*DC: In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there arose a craze for ‘Gothic Romances’, the covers of which depicted diaphanously-clad lovelies fleeing a darkened mansion/castle/palace at night, frequently pursued by beasts. Writer Denny O’Neil, clearly having had Enough Of This Sort Of Thing, parodied the genre in Batman #227’s ‘Demon of Gothos Mansion!’, casting Alfred’s niece Daphne as the ingenue and arranging a beautiful Neal Adams cover, which became one of the most sought-after iconic covers of the Silver Age – not least because it also ‘homaged’ a Golden Age cover, Detective #31. This copy of Batman #227 is a lovely FN/VF copy, pence priced but unobtrusively in the logo, with deep cover colour, tight staples, and only a few small spine ‘ticks’ preventing a better grade. On sale at £225.
*DC: In 1973, the town of Metropolis, Illinois, petitioned to be affiliated with the Superman character, becoming the official ‘hometown’ of the Man of Steel for public relations purposes. Among the tie-ins for this event was this one-off tabloid comic – in the format later popularised by DC’s Limited Collectors’ Edition series and its spin-offs – featuring new and reprint Superman and Superboy comics stories, plus multiple features and a stapled-in poster, a Map of Krypton. Sadly, the proposed Superman theme park never materialised, the attractions in the real-life Metropolis being limited to a Superman Museum – but this is a fascinating read nonetheless. Of extremely limited distribution even in the US – and almost never seen in the UK – this rarity is a must for Superman completists. This copy is FN- £40, sound and tight, poster stapled firmly inside, with only minor breaks in spine colour and light corner and edge wear preventing a higher grade.
*DC: A nice range of classic Silver Age Superman fresh into stock this week, issues between #141 and #184, plus annuals #5, #7 and #8. Our favourite period this for the Man of Steel. Most copies are lowish grade and thus very affordable, plus a few better mid-grade examples.
*DC/Marvel: In 1976, after some delicate negotiations, Marvel and DC decided to create a team-up between their two iconic characters which proved too big for a regular-sized comic – so the tabloid-sized format, as seen in Marvel’s Treasury Editions and DC’s Limited Collectors’ Editions, was co-opted for this event! Superman and Spider-Man (as well as guest-villains Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus) are note-perfect in this mega-sized saga. This triggered a series of cross-overs between the two companies, with DC and Marvel alternating on the publishing chores, and Marvel was at the production helm by 1981, when Marvel Treasury Edition #28 was released, with the follow-up Superman and Spider-Man team-up, this time co-featuring Wonder Woman and the Hulk and the villainy of Doctor Doom and the Parasite! We are delighted to have both these epic editions back in stock: Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, to give the first its full title, is a FN/VF cents copy, no pence price or overstamp, clean and bright with minimal corner and edge wear. Marvel Treasury Edition #28 is FN+, marginally more wear and slight corner ‘blunting’, but still clean interiors, vivid unimpaired cover scene. Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man is FN/VF £90; Marvel Treasury Edition #28 is FN+ £50.
*Marvel: By the time of Spider-Man’s 50th issue, ‘new’ artist John Romita had made the series his own, and this special issue 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 originally belonged to Spider-Man’s Rogues’ Gallery! The cover to #50, with Peter’s 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 VG-, a cents copy with no pence pricing or overstamp. Largely unimpaired cover scene, but light to moderate corner and edge wear, particularly at the cover’s upper edge, and a tiny corner off the lower right cover corner. This is on sale at £195.
*Marvel: This early Lee/Kirby (with a dash of help from Steve Ditko on the cover inking) pits the Sub-Mariner, once again, against the men of the Fantastic Four (Sue, typically, is rather on the fence in the matter… how many times does a gal have to get kidnapped before she makes up her mind?), provoked by the behind-the-scenes machinations of the perfidious Puppet Master! This copy is a CGC Universal Grade Blue Label, rated 4.5 (VG+ in real money) with no restoration, but – it must be noted – the name of a previous owner, ‘Brian’ scrawled across Namor’s shoulders (unless he was very forward-thinking in having a tattoo parlour in lost Atlantis!). That is the sole flaw, however, in a bright, tight-cornered copy which would easily grade FN or better otherwise. CGC 4.5 £130.
*Marvel: A selection of significant issues of Marvel’s Avengers: #54 (First Ultron cameo, FN/VF p £40), #55 (1st Full Ultron FN+ p £60), #62 (1st M’Baku/Man-Ape FN+ p £65), #67 (early Barry Smith artwork VF+ p £60), and #83 (debut of the Valkyrie – sort of – and Marvel’s violent voluptuaries, the Lady Liberators, VF- p £100). These bright & shiny new additions are characterised by higher-than average grades, tight flat copies with vibrant cover colour. Up against the wall, male chauvinist pigs!
*Marvel: The Black Panther’s series in Jungle Action, which attracted a lot of acclaim at the time, was known for being verbose, introspective, reflective and philosophical. When the character’s co-creator, Jack Kirby, took over as writer and artists on T’Challa’s follow-up solo series, the results were… a considerable contrast. Shouting! Explosions! Aliens! Time-Travel! Implausibly-muscled ladies with black lipstick! Cosmic critters! All were here, and all playing at full volume all the time, in the crazed kinetic frenzy that Kirby was renowned for. Since the major movie hit, the King of Wakanda’s star is ever-ascendant, and this issue especially always sells very briskly. This copy of Black Panther #1 is a cents copy, with no pence price or overstamp, fine lines at upper and lower right cover corners, but unmarred glossy cover with vivid, unfaded red background. VF+ on sale at £80.
*Marvel: First issues are always popular and fast-selling choices for our valued punters, so we’re chuffed to have not one, not a handful, but a full dozen #1 issues from Marvel’s Bronze Age. Eyes down: Battlestar Galactica, Howard the Duck (sumptuous Frank Brunner art), Machine Man (King Kirby karries on from 2001!), Micronauts (1st series, drawn by Mike Golden), Nightcrawler (the superlative Dave Cockrum drawing one of his favourite characters), Nova, Shogun Warriors, Son of Satan, Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man by Todd McFarlane, Spider-Woman, and the first issue of Wolverine’s first ongoing series. Depicted: Nova #1 FN+ p £40, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #1 FN+ £25, Spider-Woman #1 FN £20 and Wolverine #1 VF+ p £35. For details on the rest, check out our online listings – but you’d better be quick!
*Marvel: Following Kirby’s tabloid-sized Treasury Special, liberally adapting the Kubrick cinematic blockbuster, Marvel green-lit an ongoing series exploring the milieu of 2001: A Space Odyssey, giving artist/writer Kirby a free hand to explore all of time and space – perhaps too free a hand, as while time-transcending spectacle there was in abundance, the lack of a central cast left the readership feeling ‘unanchored’ to the series. This was remedied to an extent with issue #8, and Kirby’s introduction of X-51 (later known variously as Mister Machine and Machine Man), a humanoid robot in search of his soul, who became the protagonist for the rest of the series, spinning off into his own title and becoming part of the main Marvel Universe. The entire 10-issue series of 2001: A Space Odyssey is now restocked: illustrated is issue #8, X-51’s premier appearance, NM at £65.
*Marvel: A new range in this week of Journey into Mystery between #88 and #124 plus Annual, when Thor had taken over the title but before it officially changed to just ‘Thor’ . Included are #88 (2nd Loki PR £15), #118 (1st Destroyer FN- p £43), #119 (1st Warriors Three VG/FN p £34) and Annual #1 (1st Hercules FN p £61, pictured) plus lots of others from this formative period for the God of Thunder.
*Marvel: A small update for Johnny Blaze (1973) this week from #2 (1st full Son Of Satan) and issues up to #10, plus the final issue of the series #81, plus Marvel Spotlight #8, with the adventures of Ghost Rider before he got his own series.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: An offshoot of the crime comics genre, as previously noted, was the Spy Thriller, of which Atlas had several, one of the more notorious being Kent Blake of the Secret Service, a 14-issue run from 1951-1955 in which our square-jawed hero faced off against the ghastly Commie threat. We have five of the series new in stock, ranging from #2 (Hey kids! Drug use issue!) to #13, in grades ranging from PR to FN+. Illustrated is issue #12 FN £32 – cover by Carmine Infantino – which illustrates the gunplay, violence, and emotionally conflicted ladies which typified this series.
*Horror 1940-1959: Mystery Tales was one of Atlas’ longest-running horror/mystery series, to the extent that we had to split our stock over two updates; previously, we brought you the Pre-Code issues, up to #26, and with this update we add in the Post Code numbers, from #27 in 1955 to the series’ conclusion in 1957 with issue #54. This strong run, lacking only 5 issues, features the usual plethora of top-ranking artists: Heath, Morrow, Orlando, Maneely, Powell, Everett, Romita, Severin, Williamson, Krigstein and a rookie named Steve Ditko. Illustrated: #28 GD/VG £53, #31 GD/VG £53, #32 GD/VG £53, #36 GD/VG £53, #47 VG £72, #52 FN £105, #53 VG £71 and #54 VG+ £79. While the illustrated items are remarkably consistent mid-high grades, the rest of the title is in a variety of conditions, including many complete but low-grade issues to suit all budgets. Full details of all issues, as always, in our online catalogue.
*War: Atlas’ Combat ran for 11 issues from 1952 to 1953, and we have in stock the first ten of this violent and lurid Pre-Code series, which, from #7 onwards, featured Combat Casey, the jolly red-bearded killing machine who subsequently got his own title. Combat’s clashes with ‘The Gooks’ do perpetuate some appalling ethnic stereotypes, but we must rigorously apply the filter of Historical Context to most of Atlas’ war output, and perhaps focus on the stellar artwork – Heath, Maneely, Romita, Krigstein – which proliferated. Illustrated are #3 FN- £37 and #5 VG £27; for more examples of beautifully-illustrated mayhem, see our online catalogue.
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: Following the romance comics boom in the American comics industry in the late 1940s, it didn’t take long for the UK to climb aboard with re-packaged American stories for the British audience, at that time denied distribution of the US product. Arnold/Strato (sometimes listed as separate companies, but they were linked in some way we haven’t been able to fathom) were a leading repackager of US material, and they shrewdly licenced the three Simon & Kirby titles which had kicked off the ‘love boom’: Young Brides, Young Love and Young Romance, which they released as 68-page squarebound compilations. However, with a fine disregard for intellectual property, the publishers mixed & matched material, so while the titles may have been from the Prize stable, the content could contain any old love from a myriad of publishers: ACG, Atlas, Ajax/Farrell, Quality and, yes, Prize, are among the ones we’ve positively identified, along with many more that we have to shrug helplessly and say “We don’t really know, Vera…” These 68-page squarebounds, dating from 1954 to 1955, have a distinctive yellow & red livery that made them easy to pick out at the newsagent’s, but also a bugger for acquiring stains and marks, so we’re delighted to have a nice selection of all three ‘Young’ titles in clean bright condition, averaging Fine or better. As a bonus, we also have the first Album of each series, 128-page stonkers with more tearstained moonlit fantasies than before! Depicted are Young Brides #1 FN+ £25 and Album #1 FN+ £40; Young Love #9 FN £12 and Album #1 FN+ £40; and Young Romance #14 (three Simon & Kirby, 1 Matt Baker) FN £17.50, and Album #1 FN+ £40.
*Marvel UK: In 1976, Marvel UK’s first attempt to generate a British-based super-hero was placed into the hands of Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, whose comic-opera interpretation of the UK has become a source of hilarity for generations. But after a shaky start, CB became inextricably linked with the mainstream Marvel Universe, not least because of his psychic sister, Betsy, who – years later and after many, many changes – turned Japanese and became the X-Men’s scantily-clad ninja mind-warrior Psylocke. As you do. This is Betsy’s first appearance in Captain Britain Weekly #8, a copy in FN/VF condition; the rather flimsy stock of the Marvel UK weeklies has endured well in this instance, with no tears, creases, or marks, and the puzzle page (often completed, to the later chagrin of collectors) is pristine and untouched. FN/VF £125.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: World Distributors were re-packagers of American comics material from the 1950s to the 1970s, but occasionally they produced original material, and they had a knack for bandwagon-jumping, exploiting lucrative franchises with zeal and vigour. In the 1960s, they launched a number of digests called World Adventure Library, each series of WAL focusing on a different star. Chief among them were the Man From UNCLE, the longest-lasting of the WAL’s at 14 issues from 1966 to 1967, and Batman, who launched for 11 issues in 1967. These are not commonplace in any condition, and we’ve been exceptionally fortunate to have a number of these two series in high grades. A selection of Man From UNCLE World Adventure Library (initially repackaging of the Gold Key comics, moving on to original material) is available from #1 to #11; our range of Batman World Adventure Library (original text stories with illustrations) goes from #3 to #6. Illustrated; Batman WAL #3 VF £20 and Man From UNCLE WAL #1 VF £25.
*TV & Film Related Comics: The 1967/1968 run of TV Tornado is a favourite among collectors, with popular features including Tarzan, the Phantom, Flash Gordon, the Saint and many others. The major selling point for Gerry Anderson completists, however, is the addition of The Mysterons, antagonists of Captain Scarlet, in their own series from issue #36, following the absorption of TV Tornado’s companion, Solo. Another phenomenon of recent years is fierce competition for certain covers featuring various media figures. TV Tornado had for a period presented a TV-star ‘Cover Man’ portrait, and while folks were largely indifferent to Simon Dee, Leslie Crowther or Harry Secombe, covers associated with cult TV shows – such as The Prisoner, Doctor Who or John Steed from TV’s Avengers – have spiralled massively in price, owing to interest from, generally, collectors outside the comics-reading world. We have been fortunate in acquiring a substantial run of TV Tornado, 55 of the 88 published issues, including the first and final numbers, in generally low-to-mid grade affordable copies. Highlights include issue #1 VG £50, # 3 VF £45 and, pictured, #48 (Prisoner cover) GD £20, #59 (Patrick Troughton/Doctor Who cover) FA £30 and #64 (John Steed/Avengers cover) VG £25.
*Humour Comics: 1970 was a transitional year for the Beano Summer Special, as Dennis the Menace took over front cover prominence from the former featured character, Biffo the Bear, marking a new era for the veteran title. The format remained unchanged, however: oversized pages (13″ x 10″) with more colour and better paper than the weekly, making for an extra-sized treat for the traditional British family Summer break. This is a remarkably clean and bright copy, no sign of the horizontal folding often plaguing these larger items, very minor corner and edge wear, but firm spine and tight staples, with all the regular features from the weekly; Dennis the Menace, Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx, Billy the Cat, General Jumbo, the Q-Karts and more are waiting inside for you! FN- £40.
*Marvel: In 1962, following the smash success of the Fantastic Four, Marvel were casting around for their next hit. Synthesising elements from popular TV shows of the time, Lee & Kirby brainstormed a ‘mash-up’ of Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde – the old Universal horror movies going great guns on late-nite horror shows – and threw in a jive-talking teenager a la ’77 Sunset Strip’s ‘Kookie’ for good measure, leavening the mix with a hearty dose of ever-popular Cold War paranoia.
The result was the Incredible Hulk; mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner runs out into a gamma-bomb test to save the life of a feckless teen who’s wandered into the kill zone, and in consequence Banner becomes the Hulk, a bestial monster of incalculable strength and uncontrollable rage… and one of the Marvel Universe’s leading figures was born!
All the key components of the Hulk were introduced in this issue: Banner and the Hulk himself, perpetual hero groupie Rick Jones, Bruce’s unrequited love interest Betty Ross, and Betty’s overbearing Dad, General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross – but several elements needed to be refined, including our hero’s skin colour. In this first issue only, he was grey, like the monsters in the black & white TV horror shows; from #2 onwards, without explanation, he became the emerald-hued behemoth we love today. But the main theme of the character – intelligence and compassion triumphing over brute strength – was evident even at this early stage, as Bruce, not the Hulk, turns an enemy into an ally and ultimately saves the day.
Curiously, the Hulk was a flop in his first series, cancelled after a mere six issues, and condemned to a few years as a guest-villain or a back-up strip until the revival of his solo title in 1968, but this is where his long and chequered career began.
Hulk #1 is regarded by many authorities as the second-rarest Marvel key issue (behind Amazing Fantasy #15, with Fantastic Four #1 in third place); we have only been lucky enough to have three or four copies through our hands in our quarter century of trading.
This is a pence priced copy, with clean, unmarred interiors, supple and unusually white for a comic of this vintage, no browning or brittleness. The cover, as you can see from the photos attached, is still very glossy, with the deep blue background vivid and unfaded. There are very fine, barely perceptible lines in the vertical centre of the cover image, not breaking the cover colour or impeding the image. Moderate spine wear and some corner blunting. The staples are firm at cover and centrefold, but the staples do have some rust, particularly the lower, which has caused some discolouration to a very small area adjacent to the staples at the interior. This discolouration is neither deep nor widespread. There is a 1 cm tear to the right cover edge, going through the ‘ER’ in the word ‘Monster’ on the cover blurb.
Despite these minor drawbacks, this is a highly attractive and eminently collectable copy of an exceedingly rare item. We have graded it VG, pence copy as previously noted, and it’s priced at £8,000.
Front and back cover images are shown below, plus splash page; high resolution images are available on request. Please note that this comic is not stored at our shop premises, and viewing is STRICTLY by appointment only and subject to 48 hours notice.
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:
*TV & Film Related Comics
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: While they have a great deal of charm filtered through the veil of nostalgia, most folks agree that Batman in the late Fifties and early Sixties got a bit goofy, with monsters, aliens, robots, unexpected super-powers, and a host of Bat-caped ladies, imps and critters running around an increasingly bizarre Gotham City. This was all swept away by the ‘New Look’, which re-established Batman as serious detectives and crime-fighters – but you know what? Here at 30th Century we celebrate the nonsensical, and there’s plenty of that in this selection of Batman’s own title, from #150 to #163, the last issue before the ‘New Look’ took over. This unbroken consecutive run features – in addition to all the above mentioned tropes – some of the classic villains: the Joker, Clayface, and the Silver Age return of the Penguin in #155, the Bumbershoot Bandit having taken a sabbatical for a few years prior. Pictured are #152 FN+ £50 (Joker story, but blink and you’ll miss it) and #155 FN+ £250, the Penguin’s Return; for everything else – including a fire-breathing Ace the Bat-Hound, because why not? – check out the online lists.
*DC: After a long and chequered career as a back-up in Action Comics and a lead in Adventure Comics, Supergirl was finally deemed ready to fly solo in 1972, with her new start being chronicled by then hot new writer Cary Bates and established Good Girl Artist Art Saaf. An oddball hybrid between the superhero and romance genres, the frankly loopy covers often showed our heroine crying over some romantic mishap which threatened disaster, or engaging in undignified tug-of-wars with other women for some random bloke – or Yeti, if there were no other males around! We have new stocks of this short-lived strangeness available, including the depicted issue #1 VF+ £75; believe it or not, a killer bulldozer is one of the least crazy situations our gal had to face…
*DC: More of the 1970s oversized tabloid editions issued by DC, most of which never made it over here to the Old Country in any quantity, and which are keenly sought today. We open with Famous First Edition F-4, reprinting, cover to cover, Whiz Comics #2, the first appearance of the original Captain Marvel, now known (because of interference from the House of Ideas) as Shazam! We then move on to Limited Collectors’ Edition C-21, also starring Captain Marvel/Shazam, C-39 – Secret Origins of Super-Villains – starring the Joker, Luthor, the Cheetah, Captain Cold, Sinestro and Dr. Sivana, as well as their heroic opposition; and we close with C-52, aka The Best of DC Vol. 1, with a Neal Adams cover fronting a selection of DC’s most distinguished and famous stories. Issue C-52 (VF £15) is pictured; the rest can be found in our catalogue listings.
*Marvel: One of the later breakout characters of Marvel, Frank Castle, aka bereaved urban vigilante the Punisher, became one of the company’s super-stars in the 1990s, but had spent most of the previous two decades ‘bubbling under’ as a guest-starring anti-hero, his media presence – and commercial appeal – being heightened by the recent Netflix TV series. The Punisher’s first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #129, February 1974, is rare in the UK, where, owing to the presence of Spider-Man Comics Weekly, the US title was embargoed for several years. This is a cents copy (there are no pence copies, of course), in remarkable condition; unmarred cover scene with bright, unfaded colour and excellent gloss. Staples are firm at cover and centrefold, interior pages off-white, flexible with no hint of brittleness or browning. A small hint of wear at the upper left cover corner and extremely faint blunting at the lower right corner are the only items precluding a still higher grade for this exceptional copy of a key issue, on sale in VF at £850. Front and rear covers and splash page are shown here; high resolution images are available on request.
*Marvel: A two-‘Fist’ed Slab Happy Event, with the first issue of Iron Fist’s solo series (following his successful ‘tryout’ run in Marvel Premiere) and issue #14, which saw the first appearance of a character destined to become a major villainous figure, the savage Sabretooth! Both of these outstanding items are CGC Blue Label copies, with no restoration whatsoever. The issue #1 is CGC graded 9.0 (VF/NM equivalent) at £100, and #14, CGC 7.5 (VF- equiv.) is £175. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Three early and significant issues of the ever-assembling Avengers this week: issue #8 saw the first appearance of Kang, the Lord of Time, who in his various guises and incarnations has plagued every hero in the Marvel Universe for decades (and as the Lord of Time, he’s got decades to spare!). Issue #28 brought us the debut of the Collector, the cosmic being obsessed with acquiring unique objects – including our heroes! And between these two, the ground-breaking #16, in which the entire line-up of the Avengers save for Cap quit the team, leaving the Avengers’ future in the hands of three reformed villains – and if you need me to tell you who they were, you really oughtn’t to be reading this! Issue #8 is GD p, off top staple and with minor wear at corners, £50. Issue #16 has unbroken deep cover colour, but a small puncture near lower staple where a superfluous staple has been removed VG+ p £55. And #28 is a lovely FN+ pence, bright and white with minimal corner wear, on sale at £75. SORRY, #8 & #16 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: We here at 30th Century consider the X-Men line-up of Storm, Wolverine, etc., having been around a mere 45 years, to be a bit ‘nouveau’, so we’re always happy to see more of what we old codgers call the ‘proper’ X-Men! This week, we add four early numbers to our lists; #5, #7, #10 and #11. The first two are cataclysmic clashes with our hero’s opposites, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, with guest-villain the Blob along for the ride; issue #10 presents the debut of Ka-Zar, Lord of the Hidden Land, and his sabre-toothed chum Zabu and issue #11 saw the premier appearance of the cosmic entity known only as the Stranger. Illustrated are #10 VG- p £55 and #11 VG+ p £50. For details on the others – and all our other stock of Marvel’s Merry Mutants – check out our online listings.
*Marvel: 1982 is a bit ‘recent’ for our palates, as we tend to focus on all things Gold, Silver & Bronze in our backstock, but occasionally a newer comic catches the public interest, and this is one such exception. In Hulk #271, the Jade Giant hosted a guest-star who at the time was treated as a joke, but who has since become a major player following his starring role in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movie franchises. Yes, Hulk #271 is the second appearance – and the first full-length, full-colour comic-book appearance – of Rocket Raccoon, and has skyrocketed in collectible and commercial importance over the last few years. This copy is an attractive FN+, pence priced, with very light corner and edge wear but tight staples, bright colour and clean interiors, and features all the quality you’d expect from the creative team of Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. FN+ p £55.
*Marvel: As part of our ongoing program to expand the range of our catalogue, we’re adding the first ongoing series of Punisher to our stock this week from 1987, beginning with the very first issue and comprising dozens more plus annuals. Not everyone’s cup of tea, we’ll admit, but, as sales attest, there’s no denying the popularity of the vendetta seeking Frank Castle.
*Marvel: A handful of additions to the very popular What If title: three issues featuring Conan (1 vs Thor), one starring Phoenix (#27) and #31 ‘What If Wolverine Had Killed The Hulk?’. For grades and prices, take a look at our catalogue.
*Marvel: A large quantity of Marvel Silver/Bronze issues across a wide range of titles as follows: Battlestar Galactica (final issue), Captain Marvel (nice grade early issues), Conan (#14 with Elric), Daredevil (Miller issues), Fantastic Four (#57 and Annual #2 with Dr Doom & the Silver Surfer), Hulk (Annual #1), Giant-Size Invaders, Iron Man, Ka-Zar, Machine Man (high grade issues), Marvel Chillers (#3 with Tigra), Marvel Classics Comics, Marvel Premiere, Marvel Super-Heroes (#20 with Dr Doom), Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-In-One, New Mutants (#87 2nd printing with Cable debut), Red Sonja, Secret Wars (#1), Shogun Warriors (final issue), Son Of Satan, Star Wars, Strange Tales, Sub-Mariner (nice grade early issues) and last, but no means least, Tales Of Suspense.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: A lovely Golden Age item this week: from Quality, Doll Man #4 (1942), starring the diminutive super-hero in most strips with a couple of other features. Created by Will Eisner, Doll Man was the first super-hero to have shrinking powers, preceding the Atom and Ant-Man by two decades. This copy is GD and presents well, with a strong, unmarked cover image and nice page quality; off both staples at front, but connected at the rear. These certainly don’t come up for sale too often! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: A briefly flourishing field after the superheroes faded in the Fifties was the ‘Spy’ sub-genre, an offshoot of the crime comics, in which daring, cool-headed agents thwarted the onset of the Red Hordes, aided, and sometimes opposed, by slinky and dangerous ladies. Atlas’ Spy Fighters was one such, launched in 1951 and starring fearless federal agent Clark Mason as he travelled the world fighting for peace… by any means necessary! We have most of Spy Fighters’ 15-issue run, from #1 (FN £72, pictured) to 1953’s #15, when the title, like most crime comics, fell foul of the incipient Comics Code.
*War: Shortly after the revival of Captain America in Avengers #4, fans started clamouring for ‘untold adventures’ of the hero in his WWII heyday. There were several such ‘flashback’ stories in Cap’s own series in Tales of Suspense, but perhaps the most memorable one was this crossover with Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos in issue #13 of Nick Fury’s own title. This item is less common than many early Marvel Age landmarks, as the war books, like the westerns, tended to be overlooked by fledgling Marvelites, so copies in any condition are uncommon. This GD/VG copy has moderate edge & spine wear, but a cover scene completely unimpeded apart from the pence stamp, colours still bright and vivid. GD/VG p £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Western: Two short-run series for our Atlas Western update this week – plus one guest! Billy Buckskin was launched in 1956, attempting to cash in on then-current craze for all things Davy Crockett related with a junior lookalike. Despite eye-catching covers by Maneely and excellent interior art by Mort Drucker (later famous for TV & movie parodies in Mad Magazine), Billy Buckskin lasted only three issues, and we have the first two. 1957’s Western Trails looked good, with Severin covers, interior art by Maneely and Severin, and starring the popular Ringo Kid character; but for some reason it ‘stalled’ never getting beyond its second issue. Both issues now in stock. And finally, a guest ride-along by Gunhawk, a.k.a. Red Larabee, whose series lasted longer than either of these others; low-grade issues added in this week. Illustrated: Billy Buckskin #1 GD+ £20 and Western Trails #1 VG £24.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: From the Fear-Fraught Fifties to the shuddersome Seventies, these magazine-sized comics did their best to circumvent the Comics Code Authority and bring tales of terror to the populace! New this week, Chilling Tales of Horror from Stanley, a cheerfully trashy reworking of trashy old Pre-Code horror stories behind new trashy covers; 1959’s first (and possibly only?) issue of Monsters and Things, from Magnum Publications, a Famous Monsters of Filmland rip-off with a small amount of comics content; two mags from the short-lived Atlas/Seaboard line of the 1970s, Thrilling Adventure Stories and Weird Tales of the Macabre: and 1970’s Web of Horror from Major, a Creepy-wannabe with the distinction of Berni Wrightson’s first professionally-published artwork. Illustrated is Web of Horror #1 (Dec 1969, FN/VF p £27), with the others, as always, detailed in our online listings. SORRY, PICTURED ITEM NOW SOLD
*Annuals: Doctor Who, of course, has been a fixture in the zeitgeist almost since the TV series debuted in 1963, and it wasn’t long before a world of merchandise emerged themed around Gallifrey’s favourite son and his time-traversing adventures. The BBC released Annuals of original material for the lucrative Christmas gift market commencing in 1965, and we are delighted to have exceptionally nice copies of the first three. The 1965 Doctor Who Annual, the first, is FN+ £25; the 1966 Annual, scarcer than its parent, is also FN+ at £40 and the 1967 Annual, the first featuring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, is significantly less common than the first two. This FN/VF copy is £60. All three have unmarked interiors, with the original prices not clipped, no puzzles or activity pages filled in, no gift dedication or previous owners’ names written in; the 1965 and 1966 Annuals have very minor wear at the spine tips, and a small ‘bubble’ in the laminate on their front covers. The 1967 Annual has a tiny impact flaw at the upper right front cover corner, and a matching mark on the back cover, indicating it has been dropped at one point, but without significant damage. All three are clean, bright, superior copies, and the second and third issues are genuinely uncommon. (NB: There is some confusion on certain sales sites regarding the dates. Because they were released for the Christmas gift market, some vendors call these the 1966, 1967 and 1968 Annuals. We go by the actual years of release, since there are no exterior cover dates.) SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Launched in 1963 with a rotating feature remit, Valiant Picture Library at first presented a wide variety of features, including adventure, western, crime, historical, sci-fi and at least one super-hero – but within thirty or so issues, it had settled into the well-trodden World War II genre, albeit with superior artists and writers to many of its contemporaries. It ran for 144 issues, ending in 1969 (Oddly, because they were released two-a-month, both #143 and #144 carried the announcement that they were the final issue on their inside front covers; don’t be deceived.). We’re pleased to have many, though not quite all, of VPL back in stock, from the first issue to the very last, averaging FN, and with many achieving the grade of VF, bright, shiny and vivid, a grade seldom award to items of this vintage. Pictured are #1 FN £35, #2 FN £20 and #3 VF £25. Details on the rest? You know where to look by now, surely?
*TV & Film Related Comics: Another exciting update for our stocks of Lady Penelope this week. This rarest of the Gerry Anderson TV titles started out as a ‘traditional’ Gerry Anderson venture similar to TV Century 21 or Joe 90; it evolved into more of a pop/TV mag and ended up as more of a traditional girls’ comics as the name changed to just ‘Penelope’. All three ‘faces’ are featured in this week’s update with new issues in between #24 & #179; pictured are #27 VG/FN £22.50 and #147 VF £25.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
and in our American/British section:
and in our Books Section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Clearance Corner: A rootin’ tootin’ riot of ‘faux’ British 1950s westerns up for grabs this week from Miller, Westworld and other publishers. All feature material originated in the UK or Europe rather than the genuine US of A. Titles include Ace High Western (1), Broncho Bill (2), Colorado Kid (3), Jim Bowie (2), Kid Dynamite (1), Little Sheriff (8), Pancho Villa (3), Pecos Bill (3) & Rocky Mountain King (6). All in decent condition and previously on sale for well over £100, this lot is now offered at the bargain price of just £30. UK postage if required will be an extra £5. SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: DC’s Limited Collectors’ Edition tabloids of the 1970s, most of which were non-distributed in the UK, are highly sought-after now, their extra dimensions not lending themselves to long-term storage, and being more prone to damage than the average comic book. Among the most sought-after are the several issues featuring Batman, of which we have three new to our lists: C-25, with a selection of the Darknight Detective’s stellar artists from all eras, including Robinson, Infantino and Adams; C-37, an ‘All-Villain Special’ featuring vintage tales of the Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, the Penguin and the Scarecrow and C-59, with an original Adams cover fronting ‘Batman’s Strangest Cases’, including contributions from Giordano, Novick, Wrightson and that Adams boy again. C-25 and C-37 are both VF- at £35 each; C-59 is FN+ £30. SORRY, THESE HAVE ALL NOW SOLD
*DC: After a decade in retirement, Catwoman was brought back as one of the major antagonists in 1966’s Batman TV show, and in short order returned to the comics pages – not in Batman or in Detective Comics, which one might have reasonably expected, but in the 70th issue of Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane! Well, obviously. In a full-length thriller (and a rather fetching variation of her classic costume), Selina Kyle transformed Superman into a Puss of Steel, resulting in the inevitable (ahem) catfight with Lois when the latter discovered her beloved’s fate. Other guest-appearances by the Penguin, Batman and Robin stretched the story out to the extent that it had to be concluded in the following issue. It’s all complete hooey, but huge fun, with Kurt Schaffenberger’s illustrations at their finest. This copy of Lois Lane #70 is a striking VF- pence, with only the faintest wear at corners and spine precluding a higher grade. On sale at £175. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: A collection of misfits with strange powers, hated and feared by the world they protect, led by a paraplegic genius in a wheelchair. Sound familiar? Well, guess again – almost simultaneously with the debut of the X-Men at Marvel, DC made their moribund title My Greatest Adventure the home of the ‘Doom Patrol’, created by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani. The tone was altogether darker than the X-Men, with our heroes’ abilities ostracising and potentially destroying them. The Doom Patrol was long one of the under-regarded classics of the Silver Age, but a recent successful Netflix series, spinning out of the ‘Titans’ TV show, has brought the DP back into the ascendant. We have a selection of early DP issues, from #87 (the re-named title having quietly assumed My Greatest Adventure’s numbering) to #99, the latter being the first appearance of Beast Boy, green-skinned shapeshifting orphan who became the series’ breakout character owing to his affiliation with the 1980s New Teen Titans. The Doom Patrol #99, pictured, is VG+ p, a clean bright copy with good eye appeal and minimal corner and edge wear, one light lower diagonal cover crease. On sale at £100.
*Marvel: An all-star entry for the Marvel Universe’s First Family this week. Five landmark issues of the Fantastic Four, each of which featured the debut of a guest hero, villain or supporting character who would become crucial to the FF, and the greater Marvel Universe, in decades to come. In #45, we first met the Inhumans en masse, the Royal Family of Attilan from whom the previously-introduced Medusa and Gorgon had sprung. In #46, we had the full debut of Black Bolt, the silent monarch of the Inhumans. In #48, of course, we saw for the first time not only the planet-devouring Galactus, but also his herald, the cosmic-powered Silver Surfer. #50 brought us the conclusion of the first Surfer/Galactus story arc and the premier of Wyatt Wingfoot, friend of the FF and later main squeeze of the She-Hulk, who despite being around for decades has yet to manifest a single super-power (is that even legal in Marvelworld?). Last but far from least, #52 presented the Black Panther, monarch of a mysterious African nation who would later join both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four themselves. All of these epic issues are illustrated below for your appreciation: #45 GD- p (light book centre stamp) £70, #46 VG p £55, #48 FA p, covers detached & separated £200, #50 FN p £125 and #52 PR/FA p, covers detached and separated £60. The low to mid grades on these key issues make them relatively affordable to the casual reader – if you’re quick; we don’t expect to have these in stock for long! SORRY, #48 & #52 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In 1972, Marvel decided to issue a ‘tryout’ title, in which new concepts or popular supporting characters could be ‘auditioned’ for their own series. One such was Warlock, who had previously made only a handful of appearances as ‘Him’ in Fantastic Four and Thor before being shuffled off to cosmic Limbo, but with a new name and new look, he was pimped out by the creative team of Roy Thomas and Gil Kane as a brand-new super-hero, based on a parallel world called Counter-Earth. After two issues of M. Prem., Warlock got his own series – perhaps prematurely, as it only lasted eight issues before he died in the pages of the Hulk – but don’t worry, he got better, revived by Jim Starlin before, oh, being killed again. Notwithstanding, Warlock is rumoured to be resurfacing in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise, and this is the first appearance of the cosmic hero in his full heroic guise. This CGC blue-label, no restoration, Marvel Premiere #1 is 7.5 (VF- equivalent), on sale at £95. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Three years after the debut of the Black Panther, 1969’s Captain America #117 saw the debut of Marvel’s second African-American super-hero. Having switched bodies involuntarily with the Red Skull, Cap ends up on Exile Island, being hunted by the Skull’s henchmen. Rescued by a young man named Sam Wilson and his pet hawk, Redwing, Cap persuades Sam of the importance of a costumed identity as a symbol, and Sam adopts the guise of the Falcon, first to inspire revolution in the native population of Exile Island, and later as an aspirational figure in Sam’s Harlem home. The Falcon and his avian sidekick Redwing would become a mainstay of Cap’s series, and of course figure largely in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, so this first appearance, long undervalued, is now climbing. This is an attractive VG+, cents copy with no pence price or overstamp, clean and tight with only light to moderate wear at the edge and spine but an unimpeded cover scene and clean interiors, on sale at £65. 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, light to moderate spine and edge wear, unmarred cover and decent interiors. GD/VG p £55. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD