*Marvel: One of Marvel’s most successful attempts at diversifying their line in the 1970s was their cash-in on the Martial Arts craze, with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu! His inauspicious debut in Special Marvel Edition, a series previously devoted to reprints, indicated that there wasn’t much faith in Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin’s co-creation, but readers took him to their collective hearts, and more than 100 issues ensued, with a star roster of creators including Doug Moench, Gene Day and Paul Gulacy. Here, however, was where it all started, in Special Marvel Edition #15, December 1973, with the Son of Fu Manchu discovering his villainous heritage, and setting out to oppose his father. This copy of Shang-Chi’s debut is an attractive VG/FN, with unbroken cover colour, tight staples, and only light spine wear. Never distributed in the UK, and therefore doubly sought after, this is on sale at £80. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Thor had fallen into a rut of recycling of the same tired old tropes by (dare we say it?) the same tired old creators when writer/artist Walt Simonson took everyone by surprise, revitalising the series commencing with #337. This introduced the horse-faced alien thunder god Beta Ray Bill, a concept which should never have worked, but oddly caught on with readers at large, as well as debuting the Enchantress’ previously-unsuspected younger – and against all odds, wilier – sister, Lorelei. Simonson’s run on the series, bringing new life to the elder gods, remains hugely popular today, and this is the pivotal relaunch issue, Cents copy VF/NM at £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The culmination of Claremont and Byrnes ‘Fate of the Phoenix’ storyline, following the cosmic empowerment of the former Marvel Girl, her gradual temptation to the dark side as Phoenix, and the heinous acts committed by her other persona. Arrested by cosmic peacekeeping force the Imperial Guard and put on trial for her crimes, Jean Grey and her teammates battle for her life – and lose, in a story that was genuinely shocking and epic at the time of its publication, and has lost only a little of its impact with Jean’s subsequent two (to date) resurrections. This square-bound extra-length issue was never distributed in the United Kingdom, as the distributors refused to handle non-standard copies, and has thus constituted an annoying gap for many British fans. This copy is VF+ at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The Avengers, like many long-running series, has featured supporting characters who become breakout stars in their own right, and three such are presented here. In Avengers #144, the former teen humour star Patsy Walker (one of Marvel’s longest-serving characters, having debuted in 1944) was given a super-heroic makeover and became the Hellcat, death-defying (sometimes literally) adventuress who’s starred in several solo series. In #181, an associate of Tony Stark’s, one Scott Lang, made his first non-costumed appearance, shortly before he became the second (and arguably the most famous, having starred in two big-budget movie) Ant-Man! And in #196, having made a cameo appearance in the preceding issue, the first full appearance of the Taskmaster, one of Marvel’s most popular later villains, occurred. Issue #144 is VF+ £40, issue #181 is VF £30 and #196 is FN/VF £35. SORRY, #144 & #196 HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A small but tasty update to Marvel’s famous Strange Tales series: starting off with the uncommon Annual #2 from 1963 in low grade, featuring a Human Torch/Spider-Man encounter by Lee, Kirby and Ditko, we move on to a low grade #135 with the debut of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, then several later issues with SHIELD by Steranko, including #151, the first Steranko art at Marvel, with the unverified signature of the man himself on the splash page. We conclude with #168, the final issue of the original series, before it was reborn as Dr Strange with the next issue.
*Marvel: For those of you who prefer John Buscema’s art on the Fantastic Four to Jack Kirby’s (and we know you’re out there), we’re delighted to list a range of his issues new in and previously missing from our listings between #113 and #134. Included are the encounter with the Overmind, Galactus, the Silver Surfer and Gabriel, the first Thundra (#129) and a startling Steranko cover with issue #130.
*IW/Super: IW/Super is a strange side street on the highway of comics history, Launched by Israel Waldman in the late 1950s, he acquired content for his comics line by buying out a defunct printer’s stock of printing plates, which included the interiors, but not the covers, of a few hundred 1940s comic books, from dozens of publishers. With a fine disregard for copyright – since most of the publishers had gone under anyway – he simply reprinted the comics under new covers, with a bizarre non-sequential numbering scheme that no-one’s quite figured out to this day. Since these were distributed, three to a bag, as ‘novelties’ to toy and drug stores, they weren’t treated as periodicals, and weren’t subject to the Comics Code, so the 1940s horror titles, unabridged, might have caused an extra frisson to kids raised on the Code-Approved era. This is a selection of the great, the good and the grotesque of the Golden Age, with new listings this update for Black Knight, Danger, Fantastic Adventures, Fantastic Tales, Firehair, Frontier Romances, Jungle Adventures, Robin Hood, Space Detective, and Strange Planets.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Two short-run crime series from the company which would become Marvel this update. Amazing Detective Cases ran from #3 to #14, commencing in 1950. Amazing Mysteries has the distinction of carrying from the numbering of Sub-Mariner’s original series with #32 in 1949, and ending with #35. Both of these are ‘transitional’ titles, straddling the gap between Timely and Atlas comics, and as such are still finding their direction, but the key tropes of excessive violence and still more excessive verbiage are firmly in play. Five issues of Amazing detective Cases are new in between issues #5 to #10, including #8 FN £41 (pictured), and a single issue of Amazing Mysteries, the photo-cover #34.
*Horror 1940-1959: When Rugged Action – added to our lists last week – growled its last with issue #4, the title transmuted into Strange Stories of Suspense from #5, treading the rather safer commercial path of aliens, robots and weird happenings, in done-in-one mystery twist-enders by some distinguished artists. Gray Morrow, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, Bernie Krigstein, Bob Powell and the Atlas trifecta of Everett, Maneely and Severin – a lot of talent for a short-run series that ended with #16. Seven issues of SSofS are new in this update, commencing with #6 and ending with #15. Depicted are #7 VG/FN £75, #10 VG/FN £73, #11 VG/FN £65, and #15 VG £54.
*War: Another of Atlas’ myriad war-themed series, 1952’s Men In Action featured Pre-Code brutality a’plenty in its pre-code nine-issue run, with illustrations by Heath, Maneely, Krigstein, Pakula, Robinson and Sinnott, a stellar line-up of talent. And a bit of Paul Reinman, but whoops. We have a complete run of Men In Action from #1 to #9. Pictured is #6 VG £23.
*Western: We’re heading way out West for this week’s third party graded experience. Three slabbed milestones – or more appropriately for the death-dealing Mr. Hex, tombstones! The first appearance of DC’s misanthropic scar-faced anti-hero was in 1972’s All-Star Western #10, marking a decided departure from the largely anodyne DC Western milieu. Heavily inspired by the grim n’ gritty ‘Spaghetti Western’ movement in cinema, Hex’s popularity proved so great that the series’ title was changed to Weird Western Tales with #12, reflecting the decidedly darker turn of the series. Completing the trio, Jonah was awarded his own solo series in 1977, bucking the trend to become an authentic Western superstar in an era almost completely dominated by the panties ‘n capes crowd! We have copies of all three newly in: All-Star Western #10 is CBCS verified 7.5 (VF- equivalent), at £175, Weird Western Tales #12, first issue of series, is CGC blue label (no restoration) 8.5 (VF+) at £75 and Jonah Hex #1 is CGC blue label 9.4 (NM) at £100.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: In 1967, Larry Ivie had already been active in US comics fandom for several years, and decided to launch his own magazine, on higher-quality paper than the mimeoed or dittoed collations which were the norm. Monsters & Heroes had black & white interiors and full-colour covers, and, while focusing primarily on movie and occasional TV-related material, did also touch on comics, especially those which had been adapted into other media. Each issue also featured Ivie’s own art, illustrating various articles but also in large instalments of his Mac Raboy-influenced comic strip Altron-Boy. A curious hybrid of fanzine and early independent comic, we have what we believe to be the full run, 7 issues, of Monsters & Heroes in stock.
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: A virtual torrent of comics nostalgia and esoterica, with around 80 new entries ranging from fanzines of the 1960s to the ‘Prozines’ and scholarly paperbacks of recent times. Hailing both from the UK and the USA, this cornucopia includes (but is not limited to) Bemusing, Comic Art Convention Programmes, Comic Book Profiles, Comics Feature, Comics Forum, Comics Journal, Comics Unlimited, Fantasy Advertiser, Golden Age of Comics, Graphic Story Magazine, Heroines Showcase, Panels, Thing, Wonderworld, and a splendid selection of pioneering US fanzine, the Rocket’s Blast Comicollector, from 1966 to 1978.
*Tarzan/ERB: With the worldwide popularity of Tarzan, the ERB estate was, in the mid-197Os, in the happy position of commissioning hundreds of pages of artwork and stories that initially saw print only in the European market – despite having been generated by American creators. UK publishers Byblos saw an opportunity to exploit this material by presenting it in English for the first time, and in 1977 launched Tarzan Weekly – followed, in fairly short order, by Tarzan Monthly. There are some impressive names among the creators credited in these issues: Dan Spiegle, Marv Wolfman, Will Meugniot, Russ Manning, Pat Boyette, Mike Ploog, Rick Hoberg, and Mark Evanier. We have the first issue of Tarzan Weekly, with the original free gift, a Survival Sick-Bag – I’m sorry, Tarzan Survival Kit Bag – for your protection when wandering the wilds of the Dark Continent! This is available in two grades; VF with Free Gift VF (£7.50, pictured) and FN with Free Gift VF £6. In addition, we have Tarzan Monthly #1 from 1977, and the 1980 Tarzan Autumn Special. SORRY, BOTH WEEKLY #1s NOW SOLD
*Collected Editions: Two iconic characters from British newspaper strips grace our listings today. Modesty Blaise is the creation of Peter O’Donnell and Jim Holdaway; a classy reformed criminal with a crusading streak, Miss Blaise (and her platonic life-partner Willie Garvin) roam the world righting wrong and sometimes doing very bad things – but for very good reasons! Described by the lazy as ‘A female James Bond’, Modesty’s adventures have a sight more warmth, wit and humour than Ian Fleming’s famous creation. This collection, The Gabriel Set-Up, dates from the late 1980s and collects Modesty’s earliest adventures in paperback form, VG £8. By way of considerable contrast Andy Capp, Reg Smythe’s epic Geordie slacker (no, American fans, he’s not a Cockney; there are regions of the UK outside London, you know…) is paradoxically the world’s most beloved chain-smoking, heavy-drinking layabout on record. Gracing the Daily Mirror since 1957, this is a collection of his strips from 1967 FN £5.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Three debut issues this update. Battle – Battle Picture Weekly, to give it its full title – brought a new take to the traditional war weekly when it launched in 1975, a darker and grimmer contrast to the usual anodyne heroics. Although controversial, this proved hugely popular with the readership, carrying the title from 1975 to 1988, close to 700 issues. Buddy was a 1981 launch from DC Thomson, rebooting many of their old adventure franchises such as the Iron Fish, General Jumbo and Billy the Cat with new look stories, achieving a respectable 100-plus run before folding into Victor in 1983. And Tornado, though it lasted only 22 issues in 1979, brought ‘The Mind of Wolfie Smith’ ‘Blackhawk’ (not the DC one) and ‘Captain Klep’ to life, series which had a much longer run when Tornado merged with 2000 AD. Tornado #1 is VG £15; Buddy #1 FN £8; and Battle #1 is FN £20. As a bonus, this week we also offer Battle #2 GD with free gift poster GD at £15. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Launched in 1960, Air Ace Picture Library proved one of the more successful series from IPC/Fleetway, lasting a full decade, till 1970’s #545, before merging with stablemate War Picture Library. We have a huge influx of incoming Air Ace, too many for just one update, so we’re beginning with the first 100 – or rather 75 of them, as this run, while substantial, is not complete. We do, however, have issues #1 and #100, and the majority in between, characterised by generally high grades. Many of them, sadly, do have a degree of rust on the staples, but would otherwise grade around VF, so we have compromised on an average grade of VG or FN, with a handful falling to Good, and a reasonable amount at VF. Illustrated are the first five; #1 VG £60, #2 VG £25, #3 FN £30, #4 FN £30 and #5 FN £30. Details on the rest may be found in our online listings, but Air Ace flies out pretty quickly, so you’d better scramble to make sure of your choices! SORRY, #1-3 NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: The relatively short-lived Shiver & Shake Weekly nevertheless generated a number of Specials, and three are new to our lists. The very first Shiver & Shake Special, oddly enough, was a Christmas Special for 1973, rather than the usual Summer or Holiday Specials (FN/VF £30), but the pachyderm & poltergeist co-hosts soon fell into line, with Holiday Specials for 1975 (VF £30), and 1976 (VF £30). These are attractive high grade copies of scarce items, usually discarded by parents when returning from holidays, so not turning up very frequently. Frankie Stein, Horrornation Street, Grimly Feendish and more await you! SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: Launched as a stablemate to Tammy in 1972, IPC/Fleetway’s Sandie mined all the topics beloved by pre-teen girls; enslavement, cruelty, betrayal, rejection and loneliness, in serials with titles like ‘The School of No Escape!’, ‘No-One Cheers For Norah!’, ‘Lornas’s Lonely Days!’ and ‘Anna’s Forbidden Friend!’. Despite this angst-sodden line-up, and some top-notch talent, Sandie never really caught fire, and after 89 issues folded into June, with ‘Wee Sue’ (plucky mite who despite her tiny stature is irritatingly good at everything) being the only long-lasting ‘transfer’. Nowadays, though, Sandie is highly collectible precisely for its woe-laden narratives. We have twenty new issues of Sandie in stock, from 4th March 1972 to 29th September 1973. Illustrated is 6th May 1972, (FN £4) with ‘Captives of Madam Karma’, one of the earliest IPC gigs of legendary writer Pat Mills.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: A large part of the Batman TV show’s popularity revolved around the appeal of its major villains- the Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman, who reappeared numerous times during the show’s run. This upturn in popularity was reflected in the comics, which featured the Crooked Quartet more often and more prominently, and just for fun, we have four high-grade Silver Age Batman issues, each starring one of the group, and each with an iconic cover by the Silver Age’s greatest artists: #169 stars the Penguin, with Carmine Infantino cover, VF- p £85; #179 features the Riddler, cover by Kane & Anderson, FN+ £54; #186 presents the Joker, cover by Murphy Anderson, VF p £70 and #197 had a double delight – not only the Catwoman, but guest heroine Batgirl, cover by Infantino, VF p £125.
*DC: Of Kirby’s ‘Fourth World’ series at DC, Mister Miracle was the best received by the readership at large, due to its relatable protagonist, who, despite his extraterrestrial origins, was an amiable if highly-skilled Everyman. But the pace really picked up with issue #4, when we were introduced to Scott’s old flame, Big Barda, former leader of the Female Furies of the hellworld Apokalips. The tough, no-nonsense Barda contrasted with Scott’s gentler affable persona, and the dynamic brought the characters lasting popularity, the occasional ‘dramatic’ attempt to separate them being met with universal disdain. This copy of Barda’s first appearance is a VF cents copy, no pence price or overstamp; bright colours, tight staples, superb interiors, and only slight blunting of the lower right corner and a very faint crease at the top left corner of the spine bringing it to a mere VF. On sale at £175. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: DC’s Super DC Giant was a rotating anthology title, akin to DC Special, with a different theme or star each issue, mostly reprint but with occasional new material. Among the rarest issues is S-17, a.k.a. Love 1970, which, because of its romantic content, is deemed to have been eschewed by the predominantly male readership of the series and returned to the distributors for pulping. Which is a shame, as the reprint line-up includes some lovely work by Gil Kane, Novick, and Pike, among others, and the cover is a stunner by the phenomenally talented Nick Cardy. Now highly sought-after by non-prejudiced collectors (and Nick Cardy aficionados), and we’re chuffed to welcome this VG/FN copy to our stocks at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: From the 1950s, two classic anthologies this week featuring Smallville’s Favourite Son – Man and Boy! Superman, of course, was the lead feature in Action Comics from its beginning , and 1957’s Action #233 brought us one of the more charming Superman adventures when our hero travelled to Borgonia, the ‘Land of One Million Supermen!’; other features this issue included Congo Bill (pre-gorillafication), and Tommy Tomorrow. Superman’s adventures as a boy, meanwhile, had been occupying Adventure Comics since the late 1940s, and 1953’s Adventure #188 brought us yet another of Pa Kent’s wacky alter egos, as ‘The Bullfighter From Smallville!’, backed up by Green Arrow, Johnny Quick and Aquaman in a vintage super-hero showcase. Action #233 is VG+, with light lower corner cover creases and a small tear at the lower cover edge, but bright colours and excellent interiors. On sale at £87. Adventure #188 is VG, lightly glued spine, patch of erasure at upper right cover corner and, again, a small tear mid-cover edge, but extremely well-presenting; on sale at £75.
*DC: A wander through the DCU Silver/Bronze Ages for titles beginning with R-W, specifically: Ragman (#1), Rima the Jungle Girl (#1), Rip Hunter (#20 Hitler cover), Secret Origins (2nd series), Secret Society of Super-Villains (#1), Showcase (Inferior Five issues), Strange Adventures, Superboy (inc #100, #147 Giant with the Legion, #185 100 Pages, #195 1st Wildfire and Annual #1), Superman (inc 80 and 100 Pages, #233 with classic Neal Adams cover), Swamp Thing (1st series), Wonder Woman (inc #160 1st Silver Age Cheetah) and World’s Finest.
*Marvel: In the distant days of 1975, the X-Men, once mainstays of the Marvel Universe, were a spent force. Reduced to a bi-monthly reprint comic and occasional guest-appearances, the merry mutants were without a home to call their own. Then two of Marvel’s young turks of the time, Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, changed all that. In Giant-Size X-Men #1, the original X-Men were captured, and Professor X assembled a team of international mutants, some known to the readers (Sunfire, Banshee, and Wein’s own creation, Wolverine, who had made his debut in Hulk #181) and some brand new (Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird), and sent them out to rescue their mutant brethren. The ‘New’ X-Men were an instant hit: the team was restored to all-new adventures, and on their way to becoming the multi-media stars they are today! We are delighted to have the first appearance of the ‘New’ X-Men back in stock – the Giant-Size issues never being distributed in the UK, GSXM #1’s already cult collector status is exacerbated by its scarcity on this side of the pond. Our newest GSXM #1 is an exceptional VF+; cover tight and correctly aligned (these squarebounds tend to slip sometimes in the gluing process, resulting in offcuts and crooked alignments.) The condition of the spine is generally excellent, with minimal wear at lower and upper ends. Interior pages clean and bright, white cover background unmarred, no creases, pressure marks or discolouration. VF+, on sale at £1,350. Front & back covers and splash page shown here; high resolution scans are available on request. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Three memorable early Stan Lee & Steve Ditko Spider-Man issues this update! All three are CGC Blue Label slabbed items, the Blue Label designation indicating no restoration. We begin with #7, the second appearance of the Vulture, one of Spidey’s most enduring enemies, in 5.0 (VG/FN equivalent) on sale at £325. Issue #8 is the ‘Tribute To Teen-Agers’ number, guest-starring the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch, again in 5.0 VG/FN equivalent, for £250; and #10 is the debut of the Big Man and the Enforcers, one of whom – the Ox – made quite a lengthy solo villainous career for himself. This copy of #10 is 5.5 (FN-), and on sale at £225. SORRY, THESE ARE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: After a significant hiatus, Doctor Strange returned to the Marvel Universe with the Defenders, followed by a run as the lead in Marvel Premiere, which proved so successful that his own series was relaunched with a new #1 (back in the days when that sort of thing didn’t happen every other week, you understand). The team of Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner, who had done such outstanding work in returning the Doc to form, continued on into the new series, and this copy of #1 is both a tribute to their talents and an outstanding example condition-wise, clean and bright with creamy interior pages and only very faint wear at the outer cover edge. We have graded this as VF, and it can be yours for £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: 1968 saw Jade-Jaws’ first-ever Annual, a 50-page extravaganza by Gary Friedrich and 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 beautifully-presenting Apparent VF, with lovely interior page quality, deep vivid cover colours, but, full disclosure, there is some paper tape reinforcement (approx. half an inch) of the lower spine, where a split was occurring. Nevertheless, a truly lovely copy on sale at £80. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: For a visually-impaired gentleman, Matt Murdock did put it about a lot; for a while in the 1980s and 1990s, every second plotline involved a Woman From His Past, with attendant complications. But by far the most memorable of these was Elektra, the tormented assassin whose conflicted relationship with our hero struck so deep a chord with readers that even after she died, she was brought back (twice) by popular demand. Now appearing in DD’s Netflix show, Elektra has lived down the stigma of her terrible movie, and is once again a major figure in the MU. Written and drawn by the acclaimed and controversial Frank Miller, this copy of Elektra’s debut is a beautiful VF+, cents copy, with only very slight blunting of the corners preventing a higher grade. On sale at £75.
*Marvel: Evoking the classic two-parter of issues #25 and #26, this pits the FF’s Ben Grimm against Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk, for a no-holds-barred battle by Stan Lee and John Buscema. Highly sought-after these days, primarily for the dynamic Buscema cover, this copy of Fantastic Four is a FN+ p edition, unbroken black cover background with minimal corner wear, slight ticks at spine; very difficult to get in a high grade, this is on sale at £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A further update to everyone’s favourite urban vigilante: Frank Castle aka the Punisher. Starting off with issues from the 1986 mini-series, we progress to a couple of dozen issues from the 1988 ongoing series between #13 & #40.
*Archie: The Archie super-hero line commenced in the 1960s as the ‘Archie Adventure Series’ before changing its branding later in the 60s to the ‘Mighty Comics Group’ in a shameless rip-off following the success of Marvel. This update sees material from both eras: The Adventures of the Fly (inc. #14, 1st Fly Girl), later Flyman, the Adventures of the Jaguar and Mighty Crusaders (inc. #1).
*Marvel: A selection of plus-sized Avengers issues, kicking off with their first Annual (‘Special’ on the cover but don’t be deceived), with the new and old teams joining forces against a sinister sextet of super-villains; Annual #7 sees the team in the hands of Jim Starlin, embroiled in the very first cosmic Thanos saga, spilling over from Captain Marvel’s mag and guest-starring the Captain himself; Annual #10 (pictured VF/NM £45) features the debut of Rogue, later a key member of the Uncanny X-Men; Giant-Size Avengers #1 brings us the return (kind of) of the All-Winners Squad and the first of many origins for Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and Giant-Size Avengers #5… reprints Avengers Annual #1; so we come full circle.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Amongst the many genres tried by Atlas in the 1950s, the ‘Men’s Adventure’ subset was one of the less successful, such titles usually transmuting themselves into straight war or western series early on. Rugged Action, despite well-crafted stories, didn’t even last long enough to do that, running a mere four issues between 1954 and ’55 before embracing the supernatural, becoming Strange Stories of Suspense from #5. We have three of the four, with Brodsky, Maneely and Severin art and eye-catching covers, new in. Illustrated is #1 VG £26. Buy ‘em – if you’re man enough!
*Horror 1940-1959: Resting our Atlas horror updates for a week – still more to come, folks! – we turn our attention to one of the 1950s more notorious publishers, Harvey Comics. Best remembered today for their barrage of juvenile titles starring Richie Rich and company, Harvey were at one point prominent players in the horror field, with their mystery titles being acknowledged as gorier than Atlas’, but approaching the artistic quality of EC’s. Chamber of Chills was illustrated by such craftsmen as Lee Elias, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand and Bob Fujitani, and the covers are among some of the most iconic of the genre. We have a selection of Chamber of Chills from #6 to #25, complete but low-grade copies at very affordable prices. Illustrated is lucky #13 FA/GD £26.
*War: Combat Kelly, unlike many of his battle-scarred brethren, didn’t graduate from an anthology into his own series, but launched in his own title in 1951, taking on the Koreans, and occasionally the Red Chinese, with excessive violence, dark humour, and judicious transvestism (at least once). A trait of Combat’s was the division of the front cover into panels, to create a ‘mini-strip’ story rather than the traditional action image. Kelly proved popular enough to survive the coming of the Comics Code, and his title ran for 44 issues until 1957. Primarily illustrated by Dave Berg, in a style very removed from his famous ‘Lighter Side’ feature for Mad Magazine, we have 37 of the series new in stock, from #2 to the final #44, ranging in grade from Poor to Fine. Depicted is the highest-graded issue from this selection, #28 (last Pre-Code) in VF- £65, but the wide range of grades ensures that there’s copies to suit every taste and budget.
*Western: Credit where it’s due, despite having an unfortunate ‘redface’ leading character in Apache Kid (a white man who pretended to be a Native American), Atlas did also attempt to have authentic Native American protagonists – one such was Arrowhead, and another was Red Warrior, son of Comanche chief Grey Eagle, who starred in his own series for six issues from 1951. Although rather unfortunately (in retrospect) subtitled ‘Tales From The Land Of The Redmen!’, the series did at least try for a different perspective on the Western tale. We have five of the six-issue run, lacking only #3, new in stock. Issue #1 GD+ £25, is pictured; grades and prices on the rest, as always, in our online listings.
*Modern Reprints: Around 20 new items for the Marvel sub-division of our archival reprints selection. Marvel Milestone Editions (FF #1, Giant-Size X-Men #1), second printing facsimiles (Fantastic Four #52, #66, X-Men #28, #62), glossy slick paper editions (Captain America Special Edition and Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD by Steranko; Conan by Barry Windsor-Smith; X-Men Classics by Adams) oddball one-offs (Silver Surfer Vs. Dracula and Timely Presents All-Winners #19), and more – details in our catalogue listing!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Fresh into stock this week, a near complete run (from #3 up to the final issue #34) of Marvel’s 1980 ‘Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction’: Epic Illustrated. The artists present read like a Who’s Who of those prominent in this field at thew time: Adams, Austin, Bode, Bolton, Boris, Brunner, Buscema, Byrne, Chaykin, Corben, Frazetta, Golden, Jones, Kaluta, Nebres, Reece, Russell, Simonson, Smith, Starlin, Steranko, Williamson, Wrightson and others. Issue #3 features the 1st appearance of Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar.
*Mad & Other Parody: Mad Magazine, launched in the 1950s and still running today, had many devoted adherents, so we’re pleased to tell them that we have new stock: in the US section, Mad Super Special #17 with Free Gifts, and in the UK section, early issues of the British edition from #7 to #35.
*Power Comics: After initial forays with Wham and Smash incorporating some Marvel heroes into their more traditional line-ups, Power Comics decided in in 1967 to launch two nicer-quality paper weeklies, Fantastic and Terrific, devoted almost entirely to Marvel. Fantastic featured Thor, Iron Man and the X-Men, and Terrific starred the Avengers, Doctor Strange, and Sub-Mariner – all re-pasted and occasionally edited to eliminate confusing American idioms! We have new stocks of Fantastic from #17, and of Terrific from its very first issue, VG £30.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A quartet of Summer Specials from one of Britain’s best beloved titles, Valiant, home of the Steel Claw, the Wild Wonders, Billy Bunter, Captain Hurricane, Kelly’s Eye, and many more! This selection leads off with a 1968 Summer Special, and continues with editions from 1971 (‘Valiant & Smash’), 1972 (‘Valiant and TV 21’) and 1976 (back to just ‘Valiant’). With reprint and original material, these extra-thick compilations whiled away the traditional rainsoaked summer holidays for a generation, and these four are in a remarkable state of preservation, ranging from VG/FN to sleek and bright VF. All four are depicted: 1968 VG/FN £35, 1971 VF £30, 1972 VF £30 and 1976 FN/VF £27.50. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Two different debuts of series that were acclaimed or long-running: in 1975, Fleetway/IPC repackaged several of its cult adventure strips – Mytek the Mighty, the Spider, Kelly’s Eye, Robot Archie, Trigan Empire and more – in Vulcan, a slick-paper weekly in a faux-America size, smaller than the traditional British comic. Though well-received by critics, Vulcan didn’t catch the public eye, and its national run lasted fewer issues than its Scottish ‘trial’. Eagle Mk. II, on the other hand, launched in 1982, and despite criticism from fans of the original series, endured for more than a decade to 1994’s 505th issue. We have copies of both first issues new in: Vulcan we offer two copies, both FA at £5, with different drawbacks; one has a small lower spine tear, the other a larger lower cover tear. We also have Eagle series 2 #1 FN with Free Gift ‘Space Spinner’ NM at £20 and issue #2 FN with Free Gift Eagle Badge NM £15.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A highly sought-after – and highly confusing – Picture Library series, TV Picture Stories started by running several different ‘stars’ concurrently, each in their own numbered series. Around the fourth or fifth issues, publisher Pearsons, for unknown reasons, relaunched again from #1, merging all the established series and adding new ones. Therefore you have some apparently-duplicated numbers on some series, and have to rely on the story titles to differentiate. (And you know the place to look for Pearsons’ issue numbers is the wee text block on the inside back cover, right? This Week’s Top Tip!) We have around thirty new TV Picture Libraries to our name, both from the individual series and the ‘merged’ ongoing. Pictured are Charlie Chan #3 FN £15, OSS #5 VG £12.50, and the #1 of the ongoing series, starring William Tell, VG £12.50. Details on the others, as always, in our online catalogue.
*Girls’ Comics: One thing we’ve noticed is that June, the doyenne of the IPC/Fleetway girls’ line, seems to have dropped circulation circa 1970 – Issues from the 1970s are conspicuously less commonplace in the back issue market than those from the 1960s. Despite their relative rarity, we’re listing a new influx of 54 issues from 1970 to June’s final year, 1974, at our regular rates. Mostly averaging FN, with a few VGs, these are clean, bright and attractive copies with minimal wear and only very occasional light edge foxing or dustshadow from long term storage. Illustrated is 4th July 1970 (VF £8), the premiere of time-travelling trolley dolly Glory Knight, of whom more may be read in the Extras section on our website in the articles section by Will. Grades and prices on everything may be found in our online catalogue.
*Clearance Corner: It’s the Phantom’s turn in our ‘bargain basement’ slot this week, as we clear out the Moonstone series from 2003: all 26 issues in VF/NM condition on offer for just £20. High quality production values on these new stories of the Ghost Who Walks, one of the oldest and most famous comic characters. UK postage if required will be an extra £4. SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American/British section:
*Tarzan/E R Burroughs
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: DC’s Enchantress – no relation to Thor’s beloved enemy of the same name – premiered in Strange Adventures #187. Artist June Moone wanders away from her escort while at a party in an old castle, and more or less stumbles into magical powers. An odd attempt at a modern witchcraft heroine, the Enchantress was created by Bob Haney (we might have guessed) and artist Howard Purcell, and fizzled out after only two more appearances, until revived in the 1980s as a Supergirl villain. Then drafted into the best and longest-running version of the Suicide Squad from 1987, she became a credible player in the DC Universe, a position only consolidated by her prominence in the flawed, but successful Suicide Squad movie of 2016. This first Enchantress appearance is a near-flawless VF+ cents copy, with tight staples, bright colour, off-white interiors and only minute corner blunting; an exceptional copy of a seldom-seen issue. On sale at £350. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Having launched in issue #80 of the anthology My Greatest Adventure, the Doom Patrol proved so popular that with issue #86 of the series, the title was rechristened, and the Doom Patrol’s own ‘proper’ series began – this was a doubly auspicious issue, as #86 also saw the first appearance of the Doom Patrol’s dark counterparts, the Brotherhood of Evil. The Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Madame Rouge and sundry others bedevilled the DP over the years, and this is where the world’s weirdest villains, every bit as freakish as their heroic opposites, got their start. Since the launch of their own television series, spinning out of the Titans show, the Doom Patrol is becoming extremely popular. This is a superb copy of the Doom Patrol’s first official issue; very clean and bright, tight staples, minimal edge wear, and unfaded red cover background. A cents copy with no pence price or overstamp, it is FN/VF at £180. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD