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: *DC
and in our British section: *TV & Film Related Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: The latest offering from our fabulous CSD: Putney collection of Picture Libraries features June & School Friend PL (later adding Princess to its title). This series continued the numbering from Schoolgirls’ Picture Library and later absorbed the defunct Princess PL to boot, thus inheriting continuing characters from both classic series. Dozens of issues added to our stock between #329 & #515, very many in as high a grade as VF, which although it’s a grade we seldom assign to British comics, is typical of the CSD: Putney collection, where rusty staples are the exception rather than the rule. All your favourite features are here, including Zanna of the Jungle, Lucky’s Living Doll, Mimi the Mesmerist, Sue, Sally, Mam’selle X and many more. Some samples are illustrated below. Next week, it’s the turn of Detectives in our CSD: Putney feature.
*DC: A quartet of beauties that are among the closest to our collective hearts here at 30th Century – in Justice League of America #21 & #22, the groundbreaking “Crisis On Earth-One” and “Crisis On Earth-Two”, the heroes of the Justice League met their parallel-world counterparts, the Justice Society of America, for the first time, and an annual tradition was formed. Superbly created by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, the multiple heroes and villains of these stories were expertly juggled, with everyone getting their moment to shine. Reader response was such that in issues #29 and #30, we were brought the two-part, “Crisis On Earth-Three”, and “The Most Dangerous Earth of All!” respectively, which introduced the Justice League’s evil counterparts, the Crime Syndicate of America, from yet another parallel world. After a period in limbo, the CSA were revived in later decades, and have become major antagonists in subsequent DC Universes, spotlit in Grant Morrisson and Frank Quitely’s acclaimed “Earth-2” graphic novel, and the ‘big bad’ in the New 52’s “Forever Evil” mega-event. The Justice Society went from strength to strength, and have starred in several ongoing series since. These are the issues that kicked it all off, and they’re available in affordable mid-high grades, all cents copies – #21 is VG £55, #22 VG/FN £55, #29 FN+ £65, and #30 FN+ £50. All four illustrated below. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: The horror series, Werewolf By Night, starring the implausibly-named Jack Russell as the eponymous lycanthrope, launched an unexpected career when in issue #32, the villain du jour was one Moon Knight, a silver-clad crusader with an agenda to claim the Werewolf’s pelt. Needless to say, it was all one of those wacky heroic misunderstandings, but nevertheless, Moon Knight caught the public’s eye, rapidly getting his own tryout strip in Marvel Spotlight, and, after a number of other guest-appearances, his own title by Moench and Sienkiewicz, who brought the character such prominence that he has seldom been out of publication since. Don Perlin, illustrator of this issue, isn’t Bill Sienkiewicz – to put it mildly – but this is the first appearance of the hugely popular character, and shooting up in price. This is a pence stamped copy, which has also had a (slightly-higher price) pence sticker placed over the overstamp. In every other respect, it’s an attractive VF+ – would grade higher without the sticker – and is offered at £275. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Continuing our update on the oversized editions, we’re also pleased to present the second team-up of Superman and Spider-Man – this time helmed by the House of Ideas, and presented under the official title of Marvel Treasury Edition # 28! Orchestrated by Jim Shooter and John Buscema, this features the villainy of Doctor Doom and the Parasite, and guest-stars the Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman; this FN/VF copy is available at £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: From the 1970’s, several of the tabloid-sized Collectors’ Editions with which DC regaled the market. These oversized issues show off the art to the best advantage, and the examples we have in mostly deserve such display; DC Special Series #27 presents the epic clash of Batman Vs. the Incredible Hulk, with superlative art by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and featuring the villainy of the Joker: FN+ at £40. Famous First Edition C-61, released to coincide with the first Superman movie, presents the entirety of Superman #1 from 1939; okay, the art’s a little crude by contemporary standards, but it’s dead ‘istoric, innit? Limited Collectors’ Edition C-51 gathers together the first epic clash of Batman with Ra’s Al Ghul, with Neal Adams artwork and an awesome Adams cover created specially for this edition. And the biggie is Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man the first proper DC/Marvel co-productions, in which the companies’ respective solo super-stars met fought the first time. We offer a FN/VF copy at £45, but for the more economically-minded, we also have a GD p at £15. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Roy Thomas and Barry Smith’s comic book recreation of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian was a breakout hit for Marvel in the early 1970’s, but yet another fantasy comics star made her debut in Conan #23 (Feb 1973), when Conan encountered Red Sonja, a female brigand and adventurer who was every bit his equal. Sonja rapidly caught the public’s imagination and spun off into her own series (regrettably with a skimpier and more impractical outfit than her earlier look), and more than forty years later – being a licensed character not linked to a specific publisher – continues her comic-book career to this very day. It all began here, folks: Conan #23 VF+ offered at £40.
*DC: DC, attempting to increase their traditional audience, tried an unprecedented launch of a comic starring a super-villain in 1975. They certainly picked the right candidate in the Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker, but despite conscientious scripting by Denny O’Neil, the requirements of the Comics Code Authority forced each issue to end with the Joker’s defeat – and a comic book starring a persistent loser didn’t sit well with the general public! Nevertheless, the subsequent meteoric fame of the Joker in comics and other media has made his first solo forays highly desirable now, and we’re pleased to have the full 9-ssue run in mid-to-high grades for this week’s Batmania Max update, several of them cents copies, with a couple of duplications. Co-starring friends and foes of Batman such as Catwoman, Creeper, Green Arrow and Black Canary, the Royal Flush Gang, the Scarecrow, and, er, Sherlock Holmes (kind of), this is an interesting experimental cul-de-sac in the Gotham cityscape.
*Marvel: One of the most sought-after series of Marvel’s Silver Age is the Silver Surfer, a short achievable run (18 issues only) of a cult character presented by Stan Lee and John Buscema (all but the final issue) at what is generally regarded as the height of their creative abilities. We are pleased to have three CGC Blue Label (unrestored) issues – the final three, in fact – in very affordable mid-grades. Issue #16 is 3.5 VG-, #17 is 4.0 VG, and #18 (the issue illustrated by Jack Kirby, where the Surfer clashes with the Uncanny Inhumans) is 5.0 VG/FN. All three are offered at £25 each, an ideal entry level for those wishing to dip their toes in the water of third-party graded comics.
*TV & Film Related Comics: TV Century 21, the comic-strip adaptation of the TV Shows of Gerry Anderson, goes from strength to strength with the enduring popularity of its characters – Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5 and company – and the top-notch quality of its illustrators. We are pleased to restock the later half of the series, with a stray issue #75, then a substantial, though not unbroken, run beginning with #163 and ending with #216, the period during which Captain Scarlet, the indestructible agent of SPECTRUM, held sway over the front cover. This selection also includes #192, in which TV 21 gobbled up its companion title TV Tornado, adding The Saint and Tarzan to its line-up. Approximately 50 issues new in to our listings.
This coming holiday period, we shall be open as normal Monday-Saturday 10:30 to 18:00, with the following exceptions:
Christmas Eve Saturday 24th December: Open 10:30 to 16:00
Christmas Day Sunday 25th December: Closed
Boxing Day Monday 26th December: Closed
New Year’s Eve Saturday 31st December: Open 10:30 to 16:00
New Year’s Day Sunday 1st January: Closed
Bank Holiday Monday 2nd January: Closed
Dr. Evilla, our window designer, has created a festive tableau to celebrate the season, showcasing many characters you’d all like to see turning up in your stockings. You can see it better in the flesh, as it were, by paying us a visit, but for those of you unfortunate enough not to able to call in this month, here’s some pictures!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The New Year 1961 issue of the classic Boys’ comic Eagle cajoled you to ‘start 1961 with a Dan Dare story’, so in this huge update for Volumes 11 & 12 of said publication, we invite you to end 2016 with one. And there’s plenty to choose from: 1960 continued Trip To Trouble, ran all of Project Nimbus, then Mission Of The Earthmen which rounded out the year. 1961 commenced with The Solid-Space Mystery, continued with Platinum Planet and began the Earth-Stealers. Of course, although Dan Dare is the iconic British spaceman of the Atomic Age, there are plenty more excellent strips and features to enjoy in Eagle, and we are delighted to have these volumes, previously underrepresented in our stock, now fully charged and virtually complete in a choice of grades and prices.
*Marvel: Concluding our Avengers Very Finest event, we finish off our recent acquisition of high-grade cents issues of Marvel’s Mightiest team as we present a selection from #63 to #100. Highlights include #63 (1st appearance of Hawkeye as Goliath), #69 (1st cameo appearance of Nighthawk and the Squadron Sinister), #70 (1st full Nighthawk and Squadron), #83 (1st Valkyrie and the Lady Liberators), #93 (during the Kree-Skrull War, Ant-Man’s odyssey into the Vision, with exquisite Adams art) and #100, a Barry Smith-illustrated epic starring every Avenger ever…all 14 of them! (If they were to do that these days, they’d need a lot more pages…) Full prices and grade details in the catalogue as usual, with a splendid selection of illustrations below.
*Marvel: From 1972, a complete (4-issue) run of the Cat (“Beware…The Claws of the Cat”, as it was also known), one of Marvel’s short-lived attempts at a female-led comics line, together with Night Nurse and Shanna the She-Devil. Written by Linda Fite, the story of Greer Grant Nelson’s physical and intellectual empowerment, as she changes from supressed housewife to super-heroine, is very much of its time, but notable for the prominent creators who contributed to its short run. Marie Severin, Jim Mooney, Paty Greer, Jim Starlin and Alan Weiss. Of particular note is Wally Wood’s superb embellishment of issue #1, making it the standout issue. Sadly, despite some intelligent writing and good intentions, the Cat failed to find an audience, and was swiftly cancelled, but she evolved into two more successful heroines: Greer herself became Tigra the Were-Woman, while Patsy Walker took up the discarded costume and became the happy-go-lucky Hellcat!
*Marvel UK: Once more into the breach with our ongoing refurbishment of our Marvel UK stock, and this time we’re focusing on Spider-Man Comics Weekly, the second Marvel UK title, which launched in 1973, and, at 666 issues, became the longest-running Marvel UK publication, finally hanging up its web-shooters in 1985. Our new additions to this title run from #14 through to #585, in excess of 200 numbers previously unlisted in our inventory, plus, as with all Marvel UK stock (eventually), the previously flat-rated and ungraded numbers have now been given full gradings to bring them up to standard with the rest of our back catalogue.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: From Marvel’s 1970’s experiment with the black & white magazine-sized comic format (with a smattering of later additions in full colour), we restock Bizarre Adventures, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Doc Savage, Epic Illustrated, Haunt of Horror, Kull & the Barbarians, the Legion of Monsters one-shot, Marvel Graphic Novel (including Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom by Mike Mignola), Marvel Preview (with an early appearance by the not-yet-legendary Starlord), Monsters Unleashed, Rampaging Hulk (from # 1), and Savage Sword of Conan, by Crom! Many early works by people who later became much more famous lurk within the pages of these experimental editions. Overall, around 35 new items in this popular section.
*Girls’ Comics: Over a hundred issues of Fleetway’s Jinty fresh in this week, ranging from April 1979 through to the final issue dated 21/11/81. Similar in appearance and feel to its stablemates Tammy & Misty, Jinty concentrated on stories with science-fiction and fantastical elements, although humour and other more traditional girls’ comic subject matter also featured. This selection features Anniversary, Christmas, New Year, Fireworks and Royal Wedding issues, as well as the first merger with Penny issue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: For this week’s visit to our Crime, Schoolgirls & Detectives Picture Library event, we’re saddling up with dozens of issues of the less common Western Picture Library published by Pearson’s, and commencing in 1958. We don’t see these too often, and this is by far the biggest haul we’ve ever had of them in one go. Starting with #1 (FN £20, pictured left below), we run through to #78 (with gaps). Starring such Western stalwarts as Mustang Gray, the Texas Kid, Arizona Jim, Peacemaker Ryan, Clint McCoy and many more, this selection, like most of our CSD incoming, is mostly in exemplary condition, with many FN and even VF copies, without a hint of the usual rusty staples. For the first time, we’re now featuring full issue number and story title information for this series in our website listing. More from CSD: Putney very soon!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The second instalment of our mammoth Battle update focuses on the year 1978. Not only is this year represented virtually in full in this update, but also there are very many duplicate copies in a variety of grades. Having said that, the overall grades here are very nice, mostly FN copies. This series has always been popular in our listings, and we’re delighted to be so fully recharging our stock.
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: *Horror 1940-1959 As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Marvel: The latest instalment in our ‘Slab Happy’ event is the 100th Anniversary issue of Marvel’s solo super-star, the Amazing Spider-Man! Dated September 1971, this Stan Lee/Gil Kane epic features – behind an iconic John Romita cover – our tortured hero debating his roles in life, and endeavouring to choose, as the title suggests, between “The Spider…Or The Man?” Ironically, the issue ends with him becoming an eerie amalgam of both! This superb 9.4 (Near Mint) CGC Blue Label (no restoration) copy is offered at £350. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Continuing our outstanding upgrade of classic Avengers issues in high grades with no UK price stamp or overprint, we come to a range between #52 and #62, which featured the first appearance of the Grim Reaper, an epic clash (only the second ever!) between the Avengers and the X-Men, the first cameo and then full appearances of the Avengers’ robotic nemesis Ultron as he gathered the new Masters of Evil, a tragic and traumatic trip to Captain America’s past, the first appearances of Hank Pym’s schizoid alter-ego Yellowjacket, and YJ’s wedding to the wonderful Wasp, and the first appearance of the Black Panther’s foe, the murderous Man-Ape! Roy Thomas and John Buscema have never produced a finer strand of work than their team-up on the Avengers at this time, and even decades later, these stories are a joy to re-read – especially in such shiny copies! But don’t take our word for the condition – check out the selected pictures below!
*Marvel: Following the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it addition of the Doctor’s debut in Strange Tales #110 last week (now sold, fanboys!), we are delighted to present the first two issues of his second series, which launched in 1974 after a successful trial run in Marvel Premiere. Issue #1 is FN/VF at £35, issue #2 FN+ £17.50. Neither was distributed in the UK at the time, making them concomitantly rarer than in the New World, and both were graced by the talents of scripter Steve Englehart and illustrator Frank Brunner. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A surprising breakout character from the 1990’s 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 GD/VG pence copy of this highly-sought issue new in at £25.
*Marvel: The tabloid-sized Marvel Treasury Editions are consistently popular items, and we’re pleased to add three high-grade of some of the most sought-after editions – issues #4 and #12 of the regular numbered series, starring Barry Smith’s Conan and Howard the Duck by Colan, Brunner and Mayerik, among other artists. Accompanying them is the one-shot 2001: A Space Odyssey Treasury Special, with all-new Jack Kirby artwork (listed under 2001 in our catalogue). Because of the quality of the artists involved, displayed to greater advantage at the larger size, these three are always among the top-sellers whenever they make a (fleeting) appearance on our shelves.
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: *Marvel
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Vintage UK /Australian Reprints of US Material: A small update to this most esoteric of categories, featuring two Australian bumper comics from K G Murray reprinting 1950’s and Silver Age DC stories in black and white: Colossal Comic and Mammoth Annual; from UK publisher Streamline we have Marines In Action, and from Miller four nice grade issues of Mystic with reprints from Atlas/Marvel, ACG and others.
*TV & Film Related Comics: As a parallel exercise to our refurbishment of our Marvel UK stock, we’re also taking advantage of a massive influx of Marvel UK’s Star Wars Weekly to upgrade our inventory of this title in TV & Film-Related comics. So popular that new material was prepared for the weekly schedule, then, in many cases, repurposed for the US edition, this marks the first appearance of several stories. We have just short of 100 new issues added in to our listings, from issue #2 on upwards, in a variety of grades to suit all budgets.
*Undergrounds: The Hernandez Brother’s epic storylines roll on, with Love & Rockets having launched its fourth series of all-new drama with Maggie, Hopey, Luba and the gang. Having been a standard-sized comic book for its second series, and a run of trade paperbacks for its third, L & R returns to its roots as a magazine for the fourth series, which premiered this very year, with Jaime and Berto’s skills undiminished. If you haven’t experienced L & R before, there’s still time to find out why it’s probably the most acclaimed and award-winning comics series ever!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A quartet of Marvel’s Graphic Novels, experiments into a new format for the House of Ideas in the early 1980’s – done-in-one comic stories in squarebound magazine-sized format and full colour, starring their top-of-the-line characters and creators. New Mutants (#4 in the series) introduced Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Cannonball and the whole ‘X-men in training’ concept, by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod; X-Men – God Loves, Man Kills (#5) was a powerful anti-prejudice allegory by Claremont and Brent Anderson; Daredevil – Love and War (#24) was a stand-alone epic by the acclaimed team of Miller and Sienkiewicz: and David Michelinie and Bob Hall’s Emperor Doom (#27)asked the question; “What do the Avengers Do After Dr. Doom Wins?” The New Mutants, X-Men and Daredevil volumes have all gone into multiple printings, but these new additions are the first printings of each. Grades and prices shown in our catalogue, where we classify these in our Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics section due to their size.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: In 1978, the last significant title in DC’s horror/mystery line was introduced, and significantly differed from the rest of the line. Firstly, in that, rather than a series of short anthology stories, each issue was one book-length tale of mystery, and secondly that its hostess, the mysterious Madame Xanadu (Beautifully evoked on Michael Kaluta’s covers) was an active participant and advisor in each narrative, rather than just hanging around in the background to introduce the story. Creators in the short but striking run included David Michelinie, Val Mayerik, Gerry Conway, Vicente Alcazar, Roger MacKenzie, Ric Estrada, and Johnny Craig, but the series also gave opportunity to brand-new writers. Running only five issues, the series was a casualty of the infamous ‘DC Implosion’, but Madame Xanadu’s adventures continued, first in Unexpected, then in her own one-shot comic, and she has gone on to grater prominence in the DC Universe’s occult community. We have the first four of the five available, in attractive VF/NM, cents issues, of this low-distribution and keenly-sought series. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*DC: This instalment of our ongoing Batmania Max marathon covers Detective Comics #251 to #260, during the wackier phase of the Caped Crusader’s career, when he frequently wandered into interplanetary adventures akin to those of his chum Superman. In among “The Olympics of Space”, “The Alien Batman”, “Prisoner of the Giant Robots”, and the like, though, there were two debuts of villains who were to loom larger in the Gotham Guardian’s life – the Calendar Man and the Terrible Trio (animal-themed villains the Vulture, the Fox, and…what was the third one again? The Meerkat? The Tapir? The Tree Sloth? I’m sure it’ll come back to me…) Check our catalogue for full details. More from Batmania Max soon!
*Marvel UK: Continuing our systematic updates to Marvel UK, we have many additions for our recently-refurbished UK Avengers inventory, ranging from number #54 through to the final issue, #147, after which the Assemblers moved into Mighty World of Marvel. Though by no means a complete sequence, there are many duplicate copies for an extensive restock. Incorporating, at various times, such oddball co-features as Master of Kung Fu and Conan the Barbarian, these issues, like most Marvel UK repackagings of the 1970’s, come with many newly-created covers and splash pages to accommodate the cutting-down of the original stories into shorter chapters. Check out the early embarrassing efforts of some artists before they became famous!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Battle Picture Weekly (to give it its full official title), the 1975 brainchild of Pat Mills, brought a new edge of darkness to the traditional gung-ho UK war comic, with anti-heroes, sympathetic villains, and somewhat more realistically portrayed violence then had previously been known in the genre. We are pleased to announce the first installment of a massive upgrade of our Battle stock, commencing with the second issue (still with free gift poster), and pausing at the end of 1977. This period includes the debuts of several series that were to make a major impact on the comics-reading public; Major Eazy, Johnny Red, El Mestizo, Joe Two-Beans, and Darkie’s Mob, and also takes in the weekly’s absorption of the venerable stablemate Valiant (although the first Valiant merger issue is not present). Over 200 new issues new to our listing – and if you’re wondering how that’s possible for a weekly over a three-year span, it should be noted that many issues have been restocked by more than one copy, sometimes in differing grades. More to come from our Big Battle Blockbuster in future updates!
*Alan Class Reprints: We continue our Alan Class Reprints Redux event, presenting the final contents of this illustrious publisher’s archives. As many of our customers will know, 30th Century Comics is the authorised vendor for the Alan Class Plate Sets – unique collectors’ items which consist of the four lead printing plates originally used in a comic’s printing process, plus a copy of the comic itself, a certificate of authenticity signed by the publisher Alan Class, and occasional other bonus items, making each of these a one of a kind segment of comics history. This time, we are pleased to have added to three of the Class ‘Big Six’ titles; new plate sets are in stock for Astounding Stories, Suspense, and Uncanny Tales, re-presenting vintage stories from the annals of Marvel, Archie/Mighty, Charlton, Fawcett, ACG and more! Several bonuses included such as interior plates, and Alan Class’s annotations, as well as documents from him to the printer detailing changes in different editions. Full details in our website catalogue, with sample plates in their distinctive cases shown below.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Another selection from our Cowboys, Schoolgirls & Detectives Picture Library extravaganza. This week, we have a ‘detective’ with a difference – Radar, the Man From The Unknown! Launching in 1962, these English-language reprints of an Italian (we think) series featured a Strange Visitor From Another Planet, Radar, who exhibits mighty powers (flight, a ‘danger sense’, enhanced strength and the ability to turn into really oddly-drawn animals, among others). Taking the alias ‘Rock’, he lives a civilian life on Earth accompanied by his lovely girlfriend Brenda, who somehow fails to notice that Rock and Radar are one and the same despite the fact that they have identical features and even wear the same sweater! (Maybe she just thought Rock was a fanboy…) Radar’s, er, radar-sense enabled him not only to sense danger to himself, but also if anyone in the world needed his aid, so his adventures spanned a wide variety of locales. Radar is an oddity; it’s like a vague memory in the minds of a generation of Brits of a certain age, many of whom remember seeing one or two issues in their childhood, but without much recollection of details. This is the first significant selection of Radar we’ve ever had in – previously only one or two isolated issues in our nearly quarter-century of trading, so they’re *not* common – and while not complete, it does run from the first issue through to the last, 1964’s #26, in which Radar is summoned away from Earth and back to his home planet. Of note are the striking and lovely painted covers on many issues – folks expecting the same high standard of interior artwork should, well, brace themselves for disillusionment. Oddly, from about the middle of the run, Radar’s costumed persona and super-feats were replaced on the cover by beautifully-executed but generic illustrations which could come from any number of spy/detective series, but he carried merrily on with his trademarked super-stunts within. Rare in any grade, and this collection is in astonishingly good nick, with only a few bringing down the VF average.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A selection of strangeness this update, with some short-run or one-off titles from three decades. From the 1950’s, two of the Comic Bureau albums that baited-and-switched with exciting covers and offered, charitably, a variety of interior art; Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds presents a collection of (as far as we can tell) original sci-fi stories behind a striking Steve Ditko cover from the eponymous Charlton series, and Sharp-Shooter Western Album has a Denis McLoughlin cover and some Buffalo Bill stories by him, with a bunch of other outlaw adventures of varying artistic competence. From the 1960’s, we have the first issue of Macabre Stories, an attempt to launch a comic presenting tales of, the cover assured us, “The Unkown and Supernatural”. So, proofreading not a priority, then. We also have a small top-up to Super DC, the monthly publication which presented black & white reprints of Superman, Batman, and their chums, in an attempt to crack the UK comics market. Lastly, from the 1970’s, Tarkan, the peculiar series of (European-reprint?) barbarian adventures which flickered across the newsagent’s shelves in 1973. Never let it be said that we don’t go all-out to give you a wide choice of historical reading material here in the 30th Century…
*Marvel: A massive top-up for the ever-Invincible iron Man, with in excess of 100 copies added between the numbers #2 to#80. And if your maths is accurate, you may be puzzled by those figures, but there are a large number of duplicated issues, sometimes in widely disparate grades, ranging from the highly affordable to the highly investable! Highlights of these newest additions include the first appearances of key characters such as the Controller, Firebrand, Spymaster, Madame Masque, Midas, the Black Lama, and Moondragon – under her somewhat less dignified initial nom de guerre of Madam McEvil! Also features the “War of the Super-Villains” in the #70’s, which was one of the first major ‘gladiatorial’ events of the Marvel Universe.
*DC: A small, but significant update to the early adventures of the Emerald Gladiator, with numbers from between issue #4 and issue #75 completing our run of the ‘classic’ GL, with every issue in the run available – though, not to be outdone, it should be emphasised that our selection of the acclaimed O’Neil/Adams “Hard-Travellin’ Heroes” run is alos virtually complete! Highlights from this selection of new additions include the debut of alien GL Tomar-Re (#6), the first appearance of GL’s greatest enemy Sinestro (#7), the premier of the sinister Sonar (#14), the “Crisis on infinite Earths” ‘prequel’ in #40 (retcons are a wondrous thing…), plus the first appearance of Guy Gardner (#59), the alternate Green Lantern who would rise to be such a significant character in the 1980’s iteration of the Justice League. Check out our catalogue listing for full grading and pricing information.
*Marvel: Strange Tales #110, already the showcase title for the Fantastic Four’s junior member, the Human Torch, presented an inconspicuous mystery back-up strip starring a supernatural champion named Doctor Strange. Essentially a retread of Marvel’s previous Dr. Droom character, where this Doctor had the advantage was in Steve Ditko’s powerful and gripping artwork, quite unlike anything else in the field, which catapulted the good Doctor from an interesting novelty into the Marvel Universe’s Master of the Mystic Arts. His lengthy career has culminated in the recent Benedict Cumberbatch film becoming the most successful Marvel movie to date – and it all started right here! This pence-printed copy is GD+, a sound issue with moderate spine wear, Marvel chipping at the right cover edge, and a faint Book Centre Stamp in the lower-mid cover. A previous owner’s name has also been stamped in one interior panel, but it’s only the Matt Fox fantasy filler, so never mind, eh? The Doctor Strange story – the reason for buying the issue, unless you’re really keen on Paste-Pot Pete’s invincible bucket – is clean, vivid and unimpaired. This copy is offered at £550. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Together Again For The First Time – a Batmania Max/Slab Happy mash-up with the CGC Signature Series edition of 2002’s Catwoman #1! After Jim Balent jumped ship from Catwoman to launch the even more bloated and absurd Tarot, Selina’s series foundered and eventually was cancelled, with Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke relaunching her with a much sleeker, noirish look in 2002. This first issue of Catwoman Vol 3 is CGC graded as 9.8 NM/M, and was signed by the late and much-lamented artist Darwyn Cooke on 29th November 2001. (We don’t need to tell you by now that comic-book release dates are ahead of time, do we?) This item would normally be more expensive, but previous impact damage (not while it was in our jurisdiction!) has cracked – but not opened – the case at the upper and lower corners, so this distinctive item is offered for £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Iron Man’s first stunning solo issue from 1968 is new in this week, continuing from where his strip in Tales of Suspense left off, with Gene Colan’s hyperkinetic art driving the drama onward! This is an outstanding cents copy, with vivid deep cover colour excellent gloss, and only very minor edge & corner creasing preventing a still higher grade; offered at £225. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Continuing our high-grade ‘CSD’ (Cowboys/Schoolgirls/Detectives) event, we’re back among the Schoolgirls’ section with early issues of Judy Picture Library! Launched in May 1963 as a companion to Bunty PL, Judy PL lasted 375 issues, bringing done-in-one collections of the serialised strips from the weekly comic, giving readers a complete story every issue for only a shilling! This selection commences with #1 – “Dixie of Dude Ranch” – VF £50, FN/VF £45, and features most of the first 15 numbers in high grades, averaging FN or better, and with many VFs. Star features include “Nanette of the North”, “Bess of the Black Arrows”, “Rita’s Robot”, “Mandy of the Mountains”, and of course the peripatetic Sandra, of Secret/Castle/Island/Jungle/Runaway Ballet fame – my word, that girl got about a lot! More from CSD: Putney in weeks to come!
*Marvel: The second-ever issue of the X-Men, featuring the debut of mutant menace the Vanisher, is new in; with Lee & Kirby still finding their feet in the series, there were a few rough creative edges to be hammered out (the implausibly-convenient FBI contact was quickly written out), but the vigour and excitement of the creators carries it all through – at this stage, before the feuds formed, they were having a high old time, and the enthusiasm was contagious! This pence-printed copy is GD/VG, attractive mid-grade with only a tiny corner chipped from the lower right of the cover detracting from its appeal. Offered at £140.
*Charlton: A huge update to one of the industry’s most diverse publishers, with approximately 100 new entries in dozens of titles from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, including (deep breath) Blue Beetle, Charlton Bullseye, Crime & Justice, Doomsday + 1, E-Man, Fightin’ Five, Gorgo, Hercules, House of Yang, Jetsons, Jungle Jim, Konga, Korg: 70,000 BC, Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm, Racket Squad In Action, Reptilicus, 1776, Six-Million Dollar Man, Son of Vulcan, Space Adventures, Space:1999, Space War, Strange Suspense Stories, Thunderbolt, Unusual Tales, and Yang! Many Ditko stories and covers in the earlier titles from this selection, and early John Byrne in the Seventies range, plus – we guarantee – the most varied selection of creators and themes you can shake a stick at!
*TV / Film Tie-Ins: The Avengers are back! Steed and co. are back in stock this week with some rare paperbacks. First up is the very first Avengers novel by Douglas Enefor. We’re fortunate to have two copies of this rarity available in a choice of printings: 1st printing (left below) VG at £55, 2nd printing (centre) VG at £50. Also, Dead Duck, authored by Patrick Macnee himself, VG at £15. Still hugely popular and transcending their cult status following, Steed and his female companions have entered into true iconic status.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Dozens of issues of the notorious 1970’s Boys’ title Action added from 1976 (4th December 1976, first issue following the ban which stopped publication for several weeks) right up until the very final issue 12th November 1977, with nearly every issue in-between added, mostly in FN grade. The series may have been toned down slightly after the ban, but still presents the most controversially violent comic of its generation. So, join cuddly Hookjaw and his chums for thrills, spills and chills!
*Western: A massive update to the adventures of Marvel’s vertically-challenged Western adventurer, the Rawhide Kid! A mainstay of the Atlas line before Marvel, as a brand, was invented, Rawhide’s tales frequently emphasised his stature as “The Little Guy”, both physically and socially, taking on overwhelming odds and triumphing, even against prototypical super-villains. Among the latter were the Red Raven (pictured), the Rattler, the Scorpion, Mr. Lightning, the Ape (who – spoilers! was an actual Ape), and the lascivious Lynx, a Rogue’s Gallery of colourful characters who wouldn’t have been out of place in Gotham City. Well, except for the horses. We have approximately 60 new issues to our range, from #29 to #126, including Rawhide’s first Annual (okay, they call it a ‘King-Size Special’ on the cover) and the second, four-issue series from 1985. Among the talented illustrators to work on the series were Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Jack Davis, John Severin, and Ogden Whitney. Herb Trimpe also participated. As issue #58 exhorted the readership: “Hang On To Your Bandana, Cowpoke, and get set for Rough Ridin’, Sharp Shootin’ and Fast Action… Straight Outta the Marvel Corral!”