*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! We have added in this week not one but two copies of Marvel Treasury Edition #6 featuring Doctor Strange, an all-new Frank Brunner cover fronting classic adventures by Ditko, Everett, Severin, Adkins and Brunner himself, all benefiting hugely from the enlarged size for a truly lovely tome. 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 (not to be confused with the regular-sized Special Marvel Edition), reprinting the adaptation of the very first Star Wars film (or the fourth, depending on how seriously you take all that). Marvel Treasury Edition #6 is VG/FN at £15 and/or FN+ p £20, and Marvel Special Edition #1 GD p £10.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: In the wake of Tarzan, every popular medium brought out scores of implausibly-muscled jungle lords with unfeasibly shapely distaff companions. We have two of comics’ best remembered lookalikes – with bonus gratuitous punctuation! Fiction House’s Ka’a’nga was a mainstay of the anthology Jungle Comics, but graduated to his own title of which we have issues #9 (illustrated, VG+ £35, loose lower staple) and #15, both with appealing Maurice Whitman covers. Magazine Enterprises Thun’da has mostly been remembered for the fact that his first issue was the only comic drawn entirely by the legendary Frank Frazetta, which is a shame, as his subsequent issues feature rather spiffy artwork by the talented Bob Powell – especially on the ‘Cave Girl’ back-up strip. We have issues #5 (VG+ £35, small piece tape inside lower fc) and #6 of Thun’da new in stock. All four of these jungle series are in upper mid-grade, with considerable eye appeal.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Following on from the crimewave of our Atlas Explosion, we now add a baker’s dozen hard-hitting pre-code crime from other publishers. Chief among these are Lev Gleason’s Crime & Punishment & Crime Does Not Pay, but there’s also sprinklings of Crime Must Pay The Panalty from Ace, Police Comics from Quality and Wanted from Toytown.
*Miscellaneous 1960-Onwards: What? After that headline you want more? Okay, then – Voodoo was introduced as a relatively fully-clothed heroine, one of the Brandon Choi and Jim Lee-created WildC.A.T.S., super-powered alien-hunters with thigh-straps, pouches and big guns. It was the 1990s. Voodoo became one of the breakout characters, and was awarded her own mini-series in 1997, shedding a few layers of clothing along the way, as befitted her unveiled backstory. Honestly, this is the sort of modern stuff we don’t ordinarily carry, but the pedigree of this mini’s creators – writer Alan Moore, illustrator Al Rio, and cover artist (on three out of the four issues) Adam Hughes – prompted us to make an exception in this instance. Illustrated is Hughes’ tasteful Mucha homage from #3, as distinguished from his rather more gussetty covers for #2 & #4. We’re offering this complete 4-issue series in NM as a set for £25. SORRY, THIS SET HAS NOW SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: One of the more successful entries in Marvel’s 1970’s diversification was Tomb of Dracula, the meticulously-crafted horror series which starred Bram Stoker’s classic vampire. Vampires had previously been verboten under the Comics Code Authority, the regulatory body which was brought in in the 1950’s, but a 1971 liberalization pf the Code allowed certain horror tropes, as long as they were presented in the classic tradition. Marvel leapt on the bandwagon with series starring Dracula, Frankenstein and a Werewolf, but the greatest of these was unquestionably Tomb of Dracula, with Gene Colan’s dark and evocative art perfectly summoning an atmosphere of covert (and often overt) menace. #1 was never distributed in the UK, and we have a VF/NM copy of this rarity, which kicked off a multiple award-winning series. In beautiful shape with only tiny spine ‘ticks’ but unfaded red cover background, this is on sale at £175. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: Following the launch of Patsy Walker’s own title in 1945 and Patsy & Hedy in 1952, Atlas, ever eager to strip-mine an asset, provided yet more madcap adventures of Centerville’s favourite daughter and her gang with ‘Patsy & Her Pals’, a rather obvious ‘answer’ to ‘Archie’s Pals ‘N’ Gals’, which had launched the previous year. Patsy, Hedy, Nan, Buzz, Tubs, Ronnie and the rest provided fun & romance for a generation of girls who weren’t encouraged to trouble their pretty little heads with deeper topics, the revolution still being a couple of decades away! Mostly illustrated by Morris Weiss, with occasional lively and delightful art and covers by Al Hartley on later issues. We have 21 of the 29 Patsy & Her Pals series new in stock, from the first to the final number. Illustrated: #1 FA+ taped spine £19; #9 VG £24 and #11 FN £32.
*Modern Reprints: New stocks of the popular DC 500-Page Showcase Editions, hefty paperback compilations of Silver Age classics. This update, we’re on the shadowy side of the street, with volumes 1 & 2 of House of Mystery, reprinting that series from its horror/mystery relaunch from #174 onwards and featuring the talents of Gil Kane, Wally Wood, Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, Sergio Aragones, Al Williamson, Alex Toth, Nick Cardy, Berni Wrightson and Michael Kaluta. Complementing this, Phantom Stranger Vol. 1 brings us the first 21 issues of the mysterious adventurer’s Silver Age series, by Bob Kanigher, Denny O’Neil, Jim Aparo, Len Wein and that Adams guy again. All three Volumes NM: House of Mystery at £25 each, Phantom Stranger at £20.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The long-running Comet, smaller than the usual British comic – closer to the American format – delighted readers for more than ten years from 1947 to 1958, before amalgamating with Tiger. We have around thirty new issues from the years 1952 to 1953, commencing with #215 and ending with #246, missing only a handful of issues for a virtually unbroken sequence, starring ‘Billy Bunter’, ‘Kit Carson’, ‘The Sky Explorers’, ‘Tough Tex., ‘Scamp the Happy Hound’, and ‘Shorty the Sheriff’s Deputy’. These are averaging Fair – in terms of page quality alone, they are decent, with all pages complete, but sadly there has been major rust at the staples, with almost total erosion in some cases. Nevertheless, affordable gap-fillers.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Launched in 1962, and ending with issue #43 the following year, Sea War Picture Library was a companion to Pearson’s other digest-sized war series, Picture Stories of World War II and Air War Picture Stories, focusing on – oh, you’ve guessed – tales of valour and heroism on the waves. We have acquired the first 14 issues of this series, a nice consecutive run in attractive grades, averaging VG/FN. The Pearson’s Libraries are not commonplace – we suspect they had substantially lower print runs than contemporaries – and this is the first time we have seen Sea War in our quarter-century of dealing, so buy now while you have the chance! Pictured is issue #1 VG £10; you should know where to look for details on the rest by now…
*TV & Film Related Comics: From 1969, the much-publicised Joe 90 Weekly, released to tie-in with the latest Gerry Anderson ‘Supermarionation’ TV series, in which bespectacled nine-year-old Joe McClaine acquired phenomenal skills by having computerised knowledge downloaded into his brain, and set out as the unlikeliest secret agent of all, for the World Intelligence Network (W.I.N.) Sadly, for all it’s pre-publicity, Joe 90 turned out to be a rare Anderson flop – apparently young viewers related to adult heroes, not kids their own age – and the show foundered after 30 episodes, with the comic’s run lasting only a few weeks longer before being incorporated into TV 21 Mk. II! Now, however, the short achievable run of Joe 90 is much sought-after, having the usual quality artwork of the Anderson adaptations, and co-featuring comic strip versions of such popular TV shows as Star Trek, the Champions and Land of the Giants. This run consists of most of the 34 issues, including first and last, only a handful short of the full series, in exceptionally nice grades for their vintage, averaging FN. Depicted: issue #1 GD/VG £90. Details on the others in our online catalogue.
*Girls’ Comics: The long-running weekly Valentine, launched in 1957, had two distinct phases: up to the late 1960′ its distinctive sky-blue livery lured in readers with a self-contained romance strip ‘inspired’ by a popular song – with a floating mugshot of the singer attached, to gain extra sales from fans who would buy anything with their idol’s likeness on it! Inside was more of the same, with done-in-one strips, serial strips and even text stories ‘inspired’ by various popsters, filled out by the usual – fashion tips, pin-ups and problem pages. What made Valentine stand out, however, was the outstanding quality of the artwork, which was often very lovely indeed. We have more than 50 of the ‘classic’ Valentine back in stock, ranging from 1960 to 1968 (skewing more heavily towards ’67 and ’68). Pictured are the final (28/12/68 FN £12, Christmas number) issue of this selection, plus a Fabulous Free Gift issue – 25th Sept 1965, only FA, but with a FN Free Gift – a cardboard record holder for your own ‘Top Ten’ singles! Comic and gift available for £15. Oh, and the second phase of Valentine? Well, more about all that – very soon!
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: These digest-sized comics primarily repackage American material with original painted covers, but are included in the Picture Library section because they were scooped up eagerly by the same audience as Famous Romance, Confessions, et al. We have Sweethearts from issue #2 and Wedding Ring from issue 1, in a condition that would ordinarily be FN/VF, but rusting staples have brought them down to VG. The staple rust does not affect the story images themselves, however, and a special mention should be made of the fact that several issues in this update reprint stories from the St. John inventory, by the legendary team of Dana Dutch and definitive ‘Good Girl’ artist, Matt Baker! Pictured are Sweethearts #2 VG £12 and Wedding Ring #1 VG £15; details on others may be found in our online catalogue.
*Clearance Corner: Finishing up our clearance of later issues of Dandy, we present 18 special issues from 1984 to 2012. Included are Christmas issues 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991 & 1997, Halloween issues for 1987, 2011 & 2012, the Valentine issue for 1988 (x 2, both with free gifts of stickers and album), New Year issue 1989, Father’s Day issue 2000, relaunch issue 2010, Fireworks issue 2011 and the 50th Anniversary issue 1987 (x 3, 1 with Free Gifts of stickers, album, poster and flyer, 2 with poster). All this can be yours for just £15. UK postage if required will be £4. SORRY, THIS LOT HAS 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 file in our American section:
*Marvel M – S
and in our British section:
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
In our spotlight on previously listed stock this week, we focus on Marvel’s tiniest hero and his entry into the Marvel Universe back in 1962. In Tales to Astonish #27, scientist Henry Pym became ‘The Man In The Ant-Hill’, in a slight variation on the usual ‘big-panty monster’ tropes which bore no foreshadowing of his heroic future. Nevertheless, Hank came back in costume in TTA #35, and embarked on a long career as Ant-Man, then Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and possibly a couple more identities we forget. Our copy of #27 suffers from (deep breath): a 1” tear mid-spine, through the entire body of the book, scribble on head of middle ant on cover (that’s a description, not an instruction!), spine glued at cover and first & final pages, also glued at centrefold, interior pages frayed at edges, with some small margin corners missing, but all pages present, all stories complete. Generally a very tired and ‘limp’ copy, but a complete low-grade key issue. #35 is a whole lot better, tight, flat and sound, with just minor chipping along the top edge and a small 1″ spine split at the bottom; no cover defacements and decent page quality. #27 PR p £325; #35 VG+p £375.
*Collected Editions: We’re delighted to welcome back some previously out-of-print volumes from Rebellion’s valiant efforts to permanently archive classic British Comics. Misty Volume 1, with ‘Four Faces of Eve’ and the classic ‘Moonchild’, is now back in stock, as are Volumes 1 and 3 (with Volume 2, we are assured, on the way) of Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun’s epic anti-war narrative, Charley’s War. Misty Volume 1 is brand new at £15, Charley’s War 1 & 3 both new at £20 each.
*DC: At the height of ‘Batmania’ in the 1960s, with the Batman TV series sweeping the US, it was decided that one thing was missing: girl appeal! A new character was brainstormed to engage female viewers, and she made her first appearance, not in the show, but in Detective Comics #359, dated January 1967! A-list team Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene brought us Barbara Gordon, mild-mannered librarian, who accidentally gets drawn into the world of crime-fighting through a chance encounter with Killer Moth, and becomes the Batgirl! Both as Batgirl, and for a long time as the inspirational character Oracle, Barbara Gordon has become an integral part of the fabric of the DC Universe. We are delighted have the first and second appearances of Batgirl back in stock; Detective #359 is VG/FN, a pence stamped copy with light to moderate wear at edges and corners, but unmarred cover image, vivid colours, and good gloss with firm staples. The character was so well-received that she co-starred in #363, by the same creative team, and our copy of #363 is a VF- cents copy, no pence stamp, with glowing colour and minimal edge & corner wear. Detective #359 VG/FN p £350; #363 VF- £100. SORRY, #359 NOW SOLD
*DC: Dating as it does from 1999, this is a bit ‘modern’ for us, but its scarcity is undeniable. This issue was almost instantly recalled by DC after release; then-publisher Paul Levitz got cold feet over the story ‘Letitia Lerner, Superman’s Babysitter’, with the infant Superman in a microwave, and ordered the entire print run of this satire compilation recalled and pulped, which was bad news for Kyle Baker, Trevor Von Eeden, Ty Templeton, Mark Waid and other notable contributors. About 2,000 copies, however, had already made their way to the UK, and rapidly became highly-sought collectibles precisely for this reason. Seldom released on to the market, we have acquired one of the original issues (not the 2012 reissue, which has slightly different content). It’s NM, on sale at £250.
*DC: Jack Kirby’s tormented anti-hero, Etrigan the Demon, met one of his most popular foes in issue #7 of Etrigan’s series, as our dual-natured protagonist encountered Klarion the Witchboy, whose Puritan garb and innocent demeanour concealed a twisted soul. An extra-dimensional intruder from a world of dark magic, Klarion’s desire to escape the rule of adults and unleash his full powers caused him to open a portal to Earth, where he’s been wreaking havoc ever since, battling not only the Demon, but Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the entire team of Young Justice! One of Kirby’s most enduring villainous creations, this first appearance of Klarion (and his formidable familiar, Teekl) is VF-, and on sale at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: DC had floated a couple of ‘Suicide Squad’ series before, but the idea, despite the catchy name, had never ‘caught’ until 1987, when it was brought fully into the DC Universe with Villains, Psychopaths, Misfits and Ne’er-do-wells forcibly recruited by the formidable Amanda Waller – a lady who could make Batman back down – to undertake missions that entailed almost certain death, in exchange for pardons or remissions of their sentences – should they survive. Powerful and gripping, Suicide Squad took characters that were disregarded or forgotten, and under the skilful hands of author John Ostrander (later aided by co-writer Kim Yale) gave them a new lease of life, often turning them into viable properties in their own right. This premise formed the basis for the flawed but successful Suicide Squad movie of 2016, and saw the premiere of Barbara Gordon’s second (and vastly superior, if you ask us) nom de guerre, Oracle in #23. We have most of the first 40 and the First Annual of this series, plus a couple of stragglers, newly promoted to our catalogue ranks. Depicted are #1 FN+ p £20 and #23 NM- p £25; all others may be found in our online listings.
*DC: Unlike the Brave & the Bold, which started out as a pure adventure series before morphing into a try-out and quickly converting to a team-up book, Showcase remained a try-out series for new ideas and features for the length of all its 104 issues, with many famous characters debuting in its pages. We have a new selection in this week from the second half of its run (starting with #50), all issues previosuly missing from our listings. Featured are: I-Spy, B’Wana Beast, Binky, the Creeper, Phantom Stranger, Windy & Willy, Firehair, the Doom Patrol, Power Girl, the 100th Anniversary issue, Hawkman & Adam Strange and OSS Spies At War. ‘Owzat for diversity? Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Marvel: One of the most sought-after issues of the the Marvel Universe, this is not only the first appearance of the original X-Men themselves, but also their arch-nemesis Magneto. This is the comic which sparked Marvel’s most popular franchise (arguably tying with Spider-Man), and a Lee & Kirby classic which established the X-Men as Marvel’s ‘outsiders’ from the very beginning. This copy is UK pence priced, with moderate to heavy creasing at spine and corners. There is light Marvel chipping at the right cover edge. Primary drawback of this copy is a 3″ cover tear (approximately) which runs irregularly from the upper left cover corner to just below the ‘foot’ of the large X in the logo. Interior pages are clean, off-white and flexible, and in isolation would grade GD/VG, with no stains or defacements. Original staples still firm, though there is slight spine roll. FA+ p £1,750. Front and back cover images and splash page are shown below; high resolution images are available on request. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Another Lee & Ditko classic from the early years of Peter Parker’s masked alter-ego, #12 is less frequently seen than some of its contemporary brethren, and seldom in this nice a condition! An epic clash with his arch-nemesis Dr. Octopus leaves Spider-Man categorically defeated, helpless, and unmasked in front of the world. How does he get out of this one? Hey, buy the book! One of the more-often ‘homaged’ cover images, and an exceptional copy; the yellow cover background, which ordinarily picks up every stain or mark, is remarkably unblemished, with clear vivid colour. The staples are firm at cover and centrefold, light spine wear, sharp corners, tight and flat interior pages, with one small diagonal cover crease at the lower right. We have graded this pence copy as FN+, and it is on sale at £300. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Following his debut in Fantastic Four #48, Norrin Radd, Herald of Galactus, gained popularity as a recurring guest-star, and his status was confirmed when Marvel launched the Silver Surfer’s own series in the double-sized format in 1968. This premier issue featured, for the first time, John Buscema’s illustrations on the Surfer, a body of work generally acknowledged to be among his finest, and presented also for the first time a 38 page account of the Surfer’s origins, plus, in the back, a 13 page tale of the Watcher, detailing for the first time reasons behind the Watcher’s oath of non-interference. Trapped in plastic much like the Surfer was trapped on Earth, this CGC Blue Label (unrestored) copy of Surfer #1 is graded 3.5 – VG- equivalent – and is on sale at £225. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the wake of the Kung Fu craze which swept the mass media in the 1970s, Marvel, having already scored big with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, tried to repeat the success with Iron Fist, an orphaned Caucasian boy who learned mystical martial arts in the hidden land of K’Un Lun. Danny Rand had a successful run in Marvel Premiere, then graduated into his own title, and remains an active part of the Marvel Universe to this date, both in comics and on the small screen in Netflix TV series. We have a two-fisted update this week: firstly, Marvel Premiere #15, in which Iron Fist made his first appearance, and then the debut of his own series, in which he meets and battles the Invincible Iron Man! Marvel Premiere #15 is VF+, with only faint wear visible at upper and lower right corners on close scrutiny. Iron Fist #1 is also graded VF+, but if anything slightly nicer, with a couple of tiny spine ‘ticks’ being the only barely-visible drawback. Both copies are bright, glossy and tight at staples and corners. Marvel Premiere #15 is on sale at £175, and Iron Fist #1 is £80. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of our favourite Marvel anti-heroes here at 30th Century is the Sub-Mariner, aka Prince Namor the First, Monarch of Atlantis, whose heroism is outstripped only by his arrogance and the whole ‘The King and I’ vibe he has going on with the ladies! Following the dissolution of the distribution embargo in ’68, Namor, who had been rooming with the Hulk in Tales to Astonish, got his own solo series once more, and the grandeur and pageantry of his undersea adventures was aptly depicted by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, who also threw in a few hitherto unrevealed titbits about Namor’s origin. This is a FN+ p copy of Sub-Mariner #1, lovely interiors, firm staples at cover and centrefold, unmarred cover scene, and only very minimal edge & corner wear, one light lower right diagonal crease not detracting from its exceptional eye appeal. With the recent smash success of the Aquaman movie, can a media crossover starring the original aquatic avenger be far behind? Buy now and avoid the rush! FN+ p £175. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the year 1968, the ‘tryout’ title Marvel Super-Heroes #12 saw the debut of Captain Marvel, a warrior of the spacefaring Kree Empire who masqueraded as a human on Earth. In issue #13, his second appearance, a new member of the Captain’s supporting cast was introduced: Carol Danvers, even when a civilian, was a former USAF officer who was the head of security at a restricted military base – an unusual post for a woman in 1968. When her DNA later got merged with the alien genome of the Captain (happens all the time when you hang around supers) she gained powers of her own, becoming the first Ms. Marvel, and then – after brief forays as ‘Binary’ and ‘Warbird’, of which we do not speak – the current holder of the Captain Marvel title. Given the smash-hit status of the ‘Captain Marvel’ movie, and her prominent role in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ – Marvel Super-Heroes #13 is commanding ever-higher prices, despite Carol’s non-powered status therein. Our newest copy of MSH #13 is a VG p copy, very slight upper and lower spine wear, minute piece out of lower front cover corner, but excellent page quality, vibrant colour and unimpeded cover scene. VG p £150.
*Marvel: The 1970s Marvel Comics series of Star Wars isn’t commonplace in the UK, many of the issues having been completely non-distributed in Britain, and the rest having only low circulation here in the Old Country. We are delighted, therefore, to welcome back to our boxes the first three issues, initially adapting the famous first movie courtesy of Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin. All three of these are mid-grade, sound but well-read with light to moderate wear. The primary drawback precluding a higher grade is that all three have had their original prices in the upper left crossed through, as may be seen in the picture of #1, and also small pen prices in the ‘S’ of ‘Star’ in the logo, but there are no other defacements. Issue #1, pictured, is VG £60; #2 & #3 are both VG+ at £15 each.
*Marvel: One of the early heroes of the Marvel Universe, and a founder of the Avengers, Hank Pym’s Ant-Man alter-ego nevertheless faltered when stacked up against the achievements (and the sales figures) of his contemporaries; although bolstered somewhat by the addition of the wonderful Wasp to the series, Hank’s circulation needed another boost, and got it in Astonish #49 when he ‘went large’, reversing the polarity of his Pym Particles to go from tiny to gigantic size, adopting the nom de guerre of Giant-Man and beginning the sequence of ‘reinventions’ that would come to characterise the hero’s later life. This copy of Astonish #49, with Hank and Jan up against the egregious Eraser (100% cooler than DC’s villain of the same name) is an attractive VG+ cents copy, clean and sound, tiny vestigial ‘Marvel chipping’ at cover’s right edge, on sale at £90. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A breakout character from the cinematic smash-hits, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers, Groot, together with his ‘guardian’ Rocket Racoon, unexpectedly became the heart of the film – not that scripter Chris Claremont had any inkling of events when in 1976 he pit old Jade-Jaws against a variety of ‘Big-Panty Monsters’ from the pre-Marvel days! In rapid succession, our chartreuse champion fought Xemnu, Goom, Taboo, Diablo, the Blip and, yes, Groot, in his first on-panel experience since 1960’s Tales to Astonish #13! This new copy of Hulk Annual #5 is a sparkling NM, with immaculate squarebound spine, quite the nicest copy we’ve seen. With Guardians of the Galaxy 3 about to hit the big screen, now would be a prudent time to pick this up; accept the word of one who knows. NM £80. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of the most frustrating and enigmatic Bronze Age the 1970s was 1976’s Omega the Unknown, by Steve Gerber (then ‘hot’ author of Howard the Duck) and co-author Mary Skrenes. A young boy, James-Michael, is hospitalised after the discovery that his parents are robots, and becomes linked with a mysterious and mute super-powered man who appears from nowhere whenever James-Michael is in danger. James-Michael, rather than Omega , is the focal character, and Gerber and Skrenes’ deployment of common adolescent psychological tropes (isolation, the feeling that one is the only ‘real’ person, desire for rescue) proved a little… challenging for the readership, who were baffled and frustrated by the series, even if occasionally intrigued. The illustrations by veteran artist Jim Mooney also subverted reader expectations; associated more with traditional super-heroics, his art seemed at odds with the gritty, everyday horrors of James-Michael’s schooldays. The series ended abruptly with issue #10 and the hero’s seeming death: Gerber’s dismissal from Marvel shortly thereafter seemed to put paid to any resolution, though a two-part wrap-up was bodged together in Defenders by Steven Grant. Now, it’s regarded as one of the more intriguing cul-de-sacs of the Marvel Universe, and one of the very few Marvel properties not yet optioned for Film or TV (but give it five minutes…)! We have the complete 10-issue original series in stock, all cents copies, averaging NM, on sale for £50 the set – more than a third off the individual retail. SORRY, THIS SET HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Another trip through the Marvel Silver and Bronze Age universe, this time concentrating on titles beginning with T-X as follows: Tales Of Suspense (1st Whiplash in #97), Thor (a few Journey Into Mystery issues listed under ‘J’ in our catalogue, plus Neal Adams on #180 and some of the last few issues of the Simonson run), What If (inc. #10 with 1st Jane Foster as Thor), Wolverine (inc #10 with Sabretooth), X-Factor (#24 1st full Archangel), and X-Men (inc #54 1st Alex Summers, #66 last original ‘old’ X-Men issue, several issues from the Dark Phoenix storyline inc the final #137 and 1st Jubilee in #244). Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Created by Will Eisner, Doll Man was the first super-hero to have shrinking powers, preceding the Atom and Ant-Man by two decades. Darrell Dane ‘concentrated his mighty will power’ to shrink from six feet to six inches in height, and battled the underworld from underneath, with the assistance of Elmo the Wonder Dog (who didn’t shrink, but was a Great Dane who provided transportation), and later, his shapely helpmate Doll Girl. Although the Doll Man series is often collected these days for the notorious ‘Good Girl’ strip Torchy, by Bill Ward and Gill Fox, which ran as back-up (and is present in all these issues), the main event is much underestimated, with Ruth Roche, Reed Crandall and Alex Kotsky among the creators delivering ingenious and beautifully-illustrated action tales. Doll Man #24, #27, #28 and #44 are new in this week; pictured are #24 VG+ £80 and #28 VG £70.
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards: Okay, so we’re playing a personal favourite here! Originally published by Comico, then taken up by Innovation, Mike Barr’s Maze Agency was a stylish detective series, with Jennifer Mays (the professional PI) and Gabriel Webb (her talented amateur partner, in both senses of the word) solving a whodunnit mystery in each done-in-one issue. The original series lasted 23 issues plus a couple of specials, and returned subsequently with two minis from other publishers. These days, it’s probably best remembered for the series on which Adam Hughes made his name — with full interiors, not just covers. Although the current selection we have on offer starts at #14 (after Hughes had departed), we do have one of his covers on #19 (NM £7.50 pictured) as well as the first trade paperback collection reprinting the Hughes stories from #1-4 plus extras in black and white with a great Hughes cover. Other famous artists such as Russ Heath and Brian Bolland also contributed covers, included in our current selection. Classic mysteries in the Golden Age style, with clues along the way for the reader to guess whoddunit, and a delightful relationship between the principal characters. What’s not to like? Highly recommended. SORRY, #19 AND TPB NOW SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: This week, a much overdue visit to Marvel’s horror titles from the 1970s, and the famous monsters that inhabited them. All the following are issues previously missing from our stock: Creatures on the Loose (with Man-Wolf, including the start of his series in #30), Fear (with start of Man-Thing series in #10 and Morbius in #23), Frankenstein, the Monster of, Man-Thing (1st series and Giant-Size, with 1st Howard the Duck solo in GS #4), Supernatural Thrillers (with the Living Mummy), Tomb of Dracula (#43 high grade with Wrightson cover), Werewolf By Night (many issues from #3, inc 2nd Moon Knight in #33 and Giant-Sizes with Morbius in GS #4). All the famous monsters covered!
*Teen /Humour/Funny Girls: Continuing our massive restock of comics featuring Patsy Walker, the teen heroine who carried Atlas through the 1950s and was re-invented as Hellcat in the Marvel Universe. This update, though, if we’re being brutally honest, Ms. Walker is not the main attraction. Cindy Comics (later Cindy Smith) launched in 1947 as a blatant Patsy imitator – red-headed everygal protagonist, her guys & gals in a typical midwestern town – honestly, if you relettered the names, you’d be hard-pressed to tell a Cindy story from a Patsy one. The Cindy issues this update do have other aspects of interest – aside from the presence of Ms. Walker as a back-up strip in all four. Issue #30 (pictured FN £80) has two pages of Harvey Kurtzman’s cult ‘Hey Look’ strip, in addition to the usual girlish shenanigans; #37 (FA £100) has an early (and quite notorious) greytone ‘headlights’ cover and #39 (by which time the title had become Cindy Smith) has a rather lovely painted cover by Louise Alston. Covers of issues #30 and #37 may be seen here; details on the others, of course, available in our online catalogue. SORRY, #37 HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel UK: After far too long a gap, an update of just under 100 copies to our stocks of the 1970s Marvel UK titles, which introduced a new generation to these classic characters. We have substantial additions to Savage Sword of Conan weekly, which reprinted the Roy Thomas/Barry Smith early years, Dracula Lives (including #20 & #21, which reprint Tomb of Dracula #10, debut of Blade the Vampire Slayer), and the founding title Mighty World of Marvel, selected issues from #37 to #166, plus a light scattering of Spider-Man Comics Weekly from #21 up. Depicted are Dracula Lives #20 VG £15 & #21 VG £15; details on all the others may be found in our online catalogue. SORRY, PICTURED ITEMS HAVE NOW SOLD
*Annuals: Continuing our ‘Immaculate Annuals’ event, it’s back to Boys’ Adventure this week, from the same pedigree source. As with 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 couple of them, because of slightly marred laminate or a tiny bit of cover fading, do dip to FN/VF, but mostly these are VF to VF/NM, truly lovely items, virtually able to pass for new. We have added Hotspur from 1969 and 1972, Roy of the Rovers from 1969, Victor 1966 (VF/NM £50 pictured), 1967 and 1968. Rounding out the update are two uncommon items: The Valiant Book of Pirates (1967 VF £75) and the Valiant Book of Conquest of the Air (VF £25). These do not have comics stories, but are profusely illustrated in full-colour, and the Pirates volume particularly is highly sought-after because of the sumptuous Ron Embleton illustrations. SORRY, VALIANT BOOKS HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Tarkan was created by Turkish cartoonist Sezgin Burak while he was resident in Milan, and was a great success, being serialised over Europe and inspiring two feature films in the late Sixties and early Seventies. The story of a Hun warrior who defied Roman oppressors, the series continued until the artist’s death in 1978. We have acquired a selection of the short-lived English edition, which launched (and we suspect ended) in 1973. Although the full-colour comics bore a resemblance in size to US comics such as Conan, the slightly more mature subject matter confused and deterred the bulk of the audience, and some newsagents refused to distribute them. We open with Tarkan #1 (FN £5 pictured) and end with #16, with many (though not all) issues in-between.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Launched in 1963 in the wake of the success of Victor, Hornet followed its elder brother’s formula of sport, war and adventure stories, with a lot of ‘true life’ tales of heroism, and had a respectable run up until early 1976, when it merged with its stablemate Hotspur. Popular strips in the weekly included ‘V For Vengeance’, starring masked concentration camp survivors bent for revenge; ageless athlete Wilson; costumed crimefighter Captain Hornet and, appearing in the vast majority of the 648 issues, Bernard Briggs, sporting polymath who started out as a goalie, but worked his way through tennis, rugby, cricket, motocross, athletics, boxing and more – all without the aid of haunted sporting equipment, so in yer face, ‘Billy’s Boots’! We have over 150 issues of Hornet newly added to our lists from 1967’s #180 to the penultimate number, #647, in its final year of 1976; please see our catalogue listing for details.
*Girls’ Comics: Launched in 1967 in the wake of her elder siblings Bunty & Judy, Mandy, despite the relentlessly can-do attitude of its eponymous heroine, seemed to specialise in stories which were generally moralistic in tone, with long-suffering heroines finally achieving happiness, while villainous relatives or girls who were liars, cheats and bullies received their comeuppance — good hearty fare for its intended audience! We’ve recently acquired the second and third issues of Mandy accompanied by their original Free Gifts. In the case of issue #2, the comic itself is Fine, with the Free Gift – a ‘Mandy bracelet’ beaded on elastic to stretch to size – still in the original polythene pocket at VF. Issue #3’s gift was a little more complex: a ‘Mandy Mini-Kit’, it had a brush, nail file and comb all in one. The copy of #3 is GD, with a bit of ‘bumpiness’ from the gift having been stuck inside its pages, but no significant flaws. The gift itself is VG – the contents are immaculate, but the paper envelope, while never technically opened, was removed from its place between pages 10 and 11 of the comic, and the envelope is slightly torn at one end. Nevertheless, Free Gift early issues of one of the leading girls’ comics of the 1960s are not commonplace; £60 for #2 FN with Free Gift VF, and £40 for #3 GD with Free Gift VG. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: Doyenne of the Girls’ Comic Weeklies, Bunty, home of the Four Marys and many more fondly-remembered characters, is refreshed this week with around 70 issues, commencing in 1962 and ending in 1970. Almost all of these new listings have filled vacancies in our previous inventory, so if you’re looking for that missing instalment of ‘Mighty Mo’, ‘The Secret of the Red Balloons’, ‘Maid Marian’ or ‘Molly the Matron’, now’s your chance!
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 D – L
and in our American/British section:
and in our British section:
*Girls’ Picture Libraries
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: One of the most sought-after comics of the early 1970s is Batman #234, the first post-Golden Age appearance of Two-Face. Crusading District Attorney Harvey Kent (later Dent) was horribly disfigured by an acid attack and became the bi-polar bad guy strongly reminiscent of (and inspired by, according to Bob Kane) Jekyll & Hyde. After a handful of appearances from 1942 through to the early 1950s, Two-Face was retired in favour of more Comics Code friendly, less horrific villains, but his triumphant comeback was in this issue, where writer Denny O’Neil and artist Neal Adams reinvented him as a more chilling nemesis than ever. In subsequent decades, Two-Face has become a major player in Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery, in multiple media. This key issue, with stunning Adams cover and interior artwork, is a beautiful VF/NM copy, with unmarred deep cover colour and gloss, firm staples, and flexible interiors. A pence copy lightly and unobtrusively stamped in the upper right, it is on sale for £300.
*DC: From 1945, an issue of the anthology All-American Comics starring the original Green Lantern, his Justice Society colleague Doctor Mid-Nite, aviator Hop Harrigan, and funsters Mutt & Jeff! This is from the brief period where the All-American side of National Periodical Publications separated from DC ‘Proper’ and struck out as an independent publisher (and you thought Image did it first…) therefore it carries the ‘AA’ branding rather than the more familiar DC symbol. This copy, sadly, has seen better days; The cover is torn, worn, stained and heavily taped. One third of one page of the Green Lantern story is missing, and there are small corners, not significantly impacting the stories, on a further three pages. In addition there is extreme wear throughout the entire issue at corners and edges. Ordinarily, we would not sell something this damaged, but since Golden Age DC super-hero issues are rare in any condition – and with the caveats noted above, all pages are present and readable – we are offering this PR copy for £20. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: In 1985, for the company’s 50th Anniversary, DC released Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12-part series in which all the multiple parallel Earths of the DCU, long established ever since ‘Flash of Two Worlds’, faced annihilation, in an attempt to reconcile the conflicting alternate realities, and result in a more comprehensible DC Universe. Marv Wolfman and George Perez delivered a truly epic story, sending shockwaves through fandom as veteran characters perished, mostly permanently. (Well, until reality rebooted again, but in fairness that was decades later…) For all its flawed legacy (it was unevenly followed up by other creators, resulting in a ‘streamlined’ DCU that was actually more confusing, and it set the precedent for sprawling cosmic crossovers to become a tedious annual occurrence), COIE was an epochal event in the evolution of comics. Marvel’s Secret Wars may have done it first – but Crisis did it with style, expertise, and a genuine air of consequence. This 12-issue set averages NM- condition (some NM, a few VF/NM), #1 cents, the rest pence copies. Pictured are the two best-remembered issues of the series, #7 (NM- p) and #8 (NM p), with the demises of the Silver Age Supergirl and Flash, respectively. This is being sold only as a complete set of 12 at £160. SORRY, THIS SET HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga at DC has its detractors, but the fact remains that its epic grandeur caught the imagination of a generation, and the characters it generated continue to resonate throughout the DC Universe today. Cornerstone of the Fourth World was the series New Gods, the story of dual worlds – Apokalips and New Genesis – locked in an internecine struggle for the galaxy, one world striving to protect it, and the other to rule it. The first issue of this series introduced Orion, Lightray, Metron and other key figures, and the second issue brought us the second full appearance (after a series of cameos) of Darkseid, ruler of Apokalips and seeker of the Anti-Life Equation. We have outstanding copies of these new in stock: Issue #1 (debuts Orion, Lightray, Metron) is FN+ cents with very light corner wear and a few tiny breaks in spine colour, on sale at £90; #2 (2nd ‘Full Darkseid’) is VF/NM, outstandingly bright with sharp corners, at £80. Both are cents copies without UK price markings. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*DC: Lois Lane has mad many mad moments – wacky bodily transformations, marrying random aliens/robots/villains, and convoluted and extreme schemes to entrap the Man of Steel into matrimony – but one of the maddest was her 106th issue – and the thing is, the creators weren’t even trying for the crazy! By this point, the writers were trying to make Lois more socially relevant, so she started embracing ‘issues’, and the issue here was racial tension. Now, younger readers won’t recall that in 1970, there was a controversial and sexually explicit film on release called ‘I Am Curious (Yellow)’ – writer Bob Kanigher, having apparently heard the title without grasping the context, stole this for the story’s title, ‘I Am Curious (Black)’, thereby bewildering, disappointing and offending multiple factions at once. Lois, having become suddenly aware of racial disparity – (precisely zero black people having appeared in her book until this point) uses Kryptonian ‘Transformoflux-Mold’ technology to turn herself into a black woman, and investigates Metropolis’ ‘Little Africa’ ghetto – from the inside! To be fair, the intentions were benign, and there are actually a couple of good points and good lines buried in there, but the overwhelming ham-fisted and cringe-making patronage of the issue has made it a bit of a cult item among connoisseurs of bad comics. This is a FN+ cents copy, no pence pricing, tight and clean with only light to moderate corner wear and firm staples. A… classic of its kind? Yours for £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: A second helping of Batmania this week as we feature issues #202-231 (almost all in that sequence) freshly added to our stock in superior grades; almost every issue is Fine or considerably better. A nice run full of Giants (Secrets Of The Bat-Cave, Women in Batman’s Life, 30th Anniversary Special, Batman’s Crime File, Danger Around The World, Deadly Traps), the debut of the Ten-Eyed Man in #226, a delightful Catwoman caper in #210 and a Neal Adams short in #219, presaging what was to follow. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*DC: One of DC’s earliest mini-series joins our catalogue this week as we add the 1982 Phantom Zone series from the talented pen of Steve Gerber and the gorgeous pencils of Gene Colan. A humane method of criminal confinement or a dimension without hope? You decide… all four issues now in stock and as cheap as chips!