*DC: The best-received of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World at the time of its release, Mister Miracle told the story of Scott Free, a child of New Genesis who was raised in the fire-pits of Apokalips, in an exchange of royal hostages between the two warring planets. Escaping from Apokalips to Earth, Scott continued his adventures as the World’s Greatest Escape Artist, aided by his trusty companion Oberon, and continuing in the tradition of the previous Mister Miracle, a travelling escapologist. The combination of super-heroics, showmanship and space-opera made for a compelling read, and Mister Miracle, like the rest of Kirby’s 1970s creations, has continued to have a resounding impact on the DC Universe since his inception. Lots of issues included in this update (see our catalogue), but particularly featured are his debut (#1) and the first appearance of his paramour and wife-to-be, Big Barda in #4. PICTURED: MISTER MIRACLE #1 FN p £110 Nice clean and glossy copy, excellent pages and staples, just a small dink at the top of the spine. SOLD #4 FN- p £50 Nice copy with minor handling wear, excellent pages and staples, small biro pen price on cover. SOLD
*Marvel: The Master Planner trilogy, appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #31-33 is one of the greatest storylines from the Lee & Ditko formative years on one of the world’s most iconic comic characters. The Master Planner himself of course turns out to be one of Spidey’s most infamous foes, but we don’t want to reveal that on the slim off-chance that you don’t already know. Within this compelling storyline, we are first introduced to Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn and Professor Warren in #31, and #33 features the classic cover with Spidey imprisoned under heavy machinery with water flooding down. Many people (self included) cite the moment inside when he breaks free as their all-time favourite moment in Spider-Man’s history. All three issues are presented in nice, clean copies, with more details below. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31 VG p £250 Strong cover colour and some gloss, excellent staples, nice off-white pages. There is a very faint vestige of a circular mark towards the bottom left of the cover, almost undiscernable to the naked eye in most lights. Some corner blunting and small fine creasing to bottom edge which just breaks colour; minor spine wear, but presents well. #32 VG+ p £75 Great cover colour and gloss, excellent staples (very slight looseness top staple), nice off-white pages. Some corner blunting, slight reading crease to spine breaks colour, as does fine creasing across a small right cover corner bottom edge. #33 VG p £125 Strong cover colour and some gloss, excellent staples, nice off-white pages. A few very fine creases to bottom edge and spine, just breaking colour; slightly heavier wear above top staple. A small corner off top right cover (see scan). SOLD
*Marvel: Rumour has it that Warlock’s debut in the MCU isn’t far off, so here’s his first appearance as Him from Fantastic Four #67. In the previous issue, we were introduced to a mysterious cocooned figure who emerged in this issue as ‘Him’, a being of almost godlike power. Later, he would be named Warlock and would enjoy a chequered career of critical acclaim, but haphazard commercial success, coming into his own with Jim Starlin’s controversial series of the 1970s. This is a cents copy, marred by small spine splits at top and bottom, with some tanning at the edges of the white cover and what looks like a vestigial subscription crease breaking colour for about 4 cm down the centre of the cover. Nevertheless, it presents fairly well, has good tight staples and nice off-white pages. PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #67 VG- £135 SOLD
*Marvel: Marvel whacked out their Star Wars series very soon after the debut of the very first film in 1977, and here we have issues #3-5, part of the sequence adapting that film. More collectable than ever, these are nice condition copies (cents, of course) that present very well, with just minor wear and no specific defects. PICTURED: STAR WARS #3 FN £25 #4 FN+ £30 SOLD #5 FN/VF £45
*Marvel: A couple of early issues of the Avengers in low grade this week. First up, #7, pence printed, in which the Enchantress turns Thor against his team-mates; secondly, #11, pence stamped, guest-starring the one and only Spider-Man and featuring the menace of Kang, upcoming Big Bad in the MCU. Not much better than reading copies, but nice gap-fillers. PICTURED: AVENGERS #7 FA/GD p £42 Lower spine split almost half way up, off bottom staple, worn cover edges, with creasing to bottom right corner; cover otherwise unmarked. Small chips out back cover; pages not too bad. #11 FA/GD p £50 Some colour breaking creases to the right edge of the cover and a corner off at the bottom of the spine (see scan). Otherwise not too bad with okay staples and pages. SOLD
*Marvel: Sean Cassidy, alias the mutant Banshee, has a long history in the Marvel Universe, as misguided villain, hero, X-Man, teacher and more. He first appeared here in X-Men #28 from 1967, as a pawn of the sinister Factor Three. Later, he was a founding member of the new X-Men in the 1970s. This pence printed copy of his debut has good cover colour and gloss, unmarked, tight and flat with good staples and nice off-white pages. There is minor edge wear and corner blunting and a very small corner off the bottom right cover (see scan). A very acceptable mid-grade copy. PICTURED: X-MEN #28 VG p £115
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. We understand that the Wrecking Crew are main villains in the upcoming She-Hulk TV series, so we’re pleased to highlight in this slot this week the second appearance of the Wrecker himself in this lovely copy of Thor #149. Tight, flat and glossy, with great cover colour and sharp corners, white to off-white pages, excellent staples and totally unmarked cover, this cents copy is a joy. Edge wear is restricted to a tiny trace along the top edge only, but that’s us being picky. PICTURED: THOR #149 VF/NM £85
*Marvel: We’ve extended our catalogue to include the original run of Spectacular Spider-Man through to its conclusion. Around 50 issues in the 200 number range plus annuals have now been added to our listing.
*Marvel: A chunky update to many titles in our Marvel inventory this week from the Silver to Bronze Ages, mostly lowish grade but with several gems. Titles are: Amazing Adventures (from #11, with first mutated Beast), Captain Marvel, Daredevil (#13), Doctor Strange (2nd series), Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Inhumans, Iron Man (#7), Marvel Premiere #27 with Satana, Marvel Spotlight (1st series #12 with Son Of Satan series beginning with origin), Nova, Silver Surfer (1st series), Skull the Slayer, Super-Villain Team-Up (inc 1st Shroud in #5), Thor & Warlock. As always, consult our catalogue for full details.
*EC: We’re always delighted to see an EC original turn up here at 30th Century. With their strong line-up of creators and material, EC certainly set the benchmark for most genres (except super-heroes) in the 1950s. Like all the other genres they purveyed, their pre-code horror was a cut above the competition. Such an example here in Haunt Of Fear #21, with art by Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Jack Kamen & Will Elder and Reed Crandall. All stories topped and tailed by your horror hosts the Old Witch, the Vault-Keeper and the Crypt-Keeper. This is a low grade copy, off bottom staple with a short upper and longer lower spine split, worn spine and right edge with some creasing. Nice pages though and good cover colour in an unmarred cover scene. PICTURED: HAUNT OF FEAR #21 FA/GD £65 SOLD
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: The short-lived (9 issues) series Dynamite from Comic Media started out in 1953 as a generic, but tough, crime comic before introducing the titular character Johnny Dynamite in issue #3. Starkly and brilliantly portrayed by the unique Pete Morisi, the one-eyed private eye was billed as: ‘He’s Rough! He’s Tough! He’s Dynamite!” and the comic was filled with such cosy themes as drugs, prostitution and injury to eye incidents. It wasn’t just horror that was Pre-Code! Most issues fresh into stock, mostly in low and very affordable grades. Check out our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: DYNAMITE #8 VG £40 SOLD
*Alan Class Reprints: A large update to the Alan Class title Suspense this week, all in our regular listings. Dozens of issues added between #37 & #221. Highlights include: #37 & #106, which both reprint the Giant-Man Vs Hulk story from Tales To Astonish #59; #57, which reprints the Iron Man story from Tales Of Suspense#43; #80, with Phantom cover and story; #104, which reprints Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #13 & #14, inc cover of #14 (shown here); and #128 which reprints Dr Strange from Strange Tales #125, plus of course oodles of Kirby & Ditko. See our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: SUSPENSE #104 VG £18.25
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Five Boys’ #1 issues this week, all between 1974 and 1978. Okay copies, with grades from GD to GD/VG and priced accordingly. Sadly, there are no free gifts present with these. PICTURED: ALL SOLD ACTION #1 GD/VG £20 BATTLE #1 GD £10 BULLET #1 GD/VG £15 SCOOP #1 GD £5 WARLORD #1 GD £15
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Six thrill-packed outings for Leslie Charteris’s famous adventurer the Saint in early issues of Super-Detective Library this week. All very sound copies in VG/FN from an original owner collection, flat and tight with great colour covers and nice page quality, with just the merest signs of wear and an inevitable appearance by our old friend the rusty staple, although here he is not much in evidence. Here are the details: PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY #5 VG/FN £45 The Great Flying Saucer Mystery #11 VG/FN £17.50 The Menace Of The Poison Pen SOLD #15 VG/FN £17.50 The Saint & The Vanishing Policeman #28 VG/FN £17.50 You Can’t Stop the Saint #33 VG/FN £17.50 Danger – The Saint At Work #38 VG/FN £17.50 The Saint Plays The Joker
*Humour Comics: Although starting out in 1939 as mostly a Humour title and rival to Dandy & Beano (which is why we list it in our Humour category), after the second World War more and more adventure strips started appearing, so that by the time of the issues featured in this update, it was really what we would term a Boys’ Adventure & War title. Many stories featured known media characters such as Davy Crockett, Hopalong Cassidy and Sexton Blake, and there were quality originals as well, such as master pilot Johnny Wingco, Battler Britton, science fiction thrills with Space Family Rollinson, Thunderbolt Jaxon, Firebrand the Red Knight and more. Of course, some humour strips remained, most famously Billy Bunter, but by 1956 the adventure stories had taken over the cover and set the tone for the remainder of the series. In this update, a batch from 1960 and 1961. PICTURED: KNOCKOUT 21/5/65 VG £5 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: The hugely popular Schoolgirls’ Picture Library series is refreshed this week with dozens of new issues between #190 and #269, including many new to our catalogue. These done-in-one digest-sized stories feature many one-offs but a large number featuring recurring characters such as the Peewits, the Rolling Stones, Tina, Blaze and others. Most of these are in very nice shape, averaging VG/FN. PICTURED: SCHOOLGIRLS’ PICTURE LIBRARY #195 FN £15 #209 FN £10 #269 VG £8
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Violet Paget, who wrote under the name of Vernon Lee, was born in 1856 and died in 1935. She was a noted student and authority on Italian drama, poetry, music and art of the 18th century, and wrote many books on this period. She also wrote horror/ghost stories with an elegance and eloquence of style, with a flowing, almost poetical nature to her prose. Set in the period and place she knew best, these are macabre stories of ghosts, obsessions and revenge. We have two of her collections published by Corgi in paperback in 1962 with striking covers by Fritz Wegner; they’re both uncommon. PICTURED: by VERNON LEE THE VIRGIN OF THE SEVEN DAGGERS 1st UK PB Corgi 1962 VG/FN £10 RAVENNA AND HER GHOSTS 1st UK PB Corgi 1962 VG £10 (back cover scuff)
*DC: Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein fused together debuted as the first incarnation of this popular hero in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1 (March 1978), created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom. Although this series was short-lived due to the DC Implosion, the character has reappeared frequently since, in solo stories, several own series and as a member of the JLA. The entities who comprise Firestorm have changed many times. This is a superior cents copy of his first appearance, tight, flat, sharp and glossy, with just very minor wear at the spine, staple area and right edge. PICTURED: FIRESTORM #1 VF £50 SOLD
*DC/Marvel: The late 1990s was a rich time of collaboration between the two giants of the comics field, with the huge DC vs Marvel series, loads of cross company team-ups and, strangest of all, the two series of Amalgam Comics from 1996 and 1997. These feature fascinating hybrid characters such as the Dark Claw, Spider-Boy, Super-Soldier, JLX, Dr. Strangefate etc. Great fun and cheap as chips. Lots of these fresh in this week; consult our catalogue for details. It’s a great shame we haven’t seen such collaborative efforts since.
*Marvel: The history of Rama-Tut, the ‘Pharaoh From The Future’ is a convoluted one that we don’t have time to go into detail about here, but you can google to find out lots more. Suffice it for us to say that he is one of what are becoming known as the ‘Kang Variants’, alternate versions of the villainous Master of Time set to be the next Biggest Bad in the MCU. Rama-Tut first appeared in Fantastic Four #19, in a superb story by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby set in ancient Egypt. Sadly, our copy listed this week is not a great one. It is pence stamped, with the original cents price blacked out by an ugly looking stamp (see scan); there are also book shop stamps elsewhere on the cover and the first ‘a’ plus the ‘o’ in the logo have their centres filled in with pen. The top staple is off (at the front only), but the edge wear and corner creasing isn’t too bad, although the comic is a little limp and tired. Page quality is okay. We expect prices are set to rise on this comic. PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #19 GD- p £185
*Marvel: When Len Wein & Dave Cockrum relaunched the X-Men with Giant-Sized X-Men in 1975, the previously failed franchise rapidly became the hot comic of the 1970s, with Chris Claremont taking over the writing reins for the regular series. Later on, John Byrne took over the art chores when Cockrum couldn’t commit to a monthly schedule and the run, up to the end of his tenure (#143), remains one of the strongest sequences in comics history. We have three consecutive early Cockrum issues new in this week, #104-106, featuring encounters with Magneto, Firelord and the old X-Men (?). #104 additionally features the first cameo appearance of the Starjammers, while the nascent Phoenix stars in #105. All three issues are lovely cents copies, around the VF mark with minimal corner wear; all bright, fresh copies. PICTURED: X-MEN #104 VF £90 #105 VF+ £50 #106 VF- £33
*Marvel: Such is the status of the iconic Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, featuring the debut of the Sinister Six, that its value in decent shape has now exceeded the budgets of many collectors. But never fear, help is at hand in the shape of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #6, which reprints this classic Lee/Ditko saga including all the marvellous Ditko full page spreads of Spidey battling each villain — Kraven the Hunter, Sandman, Dr. Octopus, Mysterio, the Vulture & Electro. A lovely high grade pence printed copy, tight and flat with great staples and binding, excellent white cover background with great colour and gloss. A tiny chip out at the bottom of the spine and a miniscule crease at the bottom right cover corner are the only defects. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #6 VF- p £185
*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, including also the first appearance of X-Men favourite Madeline Prior. Ignore the rather messy and bitty cover; the interior’s a gem! A lovely high grade glossy copy, with just a handful of soft, non colour-breaking spine ticks preventing an even higher grade. PICTURED: AVENGERS ANNUAL #10 VF+ £125
*Marvel: Guest appearances by individual members of the X-Men were not common throughout the Silver Age, so much so that by the time we got to Amazing Spider-Man #92 in 1971, the appearance of Iceman was still a novelty. Lots of Gwen Stacy here too for her legion of fans. A lovely glossy pence printed copy, with just minor reading and spine wear and a small dink at the base of the spine. Great staples, great white to off-white pages and great art by Kane & Romita. What’s not to like? PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #92 VF p £75
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Jazzy Johnny Romita really excelled himself with the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #66, one of my favourites of his tenure on the wall-crawler. Appropriately enough for a special effects artist and illusionist, Mysterio is one of the most visually striking of Spidey’s Rogues’ Gallery, and this great-looking issue does not disappoint. This cents copy is a very respectable mid-grade, with some spine/reading wear, but nice cover colour and gloss, tight firm staples and decent off-white pages. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #66 VG £60
*Marvel: Small updates to Marvel’s highly popular team-up titles of the 1970s, always a big hit with fans because of the rotating guest-stars and the (mostly) done-in-one storylines. We have a few new issues each of Team-Up and Two-In-One, the latter featuring early non-distributed issues including #5, the second ever appearance of the Guardians Of The Galaxy. Consult our catalogue for full details.
*Gold Key/Whitman: The classic pulp hero Doc Savage first appeared in that medium in the 1930s and went on to feature in radio, film, comics and most famously paperback books. His first post-Golden Age comic appearance came in Gold Key’s Doc Savage #1, a one-shot from 1966 by Leo Dorfman and Jack Sparling, with a fabulous painted wraparound cover by James Bama, illustrator of the paperback book covers. This is a nice copy of this uncommon issue with vivid cover colour, tight staples, nice off-white pages and several small spine ticks. It’s let down a little by a thumbnail-size corner missing from the bottom right of the cover (see scan), but since the back cover is a logo-free version of the front, you get the complete image there. PICTURED: DOC SAVAGE #1 VG £50 SOLD
*War: Sgt Rock’s Easy Company had a more varied and numerous line-up than their Marvel equivalents the Howling Commandos, and they were introduced mostly one at a time over a long period. Issue #93 of Our Army At War saw the introduction of bazooka man Zack Nolan, who was later replaced after he lost an arm in combat. A nice bright pence stamped copy from 1960, a little worn but without specific defects. Great Joe Kubert art. PICTURED: OUR ARMY AT WAR #93 VG p £52
*Alan Class Reprints: It’s the turn of Creepy Worlds in our Alan Class spotlight this week, as we feature both certificated file copies from the Alan Class archives, plus many issues in our regular listing. Mostly this update concentrates on the later part of the long run of this title, with issues from the last 100, including the final issue #249. Plenty of Kirby and Ditko (including Captain Atom) along the way plus Phantom appearances and 100 page issues. Creepy Worlds (along with Secrets Of The Unknown) shares the distinction of being the earliest Alan Class titles and remains just about the best-selling one.
*Marvel UK: In 1976, Marvel UK’s first attempt to generate a British-based super-hero was placed into the hands of Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, whose comic-opera interpretation of the UK has become a source of hilarity for generations. But after a shaky start, CB became inextricably linked with the mainstream Marvel Universe, not least because of his psychic sister, Betsy, who – years later and after many, many changes – turned Japanese and became the X-Men’s scantily-clad ninja mind-warrior Psylocke. As you do. This is Betsy’s first appearance in Captain Britain Weekly #8, a copy in FN condition; the rather flimsy stock of the Marvel UK weeklies has endured well in this instance, with little wear and excellent staples; the puzzle page was completed by a previous owner in pencil and subsequently erased. There is a soft non-colour breaking vertical crease down the centre and a couple of tiny nicks to the right cover edge, with slight grubbiness to the back cover margins. A very decent copy. PICTURED: CAPTAIN BRITAIN #8 FN £225
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: More Lions from 1952 this week, the first year of publication. Issues #6-10 run from 29th March to 26th April, and feature science-fiction with the cover-featured Captain Condor, school adventure with Sandy Dean and the Jungle Robot (later Robot Archie), plus many other strips and features. Nice flat copies from an original owner collection in a uniform VG with the inevitable rusty staples (minimal bleed). See our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: LION 19/4/52 (#9) VG £15 SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: For a few months now, we’ve been listing Commandos from the ‘Stapled Collection’; this week’s additions, about half the issues between #200 & #300, are from the same source, but the previous owner gave up adding extra staples after the first few of these — all are accordingly marked (or otherwise) in our catalogue. Prices range from £4 to £8 each.
*Humour Comics: Two of the nicest large-sized Summer Specials we’ve ever seen in terms of condition this week: Beano from 1970 and 1971. Flat, never folded, with only the tiniest edge wear, these copies retain great colour, page quality and remarkable freshness. All your favourite characters are here, of course, many of them in glorious full colour. Can you imagine the thrill of being a kid when these giant edition came out and being given them for your summer holiday reading pleasure? (We also have a low grade 1971, with cover tears and dog-eared corners, fresh in GD £15 for those on a budget). PICTURED: BEANO SUMMER SPECIAL 1970 FN/VF £45 1971 FN/VF £30
*Girls’ Comics: Two consecutive issues of Mandy from 1970 this week, both still with their original Free Gifts. #195 has the ‘Ring Of Charm’, still sealed in its original envelope; #196 has ‘Mandy’s Super Book Of Stars’ (sports and pop). Comics and gifts are all in very nice condition, from a newsagent’s uncirculated stock. PICTURED: MANDY BOTH SOLD #195 FN WITH FREE GIFT VF £35 #196 FN WITH FREE GIFT FN £30
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: From 1966/67, twenty more issues of True Life Library (All In Pictures), between #525-545. Released right in the middle of ‘Swingin’ London’, the usual nurses, models and actresses are bolstered by somewhat more liberated heroines, including aviatrixes, monarchs and spies – oh my! With very accomplished art from mainly European illustrators, these are lovely items, their appeal enhanced by the fact that they are from a newsagent’s reserve stock, never sold or circulated, with white pages, bright covers and minimal or no discolouration in the staple areas, averaging FN. Full details as always in our catalogue. PICTURED: TRUE LIFE LIBRARY #527 FN £6
*Comic Strip Books: A Quirky Corner oddity for you this week: a 1976 first US paperback edition of Will Eisner’s Spirit Casebook: True Haunted Houses & Ghosts, ‘documented case histories assembled for your fright and enjoyment by the great crime-fighter’. Lavishly illustrated in moody black and white by Eisner, a bumper package of occult tales. In nice condition, with some sun fading to the cover and a remaindered cut at top left, nevertheless structurally very sound with great binding and page quality. PICTURED: SPIRIT CASEBOOK OF TRUE HAUNTED HOUSES AND GHOSTS 1st US PB 1976 VG £12 SOLD
We’ve split our Catalogue Index page into two to make it less cluttered and to enable those just wishing to browse books to get to our book categories without having to scroll through the list of comic categories. So, you’ll now see ‘Catalogue Index – Comics’ and ‘Catalogue Index – Books’ in our left-side menu on all our pages. We hope this makes it easier for you to find what you want.
After months of careful planning and preparation, on the hottest day of the year (not part of the plan!), we’ve completed our relocation from Putney to our new warehouse unit in North West London. As you can see, we still have some sorting out to do, but we’re pretty straight.
Just to emphasize that we’re still mail order only and won’t be able to receive visitors at our new location.
You can look forward to plenty of fresh stock updates next Saturday and a bulging newsletter as we get back on track.
As you can imagine we were all ready to collapse in a heap shortly after this photo was taken, having enjoyed some pizza, Peroni and (home-made) chocolate peanut butter cake (hey, we’ve gotta have some indulgences after a day like that!)
Next week, we’re completing the second and final stage of our move. Unfortunately, we will not be adding new stock to the website again until around 24th July, so there will not be a Newsletter next week. Neither will we be able to fill orders again after those received by 4 pm today until at least the 25th July at the earliest; some earlier orders from categories that we haven’t moved yet may take until 25th as well. Please bear with us at this busy time; if all goes well, this will be the last disruption to our usual routines.
*Marvel: Amazing Spider-Man #300 is just about the most sought after post Bronze Age comic, so we’re delighted to present a copy new to the marketplace this week. There were few more significant debuts, in the latter days of the 20th Century, than everyone’s favourite brain-eating symbiote Venom, who graduated from being a genetically modified costume in a jar to the Alpha Dog of Spidey’s Rogue’s Gallery! Having debuted in Secret Wars #8 as a semi-sentient blob which configured itself into Spider-Man’s new costume, the ‘symbiote’ became a regular feature in Spidey’s own series before being revealed as a malevolent alien parasite! Now more popular than ever, Venom has starred in his own solo film sans Spider-Man (with a sequel in the works) and the value of this comic has continued to rise significantly over the last couple of years. Cover and art by fan favourite Todd McFarlane. Our new copy is CGC graded at 9.2 (NM-), Blue Label, Universal unrestored grade, white pages. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300 CGC NM- £975 SOLD
*Marvel: In 1964, the adventures of Iron Man were enlivened in Tales Of Suspense #52 by the appearance of the lovely but lethal Natasha Romanoff, code-named the Black Widow, one of the Kremlin’s deadliest operatives. Originally an appealing but unoriginal femme fatale in civvies, inspired by Caniff’s Dragon Lady and other Mata Hari wannabes, Natasha proved surprisingly adaptable, allying herself first with the second Crimson Dynamo (also premiering in this issue) and later Hawkeye, and trading her cocktail dress and veil for the first of many costumed ‘looks’ as she switchbacked from villainess to heroine, culminating, of course, in her live-action embodiment by Scarlett Johansson in the Avengers and other Marvel movies – and now starring in a big-screen feature of her very own! This issue is where ‘Tasha’s career kicked off, and is a lower grade pence printed copy with much wear and some colour-breaking creasing at the spine and edges, but with a mostly unspoilt central cover image. Three extra staples have been added (two near the originals), although it is unclear to what extent they are necessary. There is a very small chip out of the top edge and a tiny upper spine split. Page quality is quite decent. PICTURED: TALES OF SUSPENSE #52 GD- p £300
*Marvel: All the Silver Surfer’s original 18 issue series, launched in 1968, are keenly sought, but issue #4, in which our angst-ridden cosmic hero faces the might of Thor, is particularly scarce, both here in the UK and in its native USA. Many theories abound (including one about most of the print run being set alight by disappointed truck hijackers, which we declare inventive but apocryphal), but no conclusive explanation has yet been presented. Nevertheless, rare it is, significantly less common than even #1 in our experience. This pence stamped copy of the epic Thor/Surfer clash, beautifully illustrated by John Buscema at the height of his powers, is superficially a decent copy with reasonably unblemished cover image (there is some edge wear, particularly to the right edge and what looks like an historic very small water stain at the bottom edge plus there are some faint imprint lines between the figures of Thor and the Surfer), but the spine is split at the front of the binding about 2/3rds along. The back cover also has some staining at the lower edge. The staples are firm and page quality a nice off-white. So, not a beautiful copy, but pretty good for the low grade we have assigned it. PICTURED: SILVER SURFER #4 FA+ p £200 SOLD
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Perhaps a villain you never expected to return was Professor Smythe’s Spider-Slayer. The original robot nemesis originally appeared in Amazing #25 and issue #58 features the second Spider-Slayer, as JJJ decides to take matters into his own (virtual) hands. This is a very decent pence-stamped copy, tight staples, great off-white page quality, good colour; just some faint creasing at the right edge slightly breaks colour and prevents a higher grade. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #58 FN p £50
*Dell: I remember as a youngster going to see the Dr. Who and the Daleks film in 1965, and the thrill of seeing the Daleks in colour. Even then, I recall being puzzled by the fact that this Dr. Who (Peter Cushing) was not William Hartnell (this was before the days of regenerations). But without worrying about canon, the film was one to enjoy in its own right, adapting Terry Nation’s very first Dalek story from the TV series. Equally enjoyable is the adaptation of the same story in the first American comic (from 1966) to feature the franchise. Co-scripted by Terry Nation with art by Dick Giordano and Sal Tapani. This copy has a worn cover, but is intact except for a small chip out of the bottom right corner edge with a small crease above it. Off top staple, but otherwise tight and flat; very nice page quality. There are the remnants of a small water stain at the back left cover edge and in the margin of the last few pages, but overall an iconic comic that presents well and something I think we’ve only seen once before in 30 years. PICTURED: DELL MOVIE CLASSIC 12-190-612 DR WHO AND THE DALEKS VG- £100 SOLD
*Horror 1940-1959: One of Avon’s famous one-shots, this time from 1952, this accomplished anthology featured a haunting cover by Hollingsworth, as well as interior art by him, Nodel, Alascia and Nicholas, with a stunning inside front cover prelude by Kintsler. Very distinctive and self-contained. This copy’s worst failing is some central creasing to front and back covers (possibly due to historic water damage, but no staining) with relatively minor colour-breaking creasing to the right edge and a couple of small white scuff marks mid right edge cover. There is some spine roll, but nice cover colour and some gloss. Overall not a bad copy, with nice pages. PICTURED: DIARY OF HORROR #1 GD/VG £350 SOLD
*Alan Class Reprints: For many years now, we’ve been scouring the personal archives of legendary publisher Alan Class (who is still very much with us) and with his full co-operation, releasing for sale sets of the original printing plates that were used to print the covers of his comics from 1959-1989. We have now reached the final phase of these plate set releases, which will last us through 2021 and probably into 2022. These sets are time-consuming to prepare, so our release schedule will be staggered. But the good news is that all the sets we have left are among the best, either featuring a classic Marvel comic reprint, or else a very early fantasy/mystery issue. So, this final phase represents your last opportunity to add one or more of these unique pieces to your collection. Each set comprises the lead printing plates used in the original comic’s colour printing, a copy of the comic printed with these plates and a signed certificate of authenticity signed by Alan Class himself. These are packaged in a special protective presentation case. Several sets (as noted) have additional historical artefacts such as colour proofs, interior page plates, printers’ photostats etc. (Please be aware that these weigh a lot and postage will be expensive. Also note that due to the onerous paperwork required for customs declarations following Brexit, we can no longer post these Plate Sets outside the UK.) We continue this week with three more sets, details as follows: SECRETS OF THE UNKNOWN #125 £80 Comic: FN Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #76 inc cover plus Atlas, Charlton, ACG. Extra: Colour cover proof SINISTER TALES #53 £95 Comic: VG Reprints Daredevil #5 by Wally Wood inc cover plus Atlas (1 Everett), Charlton, pre-hero Marvel (1 Ditko) Extra: Colour cover proof (torn and taped with part logo missing) UNCANNY TALES #4 £50 Comic FN+ Reprints Charlton & Atlas, 1 Captain Video.
*Marvel UK: Key issues of Marvel UK reprints are now attracting significant collector interest on both sides of the Atlantic. The Marvel UK edition of Avengers #82 reprints the beginning of the Vision’s first appearance from Avengers #57 including cover and is a decent copy with minimal edge wear and a very short and narrow crease at the bottom right cover edge. PICTURED: AVENGERS #82 VG/FN £25
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Bulldog Drummond was a between the wars tough gentleman adventurer created by H C McNeile (pen-name ‘Sapper’) and had an illustrious career in books, radio, TV, film, theatre and even comics. Super-Detective Library adapted the first and fourth Bulldog Drummond novels in issues #3 and #13. We have very sound copies of both in VG/FN, flat and tight with great colour covers and nice page quality, with just the merest signs of wear and an inevitable appearance by our old friend the rusty staple, although here he is not much in evidence. PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY #3 BULLDOG DRUMMOND VG/FN £45 #13 BULLDOG DRUMMOND AGAIN: THE FINAL COUNT VG/FN £17.50 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: A further update for this title, with 10 issues added between #251 and #274. Attractive and stylish art covers on these, with interiors to match. In lovely condition, with great page quality and not a rusty staple in sight. See our catalogue for details. PICTURED: PICTURE ROMANCE LIBRARY #254 VF £10
*Childrens’ Books: A further update from this quirky sidebar in publishing history this week. ‘Blitz Books’ is a generic name for various publishers’ series of miniature books (approx 8.5 x 12 cm, around 16 pages, and published 1940-1944), these booklets helped distract children in air-raid shelters and Underground stations during bombing raids over London. They became known as ‘Blitz Books’, and, like many publications from the years of World War II, are quite scarce, particularly in as nice condition as the examples we have here. Four from the Pocket Series, illustrated text stories with colourful, evocative covers. None of these have ever passed through our hands before. PICTURED: POCKET SERIES ALL SOLD #33 SECRETS OF X-BASE VG/FN £7 #35 ESCAPE FROM TOKYO VG £6 #37 DOWN AMAZON WAY FN £8 #40 THE FIGHT ON WRECKERS ROCKFN/VF £9