*DC: Detective Comics #327 famously heralded the ‘New Look’ for the Gotham Guardians – streamlined, modern, and devoid of aliens, robots, monsters and sundry Bat-clad ladies and animals which had characterised the series from the mid-Fifties onwards. Batman’s own series followed suit, and from #164 onwards, all silliness was eschewed – until the Batman TV series hit big, whereupon the silliness returned with a vengeance, but initially, at least, it was more-or-less straight crimebusting under the hands of Fox, Herron, Giella, Infantino, and others. We have a substantial run of Batman issues new in from #164 to #199, in high grades, averaging Fine or better; lovely copies with bright glossy covers and creamy, off-white interiors. Included are many 80 Page Giants reprinting classic Batman stories of yesteryear. Illustrated are #166 FN+ £50. #167 FN+ £50, #168 FN/VF £63 and #198 VF £53. Prices and grades on the others in our online listings.
*DC: In 1972, the Women’s Liberation Movement still nascent, DC decided to devote one of its 100-Page Super-Spectacular issues to female crime-fighters. Adventure Comics at that time was headlining Supergirl, and with #416 , she was joined by her sisters in superherodom – an epic Wonder Woman story from 1948, in which the Amazing Amazon faced several of her deadliest enemies; the first appearance of the Black Canary from 1947; a 1943 solo for the fabulous Phantom Lady; and from 1949, a tale of the Star-Spangled Kid’s sister, Merry, Girl of a Thousand Gimmicks! Oh, yes, and there were a couple of Supergirl stories in there as well. All this behind a striking wraparound cover by Bob Oksner featuring almost all of DC’s super-femmes to that date (wot, no Legion Ladies? Shame!). The white cover background means that it’s seldom found in a non-grubby state, but this copy has escaped that fate, and is clean, gleaming, with excellent squarebound spine and only the lightest of corner stress. VF+ £79.
*DC: 1984’s Ronin was quite a feather in DC’s cap, having acquired white-hot artist/writer Frank Miller after his ground-breaking run on Daredevil. Printed on the same high-quality paper as Camelot 3000, aimed at the higher end of the comics market, it took place in a near-future New York City, in which a ronin is reincarnated. According to Miller himself, the ideas came together while he was doing extensive research into kung fu movies, martial arts, samurai comic books and samurai ethics for his work on Daredevil. Synthesising those tropes into a dystopic Blade Runner-esque setting, the series crystallised the influences of manga and bande dessinée on Miller’s style, breaking him away from his acclaimed but firmly mainstream body of work to that date. The entire six-issue series, averaging NM, is on sale at £25.
*DC: Three odd-sized series from DC’s archives: Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest and DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest were late 70s/early 80s titles which presented ‘themed’ reprints starring a particular character or genre; new editions of both feature the Metal Men, Jimmy Olsen, Superman and the House of Mystery. Limited Collectors’ Edition was, as noted previously, a tabloid extra-large series. New in this week, issue C-23 is another House of Mystery themed edition, with art by Kane, Adams, Toth, Wrightson and more, looking rather spiffy at the ’embiggened’ size! Condition and price details in our online catalogue, as always.
*DC: After extensive sales, we’re delighted to be able to replenish the Vizier of Velocity with new issues from #130 in the 1960s, to #310 in the 80s. Thirty+ new listings this week, highlights including multiple team-ups with Jay Garrick the Flash of Earth-2, Green Lantern, Kid Flash and other heroic chums, the wedding of Barry & Iris, a brief flurry of the acclaimed Neal Adams GL/GA as backup, and of course, villains, villains, villains! The Flash’s Rogue’s Gallery is one of the most diverse in comics and Gorilla Grodd, Captain Boomerang, Heat Wave, Pied Piper, Captain Cold and all the lads turn up individually and together in these issues! The Flash TV show remains popular, and the character, after big-screen appearances in ‘Suicide Squad’ and ‘Justice League’, is scheduled for his own feature film, so now’s the time to emulate Barry Allen and move fast – before these are gone!
*Marvel: All the Silver Surfer’s original 18-issue series, launched in 1968, are keenly sought, but issue #4, in which our angst-ridden cosmic hero faces the might of Thor, is particularly scarce, both here in the UK and in its native USA. Many theories abound (including one about most of the print run being set alight by disappointed truck hijackers, which we declare inventive but apocryphal), but no conclusive explanation has yet been presented. Nevertheless, rare it is, significantly less common than even #1 in our experience. This copy of Silver Surfer #4 is a CGC Blue Label (no restoration), 3.5 (VG- equivalent), on sale at £200.
*Marvel: They don’t come much hotter these days than Iron Man #55, wherein the cosmic arch-villain Thanos, nemesis of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, made his first appearance, the brainchild of fan favourite writer/artist Jim Starlin. Thanos has of course gone on to plague Marvel’s heroes in comics and movies ever since, but here is where it all started. This landmark issue also features the debuts of Drax the Destroyer, Mentor, Eros (later Starfox of the Avengers) and Kronos. It’s getting more and more difficult to find a comfortably affordable copy of this, but our new copy is Fair, with considerable edge wear, particularly at the upper left and lower right corners. With the imminent release of Avengers: Endgame in cinemas worldwide, in which Thanos is the villain, the character’s debut is only going to become more sought after. FA p £95.
*Marvel: Something a little less vintage in this week’s Spider-Mania feature. While we tend to favour crumbly old comics for crumbly old folks like ourselves, we do make exception for titles or issues of exceptional importance and popularity, and there are 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 fully-fledged Emperor 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 which disclosed its true agenda! The star of a recent smash-hit film (with a sequel on the way), Venom’s star is in the ascendant. This copy of Amazing Spider-Man #300 is a FN+ p copy, with light breaks in spine colour, faint corner wear, and minimal corner ‘blunting’. Interiors clean and sharp, white paper, firm staples. FN+ p £135.
*Marvel: With Jolly Jack Kirby leaving the art chores of the X-Men after issue #11, Stan Lee realised he had to crank up the excitement to keep readers’ attention, and he certainly achieved it with this dynamic story introducing one of the X-Men’s most formidable opponents, the Juggernaut! Cain Marko, the hitherto unsuspected step-brother of the X-Men’s mentor Professor Xavier, dabbled with arcane forces and was transformed into the embodiment of an irresistible force! This VG p copy of a major villain’s debut has light spine wear, and some slight ‘chipping’ at cover edges and corners, but the cover image itself is unimpaired, with the vivid red background entirely unfaded, staples tight at cover and centrefold. Juggernaut’s re-entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with ‘Deadpool 2’ has once again piqued interest in this character. This VG p copy is on sale at £140.
*Marvel: All of the Marvel 1970s issues of Star Wars are keenly sought after, but beyond the #1, the numbers most in demand are #42, which saw the debut of mercenary Boba Fett, and #68, which brought his second appearance, and his first in an original story not adapted from the movies. We have both of these available this week. Issue #42 is NM- £85, #68 VF/NM £50. Both cents copies, as neither issue was distributed in the UK, making them doubly desirable to – is there a word like ‘Trekkers’ for Star Wars aficionados? ‘Warries’? Anyway, high-grade key issues, up for sale this week, but not for long!
*Marvel: Around thirty vintage Hulks new to our listings this week, from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, with several signed copies (no verification available, but we’re pretty sure they’re kosher) autographed by artist Herb Trimpe, with occasional co-signatures by writers Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart. Other highlights include the first appearances of villains Zzzax, the Bi-Beast and the winsome Wendigo, and the first deaths (hey it’s Marvel Comics) of the Mimic and Warlock. In affordable mid-grades on average, and with many issues filling gaps in our inventory, these aren’t going to stay in our possession long – grab ’em before they’re gone!
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Launched in 1950, Spy Cases brought the Cold War to the home front, taking over the numbering of The Kellys and commencing with #26, in the thrifty manner beloved of 1950s publishers. Purporting to be ‘The Real Story of America’s Secret Soldiers’, the tales straddled the gap between war and crime stories, with lashings of violence, gunplay, shady ladies of undeclared allegiance, and yes, at least one crucial pigeon! Reverting to a traditional numbering with #4, the series ran until 1953’s #19, with a diversion into pure war tales from #10 to #14. Most of the series is back in stock, lacking only issues #6 and #14; as a bonus, we have Spy Cases #29 (Canadian Edition) which reprints, for reasons lost to the mists of time, the third issue of a companion title, Spy Fighters. Depicted are #16 VG/FN £30 (with bonus incomplete #12), #17 FN £34, and 18 VG £23. All the others, of course, may be found in our catalogue.
*War: 1952’s Battle Action mined the lurid field of violence and stereotyping, enlivened by artistic contributions from Pakula, Robinson, Krigstein, Everett, Heath, Check, Maneely, Shores and more. Interestingly, the series was actually cancelled with issue #12, but revived over a year later, running until 1957’s issue #30. Although mostly anthology war tales with no recurring characters, one of Atlas’ more enduring combat stars, Battle Brady, (whose catchphrase, ‘Remember the Alamo!’ must have confused the heck out of the Korean enemy) made his debut in issue #5 of this series and featured in most numbers thereafter. We have a virtually complete run, lacking only numbers #11 and #17 – though an incomplete #11 is included as a bonus with issue #12. Illustrated are #2 FN- £50 and #12 FN/VF £56; for grades and prices on all the others, please see our online listings.
*Undergrounds: Not named for the Wizard from the films, but because its first incarnation (1963-1969) originated in the creators’ native Australia, Oz Magazine’s London edition hit the streets in 1967, and became much more notorious than its parent. Oz became synonymous with the psychedelic counterculture, regularly enraging the British Establishment with a range of stories including heavy coverage of the anti-war movement, discussions of drugs, sex and alternative lifestyles, and contentious political issues, presented alongside challenging artwork, including contributors from the world of Underground Comix. Issue #28, guest-edited by twenty teenagers between 15 and 17, triggered ‘The Trial Of Oz’, primarily because of its co-opting iconic character Rupert the Bear into a pornographic comic strip. We have acquired a selection of the London Oz, from #18 to #44, including the notorious ‘School Kids’ issue #28 (VG+ £50). Limited circulation – and frequent seizures and destruction by the loveable lads and lasses of the Metropolitan Police – ensure that these counter-cultural artefacts are vanishingly scarce today.
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: A 1957 series from UK repackager Len Miller, Confidential Romances ran 13 68-page issues, reprinting mainly material from the American love comics published by Archer St. John. This ensured a high quality of art and story, and most issues featured at least one story by legendary illustrator Matt Baker – sometimes several! Unfortunately, Miller, for reasons unknown, didn’t use any of the St. John cover art, commissioning new, and sadly lacklustre, covers, but we promise the interiors are much more enticing! We have half-a dozen of the series between #3 to #12, all other than the last containing Baker artwork. Depicted: #11 VG £12.
*Annuals: A selection of 1960s and 1970s Annuals newly added to our listings, in virtually immaculate condition; no prices clipped, no gift dedications, ‘This Book Belongs To’ inscriptions or other interior markings, solid spines, tight corners and bright, vibrant colours, most of these could pass as brand new but for very slight tanning of interior pages due to age. Truly lovely items, awarded an average VF/NM grade, a designation we almost never apply to British Annuals. Depicted are Champion 1968 VF/NM £22.50, Hurricane 1966 VF/NM £22.50, Lion 1969 VF/NM £22.50 and Pow! 1969, a ‘mere’ VF at £20. Others in this ‘fab fifteen’ are Hurricane 1967, 1968 and 1970. Jag 1973. Lion 1967, 1970 and 1972, Lion Book of Great Conquerors 1970 and Pow! 1968, 1971 and 1972. Get them while you can – these beauties are going to be snapped up in no time!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Just like the weather, our Long Hot Summer event really hots up this week! We are delighted to have five scarce Lion Holiday and Summer Specials back in stock, commencing with the first proper Lion Special from 1968 (a 1967 “Lion Summer Spectacular Epic” had been used as a pilot the previous year, but featured no content from Lion weekly); 1968’s Summer Special, like the ‘Epic’, had a movie cover and theme, but most of the content was from Lion, and with 1969 onwards, the publishers felt confident enough to let the stars of the comic carry the covers. Robot Archie, The Steel Commando. Captain Condor. Adam Eterno, Gadgetman and Gimmick Kid, the Spider: a plethora of adventures awaits! This selection is unusually high-grade for items of this vintage, with only minimal edge & corner wear and lustrous cover colour. 1968’s Lion Summer Special is FN/VF £50, with free bonus (slightly misprinted) 1970 edition; 1969 Summer Special is FN/VF £35; 1971 Lion and Thunder Holiday Special FN/VF £35; 1972 Lion and Thunder Holiday Special VF £40 and 1975 Holiday Special VF £40.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: While the war-themed picture libraries are, other than the earliest issues, relatively plentiful, other genres, including Westerns, are less commonplace. One of the more popular Western PL’s was Fleetway/IPC’s Wild West Picture Library, which ran 111 issues from 1966. We have a scattershot of WW PL numbers, commencing with #9, ending with #93, in low to mid grades, and a few triple-thick Wild West Picture Library Holiday Specials from 1975 to 1978. Often beautifully drawn and with evocative painted covers, this series has often been overlooked, but is gaining steadily in popularity.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Although all of TV Century 21’s first series is sought after, there is particular attention paid to the handful of issues which cover-star Terry Nation’s famous creation, the Daleks. Normally relegated to the (admittedly superbly-illustrated) back page, the most famous Doctor Who villains seldom got the chance to grace the front cover, and those issues are eagerly snapped up. We have five Dalek-starring covers – out of only six, we believe, which ran during the Dalek’s 104-issue sojourn in TV Century 21, all in very affordable low to mid grades, but with the Dalek cover images themselves unmarred. #23 is GD £40; #28 (the only one on which Dr. Who also appears, though it’s only the movie version) FA/GD £35; #36 FA/GD £35; #47 FA/GD £35; and #50 PR £20 (3″ horizontal tear through the second half of the comic, but cover image unharmed).
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Emergency Ward 10, featuring characters and situations from the TV show of the same name, was published by Pearsons and was a companion to the confusingly-numbered TV Picture Library series we featured recently – but, being for ‘gurls’, was kept segregated rather than integrated with the mainstream. All we know is that it lasted at least 23 issues, because we have #23 FN £15, in stock, from 1960. Earlier (we suspect) are the two other entries this week, a pair of premiere issues: My Own Romance #1 from Miller FN £15 and the 100-page Twin Hearts Romance Library #1, published by Atlas (not that Atlas), FN £25. Dates are vague about the latter two, because they didn’t bother to print them, and online searches have proved unhelpful – but we’re going with the Fifties – unless (Esther Rantzen voice) you know better, in which case, feel free to tell us!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A dozen titles join the bookshelves, half of them 1st PB editions, and several in less commonly seen editions. First in this set are four titles by an unfairly overlooked author, Daniel F Galouye, consisting of Lords Of The Psychon, Project Barrier, The Last Leap And Other Stories Of The Super-Mind and The Lost Perception. Next is William Gibson with Burning Chrome, Count Zero and Neuromancer. M John Harrison is represented by The Centauri Device and The Pastel City (with Bruce Pennington cover art), and Raymond F Jones has The Alien and The Non Statistical Man. Ward Moore has Bring The Jubilee and, co-written with Avram Davidson, Joyleg, which has front and back cover art, and an interior picture, by Ed Emshwiller. Finally, the great John Wyndham with a classic Penguin edition of The Day Of The Triffids.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our British section:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Clearance Corner: This week, we offer two separate complete mini-series of the famous Lee Falk creation: 2009’s The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks commenced with issue #0 and ran until issue #12, and Dynamite’s The Last Phantom ran 12 issues from 2011. Both complete series are in this package, averaging Near Mint condition, and as bonuses, you get an additional #1 (variant cover) of Last Phantom, plus Annuals#1 & #2 (2007 and 2008) of the Phantom’s ongoing Moonstone series. All this can be yours for a mere £20. UK postage (if required) will be a further £4.
*Collected Editions: Just released, another in Rebellion’s plucky and determined movement to revive the British comics industry with this 52-page full-colour glossy special. Presenting all-new stories of classic favourites from the defunct Cor! and Buster weeklies – ‘Frankie Stein’, ‘Sweeny Toddler’, ‘Kid Kong’, ‘Faceache’, ‘Ivor Lott & Tony Broke’, ‘Disappearing Trix’ and more are back, mercifully not ‘reimagined’ or ‘updated’ for the new millennium! While not strictly speaking either a vintage item or a reprint, it’s fun from end to end, and it can be yours, brand new, for a fiver!
This Easter, our hours are as follows:
Good Friday 19th April Open Normal Hours 11-6
Saturday 20th April Open Normal Hours 11-6
Easter Sunday 21st April Closed
Easter Monday 22nd April Closed
*DC: Introduced as a one-off historical mystery short in House of Secrets #92, the Swamp Thing character proved such a hit with audiences that his creators, Len Wein and Berni Wrightson, ‘re-imagined’ him in a contemporary setting for an ongoing series. Swamp Thing #1 introduced biologist Alec Holland, who, in a series of unfortunate events, became transmuted into the eponymous muck-monster. Even if supernatural thrillers aren’t your cup of tea, the Wein/Wrightson Swamp Things are acknowledged as among the finest comics of the era, tense, suspenseful and magnificently illustrated. We have the first 10 issues, the entire Wein/Wrightson run, new in, in beautiful high grades, averaging VF or better. Depicted are #1 VF/NM p £160, #2 VF+ £58 & #7 VF/NM £90 (guest starring Batman); for prices and grades on the rest, check our online listings.
*DC: Almost 100 issues of Batman added to our stock this week, in fact nearly all issues between #301 and #400, and nearly all in high grade. A very popular period for the Caped Crusader this, as can be attested by the previous paucity of these numbers in our catalogue. Plenty of appearances by classic villains in this time, with many Joker covers and lots of Catwoman. Perhaps the most significant event in this range is the debut of Jason Todd in #357 (shown here NM p £100); also pictured is the giant 400th Anniversary issue (NM p £27).
*DC: Prior to issue #50, (from where the title became mainly team-up stories), Brave & Bold, which had started out as an historical derring-do title, was DC’s other try-out title between issues #25-49. We have four nice issues from that period in this week: #33 (Cave Carson VG/FN £43), #36 (Hawkman by Kubert VG+ p £50 pictured), #37 (Suicide Squad FN £55 pictured) and #43 (Hawkman by Kubert FN p £47). Great stuff from the formative years of DC’s Silver Age.
*Marvel: In 1972, Marvel launched many reprint titles, one of which, Jungle Action, featured 1950s stories of scantily clad white people bringing justice to the African wild, surrounded by grateful and subservient black folks. Realising belatedly this was a bit politically tone-deaf, Marvel abruptly swerved from #5, reprinting a Panther-centric issue of the Avengers, then from #6 presenting an all-new series starring T’Challa surrounded by political intrigue in his secret super-scientific society of Wakanda. Although writer Don McGregor’s style could charitably be described as ‘overwrought’, the series won loads of acclaim at the time, and introduced key characters such as Killmonger who would prove important later, not least in the Panther movie smash. We have a virtually complete run of Jungle Action new in, missing only #5 from the series, but including #6 (VF+ £160), the first Killmonger and the first new Panther solo, #8 (VF+ £55), Panther origin, plus an array of bizarre and disturbing villains, including Venomm (not that one), Lord Karnaj and a bunch of other people whose names are actually spelled correctly!
*Marvel: Five of Carol Danvers’ first solo series, when she stepped out of the shadow of Captain Marvel’s supporting cast and became a hero in her own right, decades before assuming the role of the Captain herself! Issue #1 is CBCS 8.5 VF+ equivalent at £100; #12 is CGC 9.4 (NM) at £35; #13 is CGC 9.4 (NM) £30; #16, featuring the first cameo appearance of Raven Darkholme (who would become better known as the X-Men’s Mystique) is CGC 9.4 (NM) at £65 and #17, with the second Darkholme/Mystique cameo, is CGC 9.4 (NM) at £50. Carol, as Captain Marvel, was of course the central character of a recent eponymous movie hit, and is set to be a major figure in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, so all the character’s earlier appearances are picking up value rapidly. SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*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 co-starring in #24’s epic ‘The Song of Red Sonja!’ – though our heroine does a great deal more than just 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 two issues, by Roy Thomas and superbly drawn by Barry Smith, remain as good as ever! Both are cents copies, no UK pricing; #23 is VF at £100, and #24 VF+ £100.
*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 very respectable VG+ cents edition, with moderate spine wear, no pence distribution stamp or overprint, but a light book centre stamp just below the Captain’s shield. A clean, appealing copy of a premier issue, VG+ £140.
*Marvel: X-Men issue #129 introduced not one, but two, characters who were to become major players in the lives of the X-Men. Kitty Pryde, the young immaterial ingenue, made her debut as a pupil at Xavier’s school, and went on to become a central part of the series, eventually becoming the leader of the team, while Emma Frost, White Queen of the Hellfire Club, dedicated her telepathic prowess to the X-Men’s destruction – though that dedication hasn’t prevented her from occasionally joining the group herself, and seducing Cyclops whenever Jean Grey happens to be dead for a while! This copy of X-Men #129 is a sparkling NM-, with only a tiny lower corner crease, tight staples, bright covers with excellent gloss. A Pence copy, it is on sale at £120.
*Marvel: Something different for this week’s Spider-Mania instalment: in 1976, Marvel decided that one regular monthly Spidey title wasn’t enough, so notwithstanding his appearances in Marvel Team-Up (which was to all intents and purposes a Spidey title), they added a second monthly devoted to everyone’s favourite wallcrawler, so fans could get an even bigger fix of their hero every month. Fresh in this week, we have the first 20 issues of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (later shortened to just Spectacular Spider-Man) in nice grades, mostly cents copies. Issue #1 (VF+ £40) is pictured here.
*Horror 1940-1959: While the huge Atlas collection we acquired months ago remains our ongoing project – plenty to come yet, folks! – it’s by no means our only source of vintage material, and some Atlas horror has arrived from other avenues, so we’re taking the opportunity to catch up with a selection of incoming items. We open with Journey Into Mystery, with three Post-Code issues added this week, move along to Journey Into Unknown Worlds #5, a Pre-Code sci-fi/horror hybrid, a selection of low-grade but extremely tempting Spellbound from #19 on, with gloriously lurid Pre-Code covers by the likes of Everett and Heath; and close with a single Suspense #27, which innovatively ‘trails’ an interior story with prelude panels on the front cover. Illustrated are Journey Into Mystery #27 GD/VG £100 and #43 VG £78; for all the rest, check out our online catalogue.
*Western: Orphaned by Outlaws, young Lance Temple later took up the masked mantle of the Texas Kid, and, together with faithful sidekicks Emilio and Red Hawk and his horse Thunder, set out to balance the scales of justice in… well, you can guess from the title that he didn’t operate out of Rhode Island, right? This series was illustrated by George Tuska and Joe Maneely, among others, and ran for ten issues, with the character also appearing in Two-Gun Western and Wild Western among others. We have #1 (GD £25, pictured) and several others of the series new in stock. SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*Power Comics: Following his success with Wham!, Leo Baxendale was drafted by Odhams to devise a companion, using skills honed by his many years on the Beano. Smash debuted in 1966 with the first appearances of Baxendale’s ‘Bad Penny’, ‘Grimley Feendish’, ‘The Nervs’ and ‘The Swots & The Blots’, and Ken Reid’s ‘Queen of the Seas’, and went on from strength to strength with both humour and adventure strips; Jordi Bernet’s ‘Legend Testers’, Baxendale’s ‘Man From BUNGLE’, ‘Rubberman’, Mike Higg’s ‘The Cloak’ are all some of the well-remembered strips which originated in this series, plus reprints of Marvel super-heroes (The Hulk, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man) and the Batman newspaper strip – making Smash! unique in its occasional later strapline, ‘The comic with Spider-Man and Batman!’. We have the first ten issues back in stock, and most of the 192-issue original series (before the title was taken over by IPC/Fleetway and relaunched as a pseudo-Valiant). Illustrated are the first three numbers: #1 is complete but Poor, with a long horizontal back cover tear and a small corner off the upper left back cover corner, on sale at £25. #2 is VG £30, with a small spine tear and #3 is also VG £30, with some lower edge wear and light creasing. SORRY, MOST ISSUES OF SMASH NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A small selection of new Valiant back issues this week, beginning in 1966 and then jumping to 1971, including the first Valiant and TV21 merger issue, where ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Tuffs of Terror Island’ joined ‘Captain Hurricane’, ‘Billy Bunter’ and all the Valiant regulars.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Alongside Air & Ace and War, Battle formed the other part of Fleetway’s triumvirate of long-running war-themed picture libraries, starting in 1961 and finally ending in 1984. New in this week, issues #1-9 of this classic title. Illustrated here are #1 (The Rats Of Tobruk) VG £50, #2 (Devil’s Cauldron VG £20) and #3 (Trained To Kill) FN £25. For grades and prices on the others, as always please refer to our catalogue.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Although when it relaunched in 1969 with a second series, TV 21 came back in very much as it went out with the first series with covers dominated by football. However, that soon gave way to the more familiar TV science fiction strips that characterised the title: Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Star Trek, Tarzan, the Saint, Land of the Giants and more. New in this week, we have close to 40 issues, including #1, in a mixture of grades. The #1 (sadly) is only Poor at £20, with a large corner of the front cover torn but present and attached, pictured here. All other copies are in much better shape! SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: A light sprinkling of popular titles from recently received stock: Ally Sloper, Alan Class’ experimental 1970s anthology featuring a cornucopia of talent including legendary creators Frank Hampson, John Richardson and Harry Bishop; issues #2-4 restocked. The final Dandy, #3610, brought the venerable title to a close in 2012 with an extra-large finale including a Free Gift of a Facsimile of the very first issue. The anarchic Krazy is restocked from #3, and Sparky has additional issues listed from 1965 and 1970. Top of the shop, however, are early issues of Monster Fun from #5 upwards, all including ‘Badtime Bedtime Stories’ or other pull-outs and supplements.
*Girls’ Comics: …And try saying that three times fast! Sally, the ‘comic for the adventurous girl’, has developed a bit of a cult following over the last decade or so; the line-up of strong adventure strips with touches of sci-fi and the supernatural made it stand out from the crowd, and whenever we get a batch of Sally here at 30th Century, it’s always hotly contested. Rarer still, however, is the single Sally Summer Special from 1970, which we’ve never had in stock before in our quarter-century in business; pre-dating the Sally Annuals, the line-up includes Cat Girl, the Ghost Hunters, Twangy Pearl the Elastic Girl, the Silent Shadows, and Maisie’s Magic Eye. This copy is absolutely lovely: FN/VF, with only the tiniest wear at the lower spine preventing a genuine VF, an accolade we seldom award to British Comics. Clean, crisp interiors with creamy pages, firm staples with no rust, sharp corners – it’s a corker. On sale at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: Romeo, the romance weekly for older girls and ‘young ladies’, ran from 1957 to 1974, and remains a sought-after commodity today, having lower print runs than comics for younger girls, and the teens & twenties being more prone to chucking things out rather than saving them. Doubly scarce, of course, are the issues with Free Gifts, so we’re fortunate to have five such new in, spanning three decades. From 1957, issue #83 offers a rather sinister colour portrait of Frankie Vaughan – comic is FN gift VF at £30. By 1968, the comic had abandoned numbers for dates and the Feb. 17th issue promises a ‘Pop Key Ring with Six Pix of your Fave Raves’; comic is VG Gift is VF in original never-opened envelope for £25. September 19th 1970 brings us a free ‘Romeo Midi Bag, which the cover (rather unrealistically we feel) promises will ‘Carry All Your Gear!’; the comic is VG, gift VF in original unopened envelope, both for £25. February 6th 1971 displays a rather pretty Cameo Choker, VF with the comic itself FN, on sale together at £30; and the cornucopia empties with February 5th 1972’s ‘Signet Seal Ring, again in original never-opened envelope VF, with the comic itself FN, both on sale at £30. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our British section:
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material
*Magazines/Books About Vintage UK Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Clearance Corner: On offer in our ‘bargain basement’ this week is a batch of 71 Girls’ text and photo libraries (like picture libraries with text or photos instead of strip art) for just £20. These are nearly all pre-decimal in nice condition with attractive illustrated covers. The emphasis is firmly on romance (in hospital and elsewhere) but there are also a small number of pop, film & TV libraries. Titles are: from Fleetway: Hospital Romances x6, Woman’s World x12, Oracle x2, Woman’s Weekly x2, Cameo Romances x1, Fans’ Star Library x4; from Pearsons: Hospital Romances x9, Silver Star x2, Doctor Library x1, Mirabelle x1; from D C Thomson: Secrets Story x6, My Weekly x2; from Newnes: Hospital Romances x13; from World Distributors: Photo Romance Novels x10. UK Postage on these if required would be an additional £8. SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: While it’s not strictly accurate to say that this game-changing issue was solely responsible for the transition to the ‘Dark Knight’ iteration of Batman – he had been becoming more serious in the preceding few years – this definitely distilled all the elements which would become the template for the Batman as we know him. By Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, this tense murder mystery draws the reader in from the stunning cover, and keeps the tension mounted high as the Joker, stripped of the lingering miasma of the TV series, transformed from a buffoon into once again a first-ranking menace. One of the best comics of the 1970s, by almost everyone’s assessment. We are lucky enough to have not one, but two, copies of this in stock, which clearly show the range of values according to grade. Our first copy is outstanding: a tight and sharp VF+ copy, vivid cover colour and gloss, bright interior pages and firm staples. The only possible deterrent, if you’re really fussy, is a pence price stamp on the white field of the playing card, as may be seen in the cover scan. This copy is £400. Our second is a cents copy with no pence stamp, considerable wear at the cover edges, a small chip from the lower right cover corner, and a small fragment torn from the lower spine. That being said, the cover image is unmarred, and the interior pages are clean, off-white and unharmed. This FA/GD copy is £50. SORRY, £50 COPY NOW SOLD
*DC: One of the biggest hits of the 1980s was the New Teen Titans, in which Marv Wolfman and George Perez took a moribund Sixties franchise and revitalised it into DC’s sales powerhouse of the decade. Introducing three brand-new characters – Cyborg, Raven and Starfire – Wolfman & Perez hewed very closely to the X-Men model of angst-ridden young heroes, and scored big points not only with DC’s readers; NTT became the DC Comic even Marvel fans bought! But the team made their first appearance, not in their own series, but in a ‘Bonus Book’, a supplement included with another title, DC Comics Presents #26. Here, for the first time, we met the new team, as they were gathered together to face a fearful menace – and the Jim Starlin-drawn Superman GL team-up’s pretty nifty too! Now the stars of a live-action TV show, the New Teen Titans’ popularity is soaring, so we’re pleased to be offering an nice copy of their debut issue. DC Comics Presents #26 is VF/NM, cents copy with no pence price, at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: For many years largely overlooked by collectors, the 1973 Shazam! series – DC’s reboot of the original Captain Marvel, who was put out of business by a protracted lawsuit from DC in the ’50s – is now riding high because of the smash-hit film starring Zachary Levi as Billy Batson’s supernaturally-powered alter ego. In 1973 C.C. Beck, co-creator of Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel, teamed up with contemporary writers to produce new stories of ‘The Big Red Cheese’. Beck was followed by other distinguished artists such as Kurt Schaffenberger and Bob Oksner, creating lighter, friendlier but imaginative adventures, from which, in large part, the sensibility of the film has been derived. We have most of Shazam’s 35-issue run new in stock, including an unbroken run of the first ten issues. Depicted is #1 VF- £65: for grades and prices on the others, see our online listing. SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*DC: A round-up of DC titles starting with the letter ‘A’, specifically: Action Comics (inc 1st Adult Legion in #289, Supergirl Giant #334), Adventure Comics (inc 1st Black Orchid in #427, pictured VF- £27, Death of Earth 2 Batman in #462, pictured VF £35), Aquaman and Atom (inc #19 with Zatanna appearance).
*Marvel: In 1964, Peter Parker’s arachnid alter-ego was rewarded with his own Annual, and a thing of beauty it was: an all-new Lee & Ditko extravaganza, with a 41 page feature length lead story introducing the Sinister Six, an alliance of Spidey’s deadliest enemies: the Sandman, Mysterio, Electro, the Vulture, Doctor Octopus and Kraven the Hunter. As if that wasn’t enough, this massive tome also featured a plethora of pin-ups, a 9-page ‘Secrets of Spider-Man’ feature, and the startling secrets of ‘How Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man’ – the latter presented with tongue firmly in cheek. Ditko’s art is at its finest here, as he breaks free of the constraints of the standard comic format to indulge in full-page panels and epic action galore. This copy of Amazing Spider-Man Annual – not commonplace in any grade – is a FN+, one small diagonal crease lower right cover corner, spine still firm though slightly worn at top and bottom edges, very light wear to cover edge, but the cover scene is unimpaired. A cents copy with no pence price or overstamp, it is on sale for £750. Front and back covers and splash page are shown here; high resolution images are available on request.