*Collected Editions: We welcome back volume 1 of The Thirteenth Floor, revolving around a housing estate called Maxwell Towers, and the AI who runs it, a computer named Max, who’s very good to his tenants… unless they start behaving badly, in which case Max’s punishments for delinquency beat the heck out of ASBOs! This slender concept proved hugely popular with the readers of Scream! and Eagle Mk. II. The creative team of John Wagner, Alan Grant and Jose Ortiz (with occasional guests) provide ironic twist-ending comeuppances a’plenty for various malfeasants. Until recently out of print, this paperback collection is now back in stock, brand new at £15.
*DC: 1970’s Batman #222 tapped into a then-recent real-life rumour that Paul McCartney, of the iconic Beatles, had been killed and replaced by a lookalike to keep the royalties coming. In this issue, Batman & Robin meet ‘Saul Cartwright’ of the super-group ‘The Oliver Twists’, who present a suspiciously similar dilemma to the world! How does it all turn out? Hey, buy the book and find out! This slice of psychedelic era nostalgia is a bright and sharp VF+ cents copy with no pence price or overstamp and can be yours for £175. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: One of the stories which redefined the concepts of comics narrative and superheroic iconography in the 1980s, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen has been constantly in print since its 1986 debut, with myriad editions, collections and archives, but this is the original premier issue of the series which set comics fandom and the industry alight. Often imitated – frequently to the detriment of the medium – but never equalled. This first issue is Near Mint: sharp edges & corners, tight staples at cover and centrefold, and, owing to the more expensive paper stock used in its production, bright white interiors with vivid unfaded colour. Watchmen #1 NM £80.
*DC: In the comic jokingly referred to as Justice League of America #3.5, but in reality Mystery In Space #75, Kanjar Ro, arch-nemesis of the Justice League, tackles Adam Strange AND the JLA, giving readers a chance to see the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes as rendered by the stellar artistic combination of Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. Adam Strange’s interstellar adventures are a big favourite here at 30th C., and writer Gardner Fox’s addition of the JLA to the mix made many a fannish heart beat faster back in 1962. Still does, if we’re honest. This is a lovely copy; graded FN+ because of light tanning at the page edges and very light wear at spine and top edge, but beautiful cover colour and an unmarred cover scene. FN+ p £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Yes, this is a bit modern for our usual parameters. And, while we respect the work of Steve Englehart immensely, this reboot of Green Lantern’s series from a solo to a team title, with a selection of Hal’s fellow Corps members – while perfectly competent, it’s not generally regarded as Englehart’s best. But in addition to spotlighting previously-introduced Corps members Katma Tui, Arisia, Salaak, Ch’p and John Stewart, this also introduced Kilowog, who’s gone on to be a popular and long-serving member of the Corps in various iterations, and made his movie debut in the GL feature film many would rather forget. Nevertheless, even that fleeting fame has apparently made Kilowog’s debut a bit of a ‘thing’, so… here we are. Issue #201, first under ‘Green Lantern Corps’ title, first appearance Kilowog, NM cents copy £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: All three iterations of DC’s various tabloid series are represented in our latest update. All-New Collectors’ Edition, C-62, tells of the making of ‘Superman – the Movie!’; Famous First Editions F-4 reproduces, cover to cover, the entirety of Whiz Comics #2, first appearance of Captain Marvel/Shazam!; and the cream of this crop, Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-51, gathers the entire Batman/Ra’s Al Ghul saga in one 76-page tabloid juggernaut. Not only does the artwork of Neal Adams look stunning at the larger page size, but Adams also provided a brand-new wraparound cover for this edition! C-51 is VG+ at £20; details on the others in our online catalogue. SORRY, PICTURED ITEM NOW SOLD
*DC: A nice run through the DC Silver & Bronze Age universe this week, with new additions to the following titles: Crisis On Infinite Earths, Detective Comics, Hawkman (#2), Lois Lane (several, inc #71 2nd Silver Age Catwoman, Annual #2), Shazam (several inc #2, 100 page #8 and #25 with the first comics appearance of the Mighty Isis FN- £25), Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes (##226 1st Dawnstar), Swamp Thing (#7 with Batman) and Watchmen (#2). All now listed in our catalogue.
*Marvel: Ms Marvel, spinning out of Captain Marvel, former background character Carol Danvers got her own set of super-powers and a whole new supporting cast (including new boss J. Jonah Jameson) as she attempted to discover the mystery behind her own origins. Although moderately successful, the series was attacked by critics who derided Carol’s derivative costume, which made her look like Captain Marvel’s sidekick, and the fact that Marvel were offering a ‘powerful, confident’ heroine who suffered from blackouts and amnesia. Despite these jibes, Ms Marvel has been a prominent member of the Marvel Universe for nearly forty years in one guise or another – whether as Ms Marvel, Binary, Warbird, or most recently the latest Captain Marvel, her chequered history has provided many intriguing plotlines. With the Captain Marvel movie, starring Carol Danvers, being a blockbuster hit worldwide, early appearances of the character are hotting up. This copy of Carol’s first solo flight is a cents copy, VF/NM at £115.
*Marvel: A selection of Spider-Man issues featuring everybody’s favourite cuddly brain-eating symbiotes, Venom and Carnage! We open with #315, co-featuring ‘hot new villain’ Hydro-Man, as seen on the big screen in ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’. Moving on, we have #316 and #317, where Venom takes centre stage with well-regarded Todd McFarlane covers; #361 sees the expansion of the ‘Venom Family’, with the premier of Carnage, and his follow-ups in #362 & #363; the anniversary issue #375 pits Venom against Spidey in a shiny n’ thick special edition, and we conclude with #379, mid-‘Maximum Carnage’, with Venom and Carnage and Demogoblin and Doppelganger and for all we know, the Four Marys thrown in there too! Illustrated: #315 NM p £25, #316 NM- p £50, and #361 FN+ p £50. For details on the rest, look in our online listings.
*Marvel: One of Marvel’s most successful attempts at diversifying their line in the 1970s was their cash-in on the Martial Arts craze, with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu! His inauspicious debut in Special Marvel Edition, a series previously devoted to reprints, indicated that there wasn’t much faith in Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin’s co-creation, but readers took him to their collective hearts, and more than 100 issues ensued, with a star roster of creators including Doug Moench, Gene Day and Paul Gulacy. Here, however, was where it all started, in Special Marvel Edition #15, December 1973, with the Son of Fu Manchu discovering his villainous heritage, and setting out to oppose his father. This copy of Shang-Chi’s debut is an attractive FN-, with unbroken cover colour, tight staples, and only light spine and edge wear. Shang-Chi is now in line for a big screen debut – Marvel doubtless hoping to repeat the ‘outsider’ successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel – so this debut will only increase in price. Never distributed in the UK, and therefore doubly sought after, on these shores, this FN- copy is on sale at £125. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of the forerunners of the ‘second wave’ of the Marvel Universe in 1968 was Captain Marvel, warrior of the mighty Kree Empire, which had featured in the Fantastic Four and elsewhere. Exiled on Earth and forced to live among humans, Mar-Vell found his loyalties strangely shifting. Originally created as a cynical exercise in copyright protection (a minor publisher had produced a short-lived ‘Captain Marvel’ series a couple of years before, and Marvel Comics didn’t want their ‘brand’ hijacked by another company!), Captain Marvel, as well as the Silver Surfer, expanded the Marvel Universe beyond the confines of Earth and put the Marvel heroes firmly on the cosmic stage. We have the good Captain’s premier appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 new in, in an attractive VG+ cents copy, with very light wear at both lower cover corners, but tight, flat and clean with considerable eye appeal. On sale at £55.
*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 came down, and they were allowed to expand their range of titles. New in this week, a copy of Iron Man’s first solo issue, with Gene Colan’s hyperkinetic art driving the drama onward! This is a FA p copy, with notable wear at edges and corners, but the predominant drawback is light ink staining at the top cover, which has penetrated to the inside front cover, though mercifully not to the interior pages. Other than that, it would be a sound mid-grade copy, and given Iron Man’s pivotal status in the Marvel Universe, both Comic and Cinematic, this becomes a very affordable key issue. FA p £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Introduced in 1972 as a rather cheeky cash-in on the then-popular ‘Blaxploitation’ fad, Luke Cage turned out to have a surprising longevity and adaptability, moving from outcast street-level mercenary to mainstream super-hero, to co-star of a ‘buddy movie’ series with Iron Fist – and by whatever subtitle, Luke remains one of Marvel’s more popular characters, as evidenced by his recent Netflix TV series. This update, we have around forty issues newly listed, ranging from #2 to #87, with highlights including the debuts of his TV nemeses Black Mariah (#5) and Cottonmouth (#19), his transition from Hero For Hire to Power Man (#17), the debut of Black Goliath (#24), his first meeting with Iron Fist (#48), and the second ever appearance of Sabretooth (#66). Depicted is #19 (NM £57), an outstanding ND copy of a villainous debut.
*Marvel: With #158, the, let’s be honest, creatively moribund Daredevil series got an influx of talent, as Frank Miller took over the artwork, and the title was restored to its heyday of visual excitement. This issue was springboard for the later critically-acclaimed run by Miller as writer/artist. (Once, cuckoo-like, he had gotten scripter Roger McKenzie removed from the book!) This copy of Daredevil #158 is a VF+ pence copy, with only the tiniest of irregularities at the top cover edge preventing a higher grade; on sale at £65.
*Marvel: In 1977, Marvel produced one of their myriad film adaptations, this one taken from the Michael York-starring movie based, in turn, upon the science-fiction ageist dystopia novel by Nolan & Johnson, which had acquired a cult status since its publication in 1967. The adaptation, scripted by Gerry Conway (later David Kraft) and illustrated by then-noob George Perez, was faithful to the movie, and well done. Things took a bit of a dip creatively with issue #6, when, going ‘beyond the movie’, the chores were handed to a clearly unenthusiastic John Warner and Tom Sutton, but a back-up in #6 – a short story, unconnected to Logan’s Run, featuring a clash between Thanos and Drax the Destroyer – has pushed up the price of that issue, for reasons obvious to anyone who’s gone to the movies in the last half-decade. We have the set of seven issues, averaging NM, all cents copies, available for £100; pictured is issue #6 NM.
*Marvel: The implacable robotic Sentinels, nemeses of the X-Men, have loomed large in the history of Marvel’s Mutant Heroes, making multiple appearances, each more fearsome than the last. The creations of a man determined to expunge the mutant genome from humanity, they emphasise the X-Men’s ‘otherness’, which is why they resonate so strongly with the readership – and in a world where fascism seems sadly to be coming back into fashion, they’re more relevant than ever! This is the first appearance of the Sentinels, an apparent FN p copy, with vivid unfaded red background and only very minor wear at spine, but a subtly trimmed right edge, not affecting the story pages. Priced to shift at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Continuing our Catalogue Expansion, we now have added issues of Iron Man’s original series from the #150’s to #225 to our lists. This run began with the A-list team of Michelinie and Layton doing sterling work on the Golden Avenger, and closed with the commencement of one of his most popular and best loved story arcs of the era, ‘Armor Wars’. Most famously, however, this era introduced a new Iron Man – James Rhodes, later War Machine, who took over the Iron Man role when Tony was ‘tried and emotional’; and the debut of a villain, the Ghost, who would materialise on the silver screen (as a villainess) in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, decades later. #169 (1st Rhodey as Iron Man cameo) is NM p £25; #170 (first ‘Full Rhodey’) is NM £22.50 and #219 (1st Ghost) is NM p £30. Details on the remaining additions in our catalogue.
*Marvel: A chunky update to our stocks of Fantastic Four this week between issues #81 and #200, plus Annual and Giant-Size. Highlights include #94 (debut of Agatha Harkness VF- £30), #112 (classic Hulk Vs Thing cover VG £30) and Giant-Size #4 (1st Madrox the Multiple Man GD+ £9).
*Marvel: A much needed update to our stocks of Captain America, this time between issues #101-159, several issues in low, very affordable grades, which won’t hang around for long! Details as always in our catalogue.
*EC: Although best remembered today for its horror, crime and sci-fi titles, EC, after being attacked by censorious cretins in the 1950s, retrenched with a series of ‘New Trend’ titles, spotlighting different genres, still with the same outstanding stable of artists. Although the ‘New Trend’ series flopped, none of them lasting more than five issues, they remain examples of the pinnacle of comics art from the period. We have a selection of EC’s in this week – from the ‘classic’ line-up, we have additions to Shock SuspenStories and Two-Fisted Tales, and from the ‘New Trend’, new copies of the twist-ending anthology Impact and Piracy – the topic of which should really be obvious. Mostly in mid to low grades, and therefore very affordable. Depicted are Piracy #2 FN/VF at £85 and Shock SuspenStories #17 GD+ £35.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Ziff-Davis, originating as a publisher of hobbyist and pulp magazines, flirted with comic books during the 1950s, and one of their more collectable series is Amazing Adventures, a science-fiction anthology, which featured beautifully-painted pulp-style covers. Issue #2 is no exception, with its carefully-designed cover image applicable to at least two of the stories therein. Of the interior tales, one is illustrated by Murphy Anderson – his classic style evident even this early in his career – and another by the cult artist Alex Schomburg, best remembered now for his insanely detailed covers for Marvel/Timely Comics and airbrush covers for Nedor. A tiny upper spine split and some age-related wear at the top edge have caused us to grade this as VG+, but the interiors remain flexible, staples are firm, and the cover image is unimpaired and luridly lovely. #2 VG+ £100.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: Our Slab Happy update this week takes a dip into Marvel’s 1970s horror revival, with their award-winning Man-Thing and Tomb of Dracula series. All three are cents copies, and CGC Blue Label (unrestored) copies, immaculate in their – appropriately enough – plastic coffins. Man-Thing #12 is 9.4 (NM) at £25, Tomb of Dracula #6 is 9.0 (VF/NM) at £65 and Tomb of Dracula #51 is 9.4 (NM) at £30. If you’ve ever been slab-curious, here’s an affordable way to start!
*Modern Reprints: After extensive sales in the popular Modern reprints category, we’re delighted to have found a chance to restock with items from the ‘big three’ in this section – and one very special niche! From DC, we have additions to Silver Age Classics (debuts of Flash and Supergirl), Masters of Great Comic Book Art featuring the talents of Frank Frazetta and Berni Wrightson, Wonder Woman Chronicles with Golden Age feminism and bondage, more Wrightson with the Roots of the Swamp Thing mini, and an avalanche of Neal Adams: Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Deadman, Saga of Ra’s Al Ghul and the Batman by Neal Adams TPB. From Marvel, the Marvel Romance TPB featuring art by Buscema, Steranko, Colan, Romita and Warlock Special Edition, featuring Jim Starlin’s ‘cosmic reboot’ of the character and the Tales of Asgard re-issue – Lee & Kirby greatness behind a new Simonson cover! From EC, we have a selection of the 1974 EC Classics reprints, as well as new stocks of the Gladstone series of Crime Patrol, War Against Crime, Psychoanalysis and Panic. And from New England Comics, best remembered as the original publishers of The Tick, a complete run of Tales Too Terrible To Tell (later Terrorology), a cult series which was one of the first to spotlight vintage Pre-Code Horror.
*Alan Class Reprints: We have now secured direct from Alan Class himself the final Printing Plate sets which accompany his comics reprinting classics from the early days of Marvel. We’re launching this unique event with the most famous and in-demand Alan Class title of them all: Creepy Worlds #32, reprinting Fantastic Four #1 (cover and content).
So, you’ve got all the Marvel Comics there are? Actually — no, because this set comprises not only the comic Creepy Worlds #32, rare and highly sought after in its own right, but also the four colour cover lead plates produced by Alan Class used to print the cover, and a certificate of authenticity hand-signed by the publisher. As such, this is a one of a kind item, absolutely the only one there is.
In common with some other Alan Class issues we’ve seen, this copy of Creepy Worlds #32 features several small but significant differences from the final cover image of Fantastic Four #1 as it was originally published. The image is wider, showing more of the car the Thing is pushing aside; Sue’s word balloon has been repositioned; the ‘Featuring’ Box at the cover’s right has been dropped, obscuring parts of the shopfronts which are visible on FF #1’s cover; and the pedestrians/bystanders on the cover’s right differ – there are only three of them as opposed to five, and one is posed completely differently from FF #1 (Actually stepping on Reed’s word balloon!).
While the balloon and blurb repositioning could be explained as necessary accommodations to the different logos, the artistic differences are trickier to explain. Alan has said that his comics were taken reproduced from stats sent over from America, and we suspect, though we cannot confirm, that the cover stats were taken from the original art pre-correction, so that, although this version appeared after FF #1, it’s actually an older version of the drawing.
The comic itself is graded VG; the squarebound spine is sound, with minimal wear at upper and lower edges, but no missing pieces. Interior pages all firmly attached, no looseness or wear. There are two light diagonal creases, barely visible, on the front cover, not breaking cover colour, and a light patch of foxing visible on the white cover parts between the creature’s right elbow and the Torch’s head. Again, not deep enough to mar the cover image. Cover colours are bright and vivid, and there’s quite a bit of cover gloss. The lead printing plates show how the cover was built up in its various colours and all bear vivid residue of the (dry) coloured inks used.
This unique set, comic, four printing plates, and Certificate of Authenticity signed by publisher Alan Class, are priced at £1,500. Images are shown below, comprising front and back cover and splash page (high resolution images available on request) plus the four plates.
*Annuals: From the same pedigree source as 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. This week we’re back to Buster, the odd ‘hybrid’ title which despite putting the funnies front and centre, was until its latter years home to between 30%-50% adventure strips. These are the softcover Annuals which are the bane of collectors to find in high grade. These have sustained some very slight wear at the edges, being both slightly larger and slightly more vulnerable than their hardcover brethren, but remain superior copies, all VF, easily the best examples we’ve seen in our years of trading. Depicted is Buster Annual for 1968 VF £30; details on the others to be found in our catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Football has always been a popular theme of British comics, but Scorcher, launching in 1970, was one of the earliest weeklies to make it an all-consuming theme. Given its respectable five-year run, the creators did a decent job of it, even if there was a lot of imagination-stretching to introduce variations: ‘Lags Eleven’ (footballing convicts), ‘Lord Rumsey’s Rovers’ (footballing aristocrats), the superbly bonkers ‘Kangaroo Kid’ (footballing feral child raised by marsupials) and ‘Billy’s Boots’, in which a klutzy lad finds a magically-endowed pair of boots belonging to a legendary player, and gains his skills from them – so, cheating, basically. ‘Billy’s Boots’ was the strip that Would Not Die, running for many years after Scorcher’s demise in Tiger, and reappearing in the 1990s in Striker. We are chuffed to welcome the first three issues into stock, in exceptional grades. From the same source as our ‘Immaculate Annuals’ selections – see other updates for details – these are uncirculated copies from a newsagent’s stockpile, in beautiful condition. The copies themselves are clean and fresh, VF, with only the very slightest edge discolouration from long-term storage, but tight corners and clean, firm staples. The free gift wallcharts – ‘Your Team Records’ in #1, ‘Your Team Progress’ in #2, and ‘The Road to the FA Cup’ in #3 – having been stored flat all these decades, are nearly perfect NM (we haven’t pictured these, but trust us, they are present!). Issue #1 VF with Gift NM is £75; issues #2 & #3, each VF with Free Gift NM, are £50 each. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1976, the well-beloved weekly which was the home of cuddly man-eating shark Hookjaw and several other strips of remarkable controversy and violence! Pre-dating its longer-lived stablemate 2000 AD, and serving to ‘incubate’ much of 2000 AD’s talent, Action paved the way for a darker, bloodier and more cynical trend in boys’ adventure weeklies, with even the traditional genres of sport and war strips getting a nihilistic veneer – to the point where it was eventually banned from the newsstands, to re-emerge months later as a soft-serve shadow of its former self. New in this week we have a dozen issues from the pre-ban months March-October 1976, all in nice shape; details as always in our catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Continuing our restocks of Micron’s Combat Picture Library, we have most issues new in, averaging Fine with several VF, from #201 to 255, after which it changed format and tried to look a little bit less like Commando! As noted in previous updates, Combat, particularly the earlier issues, is less frequently seen than its contemporaries, so we’re delighted to welcome this selection into our inventory.
*Humour Comics: Whoopee!, the humour weekly launched in 1974 was home to ‘Daisy Jones’ Locket’, ‘Toy Boy’, ‘Webster’ and the ‘Bumkin Billionaires’, among other well-remembered strips, and it really hit its stride when it scooped up the ailing Shiver & Shake, whereupon ‘Frankie Stein’ and ‘Sweeny Toddler’ pumped up the laughs and helped the series settle into its eleven-year run, before it tripped and fell into Whizzer & Chips. We have new in more than 100 issues from its first three years (1974-1976), including Easter issues and the Second Birthday issue.
*Girls’ Comics: By the 1970s, June had shed her long-time stablemate School Friend, and this decade saw her flirting with other titles, reflected in these extra-thick Holiday Specials; in 1972 it was June & Sandie, and in the latter half of the 70s it had switched to June & Pixie. Regardless of the co-star, the line-up remained reliable: ‘Bessie Bunter’, ‘Wee Sue’, ‘My Name Is Nobody’, ‘Lucky’s Living Doll’, ‘The Strangest Stories Ever Told’ and other favourites abounded. We have three of the scarce June Holiday Specials back in stock. 1972 is FN £60 (light foxing at left cover edge), 1975 is FN £50 (slight spine roll), and 1976 is VF £60.
*Girls’ Comics: Venerable companion titles, Girls’ Crystal and School friend both evolved out of old-school ‘story papers’ and were reinvented as comics in the 1950s, before Girls’ Crystal was absorbed into School Friend in the early 1960s – only for School Friend itself to be famously amalgamated with June a couple of years later. We have a smattering of Girls’ Crystal from 1953 and twenty or so School Friend from 1951-1953, mostly Fair, in reasonable shape but with considerable staple rust, albeit not affecting the stories. Join ‘Merle’s Voyage of Mystery’, ‘Secret Friends of the Sports Mistress’, ‘The Silent Three’ and more!
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 T – Z
and in our British section:
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
An outstanding example of Fiction House’s Planet Comics in our previously-listed spotlight this week: issue #49, July 1947, in an extraordinary VG+ condition, with vivid cover colour and gloss, tight pages with sharp corners, and flexible off-white interior pages. If it wasn’t for the fact that this copy is off its top staple, we would easily have graded it at least a full grade higher, such is its overall appeal. By this time, Planet had acquired most of the major contributors and series that were to its mainstays. Joe Doolin’s evocative ‘Mermaid Invasion’ cover leads us into ‘Star Pirate’ from a young Murphy Anderson (who also illustrated the ‘Life On Other Worlds’ feature), ‘Mysta of the Moon’ is illustrated by Fran Hopper, doing her best Matt Baker impersonation; Lily Renee draws ‘The Lost World’ and George Evans turns in outstanding work on ‘Auro, lord of Jupiter’. This is a rare combination of nice grade and high quality work in one serendipitous package, and yours for £135.
*Collected Editions: Mentioned in a previous update as ‘forthcoming’, Charley’s War Volume Two: Brothers In Arms, is now back in print from those lovely people at Rebellion, meaning that all three volumes of the Definitive Edition, remastered from the original art with all colour pages restored, are now available. For those of you who haven’t read Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun’s dark saga of an ordinary young soldier in World War II, it’s justly one of the more acclaimed series in British comics history. With the re-issue of Volume Two, all three Definitive Editions are brand new at £20 each.
We’re pleased to report that BT have now fixed the line fault to our card machine and we are now able to process card payments by phone and at the shop counter. If you’re a mail order customer, you still might find it easier to consider paying by bank transfer rather than phoning us though.
There is currently a fault on the BT line that services our card machine, so we are unable at present to take payment by card either over the phone or at the counter. We are hoping that BT are able to fix this as soon as possible, and will update here again as soon as the problem is fixed.
In the meantime, can we suggest that if you normally pay by card by phone that you consider making payment by bank transfer? It’s quick, easy and once you set us up on your online banking system, payment takes only seconds. It also saves you the trouble of getting through to us by phone (which can be difficult due to our level of business).
Our bank details are:
Account Name: 30th Century Comics
Account Number: 00547216
Branch Sort Code: 30-91-54
If you’re visting the shop during this period, you’ll need to pay by cash; there is a cashpoint a few yards from the shop across Lower Richmond Road outside Sainsburys.
*DC: One of the seminal works, together with Watchmen and V For Vendetta, which redefined the public perception of comics in the 1980s. Frank Miller’s dystopian opus Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is near-future story of a retired Batman, cynical and jaded, and the catastrophic events which force him to return to the fray with a new partner to confront his oldest enemy. Multiple award winning, this has been constantly in print in myriad formats since its publication – but these are the very first releases, all four Prestige Format volumes. Issues #1, #3, and #4 are first printings; issue #2 is a second printing, which followed almost immediately after the initial release owing to demand. Depicted is issue #1 (1st print) NM £90; for details of the others, see our online list.
*DC: The already critically-acclaimed New Teen Titans series by Wolfman and Perez took a surprising and significant turn right in the middle of the ‘Judas Contract’ storyline, when Dick Grayson, having decided to put away childish things, stepped out of Batman’s shadow and abandoned the Robin identity, taking on the mantle of Nightwing, an identity which – setting aside a couple of ‘wobbles’ – he’s maintained ever since! Tales of the New Teen Titans ( a minor title change from its original New Teen Titans designation) #44 saw the first appearance of Dick as Nightwing, and we have this important issue available, NM- p at £55.
*DC: Following his critically-acclaimed ‘Fourth World’ series of intersecting titles at DC, Jack Kirby branched out into three stand-alone series. One such was Kamandi, a.k.a. ‘The Last Boy On Earth’, doubtless influenced by the then-ongoing Planet of the Apes phenomenon. Kamandi showed a post-apocalyptic future in which all humanity apart from our titular hero had degraded to virtual beasts, oppressed by all manner of super-evolved animals. Later attempts by other, lesser talents have been made to link this in with the greater DC Universe, but most folk prefer to think of the original 59 issue run from 1972 to 1978 as a self-contained odyssey. We have issue #1 of this cult series, a cents copy with no pence price or overstamp; this high-grade (VF-) copy has only minimal spine wear, but is tight, bright and flat with firm staples, on sale at £30 SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: A quartet of Silver Age issues of the Brave & the Bold, the series which by the mid-Sixties had become essentially a third Batman title, with the Gotham Guardian pairing with a new co-star each issue. The four issues listed this update have only two things in common: the inevitable presence of the Caped Crusader, and the fact that they are all in superb high grades, unusually so for the vintage. In issue #59, Batman and Green Lantern tackle the reality-warping Time Commander, a villain making his debut that issue; in issue #64, Batman and Eclipso, ordinarily a villain, work together on the side of good to battle the shapely Queen Bee; in #71, Batman and Green Arrow battle a Native American legend and in #84, Batman meets Sgt. Rock, living legend of World War II, in a story with art by the illustrious Neal Adams. As stated earlier, all of these issues are in exceptional condition, cents copies with no UK pricing, firm staples at cover and centrefold, tight sharp corners, and stunning vivid cover colour and gloss. #59 VF £57, #64 NM- £80, #71 NM £90 and #84 NM- £125.
*DC: A significant update to our stocks of Batman’s first home, Detective Comics, from the inception of his ‘New Look’ in issue #327. Many issues previously missing from our inventory added in, with highlights including the first Blockbuster in #345, the third Silver Age Catwoman in #369, the debut of the League of Assassins in #405, the first modern Manhunter in #437, the premiere of Leslie Thompkins in #457, first Black Spider in #463, first Doctor Phosphorous in #469 (and a major top-up to our stock of the acclaimed Englehart/Rogers run), the 500th issue special and #526, an anniversary issue marking the 500th appearance of Batman in Detective Comics!
*Marvel: One of the most sought-after story arcs of the 1960s is the trinity of Fantastic Four issues 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 heinous acts. We have all three parts of this epochal story back in stock: Fantastic Four #48 is VG, cover and body of book detached from lower staple and a small (approx. 1/2″) lower spine split; the cover image is bright and vibrant with unfaded colours, corners sharp with minimal edge wear. #49 is FN – the first cover appearances of both the Silver Surfer and Galactus, this is an outstanding copy with only two minor flaws, a light diagonal cover crease upper right corner, and a ’10c’ sticker which has been superimposed on the original 12c price. Rounding out the trilogy, #50 concludes the saga and features the first appearance of Wyatt Wingfoot, long-time ally of the FF (and in later years main squeeze of the Sensational She-Hulk), who was the first significant Native American character of the Marvel Universe. This is a VG+ copy, with a light vertical crease, only intermittently breaking cover colour, and a tiny chip out of the right cover edge. All three of these milestone issues are cents copies, with no UK pricing. To summarise: FF #48 VG £600, #49 FN £450 and #50 VG+ £125. Shown below are front and back covers and splash page of #48 and front covers of #49 & #50; high resolution images of #48 are available on request.
*Marvel: Dire threats against the heroes’ loved ones had, of course, been a stock-in-trade of popular entertainment since time immemorial, but in 1973’s Amazing Spider-Man #121, when Peter Parker’s love Gwen Stacy was imperilled by the Green Goblin, readers were genuinely shocked and saddened when Spidey’s daring rescue simply didn’t work – and Gwen was no more. Heroes had often been inspired by the death of a loved one, of course, but they were usually off-panel and frequently before the series actually began. This was the first time that someone the readers had ‘known’ for years was killed, and it changed the tone of the series forever. The next issue, however, Spider-Man got his revenge, after a fashion, as the Goblin met his own end. Never distributed in the UK, these two issues, scarce everywhere, are particularly sought-after on these shores. This new copy of Spider-Man #121 is CGC Blue Label (unrestored) 8.5 (VF+) at £375. #122 is CGC Blue Label 4.5 (VG+) at £125 – however, it should be noted that the case of the #122, while unopened, has sustained a slight crack/chip at the top edge, as may be seen in the picture. This has been taken into consideration when fixing the price. Both copies, obviously, are cents copies, as there are no pence-priced editions of these issues. SORRY, #122 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Yes! It’s true! After several copies of Gambit’s debut have passed through our hands, we’ve finally run out of ‘Allo, Allo’ themed openings! But while this issue is a frequent visitor to our shelves, it never languishes for long. In August 1990’s X-Men #266, while temporarily de-aged to childhood (don’t you hate it when that happens?), Storm met a charismatic thief named Gambit, who aided her in escaping from the Shadow King. Unlike many one-off guest-stars, however, Gambit caught on with the reading public, and stuck around to become a mainstay of the team – fortunately ditching his original costume of pervy knickers, stripey tights and flasher-mac in favour of a more conservative ensemble! The recently-wed ‘Mr.Rogue’ (oops, sorry, spoilers…) has been a hugely popular X-Man ever since, and his full debut is always a hot choice with buyers. But because we’re too good to you, we’re adding in his first cameo appearance in X-Men Annual #14, playing a small but pivotal part in the ‘Days of Future Present’ saga. X-Men Annual #14 is NM £35; X-Men #266 is a respectable copy, with the main flaws two barely discernable creases (one vertical, one horizontal) across the logo area (faint and not breaking the cover colour), minor spine ‘ticks’, a tiny amount of wear at top and bottom spine and around the staples. FN+ cents at £50.
*Marvel: Ms. (later Captain) Marvel, Carol Danvers, had left the Avengers in issue #200, in a controversial and rather offensive departure which raised the hackles of fandom assembled, utterly subverting the character’s independent agenda. In Avengers Annual #10, Chris Claremont ‘fixed’ the storyline, with an amnesiac and powerless Carol being rescued by Spider-Woman, and the discovery of her escape and reawakening commencing. It was a rather skilful job, assisted by the moody, evocative, and too-seldom-seen art of Mike Golden, plus, when the villains of the issue arrived – the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants – they had a spanking-new member, Rogue, who was the reason for Carol’s confused and powerless state. Rogue, of course, swiftly moved to the ‘light side’, joining the X-Men and becoming a key character in the comics and on the silver screen – and this is where she got her start, but the issue has more to offer than only that! Ignore the rather messy and bitty cover; the interior’s a gem! VF/NM £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Response to the Claremont/Miller Wolverine mini-series of 1982 was such that Marvel began working on a Wolverine ongoing title almost immediately, but owing to editorial clashes, the series didn’t actually make its debut until 1988. Chris Claremont continued the scripting chores on the adventures of Marvel’s favourite mutant, now an entrepreneur/crimelord in the rogue nation of Madripoor, with art by the superlative team of John Buscema and Al Williamson. This is a superior NM- pence copy, with only the very lightest of spine stresses (not breaking cover colour) preventing a still higher grade. On sale at £40.
*Marvel: The Messianic hero of Counter-Earth, Adam Warlock (formerly known as ‘Him’ in FF and Thor) had been reinvented in Marvel Premiere #1 & #2 before being launched into his own series by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. Possibly this was a bit premature, as his book only lasted eight issues before he guest-starred in the Hulk and, well, died. But then got better under Jim Starlin, went ‘cosmic’, and, er, died again. And a few times since. But we’re sure he’ll be back any minute! Warlock’s been a cult character for decades, with numerous series and revivals as well as being a key player in Marvel’s various ‘Infinity’ Hoo-Hahs, and he is of course believed to be forthcoming in the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie series, so now would be a good time to grab these affordable mid-grade copies of his first five eponymous issues before the prices spike! Issue #1 (Pictured) is VG £25; the others vary between VG and VF – but check out our catalogue list and see for yourself! SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Hela, Norse Goddess of Death, had made a brief earlier appearance in the ‘Tales of Asgard’ back-up feature, but Thor #150 saw her first appearance in the mainstream continuity – and quite a debut it was, as her eldritch powers overwhelmed even Thor’s Asgardian might, in this Lee & Kirby classic. Now, of course, having been retconned as Thor and Loki’s older sister as of the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ movie, Hela is hotly pursued – and this is a very affordable copy of her earliest full appearance. VG+, pence, with only light spine & edge wear but vivid deep colour and unmarred cover scene, it is on sale at £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: More of Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, in both his 1968-launched original series, following on from the numbering of Strange Tales, and his bronze Age series from 1974 onward! The first series, with superlative Colan/Palmer art on most issues, is added from #170 to #176 consecutively, then #179, while from the second series, we have issues #3 & #4 with masterful Frank Brunner art, and the First Annual, dazzlingly illustrated by P. Craig Russell.
*Marvel: Launched in 1972 as an ingenious copyright-saving legal trick, Marvel Team-Up paired Spider-Man (or occasionally the Human Torch) with other luminaries from the Marvel Universe, giving each of the guest-stars his or her own comic with their logo on the front, thereby assuring the legal bods that they’d been ‘published’, and asserting Marvel’s right to the character. likeness and logo. It was a cute legal trick with an unexpected benefit; because the overwhelming majority of the stories were done in one issue, to clear the field for the next guest, readers could pick up an issue of MTU and enjoy it without having to commit to the continued stories which, even then, were Marvel’s trademark. In short order, Marvel Team-Up was followed by Marvel Two-In-One, where the Fantastic Four’s Thing met, fought beside, and often fought against other Marvel super-stars. Both series lasted a healthy 100 or more issues, with Annuals and Specials. Continuing the dynamic duo theme, we also refresh Super-Villain Team-Up this update; a shorter-lived title than the other two, it also had more of a ‘story arc’ structure, as Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner battled each other, then kissed and made up before turning their attention to conquering the Marvel Universe. Our replenished stock of Marvel Team-Up spans from #16 to #144, highlights including issue #95, where Bobbi Morse premiered her new costumed identity of Mockingbird, and the Frank-Miller illustrated #100, which introduced the mutant called Karma. Our run of Marvel Team-Up goes from #2 to #34, with two sensational second appearances: the Guardians of the Galaxy in issue #5, having languished in limbo for half a decade since Marvel Super-Heroes #18 and #30, with the second appearance of Spider-Woman following her debut in Marvel Spotlight #32. Finally, our Super-Villain team-Up top-up commences with #5, featuring the debut of the sinister Shroud, and includes Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up #1 & #2, the extra-length issues which actually pre-date the ongoing series.