*DC: Introduced as a last-minute afterthought in the Batman Animated TV Show, a curvaceous minion of the Joker brainstormed to do a task thought inappropriate for “Mr. J” himself, Harley Quinn caught on like wildfire, and after several reappearances in the show, crossed over into the comic books with Batman Adventures #12 in 1993. Since then, of course, she’s transferred from the DC Comics Animated Universe to the main DCU, had her own series and several spin-offs, and is now regarded as one of the big-earning ‘pillars’ of the DCU, alongside Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley in the ‘Suicide Squad’ movie was widely acknowledged as the only bright spot in that stinker of a film, and a Harley solo movie is in the works, so time to grab this landmark before the prices rise higher! Our copy of Batman Adventures #12 is FN p at £175. Generally sound, only minor spine wear prevents a higher grade.
*DC: In 1973, the town of Metropolis, Illinois, petitioned to be affiliated with the Superman character, becoming the official ‘hometown’ of the Man of Steel for public relations purposes. Among the media tie-ins for this event was the release of this one-off tabloid comic – DC’s first in the format later popularised by their Limited Collectors’ Edition series and its spin-offs – featuring new and reprint Superman and Superboy comics stories, plus multiple features and a stapled-in poster, a Map of Krypton. Of extremely limited distribution even in the US – and almost never seen in the UK – this rarity is a must for Superman completists. This copy is GD at £35. Considerable edge & corner cover wear, but the original poster is still firmly in place.
*DC: A small update to our stocks of classic Justice League Of America, comprising #3 (1st Kanjar Ro), #10 & #11 (Felix Faust/Lord Of Time/Demons Three two-parter), #21 & #22 (Crisis on Earth One & Earth Two, 1st Justice Society crossovers), and two giant issues #58 & #76. Two major characteristics here: they’re all low grade and very affordable, and they’re all great!
*Marvel: A trio of first issues here, two landmarks, and one oddity that wouldn’t exist at all if not for a scheduling conflict. In 1968, distribution restrictions on Marvel’s titles were lifted, and the double-feature titles such as Tales to Astonish spun off each character into their own title. But Iron Man, from Tales of Suspense, and Sub-Mariner, from Tales to Astonish, were left with ‘orphaned’ serial chapters when their stablemates, Captain America and the Hulk, took over the numberings of TOS and TTA respectively, so Marvel decided to produce a one-shot, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner, to wrap up the serials and enable Shell-Head and Subby’s own series to start ‘clean’ with new book-lengthers. Iron Man & Sub-Mariner #1 (and only) was cover-dated April ’68, and followed in May by the first issues of Iron Man and Sub-Mariner’s ongoing solos. We have all three new in stock: Iron Man & Sub-Mariner #1 is VG p £30, Iron Man #1 is FN- p £180 and Sub-Mariner #1 is VG p £50.
*Marvel: Lee & Kirby’s Fantastic Four added to its many innovations in 1966’s FF #52, when they introduced the first black super-hero in comics. The Black Panther was the head of a highly sophisticated and technologically advanced African nation, Wakanda, and was in time to become not only one of the FF’s greatest allies, but a mainstay of their fellow heroes, the Avengers. Soon to be the star of his own movie, T’Challa’s star has never been riding higher in the public consciousness, so now is the time to acquire his premier appearance! This copy of FF #52 is VG/FN p at £275; strong, largely unbroken black cover background, very tricky to find in high grade, with only faint spine creasing and a tiny flaw in mid-upper cover edge preventing a still higher grade.
*Marvel: In 1968, Ultron was introduced as the secret leader of the Masters of Evil. At first seemingly, ‘just another robot’, he became one of the Avengers’ greatest enemies, particularly when his poignant connection to Hank Pym, Goliath, was revealed, and his menace has metastized into other media, most notably the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ film of recent years. We have Avengers #54, in which Ultron made his first fleeting appearance, and #55, in which his full villainy was unleashed, new in for your enjoyment. #54 is FN+ p £36, #55 VG p £44, and both covers may be inspected here.
*Horror 1940-1959: Just three new entries this update, two very memorable, and one… very affordable. Avon’s Eerie was one of their longer-running Pre-Code horror title, and we have issue #15 new in, with sinister veiled ladies leading a helpless hostage to an unknown fate. As usual with Avon, the striking cover has naff-all to do with the contents, but they’re a rip-roaring collection of stories, including an unusual tale about death by domestic violence. (Not that we’re advocating that sort of thing.) Phantom Witch Doctor #1 (and only) is our second Avon this update. Sadly, it does not feature the crusading adventures of a superheroic witch doctor, but it is one of the rarest of the Avon Horror titles, almost never seen in this country in any grade. Behind a haunting and evocative Everett Kinstler cover, there’s another selection of terror tales (including one with Kinstler artwork). Finally, Atlas’ Strange Stories of Suspense #9 is post-Code, but that just meant that the writers had to try harder, and the intriguing Bill Everett cover leads you into a selection of quirky tales relying more on irony and twists of fate than giblets and gore, but none the worse for all that. Eerie #15 is VG- £53; Phantom Witch Doctor #1 is GD £50.
*Western: So popular was our recent Mighty Marvel Western event that we’ve managed to wrangle a few more into our corral here at 30th Century for you. Included are Kid Colt #130 & #131 (2 giants), a few Rawhide KId (inc. #50 with Kid Colt), Red Wolf #1, Ringo Kid, and a few Two-Gun Kid (inc. #85 with Rawhide Kid & #89 with Kid Colt and the Rawhide Kid). Round ’em up, pardners, yee-hi!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: In 1970, after the Warren horror comic magazines, Creepy and Eerie, had been successful for half a decade, the bandwagon jumpers were circling, and one of them was Skywald Publishing. Throwing together a bunch of Pre-Code reprints – artistically amended for added gore – and the occasional new story, they launched Nightmare, followed the next year by its companion Psycho. Quickly amassing enough success that they switched to all-new material, the stories initially read like pale imitators of the Warren line, illustrated either by newcomers to the field – Jeff and Bruce Jones, Doug Wildey, Ralph Reese – or by folks whose professional careers were, by then, largely behind them (Syd Shores, Bill Everett). However, within a very few issues, writer/editor Al Hewetson’s… unique perspective came to the fore, and the threatening but incoherent ‘Horror-Mood’, as he referred to it, became the norm. With a new, largely South American stable of artists, he created a miasmatic air of formless menace that proved successful enough to launch a third, similar title, Scream, in 1973, before Marvel (themselves launching a horror line) and Warren, reputedly, united to deny Skywald distribution. We are delighted to have more of this oddball footnote in comics history in stock, with new listings for all three Skywald ‘Horror-Mood’ titles. Nightmare #1 is FN at £25; Scream #1 VG £15, and both are illustrated here.
*Marvel UK: No fewer than fourteen premier issues from the UK House of (Recycled) Ideas! #1’s of Blockbuster, Captain America, Savage Sword of Conan (1st series, weekly), the Daredevils (with Moore & Davis’ Captain Britain), Complete Fantastic Four, Forces In Combat, Frantic, Fury, Future Tense, Marvel Madhouse, Marvel Team-Up, Rampage (1st series, weekly), Savage Action, and one of the most mind-bending rebrandings of all – The Thing Is Big Ben! Must be seen to be disbelieved!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Just like the weather, our Long Hot Summer event really hots up this week! We are delighted to have a complete run of the Lion Holiday and Summer Specials in stock, including the first ‘pilot’ Special, the Lion Summer Spectacular Epic, from 1967, predating the run of Lion Specials proper. The clunkily-named Summer Spectacular Epic featured nothing from the regular Lion weekly, but instead interleaved comic-strip adaptations of movies with articles and photos on the then-hot new TV shows like Thunderbirds and Batman! Commencing the proper run with 1968’s Summer Special, there was still a movie cover and theme, but most of the content was from Lion, and with 1969 onwards, the publishers felt confident enough to let the stars of the comic carry the covers. We have been extraordinarily fortunate in obtaining a complete run of Lion Summer/Holiday Specials from 1967’s ‘Epic’ prototype, consecutively until the final one from 1980, which is keenly sought because of an epic-length all-new clash between the Spider and Robot Archie – which, to date, has been seen no-where else! Front covers of five of these beauties are reproduced below for your delectation; Lion Summer Spectacular Epic VG/FN £75; Lion Summer Special 1968 is VG/FN £30; 1969 VG £25; 1970 FN £35 and 1980 VG/FN £30. Full details of all in our listings.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Well, more like Five Star Westerns, because we have one-off additions to our digest-sized tales of the Wild West. Lone Rider, Totem, Western Star, Wild West and Wild West Holiday Special all lightly restocked this week!
*TV & Film Related Comics: In 1987, Marvel UK launched Thundercats weekly, intended as a quick short-run title to reprint the US comics featuring the popular anthropomorphic feline heroes from TV. However, they greatly underestimated the demand and the popularity, and Thundercats, along with Transformers, became hugely popular. The US material was quickly gobbled up, and new, original stories had to be generated starring Lion-O, Panthro, Cheetara and the gang. We are delighted to welcome back around 55 issues in the number range between #2 and the special #100 (with a rather nice celebratory cover by the late Art Wetherell). Not to be confused with Thunderbirds – that’s a completely different show!
*Girls’ Comics: Mirabelle, one of the romance comics that arose to compete with Marilyn, Roxy and Cherie, lasted longer than most of her sisters, outlasting even the redoubtable Romeo to be virtually ‘Last Chick Standing’ in 1977, outlived only by Jackie. Despite a respectable run of 1,009 issues, it’s little remembered these days, which is rather a pity, as its romance comic strips were a cut above, and some of the earlier painted covers (particularly those by Shirley Bellwood, later of Misty fame) rather stunning. We only have around twenty new Mirabelles in stock, but they’re good ‘uns: a handful from 1964 to 1966, then a more generous portion from 1969 to 1975, including Christmas, New Years’ and Halloween issues, plus enticing straplines like: “He Looks Happy…But There Are Times When Donny Osmond Cries!” How can you resist? As a special bonus, we have one free gift issue, with a Flexidisc of the New Seekers to be played on your hi-fi turntable. Check the website catalogue for the details!
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: This update of around 15 Girls’ Picture Libraries is mostly wholesome schoolgirl fare, with additions to Girls’ Diary, School Friend, and Schoolgirls’ Adventure Library, but we do accommodate the more mature ladies with a top-up to True Life Library and True Life Library Holiday Special.
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 British section:
*Humour Comics A – C
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
For our visit to our previously listed stock this week, we turn to Sexton Blake. Often dubbed ‘the poor man Sherlock Holmes’, there’s still no doubting the popularity of Sexton Blake, who has probably had far more fiction written of him than the world’s greatest detective. In the Crime, Spies and Sleaze category of our Books section, we have more than twenty digests from the famous Sexton Blake Library. These are picture library sized, but mainly text. The series ran from 1915 to 1968, and our stock dates from the late 1950’s to the early 1960’s, following the 1956 revamp by W Howard Baker when the covers took on a more gangster/sleazy mode and were drawn by notable artists such as Reginald Heade (as on The Wicked Three shown right). Written by a ‘harem’ of notable writers including Wilfred McNeilly, W Howard Baker, Michael Moorcock (one of many moonlighting as house name Desmond Reid), Peter Saxon and Jack Trevor Story, the longevity of the series is testament to the quality of the plotting and writing. And a factoid: one of Sexton Blake’s arch-enemies, was Zenith the Albino – who is widely acknowledged to have inspired Moorcock’s morose hero Elric.
*Marvel: The Founding Family of the Marvel Universe, the Fantastic Four, are given overdue recognition this week as we expand their catalogue listing to include issues #201 to #300, and up to their 20th Annual. This run starts and ends with, honestly, frankly bog-standard boilerplate stuff, but encompasses the selection from #232 to #295 where John Byrne took over as writer/artist, and tackled it with a freshness and enthusiasm that had long been absent from the series. Revisiting all the classic villains – Galactus, Dr. Doom, the Skrulls, Ego the Living Planet – and allies old (Inhumans, Black Panther) and new (She-Hulk, Frankie Raye the She-Torch!) into the mix, his enthusiasm and creativity reminded everyone why they’d originally loved the FF in the first place. This run also sees two significant marriages: Black Bolt and Medusa in Annual #18, and Ben Grimm and… somebody (Ssh! Spoilers!) in #300 and an important ‘pilot’ during this run was the X-Factor prelude in #286.
*DC: Around 25 new listings for the Gotham Guardian this update, issue numbers ranging from #165 to #267, with the highlight being #234, the first post-Golden Age appearance of Two-Face, who was to become one of the major villains in the Batman’s later career. The lead story and cover have the bonus of being illustrated by Neal Adams, the cult artist whose style defined the ‘Dark Knight’ iteration of the character. But Harvey Dent isn’t the only villain on the prowl, as this selection of new additions features the Riddler, Blockbuster, Catwoman, Scarecrow and more! #234 (pictured) is FN at £70; for prices and grades on the remainder, you know where to look!
*DC: A rare treat this week with a classic from DC from 1943: an early squarebound issue of the omnibus title Comic Cavalcade (which ran from 1942 to 1954). The cover stars, Wonder Woman, Flash & Green Lantern are the big names in solo stories, but there are many other strips as well, including Hop Harrigan and Sargon the Sorceror. This is a decent enough, solid copy, with some wear but an engaging and largely unspolit cover image (slightly marred by book shop stamps — see scan). Minor creasing and some wear but no significant tears. The drawback is a taped spine, plus tape reinforcement along the inside front and back covers. Nevertheless, a relatively nice, relatively affordable copy of something we don’t see every day! GD- at £125. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: From 1996 – yes, it’s a bit modern, but we try to keep up – the significant mini-series, DC Vs. Marvel (for issues #1 and #4; Marvel Vs. DC for #2 and #3), which triggered the second wave of Marvel/DC crossovers. Featuring the mightiest heroes of both companies in a true clash of titans, many individual bouts were decided by a reader vote, resulting in patently ridiculous results in some cases. (Storm beating Wonder Woman? Faugh!) Issue #1 is VF/NM, issues #2-4 NM. The complete set of 4 is available for £30.
*Marvel: Three early issues of the Fantastic Four this update feature the first appearances of three of the team’s greatest nemeses (and one of their staunchest allies). Issue #13 brought us to the mysterious Blue Area of the Moon, and introduced the enigmatic Watcher, cosmic custodian of devices of unimaginable power. Moreover, it featured a Russian scientist re-creating the flight which gave the FF their powers to gain super-abilities of his own – and by staffing his ship with trained primates, making sure his ‘teammates’ were subservient to him! The Red Ghost and his Super-Apes (Mikhlo, Igor and Piotr – we knew you were dying to know!) became a recurring feature in the Marvel Universe, even after the Cold War thawed. In issue #18, the Skrulls, sworn enemies of the FF since their second issue, developed their own super-soldier with all the powers of the FF – and one more! The Super-Skrull has been more seen on Marvel’s cosmic stage than with the FF in later years, but this is where he got his start. And in issue #20, a mild-mannered nebbish became the Molecule Man, putting the FF through their paces while wreaking havoc on a world which had dismissed and ignored him. #13 is GD/VG £115; #18 an extraordinary VF- at £355 and issue #20 VG/FN £95. SORRY, #13, #18 & #20 NOW SOLD
*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 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 the scarcer, non-UK-distributed #24 and #26, which in addition to classic reprints feature short new stories starring Hercules and Herc & Wolverine. #26 (FN/VF £12) is shown as an example here; details of all new additions may be found in our online Marvel listing.
*Marvel: A huge update to our Marvel file this week, with the most significant of these ‘sweeps’ through various titles that we’ve added for some time. Included are: Captain America (with #112 Kirby album issue plus #172-175 guest-starring the X-Men), Conan, Dr. Strange, Fantastic Four (inc. #31 & #57, Him (Warlock) in #66 & #67 plus low grade annuals), Hulk, Iron Man (#8-11), Marvel Premiere, Amazing Spider-Man (from #52 and inc. issue #400), Spidey Super Stories, Star Wars Return of the Jedi, Sub-Mariner, Tales Of Suspense (inc. #54 2nd Mandarin), Tales To Astonish (Giant-Man & Sub-Mariner issues inc. #90, 1st Abomination) & X-Men (from #6, inc. 1st Lucifer & X-Men/Avengers clash in #9, 1st Mimic in #19 and 1st Barry Smith art in #53). Quite a haul added to our Marvel inventory, and you can check out grades and prices in our catalogue.
*Harvey: We conclude our Harvey Hits feature, running thriough that company’s humour titles, with a final selection, comprising Riche Rich, Richie Rich & Casper, Richie Rich & His Girl Freinds, Richie Rich Fortunes, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost, Spooky Spooktown, TV Casper & Company and, last but not least, Wendy the Good Little Witch. Skates on, Harvey fans!
*Western: Launched as a reprint title in 1970, DC’s All-Star Western chugged along, adding a couple of original series, including the rather splendid ‘El Diablo’ illustrated by Dick Giordano and Gray Morrow, achieving respect but not a great deal of attention. With its tenth issue, dated Feb-March, 1972, all that changed. Jonah Hex, a horribly-scarred, surly and cynical bounty-hunter with a compulsion to defend the innocent, joined the line-up, and a superstar was born. Created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga, Hex was heavily ‘influenced’ (ahem ahem) by the spaghetti-western fad prevalent at the time, as popularised by such actors as Clint Eastwood, but his own twisted code of honour kept readers fascinated through his own 92-issue series and myriad subsequent relaunches, as well as other-media appearances in film and in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow TV show. This copy of All-Star Western #10 is FN-, and on sale at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Romance: Approximately 40 new issues added to our stock in this popular category. DC’s Falling In Love, Girls’ Love Stories, Girls’ Romances, Heart Throbs, Secret Hearts and Young Love, with beautifully-crafted artwork from Azzurello, Romita, Giordano, Sparling and more; Marvel’s My Love (#1 FN £20 pictured), which unleashed the best of the Marvel Bullpen on the genre, with Romita (him again?), both Buscemas and Colan prominent among the contributors, as well as artists on their way up (Jim Starlin, Alan Weiss), and those who had reached their heyday decades since (‘Miss Fury’ creator Tarpe Mills, who came back for a bizarre one-off in Our Love Story #14). Finally Charlton – who were more renowned for their bizarre situations than any artistic merit (though there were glimmers) told the reader, in series like For Lovers Only, I Love You, Teen-Age Love and Time For Love, how to win true love even if you were obese, your boyfriend’s boss, tragically ugly, or had your leg bitten off by a shark! The ever-changing face of the Battle of the Sexes showcased in a four-colour microcosm!
*Modern Reprints: We have new in the 1998 reprints of Valor, second of EC’s short-lived title which was the second in its ‘New Direction’ line – an attempt to win fresh audiences following the introduction of the Comics Code Authority. Valor was dedicated to tales of action and adventure in various period settings, including Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Crusades, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic era, but despite glowing art from the likes of Reed Crandall, Bernard Krigstein, Joe Orlando, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson and Wally Wood, the series never took flight, and ended after five issues. The entire five-issue series was reprinted by Gemstone, and is in stock at between £2 – £2.50 each. We’re in rather more traditional territory with Vault of Horror Vol. 6, in Gemstone’s self-styled ‘Annual’ series, representing six issues of the ‘floppies’ in consecutive order. Gore and ghoulishness unbridled from Graham Ingels, Jack Kamen, and all the gang, NM at £12.
*Tarzan/E R Burroughs: Possibly the world’s most popular adventure writer (and certainly one of the most prolific), Edgar Rice Burroughs created the definitive Lord of the Jungle, whose exploits spanned countless episodes in every conceivable medium – including comic books! We are pleased to have a substantial upgrade to the DC incarnation of Tarzan, illustrated by Joe Kubert and his studio, from #208 (the second DC issue) to #258 (the final DC number). We also have smaller but significant top-up to the DC Korak, Son of Tarzan (from #46, his first DC issue, onwards), Marvel’s John Carter of Mars (from #1 to #25, plus Annual #1), Gold Key’s Tarzan, and DC’s Weird worlds, which double-featured Pellucidar and John Carson of Venus. A bonus curiosity is the seldom-seen Tarzan Story Digest Magazine #1 from Gold Key in 1970. And that’s just on the other side of the Atlantic! Over here in the Old Country, Tarzan also enjoyed a thriving career in fortnightly comics from Top Sellers, from 1970 onwards, originally reprints but rapidly featuring original material, and we are pleased to welcome approximately twenty of the UK Tarzan and Korak series back into our lists.
*Power Comics: There was only one Summer Special for the Power Comics series Fantastic, and it’s rather clunky full title, as seen in the header above, indicates that by this time it had already devoured two of its weaker weekly siblings, in the hatch-match-and-despatch pattern so beloved of traditional British weeklies. This is “A Treasure-Store of Power Style Super-Hero Action and Laughs containing the nest of FANTASTIC, SMASH and POW weekly!”, as it says on the packet. Not common in any condition, dating from the dying days of the Power Comics regime, it’s exceedingly hard to find in high grade, as most known copies tend to have very rusty staples, as does, indeed, this copy. The staples have rusted through to the point that the cover is detached from the body of the comic, but structurally the rest of it is very sound. A difficult one to grade because of this dichotomy – like the proverbial curate’s egg, parts of it are excellent – but we’ve compromised on GD+, and are asking £25. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1962, the very first issue of Valiant, the anthology which re-invented the adventure weekly for a modern audience, and prompted makeovers in its stablemates Lion and Tiger. Featuring the debuts of Captain Hurricane (much less comedic than he became in later years) and the anti-hero Steel Claw, as well as long-running comedy series The Nutts, this was the foundation of a fifteen-year run. This copy is a graded Fair. While it is complete, it does have rusty staples, considerable spine wear, light age-related discolouration, and a shallow crescent-shaped tear at the top back cover which does not impinge upon the stories. Nevertheless, it is sound, complete, readable, and a genuine milestone in the British comics field, setting the template for myriad rivals and successors. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Following the success of 1969’s Whizzer & Chips launch, the USP of ‘two comics in one!’ with an inbuilt rivalry proved so popular that publishers IPC/Fleetway went back to the well with Score ‘n’ Roar, two football comics in one – neither of which had existed previously as an independent entity. The rivalry aspect was provided by brothers, ‘Jack of United’ and ‘Jimmy of City’, who played for opposing teams – and in rival halves of the comic! Other strips included young prodigy goalie ‘Peter the Cat’, supernatural striker ‘Phantom of the Forest’ and obligatory comedy team of ne’er-do-wells, ‘The Mudlarks’, and things ran comfortably along until the following year, when Scorcher took a decisive lead in the battle of Fleetway footie rags, and S’n’R (by then just ‘Score’) ended with the traditional ‘Great News, Readers!’ straplining the issue of 26th June 1971. ‘Jack’ and ‘Jimmy’, plus ‘Nipper’ and ‘Lord Rumsey’s Rovers’, moved into Scorcher, where they had respectable further runs. We have almost a full run of Score ‘n’ Roar, 40 issues, lacking only the third. Averaging Fine condition, this exceptionally nice run of a scarce niche series is a real opportunity for collectors. Issue #1 is GD/VG at £30; for the rest, grades and prices are shown in our catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Seven premier issues of various Picture Library series, horror, war and adventure, mostly in affordable low-mid grades: Action War, Attack!, Buster Adventure Library (featuring John Steel, Secret Agent), Nightmare Suspense (with “March of the Boneless Ones”… but if they’re boneless, would they be able to march anywhere?), Tiger Sports, Top Three, and Valiant (featuring “War Eagle”, a young boy raised by eagles who trained him to be a WWII fighter pilot – crack hands at gunnery, wild eagles – little-known ornithological fact). Nightmare Suspense (FN £12) and Top three (VG £10) are pictured – the rest you’ll have to seek out in our catalogue listings!
*Girls’ Comics: If you did know Suzy, you’re apparently in quite a small and select club, as, for a series that ran at least 230-something issues from 1982 to 1987, it’s curiously un-remembered. A slick magazine from D C Thomson, a sort of half-way house between Bunty and Jackie, it featured a mix of traditional comic strips, photo-strips (adventure themed rather than romantic, from a more innocent time when photographers taking kids off to warehouses was less likely to be met with restraining orders) and pop features, never afraid to over-sell Adam Ant and Bucks Fizz! Along the way, it incorporated the companion paper Tops (sometimes known as TV Tops), making very little difference to its profile, as it was always media-heavy anyway. Eventually, after a perfectly respectable run, Suzy stumbled into the jaws of Bunty, in turn making very little difference to the ‘host’ title – the eponymous hostess co-starred on Bunty’s front page for five or six issues, and then every trace of Suzy was gone as if it had never been. We have 24 copies of this amnesia-inducing curiosity available for purchase, from 1982’s #2 to 1986’s #177. Check our online catalogue for details, before the Mists of Lethe overwhelm us all…
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Our Summer/Holiday Specials event continues with a brace of Love Story Picture Library Holiday Specials from 1978 and 1981, bursting with no less than six stories a-piece!
For this week’s foray into our previously listed stock, the spotlight falls on Thriller Comics # 1 from 1951. This digest-sized comics series, most famous under its later title of Thriller Picture Library, ran for 450 issues until 1963, and while it featured a plethora of characters during its lengthy run, the trend for the early years was for historical swashbucklers based on fictional (but serendipitously copyright-free) characters such as Robin Hood, Rob Roy, and so on. One such was the Three Musketeers, who were chosen to lead off the series in this volume. The artists were all accomplished Fleetway professionals, and readers thrived on these beautifully-illustrated pocket adventures. This copy of #1 is GD-, structurally sound but with considerable spine wear, interior pages clean and flexible. On sale at £150.
*DC & Marvel: We don’t often make a song and dance about the more recent American comics on display in our basement, which are not listed in our catalogue, but we thought regular shop visitors might want to know that we’ve just done a massive update to our ‘downstairs’ boxes of Batman and related titles (plus a little Marvel) as follows: Batman, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman: Shadow of the Bat, Batman Chronicles (including hard-to-find Hitman story by Garth Ennis), Catwoman, Detective Comics, Flash, Robin, and Wolverine. Plus there’s a plethora of Batman-related mini-series, one-shots and specials. Next time you’re visiting, a browse in our basement would be recommended!
*Clearance Corner: They’re too good to throw away, but we can’t support these Younger Reader’s Comics any longer, so it’s time for them to fly the nest! We have 78 issues of six early to mid-20th century titles: Harold Hare’s Own Paper, Playbox, Puck, Rainbow, Tiger Tim’s Weekly and Tip Top. Evoking a gentler, more innocent time, when children made their own entertainment and certainly didn’t use iPhones for teething, these will bring back many memories for readers of a certain age. We really want these to go to a good home, so they’re priced at less than 20p each, £15 all told. Postage (UK only) is an additional £13.50 if required. These fill a medium box, weighing just under 4 kg. Conditions vary from PR to VG. Details as follows:
Harold Hare’s Own Paper -2 issues 1959 and 1960
Playbox – 8 Issues dating from 1925 and 1949 – 1953
Puck – 2 issues from 1925
Rainbow – 26 Issues dating from 1925 and 1927 plus 1946 – 1952
Tiger Tim’s Weekly – 37 Issues dating from 1925 – 1929
Tip Top – 3 issues from 1948 and 1949
SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
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 files in our American section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: While ordinarily items from the 1990s are too recent to significantly cross our radar, there are inevitable special cases, and these items – key chapters in the ‘Death of Superman’ event which rocked fandom in the 1990s – are such exceptions. In Superman: The Man of Steel #18, readers were treated to the first full appearance of Doomsday, Superman’s genetically-engineered nemesis; in issue #19, there was the definitive Superman/Doomsday battle, which led directly into the notorious Superman (2nd series) #75, in which the Man of Steel met his demise. For a while, at least. In view of their importance and popularity, we’ve elevated these to catalogue status. Superman: Man of Steel #18 is NM p £30; issue #19 is NM p £10 and Superman #75, the Collectors’ Edition, First Print, still sealed in polybag with all premiums and extras, NM £25. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: We have the separate first appearances of what would become Marvel Comics’ ‘Odd Couple’, Power Man and Iron Fist, new in this update. Luke Cage came first in 1972’s Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1, at the height of the 70s Blaxploitation craze, and clichés abounded in his origin, but co-creators Archie Goodwin and George Tuska were soon replaced with a more simpatico creative team, and he went on to become an integral fixture of the Marvel Universe. Similarly, in 1974’s Marvel Premiere #15, Daniel Rand became Iron Fist, Marvel’s second martial-arts hero (after Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu), cashing in on another cinematic craze of the day – though creators Roy Thomas and Gil Kane added in a heaping helping of older Shangri-La style mysticism for good measure. Both Luke and Danny transcended their derivative origins to become enduring popular characters, but their true synergy was released when their features were combined, and the two teamed up as very unusual private investigators – a partnership which continues today into other media as Luke Cage and Iron Fist, in addition to each having their own Netflix series, are teamed in the forthcoming Defenders TV show! Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #1 is FN+ at £150; Marvel Premiere #15 is also FN+ at £150, but would probably grade slightly higher if not for two small discreet ’10c’ price stamps on the cover – below the issue number and on the Comics Code seal – which we direct your attention to in the accompanying scan. SORRY, LUKE CAGE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: From the dawning days of the Marvel Universe, issues of Tales of Suspense featuring the premier appearances of some of Shell-Head’s vilest villains: in Tales of Suspense #46, he met the armoured might of the Crimson Dynamo; #47 featured his first encounter with the Melter; #50 presented the menace of the Mandarin, Iron man’s greatest foe; #51 brought us the sinister Scarecrow, and in #48, there was the debut of Mr. Doll. Yeah, we know, “Mr. Doll?” But the Poundland Puppet Master, though he did re-appear in the Marvel Universe (I think he split into two, became the Brothers Grimm, something of that ilk), he wasn’t the unique selling point of ToS #48; rather it was the debut in that same issue of Iron Man’s red & gold armour, which (with variations on a theme) has been the consistent look of Tony Stark’s armoured alter-ego ever since. Our newly-acquired #46 is VG+ p £80; #48 VG p £90 and #50 GD/VG p £60. Details of the others in our online catalogue.
*Marvel: The 1979 launch of Marvel’s Rom, Space Knight could well have been just another throwaway, running a few issues then consigned to the scrapheap of history. Based on a Parker Brothers toy, it could be argued that series creators Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema didn’t have much to work with – but they made it into an unexpected hit! A mash-up between Iron Man, Green Lantern and the Invaders TV show, our armour-clad hero, Rom, and his fellow Space Knights scoured the Earth for the malevolent Dire Wraiths, who hid in human form and could only be detected and nullified by a range of accessories and equipment available at a supermarket or toy shop near you! (Well, if you were in America in the late ’70s). incorporating guest-appearances by the good and evil Marvel Universe superstars – Spider-Man, the X-Men, Galactus, Power Man & Iron Fist, the brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Torpedo (pardon?), Rom ran for 75 issues and four Annuals, 1979-1986, before his battle was won and the series was laid to rest. Rom #1 has been a frequent if ephemeral visitor to our catalogue listings, usually selling rapidly, but now we’ve expanded our stock to the entire series – well, what we have of it, the newly-added items ranging from #2 to #72, around fifty unique issues in total, most of which are very attractive VF copies.
*Harvey: The Golden, Silver and Bronze Age publisher Harvey is probably best remembered today for its humour line that started populating the newsstands in the 1950s, and in the second part of our Harvey Hits event, we focus on more classic characters: Devil Kids, Harvey Hits itself with Stumbo the Giant, Hot Stuff the Little Devil, Hot Stuff Sizzlers, Little Dot, Little Dot’s Uncles & Aunts, Little Lotta, Little Max and Playful Little Audrey, all freshly added to our catalogue. Watch out for the third and concluding part of Harvey Hits coming soon!
*War: Captain Savage had been an occasional guest in Sgt Fury and when, in 1968 as Marvel were expanding their line, they sought to capitalise on the success of the Sgt Fury title, they deemed the good captain worthy of his own series. Although short-lived (just 19 issues), with pencils by Dick Ayers and Don Heck, the art was enhanced by the inks of Syd Shores and John Severin. As you might expect, the series featured appearances by Nick and the Howlers, but, less expectedly, Ben Grimm, Baron Strucker and the origin of Hydra, no less. Most of the first 9 issues new in of this interesting backwater of the Marvel Silver Age.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: This eternally-popular and seldom updated section gets a refresh with a dozen new additions, half of which are the delightfully daffy debut issues. From DC, we have Binky’s Buddies, Debbi’s Dates, Swing With Scooter, and Windy & Willy; from Marvel, Chili, Harvey, Mad About Millie and Millie the Model; Harvey Comics provide us with Bunny, ‘Queen of the In-Crowd’, and the short-lived Atlas/Seaboard group of the 1970’s offers us the vivacious Vicki. The giant-sized Bunny #1 and Mad About Millie #1 (pictured) are both VG at £15 each; for the buzz on the rest, you’ll have to make the scene at our groovy online catalogue, cats & kittens!
*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 delighted to have acquired 50 later issues, from #104 to #154, in high grade, averaging VF/NM, with many NM among the selection. These beautiful non-distributed copies are sure to appeal to Conan-chasers everywhere, so Crom and Mitra sez: “Get your orders in quickly, mortal scum!”
*Alan Class Reprints: We continue our spotlight on Alan Class issues featuring reprints of the classic Marvel heroes, which are becoming ever-more sought-after as collectors realise that in many cases, these were the first reprints of these iconic issues, before they were ever repackaged in their native land! We have twenty new entries in this category, covering the AC series Astounding Stories, Creepy Worlds, Sinister Tales, Suspense, and Uncanny Tales, and featuring Spider-Man, the Avengers, Daredevil, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD, the X-Men, and more! The stars of the selection, however, are probably a nice clutch of Creepy Worlds reprinting the very earliest issues of the Fantastic Four, and Suspense #55, with the first appearance of Ant-Man in costume, from Tales to Astonish #35! Creepy Worlds #32 reprints the legendary Fantastic Four #1 and is GD/VG £100 – the ‘shadow’ on the picture, it should be noted, is due to spine roll, not present on the comic. Suspense #55 is VG £30. Details on all the rest may be found, as always, in our online catalogue.
*Power Comics: In our UK #1 ‘First Quenchers’ event this week, we’re especially chuffed to be able to offer all five first issues of the Power Comics line from the 1960’s. This small but well-loved company began when veteran comics creator Leo Baxendale broke away from D.C. Thomson, where he had been a mainstay of the Beano for many years, and launched his own weekly, Wham!, in 1964. Apart from a token reprint adventure strip, Baxendale created the entire line-up in his distinctive anarchic style, with characters such as “George’s Germs”, “The Tiddlers”, “Pest of the West”, “Eagle Eye” and more making their debuts. This was followed up by Smash! in 1966, and by Pow! in 1967 – though the latter started the trend for which Power Comics are best-remembered, i.e. reprinting the American Marvel Comics at a time when, thanks to the popularity of the Batman TV show, super-heroes were very ‘in’. The Power line-up was completed by Fantastic in February 1967, and Terrific in April that same year, and for a short time, they ruled the schools! Our copy of Fantastic #1 is VG+ at £35; Terrific #1, FN at £40; Pow! #1 is PR/FA at £25; it has a considerably worn spine, and a corner missing from the cover’s upper right, which does not impinge upon the stories. Saving the best for last, however, we have the founding father of the line, Wham! #1, in a remarkable FN grade at £100; and Smash! #1, in GD/VG but with the original Free Gift – a ‘Banging Gun’ (see that happening these days..) in GD; the comic and Free Gift combo is on sale at £175. SORRY, FANTASTIC, POW, SMASH & WHAM ALL NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Why yes, we did just have a substantial run of the short-lived cult title Scream in recently – but you can never have too much of a good thing, and we’re not going to turn away a complete series if it falls into our lap! Scream was launched in 1984 as a deliberate attempt by IPC/Fleetway to for for the horror genre what 2000 AD had done for science fiction; with talented contributors including Eric Bradbury, Gerry Finley-Day, Jesus Redondo, Mike Western and a novice writer named Alan Moore, the series seemed set to catch on; but public outcry against the horrific nature of the stories in a ‘children’s comic’, coupled with internal wranglings at the publisher, meant it had only a short shelf-life, ending with its fifteenth issue, without even so much as a ‘Great News, Chums!’ to warn readers. “Thirteenth Floor” continued, in much tamer form, into the second series of Eagle, but the series lived on for five years in the form of glossy Holiday Specials. The full run of Scream is back in stock, in low to mid grade, and therefore very affordable copies, together with the 1985 and 1986 Holiday Specials – the latter of which includes a substantial amount of new artwork from superstar artist Dave Gibbons!