*DC: We commence a new round of Batmania with a Golden Age classic! The Clown Prince of Crime rides again in this lovely item, a superb copy from 1947 featuring bright yellow cover with no scribbling, staining or creasing, tight centrefold and cover staples, only the faintest corner ‘blunting’, barely perceptible, and only very slightly ‘tanned’ pages, off-white and flexible. The content is prime: the lead, ‘The 13 Club’, sees the Joker apparently becoming the butt of the joke when his fortunes abruptly reverse – or do they? In ‘The Case of Batman II’, the Boy Wonder seemingly has to ‘play a Sub’, recruiting and training a fill-in Batman when the original is out of action and the tense thriller ‘The Grand Opera Murders’ is, well, pretty much what it says on the tin. A truly lovely item, with only the faintest dustshadow reining it in to a VG/FN grade. On sale at £475.
*DC: In the 1970s, both major companies experimented with tabloid formats, and DC’s was the Limited Collectors’ Edition, selected reprints in oversized format, which proved popular enough to justify new framing sequences in some issues, and eventually the All-New Collector’s Edition with, as the name implies, non-reprint stories of major characters. We have two more of the oversized treats in stock – Limited Collectors’ Edition #C41 starring the Super-Friends (a selection of Justice League reprints with a new cover and framing sequence by Alex Toth, starring the Super-Friends from TV). Limited Collector’s’ Edition C-41 is FN+ at £20. Keeping it company is one of the most sought-after tabloids – and by a long way the most contentious – All-New Collectors’ Edition #C55, starring Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, at that time one of DC’s strongest-selling series. Featuring the wedding of two founding Legionnaires, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad, this was completely undistributed in the UK and not commonplace in the US, with the result that rabid completist Legion fans (yes, like us!) had to have it, despite the fact that, frankly, the expanded page size did the Grell & Colletta ‘artwork’ no favours whatsoever. Didn’t matter to the diehard Legion folks – and still doesn’t, decades later, as every copy to come through our hands has vanished as if abducted by the Time Trapper! This copy (pictured) is an outstanding VF at £50.
*Marvel: Lee & Kirby’s Fantastic Four added to its many innovations in 1966’s FF #52, when they introduced the first black super-hero in comics. The Black Panther was the head of a highly sophisticated and technologically advanced African nation, Wakanda, and was in time to become not only one of the FF’s greatest allies, but a mainstay of their fellow heroes, the Avengers. Following his spectacular big-screen success, T’Challa’s earliest appearances have never been in higher demand, and we have a remarkable FN+ copy, cents, with no UK price stamp or overprint, new in stock. Tight at staples, sharp corners, with strong, largely unbroken black cover background, only a few very faint corner creases, very tricky to find in high grade; considerable gloss, but a very slight central ‘wave’ where the item has been subjected to some pressure in the past. This central vertical curve does not crease the book, nor break the cover colour, and might possibly be alleviated with time and pressure, if you’re one of the folks who does that sort of thing. As it stands, it’s by a large degree the nicest copy to pass through our hands in the last decade or so. This FN+ key debut is on sale at £450.
*Marvel: ….What more could you want, really? Oh, okay; this early Lee/Ditko classic is a highly attractive VG+. The yellow cover background is notorious for getting stained or grubby, but this copy is beautifully unmarred, with only a very faint darkening around the arrow on the Torch’s flame trail – check the picture to see what we mean. This tight & bright copy has minimal corner and edge wear, with the only slight break in cover colour being beside Spidey’s head in the corner box. Off-white interior pages, firm at staples, a very appealing copy of a fun story. VG+ p at £185.
*Marvel: A second bite at the cherry for our Mighty Marvel Firsts feature this week! A surprising breakout character from the 1990s was Gambit, the Cajun adventurer who aided Storm when she was running around de-aged to a powerless child (as you do), and quickly became a mainstay of the team, mainly due to his Doomed Romance with the untouchable Rogue. Uncanny X-Men #266 presented the first full appearance of Gambit, and we have a very affordable VG/FN pence copy of this highly-sought issue new in at £45. Rumours of a Gambit cinematic feature have been on and off for a couple of years now, but appear to be back ‘on’, so buy this now before the speculators get it!
*Marvel: A significant upload of Silver/Bronze Marvel addtions to our catalogue for the following titles: Avengers (from #20 inc #144 1st Hellcat GD £10), Captain America (from #101 inc origin issue #109 FN+ p £24), Fantastic Four, Hulk (from #104), Marvel Premiere (with Dr Strange), Infinity Crusade & Infinity War, Marvel Super-Heroes (from #1), Marvel Team-Up, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD, Punisher (#10 with Daredevil), Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 (listed under Power Man), Silver Surfer (Moebuis series), Star Wars #50, Strange Tales, Tales of Asgard one-shot, Tales of Suspense (#41 low grade 3rd Iron Man PR £26), X-Men (from #44) and a smattering of issues from the X-Men Age of Apocalypse, including X-Men Alpha.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: We reach the Grand Finale of our Hither Came Conan event this week. Marvel’s comic book interpretation of Robert E. Howard’s barbarian warrior had proved so popular that by 1974, Marvel decided to have Conan as a lynchpin of its fledgling black & white magazine range. Savage Sword of Conan, as a magazine, was exempt from the constraints of the Comics Code Authority, and therefore could present more ‘mature’ stories and themes (translation: ‘giblets n’ boobies), though, to be fair, very few of the creators took this to excess, and most of the stories from SSOC could have been reprinted in the colour comic with minimal changes – in fact, a few actually were, When Deadlines Crunched! SSOC was also the longest-lived Marvel Magazine by far, running until 1995 and its 235th issue, when all of its stablemates were but a distant memory. We are chuffed to have acquired a substantial run of Savage Sword of Conan – not a full run, by any means, but closing in on 200 copies (allowing for a few duplicate issues in differing grades) of mighty-thewed barbarian fantasy action, including the scarce first issue, and, if anything, the even scarcer final issue. Pictured are Savage Sword of Conan #1 FN £30 and the final issue #235 VF £25. The others, in a variety of grades to suit all budgets, are listed in our online catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1979 to 1984, DC Thomson produced Red Dagger, an extra-thick magazine which collected serialised stories from their adventure weeklies (Bullet, Hornet, Hotspur, Victor, Warlord & Wizard) into complete done-in-one editions for a long complete read. The subject matter ranged from the usual sport (Bernard Briggs, Tough of the Track) war (Braddock VC), sci-fi (Smasher, the Black Sapper), and… pulse-pounding angling action? (Cast, Hook & Strike), and the series managed a respectable 30 issues. We are pleased to have a virtually complete run of Red Dagger, always a popular addition, back in stock, missing only issues #3, #5 and #11, but including several duplicate numbers in differing grades. Pictured is issue #20 FN £10; for grades and prices on the others, see our catalogue listing, as always.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Incorporating our Long Hot Summer, First Quenchers & Free Gift Farrago features, we present a plethora of newly added media-derived comics, with Marvel UK’s Indiana Jones Including first, final and free gift issues, Dr. Who Magazine in the 300’s, the 1987 Supernaturals ‘prequel’ issue, with bonus free gift, and a selection of Transformers Specials/Collected Comics to delight Trans-Fans everywhere! We suspect, though, that the most popular addition will be substantial runs of Action Force and Action Force Monthly, the European adaptation of the hugely popular G I Joe franchise which featured, in addition to reprints, a massive amount of new material not available elsewhere (a smattering of it was repackaged for the US as GI Joe European Missions, but by no means all). We have the first issues of both Action Force and Action Force Monthly, and a major selection of both titles, including free gift issues.
*Humour Comics: An unseasonably festive top-up on Christmas issues for Buster (1969 and 1972), Cor (1973), Sparky (1970), and Whoopee (1977), plus a Buster Bonus – additional non-Christmas issues from 1975, and the 2009 reprint Special!
*Girls’ Comics: “But wait,” you ask, “didn’t Princess weekly hang up her tiara in 1967, to merge with the upstart Tina?” Well, yes, but in 1983/84, in the full frenzy of Dianamania, a short-lived revival was launched optimistically by Fleetway/IPC, and when it didn’t catch on, like so many of its stablemates, it was gobbled up by one of its stronger littermates, in this case the omnivorous Tammy. We have acquired a short selection of Tammy from the first ‘Princess II’ merger issue, 7th April 1984, through to 23rd June that same year, when the weekly shook off the last remnants of Princess and reverted to her own name again. These were previously unrepresented in our stock, so fans of gymnast ‘Bella’ and the other Tammy regulars, place your requests quickly!
*Girls’ Comics: Light top-ups to several popular girls’ comics series in this sweep, including 1978’s Emma (from #3), Girl series One from 1951, Girl series Two from 1987, the short-lived Hi! from 1988, Penny (1979) #2 & #3, Romeo from 1974 – a year previously unrepresented in our lists – and last but far from least Spellbound #2 & #3 from 1976. Issue #2 of Spellbound is more scarce than average in undamaged condition, as the coupon to send off for the Supercats Secret Diary was on the inside front cover, so unmutilated copies are harder to come by. This is an intact VG at £15, and issue #3 is FN £25.
*Clearance Corner: This week’s bargain in Clearance Corner is another of our irresistible Marvel reprint job lots from the 1960s — those (mostly) giant issues featuring classic tales from the dawn of the Marvel Age (or even earlier, in some cases). 16 issues in this lot: Fantasy Masterpieces x 4 (#2, #6, #9 & #10), Marvel Collector’s Item Classics x 6 (#1, #3, #4, #7, #13 & #20), Marvel Super-Heroes x 2 (#21 & #22) and Marvel Tales x 4 (#4, #5, #6 & #7). All in reasonable condition (except back cover missing from Marvel Tales #7). These always sell very fast indeed, so get your order in early! (UK postage, if required, will be an extra £4.50). SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Robert E Howard packed an impressive amount of writing into his short life (committing suicide at just 30 years old). His influence can be gauged by the continuing interest in his work and his life. We’ve gathered together six non-fiction works that, through a mixture of biography and selected work by the great man, explore his achievements and lasting appeal. Titles consist of Dark Valley Destiny: The Life Of Robert E. Howard (de Camp et al), The Dark Barbarian: The Writings Of Robert E Howard: A Critical Anthology (Herron ed), Robert E Howard: Starmont Reader’s Guide 35 (Cerasini & Hoffman), Conan’s World And Robert E Howard (Schweitzer), Literary Swordsmen And Sorcerors: The Makers Of Heroic Fantasy (de Camp) and The Last Celt (Lord ed). Nearly all are 1st editions, and they can all be found just after the R E Howard listing in our catalogue.
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:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: Before the modern full-spectrum of Lantern Corps, before even the space-faring adventures of Hal Jordan, there was Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern, founder of the Justice Society and heroic legend. Issues of the Golden Age Lantern are scarce anywhere, but particularly in this country, as of course no American comics were distributed here from the start of WWII until 1959. We have acquired two issues: #17 Fall 1945, when the title was briefly published under the All-American imprint (long story, Wiki it if you’re bothered) is in FA/GD condition, but presents much better than that description implies; the cover has been detached and separated, reattached by heavy tape, and there is a relatively unobtrusive Book Centre Stamp on our hero’s chest, as may be seen in the cover photo here, but the interior pages are clean, white and flexible, no browning or brittleness, and the corners are relatively sharp with only minor cover edge wear. Issue #35 from late 1948 is an attractive VG: unmarred cover scene, tight staples at cover and centrefold, vivid colours and gorgeous interiors. Our hero fights two of his Rogue’s Gallery – Gamma and the Gambler – and GL’s pet, Streak the Wonder Dog, gets a solo adventure! What more could you want? There are two tiny (and purely precautionary) tape reinforcements at top and bottom of cover, else this would have graded still higher. Green Lantern #17 is FA/GD £95; #35 is VG £190. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of the more popular sub-genres we’ve observed in the last couple of decades is the Marvel ‘Big Panty Monsters’ – huge invading aliens who seek to subjugate Earth’s teeming masses (while bedraped for the sake of decency in enormous knickers!). These were usually the lead feature in anthology titles such as Tales to Astonish, Strange Tales and Tales of Suspense, and we’re delighted to welcome a sensational septet of such issues back into stock. We open with the short lived series Amazing Adventures (1961), which introduced the first super-hero of the Marvel Age – yes, even before the Fantastic Four! Doctor Droom (no, not ‘Doom’, not ‘Strange’, either) gained amazing abilities in Tibet and fought supernatural and alien incursions for a very short time, before the reading public decided that his powers of hypnosis and, er, yoga, weren’t really all that much cop. He fared better when revived in the Seventies as Doctor Druid. Two of his early appearances are here in Amazing Adventures #2 and #4, though neither is cover-featured. In Strange Tales #95, the ever-cuddly ‘Two-Headed Thing’ (no relation to Ben Grimm) makes an appearance, and Tales of Suspense #13 brings us ‘Elektro’, who as a robot, was exempt from the panty-wearing requirement. Continuing with Tales of Suspense, issue #34 goes more for quiet drama with ‘Inside the Blue Glass Bottle’, but by #37 we’re back to form with the gigantic Hagg, Hunter of Helpless Humans! Tales to Astonish #31, with ‘The Mummy’s Secret’, wraps up (ha ha) this instalment of monstrous tomfoolery and hullabaloo. Illustrated are Amazing Adventures #2 VG £75, Strange Tales #95 FN p £68 and Tales of Suspense #37, an extraordinary VF- at £170. For details of the rest, please see our online catalogue.
*Marvel: More early Spider-Man issues from the Wall-Crawler’s co-creator, Steve Ditko, still regarded by many (including ourselves here at 30th Century) as the definitive Spider-Man illustrator. This range runs from #21 to #38, taking in such highlights as the premiere of Princess Python in #22, epic clashes with his arch-nemesis the Green Goblin in #23 and #27, and the first appearance of Norman Osborn (as Norman Osborn – shush! Spoilers!) in #37. With one exception, all these new additions are cents copies, with no pence stamp or overprint, and are generally in very affordable mid grades. Pictured are #22 VG £58, #23 VG £69 and #27 FN £90. For details on the rest, please see our online catalogue.
*Marvel: A new addition to our catalogued stock is the hugely popular third series (following the 1968 original 18-issue run and the 1982 one-shot) of the Silver Surfer, Marvel’s Sentinel of the Spaceways. Norrin Radd had been a supporting character for many years, but despite highly-acclaimed work on his original run, his solo flights had never seemed to previously ‘catch’ – but this series, initially helmed by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers, soared, lasting 146 issues – of which we have the majority up to #134, including the enhanced 50th, 75th and 100th issues, plus issue #44 – first appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet – which has become the single most sought-after issue of the series since Thanos’ starring roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently in Infinity Wars. Issue #44 is VF+ p at £40; details on the myriad other issues may be found in our online catalogue.
*Marvel: Our Conan event continues this week with its third instalment, a near complete run of the 55 issue series King Conan/Conan The King, including first and last (1980-1989). Tales from the later years in the life of Robert E Howard’s Barbarian, after the events in the Conan the Barbarian series.
*Annuals: A nice new batch of annuals in this week. We have just one in the TV & Film Related sub-category: TV Comic Annual 1984 and two in Humour: Whoopee Book of Frankie Stein 1976 & 1977. The main event is in Boys’ Adventure, where we add the Dan Dare Space Annual 1963 (pictured GD £40), Phantom 1968 (pictured VG £12), Roy Of The Rovers 1994, Speed 1981 & 1982, Star Lord 1980, 1981 & 1982, Tornado 1980 & 1981 and Wham 1970 (pictured FN £20).
*Collected Editions: In 1943, Steve Dowling and Gordon Boshell created the newspaper strip Garth for the Daily Mirror, inspired by American works such as Superman and Flash Gordon. The orphan Garth grew up with phenomenal strength and, as his adventures progressed, he developed the ability to travel through time and to be eternally reincarnated, courtesy of his true love, the goddess Astra. His devotion to Astra notwithstanding, Garth dallied with a number of shapely ladies through the aeons, a trait emphasized in the 1970s when Frank Bellamy took over illustrating the series. Garth’s adventures lasted in the Mirror until 1997, but comparatively few have been reprinted. This week, we have the two Daily Mirror Book of Garth editions from 1975 and 1976 respectively, the debut volume of the Titan Books series from 1984, and a selection of the Daily Strips reprints issued in the early 1980s. These slick, usually A4 magazines reproduced an entire adventure in one go, but had an extremely limited circulation, being printed in runs of around 400 copies only. A couple of the Daily Strips covers are reproduced for your elucidation: issue #5 VF £10, the Jack the Ripper-themed ‘Night of the Knives’, and #7 VF £12, ‘The Doomsmen’, a Bellamy classic. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: With its 1,197th issue, dated 17th October 1959, the venerable D.C. Thomson story paper, Hotspur, breathed its last – but regular readers didn’t have time to mourn, as the very next week, the New Hotspur debuted as a comic (or ‘picture-paper’, as they called it). The reason for the relaunch may have been the spectacular success of the girls’ comic Bunty, launched the previous year, as it’s noticeable that with the early issues of the ‘New’ Hotspur, there’s a decided family resemblance – colour scheme, logo, eponymous host (‘Harry Hotspur’, who, like Bunty, had cover-featured adventures in rhyming couplets in later issues), and so on. The new line-up included western adventurers ‘Randy Walker’ and ‘Dakota Jim’, ‘Johnny Jett the Super Boy’, token humour page ‘Scruffy’, and the obligatory classics adaptation, ‘Coral Island’, with a few text stories so that old-school readers didn’t get too excited. Harry Hotspur was jettisoned early on, and the title settled down into the comfortable formula of adventure war n’ football, but had a very respectable run of 1,110 issues before being absorbed by Victor in 1981. This copy of Hotspur #1 is GD/VG, the only drawback being a small interior page tear affecting the margin of the ‘Dakota Jim’ strip, where some glue has been misapplied in the printing/collation process. It doesn’t affect the story, and in every other respect this is a superior mid-grade copy of a significant UK debut. GD/VG at £60. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*TV & Film Related Comics: We’ve just added a whole hunk of Star Wars comics previously absent from our listing, running from #118, when The Empire Strikes Back was added to the title, right up to #171, the final issue. This addition is mainly in VG or FN grades, with a few GD scattered about, and includes two issues with posters, #159 (when The Empire Strikes Back was struck off of the title) and #160.
*Clearance Corner: Too good to throw away, this week’s clearance bundle comprises 25 issues of the iconic Lady Penelope title from the 1960s (10 issues are following the name change to Penelope). Each copy is flawed with something missing, usually just a panel or two backing on to an ad/coupon, but occasionally a page or two. Many strips complete and hours of reading pleasure for the punter lucky enough to bag these for just £25 (if complete, these would sell for closer to £250!). Issue numbers are: 13, 19, 24, 36, 38, 39, 60, 84, 92, 93, 97, 105, 110, 114, 117, 125, 131, 138, 151, 158, 162, 177, 181, 201, 204 (final issue). UK postage on these if required would be an extra £6.50 (medium parcel). SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our American section:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Collected Editions: Admit it – narratively speaking, who doesn’t love a mad scientist? Especially one with a habit of enlarging animals to many times their natural size for nefarious purposes? Well, the readers of the short-lived weekly Jet in 1971 certainly did, as Nazi genius Von Hoffman, following a 25-year imprisonment, sent his super-sized animal accomplices out to wreak vengeful destruction on national monuments, military encampments and… church fetes? Hm. Anyway, even though Jet lasted a scant 22 issues, ‘Von Hoffman’s Invasion’ carried on into the merged Buster & Jet for a much longer stint, with writer Tom Tully and artist Eric Bradbury clearly enjoying coming up with ever more outlandish variations on the ‘unfeasibly embiggened’ theme. This paperback volume is brand new at £13.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Tying in with our celebration of Conan, we’ve added three hardcover editions of works by his creator Robert E Howard, all with notable illustrators. Always Comes Evening (£35) is an exhaustive collection of poems (lovingly compiled by Glenn Lord), even including a poem which won Howard a school competition when he was 15 years old, with illustrations by Keiko Nelson. The Swords of Shahrazar (£20), featuring cover and internal art by Michael Kaluta, is a swash-buckling adventure with Kirby O’Donnell seeking treasure in the forbidden city of Shahrazar. Finally, The Return Of Skull-Face (£25) (with Richard A Lupoff), has The Master (AKA The Scorpion) continuing his adventures, with Stephen E Leialoha cover art and illustrations. With grades in the FN range, these handsome dust-jacketed volumes, presented in removable archival film, are too good to miss, by Crom!
*DC: The oldest issue of DC’s Detective Comics we’ve ever had – and probably the oldest American comic we’ve ever stocked – this pre-Batman issue of Detective is cover-dated August 1938, and is a packed 64 pages of crimebusting thrills, starring Slam Bradley by Siegel & Shuster, Speed Saunders by Gardner Fox and Fred Gardineer, Bart Regan – Spy, Cosmo Master of Disguise, Bruce Nelson, Steve Malone and the cover-featured ‘Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu’, a comic-strip adaptation of the famous character written, it is believed, by Sax Rohmer himself! The good (well, bad) Doctor stars on the striking cover. Well, we said 64 pages – in fact, the first two pages of ‘Larry Steele’ are absent, having met an unknown fate sometime in the book’s history, but given that it’s a barely-remembered black & white strip – sorry if there are any ‘Larry Steele’ groupies reading this – it’s not the worst thing that could have happened. That specific defect aside, the copy is an Apparent Good, sound and clean, some rust at staples but cover still firmly attached, light wear to edges and corners, cover scene, as may be seen in our illustration, still colourful and vibrant. Pre-Batman issues of Detective Comics are a true rarity – this is the first one to pass through our hands in our quarter of a century in business – and this is a lovely example, priced lower than its apparent grade, owing to the missing pages, at £700. Front and back cover scans shown below; high resolution scans are available on request. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: “What?” you youngsters incredulously cry. “There was a Suicide Squad without Harley Quinn in it?” Oh yes, ye of little faith. Travel back with us to the early days of Brave & Bold, wherein a team of non-costumed specialists – astronomer Hugh Evans, physicist Jess Bright, medic and intermittent psychic Karin Grace, and manly leading man Rick Flag Jr. – tackled meteor storms, dinosaurs, giant lizards, giant monsters – actually, mostly just freakishly big critters – in exotic locales. Written by Barking Bob Kanigher, the stories were short on logic but heavy on the pulse-pounding action, sleekly illustrated by the team of Andru & Esposito, and are fondly remembered today – particularly since Flag and Grace popped up in significant roles in later incarnations of the Squad. Three of the six original Suicide Squad adventures – beginning with ‘Mission 3’ in Brave & Bold #27 (GD p £27 pictured) – are now back in stock.
*DC: Almost simultaneously with the debut of the X-Men at Marvel, DC made their moribund title My Greatest Adventure the home of the ‘Doom Patrol’, created by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani, another assembly of misfits with strange powers, hated and feared by the world they protect, led by a paraplegic genius in a wheelchair. Believe it or not, this appears to have been purely coincidental, and in many people’s eyes, the Doom Patrol was the more mature and enjoyable title. After a brief period, the team took over the series in name as well as in effect, and My Greatest Adventure, while keeping its numbering, was officially rechristened the Doom Patrol. We have a classic selection of the DP’s adventures against some of the world’s wildest villains – the Brotherhood of Evil (no, not Evil Mutants – that was the other lot), Dr. Tyme, Mr. 103, and the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, as well as guest-appearances by Mento and the Challengers of the Unknown. From #87 to #107, a cavalcade of superheroics and soap-opera, soon to be reimagined as a live-action TV show.
*DC: A cruise through the Silver and Bronze Ages of the DC Universe, stopping off at titles where we have a smattering of new additions to each listing. Forever People and Mister Miracle by Jack Kirby, My Greatest Adventure, the acclaimed Shadow series by O’Neil and Kaluta from #1 on, Strange Adventures from the late #100’s, Supergirl’s short-lived (and endearingly bananas) series from the 1970s, classic Swamp Thing by Wrightson, Tales of the Unexpected with Space Ranger, Weird Worlds with Chaykin’s Ironwolf and a posse of World’s Finest from the mid-1960s, all newly recharged and just waiting for you!
*Marvel: We commence a new season of our highly popular Mighty Marvel Firsts event with a very timely twosome. What better time than the present, with the newly-released ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ film doing great business, to release the first appearances of both size-shifting super-stars? In Tales to Astonish #27, scientist Henry Pym became ‘The Man In The Ant-Hill’, in a slight variation on the usual ‘big-panty monster’ tropes which bore no foreshadowing of his heroic future. Nevertheless, Hank came back in costume in TTA #35, and embarked on a long career as Ant-Man, then Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and possibly a couple more identities we forget. By #44, it was decided that Hank needed someone to talk to who was a little more cuddly than an ant, and Janet Van Dyne was introduced as Hank’s partner in life and love, the Wonderful Wasp! These two premier issues have, to put it mildly, seen better days. The #27 in particular suffers from (deep breath): a 1” tear mid-spine, through the entire body of the book, scribble on head of middle ant on cover (that’s a description, not an instruction!), spine glued at cover and first & final pages, also glued at centrefold, interior pages frayed at edges, with some small margin corners missing, but all pages present, all stories complete. Generally a very tired and ‘limp’ copy, but a complete low-grade key issue. Tales to Astonish #44’s faults are more limited – it has no cover. Otherwise, it’s a complete Fair/Good copy of Janet Van Dyne/the Wasp’s debut and origin. Tales to Astonish #27 is PR p £325 (front and back covers shown below and high resolution scans available on request); #44 coverless is on sale at £50. More Mighty Marvel Firsts on an occasional basis as we go through the remainder of the summer into autumn.
*Marvel: With issue #38, Steve Ditko quit Spider-Man, and a nation mourned… But he was amply replaced in the form of John Romita, who from #39 dived right in with an epic two-parter starring Spidey’s vilest villain, the Green Goblin, and in short order he (Jazzy Johnny, not the Goblin) made the series his own, bringing it into the Swingin’ Sixties with a vengeance! We have a multitude of new Silver Age issues, mostly mid- to low-grade affordable copies, ranging from #39, Romita’s debut, to #85, Annuals #3 ( Spidey’s clash with the Avengers) #4 (battle with the Human Torch), and #6 (reprinting the epic debut of the Sinister Six), plus a handful of later, non-Romita items – Spider-Man #134, with the debut of the tintinnabulating Tarantula, and Giant-Size Spider-Man #1, teaming Spidey with Dracula, Prince of Darkness!
*Marvel: The second instalment of our mammoth Conan event features complete sets of both the Conan Annuals (#1-12) and Giant-Size issues (#1-5), mostly in nice grades. More sword and sorcery action from the house of Marvel!
*Marvel: A bit ‘modern’ for our tastes, but it can’t be denied that these are latter-day significant issues from the long-running Uncanny X-Men series: #221 NM p £30 features the first appearance of Mister Sinister, soon to become a thorn in the side of Marvel’s Merry Mutants and a major player from this point onwards… And #244 VF/NM p £25 presents us with the premiere of Jubilation Lee, aka Jubilee, the pyrotechnic princess who was one of the team’s most popular members in the latter days of the 20th Century. (When last seen, she was a single-mom vampire over in Hellcat’s series, but that’s modern comics for you. Let’s all remember her in happier times, eh?) Since neither debut is cover-blurbed or illustrated, these two issues have tended to slip under the radar of speculators, so now would be a good time to hit ’em up before prices rise anew.
*Marvel: The 1971 series of Marvel Feature, having successfully repackaged three of its solo acts as ‘The Defenders’ for its first three issues, looked around for a new feature when the Defenders got their own book – and the editorial eye fell upon Hank Pym, size-shifitng founder of the Avengers, currently doing a whole lot of nothing. With Marvel Feature #4, Hank was returned to his Ant-Man role, but with a twist – he was trapped in tiny form, and effectively marooned in his own backyard! Needless to say, Hank’s wife, the wonderful Wasp, soon came along for the ride, and their battles against some oddball villains, including the Para-Man and Dr. Nemesis, were orchestrated by writer Mike Friedrich and illustrated by Herb Trimpe, Mike Trimpe, and an early effort by P. Craig Russell. Sadly, the off-beat focus didn’t catch with a mass market, and after issue #10, Hank & Jan went back into limbo (though not for long), to be replaced by Thing team-ups which were the ‘stealth pilot’ for Marvel Two-In-One. We have the entire Ant-Man run from issues #4 to #10 of Marvel Feature new in – small heroes! Big Adventures!
*Marvel: We can picture our audience clutching their garments and retiring to their fainting couches now: “What? They’re promoting something published this century?” But yes, we dabble occasionally, and this variant sketch cover of the 2006 Ms. Marvel #1 (starring Carol, not Kamala, who wasn’t around yet) is illustrated by the late Michael Turner, best remembered for Witchblade, who was sadly taken from us far too early by pelvic cancer. This NM item is on sale at £15.
*Marvel: In 1977, Marvel began a series called What If?, which explored how the Marvel Universe might have unfolded, if key moments in its history had not occurred as they did in mainstream continuity. Uatu, the Marvel Universe’s omniscient Watcher, was the host of these extra-thick tomes, usually kicking off by narrating the events as they happened in the ‘real’ MU, then introducing the tipping point at which things changed – occasionally for the better, but generally very much not. The original series of stand-alone tales ran for 47 issues, and had enough enduring popularity that it’s been revived many times since. We have added 14 issues of the original What If? series to our stock, from the third issue to the final issue of that volume #47. Some of them are stunning, many ingenious, a couple flat-out bonkers (‘What If Sgt. Fury Fought World War II In Outer Space?’), but most are entertaining.
*Charlton: Legend has it that Charlton’s printing press was mainly used for printing cereal boxes, and that the comics line was only to keep the printing presses running 24/7; hence, it is averred, the… to be polite… random nature of their publications and the staggering diversity of their output. We have topped up around fifteen of their series, from the 1950s to the 1980s, including the 1981 ‘Showcase’ title Charlton Bullseye (complete 10 issue run now in stock), the rather lovely 1966 one-off Fantastic Giants by Steve Ditko, a 64-page mix of Konga and Gorgo reprints with new material and the inexplicably popular racing car titles, Hot Rod Racers, Hot Rods and Racing Cars, Teenage Hotrodders and Top Eliminator. In the media adaptation front, new issues are listed of Gorgo, the Partridge Family and the Six Million Dollar Man; the Charlton Action-Hero Universe is touched on by Srage Steel and Thunderbolt, science-fiction is represented by Space Adventures and Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, and, last but not least – the power! The fury! Sarge Snorkel, unleashed!
*Annuals: Anyone for adventures in Time And Relative Dimensions In Space? Doctor Who Annuals have been a festive standby for many years, since the William Hartnell days, but Annuals featuring the Jon Pertwee iteration of the Doctor (onscreen from 1970-1974) are less common than those starring other Doctors (except perhaps the Patrick Troughton ones). We’re delighted to have two of the Pertwee Doctor Who Annuals back in stock. 1973 is VG, generally excellent condition but with a detached (but present) flyleaf at £20. 1975, still less common, is FN- at £25, with only 1/2″ lower spine wear preventing a nicer grade. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Well, not every one, of course, but beginning with issue #31, from the title’s first year of publication in 1961, and concluding with issue #517 from 1971, we have seven issues featuring a variety of giveaways, including photos of sportsmen, booklets, diaries and sticker albums. Pictured are issue #100 GD with free gift VG £20 and #517 VG with free gift GD £10. These mid-grade affordable comic and gift combos are going to be snapped up pretty rapidly, so take your best shot! SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: As the tradition of weekly comics waned in the UK during the last years of the 20th Century, so too did the extra-sized Summer/Holiday Specials – once ubiquitous, they became less and less commonplace as print runs dropped. This, from 1984, is the antepenultimate Tammy Special, published in the same year as the final weekly issues, and is in an extraordinary state of preservation, graded at FN/VF, a grade we rarely append to British items. Gymnast ‘Bella’, ‘Pam of Pond Hill’, and all the regulars are there, pluckily performing just as if their extinction were not imminent! This high-grade and uncommon item is on sale at £45. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: Launched in 1985, Nikki was DC Thomson’s last major girls’ comic launch, and took a more down-to-Earth line than its sister weeklies. Lead strip was ‘The Comp’, a school-set soap opera whose venue was more Grange Hill than Mallory Towers, quite a contrast to the sedate world of St. Elmo’s and the Four Marys. Other popular series were ‘I Won’t Share Her With Him!’ – about a girl who felt betrayed when her best friend started dating – and ‘Girl Talk’, a best-friends gag strip which is notable for being an early gig for artist Paul Grist, who later became an indie hit with ‘Jack Staff’, ‘Kane’, ‘Mudman’ and others. We have more than 200 issues, from #1 to #232, only a handful short of its conclusion, newly stocked, and averaging attractive Fine grades or better, with Christmas, Valentine and other special holiday issues galore!
*Clearance Corner: This week’s bargain lot comprises 5 complete Batman mini-series from the 1990s and 2000s: Batman Gotham Knights (1992) 4 issues by John Ostrander & Mary Mitchell; Batman Gotham Knights II (1995) 4 issues by the same team; Batman Dark Detective (2005) 6 issues by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers (the sequel to the Silver St Cloud sequence from the 1970s); Batman It’s Joker Time (2000) 3 issues by Bob Hall (prestige format); and Batman GCPD (1996) 4 issues by Chuck Dixon & Jim Aparo. All yours for just £20 (UK postage if required will be an extra £3.50), but better move fast for your fix of Bat-Action! SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our British section:
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics (S – Z)
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Childrens’ Books: Originally a radio series, Anthony Buckeridge’s tales about Jennings were so popular that a succession of books about his exploits were published. We have four hardcover novels, to wit: Jennings’ Little Hut, wherein we discover why Jennings shouldn’t consider a career in the construction industry, Jennings And Darbishire, which reveals why Jennings is unsuited to a career in journalism, According to Jennings, in which we discover why Jennings is unlikely to become an astronaut and finally Jennings, Of Course! in which Jennings tries to be helpful, generally with hilariously unhelpful results. Three of these pictured below; all four have dustjackets, protected by removable archival film, as with all the dustjackets of our hardcover books.
*DC/Marvel: Three cross company collaborations this week: first up, the historic first Superman/Spider-Man crossover from 1976 VG/FN pence copy at £45; next, the second crossover of Supes & Spidey, also known as Marvel Treasury Edition #28 GD at £20; finally, the Wizard Of Oz Treasury from 1975 FN+ at £10. All pictured below and sure to prove popular! SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting Robert E. Howard’s immortal creation Conan the Barbarian in a series of updates to various titles starring the famous Cimmerian adventurer. We kick off with the first and most notable Conan series, Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian which debuted in 1970 and lasted 275 issues, ending in 1993. Art by first of all Barry Smith, then John Buscema before the art duties passed to other hands. We have almost the whole series fresh into stock, including #1 (VG+ £60 pictured) the first appearance of Conan in comics, and then from #8 up to the end, including the very final issue #275. Along the way we take in both the first and first full appearances of Red Sonja in #23 (VF £37 pictured) and #24 (VG/FN £30 pictured). We seldom see much of this long run — certainly those issues from the late 1980s and 1990s don’t turn up for us very often and we have several regular Conan customers, so early enquiries for these are expected. More from Conan very soon!
*Marvel: This week’s release in our ongoing Spider-Mania event is a low grade copy of the iconic 50th issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Featuring both a very famous cover and the debut of the Kingpin, this is a much sought-after issue constantly climbing in value. Here’s an opportunity to get hold of a copy at a modest price; graded Fair, this pence copy is priced at just £50. Apart from edge wear and some minor creasing at bottom right edge, the cover image itself is unmarked with strong colour; page quality is okay, but the cover is off both staples, with resultant weakness and holes at spine around the staple area. Nevertheless, a great gap-filler for those on a budget! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD