*DC: One of the least explored of Batman’s classic villains is the sinister Scarecrow, who appeared but once in the 1940s, then stayed in limbo until resurrected for Batman #189 in 1967. Psychology professor Johnathan Crane used the mechanics of fear in his crime sprees, and despite numerous appearances since his revival, remains – certainly by comparison with the much-loved but over-used ‘Big Four’ Batman villains – enigmatic and compelling. This copy of Batman #189, the Scarecrow’s return, is CGC Blue Label (no restoration), and graded by them at 6.0, a FN equivalent, on sale at £185.
*DC: Before John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and the multiplicity of later claimants to the GL mantle, the idea that anyone could challenge Hal Jordan’s supremacy as Green Lantern of Earth was a shocking concept. John Broome and Gil Kane explored that in 1968’s Green Lantern #59, showing what might have happened if an equally qualified candidate had taken the role instead of Hal Jordan. Originally a one-shot novelty akin to the Superman Family’s ‘Imaginary Tales’, GL #59 spiked in price after Steve Englehart brought back Guy as a recurring character almost two decades later. Eventually Guy joined both the Green Lantern Corps and the Justice League and remains a fixture of the current DC Universe. This copy of his first appearance is a VG pence copy, sound and unmarred with excellent colour, light edge wear but unimpaired cover scene. There is a small ‘6’ in biro just over the pence distribution stamp, and a previous owner has stamped ‘Comic Room, 8 Han 1973’ on the upper back cover. Nevertheless, a clean, sound mid-grade copy of a ‘sleeper key’. VG p £90.
*DC: The 1970s revival of All-Star Comics, starring the legendary Justice Society (at first the ‘Super Squad’, but they dispensed with that nonsense quickly) had many creative highlights, and is a much-loved run. Two breakout characters, however, were what came to be called ‘legacy’ heroes. Power Girl, cousin of Earth-2’s Superman, premiered in the first relaunch issue, #58, and while Wally Wood’s artwork gave her the physique of a 1950s sex-bomb, she was anything but compliant eye candy, her no-nonsense, assertive personality gaining her many fans. Issue #69 brought us the Huntress, daughter of Earth-2’s Batman and Catwoman, combining the best traits of both her parents into a dynamic Darknight Detective for a new generation. For almost a decade, Power Girl and the Huntress’ popularity eclipsed the waning fame of their Earth-1 inspirations, Supergirl and Batgirl, and both characters have a keen following today. All-Star Comics #58 is FN, with a small patch of fading in the upper right cover corner where a label has been removed, but otherwise excellent shape; on sale at £70. #69 is VG/FN p, light general edge and corner wear, on sale at £25.
*DC: Superman #98 and #99 are in stock this week, in pretty beaten-up shape, but complete and readable, from the time before distribution in the UK. Issue #98, FA £28, has a glued & taped spine, light cover colour touches, and a previous owner’s name stamped on the lower splash margin; #99, also FA £28, has the cover off both staples, and considerable edge wear. However, all stories, including ‘Clark Kent Outlaw’, ‘Superman’s Secret Life’, and ‘The Incredible Feats of Lois Lane’ are ready for your enjoyment! SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: By the time of Spider-Man’s 50th issue, ‘new’ artist John Romita had made the series his own, and this milestone number was marked with the debut of a new villain, the Kingpin – so long associated with Daredevil, in the post-Miller years, that many people overlook the fact that he originated in Spider-Man’s Rogues’ Gallery! The cover of #50, with Peter temporarily abandoning his Spider-Man identity, has become etched in the minds of a generation, endlessly imitated and ‘homaged’, in comics and other media. Our newest copy of ASM #50 is a remarkable VF copy, pence priced, with vibrant cover colour, excellent gloss, firm staples, tight corners and bright interior pages, only very minimal wear visible at edges; on sale for £650. Front and back covers and splash page are shown below; high resolution images are available on request.
*Marvel: After a long hiatus in reprint limbo, the X-Men, with a new international line-up, made a spectacular return in Giant-Size X-Men #1, and #94 of the ongoing X-Men title marked the return to all-new stories. Scripter Len Wein handed over to Chris Claremont, and Dave Cockrum’s superb illustrations continued to impress. This issue is notoriously hard to find anywhere, being the first New X-Men in the previously reprint title, and its scarcity is compounded here in the Old Country by the fact that it wasn’t distributed in the UK at all (the distributors in their wisdom bringing in Tomb of Parsnips #47 or somesuch instead, because all of those ‘Yankee Horror Comics’ are alike, right?). Our latest copy of X-Men #94 is FN/VF, minimal wear at the cover edges and a few spine ticks, but deep vivid cover colour, on sale at £265.
*Marvel: By the 1980s, Wolverine’s status as the breakout star of the ‘New’ X-Men had become evident, and an A-List team of Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Josef Rubinstein was assembled to give him a solo spotlight in a four issue mini-series. Logan returns to Japan where he seeks to regain his lost honour and win the hand of his beloved Mariko, in an outstanding series which was the basis for the 2013 smash film ‘The Wolverine’ – instead of being merely an outline for the film, many of Miller’s striking visuals for the mini-series were meticulously re-created for the movie. This complete 4-issue series, the first Wolverine solo title, is available as a set of all four, all pence copies, averaging VF, for £100. (Illustrated: #1 VF p)
*Marvel: Although Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts had premiered some issues earlier, it was Strange Tales #115 which explained how dissolute and egotistical surgeon Stephen Strange had sought help from mystical sources and been drawn on to the path of heroism following a life-altering accident. This, however, was a secret well-kept by Marvel, who were still plugging the Human Torch as a solo star at this point, and as such gave his match-up with Spidey foe the Sandman all the cover space, without even mentioning the Doctor was In! Nevertheless, this is the first telling of Strange’s origin, as greatly expanded upon in the widely-acclaimed cinematic blockbuster. This is a pence copy, graded GD-, essentially sound but with two faint Book Centre Stamps on the cover, plus tape at the upper spine and tape residue lower spine. On sale at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: An attractive early Thor issue, before he took over the title of his parent comic Journey Into Mystery, issue #98 sees the debut of the Human Cobra (later King Cobra), a long-running Marvel villain, usually seen teamed with Mr. Hyde or as a member of the Serpent Squadron. This villainous debut is an apparent FN; the colours are very vivid, with a tiny bit of fragility around the staple areas, but generally a very bright, fresh-appearing copy with minimal creasing at upper left corner. We do, however, suspect a trimmed right edge affecting the interior margins, although the page images are untouched. We’ve taken this into account regarding the pricing, so this otherwise superior pence copy is on sale at £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The woman of the moment, Carol Danvers, the first Ms Marvel (and now Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) gets a turn in our What’s New spotlight this week, with most issues new in of her original 23 issue run. Several of these are in a choice of grades (high Near Mints down to cheap and cheerful Very Goods, so take your pick!
*Marvel: A compact and bijou update to our Amazing Spider-Man stocks this week between #163 and #173. Clashes with the Kingpin, the Lizard, Stegron, the Rocket Racer and the Molten Man await you as well as a guest shot by Nova in #171.
*Marvel: A nice update to our Incredible Hulk stocks this week between #108 and #345, plus annuals. Highlights include MacFarlane art in later issues, the first annual with classic Steranko cover and the first Her in Annual #6. Consult our catalogue for details.
*Marvel: We turn to the distaff side of the Marvel Arachnid universe this update with a chunky update to the first run of the Spider-Woman title between issues #2 and the final issue #50. Always a dark and moody title, Jessica Drew has her own unique corner of the Marvel Universe. Highlights include guest shots by Werewolf By Night, the first appearance of X-Force’s Syren in #37 (NM £37) and the distinctive photo cover on #50 which rounded out the series.
*Marvel: Always a pleasure to welcome the Sub-Mariner back to our updates, a firm favourite here at 30th Century. This time we have issues between #14 (vs the Torch) and #50 (1st Namorita), along the way taking in the shocking death of Lady Dorma in #37, a Spider-Man appearance in #40 and a clash with Dr. Doom in #47-48. From Gene Colan to John Buscema to Marie Severin to Bill Everett — the Silver Age Subby was greatly enhanced by many great artists.
*Marvel: The toy franchise series Micronauts joins our catalogue this week as we expand our Marvel range yet again, with art by the illustrious Mike Golden on the early issues. Issues from #1 up to the penultimate #58 plus annuals #1 & #2 freshly listed.
*Marvel: We’ve added a high grade complete run of Marvel Feature 2nd series, issues #1-7 starring Red Sonja. #1 is VF+ £20; #7 is NM £23.25 (vs Conan). Details of the remainder, as always, in our catalogue; chain mail bikinis are optional.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Two sister entries into the Comic Book Jungle from Star Publications from the early 1950s this week. Both Terrifying Tales & Terrors Of The Jungle were attractive packages, with stunning covers by L B Cole and interior reprints of such Fox jungle denizens as Rulah, Jo-Jo and Zago. In addition, TOTJ features new stories by the stylistically accomplished Jay Disbrow in the same vein as the Fox reprints. New in we have Terrifying Tales #15, Terrors Of The Jungle #8 (both GD) and (pictured) Terrors Of The Jungle #10 VG+ £94.
*Horror 1940-1959: Our latest Pre-Code Horror Fest continues! A highly sought-after series is Star’s Ghostly Weird Stories, a peculiar hybrid title. Each issue features brand new and (rather spiffy) horror tales illustrated by cult artist Jay Disbrow, backed up, presumably in a cost-cutting exercise, by edited reprints, primarily of Fox material. Jo-Jo the Congo King, drawn either by Matt Baker or Jack Kamen imitating him, appears in all four newly-listed issues, and the aquatic superhero Torpedoman in one, but their series titles are removed and given generic horror names. Major selling point of the series, however, is the covers; L B Cole, artistic director of Star, illustrated 95% of the company’s covers, and his lurid, feverish style, almost hallucinogenic, was never on finer display than in these examples. These are mid to low grade copies, but given the very high prices for nicer, these are relatively affordable. Issue #120 is FA £65 (lower corner of most interior pages missing, stories unharmed), #121 is PR £45 (covers detached and separated), #123 VG- £185 and #124 GD- £95 (cover detached). SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: In 1982, Marvel was expanding its line and experimenting with formats, and one such was the ongoing Marvel Graphic Novel series, squarebound paperback original stories in full-colour, with dimensions akin to their magazine line. The series saw many innovative stories and star creators (as well as a load of failed experiments), but one early hit in issue #4 was the New Mutants, Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod’s ‘X-Men In Training’, which span off into a long-running popular series. This story saw the debut of four characters – Sunspot, Cannonball, Wolfsbane and Moonstar (initially called Psyche, but that wore off) – who remain fixtures in the MU today, and brought on board Karma, who had debuted shortly before in Marvel Team-Up #100. This is a CGC graded 9.4 Blue Label (no restoration), an equivalent to NM. It is also a price variant, bearing an original dollar price of $5.95 as opposed to the standard $4.95. This copy is on sale for £200.
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: From the 1950s stable of the indefatigable Len Miller, re-packer of US comics, we have a selection of seven issues of Confidential Romances, which became Confidential Stories (we think – as with so many 1950s British titles, the timelines are a matter of conjecture.) Behind original – and generally rather unpromising – cover illustrations, five of these seven issues feature the works of the superb team of Dana Dutch and Matt Baker, writer & artist for St. John publishing, who gave us tales with come-on titles like ‘Road to Disgrace!’, ‘Menace to Marriage!’ and ‘I Hired A Gigolo!’. Issues newly stocked from #2 to #36, averaging VG condition. Illustrated: #18 FN £20 (3 Matt Baker stories), and #22 VG £15 (6 Matt Baker stories plus clumsily-traced Baker cover!). SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Collected Editions: Three special items in this week. Ken Reid: The Complete Wham! Smash! and Pow! Strips is a handsome two-volume hardcover collection of the works of Ken Reid, co-creator of Frankie Stein, Jasper the Grasper, The Nervs, Queen of the Seas and Dare-A-Day Davy. In addition to all the Ken Reid-illustrated stories from Power Comics, the volumes features previously-unseen artwork and reproductions of original scripts, a treasure trove for fans and historians alike. The volumes are sold as a set, brand new, for £52. Death Wish Volume 1 by Barrie Tomlinson and artist Vayo, has previously passed through our hands; the tale of a Formula 1 driver who, tragically disfigured in a crash, lost the urge to live and took on ever more outlandish challenges in an attempt to court death, it launched in the short-lived Speed weekly, carrying over into Tiger. New in, however, is a pre-release copy of Vol. 1, accompanied by a limited edition print (also pictured), NM £20. And another release from those fine folks at Rebellion, Steel Commando: Full Metal Warfare, gathers the WWII-set drama/comedy, the exploits of an unstoppable robot warrior – who would only take orders from the laziest man in the Army! Created by Frank Pepper, this ran for half a decade, combining its Thunder and Lion runs, and this semi-digest paperback (bigger than a Picture Library, smaller than an American comic), in black & white with spot colour, collects 160 pages of the Commando’s early adventures – including an historic team-up with Valiant’s Captain Hurricane! Brand new at a bargainaceous £7.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: This monster update refreshes highly depleted stocks of 2000 AD’s earliest years. Running from #4 to #100, with only a handful of gaps, this selection encompasses the debuts of long-running series ‘Tharg’s Future-Shocks’ and ‘Robo-Hunter’, as well as the first amalgamated issue of 2000 AD and Star-Lord, in which ‘Ro-Busters’ and ‘Strontium Dog’ joined the lineup, for much lengthier careers than in their original home. The finest British comics talents on display – Ian Gibson, Dave Gibbons, Kevin O’Neill, and a Bonanza of Brian Bolland, including his work on the epic ‘Cursed Earth’ saga! Tharg says, “Spend Your Galactic Groats now, Earthlets!”
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Pearson’s Picture Stories of World War II featured original material and some startling painted covers, but rapidly began cannibalising US reprints in order to maintain its breakneck release schedule! Launched in 1960, it had run at least 89 issues (the highest number we’ve seen, despite two reputable online indices claiming it ended with #85) until 1962. This is the largest influx of any Pearson’s picture library we’ve had – they’re by no means common – and we’re very happy to welcome into stock 65 issues between number #8 and the aforementioned #89, which we believe to be the final issue… unless anyone out there knows better? Predominantly from a newsagent’s uncirculated ‘back room’ stock, these are in astonishing grade for their years – averaging Fine, with many VF, and only a handful coming in at GD or VG. Example illustrated: #13 FN £6. Details on all the rest in our online catalogue, of course.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Launched in 1920, Film Fun, devoted to the then relatively new mass medium of the cinema, had a very respectable run until 1962, when it ‘tripped and fell’ into the upstart Buster. We have 30+ issues new in from the years 1951 to 1953, when Laurel & Hardy ruled the roost on the front cover (in that strange hybrid realm shared with the Dandy’s Desperate Dan, where they talked like Americans but paid in pounds, shillings and pence!), backed up by other big screen funsters such as George Formby, Old Mother Riley, Joe E. Brown and Abbott and Costello, plus a selection of (mostly Western) adventure strips loosely adapted from B-movies. Also a random issue from 1961, the series’ penultimate year, where Donald Duck and Goofy have joined the line-up!
*Girls’ Comics: Tammy launched in 1971 as a more street-level, relatable series – still with elements of the fantastic, of course, but a more working-class ‘vibe’. In addition to a more streetwise feel, Tammy took the ‘long-suffering heroines’ trope beloved of other girls’ weeklies (yes, we’re looking at you, Mandy) and turned it up to 11, with the plucky protagonists being beaten, starved, enslaved or ostracised on a regular basis. Tammy lasted until 1984, gobbling up fallen sisters Sally, Sandie, June, Jinty and Misty along the way. This selection is from 1971 to 1976, and includes many issues not previously seen in our lists. Featuring (at various times) ‘Lonely Romy’, ‘Slaves of War Orphan Farm’, ‘The Lame Ballerina’, ‘Belinda Black Sheep’, and, of course Tammy’s definitive working-class heroine, ‘Bella at the Bar’, among many others! (Plus Bessie Bunter, who must have wondered what she was doing in the same mag as all these misery-guts!)
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A whole slew (and I use the word advisedly) of Fritz Leiber first PB editions join our listings this time, in a mixture of UK and US editions spanning four decades. Leiber’s versatility is reflected in the range of books offered here, although he’s best known for swords and sorcery (thereby inspiring Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series) and horror. Leiber knew H P Lovecraft, and his ability to evoke an atmosphere of horror and threat in stories such as those about the Snakes & Spiders rivalled that of Lovecraft. This update includes four books from the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series: Return To Lankhmar, Swords Against Death, Swords & Deviltry and The Swords Of Lankhmar, and three collections: Night’s Black Agents, Shadows With Eyes and The Best Of Fritz Leiber. We also have five novels consisting of the comedic (The Silver Eggheads), futuristic (Gather, Darkness! and The Green Millennium), horrific (Our Lady Of Darkness) and the seminal (The Big Time).
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 A – C
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: A Golden Age item in this week’s Slab Happy update! From 1941, Action Comics #35 featured one of the first ‘wartime’ cover images, with Superman taking on a slightly-disguised German gunman – at a time when America wasn’t even involved in World War II! Featuring, of course, the Man of Steel in the lead, this issue also has Pep Morgan, Mr. America, Clip Carson, the Three Aces, the Black Pirate and Zatara the Magician in its pages. This is a CGC blue label copy, low grade but no restoration. The CGC grade is 1.5 (Fair/Good equivalent), with the graders having noted a detached cover prior to slabbing. This rare wartime DC comic is on sale at £200. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Detective Comics celebrated its groundbreaking 400th issue with a lead tale drawn by the superlative Neal Adams – treat enough – but it also introduced a new arch-nemesis for the Caped Crusader in the shape of Kirk Langstrom, tormented scientist who became a half-human, half-bat hybrid in his quest for knowledge. Langstrom’s Jekyll & Hyde persona made him a sympathetic antagonist, and brought him back for many subsequent appearances in multiple media, making him, ironically, the best-known creation of veteran scripter Frank Robbins. This copy of Detective #400 is a beautiful VF+ p copy, the midnight blue cover background virtually unmarred, cover colours vivid, staples firm, and interior pages off-white and flexible with no tanning. A key issue in high grade, on sale for £375. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: A 1975 successor to the long-running Showcase, First Issue Special arose out of an… unusual inspiration by then-publisher Carmine Infantino, who reflected “Well, first issues sell better. So why not a series of nothing but first issues?” And that’s what we got, a succession of one-offs spotlighting some of the more fringey ideas in mainstream comics, as well as attempted revivals of tried and true characters. This complete 13 issue series of FIS is in very high grades, averaging NM-. Notable contributors include Jack Kirby (Atlas in #1, Manhunter in #5, Dingbats of Danger Street in #6), Steve Ditko (Creeper, #7) and Walt Simonson (Dr. Fate, in the rather magnificent #9). Other interesting concepts – depending on your precise definition of ‘interesting’ – were Mikaal Thomas, the second version of Starman, in #12, better remembered from James Robinson’s multi-award-winning Starman revival; the Return of the New Gods in #13 and two issues beloved by kitsch aficionados everywhere, the Outsiders in #10 and Lady Cop in #4. For all of this experimentation, though, the only FIS feature to gain its own long-running series was Warlord by Mike Grell, which made its debut in #8 (VF/NM £40 pictured).
*Marvel: Ghost Rider had been the title of a short-lived Western series of the 1960s, and in 1972, writer Gary Friedrich and artist Mike Ploog reinterpreted the cowboy trope with the nearest modern equivalent – a motorbike rider! In the wake of ‘Easy Rider’ and adding in lashings of the then-popular Satanic possession movies, they came up with Johnny Blaze, stunt-rider turned emissary of Satan, having sacrificed his soul to save his loved ones. But this being a Code Approved Marvel comic, Johnny’s battle of wills with his demonic master usually led to his actions coming down on the side of good, despite Old Nick’s best efforts. Ghost Rider went on to 80+ issues of his original series after a successful run in Marvel Spotlight, and despite two truly execrable Nicolas Cage movies, remains a mainstay of the Marvel Universe today. This copy of Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider’s very first appearance in tryout title Marvel Spotlight #5 is a superlative VF, with the black cover background virtually unbroken, excellent interior page quality. A cents copy, no pence price or overstamp, this is on sale for £850. Front and back covers and splash page are shown below; high resolution images are available on request.
*Marvel: From 1968, a gamma-infused milestone, with the first issue of the Hulk’s own series, eccentrically numbered #102, as he assumed the numbering of Tales to Astonish, the split-book which had been his home for several years. This was Brucie’s big break, his comeback vehicle after his early 60s 6 issue flop, and the start of the long-running series most associated with him. Mirthful Marie Severin illustrated not only a recap of Bruce Banner’s irradiated origin, but also a new story thread with Jade Jaws frolicking with some of Thor’s Asgardian chums, including the Warriors Three! (Bonus points for the appearance of guest-villainess the Enchantress (obviously)). This copy of Bruce’s premier ish is a CGC Blue Label copy, no restoration, graded by them at 8.5 (VF+ equivalent), and on sale at £270. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Issue #41 of the Amazing Spider-Man saw the first new villain of Jazzy Johnny Romita’s artistic tenure, as he and Swingin’ Stan Lee brought us the curiously endearing Rhino, a virtually unstoppable behemoth whose sheer power and tormented soul made him an instant hit, and a popular recurring villain, showing up everywhere from the Defenders to the Unstoppable Squirrel Girl! (No, really…). Only briefly glimpsed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far – but that was the old version, so he’s ready to ‘reboot’ – this debut of a key player is an attractive and affordable mid-grade copy, strong staples, tight corners, light spine and edge wear, unmarred cover and decent interiors. FN p £175. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Issue #49 of the X-Men’s series saw the introduction of a young lady who at first appeared to be a minor league damsel in distress and potential love interest for the recently dumped Iceman. But she turned out to be a great deal more, as Lorna Dane was a fellow mutant who was shockingly revealed to be none other than the daughter of the X-Men’s arch-nemesis, Magneto! (And then for a while she wasn’t; but I think they’ve retconned the retcons and she is again. At least this week.) Whatever her parentage, it wasn’t long before Lorna realised her true powers, eventually stepping up to join the X-Men, X-Factor, and occasional other teams without an X in them, to become a major figure in the Marvel Universe. This copy of Lorna’s first appearance (with an eye-catching Jim Steranko cover) is a clean and bright Fine at £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Another startling sextet of #1 issues from (mostly) the 1970s, opening with 1972’s Claws of the Cat, as written by Linda Fite and sumptuously drawn by Marie Severin and Wally Wood; although Greer Nelson’s costumed alter-ego didn’t succeed the first time round, she came back as Tigra the Were-Woman for a longer innings. Devil Dinosaur (and his human chum Moon Boy) came to us in 1978 from the mind of Jack Kirby – ‘Nuff Said! Kull the Conqueror was 1971’s attempt to recreate the success of Conan, illustrated by the sensational Severin Siblings, John and Marie. Marvel Two-In-One was 1974’s answer to Marvel Team-Up, with Bashful Ben Grimm, the Fantastic Four’s Thing, as host. 1987’s Silver Surfer #1 is an exception to our Bronze Age brand this update, as Englehart and Rogers teamed up to give Norrin Radd his first commercially successful series,and we round it out with Spectacular Spider-Man #1, the 1976 title which was Peter Parker’s second ongoing spotlight. Depicted: Cat #1 VG/FN £30, Marvel Two-In-One #1 VG/FN £25 and Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #1 VF/NM £45. For details on the others… you know where to go.
*Marvel: After his successful run in Marvel Premiere, Iron Fist graduated to his own solo series, by (mostly) the acclaimed team of Claremont and Byrne, then tearing up the sales charts with an obscure little title called the X-Men. Well-crafted, popular with fans, and critically well-received, sadly Iron Fist’s title still failed to attract a mass audience, and was cancelled with issue #15, which featured a sales-boosting X-Men X-over that unfortunately didn’t come in time to save the series. This title has increased in value lately, in the wake of the Iron Fist TV show (and its associated Defenders spin-off, cancelled on Netflix but rumoured to be returning on Marvel’s own network). We have issues #2 through to #13, and two copies of #15, new in stock, cents copies with no pence price or overstamp, averaging VF grade, with several significantly higher. Illustrated are #9 NM/M £50, #10 NM £65 and #15 VF+ £50; for details on the others, please check our catalogue listings.
*Marvel: Forget the Frank Thorne drawn daft ha’p’orth in the chainmail bikini – the proper Red Sonja, who, you know, wore clothes and had a brain, made her first appearance in issue #23 of Conan’s title (Marvel rather dropping the ball by not having her on the cover, but we promise you, she’s in there) and truly making her mark in #24’s sumptuous epic ‘The Song of Red Sonja!’ wherein our heroine does a great deal more than sing, proving herself Conan’s equal, if not superior. Sadly, the popularity of Sonja’s appearances in these two issues led Marvel to produce a more sexualised and less competent version of the character for her solo series – but these stories, by Roy Thomas and superbly drawn by Barry Smith, remain as good as ever! Issue #23 is FN+ £40, #24 FN p £45.
*Marvel: A big boost this week to our stocks of the Man Without Fear in the above number range. Highlights include lots of issues co-starring the Black Widow, inc. #88 with the Purple Man and details of Natasha’s origin, #105 with the origin of Moondragon, issues #108-111, uncommon in the UK, issues #132 & #141 with early Bullseye appearances and the Ghost Rider crossover in #138 with art by John Byrne, plus lots more, as detailed in our catalogue.
*Marvel: Another stroll through the Silver & Bronze Age Marvel Universe, with new stock for the following titles: Champions, Defenders, Dr. Strange (2nd series), Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Inhumans, Invaders, Jungle Action, Ka-Zar (#1, 1st series), Marvel Feature (#11 1st Thing solo book, #12 early Thanos app), Marvel Premiere, Marvel Spotlight (2nd series), Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-In-One, Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, Not Brand Echh, Rom & Thor. Full details of all additions in our catalogue.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Our Atomic Sci-Fi event continues! 1952’s Crusader From Mars had a bit of an off-beat premise; we first meet our heroes when they’re on trial for murder (and accessory to same) as two sides of a love triangle, Tarka having apparently killed the fiancée of the lovely Zira in a crime of passion! Rather than accept the Martian tribunal’s verdict, Tarka (without consulting Zira, I might add) proposes that he and Zira, as punishment, be exiled to the primitive and vicious planet Earth, to bring reason to it with their super-scientific knowhow. You’ve got to admit, as premises go, it was a good ‘un, and we follow our heroes as they strive to enlighten the primitives of Earth, with somewhat hit & miss success. Only running for two issues, Crusader From Mars sports beautifully painted covers reminiscent of Ziff-Davis’ pulp heritage. Issue one of this pulp SF classic is GD/VG £80, with a slightly faded cover and a detached top staple bringing the grade down of a basically sound copy. Issue #2 is a lovely VG/FN at £135. Buy them both – you’ve collected the set!
*Mad & Other Parody: Eight new old Mad Magazines, from the UK iteration of the title added to our stock this week, commencing with #36 and ending with #105 – a Free Gift Issue, with a ‘Do-It-Yourself Voodoo Doll’ stapled into the centre! Like the legendary (and sadly soon to be deceased) US series, the UK’s Mad features the same gifted plethora of cartoonists and satirists, including Mort Drucker, Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Dave Berg and a multitude more.
*Alan Class Reprints: Five more plate sets from the Alan Class Private Collection, each one reprinting a story from the Silver Age of Marvel’s super-heroes – in most cases, as previously remarked, the first reprinting of these classic tales, very shortly after their first release! All five feature, in addition to publisher Alan Class’s file copies of the comics, the four lead printing plate sets originally used in production, plus a hand-signed Certificate of authenticity from Alan Class himself. All sets are supplied in a plastic presentation/display case.
We open with a double-feature: Creepy Worlds #67 & #133, both of which reprint Avengers #6, the first appearance of Baron Zemo and His Masters of Evil; the pre-decimal #67 is GD/VG, while the post-decimal #133, with identical content, is FA. Comics and plate set on sale at £35.
Creepy Worlds #69/132 reprints Spider-Man #13, the debut of Mysterio. Unfortunately, we only have a post-decimal copy of #132 in GD, but a cover proof of #69 in FN is included. Comic, proof and plate set on sale for £35.
Secrets of the Unknown #38 re-presents the second-ever Thor (and the first Jane Foster, soon to be Thor on the big screen!) from Journey Into Mystery #84! This is FA/GD, and the comic and plate set are £45.
Sinister Tales #35 is VG, featuring Ant-Man and the Wasp from Tales to Astonish #45, (second Wasp appearance) battling ‘The Return Of Egghead!’. This VG pre-decimal comic and plate set are on sale for £30.
And Sinister Tales #84, though not sporting a Marvel cover, reprints one of the most significant Marvel stories: inside, the very first tale of Iron Man, Tony Stark, from Tales of Suspense #39. This re-presentation of a pivotal origin tale is FA/GD, and together with the plate set will cost you £35.
More from the Marvelous Alan Class collection very soon!
*Marvel UK: A top-up to one of Marvel UK’s longest running titles, quite late in its career: launched in 1972, Spider-Man Comics Weekly had already amended its title several times by 1983, when it changed again to ‘Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends’, to cash in on the cartoon show just then hitting UK screens. This selection of around 20 late running Spider-Man issues opens with #553, and closes with #663, plus the 1987 Summer Special.
*Annuals: For this weeks’ update, Annuals celebrating the works of TV pioneer Gerry Anderson, whose series including ‘Captain Scarlet’, ‘Thunderbirds, ‘Stingray’ and ‘Fireball XL5’, among others, proved popular worldwide during the 1960s and early ’70s. From the same pedigree source as our previous ‘Immaculate’ selections, these are from a newsagent’s inventory, never circulated or read, no prices clipped, no gift dedications, ‘This Book Belongs To’ inscriptions or other interior markings, solid spines, tight corners and bright, vibrant colours. A few have minor edge wear from long-term storage, or occasionally light breaks in the laminate, but all have exceptional eye appeal, and some could almost pass for new! This week, we have new annuals for Captain Scarlet & Thunderbirds (a combo volume from 1970), Countdown 1973, Joe 90 1969, Lady Penelope 1968 & 1969, and TV Century 21 1967, plus Candy and Andy from 1967. What’s ‘Candy and Andy’ you ask? A ‘Younger Viewers’ series which was prepared, including puppets, props and sets, but no network took it up so it was never actually filmed; to a modern perspective the photos look kind of… serial-killerish, to be honest, but it’s certainly an oddity! Depicted: Candy and Andy 1967 VF/NM £40, Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds 1970 VF/NM £20, Lady Penelope 1969 VF/NM £17.50 and TV Century 21 1967 VF £25.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: It was common practise in UK comics for decades to create intentionally short-run ‘Feeder’ titles, with the express purpose of providing ‘new blood’ to refresh longer-running titles. One such was Thunder, which launched in 1970. Thunder developed several popular features, including time-stopping musician ‘Phil the Fluter’ (don’t ask), WWII robot ‘The Steel Commando’, junior Doctor Doolittle ‘Fury’s Family’, crime-fighting whiz-kids ‘The Jet Skaters’, and lovable mad scientist ‘Black Max’. Star of the show, however, was ‘Adam Eterno’, cursed to wander the Earth forever until killed by a weapon of gold – unfortunately for our hero, whenever he looked like being able to end his interminable existence, Circumstances Intervened. Despite a strong line-up, Thunder folded after 22 issues, and all of the above strips leapt into Lion, with, appropriately, Adam Eterno dodging death again when Lion was absorbed by Valiant! We have roughly half of Thunder’s run back in stock this week, including the final issue and the first three, each with the original Free Gift; issue #1 is frankly Poor, with a substantial corner missing from the front cover, but the gift of a ‘Jumping Kangaroo’ (Ozzie from ‘Fury’s Family’, no less) is FN, with only very slight glue discolouration due to age precluding a VF grade. Issue #2 is FN, with the gift of ‘Black Max’s Black Bat’ in VF. Issue #3 is VG with the ‘Little Peelers’ (15 mini-stickers) VF – not peeled, still on backing paper and in original envelope. #1 (17/10/70) PR with FG FN is £50; #2 FN (24/10/70) with FG VF £60 and #3 (31/10/70) VG with FG VF £50. Details on all the others in our online listing. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: Close to 100 issues from 1975 and 1976 close out our massive Buster re-stock, with two highlights this run. The 27th March 1976 issue featured the first appearance of what would become the title’s longest-running adventure series, (nine years, beating Fishboy’s previous record of eight) the Leopard From Lime Street! Scratched by a radioactive leopard, young Billy Farmer gained feline powers and fought crime in his home town of Selbridge – all the while trying to hide his secret from his bullying uncle and ailing aunt! In the 6th November 1976 issue, another milestone occurred: Buster absorbed the fallen Monster Fun weekly, but unlike the usual token gesture, fully half of MF’s line-up, eight strips, invaded Buster, tipping the balance from a split of adventure & humour towards, in a few years’ time, an all-humour line-up. Meantime, though, laughs and thrills await you from all the old familiar chums!
*Humour Comics: A selection of small additions to humour titles: from 1953, four editions of Beano, the still-running weekly. These vintage copies feature characters still well-beloved and well-remembered today (‘The Bash Street Kids’, ‘Minnie the Minx’, ‘Dennis the Menace’) and some… not so much. (‘Nobby the Magic Bobby’, anyone?). Giggle, which launched briefly in 1967 before collapsing into Buster, was a bold if failed experiment to bring translated European material to the British market; and Cheeky, launched in 1977, featured a ‘breakout’ character from Krazy weekly who would wander, Rod Serling-like, into the narratives of the other strips in the comic. Chunkier humour updates coming soon!
*Girls’ Comics: More from Princess Tina, the pan-European girls’ anthology which, in a spirit of egalitarianism, dropped its royal title and became plain ‘Tina’ for its final couple of years. We have a high-grade selection of Princess Tina/Tina Summer Extras, commencing with 1968, one year after the weekly’s launch. Among the features are Sue Day and the ‘Happy Days’, ‘Alona the Wild One’, ‘Chairman Cherry’, ‘Milly the Merry Mermaid’, peripatetic pop-tartlets ‘Jackie and the Wild Boys’, and, a personal favourite here at 30th Century, ‘Jane Bond’, the curvaceous blonde secret agent for ‘Worldpol’ whose main method of combat seems to be rugby-tackling her foes and then rolling around on them – with surprisingly few objections from her opponents! Princess Tina Summer Extra 1968, the first, is FN/VF £90, 1969 FN/VF £80, 1970 FN/VF £80, 1971 VF £60, 1972 FN/VF £55, Tina 1973 VG/FN £45 and Tina 1975 VF £60.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Frederik Pohl remains a respected and sought after author for Science Fiction fans. In this update we’ve added six works by Pohl (Day Million, Drunkard’s Walk, Slave Ship, The Abominable Earthman, The Day The Martians Came and The Man Who Ate The World), four written with C M Kornbluth (Gladiator-At-Law, Search The Sky, The Wonder Effect and Wolfbane) and three written with Jack Williamson (Rogue Star, Starchild and The Reefs Of Space). Comprising a mixture of short story collections and novels, and including cover art by Richard Powers and Patrick Woodroffe, these books come highly recommended.
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 T – Z
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.