*DC: Three excellent Batman stories await you inside this colourful sci-fi cover from Curt Swan; two are pencilled by Sheldon Moldoff (one co-starring Batwoman and Bat-Hound) and the third (cover story) by Dick Sprang, my favourite Batman artist of the period. This is a decent, pre-distribution copy with some edge wear and creasing, good colour, nice page quality and firm staples. There are faint vestiges of pencil marks (now erased) over the letters of the cover logo. Note that we also have a VG copy in stock, which is only slightly higher in price.
PICTURED: BATMAN #125 VG- £75 SOLD
*DC: Although a bit ‘modern’ by our normal standards, this landmark Elseworlds mini-series is of such a high quality that we couldn’t leave it out of our catalogue. Four deluxe squarebound issues, written by fan favourite writer Mark Waid and painted (covers AND interiors) by fan favourite artist Alex Ross, Kingdom Come presents a powerful tale of the entire DCU and a future that may or may not come to pass. If you’ve not read this nor feasted your eyes on the superlative artwork, do yourself a favour and get to your electronic communication device of choice and rush off an email to us now. Who knows? You might be first!
PICTURED: KINGDOM COME #1 NM; COMPLETE SET 1-4 (#2 VF, #3 NM, #4 NM-) £85
*Marvel: Perhaps surprisingly, Wolverine had been around quite few years before he starred in his own title. (Even after this 1982 mini-series, it would be a further 6 years before Logan got his own ongoing solo title). You can’t say that Marvel were milking the character’s popularity – a phrase I thought I’d never write. But they did pull out all the stops with this mini, combining X-Men scribe Chris Claremont with super-star artist Frank Miller in this tale of the Yakuza and Wolverine’s doomed love Mariko Yashida. All fours issues are presented here as a set: #1 is a splendid VF+, #2 & #4 both very respectable VF grades, #3 structurally sound but let down a bit by some white marks (possibly stacking ink?) at the edges of the cover, VG/FN.
PICTURED: WOLVERINE #1 VF+; COMPLETE SET 1-4 £190 SOLD
*Marvel: Ant-Man made his first guest appearance in FF #16, in which he aided Marvel’s First Family in their adventures in the mysterious micro-world of Doctor Doom in a classic Lee & Kirby tale. This lowish-graded pence printed copy has extra staples added, a long diagonal colour breaking cover crease, marks on the inside cover staple areas where it looks like tape may have been removed, edge wear, corner blunting and general ‘tiredness’. The feature page on Mr Fantastic is missing, although all story pages are present, so we have thus designated an ‘Apparent’ grade and priced it accordingly.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #16 App GD p £65 SOLD
*Marvel: Apart from a shared name and attribute of being ‘Lord of the Jungle’, there was little similarity between the Ka-Zar of Marvel’s Golden Age and the character introduced in X-Men #10. Unlike his predecessor, this Ka-Zar ruled over the Savage Land and had Zabu, a big pussycat of a sabre-tooth, as his companion. Ka-Zar has, of course, gone on to become a fixture of the Marvel Universe, with several of his own series under his belt; the long association of Marvel’s Merry Mutants with the Savage Land also started right here. This is an honest pence stamped copy, with good staples, decent pages and just average edge wear and corner blunting, nothing horrible.
PICTURED: X-MEN #10 VG+ p £200
*Marvel: I think if you’re reading this, you must know who Norman Osborn is, so we won’t dwell on that, save to say that this where he made his very first appearance (as Norman Osborn, that is). In this penultimate Ditko issue, Spidey comes up against a couple of wacky robots as only Sturdy Steve could design them. Not a great copy, pence printed, with quite a few colour-breaking creases, corner blunting, edge wear, a tiny chip out at base of spine, but reasonable pages and staples.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #37 GD p £55 SOLD
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. A John Romita gem this update, a superior copy of Amazing Spider-Man #45, the second part of Spidey’s second clash with the Lizard. This is a bright, glossy copy with just minimal wear including a couple of small faint creases at bottom corners. A brilliant cover image which the quality of this copy brings to life.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #45 VF- p £95
*Marvel: In issue #150 of Amazing Spider-Man, we find Peter racked with doubt: is he the real Peter Parker or is he a clone? Coming on the end of the clone saga, this issue appeared to put an end to this question, or so we thought as the time. Spidey comes up against several of his old foes, or does he? Archie Goodwin and Gil Kane reveal all. A lovely high grade glossy copy, with just the tiniest wear at the corners.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #150 VF+ £55 SOLD
*Marvel: Rumour has it that the Time Variance Authority (timeline monitors) will have a major part to play in the upcoming Loki TV series. What better time then to invest in their first appearance in Thor #372, part of the acclaimed Walt Simonson run on Thor? We present a nice copy, with just a few non-colour breaking creases at the spine and right edge.
PICTURED: THOR #372 FN/VF £40 SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: By its tenth issue, Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan’s highly acclaimed run on Tomb of Dracula was in full swing, racking up plaudits from critics and fans alike, when suddenly there came a character who was to outstrip even the success of his comic book ‘parent’. Blade the Vampire Slayer debuted in issue #10, and, numerous comic-book appearances and a highly successful movie trilogy (Marvel’s first such, in fact) behind him, remains one of the more enduring breakthrough characters of the 1970s. With the Blade franchise shortly about to be ‘rebooted’, in the media’s voracious frenzy for new properties, Blade’s early appearances are once more spiralling upward, and the prices on this debut issue has risen substantially over the last year. This is a pence printed copy, in lovely glossy condition, tight and flat with great staples and white to off-white pages. Wear is restricted to tiny stress marks at the staples and a tiny nick towards the top right edge of the cover. There is a soft crease diagonal for about 9 cm from the centre of the right cover edge, but this only just breaks colour and is barely noticeable. Without it, this copy would grade better than VF and be comfortably in four figures, more than twice as expensive. High resolution images are available on request.
PICTURED: TOMB OF DRACULA #10 FN p £850
*Alan Class Reprints: For many years now, we’ve been scouring the personal archives of legendary publisher Alan Class (who is still very much with us) and with his full co-operation, releasing for sale sets of the original printing plates that were used to print the covers of his comics from 1959-1989. We have now reached the final phase of these plate set releases, which will last us through 2021 and probably into 2022. These sets are time-consuming to prepare, so our release schedule will be staggered. But the good news is that all the sets we have left are among the best, either featuring a classic Marvel comic reprint, or else a very early fantasy/mystery issue. So, this final phase represents your last opportunity to add one or more of these unique pieces to your collection. Each set comprises the lead printing plates used in the original comic’s colour printing, a copy of the comic printed with these plates and a signed certificate of authenticity signed by Alan Class himself. These are packaged in a special protective presentation case. Several sets (as noted) have additional historical artefacts such as colour proofs, interior page plates, printers’ photostats etc. (Please be aware that these weigh a lot and postage will be expensive. Also note that due to the onerous paperwork required for customs declarations following Brexit, we can no longer post these Plate Sets outside the UK.) We continue this week with four more sets, details as follows:
ASTOUNDING STORIES #9 £50 Comic FN Reprints ACG, Charlton
SECRETS OF THE UNKNOWN #108 £60 Comic GD/VG Reprints Daredevil #45 & #46 with Statue of Liberty photo cover, plus Charlton inc 2 Ditko. SOLD
SINISTER TALES #106 £75 Comic VG Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #72 inc cover & ACG. SOLD
UNCANNY TALES #29 £80 Comic GD Reprints Thor & Kirby Tales of Asgard from Journey Into Mystery #98 inc cover, a Tale of the Wasp, Pre-hero Marvel, Charlton, Atlas, 2 Ditko, 1 Ditko/Kirby. Extra: 2 interior plates, inc Thor splash page SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: This faux US black and white series from the 1950s was originally published by Sports Cartoons (#6 here) and distributed by L Miller; later on L Miller took over publication (as in #35 here). Steve started out as a circus strong man and his adventures centred around the circus setting, although later on he developed into something of a secret agent and more general adventurer, sharing his title with those other stalwarts of the erstwhile Sports Cartoon stable Dick Hercules and Captain Vigour. Two issues for your consideration this week, the earliest sporting a Jim Holdaway cover.
PICTURED: STEVE SAMSON BOTH SOLD
#6 FN £18
#35 VG/FN £14
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Following on from previous releases of earlier numbers, we now have many issues between #101 & #149 of Commando War Stories In Pictures from the same source. A previous owner at some point decided to place two to four reinforcing staples through the spine, quite skilfully so as to not hamper the opening of the item nor hide any of the content; there is minimal bleed from these staples and the page quality is really rather nice. As we move up the numbers, the overall condition quality improves, so in most cases, the grade is assigned through wear rather than specific defects. Please consult our catalogue for full details.
#101 VG £15
#132 VG £15
*Girls’ Comics: Three issues of the very traditional and long running girls’ comic School Friend, each with their original Free Gifts, are presented this week. Two are consecutive from 1958: 14th & 21st June. The first has a GD/VG comic with a GD Free Gift (My Friendship Album) with a rusty staple and loose pages; the second is a FA/GD comic with heavy dust shadow and a GD Free Gift (My Holiday Album) in a similar condition to the gift from the earlier issue. Our final offering in this update is 19th September 1959, a GD comic with rusty staples but with two Free Gifts: the Ballerina Brooch (still sealed in its original envelope) and two autographed photos of contemporary celebrities.
PICTURED: SCHOOL FRIEND
14/6/58 GD/VG WITH FREE GIFT GD £20
21/6/58 FA/GD WITH FREE GIFT GD £17.50
19/9/59 GD WITH FREE GIFTS FN £25 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: A further update for this title, with 13 issues added between #231 and #250. Attractive and stylish art covers on these, with interiors to match. In lovely condition, with great page quality and not a rusty staple in sight. See our catalogue for details.
PICTURED: PICTURE ROMANCE LIBRARY
#241 FN/VF £9
#244 FN/VF £9
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We’re big fans of Lin Carter’s Pan Ballantine Adult Fantasy series of the early 1970s. Although it included the odd turkey, it also included practically all the major works of fantasy to date at that time. It is one of those that concerns us here: E. R. Eddison’s ‘The Worm Ouroboros’ and the three volumes that followed it (collectively known as the Zimiamvian Trilogy) are great works of romantic fantasy on a grand scale. Often compared to Tolkein’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’, (they were contemporaries) Eddison’s work is nothing like Tolkein’s, apart from in its scope and realisation of fantastic kingdoms. Such noted fantasy authors as C S Lewis, James Stephens and James Branch Cabell have sung Eddison’s praises. The Worm Ouroboros stands alone, although there are obvious (though unexplained) links to the books that followed. The final volume written, The Mezentian Gate, was unfinished at the time of Eddison’s death, although the author’s synopses for the missing chapters are included. Fans of Middle-Earth, Narnia and Gormenghast looking for something else on such an epic scale, jump right in!
PICTURED: E.R. EDDISON ALL SOLD
THE WORM OUROBOROS 4th UK PB Pan Ballantine 1975 VG £6 (Small corner crease, some foxing)
MISTRESS OF MISTRESSES UK PB 1970? Pan Ballantine VG £5 (Small corner creases)
A FISH DINNER IN MEMISON UK PB 1972 Pan Ballantine VG £5 (Small corner creases)
THE MEZENTIAN GATE UK PB 1972 Pan Ballantine GD £3.50 (Reading creases at spine, small corner creases)
*DC: In 2001, DC let Stan Lee loose on its most famous characters to see what might have happened if the creator of the Marvel Universe had in fact created the DCU. Under the generic title of ‘Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating…’ he teamed up with the cream of modern and classic artists in a series of prestige format one-offs, and back cover art on each issue was by none other than Adam Hughes. We have six issues of this series new in stock: Green Lantern, with art by Dave Gibbons, JLA (Jerry Ordway), Robin (John Byrne), Sandman (Walter Simonson), Shazam (Gary Frank) and Superman (John Buscema, no less!). All in a spiffy NM condition at £10 each.
PICTURED: JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE CREATING…
JLA NM £10
SUPERMAN NM £10
*DC: Our DC alphabetical romp reaches the letter ‘K’, with many additions to Jack Kirby’s Kamandi (from #2 onwards), Karate Kid (from #2) and Kong the Untamed (high grade #1 & #2).
*Marvel: Stan Lee created the Fantastic Four as a response to DC’s success with the Justice League of America, but it was the later Avengers concept that more properly copies the JLA format, with all Marvel’s nascent super-heroes banding together to fight common threats. The nature of the Avengers ever-changing roster was there almost from the start, since the Hulk left the team in this second issue, which also featured the menace of the Space Phantom in his debut appearance, and reflected the recent change of Ant-Man into Giant-Man. We have a nice mid-grade pence copy available, with strong colour, nice pages and tight, firmly-attached staples. There is minor edge and handling wear, and a small 1 cm tear at the right cover edge. Very small creases break colour at the edge of the bottom right cover. There is also a fairly faint UK book shop stamp below the upper cover blurb (above Thor’s head); fortunately, this is not too prominent and does not cover any of the characters. Some corner blunting but nothing too bad.
PICTURED: AVENGERS #2 VG+ p £375 SOLD
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Issue #36 of Amazing Spider-Man is one of Ditko’s last issues, where he introduces a typically stylish Ditko villain Meteor Man (who later rebranded himself as the Looter) in an action-packed epic. This is a decent cents copy with a cover unmarked except for a tiny arrival date below the masthead, tight and flat with good staples and page quality, some corner blunting but only minor edge wear.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36 FN- £80
*Marvel: The Kingpin makes his cover debut on Amazing Spider-Man #51, towering menacingly over a fallen Spidey with his gang gathered round in one of John Romita’s most memorable covers. I remember thinking what a visually striking figure was cut by the Kingpin, a testament to Romita’s design skills. This issue also features the debut of Daily Bugle man Robbie Robertson, who, if memory serves, was the first black recurring character to play an important role in Peter Parker’s life. This is a superior pence printed copy, difficult to find in high grade due to the black background. It is tight and flat with firmly attached staples and nice off-white pages. The cover colour is great, unmarked and retains some gloss. Corners are fairly sharp. There are a couple of small spine ‘ticks’ and very minor wear along the top edge. A very nice prize for your collection.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #51 FN/VF p £250
*Marvel: In our bulging Spider-Mania haul this week, we’re delighted to add a lovely copy of Amazing Spider-Man #200, where Spidey finally faces off against the first villain he never fought — the burglar who killed Uncle Ben. It’s a moving and emotional tale by Marv Wofman and Keith Pollard, under a Romita cover. Squarebound and in almost perfect nick, apart from very minor reading wear.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #200 VF/NM £40 SOLD
*Marvel: Amazing Spider-Man #252, like many Secret Wars ‘epilogue’ issues, featured a major ‘twist’ only explained retroactively. In Spidey’s case, it was a dramatic black & white costume which would eventually be revealed as an alien symbiote, which in turn would evolve into Venom, who eclipsed most longer-established villains to become Spidey’s crucial nemesis for the modern era. Although the first appearance of the symbiote in internal continuity was Secret Wars #8, its joint debut in real time was this very issue. But please take note — this is a low grade cheap copy, with some crumpling, blunt corners, lots of spine ticks and colour-breaking creases across the top and bottom right corners, including a small chip out at the bottom right. Nice as a gap filler, but not an investment collectable copy.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252 FA/GD £20 SOLD
*Marvel: Sam (Falcon) Wilson had already been around a long time in the MU when he had his first solo outing in Marvel Premiere #49 in 1979. Now of course he has risen to prominence as one of Marvel’s latest TV stars. In this issue he comes up against the Silencer in an action-packed murder mystery, with Redwing, to boot. A lovely copy, flat, tight and glossy, with just very minor spine wear.
PICTURED: MARVEL PREMIERE #49 VF £28 SOLD
*Marvel: For those who like their Marvel Universe with a huge dollop of Cosmic thrown in, we present Silver Surfer #34 (1990), featuring the return of both Thanos (as the ultimate nemesis) and Jim Starlin (on scripts). Also featuring Death (the character, that is). A nice glossy, flat copy with just very minor reading wear at the spine.
PICTURED: SILVER SURFER #34 VF/NM £30 SOLD
*Marvel: This week, we reach the end of our alphabetical sweep through the Marvel Universe, with titles from ‘W’ to ‘X’, comprising Jim Starlin’s Warlock, a little tickle to What if, lots of early X-Factor and a whole grab-bag full of X-Men, firstly #40 (featuring the first appearance of Frankenstein’s Monster in the MU), then issues from the 200’s, with Inferno, the advent of Jim Lee on art and a whole lot more. There’ll be loads more Marvel added to our catalogue every week, of course, but this finally clears a bit of a backlog of stock we had building up.
*Horror 1940-1959: In our regular pre-code horror feature this week, we present four issues of Fawcett’s This Magazine Is Haunted, famous for its horrific covers. Hosted by Dr. Death in a shameless bit of nominative determinism, the series went on to be published by Charlton from #15 onwards. These issues are all low grade, with the faults being described below for each issue.
PICTURED: THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED
#1 FA £50 Taped spine. Corners off lower and upper right front cover.
#2 GD+ £75 Mis-cut. Small pieces out interior margins (only) 3 pages.
#4 PR £32 Off lower staple. Lower spine split. Brown and brittle.
#7 PR/FA £30 Extreme upper edge wear with piece out. Colour touches.
*Alan Class Reprints: A further update to one of Alan Class’s ‘big six’ titles, Secrets Of The Unknown. We have eight new issues available in our regular listings section between #53 & #117. See our catalogue for full details.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1976, the second issue of the notorious British Boys’ weekly, Action, home of Hookjaw the cuddly man-eating shark and several other strips of unprecedented violence and controversy. This is a decent copy, with reasonable pages, a cover unmarked except for a faint small ‘2’ in pencil to the left of the logo and a small split at the base of the spine. The Free Gift, a delightful Hookjaw transfer to iron on to your T-shirt comes unused with its original backing and has one or two small signs of wear only.
PICTURED: ACTION 21/2/76 (#2) VG WITH FREE GIFT FN/VF £90
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: One of the rarest and most sought after issues of Super Detective Library is #9, The Island Of Fu Manchu, written by Sax Rohmer, the creator of the diabolical oriental mastermind. We can offer a very nice copy of this rarity this week, with very little wear and nice square corners, fresh colours and excellent pages. It’s let down only by the inevitable rusty staple, but the rust is fairly minimal with little bleed, just encroaching on to the edge of the cover scene.
PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY #9 VG/FN £45 SOLD
*Humour Comics: Continuing our policy of providing more information for Beano and Dandy, we have a new batch of Dandy in this week from the first half of 1958, annotated with details of strip debuts and other significant events. Unfortunately, no strip debuts in these new issues, except for the first strip appearance of Quick Nick, who had first appeared years earlier as a prose feature; however, we do have both the New Year issue, the April Fool issue and #847, which includes a rather splendid flyer for Rover, advertising the Free Gift ‘Dazzle Rocket’. Full details in our catalogue.
PICTURED: DANDY #847 VG £16 with Rover promo flyer SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Seventeen more issues of the keenly collected Schoolgirls’ Picture Library now listed between #151 and #175, mostly in very decent condition and featuring many issues previously missing from our catalogue. Take a look there to check them out.
PICTURED: SCHOOLGIRLS’ PICTURE LIBRARY #157 VG £10 SOLD
*Childrens’ Books: A further update from this quirky sidebar in publishing history this week. ‘Blitz Books’ is a generic name for various publishers’ series of miniature books (approx 8.5 x 12 cm, around 16 pages, and published 1940-1944), these booklets helped distract children in air-raid shelters and Underground stations during bombing raids over London. They became known as ‘Blitz Books’, and, like many publications from the years of World War II, are quite scarce, particularly in as nice condition as the examples we have here. Six from the Little Marvels Series, illustrated text stories with colourful, evocative covers. None of these have ever passed through our hands before.
PICTURED: BLITZ BOOKS: LITTLE MARVELS ALL SOLD
#17 BOMBS ON BERCHTESGADEN VG/FN £7
#18 ACE V ACE FN £8
#21 SCOUTS OF DOOM FN £8
#33 THE MAN WITH THREE EYES FN £8
#39 THE RECAPTURE OF SINGAPORE VG/FN £7
#41 FORCED LANDING VG/FN £7
To commemorate our impending relocation, Dr Evilla, our fiendish window expert, has designed a farewell to Putney window which will grace our establishment until our move is complete later this summer. She’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for all the appreciation for her efforts over the years; who could forget the Western diorama, the comics quiz window, and, most infamous of all, the super-hero underpants window? Ah, happy days…
*DC: Although, a decade later, Alan Moore became for most readers the definitive writer on DC’s muck monster, back in 1972, the first series of Swamp Thing launched at the hands of Berni Wrightson, who is undoubtedly the definitive artist for the character. After debuting in House Of Secrets #92, Swampy appeared in his own series and this first issue is a high grade cents copy with great cover colour and gloss, tight and flat with firmly attached staples and off-white to white pages. No cover marks, just very minor edge and handling wear; corners are relatively sharp.
PICTURED: SWAMP THING #1 VF £170 SOLD
*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! In #1, Supergirl comes up against the threat of a killer bulldozer (and that’s one of the least crazy threats she had to face!). Also, a back-up by ‘that bewitching magician Zatanna’, with art by the accomplished John Rosenberger. A nice glossy cents copy with firm, tight staples and great pages, very minor edge and handling wear, a tiny non-colour breaking crease across the tip of the bottom right corner, but a beautifully presenting copy.
PICTURED: SUPERGIRL #1 VF- £65
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Always in high profile due to being Iron Man’s arch-nemesis (his Dr. Doom, if you like), the Mandarin has risen now to even more to prominence due to the upcoming Master of Kung Fu film, where Mandy is the Big Bad. The Mandarin, a master of science, martial arts, and controller of an international network of operatives, whose ruthlessness is outmatched only by his ingenuity. And he’s got the bling, too! Famously, each of Mandy’s digits carries a ring (“More than Zsa Zsa Gabor”, as Ben Grimm once remarked) with its own unique powers, at their master’s deadly disposal. So here’s your chance to grab the Mandarin’s first appearance in decent grade before it goes ballistic… From the Square Mile Collection, in superior shape, tight and flat with good staples, unmarred cover image and great colour cover with some gloss. Off-white to white pages and minimal edge wear; tiny crease across bottom 1 cm of right cover corner, but almost indiscernable. A pence copy, labelled rather than the usual stamp or overprint. High resolution images are available on request.
PICTURED: TALES OF SUSPENSE #50 FN+ p £500 SOLD
*Marvel: Well, here it is, the very first Star wars comic from 1977. The 1970s Marvel Comics series of Star Wars isn’t commonplace in the UK, many of the issues having been completely non-distributed in Britain, and the rest having only low circulation here in the Old Country. Adapting the beginning of famous first movie courtesy of Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, the continuing popularity of the franchise has seen the prices soar on this issue in recent years. This flat, glossy copy of #1 presents well, with firm tight staples and creamy off-white pages. There is minimal spine and handling wear and some corner blunting, but nothing bad.
PICTURED: STAR WARS #1 VF- £230 SOLD
*Marvel: Our latest third-party graded acquisition is the landmark 98th and antepenultimate issue of New Mutants, featuring the premier of not only everyone’s favourite Merc-With-A-Mouth and blockbuster movie star, Deadpool, but also the very first appearance of the probability-manipulating assassin Domino and, for good measure, Gideon. Since Domino also co-starred in the smash-hit ‘Deadpool 2’ movie, her presence has enhanced the desirability of this already hot collectable issue. Although Deadpool as presented in this issue is very different in tone from his later more popular appearances, this is where it all began, and no modern comic collection is truly complete without this cornerstone, graded and encapsulated by CGC, universal grade (no restoration) and noted as ‘White Pages’, with the case in perfect condition.
PICTURED: NEW MUTANTS #98 CGC 9.2 (NM-) £475 SOLD
*Marvel: Dire threats against the heroes’ loved ones had, of course, been a stock-in-trade of popular entertainment since time immemorial, but in 1973’s Amazing Spider-Man #121, when Peter Parker’s love Gwen Stacy was imperilled by the Green Goblin, readers were genuinely shocked and saddened when Spidey’s daring rescue simply didn’t work – and Gwen was no more. Heroes had often been inspired by the death of a loved one, of course, but they were usually off-panel and frequently before the series actually began. This was the first time that someone the readers had ‘known’ for years was killed, and it changed the tone of the series forever, making this one of the most sought-after issues of the entire series. In considering this particular copy, make no mistake – it is NOT a beauty. Although colourful and glossy with a decent spine, there has been some impact crumpling to the top of the comic down to the logo area, resulting in creasing throughout which is miraculously not colour breaking, but deeply ingrained. Added to that, there is much wear to the right edge, and the bottom right corner has multiple small creases. The centrefold is also off top staple. But it’s all there and if you look at it and squint hard, it doesn’t look too bad, so if you want to fill a gap without breaking the bank, this might be the copy for you.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121 GD- £120 SOLD
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. This week, one of the most iconic covers of the Ditko run on Amazing Spider-Man, as the Molten Man debuts in Amazing Spider-Man #28. This was the second issue of Spidey I ever read, and the black cover, with just the red lines of Spidey’s costume shown, plus the gleaming Molten Man with his Ditko leer is a real stand-out cover image. The black background makes this a really tough comic to find in high grade, and our mid-grade example here attests to that. A pence printed copy with spine and edge wear, white spine ticks showing up quite markedly, and some colour-breaking creasing at the base of the spine, with a small cover nick on the right edge. Nice off-white pages though, good cover colour and some gloss, decent firm staples.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #28 VG p £110
*Marvel: One of the surprise reveals in the recent Falcon & Winter Soldier smash hit TV series was the debut of Contessa Valentina Allegro De Fontaine (‘Val’ for short). Although Val’s origins, motives and indeed affiliations seem shrouded in mystery, it was much simpler back in her first comic appearance in Strange Tales #159, where she portrayed herself as an Italian noblewoman enrolled in SHIELD’s spy-school and created by the multi-talented Jim Steranko, in an issue guest-starring Captain America. (Also in this issue, a superb Dr Strange story by Roy Thomas and Marie Severin). A reasonable pence printed mid-grade copy with moderate spine, edge and corner wear, unspoilt cover image, good staples and okay pages. There is a small 25p price written in biro at the edge of the logo.
PICTURED: STRANGE TALES #159 VG p £50 SOLD
*Marvel: Fan favourite Todd McFarlane’s run on Hulk peaked at issue #340, featuring the classic cover design of the Hulk reflected in Wolverine’s claws and an ensuing battle royale within. Peter David’s intelligent script meant that this was more than a simple slugfest. Our latest copy is a superior one, tight and flat with great cover colour and gloss, firm staples, nice off-white to white pages and fairly sharp corners. The grade is brought down a little by small spine ticks, a bit of handling wear at the bottom edge and a tiny impression of a pressure mark near Wolverine’s right eye. But still a very nice copy.
PICTURED: HULK #340 FN/VF £110
*Marvel: Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars, the brainchild of then Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter, was the first of the mega-crossovers in 1984, pre-dating even DC’s more famous Crisis On Infinite Earths, and setting a company-wide precedent for decades to come. This 12 issue max-series was chock-full of significant events that were to have ramifications throughout the Marvel Universe in the years ahead, and issue #1 of the series has taken on importance in its own right in recent times. We have a lovely high grade copy, tight, flat, glossy, colourful, great pages, with just the tiniest bit of handling wear.
PICTURED: SECRET WARS #1 NM- £85 SOLD
*EC: Always a joy to get original EC comics through our hands, the benchmark of quality from the 1950s. This week, it’s two issues of one of their classic science fiction titles, Weird Fantasy. The numbering on this series is a little confusing. The first issue is #13 (taking the numbering from A Moon, A Girl, Romance) and it carried on that sequence for five issues until #17, after which it converted to new numbering, starting with #6 and lasting up to #22 (after which it changed to Weird Science Fantasy). Got that? Good. Thus in this update the #16 is the first issue to bear that number (from 1950) and the fourth issue overall and the #21 from 1953 is the only #21. #16 has an Al Feldstein cover, with interior art by him, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kamen and Wally Wood. A not bad copy with some corner cover creasing and edge wear, with a small chip missing at the top right edge of the cover. One interior page (of the Kamen story) is coming loose and has a small corner off, which intrudes into the panel art, but nothing significant is missing. Beneath a stunning Williamson/Frazetta cover, #21 has art by Orlando, Williamson, Kamen and Severin/Elder. A tired copy, the cover colour is good but there are long colour-breaking creases down along it and a tear of 3.5 cm centre right edge. A small chip is also missing at the base of the spine and the spine itself has more than moderate wear, although the staples are good; page quality is quite decent. Story quality, of course, is superb on both throughout!
PICTURED: WEIRD FANTASY
#16 (#4) GD+ £90
#21 GD £80 SOLD
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: F.O.O.M. (to give it its acronym title) is a much-loved and fascinating piece of Marvel memorabilia, a self-published magazine format fanzine from the 1970s that has achieved cult status. Each of its 22 issues is chock full of articles, interviews, profiles, artwork, cartoons, previews and other Marvel mayhem. We have several issues new in stock, many of them in pristine or excellent condition, including other lower-graded copies of the two illustrated here. Whenever we get any of these, they are snapped up fast. See our catalogue for the full listing.
#6 NM- £69
#7 NM £75
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: This week, four issues of reprints of Fiction House’s long-running adventure series, Rangers, from the publishing house of H John Edwards in Australia. These are in a remarkable state of preservation for their age, with very little wear and vivid, glossy and beautiful covers (the work of Maurice Whitman, we suspect) that pop out at you in an almost three dimensional way. Three out of the four (#20, #26 & #27) are VF; the fourth (#20 is FN). These are from the later years of the Rangers title, with war themed covers; inside the usual Fiction House mix of war, western, detective and adventure, including repeat features such as Rip Carson, Suicide Smith, Commando Rangers and the Eye, as well as many a sexy chick or sultry oriental siren. Full details in our catalogue.
PICTURED: RANGERS #26 VF £15
*Alan Class Reprints: For many years now, we’ve been scouring the personal archives of legendary publisher Alan Class (who is still very much with us) and with his full co-operation, releasing for sale sets of the original printing plates that were used to print the covers of his comics from 1959-1989. We have now reached the final phase of these plate set releases, which will last us through 2021 and probably into 2022. These sets are time-consuming to prepare, so our release schedule will be staggered. But the good news is that all the sets we have left are among the best, either featuring a classic Marvel comic reprint, or else a very early fantasy/mystery issue. So, this final phase represents your last opportunity to add one or more of these unique pieces to your collection. Each set comprises the lead printing plates used in the original comic’s colour printing, a copy of the comic printed with these plates and a signed certificate of authenticity signed by Alan Class himself. These are packaged in a special protective presentation case. Several sets (as noted) have additional historical artefacts such as colour proofs, interior page plates, printers’ photostats etc. (Please be aware that these weigh a lot and postage will be expensive. Also note that due to the onerous paperwork required for customs declarations following Brexit, we can no longer post these Plate Sets outside the UK.) We continue this week with three more sets, details as follows:
CREEPY WORLDS #107 £60 Comic GD+ Reprints Nick Fury, Agent Of SHIELD #7 (classic Steranko Dali-esque cover) plus1 Fly Man, 1 Charlton Ditko. Extra: 1 cover colour proof. SOLD
OUTER SPACE #4 £50 Comic VG Reprints Charlton, 1 Ditko plus Ditko cover. Extra: 2 cover colour proofs, with handwritten note from Alan Class. SOLD
SUSPENSE #31 £50 Comic FN- Reprints 3rd Iron Man story from Tales Of Suspense #41 by Kirby inc Kirby cover plus pre-hero Marvel. SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From that most distinguished vintage publisher of British comics Gerald G Swan, a nice copy of Dynamic Thrills #1 from 1951. Swan published all genres of comics, but issue #1 of Dynamic Thrills concerns itself with detectives and adventurers such as Chester Kean, Ah Wong, the Bat, Gentleman Jim, Krakos the Egyptian and many others. Strips are in red and grey and black and white. The series lasted 10 issues and is quite scarce. This copy is in nice nick, with some cover creasing but little wear, no tears and good staples; the cover stock is similar to that of an American comic.
PICTURED: DYNAMIC THRILLS #1 VG/FN £40 SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Just one item in this category this week, but it’s a good ‘un. If like me you’re a big Sherlock Holmes fan, you’re always interested by his comic appearances. Two of his classic tales are presented in Super-Detective Library #65: The Mystery Of The Red-Headed League and The Case Of The Greek Interpreter. A great copy, which would grade as VF if not for a touch of the habitual staple rust, which isn’t too bad in this case.
PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY #65 VG/FN £30 SOLD