*DC: The best-received of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World at the time of its release, Mister Miracle told the story of Scott Free, a child of New Genesis who was raised in the fire-pits of Apokalips, in an exchange of royal hostages between the two warring planets. Escaping from Apokalips to Earth, Scott continued his adventures as the World’s Greatest Escape Artist, aided by his trusty companion Oberon, and continuing in the tradition of the previous Mister Miracle, a travelling escapologist. The combination of super-heroics, showmanship and space-opera made for a compelling read, and Mister Miracle, like the rest of Kirby’s 1970s creations, has continued to have a resounding impact on the DC Universe since his inception. This is a FN p copy, with faint wear around the corners, but no significant creasing or other encroachment to the cover scene. On sale at £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: We’re delighted to add several issues of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s classic Watchmen to our stocks this week, between issues #5 & #12. This seminal series of the 1980s defined the direction of much of what was to follow in our favourite medium.
*Marvel: Following his return to active service in Avengers #4, Captain America became a companion feature of Iron Man in Tales of Suspense. After the division of the Marvel double-feature books in 1968, when distribution embargoes were slackened, Cap gained his own series again, though it retained the numbering of Tales of Suspense, premiering with #100. Featuring the talents of Lee, Kirby and Shores, this re-introduced the Sentinel of Liberty in solo action to the modern age. This copy is a CGC blue label (no restoration) 8.0 (VF equivalent), and is on sale at £340. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In Amazing Spider-Man #42, the astronaut offspring of J. Jonah Jameson gained super-powers and posed a threat to Spider-Man… but let’s be honest, who really cares? Because the Big Deal this time was the revelation, finally, of Mary Jane Watson, the mysterious lady who’d been hovering in the odd panel, her face always obscured, for several previous issues! When Stan Lee and John Romita finally showed us the ‘Full MJ’, it proved to be well worth the wait, with one of the most famous intro. lines in the history of comics! The first full appearance of the woman who would eventually become Mrs. Spidey is a gorgeous FN+ cents copy, no UK price stamp or overprint. Minimal spine and corner wear, lustrous cover with deep unfaded purple cover background, tight corners & edges, firm staples, and most importantly, a cover signature – admittedly, unverified – by Stan ‘The Man’ Lee himself!. Yours for £200. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the early 1970s, with the supernatural craze at its height, Marvel sought ever-more ingenious ways to produce horror/mystery series which got around the then-Draconian censorship of the Comics Code Authority. One such was Ghost Rider, a retooling of a former Western hero as a stunt-riding Satanic minion (obviously!). After a short but successful run in Marvel Spotlight, Ghost Rider moved to his own series under the aegis of Gary Friedrich, Tom Sutton and Syd Shores, achieving a very respectable 80+ run, and despite two disastrous movies starring Nicolas Cage, has continued to appear regularly ever after. This Ghost Rider #1 is a very attractive pence copy, with light spine and corner wear, but deep unbroken cover colour and tight corners, a copy with great eye appeal. FN p £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In 1976, the House Of Ideas came up with Nova, designed originally to be an ‘everyman’ character like Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but quickly developing into a cosmic ‘soldier’ more akin to DC’s Green Lantern – luckily, DC’s lawyers didn’t notice the parallels! Although the original run lasted a mere 25 issues, Nova has returned many times to the Marvel Universe, and where he shines is in the protracted cosmic crossovers of which Marvel is so fond. The Nova Corps having been namechecked in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, it can only be a matter of time before the man himself makes an on-screen appearance, and prices are rising, so grab this while you can! This is an outstanding VF/NM p copy, tight, bright and flat, with no corner blunting or other visible defects, on sale at £100. 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 FN+, with lovely interior page quality, deep vivid cover colours, and only slight wear at mid-right cover edge preventing us grading it even higher. The spine, often problematic on these squarebound editions, is sound and complete, with only the very faintest ‘shelf wear’ at upper and lower edges. A cents copy, no pence stamp or overprint, this is on sale at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: For a visually-impaired gentleman, Matt Murdock saw, as our American cousins would put it, a lot of action with the ladies; 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 VF pence copy, with only very slight blunting of the corners preventing a higher grade. On sale at £60.
*Marvel: Well, if you’re nitpicking, it’s Raven Darkholme – the mysterious shape-shifting lady who made ominous appearances in Ms. Marvel’s solo series didn’t adopt the name Mystique until later, real-time. But nevertheless, this is the lady who became the core of the New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and has also (variously incarnated by Jennifer Lawrence and Rebecca Romjin) been a central character in the X-Men movie franchise. These three consecutive issues, #16, #17 and #18. kick-started the comic book career of one of Marvel’s most popular ‘bad girls’. Issue #16 (1st cameo) is VF p £40, #17 (2nd cameo) FN p £12 and #18 (pictured, 1st full app.) VF p £70.
*Marvel: It seems you can’t get enough of these 1970s oversized editions — their size really gives them an impact — so here’s lots more, from #5 to #17 of the regular Marvel Treasury Edition series, featuring the Avengers, the Hulk, the Defenders, Howard the Duck, Doctor Strange and Thor, these are giant adventures which leap off the page – and into your hands! Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Marvel: In 2003, following the success of Infinity Abyss, Jim Starlin was persuaded to revisit the cosmic realm which had proved so successful with Infinity Gauntlet, War, Crusade and so on. Unlike the previous series, this was part of Marvel’s ‘The End’ strand, which postulated the final fates of various heroes or series, and was conceived as essentially the last Thanos story, set in an unspecified near-future. As such, Marvel has subsequently disavowed it, Mission:Impossible-like, as having nothing to do with ‘official’ Marvel continuity – though if you can make any sense of official Marvel Continuity these days, you’re a better man than I am. Be that as it may; this series revolves around the Heart of the Universe, a millennia-old energy source which uses a human pawn to conquer the world, killing most of Earth’s super-beings in the process. The survivors, including Thanos, the Defenders, Captain Marvel and Warlock, must band together to save what remains of the Universe. Do they succeed? You’ll have to fork out £40 for this near-mint complete six-issue set, written and drawn by Starlin, to find out! SORRY, THIS SET HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, are a constant seller here, so we’re very pleased to be able to restock many issues – almost 100 copies, though with several duplicated numbers – from the first 100, commencing with #5 and running up to the 100th issue itself. This run includes the debuts of many of the Avengers’ friends and foes, including (deep breath) the Collector, Living Laser, Grim Reaper, Squadron Sinister/Supreme, Red Wolf & Lobo, Swordsman, Sons of the Serpent, Lethal Legion, Zodiac, Yellowjacket and more! Major events in this run include the first ‘New’ Avengers line-up, a battle with the X-men, the first appearance of the prototype Invaders (though they weren’t called that then), and the tear-sheddin’ weddin’ of Hank & Jan! In mostly affordable mid-to-low grades, this range complements our existing stock, and provides a lot of comparatively inexpensive reading copies.
*Marvel: Despite Dr. Droom and the Big Panty Monsters, most people would agree that the Fantastic Four was where the Marvel Age Of Comics really got started. We have a nice update this week between #72 (with the SIlver Surfer) and #129 (1st Thundra) plus Annuals #2 (origin Dr Doom) & #3 (wedding of Sue & Reed) and Giant-Size #3. All issues listed previously missing from our catalogue, so you know where to check them out!
*Marvel: New in this week, most of the classic short run of Dr Strange (1st series) from 1968, with stunning art by (mostly) Colan and Palmer, topped off with #2 of the second series (1974) with art by Frank Brunner. Check our catalogue for grading and pricing information.
*Charlton: …though really after a headline like that, what more do you need? Created by Walter Gibson and illustrated by Stan Campbell, Space Western Comics (1952) starred ‘Spurs Jackson and His Space Vigilantes’ as they fought the forces of evil on most planets of the Solar System and from beneath the Earth itself! A frankly lunatic hodgepodge of clashing genres, the series has achieved cult status because of the Space Vigilantes’ clash with Hitler and his Nazis on Mars, as well as some blatant plagiarism (#43’s cover being completely ripped off from a Spirit section). We have four of the six published issues available, beginning with #41, the second issue, and ending with the finale, #45. Truly must be seen to be disbelieved. Issue #41 is GD+ £80, #43 GD- £50, #44, with crescent tear off right cover edge, FA/GD £150 and #45 VG+ £195. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Dell: An overdue update to our stocks of Dell, who arguably made their name with TV & Film adaptations, and this range of four colour and movie classic titles is no exception. We have Danger Man, Dinosaurus, Kona, Mad Monster Party, The Phantom Planet, The Pride & The Passion, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (no, really), Spaceman, Twice Told Tales, Two On A Guillotine, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Walt Disney’s Mars & Beyond. Full details of course in our catalogue.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Raised in Burma by a tigress after his parents were killed, young David Merryweather developed superhuman strength, reflexes, agility and heightened senses from… living with tigers? Because of course you would. Oh, and the traditionally feline nine lives. Eventually returning to the US, David became a Private Eye, then joined the US Army while stopping criminals preying on the innocent, as… the Cat-Man! Eventually picking up a random orphan, Katie Conn, who without any powers or training decided to join Cat-Man as ‘The Kitten’, a distaff Boy Wonder. Cat-Man’s adventures, from 1941 to 1946, started out as routine superheroics, but rapidly developed a horrific edge and more mature tone, becoming notorious for gore and the way his young sidekick, ahem, matured really really fast. Now keenly sought-after by collectors, they are vanishingly rare in any condition. This is a copy of Cat-Man’s final issue, #32, from August 1946, with a famous L. B. Cole ‘shark-fight’ cover. A CGC Blue label 2.5 (GD+), acknowledging the presence of three tape strips on the spine, but with no restoration. This is on sale for £635.
*Horror/Mystery 1960/1980s: A high quality update to our DC range in this category, with many key issues included, many in high grade. Titles include: Black Magic (#1 NM), Dark Mansion Of Forbidden Love (#1), Doorway to Nightmare (inc #1 NM 1st Madame Xanadu), Forbidden Tales Of Dark Mansion, House Of Mystery (many early issues in high grade with work by Adams, Wrightson etc, inc #175 1st Cain and final issue #321 NM) , House Of Secrets (many early issues in high grade with work by Adams, Wrightson etc, inc #81 1st Abel and final issue #154), Madame Xanadu (#1 with Poster), Secrets Of Haunted House (#31 1st Mr E), Weird Mystery Tales and a quartet of Witching Hour from #8-11.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: Continuing our massive influx of the Girl Who Would Be Hellcat (but not for a few decades), we have new listings for most of issues #11 (1947) to #30 (1950) of the teen comedy/romance series, mostly in very affordable mid-grades. Commanding at one point over Five Million Readers, Miss Walker was an unappreciated sales juggernaut which filled the coffers of the company that would eventually become Marvel Comics. This run includes several beautiful painted covers by Louise Alston, and later issues in this run feature early artwork by Al Jaffee, later a mainstay of Mad Magazine. Illustrated are #12 (VG £33), #26 (GD £14, Alston cover), and #28 (VG £27, Alston cover).
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: In 1983, David Anthony Kraft, having established himself as a comic book author, founded Comics Interview magazine, which ran for 150 issues between 1983 and 1995, and garnered Eisner and Eagle Award nominations. Each and every issue, as the name suggests, was filled with interviews with comics creators, which were noted for greater depth and breadth of scope than the standard promotional interview pieces found in other ‘zines of the day. We are delighted to have a range of fifty newly-listed copies of this quality magazine back in stock, from #2 to #113, including stellar creators such as Alan Moore, Jack Kirby, Dave Gibbons, Dave Cockrum, Moebius and Frank Miller, spotlighting features/series such as the original JLA/Avengers Crossover, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Elektra: Assassin, Sandman, and… the Howard the Duck movie. (Look, they can’t all be winners!)
*Memorabilia & Esoterica: It’s not our usual habit to deal in original artwork, but two items have come into our possession which it was impossible to resist; Adam Hughes has made a reputation over the last twenty-plus years for delivering some of the most outstanding renditions of the female heroic form in comics; his covers alone are commanding high prices on auction sites. So when we had the opportunity to offer two unique convention sketches of two of the most popular ladies in comics, neither ever published except in the Convention Booklet, which had a very limited circulation, we couldn’t turn them away. The two separate pieces are of DC’s First Lady, Wonder Woman, and the X-Men’s nemesis, Mystique. These were both obtained at the 2007 Star Wars Celebration Europe convention, and come to us directly from the original purchaser. Each is ink line with wash shading, in custom-made frames with UV protective glass. Dimensions of each piece, in the frames, are 42 cm x 49 cm. In addition, they are accompanied by a booklet of Adam Hughes’ Convention Sketches, ‘Details Are A Tad Sketchy’, which reproduces both pieces as well as a plethora of other Hughes Con sketches of various villainous and heroic ladies, and was signed (well, initialled) by Mr. Hughes at the Convention in ’07. Given the decreasing frequency of Mr. Hughes’ personal appearances these days, and the phenomenal popularity of his works, we are offering these framed sketches as a pair, with Booklet, for the total price of £1,500.
*Collected Editions: Winner of the Outer Asteroids Jimi Hendrix Lookalike Context, Loner was one of the crew of Turbo Jones’ Wildcat, helping the survivors of a destroyed Earth find a new home. That concept was quickly jettisoned (and just as well – what’s somebody named ‘Loner’ doing as part of a team anyway?) when Wildcat crashed – the comic, not the spaceship – and Loner was the only strip carried over into Eagle Mark II, becoming the wandering anti-hero that his name suggested, illustrated by David Pugh (‘Slaine’) and Eric Bradbury (pretty much everything in British comics). Another volume in Rebellion’s admirable quest to archive all the significant British comics series they can, this 200+ page paperback collects all the Wildcat stories and continues through the Eagle years, and is brand-new at £15.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A quartet of Tigers from the 1970s, each with its original Free Gift! From 1970, we have 7th February, with the ‘My Favourite Soccer Stars’ booklet and the first eight cards to stick in it – comic FN gift VF, both for £25 and 21st of February, with another eight Soccer Cards for the album, comic VG gift VF at £20. Moving on to 1973, 13th October features a ‘Stars of British Sport Wheel’, and 20th October a ‘Super Rosette’ with an intact set of adhesive letters so you can spell out the name of your team (or, if you were a typical schoolboy of the day, selected obscenities.) As a bonus, 13th October also features the premier of a long-running strip which was unprecedented in Tiger’s history – what was the secret of the masked motorbike rider, ‘Tallon of the Track’? (Spoiler hint: ovaries!) Both 1973 issues are VG with VF Free Gifts, and are on sale for £20 each. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: ‘Why Is A One-Wheeled-Bike Easy To Pedal?’ ‘Because You’re Never Two-Tyred!’. Such was the calibre of the jokes delivered by our host, Sammy, and his canine sidekick Flash on most covers of this humour weekly from D.C. Thomson, launched in 1975. Although seemingly barely remembered these days, Cracker managed a respectable 87 issue run before being absorbed by big brother Beezer; it starred, among others, ‘Simple Spyman’, a brain-challenged espionage agent, incompetent Knight Of Old ‘Rip Van Tinkle’, the completely inexplicable ‘Jim Kellie’s Wonder Wellies’, and – under the heading of ‘You’d Never Get Away With That These Days’ – ‘Young Foo’, a bright yellow, slant-eyed, barefooted Asian schoolboy who beat up bullies while being unable to pronounce his R’s. All together now: Oh Dear. Reservations aside, Cracker did have an engaging off-kilter humour, more engaging than much of the D.C. Thomson line, which by that time had become extremely formulaic. We have 40 issues newly listed, nearly half the entire run, ranging from the very first through to #86, which ominously promises ‘Great News Next Week, Chums!’ – and we all know what THAT means in Editorspeak, don’t we, readers?
*Girls’ Comics: Jinty ran for close to a decade, starring kennel-maid concierge ‘Dora Dogsbody’, maladroit schoolgirl ‘The Jinx From St. Jonah’s’, all-girl Bash St. Kids ‘The Snobs and the Scruffs’, and crusading nurses ‘Angela’s Angels’, among many other features. Well-remembered and well-loved by a generation of ladies, we’re always happy to welcome Jinty Summer Specials back into stock, and our new addition this week is the combo Jinty & Lindy Special from 1976 in FN at £45. But before Jinty & Lindy, there was just Lindy, the short-lived weekly that got gobbled up by its more popular sister! Launched in 1975 for only 20 issues, not even seeing out the year, Lindy nevertheless managed one Summer Special in 1975, a genuinely rare item – we have only seen this copy once in our more than quarter century of trading. Starring now-forgotten strips such as ‘Hard Days For Hilda’, ‘Milk-Round Maggie’, ‘The Millionaire Dog’, ‘Dragonacre’ and ‘The Ghost of Hermit Island’, this rarity is a beautiful Fine copy, and on sale at £60.
*Girls’ Comics: Launched in 1967 as a companion to Bunty & Judy, Mandy quickly discovered its own niche: suffering! While cruelty of some sort had long been a mainstay of girls’ comics, Mandy, behind the perky covers featuring our can-do hostess and her faithful hound Patch, rapidly degenerated into a litany of misery, with the serials’ heroines abused, betrayed, neglected, abandoned, enslaved, crippled, blinded or deceived, only finding happiness (and their enemies getting their comeuppance) after many, many instalments of grief and woe. One generally optimistic strip was the long-running ‘Valda’, atmospherically illustrated by Dudley Wynne, in which an apparently ageless girl who appears to be in her teens roams through history, using her great strength and other supernatural powers to aid others – well, in her first story, she used them to cheat in a figure-skating competition, but she rapidly moved beyond that! Other strips included ‘The Sorrows of Laughing Anne’, ‘No Friends For Freda’, ‘Hard-Hearted Harriet’, ‘Heartbreak School’ and ‘The Lying Eyes of Linda Lee’, which gives you a fair idea of the chirpy optimism that was rife in the comic! We have 150 issues of Mandy newly added to our listings, from 1967’s #4 to 1976’s #516. If sad songs – as the song says – say so much, then these tales of woe should send you off with a smile on your face and a spring in your step!
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: The hugely popular Schoolgirls’ Picture Library series is refreshed this week with 60 new issues, none of which were previously listed with us. These done-in-one digest-sized stories, many one-offs but a large number featuring recurring characters such as Zanna of the Jungle, the Peewits, the Rolling Stones, (not those ones) Miss Adventure and the Silent Three! This selection is generally in nice shape, averaging VG – would be an easy Fine, but for rusty staples – but with many legitimate Fine among their number. Pictured are #120 (VG £15) and #261 (FN £10); details on all the rest are of course in our online catalogue.
*Modern Reprints: Recently, both DC and Marvel have issued reproductions of their classic key issues. These facsimiles are, apart from legally-necessary cover additions for modern pricing, exact, full-colour cover-to-cover replicas of the originals, including all story pages, text pages, lettercols and advertisements – though we strongly advise against sending off for anything from the ads! Marvel has brought us facsimiles of Hulk #181 (first full appearance of Wolverine), New Mutants #98 (double debut of Deadpool and Domino), Spider-Man #252 (1st black Spidey-costume, which became Venom), Spider-Woman #1 (first of Jessica Drew’s solo series) and Giant-Size X-Men #1 (premiere of the new team, with the first appearances of Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird, and the second full Wolverine). DC has hit back so far with Batman #181 (first appearance of Poison Ivy) and House of Secrets #92 (debut of the Swamp Thing concept). With the exception of the extra-thick GS X-Men #1, which clocks in at £5, all of these other reproduction editions are brand new at £4 each, with more on the way from both companies!
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:
*Marvel T – Z
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls
and in our British section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Marvel: Although Sue Storm Richards is unquestionably the First Lady of the Marvel Comics Universe, that title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain Marvel’s solo success notwithstanding – is held by the Black Widow, as played by Scarlett Johansson in, to date, seven major feature films (not counting quickie cameos). With her first solo feature film coming up next year, we’re pleased to present four issues spotlighting events or characters central to the Black Widow movie mythos. She’s been a hero and a villain, a spy, assassin, friend and lover, an Avenger and a Champion, and many more roles in the Marvel Universe, on screen and on the printed page. One of the most fascinating and enduring characters in the Marvel mythos, finally achieving mass recognition. A toast to you Ms. Romanoff – Nostrovia!
We’re starting, of course, with the Big One! Tales of Suspense #52, April 1964, saw the debut of Boris Turgenov, the second man in the Crimson Dynamo armour – and one of the longer-serving title-holders – but more importantly, it brought us the very first appearance of Madame Natasha, the Black Widow! At that time a Milton Caniffesque femme fatale, slinking around in cocktail dress and fur stole, Natasha was a very different creation from her later iterations, but this is where the Black Widow’s long career in comics and in other media got its start. This is a FN/VF cents copy; no pence stamp or overprint. There is no defacement of the cover scene. Interior pages are off-white and sharp, no fraying, creases, tears or other defects. There is minimal edge and spine wear, with a trace of raggedness at the top cover edge owing to the cover being a smidge taller than the body of the book – an original printing aspect, not a defect as such. The cover colour is deep and unfaded, excellent gloss, still a fresh looking copy despite its vintage. This premiere issue of a significant character in Marvel history is priced at £1,500. Front cover, back cover and splash page are shown here; high resolution images are available on request.
*Marvel: In August 1967’s Avengers #43, we found out that the Black Widow’s nom-du-guerre was a teeny bit inaccurate, as her previously ‘deceased’ husband was discovered, not only alive, but the first subject of the Soviet Union’s own super-soldier project, the Red Guardian! Now announced as one of the major figures of the BW film (though whether as antagonist or ally is not yet known), the Red Guardian’s debut is FN+, a cents copy with deep unfaded purple background, good interior page quality, and only very light top edge wear, including one minute chip out of top cover edge. On sale at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Moving on to July 1970, we have Amazing Spider-Man #86, in which the Widow, having previously worn a cute-but-retro fishnets & cape outfit, remade her image into the sleek, leather-clad redhead that we know her as today. Taking on Spidey in a story by noted feminist (ahem ahem) Stan Lee, she delivers immortal lines such as “Don’t think I’m helpless just because I’m soft and cuddly.” Ah, they don’t write them like that any more; aren’t we lucky? This first appearance of the Widow as today’s movie-goers would recognise her is a highly attractive Fine, bright and glossy, tight staples, sharp corners, white pages, and only a light touch of lower spine wear precluding a FN+ or better. A cents copy, it’s yours for £60. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The final entry’s relevance may not be immediately obvious, as the Black Widow herself doesn’t appear at all in Avengers #196 (June 1980). However, the villain of that issue, the Taskmaster, is slated to be the Big Bad of the Black Widow movie. The polymath skill-pilferer has proved one of the more popular characters from the later 20th Century Marvel Universe, achieving the status of reluctant anti-hero through nuanced and well-written stints in the series Avengers: The Initiative and Avengers Academy. Having made a menacing last page cameo in the preceding issue, #196 is the Taskmaster’s first full appearance, and this copy is a VF pence edition, very light wear at cover edge, but beautiful cover colour and gloss, on sale at £100.
*DC: ‘Stop! This is the new Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow!’ So proclaimed the 76th issue of what was the Emerald Gladiator’s Silver Age series. With sales falling as GL’s traditional sci-fi adventures began to look a bit dated, editor Julius Schwartz turned to the creative team of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams to add Green Arrow to the title and re-invigorate the series. And that’s just what they did, bringing in contemporary ‘relevant’ storylines dealing in issues such as drugs, racism, pollution, and modern life in 1970s USA – not that we’re significantly better off these days…. The fame of their run extends to this day, and it is avidly collected, but it all began here in #76, as Social Justice Warrior Green Arrow (himself only newly made over by O’Neil and Adams in Brave & Bold #85) confronts GL with the issues arising on Earth while Green Lantern’s off among the stars. This is a highly attractive FN copy. There is a tiny upper spine split, approx. 1/4″, and light lower spine wear, but overall condition is excellent, with verdant colour, good gloss, firm staples, and lovely interior page quality. A cents copy, with no UK price markings, this is on sale at £240. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: During DC’s 1970s flirtation with the 100 Page Super-Spectacular format, Batman’s series was promoted to 100 Page status every issue, with new material backed up by a plethora of stories from the 1940s through to the 1960s; unlike most other Super-Specs, which presented a variety of features, the Batman 100 Pagers were all Bats. We open this consecutive selection with #254 and close with #262 – the latter not 100 Pages, but still a Giant, and the last issue before the series reverted to the 32 page standard. The new lead stories in these issues feature all the classic villains – Man-Bat, Catwoman, Penguin, Two-Face, the Joker and the Scarecrow – plus a guest-appearance by pulp hero the Shadow, and a rather nifty Neal Adams-drawn werewolf tale. With the exception of #254, which is a respectable VG, most of these are nice copies grading VF or better. Pictured is #257 VF/NM £61.
*DC: One of the less commonly seen issues of 80 Page Giant is #7 from 1965, which broke away from the superhero pattern to focus on DC’s war stars. Fronted by Sgt. Rock, behind a new Joe Kubert cover, this tome presented battle tales illustrated by Kubert, Mort Drucker, Russ Heath and Andru & Esposito, showing the grim reality of war on land, on sea, in the air and, er, with dinosaurs. This VG+ copy is a cents edition, without UK price stamp or overprint, and is on sale at £47. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: A chunky update to one of comics’ greatest sequences: Alan Moore’s classic run on Swamp Thing, with nearly 30 high grade issues fresh into stock between #22 and #53. When Moore took over Swampy with issue #20 of his second series, he was just another muck monster (albeit one with great pedigree), but Moore transformed the series into one of dark, gothic ecological thriller, penetrating to the heart of the darker side of the USA as perhaps only an Englishman could. Batman, Constantine and myriad denizens of DC’s supernatural universe guest. If you’ve never read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, you’re in for a treat!
*Marvel: There were few more significant debuts, in the latter days of the 20th Century, than everyone’s favourite brain-eating symbiote Venom, who graduated from being a genetically modified costume in a jar to the Alpha Dog of Spidey’s Rogue’s Gallery! Having debuted in Secret Wars #8 as a semi-sentient blob which configured itself into Spider-Man’s new costume, the ‘symbiote’ became a regular feature in Spidey’s own series before being revealed as a malevolent alien parasite! Now more popular than ever, Venom has starred in his own solo film sans Spider-Man (with a sequel in the works). This copy of the first full appearance of Venom is an attractive VF-, tight staples, bright colours, and only a few small breaks in the cover colour at the spine precluding a higher grade. VF- p £135. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Having boosted the sales of Jack Kirby’s oblique and confusing, though imaginative, comics version of 2001 (though not enough to actually save the book from cancellation), Machine Man, the robot with a soul, was given the chance at his own series in 1978. Although better received by readers and critics than 2001 itself, the series failed to gain long term traction, terminating with #19 (Kirby having departed with #9), but Aaron Stack remains an integral part of the MU, associated with the Avengers, the Agents of HATE and other groups. This is a PGX 9.6 copy (NM+ equivalent), on sale at £55.
*Marvel: Having driven away the Hulk in their previous number, the newly-formed Avengers set off to track him down in their third issue – not to apologise or reconcile, but in an attempt to neutralise any harm he might do. Unbeknownst to them, Old Jade Jaws had found a new chum, the savage Sub-Mariner, and the two together formed an alliance that took every ounce of strength and ingenuity the Avengers could muster in this epic battle – so epic, in fact, that Marvel had to do a call-back to it in Journey Into Mystery #112! Notable spine and edge wear on this copy, with multiple fine creases particularly at the top edge, but the cover scene is largely unimpaired, firm staples, light spine roll. A presentable and eminently affordable copy of a key early Avengers battle. GD p £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The Black Panther’s series in Jungle Action, which attracted a lot of acclaim at the time, was known for being verbose, introspective, reflective and philosophical. When the character’s co-creator, Jack Kirby, took over as writer and artist on T’Challa’s follow-up solo series, the results were… a considerable contrast. Shouting! Explosions! Aliens! Time-Travel! Implausibly-muscled ladies with black lipstick! Cosmic critters! All were here, and all playing at full volume all the time, in the crazed kinetic frenzy that Kirby was renowned for. Since the major movie hit (with a sequel just confirmed), the King of Wakanda’s star is ever-ascendant, and this issue especially always sells very briskly because of its – frankly – high loopiness quotient. This copy of Black Panther #1 is a pence copy, a few small colour-breaking spine ‘ticks’, but unmarred glossy cover with vivid, unfaded red background. VF p £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In 2002, Jim Starlin was persuaded to revisit the cosmic realm which had proved so successful with Infinity Gauntlet, War, Crusade and so on. Unlike the previous series, Starlin was encouraged to draw the strip as well as write it, and his renditions of Thanos, Warlock, Gamora and company were welcomed back by fandom at large. This six-issue epic centres on the Thanosi, clones of Thanos created to fulfil his agenda, and Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Moondragon and Spider-Man are among the heroes intervening in Thanos’ plot to destroy the anchor of reality and eliminate Earth once and for all. This complete 6 issue series is NM, and sold as a set for £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the early days of the Marvel Age, the editors thought they could push Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch, as a solo star, following in the wake of his Golden Age predecessor, and his solo series had him pitted against some of the more outlandish villains in Marvel’s history. (Well, Paste-Pot Pete; say no more.) One such was the Sorceror, a gentleman who discovered Pandora’s Box and unleashed all the legendary evils in it upon our hapless hero. This often-overlooked Lee/Kirby story, in the last issue of Strange Tales before the debut of Dr. Strange, is one of the cleverer of Johnny’s, honestly, generally lacklustre solos, and is backed up by a Lee/Ditko twist-ending thriller, ‘Earth Is Off-Limits!’, and ‘Time Was…’ by Lee & Lieber. An attractive FN- p copy, with light to moderate spine wear but firm staples, this is on sale at £70. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the 1970s, cuddly man-eating sharks were all the rage, and Marvel’s favourite skull-headed Satanic minion had his close encounter with the species in the bandwagon-jumping 16th issue of his ongoing series. This is a CGC Blue Label (no restoration) 9.4 (NM equivalent), on sale at £25 – a bargain to get your teeth into! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: More than twenty Silver Age Amazing Spider-Man entries this update, commencing with #46, the first appearance of the Shocker, and concluding with #114, wherein Spidey faces the twin menaces of Hammerhead and Doctor Octopus. Along the way, he faces off or fights beside (sometimes both in the same ish) Kraven, Vulture, Kingpin, Ka-Zar and Zabu, Quicksilver, Lizard and the Chameleon, all the while surrounded by the cavorting cast of crazy characters we know and love! This is a selection of mostly ‘readers’ – some Fine, but mostly ranging from PR to VG. Curiosity bonus: the newly-added #69 is Poor, but features an unverified autograph by artist Jim Mooney across the upper splash page!
*Marvel: A shimmering glissade through Marvel’s Bombastic Bronze Age this week, with many additions to the following titles: Avengers (between #200 & #300), Doc Savage (#2 with Steranko cover), Fantastic Four, Hulk, Marvel Chillers (with Modred the Mystic), Marvel Spotlight (1st series with Son Of Satan), Punisher, Secret Wars (1st series), Squadron Supreme (our catalogue now expanded to include most of the superlative 12 issue series from 1985), Thor, 2001 A Space Odyssey and X-Men (#96 & #115).
*Marvel: Can we tell you something? We love the She-Hulk here at 30th Century, we do. Not so much the first series, where, despite brave attempts, she generally came across as a pale imitation of her more famous cousin, but when John Byrne brought back her own series (after successfully rehabilitating the character in Fantastic Four) Jen was a smart, savvy lady who knew that she was a comic-book character and shamelessly exploited the tropes of the medium, breaking the ‘Fourth Wall’ on a regular basis, and reviving the most bizarre and outlandish elements from the Marvel Universe – Razorback, the Toad Men, the Blonde Phantom, Xemnu – in a fanboy’s delight, all the while establishing Jen Walters as a tough, witty and compassionate character with much more going on than her big green physique. We’re delighted to add the second series of Shulkie to our lists, with issues between #2 and #50 catalogued for your delectation.
*Marvel: Spinning out of a two-part ‘stealth pilot’ in X-Men #120 and #121, Alpha Flight were introduced as Canada’s premier super-team, retconned as the superhuman project from which Wolverine originated. Although therefore linked to Marvel’s most lucrative franchise, writer/artist John Byrne resisted too many crossovers with the mainstream MU, having the Flight predominantly operating in mainland Canada, and using the virtual tabula rasa of the characters to create stories which evoked the classic Marvel Silver Age, yet with a modern sensibility. Byrne quit the title after issue #28, and while the series went on for a long while after that (and indeed has had several subsequent revivals), it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the first 28 are the only ones really worth bothering with, so we’ve promoted the ones we have in stock to our catalogue listing.
*Horror 1940-1959: Standard’s Adventures Into Darkness provided high-quality work from a number of acclaimed artists, including Sekowsky, Katz and Alex Toth, the latter of whom graces this very issue, #5, behind an evocative Jack Katz cover; Ace’s Baffling Mysteries offers striking Lou Cameron artwork and, in #20, a classic bondage cover; and from ACG, we offer 1954’s first (and only) issue of the Clutching Hand, a rare one-shotof one of the less subtle titles of the period! Pictured are Adventures Into Darkness #5 GD+ £77, Baffling Mysteries #20 FA £25 and Clutching Hand #1 FA £30. See our online listings for further details, including Baffling Mysteries #21 in addition. SORRY, PICTURED ITEMS NOW SOLD
*Western: Twenty new ‘oaters’ added to our inventory from different publishers. From Marvel, we have early issues of Rawhide Kid, featuring Kirby art and including the first team-up with Two-Gun Kid, plus the cowboy Ghost Rider, who preceded the 70s Satanic super-hero. From Dell, we have additions to our stock of TV star Cheyenne and multi-media personality the Lone Ranger. And DC brings us All-Star Western (second series), the one-shot Trigger Twins, Weird Western Tales, American Revolutionary hero Tomahawk (not quite ‘period’, but if it’s got horses and is set in the past, it’s a Western by us), and spaghetti western-inspired anti-hero Jonah Hex. Jonah was an unexpected hit, bucking the anti-Western trend to win his own long-running title, and we have not only his first solo issue (VF- £48, pictured) but also the last, #92, a scarce item beautifully illustrated by Gray Morrow, among our new additions.