*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 co-starring role is in the works for ‘Birds of Prey’, so now is the time to grab this hugely sought-after issue! This is a NM p copy of Harley’s comic book debut, and is on sale for £400.
*DC: DC’s groundbreaking and controversial run of Green Lantern (cover-titled ‘Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow’) was renowned for its tackling of issues which had been seldom raised in comics before – albeit, in retrospect, perhaps heavy-handedly, it nevertheless raised many questions the medium had previously failed to address. One such was racism, and when, after Hal Jordan got injured, the Power Ring selected African-American John Stewart as a temporary replacement Green Lantern, the heroes were forced to confront certain unspoken truths in their society. Originally intended as a one-off character, John was brought back frequently, often replacing Hal for long stretches, both in the Justice League and as the Green Lantern of Earth – mercifully having abandoned his cliched ‘angry black dude’ persona early on. This copy of the debut of DC’s first black super-hero is a FN p copy, minor foxing at upper and right cover edges but otherwise unmarred, on sale at £125.
*DC: Five fabulous additions to our stock of the tabloid-sized Limited Collectors’ Edition & All New Collectors’ Edition series from the 1970s, all starring the Man of Steel (plus celebrity guests). We open with issue LCE C-38, with a striking Bob Oksner photo-cover showing our hero soaring past the actual Statue of Liberty, then move on to LCE C-47, with a new framing sequence as the Man of Steel ponders the early American struggles for independence – with the aid of Tomahawk! LCE C-48 reprints both two-part epic races between Superman and the Flash from the Silver Age, and ANCE C-58 faces off the Man Of Steel against the original Captain Marvel, Shazam!, co-starring Supergirl and Mary Marvel. Lastly, slightly out of sequence because it’s the ‘biggest’ of the Big ‘Uns in terms of importance, ANCE C-56’s Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali battle places the two iconic champions in a battle for the fate of the Earth, drawn by superstar artist Neal Adams! All five of these high-grade beauties are pictured: C-38 VF £25, C-47 VF £20, C-48 VF+ £40, C-56 FN/VF £80 and C-58 FN+ £30. These were never significantly distributed in the UK, and their large size means that they damage easily, so these high-grade items are not commonplace, and swift ordering is advised to avoid disappointment.
*DC: A condition of Kirby’s move to DC was that, in addition to launching his own series, he should take on one long-running DC title. The lucky title was Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen – a surprise pick, admittedly – in which Kirby ditched all the beloved tropes such as lovelorn alien women and Jimmy Olsen Fan Clubs, and set our freckle-faced hero off on an odyssey across America to encounter Kirby’s own ‘Fourth World’ creations. Prominent among these was Darkseid, the fiendish ruler of the hell-world Apokolips, in only a fleeting cameo – Darkseid’s image flashes up on a monitor screen while Facetiming with Morgan Edge – but it’s nevertheless the first appearance of the villainous fulcrum of the entire Fourth World Saga, and as such is commanding insane prices right now. We have the first three of Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen back in stock, in affordable mid-grades: #133 is FN+ £18; #134 (1st Darkseid cameo) is FA p £20 and #135 (pictured, 3rd Darkseid) is FN+ p £55.
*Marvel: In 1964, Peter Parker’s arachnid alter-ego was rewarded with his own Annual, and a thing of beauty it was: an all-new Lee & Ditko extravaganza, with a 41 page feature length lead story introducing the Sinister Six, an alliance of Spidey’s deadliest enemies: the Sandman, Mysterio, Electro, the Vulture, Doctor Octopus and Kraven the Hunter. As if that wasn’t enough, this massive tome also featured a plethora of pin-ups, a 9-page ‘Secrets of Spider-Man’ feature, and the startling secrets of ‘How Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man’ – the latter presented with tongue firmly in cheek. This copy of Spider-Man Annual #1 is a CBCS copy, with the assessors noting that there has been minor restoration, in the form of a glued small lower spine split. Taking that into account, they have called this a 3.5 (VG-), and it is on sale for £275. SOLD
*Marvel: After a long stint as a supporting character and mainstay Avenger, the Black Panther was finally awarded his own series, taking over in Jungle Action from the 1950s reprints of scantily-clad white folks saving grateful black people, which to be honest was a bit tone-deaf even back then! The decision seems to have been made a bit suddenly, as T’Challa’s first solo was technically a reprint of his first clash with M’Baku the Man-Ape, but under the hands of scripter Don McGregor and diverse artists, it rapidly became one of the most talked-about series of the 70s. We have two of the Black Panther Jungle Action run new in stock: #5, 7.0 FN/VF at £70 and #13, 9.2 NM- at £40. Both are CGC Blue Label copies, indicating no restoration, but in full disclosure we should point out that the #5 has a stamped arrival date (over the ‘her’ in ‘Panther’ on the cover), which the CGC graders may not have taken into account, as technically it’s not a wear & tear defect.
*Marvel: Many folks say – probably with justification – that Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, was a taste-alike rip-off of DC’s Catwoman, created to give Spider-Man a ‘beloved enemy’ vibe and increase the romantic tension in the series. Probably true; but nevertheless, the Black Cat rapidly stepped away from her derivative roots, primarily owing to her low-level probability manipulation – subconsciously causing ‘bad luck’ for people who opposed her – and the fact that although she’s frequently done heroic and noble things, she’s never completely shed her criminal ways. This copy of the Black Cat’s debut in Amazing Spider-Man #194 comes from the non-distributed ‘wilderness years’, so there are no pence variants of this issue. This cents copy, no UK stamp or overprint, is FN+, light wear at lower right cover corner, on sale at £90.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: In the middle of a convoluted cross-dimensional saga such as Steve Gerber, writer of Man-Thing, was fond of, everyone’s second favourite shambling muck monster met a few guest stars from other worlds. One such was Howard the Duck, an irascible humanoid fowl from a plane where anthropomorphic animals were the highest life form. This walk-on character, doubtless intended as a one-off joke at the expense of Disney, was so avidly welcomed by readers that he was brought back from seeming destruction to star in his own acclaimed and award-winning satirical series – which got its accidental springboard in this very issue! Fear #19 is VF, on sale at £125.
*Marvel: Marvel Super-Heroes #12 saw the debut of Captain Marvel, a warrior of the spacefaring Kree Empire who masqueraded as a human on Earth. Actually conceived as a copyright-protecting exercise (Marvel’s lawyers had recently seen off a short-lived ‘Captain Marvel’ from another publisher), Mar-Vell’s genesis may have been a bit less than sincere, but his impact remains enduring in the Marvel Universe, especially his participation in the cosmic events initiated by Jim Starlin later in Cap’s own series. These two issues present not one, but two Captains’ debuts: not only Mar-Vell in #12, but Carol Danvers – later Ms. Marvel, occasionally Warbird, and fifth and current holder of the Captain Marvel title – made her first appearance in #13 as part of Mar-Vell’s supporting cast. Given the blockbuster success of the ‘Captain Carol’ movie, we are delighted to have both to offer: issue #12 is a VG/FN cents copy, clean and bright with excellent spine, on sale at £80; #13 is GD+ p, with moderate spine and corner creases but fundamentally sound, on sale at £65.
*Marvel: Issue #13 of the Fantastic Four’s magazine brought us to the mysterious Blue Area of the Moon, and introduced the enigmatic Watcher, cosmic custodian of devices of unimaginable power. Despite his vast power and omniscient knowledge, the Watcher was solemnly sworn never to intervene in the affairs of Earth… unless, you know, he really wanted to, which fortunately for Marvel Earth he did numerous times before his untimely death in 2014! (It’s okay, he got better. We think. Modern comics are a bit hazy for us, but we’re sure we’ve seen him around…) 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!) also became a recurring feature in the Marvel Universe, even after the Cold War thawed. This double-shot debut, heroic and villainous, is a PR p copy. General moderate to heavy wear, tape residue at spine, covers separated and detached and one non-story page removed. On sale at £50.
*Marvel: By the 1980s, 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-series. Logan returns to Japan where he seeks to regain his lost honour and win the hand of his beloved Mariko, in an outstanding series which was the basis for the 2013 smash film ‘The Wolverine’ – instead of being merely an outline for the film, many of Miller’s striking visuals for the mini-series were meticulously re-created for the movie. This complete 4-issue series, the first Wolverine solo title, is available as a set of all four, all pence copies, averaging VF, for £90. (Illustrated: #1 VF+ p)
*Marvel: Now, our ‘Mighty Marvel Firsts’ sub-heading is normally reserved for persons rather than artefacts, but this is kind of a special case; in this issue’s Captain America story, the Red Skull gains possession of the Cosmic Cube, an artefact so powerful it can bend reality to his will. This was the first appearance of the Cube, which gained greater prominence in Marvel Lore over the decades, before being swept up into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as (let’s see if I have this right) the ‘Tesseract’, a.k.a. the Reality Stone of the Infinity Gems, which ties into the whole big Thanos brouhaha, which frankly is so complicated it makes my brain ache. But anyway, that’s the reason for the sudden ‘spiking’ of this otherwise perfectly lovely issue in the series. This is a cents copy, no pence stamp or overprint, and is a remarkable VF+, on sale at £65. SOLD
*Marvel: Inspired no doubt by DC’s Imaginary Stories of the 1960s, in 1977 Marvel came up with the What If? concept, which had fun with the what-might-have-beens of the Marvel Universe. Highly popular with fans, who loved these sort of done-in-one stories, previously only the speculations of fandom, one issue has broken ranks to become a highly sought-after edition. #10, ‘What If Jane Foster Had Found The Hammer of Thor?’, was the first rendition of Jane Foster as Thor, and, in light of the recent series which had Dr. Foster taking over the mantle of the God of Thunder in ‘real’ Marvel Continuity, plus the info. that the next Thor movie will have Jane in the title role, this early ‘prototype’ of the concept has shot up in price. This FN cents copy (no pence copies exist of first series What If?, being ND UK) is available for £50. SOLD
*Marvel: During their expansion of the mid-1970s, Marvel gave many long term characters a shot at their own series, and one such was the Inhumans, who had been supporting the Fantastic Four for years. Under the creative direction of writer Doug Moench and artist George Perez, the series was a ‘fish out of water’ drama, as the Inhumans sought to come to terms with both modern Manhattan and changing political mores in their own retreat of Attilan. The first five of the short-run series are now back in stock. #1 (pictured) is FN p £20.
*Marvel: Another half dozen of first issues, opening with Alpha Flight, in which John Byrne’s Canadian super-team got its own series. Another short-lived super-team, the Champions, launched in 1975 as ‘Heroes for the Common Man’ – though in LA, it’s questionable how many common men Hercules, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Angel and the Black Widow might find! In Howard the Duck #1, the spin-out star of Man-Thing got his own eponymous series, by Gerber and Brunner, and the one-off Iron Man & Sub-Mariner from 1968 eased the transition for our two heroes from their half-share anthologies into their own series. One of the Marvel ‘try-out’ books of the 1970s, Marvel Spotlight #1 brought us Red Wolf & Lobo (not that Lobo!), previously seen in the Avengers, by Gardner Fox and Syd Shores; and finally, Micronauts #1 gave us a surprisingly stylish and well-crafted toy tie-in with superlative art by Mike Golden. Full grading and pricing details in our catalogue.
*Marvel: A huge run through Marvel’s SIlver & Bronze Ages this week, with over 100 issues added to the following titles: Avengers, Captain America, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Howard the Duck, Hulk, Marvel Presents, Marvel Spotlight, Micronauts, Punisher, Secret Wars, Spider-Man (Spectacular), Thor, What If and X-Men. A glance at our listings for these titles will find them nicely enhanced.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: When we named this category, we didn’t think we’d have many pre-1940 American comics to concern ourselves with, since they just don’t turn up… but here’s one right now! Taking over the numbering of Centaur publishing’s Cowboy Comics, Star Ranger Funnies began with #15, and changed from straight Western adventures to a peculiar mix of, yes, some straight Western strips, but also a lot of Western-themed comedy strips and stories starring juvenile leads, clearly having decided to cast its net at a younger readership. This is a genuinely rare item, as the ‘reboot’ wasn’t successful – the series only ran a further five issues, V2 #1-5 – and the fact that Eisner and Cole, two iconic artists of the medium, both worked in it has pushed the asking price, considering its rarity, to a significant level. The condition, however, is extraordinary for its vintage, when you consider that it is a contemporary of Action Comics #5, one of the earliest appearances of Superman, and Detective Comics #20, before the debut of the Batman! We have graded it as FN-. Moderate wear at spine, light stress and rust at staple areas, but beautiful clean white interiors, and unmarred cover image. There aren’t many recorded sales on this comic, and what few there are are stratospheric, even for copies lower graded than this. So we’re asking a price that’s only a bit daft by comparison! First issue of series (technically) on sale at FN- £500. High resolution images are available on request. SOLD
*Horror 1940-1959: Four Pre-Code Horror classics from diverse publishers this week – though two are not all they appear to be! Eerie Adventures #1 from Ziff-Davis, features a stunning Allen Anderson cover and artwork by Nostrand and, on the cover-blurbed ‘Vampires of Venus!’, Bob Powell; Exposed #1, from D.S., has the subhead ‘True Crime Cases’, but trust us, the content is as gory and violent as you could want! Feature Presentation #5, Fox’s ‘showcase’ title, features the book-length tale of ‘The Black Tarantula’, and is definitely not one for the arachnophobes! Last, but far from least, Standard’s Out of the Shadows #5 features striking artwork from Alex Toth, Ruben Moreira, Jerry Grandenetti and others. Eerie Adventures #1 is FA (centrefold loose, lower right cover corner missing, small piece out back cover) £65; Exposed #1 is FA (off bottom staple, long horizontal cover tear) £60; Feature Presentation #5 is VG £100 and Out of the Shadows #5 is VG+, remarkably crisp for its vintage, at £120. EERIE, EXPOSED AND SHADOWS SOLD
*Romance: From the late 1950s/early 1960s, a batch of Charlton Romance issues, all originally priced at 10 cents (stamped 6d as these are pence copies). Titles include Brides In Love, First Kiss, High School Confidential Diary (‘Troubled Teens Rebel’), I Love You, Just Married, Love Diary, My Secret Life, Romantic Story, Secrets Of Love & Marriage, Secrets Of Young Brides, Teen-Age Confidential Confessions & Teen Confessions. A fertile period for Charlton romance!
*Spirit: The Spirit, Will Eisner’s legendary creation, having ended his lengthy run in American newspapers in 1952, returned briefly to four-colour comics in 1966, with Harvey publications producing two 64 page giant-sized issues. A small amount of new material augmented re-coloured reprints of classic strips from the Spirit sections of yesteryear – and given that the original Spirit stories ran an average of 6-8 pages, that’s a lot of reading! These two issues (a third was announced in #2, but never published) are truly beautiful examples, bright, tight and glossy, with white interior pages, vivid cover colours and unmarred squarebound spines. Both issues are VF+, cents copies with no pence stamp or overprint; #1 is £63, #2 is £50.
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: In the 1950s, the little-remembered Trent Book Co. of London dabbled in comics for a time, specialising in 68 page romance anthologies which kicked off with the high quality DC product; two titles which took their mastheads directly from the US series were Falling In Love and Secret Hearts, with contributions from John Romita, Bernard Sachs, Sid Greene, Irwin Hasen, Irv Novick, Bob Oksner and more. Cunningly, though, Trent also launched the confusingly similar True Love Romances and True Love Stories series in the same format, but with a miscellany of romance reprints (we detect the sinister hand of the Ajax-Farrell shops, as well as others we can’t identify), often (but not always) hidden behind repurposed DC covers, in a classic bait & switch! We have new copies of all four known Trent romance series, beginning with their first issues. Pictured are Falling In Love #1 FN/VF £30 and Secret Hearts #1 FN £20; prices on all the others may be found in our online catalogue.
*Marvel UK: Following his original 39 issue weekly run and his stint as a perennial guest of the Black Knight in Hulk Weekly, the good Captain was brought back from limbo in 1981 by Dave Thorpe and Alan Davis, the latter of whom redesigned Captain Britain for his ‘second chance’. Davis gave the Captain the Union Jack inspired outfit he wears today, and replaced CB’s lithe physique with a hyper-muscularity based on the comic-strip hero Garth, an exaggerated superhuman ideal. The political analogies by writer Thorpe proved unpalatable to Marvel UK management, and he was replaced by then-neophyte Alan Moore, whom the powers-that-be thought might be less controversial (Good luck with that…). This run introduced the Crazy Gang, Opal Luna Saturnyne, Gentleman Jim Jaspers and other characters who would prove instrumental to the Captain’s legend. We have a complete run of the Captain Britain issues of Marvel Super-Heroes Monthly, commencing with the new CB’s debut in #377 (VG £15), through to #388, after which the strip moved into the Daredevils anthology. Also pictured is #387 (FN £15), the first Alan Moore-scripted issue.
*Annuals: Continuing our treasure trove of high-grade British comic Annuals, we turn our attention now to the Beano’s older sibling and long-time stablemate, the Dandy, home of Korky the Cat, Desperate Dan, Winker Watson, Corporal Clott, Black Bob the Wonder Dog and more. From the same pedigree source as our previous ‘Immaculate’ selections, these are from a newsagent’s inventory, never circulated or read, no prices clipped, no gift dedications, ‘This Book Belongs To’ inscriptions or other interior markings, solid spines, tight corners and bright, vibrant colours. A few have minor edge wear from long-term storage, or occasionally light breaks in the laminate, but all have exceptional eye appeal, and some could almost pass for new! This unbroken run from 1966 to 1970 is a truly beautiful selection of Annuals from one of the longest-running (1937-2012) and best-remembered British humour weeklies. 1966 is VF £50, 1967 VF £50, 1968 VF/NM £55, 1969 VF £50 and 1970 VF/NM £55. SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Continuing our massive swoop through Air Ace, we have now reached the 300’s, with multiple adventures of recurring characters Dogfight Dixon and Battler Britton, as well as one-off tales of airborne derring-do. This is not quite a complete run, being around twenty issues short of the range from #300 to #399, but the condition is exemplary. From one single source, a newsagent’s unsold inventory, these are copies which have never been circulated, and are in a remarkable state of preservation, averaging FN and with many VF, an unusual grade for British comics of this vintage. Keep watching the skies – more Air Ace updates soon!
*TV & Film Related Comics: Before Marvel UK’s lengthy and successful affiliation with the character, Doctor Who was licenced to Polystyle Publications (publishers of TV Comic) and it was they who produced the first two Doctor Who Holiday Specials, starring the Jon Pertwee iteration of the famous Gallifreyan Time Lord. With strips co-starring ‘the Brig’ (and if you need to know who that is, you shouldn’t be reading this!) and, in the ’74 Special, Sarah Jane Smith, plus reprints of vintage Dalek comics and a plethora of articles and features, these are a treat for any Whovian. 1973, the first Doctor Who Holiday Special, is VG (bit of spine roll, small diagonal cover crease) at £35; 1974 is FN £30. SOLD
*Humour Comics: Four classic comedy issues with Free Gifts from the Fleetway/IPC publishing house; we open with Buster for 7th February 1970, in VG with the Free Gift – ‘My Favourite Soccer Stars’ booklet – in FN; 1971’s Knockout #2 (19/06) is exceptionally rare with the free gift ‘Shaking Skeleton’ in decent shape, as the flimsy body joints tend to get easily lost or damaged. This copy is VG with an immaculate VF gift, still un-punched-out of its support card. Krazy #2, 23rd October 1976, is VG with the ‘Superjet Joke Camera’, still in its original envelope, the envelope a little crumpled but overall Free Gift FN; and Monster Fun #2, from 1975, is in FN with Free Gift – Freaky Spider Ring – still lurking untouched in its original pristine envelope, VF. Buster 7th Feb 1970 with Gift is £25; Knockout #2 with Gift is £40; Krazy #2 with Gift is £35 and Monster Fun #2 with Gift is £35. BUSTER & KNOCKOUT SOLD
*Humour Comics: The pioneer of D.C. Thomson’s humour weeklies – yes, even older than the Beano – Dandy launched in 1937, and finally hung up its hat in 2012, but in between those dates, there were decades of mirth with well-remembered characters (Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat, Black Bob, Winker Watson) and several… less well-remembered (Captain Whoosh, Spunky and His Spider, Bodger the Bookworm and the Wooden Submarine – to name but a few!). We have a huge update this week, a handful from the years 1951 to 1953, then touching lightly on the early & mid-Sixties before settling down into a nice solid selection from the 1970s.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We’ve just added six novels by the multi-award winning author Clifford D Simak which we’ve not previously listed before. In time-honoured alphabetical order they are: A Choice Of Gods, Cosmic Engineers, Destiny Doll, Enchanted Pilgrimage, Shakespeare’s Planet and The Visitors. Simak’s aim was to root science fiction in scientific fact, without writing ‘hard’ SF, and accepting that it’s entirely possible that alien motivation and communication would be unintelligible to humans. The themes in these novels range from invasion of the Earth (The Visitors), the effect of depopulation on the Earth (A Choice Of Gods), a quest involving goblins, gnomes and witches (Enchanted Pilgrimage), strange planets (Destiny Doll and Shakespeare’s Planet) and a plucky band of humans attempting to save the Universe (Cosmic Engineers). All guaranteed to be a cracking read!
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:
*Marvel T – Z
and in our British section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: While these are inarguably a bit ‘modern’ for our demographic, Adam Hughes is probably the hottest living artist in comics, and his covers, particularly lady-centric ones, go for high prices even when he has nothing to do with the interiors. These are two of the most famous images of his 21st Century work: 2006’s Catwoman #51, in which Selina Kyle’s misdeeds appear to be catching up with her (known as the ‘Lost’ cover after the TV show, with the sequence of numbers on Selina’s board those used on ‘Lost’); and Justice League of America (2007) #6, the variant cover with the dishy and devastating Black Canary taking care of business as usual. Both are CGC Blue Label, indicating no restoration. Catwoman #51 is 9.8 (NM/M) at £185, and JLA #6 is 9.6 (NM+) at £40. SOLD
*DC: As you know, we’re fans of all that is old and crumbly here, but try as we might, we can’t deny that some modern comics do gain unexpected prominence on the markets, and three such are new to our lists. 2009’s Detective Comics #850 saw the prototype of what would eventually become the Gotham City Sirens, though Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy did not at this time call themselves that. 2011’s Detective #871 began the acclaimed ‘Black Mirror’ by Snyder, Jock and Francavilla. And also in 2011, in the dying days of the ‘proper’ DCU, Detective #880 featured a controversial and innovative cover portrait of the Joker which has become A Bit Of A Thing among the young people, we’re told. All three have been added to our catalogue: #850 is NM- £25, #871 is NM £30, and #880 is VF/NM £100.
*DC: Originally adapted from a novel by Denny O’Neil, exploiting the Kung Fu craze, 1975’s Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter seemed like another example of white cultural appropriation dressed up as chop-socky entertainment, but despite some notable creators (including a blink & you’ll miss it stint by Jack Kirby), nobody’s heart really seemed to be in the project – until issue #5, when a new character, Lady Shiva, appeared in the testosterone-soaked milieu of KFF and perked things up no end. Richard Dragon’s own series faltered after eighteen issues, though he has returned many times as a supporting character attributed with – in retrospect – the training of many of DC’s hand-to-hand heroes, but Lady Shiva became the breakout star of the series, with significant appearances in the Batman books and Birds of Prey, becoming a virtual arch-enemy of the Black Canary in the latter. We have 15 of the original 18 issues of Kung Fu Fighter back in stock; pictured are issue #1 VF/NM £50 and issue #5, Lady Shiva’s debut, NM- £50. Details on all the others, of course, in our online listings.
*DC: A quick run through some DC Bronze Age titles inc DC Super-Stars (high grade giants), Kong the Untamed, Rima the Jungle Girl, Superman Family (high grade giants) and Teen Titans (#46 NM £46, the issue where the Joker’s Daughter storyline begins).
*DC/Marvel: The DC/Marvel Crossovers are always hugely popular, so after far too long a hiatus, we’re delighted to have a handful back in stock. The main event is the Marvel & DC Presents team-up of the Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans by Claremont, Simonson and Austin, in which our heroes join forces against the twin threats of Darkseid and the Phoenix. This spectacular one-shot is NM at £28. Also new to this category is 1995’s Batman Vs. The Incredible Hulk, a comic-sized reprint of the tabloid DC Special Series #27, and two prestige format one-offs, Daredevil/Batman and Punisher/Batman. Lastly, a selection of both 1996 and 1997’s Amalgam one-offs, in which the DC and Marvel Universes collided to bring us Amazon! X-Patrol! Bat-Thing! Generation Hex! Iron Lantern! and Lobo the Duck! PICTURED ITEM SOLD
*Marvel: One of the most sought-after Marvel Comics of the 1960s is Fantastic Four #48, which introduced the Silver Surfer, a cosmic-powered being the equal of the combined FF… and the Surfer’s master, Galactus, an entity of even more monstrous might! Both became major figures in the Marvel Universe, with the Surfer repenting his role as Galactus’ herald and choosing the side of justice, while Galactus’ insatiable hunger drives him ever onwards to more heinous acts. This copy of the double debut is a CGC Blue Label (no restoration) 4.0 (VG equivalent), on sale at £675.
*Marvel: In the fourth issue of Marvel’s Avengers series, the already formidable team of Iron Man, Giant-Man, Thor 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 Cap’s iconic return to action is a pence priced copy in GD-. The primary flaw, other than moderate general wear indicated by the grade, is the large figure ‘6’ written in Magic Marker on the logo and upper central cover, in the slapdash way beloved of old-time second-hand bookstalls. Otherwise, this clean and sound copy, firm at cover and centrefold, would grade at least GD+. However, we try to be fair, so GD- p it is, on sale at £275 for one of the single most significant issues of the Silver Age.
*Marvel: One very successful latter-day addition to the Web-Head’s Rogue’s Gallery was the Hobgoblin, who made his debut in 1983’s Amazing Spider-Man #238. The path of destruction, and mysterious identity, of this suspiciously familiar evil-doer kept readers entertained for more than a year before the Big Reveal, with several red herrings and false ‘revelations’ along the way. This copy of ASM #238 is VF- p £95 and proudly retains the Free Gift – Lakeside ‘Tattooz’ – which baffle and frustrate so many completists. His second appearance in #239 is NM p at £30. SOLD
*Marvel: One of the scarcer Spider-Man appearances, and often overlooked, was his guest-shot in Strange Tales Annual #2. While Annual #1 had been devoted exclusively to reprinted Big Panty Monsters and shock-ending chillers, by the second issue, Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch, had taken over as the lead feature, and an all-new 18-page Lee & Kirby story teamed him up with – and in finest Marvel tradition, pitted him against – the Amazing Spider-Man! This issue is scarce in the USA, and even rarer here in the UK, for reasons unknown. This is a pence copy, GD/VG, with minor lower spine wear and a small upper spine split, on sale at £145.
*Marvel: In the wake of the spectacular success of Infinity Gauntlet, writer Jim Starlin returned to the well with a sequence of sequels, the first of which was Infinity War, in which Thanos ‘got the band back together’ – himself, Warlock, Drax, Gamora, Pip the Troll – and unleashed a scheme that forced most heroes to confront their own dark doppelgangers, both in the main series, and in many, many – oh, so very many – crossovers in other titles. This cosmic odyssey is now available as a complete 6 issue set, averaging NM, pence copies at £100.
*Marvel: Following Kirby’s tabloid-sized Special, Marvel green-lit an ongoing series exploring the milieu of 2001: A Space Odyssey, giving artist/writer Kirby a free hand – perhaps too free a hand, as while time-transcending spectacle there was in abundance, the lack of a central cast left the readership feeling ‘unanchored’ to the series. This was remedied to an extent with issue #8, and Kirby’s introduction of X-51 (later known as Mister Machine and his final (so far) identity of Machine Man), a humanoid robot in search of his soul, who became the protagonist for the rest of the series, spinning off into his own title and becoming a prominent part of the main Marvel Universe. This copy of 2001 #8 is NM p £80. SOLD
*Marvel: Following the debut of the ‘New’ X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1, the revamped international team took over the moribund reprint series with #94, and galvanized a whole new generation of readers. Here we have #95, effectively the second ongoing issue, concluding the battle with Count Nefaria and the Ani-Men, and featuring the heroic demise of Thunderbird, who died of, er, well, being a bit too similar to Wolverine, I guess. #96 was the first new issue released in the UK, and it caused us all in the Old Country to sit up and pay attention, not least because it featured the cuddliest demon ever, and the premier of long-running supporting character Moira MacTaggert, a brilliant scientist who also happened to be a dab hand with firearms. #95 (pictured) is FN £50; #96 is FN- p £20.25.
*Marvel: When the Ant-Man name was unclaimed in the late 1970s, a brainier-than-average sneak-thief, Scott Lang, stole Hank Pym’s old apparatus and became the second bearer of that title! But it’s okay – he did bad things for good reasons, specifically to find a cure for his dying daughter, as was revealed in Marvel Premiere #47 and #48, the two-part tale which (after a non-costumed cameo in Avengers #181) was Scott’s first full appearance. John Byrne and David Michelinie created this different take on the hero, and since then, Scott has had his ups and downs – been in jail a few times, been dead a few more, been a love-slave of the Purple Man (No, really. Google it. Better yet, don’t) – but he’s fought his way back to respectability, and has achieved cinematic stardom in two eponymous movie hits, plus pivotal roles in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. This double-dip debut for our loveable scientist scofflaw consists of a VF/NM p #47 at £75 (pictured), and the conclusion in #48 FN+ p will run you a mere £11.
*Marvel: Following a ‘pilot’ in an issue of Avengers, Roy Thomas returned, several years later, to an idea of a World War II set series with Marvel’s Golden Age ‘Big Three’, Captain America, Sub-Mariner and the original Human Torch, in an ongoing series pitted against the Axis forces. In 1975, he finally got his wish, and the Invaders ran for 41 issues (plus an Annual and the Giant-Size ‘tryout’ issue), featuring many of the Golden Age villains (well, you couldn’t fight Nazis all the time) plus new characters such as Union Jack, Spitfire, Baron Blood and the Liberty Legion, a homefront alliance of lesser 1940s super-stars! We have a virtually complete run of Invaders, lacking only the Giant-Size Invaders #1 ‘pilot’ and the first ongoing issue, but complete from #2 to the final #41, and the one and only Annual (pictured VF- £25), not distributed on these shores and featuring the work of surviving Golden Age artists including the legendary Alex Schomburg. PICTURED ITEM SOLD
*Marvel: The popular Thing team-up title, Marvel Two-In-One, is replenished this update with issues between #38 and #78, co-starring the great and good of the Marvel Universe, including Thundra, the Impossible Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Giant-Man, the Vision and a host more!
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: ACG’s best remembered today for their long-running series of genteel mystery comics, often with a strong poignant or romantic element – but there was none of that fey air about Commander Battle and His Atomic Sub, starring four manly he-men (and their kid sidekick, who inevitably came to the rescue when they got trapped after leaving him behind for his safety!) who battled the Reds on land, in the air, but mostly, as the title implies, on (or under) the water with their amazing vehicle – which, given that it was capable of containing entire airplanes, might have benefitted from more than a four-man crew so they didn’t have to rely on the kid so much. Just saying. Be that as it may, these ‘Atomic Commandos’, courtesy of editor/scripter Richard E. Hughes and artist Sheldon Moldoff, struggled against primarily Soviet forces for the political fate of the world, aided only by their all-American pluck and their amazing vehicle, which on at least one occasion became an atomic spaceship! Ah, radioactivity – it’s a miraculous thing. Despite all these merits – and a #1 attempt to cash in on the 3-D craze with overlapping panel borders and exaggerated foreshortening for a faux-3-D effect – Commander Battle’s sub sank with issue #7, but like many short-run failures of the 1950s, it’s become an achievable cult collectible in the 21st Century! We have the entire 7 issue run in stock. Pictured are #1 GD £45; #4 VG+ £60; #5 FN- £75 and #7 VG/FN £75.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: By 1952, the teen humour/romance juggernaut that was Patsy Walker had already conquered two regular titles (Miss America and her own self-titled series), and this launched the third, focusing on the rivalry between Patsy and her ‘frenemy’, Hedy Wolfe (like the others didn’t!). Patsy and Hedy continued into the Marvel Age proper, our heroines growing up from high-schoolers, to young career women, to ‘Gals on the Go-Go!’, finally fading out in 1967 with #110 – by which time, having guested at Reed and Sue’s wedding, Patsy & Hedy’s links to the Marvel Universe ‘proper’ were firmly established. Featuring early work by famous humourist Al Jaffee (later known for his many contributions to Mad Magazine), this selection begins with #1 (VG £90 pictured) and continues to #49, in a wide variety of grades.
*Magazines & Books About Vintage US Comics: One of the most influential writer/artists of the comics medium, Jack Kirby’s career spanned seven decades, creating or co-creating scores of characters who still loom larger than ever in the public consciousness. This week, we add in a multitude of magazines and books devoted to the life and art of Jack Kirby, including issues of the Twomorrows publication Jack Kirby Collector, the first two volumes of Greg Theakston’s Complete Jack Kirby, the 1998 Jack Kirby Index, Theakston’s Jack Kirby Treasury, Eclipse Book’s Real Love – which collects and comments upon the finest examples of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s pioneering work in the romance genre – and Taaru! the UK Kirby tribute ‘zine. Pictured is the oversized (and awe-inspiring) ‘Art of Jack Kirby’ paperback, VF at £30. Kirby sez: “Don’t ask – look in our catalogue for the details of the rest!” PICTURED ITEM SOLD
*Marvel UK: The Hulk Weekly launched by Marvel UK in 1979 – the height of the Hulk TV show’s popularity in Britain – was a refreshing change from their all-reprint fare. Although there were some twice-told tales in its pages, it was at first mostly new tales of old favourites, produced by stars in the making: Hulk by Dave Gibbons, Black Knight by Steve Parkhouse & John Stokes, Nick Fury by Steve Moore & Steve Dillon and immortal vigilante Night Raven by Steve Parkhouse & David Lloyd, who made his debut in the premier issue. “All very nice, but what’s that got to do with Captain Britain?” we hear you ask. Well, most of the new material fell by the wayside early on, but the Black Knight strip continued (with a brief hiatus from #31-40) to the very final issue, and introduced a wandering mysterious figure who eventually turned out to be – you guessed it – Captain Britain, who was to co-star for much of the strip’s remaining run. One of the Captain’s least-remembered gigs, but noteworthy work from an under-rated creative team. We have a complete run of Hulk Weekly new in, all 63 issues, mostly mid-grade ‘readers’, but a chance to pick up a lot of material that has never been reprinted anywhere else.
*Annuals: The large-format D.C. Thomson girls’ weekly, Diana, was known for its high quality reproduction, often in full colour, and top-notch art, qualities which were carried over into its Annuals, which, though not in the same oversized format, had the same quality standards, a definite cut above the average. From the same pedigree source as our previous ‘Immaculate’ selections, these are from a newsagent’s inventory, never circulated or read, no prices clipped, no gift dedications, ‘This Book Belongs To’ inscriptions or other interior markings, solid spines, tight corners and bright, vibrant colours. A few have minor edge wear from long-term storage, or occasionally light breaks in the laminate, but all have exceptional eye appeal, and some could almost pass for new! We have an unbroken sequence of Diana Annuals from 1965 to 1969, with the original black background dustjackets – notoriously prone to scuffs, tears and creases – in beautiful condition. This clean and bright selection features flying adventuress ‘Starr of Wonderland’, ‘Jane – Model Miss’, ‘Emergency Nurse Gwen’, swimming stars ‘The Mermaids’, schoolgirl secret agents ‘The Girls From N.O.O.D.L.E.S’, and many more well-remembered strips. Pictured: 1965 (the first Diana Annual) in VF/NM with DJ VF £40. Details on the others, of course, in our online catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The D.C. Thomson story paper Wizard, launched in 1922, was laid to rest in 1963 – but after a decent interval the Powers-That-Be tried Wizard again, this time in comic strip format. Launching with a centre 16 pages devoted exclusively to soccer-themed strips, including factoid/biographical and fiction such as ‘The Voice That Ran The Rangers;’ non-football series included pressurised pugilism in ‘Slave of the Ring’, plucky wandering orphan in ‘Scrappy: A Boy All Alone’ and futuristic peace-keepers in ‘Soldiers of the Jet Age’. We welcome back into stock the first three issues of the ‘reboot’, each with their original (and surprisingly scarce) Free Gifts. Issue #1 comes with ‘The Sure-Shot Shooter’, a plastic weapon which would get you banged up under today’s Zero Tolerance policies. Still sealed in its original envelope and glued into the comic, the gift is VF, but its decades-long presence has caused some cover creasing and ‘bumps’, meaning that the comic itself is only VG. Issue #2 is the biggie – the comic is only GD (perfectly sound, but with some foxing and corner wear), but the Free Gift is a plastic wallet containing glossy photographs of eight soccer stars. According to every source we can find, this is a very scarce item intact (the flimsy wallet often goes astray), let alone in this high grade of VF. Lastly, #3 features eight more full-colour cards to cut up and stick in your wallet from the previous issue. The comic is Fine, the cards uncut and VF – and by ‘eck, judging by these mugshots, footballers were a lot less pretty in the 1970s! Issue #1 VG with Gift VF is £35; Issue #2 GD with Gift VF is £50 and issue #3 FN with Gift VF £25. SOLD