctor was In! Nevertheless, this is the first telling of Strange’s origin, as greatly expanded upon in the recent Bandersnatch Cummerbund-helmed cinematic blockbuster. This is a VG pence copy. The price stamp itself is not terribly intrusive, covering a small part of the logo, but oddly this copy seems also to have been pence-printed, and that price obscured by magic marker. This defect is what primarily mitigates against an otherwise VG+ or better copy. Official verdict: VG p £105.
*Marvel: … And a generation of lame jokes about television reception was launched. Issue #87 of the ‘junior X-Men’ series, New Mutants, saw the first full appearance (he’d stuck his face in for a foreboding panel or two the issue previously) of Cable, the time-travelling man of mystery. Who was he, really? What was his agenda? What the hell were his powers, again? Some of these questions would be answered more promptly than others (apart from the Big Gun & Mullet ensemble, I still to this day don’t know what his powers are…), but he stuck around to become the leader of the New Mutants, then, after that series’ cancellation, honcho of X-Force and star of several solo series. A co-star of the imminent Deadpool 2 movie, Cable’s earlier appearances are undergoing a meteoric rise in value. This is a very affordable FN p copy, with minimal corner wear and a tiny notch in the upper right cover edge preventing a higher grade. On sale at £50.
*Marvel: While ordinarily we don’t emphasise modern comics much, we have acquired a number of more recent variant copies, primarily of the Amazing Spider-Man. These are all NM, and we open with issue #600, signed by artist John Romita Jr., at £15. #606 is a Jay Scott Campbell Black & White variant, Black Cat ‘liplock’ cover, at £30. #666 is represented by two exclusive variant covers for our distinguished competition, Forbidden Planet; the ‘headline’ variant is £20, the Lizard battle variant is £25. And we wrap up this venture into modern mayhem with a guest appearance by the Uncanny X-Men – issue #500, the Terry Dodson Black & White ‘X-Women’ cover, at £15.
*Marvel: A reasonably sized update to our stocks of the Golden Avenger, starting with the very first issue from 1968 (unfortunately an almost coverless copy at £11.25) then #2, #3 & #5, following up with a lengthy run between #47 (Barry Smith art) and #71, including along the way #54 with the first Moondragon and a nice #68 with a Certificate of Authenticity from the Don Rosa collection; we finish off with a few issues in the early hundreds leading up to #139 from 1980.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Because you can’t get enough of these, we have a further huge batch of Marvel’s Savage Sword Of Conan fresh in between #14 & #219 in a variety of grades and prices. Somehow the Cimmerian Barbarian suits the stlish black and white mood of these prized magazines, where the comic code restrictions did not apply. Our recent hauls of these have moved very quickly, so slip on your sandals, and rush to our emporium quicker than you can say Crom!
*Alan Class Reprints: Dozens more certificated Alan Class Reprints from the publisher’s archives now fresh into stock, each with a certificate signed by Alan Class himself. This new selection includes Sinister Tales, Uncanny Tales and Weird Planets; Uncanny Tales in particular with most of the first 80 issues and beyond, and Weird Planets has almost all issues of this short run. Marvel reprints abound in all three titles: X-Men, Hulk, Dr. Strange, Watcher, Wasp, Avengers, Human Torch, Silver Surfer, Daredevil and Ant-Man may all be found within these pages and often on the covers. All are referenced in our catalogue listings, alongside grades and prices of course; look for the green listings in this category.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: These three years of Valiant are depleted no longer, with many missing issues replenished, including those with Promotional Flyers for Whizzer & Chips, Scorcher, Score’n’Roar and Jet, and to round it off the 1971 Christmas issue. With most issues being FA or GD this is the perfect time to extend your Valiant collection.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Continuing our extensive restock of Eagle, we’ve now added more issues from Volume 16 (1965), filling all the gaps previously present. The latest issues include #1 with a free supplement, #15, the 15th anniversary issue, #27 with a guide to the New Europe and, as usual, the Christmas issue, #52.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Although Commando became the juggernaut of the Picture Library genre, still running today after close to 60 years, it should be remembered that on its 1961 debut, it was D.C. Thomson’s imitation of other, earlier battle-themed Picture Library series, prominent among which was Fleetway/AP’s War Picture Library, which premiered in 1958. We have the first eight of this long-running and well-remembered series back in stock, in respectable but affordable low to mid-grades. Issue #1, “Fight Back To Dunkirk”, is FA £30. Prices on the rest may be found in our online catalogue.
*TV & Film Related Comics: We conclude our extensive listings for TV Century 21 with its last two years (1968 and 1969 or 2068/69 as they had it!) with most issues from #155 to the final issue #242 (pictured GD £20). Although favourites such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet were ever present, it finished out a very different comic to the one that started in 1965. With issue #225, for example, readers were possibly baffled that their favourite photo or art covers from Gerry Anderson shows were replaced by footballers, as the emphasis of the comic changed, and the final issues decreased in popularity and print run sizes are now much scarcer. But Fandersons don’t despair — we have even more in this vein coming soon!
*Girls’ Comics: Following our recent Bunty Bonanza, we have a – Judy Jamboree? – for Bunty’s stablemate who debuted in 1960. This selection begins with issue #4, and lasts until the close of 1967. While not a complete run by any means, it is a substantial one, and incorporates three first appearances of key, long-running characters (plus one oddball novelty). Issue #164 in 1963 sees the debut of ‘First-Aid Fay’, a young girl determined to become a nurse against her wealthy parents’ wishes; after her first story, Fay reappeared many times up to the 1980s as ‘Fay Farrell, (fillintheblank) Nurse’, her subtitle changing with each adventure – Student, District, Army, Island, what have you. (Oddly, ‘Flying Squad Nurse’, a Judy strip which was right in the middle of Fay’s era, was another young lady entirely – to mis-quote Shaggy: ‘It wasn’t Fay!’ Issue #249 in 1964 brought us ‘Wee Slavey, a.k.a. Nellie Perks, maid-of-all work to the pretentious but good-hearted Shelby-Smythe family. Although the title promised drudgery and gloom, Nellie’s quick wits and ready humour meant that the series was a light-hearted read, even when the Shelby-Smythes lost their fortune and were playing a desperate game of Keeping Up Appearances, with Nellie as their only servant! ‘Wee Slavey’ ran intermittently until Judy’s demise in the 1990s, as did the other Judy juggernaut, ‘Bobby Dazzler’, which premiered in 1965’s #263. Roberta ‘Bobby’ Dazzler was the only girl at Westbury Boarding School For Boys, owing to her mother being the Matron-In-Residence. The other third-formers, particularly Mike Norton, believed boys were superior to girls, and Bobby inevitably proved them wrong. This slender concept, with the lively art of Giorgio Lettari, kept proto-feminist Bobby going strong for decades. The final debut didn’t last long, but it’s a wierdie: 1967, at the height of the spy craze, brought us, in Judy #398, ‘The Girl From DORSET’, as Maid Marian, a junior Emma Peel, crushes adult villains and international agents with somewhat startling levels of violence (for a girls’ comic) before reporting back to her department head, ‘Mother’. What did D.O.R.S.E.T. stand for? Buy the comic and find out! This massive update of Judy also includes Christmas, Easter and other ‘special’ issues galore, as well as several with promotional flyers for other publications. Pictured are issue #4 FA/GD £7; #164 VG £18; #249 FN £30 and #263 GD £30. For prices and conditions on the literally hundreds of other issues new in, including the previously entirely unrepresented 1966, see our online catalogue. And join us again soon as we move on up from 1968 into the 1970s!
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our Books Section:
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Clearance Corner: Artist and writer Jack Katz, despite a career dating back to the 1940s, felt unfulfilled by the art form to which he had devoted his professional life, and in 1974, he took inspiration from the underground commix movement, and the move towards black & white magazine comics by publishers such as Warren and Skywald, to create his own graphic opus, the First Kingdom, in which he saw the potential to create his own story without editorial interference. The First Kingdom is a 24-issue, 768-page series which took Katz twelve years to complete, from 1974 to 1986. The twice-yearly publication and adult content meant that First Kingdom never found broad commercial success, but this story of a post-nuclear civilization rebuilding itself with help from gods and aliens, inhabited by a plethora of characters, is generally regarded as a forerunner of today’s independent comics movement. We have 22 of the 24-issue run, in VF average condition (some second printings) lacking only issues 14 and 21 for the complete set. Average retail was £3-£4 per issue, 22 issues now available for £12. Weight 1.5 kg. UK postage, if required, will be an additional £3.50 as a small parcel.
*Collected Editions: Long out of print in its original collected editions, we are delighted to welcome back to our shelves Volume 1 of a new printing (‘The Definitive Collection’) of Charley’s War, one of the most famous works in the history of British comics. Originally appearing in Battle, this World War 1 saga follows a working class lad on the Western front in 1916. Written by Pat Mills and sumptuously illustrated by Joe Colquhoun, this features the first 300 psages of the story, plus a colour cover gallery. As reviewed by Alan Moore on the back cover: ‘None have even come close to matching the depiction of inhumanity and misery conjured up the masterful Charley’s War’.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This update is brimming over with terrifying tales. Shiver with Lovecraft’s Library double Sinister House/Cold Harbour (Leland Hall and Francis Brett Young), while from Lovecraft himself there’s The Dunwich Horror And Others (in a prestigious Arkham House HC edition) and from Lovecraft and August Derleth there’s The Lurker At The Threshold. Tremble as you read The Horror Stories Of Robert E Howard, a collection of tales by Jerome K Jerome, City Of The Sea And Other Ghost Stories (a special limited edition), or Lair Of The Dreamer: A Cthulhu Mythos Omnibus by Franklin Searight. Finally, if your nerves are up to it there are two novels by Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, The Novel of the Black Seal by Arthur Machen and a perennial favourite, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
*DC: One of Jack Kirby’s last projects at DC before absconding to Marvel in the early 1960s was to co-create the Challengers of the Unknown, the tale of daring adventurers who, having survived a disaster in common, were ‘Living on Borrowed Time’, and decided to devote that time to the betterment of others. After several appearances in Showcase, Prof, Ace, Red and Rocky (and June, who at that time had to be an ‘honorary’ Challenger because, you know, ovaries) graduated to their own series. This issue of Showcase, #7, is the second-ever appearance of the team, and our Fantastic Five (hmmm…) fight the menace of automation when they come up against the diabolical man-machine Ultivac in a book-length thriller! This pre-UK distribution issue is in a remarkable state of preservation, VG- (obviously a cents copy), with only a little bit of wear and creasing in the lower right-hand cover corner, and small spine splits at top at bottom, but nevertheless a sound and appealing copy. On sale at £195. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: After the precedent-shattering events of Superman #199, in which the Man of Steel and the Vizier of Velocity squared off for the title of Fastest Man Alive, ecstatic fans craved a rematch and in Flash #175, the two raced again – with the entire Justice League of America as cheerleaders! But who won? Hey – buy the book, urchins! This copy of the historic issue is an appealing FN+ p copy, with tight corners, firm staples, excellent cover colour and very good interior page quality. There is light, barely perceptible edge & corner wear, but overall a great-looking copy, on sale at £50.
*DC: A personal favourite here at 30th C – and the series which triggered one of our founders into the world of comics – the Metal Men, humanoid robots created by inventor Will Magnus, debuted in Showcase #37 as a last-minute fill-in, whipped up by writer Bob Khaniger and artists Andru & Esposito when the originally-scheduled story fell through. An unexpected hit, the robots – Gold, Lead, Tin, Mercury, Iron and Platinum (Tina) came back again and again, their eccentricities and quirks (from faulty ‘responsometers’) making them ironically more ‘human’ than the flesh & blood heroes of the day. We have all four of their Showcase ‘tryouts’, in issues #37-40, and a wide selection of their ongoing series from #6 to #54, all in affordable low to mid grades, ready to be plucked for your reading enjoyment! Birthday Cake For A Cannibal Robot, anyone?
*Marvel: Two of the most popular villains-turned heroes debut within a few issues of each other in early 1960’s Tales of Suspense. Issue #52 saw the debut of the deadly-but-delicious Black Widow, virtually unrecognisable to contemporary audiences, in her original guise as a slinky Dragon-Lady style femme fatale who was the puppet mistress of her cybernetic ‘muscle’, the Crimson Dynamo, who premiered beside her. Madame Natasha soon abandoned the power-behind-the throne routine and started taking a more proactive role when, having lost the Crimson Dynamo, she acquired a slab of malleable beefcake in the shape of Hawkeye, latching on to toxophilic carnie Clint Barton in his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #57! Originally doing bad things for good reasons, it was comparatively easy for both Natasha and Clint to slide over to the right side of the law, and they quickly became the Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin of the super-hero set, their original romantic attraction simmering into a deep friendship during their long association with the Avengers. Both the Black Widow and Hawkeye are key components of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of course, which has driven their first appearances up in price markedly over the last five years. We have Tales of Suspense #52 VG p at £200; a beautiful copy with unfaded deep purple background and only the faintest of horizontal lines/creases towards the cover, just bisecting the ‘S’ of the logo. The Tales of Suspense #57 is even nicer – FN- cents copy, lovely white background, no pence price or overstamp, on sale at £250. But buy them both – it’d be cruel to separate them… SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the early 1970s, with the supernatural craze at its height, Marvel sought ever-more ingenious ways to produce horror/mystery series which got around the then-Draconian censorship of the Comics Code Authority. One such was Ghost Rider, a retooling of a former Western hero as a stunt-riding Satanic minion (obviously). After a short but successful run in Marvel Spotlight, Ghost Rider moved to his own series under the aegis of Gary Friedrich, Tom Sutton and Syd Shores, and achieved a very respectable 80+ run, and despite two disastrous movies starring Nicolas Cage, has continued to appear regularly ever after. This Ghost Rider #1 is a very attractive pence copy, with light spine and corner wear, but deep unbroken cover colour and tight corners, a copy with great eye appeal. VG+ p £75.
*Marvel: This week’s foray in our Spider-Mania event: 1992’s one-off, Spider-Man Special Edition: The Trial of Venom. This was an extremely limited issue which could only be obtained, at the time, by making a $5 charitable donation to UNICEF. By Peter David and Jim Craig, the one-shot co-stars Daredevil (hence the legal framework for the plot), and comes with a poster bound in. Although the print run is uncertain, very few copies are in circulation, and this one comes with – in addition to the still-firmly-secured poster – the postcard from UNICEF acknowledging the original purchaser’s donation. This NM/M edition with provenance is on sale at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: ‘A Special Once-In-A-Lifetime Issue’, the cover of this one-shot boasted, and its unique position is simply a result of a scheduling tangle which arose when Marvel was finally allowed by its distributors to increase its range of titles. The Hulk took over the numbering of Tales to Astonish and Captain America the numbering of Tales of Suspense, but that left ‘orphaned’ chapters of the Iron Man and Sub-Mariner serials languishing, so they were used in this oddball one-off so that both Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner could start off their #1’s with clear storylines. This new addition is a cents copy, with no UK stamp or overprint, clean & bright, sound staples, good cover colour and minimal edge & corner wear. One of the easiest Silver Age Marvel titles to complete – buy one and you’ve bought them all! VG/FN at £35. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of the phenomena of the last decades of the 20th Century was Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet, in which Thanos, the megavillain Starlin had been building up for nearly twenty years, was unleashed against the massed forces of the Marvel Universe, armed with the reality-altering Infinity Gauntlet, in a struggle for the sake of the universe itself! Hugely popular ever since its inception, but with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet at the centre of the forthcoming Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy cinematic crossover, demand for this issue is at its height. Infinity Gauntlet #1 is VF/NM p £30.
*Marvel: “This Female Fights Back!” was the tagline of Ms Marvel, Marvel Comics’ attempt to publish a solo heroine with a bit more longevity than 1972’s Claws of the Cat. Spinning out of Captain Marvel, former background character Carol Danvers got her own set of super-powers and a whole new supporting cast (including new boss J. Jonah Jameson) as she attempted to discover the mystery behind her own origins. Although moderately successful, the series was attacked by critics who derided Carol’s derivative costume, which made her look like Captain Marvel’s sidekick, and the fact that Marvel were offering a ‘powerful, confident’ heroine who suffered from blackouts and amnesia. Despite these jibes, Ms Marvel has been a prominent member of the Marvel Universe for nearly forty years in one guise or another – whether as Ms Marvel, Binary, Warbird, or most recently the latest Captain Marvel, her chequered history has provided many intriguing plotlines. Soon to star in a major film as Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers’s super-heroic career started here, with her first issue in an attractive VF- pence copy at £60.
*Marvel: By 1982, Wolverine’s status as the breakout star of the ‘New’ X-Men had become evident, and an A-List team of Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Josef Rubinstein was assembled to give him a solo spotlight in a four-issue mini which saw Logan return to Japan. A few years later, he was awarded an ongoing series in 1988, from Claremont and John Buscema, kicking off the whole subplot with him being a crime-lord in Madripoor (in his copious spare time, between being a member of every Marvel team ever!). We’re chuffed to have both his debut issues from the 1980s back in stock; the 1982 #1 is FN/VF p £45, and the 1988 #1 is VF p £30.
*Marvel: The tabloid-sized Treasury Editions published by Marvel from 1974 to the 1980s may not have caught on as a permanent format, but they certainly have their fans, particularly among a certain generation in the UK whose earliest exposure to the iconic Marvel characters was via these huge compendiums of classic adventures! In addition to the ‘baseline’ Marvel Treasury Series, Marvel launched a few short-run series in the same format, one of which was Marvel Special Edition, an oversized reprint (in issues #1 and #2) of the first six issues of Star Wars monthly, which in its turn adapted the very first Star Wars film (or the fourth, depending on how seriously you take all that). We have Marvel Special Edition #1 & #2 back in stock, as well as a selection of Marvel Treasury Edition ‘proper’ featuring the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Conan, the Defenders, and others. Highlights include #4, in which the Conan saga ‘Red Nails’ is reprinted, with Barry Smith’s art looking even more exquisite at the larger size, and #12, with an all-new Howard the Duck eggstravaganza! In addition, we have two Kolossal Kirby Klassics: the Marvel Treasury Special, Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles and 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which Kirby adapted the highly-acclaimed Kubrick sci-fi movie, before extrapolating it into an ongoing series.
*Marvel: We’ve got all our ducks in a row here at 30th C., with a substantial restock of Howard the Duck, the cult satirical series created by Steve Gerber. Gerber took endless potshots at the wider world of the 1970’s with his tale of a misanthrophic anthropomorph trapped in, as later taglines averred, “A World He Never Made” (which is a damn silly tagline, if you stop to think – I mean, who do you know who has made a world lately? But I digress). Be that as it may; this cult series, illustrated at first by Frank Brunner, then (mostly) by Gene Colan, became a short-lived sensation, fizzling out only when Gerber, in his own words, decided that the political and social scene was beyond further satire, and lesser writers simply couldn’t make the Duck fly. We have most of the first 27 issues newly available, from #1 (VF- £22.50) upward; full details as ever in our online catalogue.
*Marvel: Following even more sales on everyone’s favourite barbarian, we are pleased to be able to restock our Conan box with a handful more of his adventures, between #22 & #48, mostly in nice grades and featuring #37, the issue with Neal Adams art. Consult our catalogue for details.
*Marvel: Several issues of Incredible Hulk added to our inventory between #160-183, including several previously missing from our listings and featuring the first Wendigo appearance in #162; consult our catalogue for grades and prices.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: It’s not often that an issue of Phantom Lady from the original Fox run that commenced in 1947 comes our way, so we’re particularly pleased this week to present #15 (the third issue in the series, which started at #13). With three exquisite Phantom Lady stories and a gorgeous cover by Matt Baker, the absolute king of the good girl artists of the 40s and 50s, this is a highly prized collectable. We have graded this copy as Apparent VG+, and noted careful pro-level restoration i.e. three right edge sealed cover tears, a fill at top spine and staple reinforcement. All in all though, a bright, clean copy that presents well with a clear, unspoilt cover image. Priced at £350.
*Annuals: Plucky guardians of the good abound in this week’s Annuals update, with Dan Dare Annuals (new and classic, from ’74, ’79 and ’91), Judge Dredd from 1986, and a selection of later classic Eagle Annuals, opening with 1966 and continuing with a range from 1972 to 1975 – in the grand tradition of British comics, the Annuals continued to come out for several years after the weekly’s demise! Those are all in the Boys’ Adventure Sub-Section of our Annuals listing, but in Film & TV Related Annuals, we have one of the greatest British action heroes of the later 20th Century – Danger Mouse, from 1984 to 1987!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We’ve just added a full run of classic Eagle Volume 9 (1958) to our listings, including #36 which includes a free BEA booklet and the Christmas issue. This run includes three classic Dan Dare stories, Reign Of The Robots (the last few episodes) and the whole of The Ship That Lived and The Phantom Fleet.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Another year of our massive TV Century 21 update, featuring the televisual brainchildren of Gerry Anderson – Thunderbirds, Fireball XL5, Stingray, and, most significantly for this year, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, tying in with the then-latest TV series. The indestructible agent of SPECTRUM fought his never-ending battle against the alien mind-controlling Mysterons, aided by the stunning artwork of Mike Noble. The Captain Scarlet strip premiered in TV Century 21 #141, which is pictured in VG with the original Free Gift – 3-D Video Specs – in FA, at £30. We have most, though not quite all, of TV Century 21’s issues from 1967 – sorry, ‘2067’ – in stock, 70 new copies to our lists (including many duplicated issues providing a variety of grades) in a year previously entirely unrepresented in our inventory. SORRY, #141 NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: The veteran DC Thomson humour weekly, Dandy, is the focus of our Long Hot Summer event this week, with a spectacular array of oversized Specials dating from the very first. In 1964, following the success of the previous year’s Dandy-Beano Summer Special, it was decided to give both titles their solo Specials, and this example from 1964 is a GD/VG, sound and clean with moderate spine wear, and two small tears at the right cover edge. A hard act to follow, but we manage it with a consecutive, unbroken run of Dandy Summer Specials from 1965 through to 1982, in grades ranging from VG to FN, a stellar selection of hard-to-find editions in respectable grades, then wrap it up with a scattering from the turn of the century – including 2003, where they apparently had a Summer and a Holiday special that year! The 1960s Specials are very seldom seen in any grade, so we’ve pictured them here: 1964 GD/VG £175 (left), 1965 VG £50 (right), then below: 1966 FN £75, 1967 FN £60, 1968 VG £30, 1969 FN £40 and 1970 FN £40. All the later issues, of course, graded and priced in our online catalogue.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our American section:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
In our clearance bargain area this week, two of the most venerable comedy story papers of the 20th Century are making way on our shelves. We have 61 issues of Magnet, including 2 facsimiles of #1 from 1908 (with and without wraparound cover) and 1 facsimile of #194 from 1911, plus 58 original issues between 1934 and 1939, including 2 Christmas issues. These are augmented by just 6 issues of Gem from 1915-1938 for a grand total of 67 issues at a clearance price of just £25. These fit into a small parcel box weighing 3 kg and UK postage if required would be a further £14. Conditions range between Fair and Good, with some a little better. Home to Billy Bunter of Greyfriars and Tom Merry of St Jims, these fondly-remembered comedy and adventure stories are an iconic part of British 20th Century literature. We really like these, but with over 3,000 issues in the series, we don’t have space to store any significant quantities and so they have to go!
Our spotlight on previously listed stock this week turns to Hurricane #1, complete with its Free Gift, one of the rarest of all accompanying gifts. In February 1964 Fleetway/IPC released Hurricane, a companion to their highly successful Valiant. Featuring in the lead a lightly comedic bruiser – ‘Typhoon Tracy, as opposed to ‘captain hurricane’ in the lead slot, Hurricane ploughed the expected row of adventure, war, sports and historical strips, but allocating several of them a longer run (5 pages, rather than the two or three that were the weekly standard), and with its slightly larger size, seemed to be aiming a little higher age-wise. The most famous alumnus of Hurricane, apart from Tracy himself, was ace racing driver ‘Skid Solo’, who had a decades-long career after Hurricane’s eventual absorption into Tiger. Because it had a regrettably short run, a mere 63 issues, Hurricane is highly sought after today, and this first issue, in a gleaming Fine condition, is made extra precious by the presence of the Free Gift which originally accompanied it – a punch-out cardboard model of the TSR2 fighter plane, not punched out (in this instance), but still in its original ‘flat’ form, albeit with the card having sustained a light horizontal fold at some time; the original rubber band used to launch it is missing (but easily replaced). We’ve graded the free gift as Very Good, and together the pair are on sale for £200.
Lately, we’ve had rather more cases than usual where reservations of items are being made, mostly from our Newsletter, and the would-be customer making the reservation does not subsequently pay. We request that you do not ask to reserve items that you don’t intend to buy. We need to issue this reminder from the ‘How To Order’ information on our website:
‘Once you’ve placed an order, we will set your item(s) aside. Payment is then expected within a maximum of 3 days; this means the day we notify you plus 2 working days. For example, if we notify you on Monday that the item(s) you ordered is available, we will hold it until close of business (6 pm UK time) on Wednesday; if payment is not received within this time, the item(s) will be placed back on sale.’
Please note that in many cases, where high demand items are reserved from our Newsletter, we often have several interested customers and items going back on sale will immediately be offered to the next-in-line.
*DC: Well, not quite the Teen Titans yet, as the name wasn’t coined at this time, but the ground-breaking Brave & Bold #54 teamed up three junior partners of DC’s major super-heroes – Kid Flash, Aqualad and Robin – against the villainy of the sinister Mr. Twister (no, not the twisted Mr. Sinister – that’s a different series!). Written by Bob Haney, Illustrated by Bruno Premiani, this proved to be such a hit that, with the addition of Wonder Girl, the resulting team enjoyed a long career that still continues today – and this is where it all got started! This is a VG/FN copy, bright cover colour and tight staples, with only a very small ‘scuff’ in the lower right cover corner (not affecting any crucial area of the cover image) preventing a still higher grade. VG/FN p £200. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Following the success of Green Lantern’s debut, what he lacked was an epic villain to match his power (sorry, but the ‘Puppet Master’ and the ‘Invisible Men’ didn’t cut it…). Issue #7 of Hal Jordan’s solo series provided that, with Sinestro, a former Green Lantern who turned rogue. Possessing all of Hal’s power and training – and more experience and savvy – Sinestro proved to be a major antagonist for GL, responsible over the decades for some major setbacks for Hal Jordan, the other members of the Green Lantern Corps, and the Guardians of the Universe. This issue sees the first appearance of the rogue GL of Korugar, though – presumably not to be spoilery – he doesn’t make a cover appearance. And in the back-up story, Hal’s pal Pieface gets turned into a seagull, because the 60s! This affordable copy of a key villain debut is generally in excellent shape, but it does have light pen writing on the cover (just above the ‘Bus Stop’ sign, and in the green beam, as far as the young lady’s pelvis). Because of that single flaw, we cannot grade it as better than GD-. Cents copy, on sale at £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the fourth issue of Marvel’s Avengers series, the already formidable team of Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man and the Wasp was augmented by one of the legendary heroes from the past. Captain America returned to action after years in Post-WWII suspended animation, and rapidly became the acknowledged heart and soul of the Avengers, who have never flourished for long without him! This copy of an iconic issue is a very attractive FN+, virtually unmarred cover scene with only the faintest crease across Captain America’s face, just barely breaking the vivid, unfaded cover colour. With tight staples at spine and centrefold, sharp corners and superior interior page quality, this is a cents copy, with no pence price or overstamp, on sale at £1000 – you won’t find many better this side of the Atlantic! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One conspicuous exception to our habitual ‘vintage only’ policy are debut issues of significant characters, and there a few more significant debuts in the latter days of the 20th Century than that of cuddly brain-sucking symbiote Venom, who graduated from being a genetically modified costume in a jar to the fully-fledged Emperor of Spidey’s Rogue’s Gallery! ‘The Venom Trilogy’, is Amazing Spider-Man #298-300, leading up to the first full appearance of Venom. Having debuted in Secret Wars #8 as a semi-sentient blob which configured itself into Spider-Man’s new costume, the ‘symbiote’ became a regular feature in Spidey’s own series before being revealed as a malevolent alien parasite which disclosed its true agenda in these very issues! #298, with the first brief appearance of Eddie Brock (the man who would become Venom) and the beginning of Todd MacFarlane’s run as artist, is VF p £25; #299, with the first cameo of Venom himself, is VF p £30 and the big one, #300 (pictured) – the first ‘Full Venom’ – is VF p at £175. SORRY, SPIDEY #300 HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Seven special issues which introduced heroes or villains (and sometimes folks who played both sides) who would later loom large in the Marvel Universe. Avengers Annual #10, from 1981, brought us the first appearance of Rogue, the skill-sapping Southern Belle who became a pivot of the X-Men. Fantastic Four #36 featured the debut not only of the villainous FF – the Frightful Four – but of their distaff member, Medusa, later to be revealed as a member of Inhuman Royalty. Marvel Super-Heroes #12 saw the coming of Captain Marvel, warrior of the Kree Empire (and copyright-saving hasty gamble, but that’s another story) later Cosmic Defender of the Universe, and Cap’s distaff counterpart Ms. Marvel’s 18th issue presented the first full appearance of Mystique, soon to become a thorn in the side of the X-Men. Marvel Spotlight #32 brought along another champion of copyright, Spider-Woman; produced in haste to counter a rival company’s proposed Spider-Woman comic, she proved unexpectedly popular and returned in several solo series. New Mutants #25 saw the first fleeting appearance of Legion, currently the star of his own Marvel TV series. #8 of Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey presented the premiere of X-51, also known as Mister Machine and eventually Machine Man. Avengers Annual #10 is VF £25; Fantastic Four #36 is FA/GD p £25; Marvel Super-Heroes #12 is GD p £25; Ms. Marvel #18 is VF p £40; Marvel Spotlight #32 is VG/FN £15; New Mutants #25 is VF/NM p £15.75 and 2001 #8 is VF p £23.
*Marvel: The much-misunderstood Lord of Atlantis, Prince Namor the First (and is it just me who wonders why he isn’t ‘King’ Namor, by the way?) has been doing his anti-hero thing since the 1940s, but his career hit new heights after his Silver Age revival in FF #4, resulting in his own series in Tales to Astonish and then his own series. We’re duly honoured to welcome His Highness back into our humble establishment, with a significant top-up to his series from #24 through to close of play – #72, which saw the end of his Silver/Bronze series, though he has of course remained a major figure in the Marvel Universe ever since. Highlights of this run include the Defenders ‘pilot’ issues (#34 and #35) in which Namor joined up with the Hulk and Silver Surfer against the Avengers, inspiring Marvel’s 1970s ‘Non-Team’. 20 issues new in, in attractive yet affordable mid-grades.
*Marvel: [Back in February, we originally listed this post, but owing to a technical error, the corresponding comics were not added to our catalogue listing. That’s now been fixed, so here is the post again!]
“We’re always happy to see giant panty-wearing monsters” is a phrase one seldom expects to hear, but it’s certainly true here at 30th Century, as the pre-hero Marvel anthologies – usually featuring at least one enormous critter in a giant gusset bent on world domination – are spiralling ever upward in popularity and collectability. We have new entries for Journey Into Mystery (#78, a rare non-BPM issue starring a ‘Dr.Strange prototype’), Strange Tales (#95 with “The Two-Headed Thing” VG+ p £52, pictured) Tales to Astonish (#33, “Dead Storage”), and a selection of Tales of Suspense starring Monsterollo, the Creature From the Black Bog and Elektro, who graces the cover of TOS #13 right (VG+ p £70).”
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: The black & white magazine incarnation of Conan’s shenanigans, Savage Sword of Conan, was the longest-running hit of Marvel’s magazine line, lasting a staggering 235 issues from its launch in 1974 until 1995, when Conan hung up his sandals and parted company with the House of Ideas. While earlier issues, up to just below the first 100, got limited distribution in the UK, later ones were not seen on these shores except in specialist shops, and lower print runs means that fewer copies enter the market. We’re therefore very pleased to have acquired 40 new issues to our listings, predominantly later issues. Commencing with #35 and then ranging from the mid-issue #60’s to #195, these are higher grade, averaging VF, with many NM among the selection.
*Alan Class Reprints: A further release of Alan Class certificated issues from the file copies of the publisher, each with a hand-signed certificate from Alan Class himself. This time it’s the short run title Out Of This World (1st series, which ran to 23 issues). Notable here is loads of Ditko content including some striking and memorable covers, plus, in #15, a Tale Of the Wasp reprinted from Tales To Astonish #52.