*Marvel: We pay a visit this week to the title that started it all for the Marvel Age of Comics: the Fantastic Four, with a new selection in, including many issues previously missing from our range. Highlights include a nice copy of #33, the first Attuma, a low grade #36, first Medusa & Frightful Four, the anniversary issue #100, the double-sized #116, several annuals and giant-sizes. As a bonus, we have a couple of copies of the less common Giant-Size Super-Stars starring the FF. Full details in our catalogue listing as always.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Both series of Dez Skinn’s seminal Warrior magazine restocked this week. The first series from 1975 featured ‘heroic tales of sword and sorcery’ and was mainly reprint of classic strips from Eagle and elsewhere, including work by Burns (Wrath of the Gods, Kelpie – Boy Wizard), Lawrence (Erik the Viking, Olac the Gladiator), Bellamy (Heros the Spartan) and others, with a smattering of new material. Black and white and cheaply reproduced, this series does not turn up too regularly. A more familiar beast is its descendant from 1982, the slick glossy publication most famous for Alan Moore’s Marvelman revival and V For Vendetta, but with many other features from the cream of British creators at the time; lots new in, including scarcer later issues.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: In fact there are 10 great books and many shorter stories altogether in these large tomes. The collection of Philip K Dick novels (The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, Martian Time-Slip, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, Ubik and A Scanner Darkly) represents the first opportunity to get these classics in one volume. The Classic Horror Omnibus similarly brings together five classic horror novels (Frankenstein: Mary Shelley, The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde: Robert Louis Stevenson, The Werewolf: Clemence Housman, Dracula: Bram Stoker and The Phantom Of The Opera: Gaston Leroux) in a striking hardcover edition. The Gardner Dozois curated Year’s Best Science Fiction (25) features work by authors such as Stephen Baxter, Gregory Benford, Robert Silverberg, Bruce Sterling and Michael Swanwick in a NM grade 1st US PB. The highlight of this update, however, is Philip George Chadwick’s The Death Guard. Originally published in 1939, and the only novel he wrote, this legendary rarity languished almost forgotten until it was published again in 1992. Featuring a striking cover by an old friend of 30th Century, Peter Garriock, this is a rare opportunity to obtain this story. Written before genetic engineering was even a twinkle in biologists eyes, the Flesh Guard are modified plants turned into automatons to defend Britain, with horrific unexpected results (a bit like some vegetarian Christmas dinners!)
With a plethora of comic-related films (both live action and animated) and television series this year, Dr Evilla decided to celebrate them by reminding everyone where the characters started out. Her latest window showcases a range of blockbusters: Deadpool, Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice (snappy – eh?), Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange, Sinister Six, The Killing Joke, Batman: Bad Blood, and Tarzan. From television there are (Green) Arrow, Daredevil, The Flash and, lurching ever onwards, the Walking Dead.
*Marvel: After a long run as the co-star of Tales of Suspense, Iron Man was given his own title in 1968, when the ‘Berlin Wall’ of Marvel’s distribution was broken down, and they were allowed to expand their range of titles. We have possibly one of the finest copies we’ve seen in our decades of trading, a VF+ pence copy with clean edges, unbroken deep purple cover colour, and high gloss, with superior interior page quality, offered for £475. A key item for collectors and investors alike, Iron Man’s pivotal status in the Marvel Universe means that demand for this issue is only going to increase as the years go by. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Born of a copyright-saving act of desperation (much like her stablemate Spider-Woman), She-Hulk’s debut issue in 1980 could have been an inauspicious debut, but A-list creators (Stan Lee, returning to the writing field, and John Buscema) gave the adventures of size-changing lady lawyer Jennifer Walters a certain credibility, and she went from strength to strength to become one of the leading lights of the House of Ideas. See how it all began with a gorgeous #1 of Savage She-Hulk, in the rarely-awarded grade of Near Mint/Mint, at £60.
*Marvel: For the Spider-Man fan who thought they had everything, a selection of oddities and rarities starring everyone’s favourite Web-Head! We lead off with a CGC slabbed 3.5 Amazing Spider-Man #50 (1st Kingpin £80), and Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 (VF+ p £30), with the first appearance of the symbiote costume that would later become Venom – but after those, and a early issue of Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man, we then stray into more esoteric grounds with the Spider-Man Versus Wolverine one-shot of 1987, the 1980 issue starring the Green Goblin which was given away with Aim toothpaste, the 1983 Spider-man and the Dallas Cowboys one-off co-starring the Circus of Crime, and the 1992 Trial of Venom Special Eedition. The latter three, being promotional items dependent either on a product purchase or a charitable donation, are among the rarer Spider-Man items of modern times.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A Free Gift Farrago Update! Following sell-out success of our recent haul of this popular title, we’re delighted to present virtually a full run of Scream, the 1984-launched horror weekly which featured “The Dracula Files”, “Monster!”, “Tales From The Grave” and “The 13th Floor” as regular series, and enjoyed a brief flurry of notoriety before vanishing 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. Issues #1-6, #8-15 and a complete run of the Holiday Specials for the years 1985-1989 are new in to our listings, with the first two issues sporting their original free gifts of Dracula Fangs and a Spooky Spider, respectively, both pictured here alongside the rare 1989 Holiday Special (sub-titled ‘Spine-Chillers’).
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: One of Fleetway’s premiere war-themed picture libraries, War Picture Library, is massively restocked this week with hundreds of new issues from #21 of the first series right through towards the end of the series, some second series issues and a selection of Holiday Specials from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
*DC: Although, a decade later, Alan Moore became for most readers the definitive writer on DC’s muck monster, back in 1972, the first series of Swamp Thing launched at the hands of Berni Wrightson, who is undoubtedly the definitive artist for the character. We are now able to offer a FN/VF copy of #1 at £50, cents with no pence overstamp. Full gloss cover, tight and flat, with excellent page quality. Only very minor spine wear and a tiny bit more wear along the top edge prevent this beauty grading higher and you can see the superb cover right alongside here! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: The crime writer John Dickson Carr, in common with many other authors of the time published books under a different name, in his case Carter Dickson. Whatever name he used, readers could be assured of a well-told, well-plotted story, often with a seemingly insoluble mystery. Carr was an acknowledged master of the locked room mystery. In one book, The Hollow Man, he even has a character (Dr Fell) discusses these mysteries: this was critically acclaimed, and has even been published on its own as an essay. John Dickson Carr was one of the crime authors honoured by Penguin in the 1950s, when they published ten books at once by selected authors. We have added more John Dickson Carr novels to our listings, and added Carter Dickson for the first time, all in collectable Penguin editions. Titles by Carr include Poison In Jest, The Case Of the Constant Suicides, The Mad Hatter Mystery, The Waxworks Murder and Till Death Do Us Part (which has an unusual Black and white cover). As Carter Dickson we have She Died A Lady, The Plague Court Murders and The Red Widow Murders.
*Humour Comics: A chunky update to our Humour titles from the 1970’s, with substantial amounts of Cor and Cracker, and small updates to Knockout, Krazy, Shiver & Shake and Whizzer & Chips. We also have 3 out of the 4 issues of the Ally Sloper revival from 1976 by Alan Class and Denis Gifford.
*Modern Reprints: A few new entries in our catalogue in this category, comprising the 2015 complete-in-one reprint of Marvel’s Night Nurse, Spidey & X-Men reprints, a couple of EC Classics, AC’s Jungle Girls and a Police Comics #1 facsimile.
*Marvel: Some noteworthy Conans new in: #16 with an unverified Roy Thomas signature on the splash page, #23 (1st Red Sonja), and the less often seen in the UK Annual #1 and several of the Conan Giant-Size issues. By Crom! (or possibly Buy, Crom!)
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The short-lived Score & Roar (later just Score) lasted from September 1970 until June 1971 before amalgamating with its more famous cousin Scorcher. Here we have an almost complete run from first (pictured GD £20) to last. Featured picture strips included Jack Of United, Jimmy of City and Peter the Cat. In addition, we have the following delights: Battle, Bullet, Eagle (2nd series), Revolver Horror Special, Sky-High, Space Ace, Sun, Thunder, Tiger, 2000 AD inc specials, Valiant & Yarmak. SORRY, ALL SCORE & ROAR NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A handful of issues in for Tales Of Suspense from the mid 1960’s when it was a ‘shared’ book between Iron Man & Captain America; with Colan & Kirby at the artistic reins, a quality title from start to finish. Issues between #76 & #98 new in this update.
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints Of US Material: A new selection in this popular category on the following subjects: Super-Heroes: Captain Midnight, Super-Adventure, Superman, Whiz: Horror/Mystery: Fantastic Tales; Western: Jace Pearson of the Texas Rangers, Lone Ranger, Tom Mix, Trigger; Crime: Justice Traps The Guilty; Romance: Nurse Linda Lark; Science Fiction: Planet Stories; TV: Television Favourites with Lassie.
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:
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: The demand for easily portable books led to several publishers attempting to emulate the success of Pocket Books, producing books the width of a normal paperback, but significantly shorter. We have added a good range of such books, published by Dell, WDL, Corgi and Jay Suspense and all by acknowledged masters of the crime genre. These include John Dickson Carr (The Corpse In The Wax Works), Erle Stanley Gardner (The Case Of The Lazy Lover), Brett Halliday (She Woke To Darkness, The Private Practice Of Michael Shayne and The Uncomplaining Corpses), Anthony Morton (John Creasey: Versus The Baron) and Mickey Spillane (I, The Jury, One Lonely Night and The Long Wait). She Woke To Darkness is also notable for having Robert Schulz cover art.
*Dell: A small update to this fondly-remembered publisher, characteristic of the wide range of material they purveyed. We have not terribly good super-heroes Nukla and the Fab Four (ersatz Fantastic Four — all 4 issues now in stock!), Movie Classic Tales Of Terror from 1962, adapting Edgar Allan Poe films and Jack Davis’s satirical Yak Yak from 1961.
*Marvel: A small update to Marvel Two-In-One, the Bronze Age Thing team-up comic, early issues from #1 when the series was non-distributed in the UK. #1 is FN/VF at £20; team-ups featured here include those with Man-Thing, Daredevil, Captain America & Dr. Strange.
*Humour Comics: For fans of Tom Merry and Billy Bunter, we present a small update to our stocks of Gems and Magnets story papers from the 1930’s.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We have added replacement copies of several titles by H P Lovecraft, including The Haunter of The Dark, The Lurking Fear, The Tomb, The Lurker At The Threshold, The Shuttered Room and The Horror In The Museum, most with classic Panther edition covers.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: The Golden Age Of Detective Fiction was surely between the 1920’s and the 1950’s, and in this period several women dominated the genre. No fewer than six female authors form this significant addition to our crime section – each of them with a claim to the title of Queen of Crime. We felt it would be very dangerous to pick one over the others, given the gruesome fates meted out to victims in their works, so we’ve settled for giving them a crown each. Margery Allingham has several books added, mainly in Penguin Classic Crime editions. Agatha Christie also has several books added, including an adaptation of a stage play, The Unexpected Guest (adapted by Charles Osborne, but listed with Agatha Christie). The other royal contenders are Ngaio Marsh (Artist In Crime, Enter A Murderer and Spinsters In Jeopardy), Dorothy L Sayers (Five Red Herrings and The Unpleasantness At The Bellona Club), Josephine Tey (Pan editions of Miss Pym Disposes and The Singing Sands) and Patricia Wentworth (Rolling Stone in a 1946 Popular Library edition).
*Marvel: From 1968, when Marvel’s ‘double feature’ books divided, we have the first solo issue of Captain America of the Silver Age. Issue #100 (continuing the numbering of Tales of Suspense) featured the talents of Lee, Kirby and Shores, re-introducing the Sentinel of Liberty to the modern age. This copy has remarkable cover colour and gloss, considerable eye appeal. A 4″ very fine diagonal crease at lower right cover, a small nick at the upper staple area and a small area discolouration at lower edge inside front cover are the only flaws precluding a higher grade on this epochal issue; FN- at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In Quirky Corner, we conclude our Ape week event in the same franchise we began it with one of the biggest oddities of all. In 1974, Marvel launched a series of co-productions with a record company to issue ‘Book and Record Sets’, in which reprints of Marvel comics (sometimes re-edited to eliminate aspects of continued stories) were shrinkwrapped with a badly-acted 45 RPM record so that, as the blurb has it: “The action COMES ALIVE as you read!”. These were such a modest success that the franchise even extended into new material of some non-Marvel properties, but what concerns us here is #PR-21, “Battle For The Planet Of The Apes”, which we have in not quite pristine condition: although the original shrinkwrap has never been opened, leaving it untouched by human (or simian) hands, there is some corner wear to the plastic and some light pressure marks on the spine from long-term storage. Nevertheless, a genuine rarity and a significant peculiarity in comics history. This FN+ copy can be yours for £20.
*Tarzan/Edgar Rice Burroughs: More of the Lord of the Jungle’s adventures, from both the UK and the USA! From DC: New 100 page issues of Tarzan’s own title and further stock of Tarzan Family, the oddball ‘Giant’ which replaced Korak’s own series. From Marvel: The premiere issue of Tarzan’s ongoing title, with artwork by the legendary John Buscema. And from the UK’s Williams/Top Sellers, several extra-thick special editions – Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan Quarterly, and Korak Bumper Edition, just over twice the page count of a regular fortnightly issue.
*DC: “Who Are They? What Are They?” – so ran the teaser ads in DC Comics in the late 60’s, and the question was answered in Showcase #77, when E. Nelson Bridwell and Bob Oksner brought us Angel & the Ape, the heartwarming tale of a shapely model and a comic book artist who also happened to be a gorilla. But of course. Together, the pair moonlighted as private investigators, in a series of wacky adventures that mixed the spy & crime craze with sit-com hijinks to create a truly different comic. After their Showcase debut, the pair won their own series, and we have both Showcase #77 and Angel & the Ape #1 back in in Fine grade. If you haven’t tried the series before, now’s the time to jump on board for a delightful and distinctive series. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A sidebar in our Spider-Mania event this week: In 1972, Marvel realised that sales peaked whenever Spider-Man teamed up with another hero – so what could be better than a regular monthly series of team-ups? Lo, the somewhat unimaginatively-entitled Marvel Team-Up was born, lasting 150 issues, more than a decade, and featuring over the years many of the best & brightest of the Marvel Universe, both creatively and in terms of characters. We have new stock from the early issues which were never distributed in the UK – from #1 in an attractive FN/VF at £55, through to lucky #13, with a bonus #23 thrown in for good measure. Featured characters, in addition to the Web-Head himself, include the Human Torch, the X-Men, the Vision, the Thing, Thor, the Cat, Iron Man and the Inhumans, among others. Averaging Fine or better, these new copies are highly desirable additions to a collection.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: For Ape Week, we turn to the Lord Of The Jungle himself, including this week’s Free Gift Farrago! With the worldwide popularity of Tarzan, the ERB estate was, in the mid-197O’s, in the happy position of commissioning hundreds of pages of artwork and stories that initially saw print only in the European market – despite having been generated by American creators. UK publishers Byblos saw an opportunity to exploit this material by presenting it in English for the first time, and in 1977 launched Tarzan Weekly – followed, in fairly short order, by Tarzan Monthly. Details are sketchy, but evidently the Byblos experiment was over by 1980, as in 1981 another publisher, Atlantic, launched yet another UK-based Tarzan Monthly, exploiting still more the same inventory. There are some impressive names among the creators credited in these issues; Dan Spiegle, Marv Wolfman, Will Meugniot, Russ Manning, Pat Boyette, Mike Ploog, Rick Hoberg, Mark Evanier, and Dave Stevens. We have five of the first six issues of Tarzan Weekly, the first three of Byblos’ Tarzan Monthly, the 1980 Tarzan Winter Special, and an issue of the Atlantic Tarzan monthly new in. Tarzan Weekly #1 comes with the original free gift, a Jungle Sick-Bag – I’m sorry, Tarzan Survival Kit Bag – for your protection when wandering the wilds of the Dark Continent! Pictures of both the comic and free gift shown here. Please note: while you’ll find almost all of our Tarzan inventory in our Tarzan/ERB section, these larger format British comics are listed in our Boys’ Adventure & War section for easier storage.
*Humour Comics: Two dozen issues new in of the lightly horror-tinged comedy weekly, home of “Frankie Stein”, “Scream Inn” (“We’re only here for the fear!”), “Tough Nutt and Softly Centre” and proto-feminist “Gal Capone”, among many others. Always a popular short run series, these new issues from 1973 and 1974 average VG/FN, and will be highly sought after, so make your moves swiftly, readers!
*TV / Film Tie-Ins: The perennially popular classic Target Dr Who titles have been updated to include generally higher grade copies and to replace missing titles. Previously absent titles include The Day Of The Daleks, The Web Of Fear and The Zarbi. Additions to titles already present include The Abominable Snowman, The Auton Invasion, The Cave-Monsters, The Dalek Invasion Of Earth, The Genesis Of The Daleks, The Loch Ness Monster and The Terror Of The Autons.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: 30th Century Goes Ape! Tarzan caught the imagination authors as well as readers, and a number have written stories with eerie similarities to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ man raised by apes. J T Edson went so far as to make his hero, Bunduki, the adoptive son of Tarzan. We have two of his books, Bunduki itself and Fearless Master Of The Jungle, the latter of which is in FN grade and benefits from Chris Achilleos cover art. Meanwhile, somewhere north of the Arctic circle, on a volcanic, ice-ringed island of evergreens (Nato’wa, lost homeland of the American Indians), Kioga the Snow Hawk, sole survivor of a lost ship encounters mammoths, savage peoples and lost cities in the stories of William L Chester (Hawk Of The Wilderness, Kioga Of The Wilderness, One Against A Wilderness and Kioga Of The Unknown Land). Finally, just when you thought all bases had been covered, the ‘Tarzan of outer space!’. Wallace Moore is the
culprit author of Balzan Of The Cat People – The Blood Stones, about a human child brought up by cat-like aliens.
*Romance: With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to show your romantic side and treat your loved one to a slice of love, 30th Century vintage-style, with our new-in selection of classic Romance comics from a variety of publishers from the 1940’s-1970’s. Swoon to: Cindy Smith from Timely, Falling In Love, Girls’ Love Stories, Girls’ Romances and Young Love from DC, I Love You, Just Married & Sweetheart Diary from Charlton.
*DC: A quick update to our Bronze Age Justice League of America stocks, between issues #98 & #122. Included are 52 page issues, the 100 page #111 and the 1st Freedom Fighters appearance in #107. As a bonus, we also have DC 100 Page Super-Spectacular #17 with the JLA.
*Marvel: A chunky update for our Avengers stocks, including many highlights and first appearance issues. We start at #12 and run up to #196 (1st Taskmaster). On the way, we encounter #21 (1st Power Man), #52 (1st Grim Reaper), #55 (1st Ultron VF/NM £100), #58 (Vision origin), #60 (Yellowjacket/Wasp wedding), #75 (1st Arkon), #78 (1st Lethal Legion), a gorgeous NM- copy of #81 (£55), #82 (1st Squadron Supreme), the in-demand #100, #181 (1st Scott Lang VF p £25), Annual #7 (Jim Starlin’s cosmic saga with Warlock & Thanos), and Annual #10 (1st Rogue – 2 copies, nicest being a lovely VF/NM at £50). Many other issues also new in, nearly all cents copies. Full details shown in our catalogue listings. If you have a gap in your Avengers collection, there’s a good chance there’s something for you here!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A moderate-sized update this week, including Air Ace (& Holiday Specials), Attack, Commando (inc several issues up towards #200), Thriller with Battler Briton and Valiant.
*Annuals: A long overdue update to the very popular Girls’ sub-section of our Annuals category, all from the 1960’s and 1970’s. Favourite titles include Bunty, Diana (inc. the 1974 annual with the Fab Four – Supercats prototype), June, Mandy, Princess & Schoolgirls’. Additionally, as a Poptastic extra, we have the David Essex Annual from 1976.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: The success of Tarzan books and films led to many imitations, not all of which were welcomed by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. In 1964 and 1965 in the US Gold Star Books published five unauthorised novels by Barton Werper (actually Peter T Scott or Peg O’Neill Scott). The estate successfully sued the publishers and unsold copies of the books were withdrawn, making any surviving books rare and desirable. To mark Ape Week at 30th Century Comics we are releasing copies of the first two tales into the wild: Tarzan And The Silver Globe and Tarzan And The Cave City (both by Peter T Scott). Both are GD/VG grade and 1st US PB.
30th Century Goes Ape! In conjunction with our complete set of Marvel UK Planet Of The Apes in this week, we’re delighted to present a new article by our own Will Morgan on the Apeslayer series in the ‘Where there’s A Will’ section on our Extras page. You can read it here.
*TV & Film Related Comics: It’s a special Ape-Week mini-event here at 30th Century this week. We commence with a complete run of Marvel UK’s weekly Planet Of The Apes series, all 123 issues from 1974 to 1977, bursting with simian strife and orang-utan action! The original movies becoming a cult hit, Marvel US soon released a magazine series of adaptations and new material set in the POTA universe – and where Marvel US led, Marvel UK followed, finding demand for our furry friend’s frolics so intense that for a desperate string of issues (#’s 23-30 of the weekly series), they were forced to re-draw and re-letter old Killraven episodes and call them “Apeslayer”, to fill the demand for ape-related material and allow the USA to catch up on inventory! Pausing only to absorb its companion Dracula Lives with issue #88, Planet of the Apes Weekly seemed unstoppable – but by 1977, the first wave of Ape-athy had died down, and the series quietly subsided into Marvel UK’s flagship title, Mighty World of Marvel, with issue #231 of that book. From beginning to end, averaging Fine, with the free poster in #1, this is a very respectable collection for any burgeoning Ape-fanciers!
*DC: Amazingly, given their lengthy careers, 1967’s Superman #199 was the first time Superman and the Flash had ever raced competitively, and writer Jim Shooter and artist Curt Swan drew every ounce of drama out of the situation, throwing tricks, traps and dilemmas as the Man of Steel and the Crimson Comet battle their way to the finish line, with the ostensibly benign agenda, needless to say, being subverted for fiendish purposes. An historic issue, and great fun into the bargain! A VG cents copy at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Great news for fans of alien brain-sucking symbiotes! This week’s instalment of our latest Spider-Mania event includes the first appearances of Venom and Carnage, as well as many other milestones in the 200+ range of the web-slinger’s original series. As well as #238, with the first appearance of the happy-go-lucky Hobgoblin and #252, the debut of Spidey’s black costume, in very affordable mid-grades, highlights also include the original Venom trilogy from #298-300, with the debut of Todd MacFarlane’s art on the title (#300, the first full Venom appearance is a pristine NM cents copy at £200), #361 (1st full appearance Carnage also pristine NM cents at £50), plus many others. Another Spider-Mania instalment next week!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1976, the first two issues of D.C.Thomson’s Bullet, the action weekly which debuted the same week as rival IPC’s eponymous Action, and rather got overshadowed by the notorious opposition. Starring a moustachioed medallion man who had a mysterious connection to the star of Warlord, Fireball fought crime and did daring deeds all over the world, frequently – and unusually, for this time in Boys’ weeklies – squaring off with the glamourous villainess, the Cat. Other stars of the Bullet line-up were giant robot “The Smasher”, avenging-gangland-victims’ saga “Vic’s Vengeance”, desert exile “Survivour”, and the inevitable football strip “Twisty”. Unusually, Bullet gave 4-6 page segments to all its serials (with Fireball himself getting a luxurious 8 or 9!), as opposed to the 2-4 pages that were the industry standard. #1 and #2 are both Fine, with VF free gifts; #1 (£60) brings us a ‘Secret Sign Ring’, with an untouched sheet of stick-on symbols, and #2 (£40) provides a guide to Survival – the Fireball Way!, plus plastic storage wallet.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Dennis Wheatley, best known for writing about the occult, also wrote many spy thrillers. Chief among these were his Gregory Sallhurst series and his Duke de Richleau series, which still managed to display Wheatley’s occult interests within an espionage setting. We have added three of each, Come Into My Parlour, The Scarlet Impostor and Traitor’s Gate feature Gregory Sallhurst while Dangerous Inheritance, The Prisoner In The Mask and Vendetta In Spain feature Duke de Richleau.
*Marvel: We have the entire Infinity Trinity from the fertile mind of Jim Starlin, newly in in high grades! It all kicked off in 1991, with the Infinity Gauntlet, in which the galaxy’s most powerful piece of bling was seized by Thanos in order to impress his lady-friend, Mistress Death, by wiping out half the universe. Recovering from that little mishap, 1992’s Infinity War saw Warlock’s evil counterpart, the Magus, generating doppelgangers of the Marvel heroes who each fought their counterparts in crossovers – oh, so many crossovers – in every corner of the Marvel Universe. Fortunately, the crossovers, though boosting Marvel’s coffers at the time, proved inessential to the understanding of the series. In 1993, we were presented with the Infinity Crusade, in which Warlock’s feminine side – no, really – manifested herself as a separate entity and started luring various of Marvel’s more faith-based characters over to the dark side by playing to their spirituality, in what could be interpreted as a parody of American fundamentalism, if you think Starlin’s that clever. The Infinity concept lay fallow for a few years thereafter, but interest has been keenly piqued with the heavy-duty ‘trailing’ of Thanos and the Infinity Gems as the forthcoming ‘big bads’ in the Marvel cinematic and TV universes so jump on now before the prices spiral ever higher!
*Alan Class Reprints: In a field unique to us, we present three especially unique items. Each of these Printing Plate Sets has the singular quality associated with these one-of-a kind collectables, but these three all stand out as something extra-special. (1) First up, we have the title that even Alan Class himself forgot: Blazing Frontiers, a Western title one-shot believed to contain Charlton Western stories; no copy remains in Alan’s archives, although the printing plates, cover proofs and some interior page proofs still exist and are included in our package (£60). As a bonus, one cover and one interior proof are for Hell-Fire Raiders, another extremely rare AC western one-shot. Our images below show the cover proof, two of the cover plates and a sample of the comic’s cover (kindly supplied by one of our customers, for information only). Note that the comic itself is NOT offered for sale. (2) Outer Space #1, the first issue of this short run science-fiction title, with a Fine copy of the pre-decimal comic (inc 2 Steve Ditko stories) plus cover plates at £100. (3) Sinister Tales #102, a pre-decimal horror/mystery fest with a GD/VG copy of the comic and, totally unique among the sets we’ve unearthed so far, 48 black and white interior page proofs; a chunky package at £50. As always, all come with certificates signed by Alan Class in presentation cases.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Edward S Aarons CIA agent Sam Durrell joins us in four of his popular espionage thrillers from the Assignment series: Ankara, Golden Girl, Lowlands and Nuclear Nude. All written between 1961 and 1971, these are guaranteed to entertain.
*Marvel UK: Actually published by World Distributors in 1979 rather than Marvel’s UK branch, these FN or FN/VF three colouring books are totally unused, with every page ready for your artistic endeavours, and only superficial exterior wear precluding higher grades. Reprinting covers and splash pages in glorious monochrome, many of Marvel’s finest artists are represented within these pages. These days, colouring books are de rigeur for adults who want to improve their mindfulness — back in 1979, they were just for fun! As hard to classify as they are to resist, it was a little difficult for us to know where to locate them in our catalogue, but you’ll find them in our Marvel UK listing under ‘C’ for Colouring. The asking price of £25 each is a relatively small sum for such unique items of Marvel memorabilia.
*Marvel: Substantial additions to our Silver/Bronze Age X-Men stocks between issues #10 & #100. From Kirby to Roth, from Heck to Smith, from Adams to Cockrum, the X-Men went through many artistic changes in their chequered history, and you can celebrate their highs and lows right here with us. After a classic beginning at the hands of Lee & Kirby, with the intro for the team, Magneto and the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, the Juggernaut, the Sentinels, the re-introduction of Ka-Zar etc, a very nice period by Roy Thomas and Werner Roth sustained the title for a number of years before it floundered a little in the late 1960’s with little sense of direction. Help came in the form of Neal Adams, who resuscitated the title from #56 onwards with his dynamic style; alas, that wasn’t enough to save the comic, which was condemned to reprint status with issue #67. However, like all good comic characters, the X-Men refused to die and with Giant-Sized X-Men #1 and #94 of the ongoing series, a new X-Men team was born, adding Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and others to form the nucleus of the team we know today as comics’ most successful group franchise. Dozens of issues new in, all cents copies, including (pictured below) #94 VF+ £450, #95 VF+ £125, #96 VF+ £70, #99 VF+ £65, #100 VF £50.