*DC: One of DC’s quirkiest Silver Age super-heroes was Metamorpho, who first appeared in Brave & Bold #57 and #58 before being promoted to his own series. Originally adventurer Rex Mason, he was converted into a man made of a shifting mass of chemicals after being cursed by an ancient artifact that he had retrieved. Created by writer Bob Haney, with the stylish and distinctive art of Ramona Fradon, the Element Man carved out his place in the Silver Age, with additional appearances in Brave & Bold team-ups, Justice League and elsewhere. Brave & Bold #57 & #58 and Metamorpho #1 new in this week in lowish grade, with previous owner’s small labels on the Comics Code Box. PICTURED: BRAVE & BOLD #57 GD+ p £30 Loose centrefold x2 METAMORPHO #1 GD+ p £15 Loose centrefold
*DC: A couple of dozen mostly low grade issues of Batman fresh in this week between #164 (start of the New Look) and #221. Although there are plenty of defects on most of these, they are all complete and great reading value. Included are second Silver Age Penguin in #169, Joker cover and story in #186, Giant #187 (the Best Of Batman) and Giant #208 (Most Important Women in Batman’s Life), plus many others. See our catalogue for full details.
*Marvel: We lead off this week’s selections from the Good Doctor Collection with more Doctor Octopus. Amazing Spider-Man #11 proclaimed ‘The Long-Awaited Return Of Doctor Octopus’ (ever since #3?) and the story continued into #12. Contrasting conditions on this two-parter: PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 PR p £90 This is not a nice copy at all, sadly. Pence printed, covers detached and separated and with chips out at top and bottom spine, 8 cm jagged tear across centre cover from right edge and much cover wear and colour-breaking creasing. The first half of the comic has a continual chip out of the margin on the right edge. Other than that it is complete with centrefold attached at staples and reasonable pages. Great to fill a gap, but not a source of pride in your collection. #12 FN- p £425 Pence priced, with great cover colour and gloss. Staples firmly attached, a virtually unmarked cover and excellent white to off-white pages. There are a couple of tiny colour-breaking creases across the bottom right cover and a tear of 1.5 cm at the base of the spine, with leads to a 4 cm colour-breaking crease at the bottom right corner. A superior copy.
*Marvel: Smack in the middle of Todd McFarlane’s run on Amazing Spider-Man comes issue #316, featuring the first cover appearance of Venom, the character that defined this period. The cover image portrays what the character is all about. There’s little doubt that Venom is one of the Marvel characters originating later than the Bronze Age who has gone on to become a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. This classic cover issue is a lovely VF-, fresh, vibrant and glossy, with virtually no wear. We’ve kept the grade down a little since it was printed without an upper staple (no staple holes); the lower staple is firmly attached; great white pages. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #316 VF- £110
*Marvel: Our final stop at the Good Doctor Collection this week features a long and complete run of Fantastic Four from #113 to #150. A mixture of cents and pence printed copies, this selection is characterised by a mostly consistent high grading, with most towards VF and many better, such as the example shown here. More from the Good Doctor next week! PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #150 NM £60
*Marvel: As they put it, Marvel bowed to our demands and gave Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner his own series in the front of Tales To Astonish, replacing Giant-Man & the Wasp with #70 of that series. The pageantry and spectacle of Atlantis came to Marvel on a regular basis, with the start of this multi-part storyline ‘The Quest’, featuring Lady Dorma and the villainy of Warlord Krang. It also boasted Marvel’s newest artistic talent Adam Austin, who was later revealed to be none other than Gene Colan with his Silver Age debut. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Hulk continued in the same issue by Stan & Jack. We have a decent mid-grade cents copy, with some spine and edge wear and corner blunting, but unmarked cover image, tight staples and nice pages. PICTURED: TALES TO ASTONISH #70 VG £75
*Marvel: One of the more ground-breaking issues of the 1970s was Iron Man #128, in which creators David Michelinie and John Romita Jr. played out the plot they’d been building up for months: the dark underside of Tony Stark’s insouciant playboy façade, as his struggle with alcoholism was revealed. This was presented as an ongoing illness, rather than being wrapped up neatly by the issue’s end, and in fact even the current Tony Stark is still influenced by his addiction. Although the story caused controversy and outrage at the time of its release, over time it has received acclaim and respect as the first serious presentation of the subject in a mainstream comic. This is a superior pence printed copy, with brilliant cover colour and gloss, tight, firmly attached staples, sharp corners and excellent pages. A few short spine ticks from reading wear prevent an even higher grade. PICTURED: IRON MAN #128 VF p £75
*Marvel: Three new Marvel Treasury Editions fresh into stock. These over-sized re-presentations of Marvel classics are always hugely popular. This week: #1 & #2 of the numbered series featuring Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four respectively and the Marvel Special Edition: Star Wars #1, reprinting the first three issues of the series that adapts the first half of the original film. The Spider-Man reprints the first Green Goblin story among many others and the Fantastic Four has the entire Silver Surfer/Galactus trilogy from FF #48-50 and more. Note: just average condition on all these. PICTURED: MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #1 VG- £10 MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #2 VG £10 MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION STAR WARS #1 VG £20
*Horror 1940-1959: L B Cole was one of the most famous of Golden/Atomic Age cover artists. He drew in a variety of genres, and was artistic director at Star, illustrating 95% of the company’s covers; his lurid, feverish style, almost hallucinogenic, graced horror, science-fiction and romance alike. A prime example is Ghostly Weird Stories #122, with its horror/sci-fi theme. Inside features a brand new and rather spiffy horror tale illustrated by cult artist Jay Disbrow, backed up, presumably in a cost-cutting exercise, by edited reprints, primarily of Fox material. This copy has a cover rich in colour with vibrant gloss and no markings. Only very minor wear at top, bottom and right edge. The spine has come away at some point and been skilfully glued back on and restapled. There are 3 cm spine splits at top and bottom and a small hole near the bottom staple area, with a tiny piece of the cover glued to the first page (see images). Nice off-white pages and great eye appeal. High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: GHOSTLY WEIRD STORIES #122 FA/GD £650
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: A small but perfectly formed update to this popular category this week with some rare material. As well as an issue of the Marvel house fanzine FOOM (#6), we have the All Star Comics Revue from 1977, being a Complete Index and Guide to the JSA up to time of publication. Third Rail from 1981 is a fanzine of heroic adventure, with art and features by Al Williamson, Totleben, Bissette, Clark Ashton Smith, Tom Yeates, Crandall, Krenkel. Pick of the bunch is the complete 2 part Flash Gordon fanzine Heritage from 1972, professional-looking A4 squarebound, glossy cardstock covers and believed to be quite rare. Contributors to this series include: Alex Raymond, Frank Frazetta, Jeff Jones, Frank Brunner, Gray Morrow, Mike Kaluta, Reed Crandall, Berni Wrightson, Bruce Jones, Stanley Pitt, Neal Adams, George Evans, Roy Krenkel, Al Williamson, Esteban Morato, Wally Wood and more. This is available as a complete set of 2. See our catalogue for full details of all these additions. PICTURED: HERITAGE: FLASH GORDON Complete set of 2 (#1a FN, #1b VF) £50
*Alan Class Reprints: Not an Alan Class Printing Plate set this one, since we don’t have the plates for it, but Creepy Worlds #84 is a very special issue. Cover featured are THUNDER Agents, and there are four Tower reprints: three featuring Dynamo and the Thunder Agents (2 by Wally Wood plus cover) and 1 Undersea Agent. Each of these is further represented by a complete set of printer’s proof copies (Undersea Agent story does not have splash proof, since that’s on the inside front cover). There are several Marvel pre-hero stories as well in the comic, but most significantly the issue also reprints ‘The Man In The Ant-Hill’, the first Ant-Man story from Tales To Astonish #27 by Lee & Kirby, featuring the debut of Henry Pym. Also included in this great package is a wraparound colour cover proof (including inside front and back covers), a signed certificate from Alan Class and a letter from Alan Class to his printers dating from 1976, which, although not directly related to this issue, is an interesting curiosity. A totally unique treasure of an item. PICTURED: CREEPY WORLDS #84 FN/VF £100
*Power Comics: The Power Comics line from Odhams Press, which ran from the mid-late 1960s has a special place in British comics history and in the hearts of many readers of the time. With a unique blend of classic Marvel reprints (and sometimes DC newspaper strip reprints), together with original British strips in both adventure & humour departments, they offered something for everyone and were probably many readers’ first exposure to the Marvel Silver Age. In this first instalment of an original owner collection, we have issues of Pow! between #39 and #52, featuring Spider-Man, Sgt Fury and his modern self, Nick Fury. Original British strips included ‘Experiment X’, ‘Dr. Morg, Master Of Fear’, ‘The Cloak’, ‘Dare A Day Davey’ and many others. In addition, the Odhams editorial team adopted a very Marvel Bullpen style of communication to endear themselves to the readership. News from the Floor of 64, anyone? Full details in our catalogue. PICTURED: POW #50 GD/VG £10 Christmas issue
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A small miscellany of low to mid-grade issues in this category this week, with Action #1, Battle #1 & #2 and two issues of Valiant from 1962 (the first year) including the Christmas issue. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: From the late 1960s, 10+ more issues of True Life Library (All In Pictures), between #674-687 (including a couple of duplicates). 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, almost all are FN or better. Full details as always in our catalogue. PICTURED: TRUE LIFE LIBRARY #681 FN/VF £5.50
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: I’m often harping on here about the Queens Of Crime, those indomitable (mostly) Briitish women who dominated the crime/detective genre in the Golden Age Of Detective Fiction, roughly between the wars. Well, there was one male writer active at the time who was their equal, and he was an American to boot, although he lived a significant part of his life in England, where his tales were set. John Dickson Carr (who also wrote as Carter Dickson) was the master of the locked room mystery, a setter of seemingly impossible puzzles for his recurring cast of detectives. Foremost among these was the larger than life Dr. Gideon Fell, who concerns us in three of the four classic novels here this week, all in attractive vintage American editions from the 1950s with pulp-like cover art. PICTURED: ALL BY JOHN DICKSON CARR THE EMPEROR’S SNUFF-BOX VG £8 US PB 1959 HE WHO WHISPERS VG £10 1st US PB 1951 THE SLEEPING SPHINX FN £12 1st US PB 1952 TO WAKE THE DEAD VG £10 US PB 1950s
*DC: It’s all too rare for a Golden Age Superman to come through our hands, so we’re particularly pleased this week to present #64, from 1950. Featuring three big stories: the cover-featured ‘Professor Lois Lane’ plus ‘The Isle Of Giant Insects’ and ‘The Free For All Crimes’, with art by Superman regulars Wayne Boring and Al Plastino. A reasonable copy with edge wear (particularly along the right front cover and the bottom right corner (about 3 cm diagonal) ‘hanging’ on with a small chip missing at the very corner. A loose centrefold, but the staples are good at the cover, and a bright and appealing cover image and good, off-white page quality. PICTURED: SUPERMAN #64 GD/VG £150
*DC: For a couple of years (issues #50-73), Brave & Bold became a team-up title across the DCU, teaming up heroes and teams that the reader (well, this one, anyway) wanted to see together. (From #74 onwards it was solid Batman team-ups all the way to the final issue, #200). But in this short two-year period, there were some imaginative combinations of heroes featured together, and many of them are included in this update, such as Flash & Martian Manhunter, Batman & Green Lantern, Supergirl & Wonder Woman, Flash & Doom Patrol, Metamorpho & Metal Men, Batman & Flash, Batman & Metamorpho, Batman & Hawkman, Spectre & Flash and Aquaman & Atom. Mostly cheap and cheerful copies new in; full details as always in our catalogue.
*Marvel: We lead off this week’s selections from the Good Doctor Collection with a real gem. In the earliest days of the Fantastic Four, when Marvel Comics were still a well-kept cult secret, Stan Lee, having previously resisted his publisher’s request to combine the company’s Golden Age heroes into a Justice League clone, decided to plunder the company’s history anyway, but in a distinctive manner. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, finds in a Bowery flophouse a homeless derelict who turns out to be the long-lost and amnesiac Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, ruler of Atlantis (and star of his own comic book back in the 1940s). Impulsive but well-intentioned, Johnny ‘shocks’ Namor back into awareness, but when the Sub-Mariner returns to his undersea kingdom, he finds it devastated by the weapons testing of the surface world. Enraged, Sub-Mariner swears revenge on the land-dwellers – though he’s willing to make an exception for Johnny’s shapely sister Sue, the Invisible Girl – and thus began one of the most dramatic ongoing conflicts of the series, as Namor flipped from enemy to ally as the plots demanded. Eventually Sub-Mariner’s status as anti-hero earned him a series in Tales to Astonish, then the first of many ongoing solo series, and he remains a major figure in the MU to this day, with a debut in the MCU allegedly imminent.
As you’re doubtless aware, prices have soared on big Marvel keys over the last 1-2 years, and this issue is no exception, although it does have a flaw which keeps the price in the realms of reality for some. There is some minor graffiti on Namor’s head on the cover (faint facial hair and horns) and someone has drawn in him holding a trident as well as Sue. These defects should be visible on our scan. Otherwise this copy isn’t too bad: moderate spine and edge wear, a small scuff on Mr. Fantastic’s thigh, some colour-breaking creasing on right edge and bottom right corner and one long diagonal crease across top right (quite faint). There is also a small cover tear towards the bottom of the right cover edge repaired by tape on the inside front cover. The colours are bright, the page quality good and the staples firm. A little tired, perhaps, but we’ve graded (and priced) it down due to the graffiti, so if you can live with that, a great opportunity to pick up a cents copy of huge Marvel key at the right time. High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #4 GD- £1,550 SOLD
*Marvel: A big chunk of Fantastic Four from the Good Doctor Collection this week, comprising every consecutive issue from #78 through to #111. This period comprises: Crystal joining the team, the epic storyline with the FF as prisoners of Dr Doom in Latveria, the introduction of Agatha Harkness in #94, Jack Kirby’s last great storyline with the Thing as a gladiator on an alien gangster world and the transition to John Buscema via John Romita post-#100, as well as lots, lots more. Plenty of high grade copies available here; full details now in our catalogue. PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #94 VG+ p £48Decent mid-grade pence printed copy with edge and spine wear, centrefold loose at bottom staple, nice cover colour and gloss.
*Marvel: One of Spidey’s major foes featured in a fondly-remembered and sprawling storyline that ran from Amazing Spider-Man #53-56, wherein Doc Ock becomes a tenant of Aunt May and Spidey loses his memory and joins up with him and a whole lot more happens too. John Romita, always a great cover designer, pulled out all the stops on these issues to produce some lasting fan favourites. The copies from the Good Doctor Collection have much quality to offer. More from the GDC next week! PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #53 VF- £135 A tight, flat and glossy copy with sharp corners, good staples and just very minor edge wear; off-white to white pages. #54 VG/FN £50 Nice colour and gloss, good staples, minor edge wear, tiny colour-breaking crease across the bottom right cover corner, faint subscription crease, nice white pages #55 FN/VF £165 Nice glossy copy with sharp corners, great cover colour, tight staples, white pages; small amounts of creasing around bottom staple do not break colour. #56 VG/FN p £65 Pence stamped, some spine wear and corner blunting, but good cover colour and gloss, tight staples and nice pages.
*Marvel: This is the first copy we’ve had in of X-Men #109 in quite a while; it features the debut of the man known here as Weapon Alpha (later to be renamed Vindicator as head of Alpha Flight, the Canadian super-hero group, the organization behind which is what Wolverine was fleeing from when he joined the X-Men). Now they want him back and they’ve sent Weapon Alpha to get him. As far as I know, this is the first comic in which Alpha Flight is mentioned, although it would be several issues later when they appeared in full. A lovely cents copy with just the tiniest wear at the corners and a couple of very small spine ticks. Great white pages, flat, tight and glossy, excellent staples. PICTURED: X-MEN #109 VF £150
*Marvel: For my money, the run of the first 24 issues of Conan, written by Roy Thomas and drawn (mostly) by Barry Smith represent the finest examples of the sword and sorcery genre in comics. This week, we’re pleased to present issues #2-5. All four issues are wonderful, but #3, the highest graded, also happens to be the rarest, with lower distribution than the others; a nice copy with great cover colour and gloss, tight staples, nice pages. Just a little discolour along a few cms of the top edge. Please consult our catalogue for full information on the other issues. PICTURED: CONAN #3 VF £90
*Marvel: 1968 saw Jade-Jaws’ first-ever Annual, a 50 page extravaganza by Gary Friedrich and the talented Marie Severin in which our favourite not-so-jolly green giant travelled to Attilan and fell out with Black Bolt, leader of the reclusive race of super-beings known as the Inhumans. Needless to say – spoiler alert – wannabe usurper Maximus is behind the hostilities, and has assembled his own band of rebel Inhumans to further bedevil our hero. Featuring a striking Steranko cover, this is a low grade pence stamped copy, with long upper and lower spine splits and a 2.5cm tear in the area of the masthead box. Creases and wear at the right edge, but the cover retains some gloss and the pages are good. PICTURED: HULK ANNUAL #1 GD- p £40 SOLD
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Well, more of a Canadian Update really. Captain Rocket #1 (and only) was a Canadian venture into Atomic Sci-Fi. All the trademarks are here: square-jawed heroes, slinky space gals in bikinis, space ships with rivets, ray-guns, devious and ugly aliens and the odd monster. A decent example of this much-loved genre. A low grade copy which would grade higher if the front cover wasn’t sheared off — a clean break at least. Lovely pages and clean cover image. PICTURED: CAPTAIN ROCKET #1 FA £25 SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: The first appearance of Moon Knight in Werewolf By Night has now risen to staggering values, putting it beyond the reach of many collectors, as is increasingly the case with a lot of Marvel big key issues. Some collectors are turning to second appearances as a consolation, and although prices on these are rising as a result, many of them are still within reach. Here we have the second appearance of Moon Knight, one issue after the first, in Werewolf By Night #33. A lovely pence priced copy with brilliant colour and gloss, white pages, sharp corners and tight staples. With almost no wear, it’s kept from an even higher grade by a short non-colour breaking crease from the Comics Code Box to the logo and a tiny crease across the bottom corner, with just a 0.5 cm colour break. A lovely item. PICTURED: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #33 VF p £250
*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 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.) Just two sets this week, but both full of delights and exciting extras: CREEPY WORLDS #65 £75 Comic: FN- Reprints Human Torch story by Kirby from Strange Tales #105 inc cover, pre-hero Marvel: 2 Kirby, 1 Ditko, Atlas, ACG. Extra: 2 interior plates (inc Human Torch splash) SOLD CREEPY WORLDS #68 £150 Comic: FN- Reprints Iron Man story from Tales Of Suspense #44 inc cover by Kirby, Giant-Man & Wasp story from Tales To Astonish #44 (1st Wasp), pre-Hero Marvel (2 Ditko). Extra: 2 interior plates (inc Iron Man splash & Ditko page) SOLD
*Collected Editions: We’re often listing British reprints of American stuff (we even have a category devoted to it), so it’s nice to turn that round and feature an American reprint series of British material. In the late 1980s, Pioneer had a crack at Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise, featuring the earliest Modesty stories from the London Evening Standard and reformatting them into an American comic style. All the art is by Jim Holdaway, the first regular Modesty artist, and many peoples’ favourite. Stories featured are La Machine, The Long Lever, The Gabriel Set-Up and Mister Sun, familiar ground for die-hard Modesty fans, but interesting to see the attempt to reformat them with different panel sizes and layouts, sometimes more successfully than others. And if you’re not already a die-hard fan, a great place to start the adventures of Modesty, so much more than just a female James Bond. All 10 issues in one set, all VF or better. PICTURED: THE OFFICIAL MODESTY BLAISE #1; COMPLETE SET #1-10 £45
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: This week, all 13 issues of Lion, the ‘King Of Picture Story Papers’ from the first quarter of 1953. From an original owner collection, these are in a nice uniform VG at £5 each. The inevitable rusty staples are not too much in evidence with only minimal bleed. As Lion succinctly put it in one of their straplines: ‘School, War, Detective & Adventure Picture Stories.’ See our catalogue for full details.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Vivian Ernest Coltman-Allen not only wrote under the name of Ernest Dudley, it was also a fictional persona created by him for his career as a dramatist, writer and actor. An extremely popular radio series of the Armchair Detective started in 1942 and led to stage appearances, a TV series and a film with Dudley acting the titular character. The nascent Super-Detective Library took up the character for five of its earliest issues (starting with #2), by which time the Armchair Detective was famous worldwide. In later years, the term has become generic for a solver of mysteries who does not personally visit a crime scene or interview witnesses, solving the crime remotely instead. All five of the Armchair Detective issues of Super-Detective are newly available this week, as detailed and illustrated below. 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. PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY #2 VG/FN £45 The Riddle Of The Frensham Will #8 VG/FN £27.50 The Case Of The Sinister Castle #18 VG/FN £17.50 The Mystery Of The Hooded Man #22 VG/FN £17.50 The Secret Of Lessinger’s Loot #46 VG/FN £17.50 The Man Who Made Gold
*Childrens’ Books: A final update to our haul 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, usually around 16-32 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, including my personal favourite of all the ones we’ve been featuring: not just a ‘Walking Skeleton’, but a walking skeleton carrying a suitcase – great stuff! Illustrated text stories with colourful, evocative covers. None of these have ever passed through our hands before, and probably never will again. It’s been great fun. PICTURED: POCKET SERIES ALL SOLD #41 RAILROAD BOSS FN £8 #42 THE WALKING SKELETON FN £8 #44 SECRET OF FOX RANGE FN £8 #48 HOPALONG AVENGES THE SHERIFF FN £8
*DC: Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke (also known for much of his career as ‘the Terminator’, until Arnie’s agents said the magic words, ‘Cease & Desist’) made his first appearance in New Teen Titans #2, the successful Wolfman/Perez revival of the faltering franchise. Already a hit, the New Teen Titans’ fortunes rose with those of Mr. Slade as their recurring arch-nemesis, and eventually he went on to star in several series of his own, as well as media appearances in the ‘Arrow’ TV show and elsewhere. This is a nice pence printed copy, tight, flat and glossy with good staples and white pages. Apart from very minor handling wear, the only small flaw is a tiny indentation line (non colour-breaking) to the right of the DC logo. PICTURED: NEW TEEN TITANS #2 VF p £100
*DC: Six issues of the old look Batman from the early 1960s new in this week, when you were more likely to find a monster or alien in Gotham City than you were the Joker or the Penguin. Included are: #126 (with Batwoman and the Firefly), #133, #149, #158 (Ace the Super Bat-Hound), #161 (with Bat-Mite) and Annual #5 (Strange Lives of Batman & Robin). Mostly in cheap and cheerful grades – see our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: BATMAN BOTH SOLD #126 FA/GD £35 Colour touches and water damage #133 GD+ p £43 Stapled 1 cm in from spine (original staples)
*Marvel: Although no Silver Age Marvels can truthfully be called rare, the first run of the Hulk (cancelled after #6) certainly turn up less often than almost all others from the dawn of the Marvel Age. Like buses this week, two have turned up at once: #4 & #5. Both feature two Lee & Kirby thrillers in each issue, as the Hulk comes up against Mongu, the Gladiator From Space, Tyrannus and the Hordes of General Fang, as well as the constant man or monster struggle in the wake of the gamma radiation exposure. Obviously not popular enough at the time to sustain an ongoing series (!), these classics are now highly prized and both these copies present very well. PICTURED: HULK #4 VG p £440 ‘Pence’ stamped at 1 shilling (Ireland?). Lovely bright cover with glorious colour and gloss. Great structural integrity with white to off-white pages, tight staples with everything firmly attached. A little bit of Marvel chipping to the right edge, a couple of short crease-like white lines across the logo, a small amount of what looks like impact damage at the base of the spine and a 1 cm tear at the bottom edge (no loss) that runs into the early pages. A fresh, vibrant copy. SOLD #5 GD/VG p £375 Pence printed, with some spine wear (but none anywhere else) and the bottom staple loose at front cover. Small brown stain on upper blurb box and a small ‘6’ in biro beneath the Comics Code Box. The cover has reasonable gloss and good colour for all that. Staples firm at centrefold and nice white to off-white pages.
*Marvel: We kick off this week’s Good Doctor Collection listings with the first release from the second title we’ve tackled: Fantastic Four. 1965’s Fantastic Four #45 saw the culmination of a long-running subplot – and the introduction of a whole new family of supporting super-stars. Since #36, the mysterious Madame Medusa had been a thorn in the side of the FF, and latterly, from #44, she had been pursued by the equally mysterious Gorgon. Now, the pair’s true origin, and their royal heritage, was revealed, as the monarchs of the Inhumans made their debut in these two issues. Black Bolt, Crystal, Triton, Karnak and Lockjaw rounded out the Royal Family tree, and became long-running allies of the Fantastic Four. #46 featured the first full appearance of Black Bolt, having teased us with a cameo in the preceding issue. Great covers on these issues. PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #45 VG+ p £215 Pence printed, minor spine, edge and corner wear, great central image with small faint stamp on the moon. Tight staples and vivid colour, very nice white to off-white pages. SOLD #46 FN+ £265 Flat with great colour, tight staples and an unmarred cover image. A faint suggestion of a short crease at the logo with a tiny colour break, a little bit of corner blunting and very minimal wear at top edge; presents very well.
*Marvel: Two consecutive Ditko issues of Amazing Spider-Man this week that seem to turn up less often than those around them. In #18 (with the returning menace of the Sandman), Peter Parker becomes disenchanted with the super-hero life and gives up being Spider-Man, only to bounce back at the end of the issue, leading into #19 where the Enforcers and the Human Torch join the fray. Low grade copies both, but of course that comes with very moderate price tags! PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18 GD- £95A bit of spine roll and a worn spine; 5 cm lower spine split. Staples are loose-ish but attached. Some edge wear but nice cover scene, with only a couple of small cryptic characters on the ‘D’ in Spider marring it. SOLD #19 PR p £50 Pence stamped, this one’s a bit of a mess. The cover scene’s okay and reasonably bright, but it’s been restapled at top and bottom of spine, and several of the pages are loose and brittle. It’s all there, but not a nice copy.
*Marvel: This week’s final visit to the Good Doctor Collection presents every issue of Amazing Spider-Man from #211 to #237. Characteristically these are in most cases very high grades and close to pristine copies. A packed time for Spidey (aren’t they all?) as he mixes it up with the Sub-Mariner, Hydro-Man (1st appearance), The Frightful Four, Madame Web, the Sandman, Moon Knight, Ramrod, Speed Demon, the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes, the Vulture, Fool-Killer, Black Cat, Juggernaut, the Cobra and Mr Hyde, the Tarantula, Will-O’-The-Wisp and the Stilt-Man. Gosh, didn’t he come up against a lot of villains ‘belonging’ to other heroes? More from the Good Doctor next week! PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #212 NM £75
*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! This is a nice cents copy, tight, flat and glossy, with good staples and pages and just minor edge wear, marred a little by a very faint thumb-size stain mid-way down the edges front and back covers which is difficult to spot, and a little bit of grubbiness on the back cover. PICTURED: AVENGERS ANNUAL #10 FN £55 SOLD
*Marvel: When the Ant-Man name was unclaimed in the late 1970s, a brainier-than-average sneak-thief, Scott Lang, stole Hank Pym’s old apparatus and became the second bearer of that title! But it’s okay – he did bad things for good reasons, specifically to find a cure for his dying daughter, as was revealed in Marvel Premiere #47, the tale which (after a non-costumed cameo in Avengers #181) was Scott’s first full appearance. John Byrne and David Michelinie created this different take on the hero, and since then, Scott has had his ups and downs – been in jail a few times, been dead a few more, been a love-slave of the Purple Man – but he’s fought his way back to respectability, and has achieved cinematic stardom in two eponymous movie hits, plus pivotal roles in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’; a third Ant-man film is in the works. Our latest copy is pence printed, high grade with just very minor handling wear. PICTURED: MARVEL PREMIERE #47 VF+ p £110 SOLD
*Marvel: We’re delighted to add to our catalogue this week the first issue of the first ongoing Moon Knight series from 1980. The multiple secret identity super-hero often considered an ersatz Batman has been around now since 1975, in various guest appearances and one-shots which led up to this. With Adamsesque art by the moody Bill Sienkiewicz on most issues and some stunning covers, this has very much become a fan favourite series in recent years. This is a decent pence printed copy of #1, with great cover colour and gloss, tight staples and nice pages. Minor corner blunting, a few spine ticks and tiny fine creasing at the extremity of the bottom right cover, plus unrippled water staining at the top of the inside front cover and back cover bring the grade down a bit, but still a very presentable copy. PICTURED: MOON KNIGHT #1 FN p £50 SOLD
*Horror 1940-59: A couple of issues of Story’s Pre-Code Mysterious Adventures (1951) new in this week. #5 has a severed heads and bondage cover, but is in a poor state with detached and separated covers with multiple tears and chips out. The pages are quite nice (and gruesome); PR at £20. #23, with a great mummy cover, is structurally much more sound, and similarly gruesome with a quality Jay Disbrow story; very minor spine wear and a couple of colour-breaking creases across top and bottom of right cover, but glossy with nice staples and pages; its most noticeable defect is that the front cover is somewhat faded, muting the greens and reds, although this does give it a more atmospheric impact relating to the cover scene. PICTURED: MYSTERIOUS ADVENTURES #23 VG+£175
*Modern Reprints: A chunky update to this category which showcases classic material reprinted from all publishers. This time, from DC: DC Super-Stars #17 facsimile, with secret origins of the Huntress, Green Arrow and the Legion of Super-Heroes; from Marvel: Amazing Spider-Man #101 facsimile with 1st Morbius; Flashback #36, reprinting the Golden Age Flash Comics #15; from EC: a wide range of the East Coast EC Classic Reprints; from Eros: Baby You’re Really Something, a pin-up comic of classic Frank Frazetta Good Girl Art and an issue of Wally Wood’s Cannon. Full details in our catalogue. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #101 FACSIMILE MN £4 BABY, YOU’RE REALLY SOMETHING VF- £5
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: Len Miller was the premier UK publisher of ‘faux’ American-sized British comics in the 1950s and early 1960s. He published a wide range of material, both original and US reprint, perhaps most famously Marvelman and Young Marvelman. Although succeeded by Alan Class, there was a period in the early 1960s where both publishers overlapped and some of Miller’s titles (Mystic, Spellbound, Voodoo and Zombie) closely resembled the type of content also being used by Alan Class, reprinting Atlas, pre-hero Marvel and other early horror, with occasional forays into the Marvel Super-Hero Universe. For some reason (possibly page count?), in reprinting Avengers #8 (debut of Kang), Miller chose not to use the original, more dynamic cover and instead substituted the splash page on the cover, giving this version a unique look. It appears that Kang is about to explode into the MCU, so a great opportunity to get this version of his first appearance. This is a nice copy, with minor edge wear, intact spine with tiny nick at bottom, unmarked cover and white pages. PICTURED: MYSTIC #56 VG/FN £75 SOLD
*Alan Class Reprints: 10 issues of the long-running Sinister Tales added to our stock this week in our regular listing, both pre and post decimal. Chock full of marvel (inc Kirby & Ditko), ACG, Charlton and Atlas, including the odd Marvel super-hero (Captain America in #39, Dr. Strange in #119), plus other recurring characters such as Mandrake, the Fly and Magicman. Some of these we’ve never had in stock before, so we’ve updated our Rough Guide to content, which is where you’ll find details of what appears in each issue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Another batch of War Picture Library added to our catalogue this week, dozens of issues between #100 and #200. War PL was the first of the long-running war-themed Picture Libraries, starting in 1958 and lasting over 2000 issues until 1984. This week many of the numbers we’ve added are new to our listings.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Ten more issues of Picture Romance Library added this week between #380 and #392, still in the mid 1960s and still in very nice condition generally. As I list these, it’s become a game of guess the pop star’s likeness on the cover. Can you guess this one (with cunningly disguised hair colour)? PICTURED: PICTURE ROMANCE LIBRARY #381 FN £6
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: I’m well read in classic fantasy: Tolkein, Peake, Lewis etc, so when I say that Lord Dunsany is just about my favourite fantasy author, you can see he’s got some pretty stiff competition. The Irish nobleman in fact covered a wide range of subject matter in a huge body of work: novels, short stories, plays and poetry, but it is a couple of his fantasy works that concern us here. The King Of Elfland’s Daughter (1924) is his finest novel, a romance of love story, adventure, magic and a big ‘be careful what you wish for’ message. Its first paperback publication was in 1969 in Lin Carter’s Pan Ballantine Adult Fantasy series; here we have a Ballantine edition from a few years later with a gorgeous cover by Darrell Sweet. At The Edge Of The World is an anthology from the Adult Fantasy series, published in 1970, full to the brim with thirty of Dunsany’s short stories, polished gems of fantasy and imagination taken from his various original books; with an introduction by Carter and cover art by Ray Cruz. Dunsany wrote the finest prose in the medium, with beautifully constructed sentences and evocative, poetic imagery. His praises are sung here by L. Sprague de Camp, H P Lovecraft, W B Yeats and James Branch Cabell. PICTURED: by Lord Dunsany BOTH SOLD THE KING OF ELFLAND’S DAUGHTER FN £12 3rd US PB 1977. Lovely condition. AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD VG £12 1st UK PB 1970. Nice copy with slight spine crease and short crease across bottom right cover.
*DC: Although DC missed a trick by not including him on the cover, let me assure you that Green Lantern’s arch nemesis, Sinestro, does indeed make his first appearance within Green Lantern #7 (1961). Steeped in Green Lantern lore, the lead story introduced the renegade Green Lantern who would go on the plague the Emerald Gladiator throughout his career. Make no mistake if you’re considering adding this pence-stamped copy to your collection – it’s a bit of a wreck. The covers are detached and separated. The front cover has multiple small tears along the spine, a dog-eared bottom right corner, colour-breaking creases at the top right corner and much wear; the central image isn’t too bad. The back cover is worse, with heavy creasing, torn edges and a piece out top left. Pages have tanned edges and are a bit dingy, but they’re all there; centrefold is loose. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, but at least it’s an opportunity to acquire a key issue at a relatively affordable price. PICTURED: GREEN LANTERN #7 PR p £95 SOLD
*DC: A chunky update to the Atom this week, a favourite Silver Age series in these parts, with highly imaginative stories by Gardner Fox combining super-heroics, time travel and magical or fantasy settings. Artwork is from the flowing pencil of the wonderful Gil Kane, masterfully inked here by Murphy Anderson and Sid Greene for a visual feast. Mostly low grades copies on offer this update, but including Zatanna’s second appearance in #19, the Golden Age Atom in #29, Hawkman in #31 plus a couple of issues after the series became Atom & Hawkman and a whole lot more. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Marvel: This week the most sought-after comic of the 1970s. Hulk #181 features the first full appearance of Wolverine, the Canadian super-hero who, outstripping everyone’s expectations, became the most popular Marvel character created since the dawn of the Marvel Age. Created by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe (from a John Romita design), Wolvy was revived by Wein when he put together the ‘New’ X-Men who debuted in Giant-Size X-Men #1, and since then, Wolverine has become the star of the lucrative X-Men franchise, and a multi-media darling in his own right. This issue, where it all really kicked off following a one-panel cameo in the preceding ish, is a nice mid-grade copy with brilliant cover colour and gloss, firm, tight staples and white to off-white pages. There are minor spine ticks and corner blunting, and relatively minor wear along the right edge which occasionally breaks colour. There is a very small horizontal 1 cm crease above the MCG banner. The front cover bears a slight trace of what might have been a subscripton crease down the centre, but this is quite faint and not at all pronounced (it’s a little more noticeable on the back cover); on the front it only breaks colour for about 0.5 cm above the MCG banner. Most crucially, the Marvel Value Stamp (probably the most important appearance of Shanna the She-Devil, bless her!) is still in place. This promotional coupon is the blight of Marvels from a certain period, often clipped and missing – but not in this instance! Between the frequently-missing Marvel Value Stamp, and the fact that this issue was never distributed in the UK, intact copies of Hulk #181 are keenly collected, and over the last year or so, prices have soared. Not the rarest Marvel key by any means, but the most in demand and fastest-selling. High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: HULK #181 VG+ £3,250
*Marvel: We kick off this week’s visits to the Good Doctor Collection with Amazing Spider-Man #10, another Lee & Ditko gem. In Spider-Man’s tenth issue, the mysterious ‘Big Man’ sought aid in his goal to become the king of the underworld, and enlisted the assistance of a trio of career criminals known as the Enforcers. One of them, the Ox, went on to become a nemesis of Daredevil, and enjoy a villainous career in his own right, but still ‘got the band together’ from time to time with his cohorts, Dapper Dan and Montana to battle the Human Torch, Dazzler and multiple clashes with Spider-Man and Daredevil. This is a nice pence printed copy with a clean cover, good tight staples and off-white to white pages. The spine is a little worn, with minor nicks only at top and bottom. Some very faint creases around the right edge which barely break colour; there is one vertical colour-breaking crease from the top edge down to the ‘P’ in the logo and more apparent back cover creasing. The date ‘MAR’ has been handwritten in the number box. Overall this copy presents very well. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 VG/FN p £350 SOLD