*DC: The first three appearances of the New Teen Titans are featured in this update: DC Comics Presents #26, not only the debut of the team, but also the first appearances of Cyborg, Starfire & Raven; New Teen Titans #1, the first issue of their ongoing series; and New Teen Titans #2, in which Deathstroke the Terminator makes his debut. DCCP #26 is a nice pence printed copy with just a little back cover creasing, NTT #1 is a decent mid-grade pence printed copy and NTT #2 is also a nice copy with minor edge and handling wear, mostly on the rear cover; unusually for a comic of this period, it is a pence stamped copy.
DC COMICS PRESENTS #26 FN+ p £50
NEW TEEN TITANS #1 FN p £25
NEW TEEN TITANS #2 FN+ p £70
*DC: In 1989, Neil Gaiman, not yet the superstar author he would later become, took the venerable DC superhero the Sandman and completely refurbished the concept – revamping the titular hero as an immortal embodiment of the Dreamworld, Gaiman opened the door to a myriad of adventurous possibilities, modernising the concept without invalidating or discarding either previous Sandman series (the 1940s and 1970s strips), but instead enfolding them into a larger meta-narrative. The Neil Gaiman Sandman series ran for 75 issues and a Special, and won an insane array of awards. This is where it all began, in this instance a lovely high grade copy with miniscule handling wear, a very tiny dink at the base of the spine and a ‘dot’ of label scuff close to the ‘N’ in the title. Excellent pages, tight staples.
PICTURED: SANDMAN #1 VF £85
*DC: A huge stack of Batman added to our catalogue this week, with most issues from #257 -300 in nice grades including Joker cover stories in #286 & #294, plus a smattering from the early 400’s, and a couple of annuals, including the Alan Moore Penguin story in Annual #11. Most of Batman’s most famous foes will be found within these pages!
*DC: We reach the letter ‘E’ in our alphabetical round-up of the DCU this week. Just one title: 80 Page Giant. The history of publication of DC Annuals and Giants in the Silver Age can be a confusing one. Originally in the early 1960s, DC published a once a year Annual of their most popular characters: Superman, Batman, Flash etc, reprinting many of their earlier classic adventures. Since these proved very popular, they started upping the frequency, until in 1964, they integrated these into a regular series called 80 Page Giant, which is what concerns us here. (Subsequently, with even more popularity for this format, they ended this series after 15 issues and started running the Giants in the regular numbering of the characters’ series, which led to even great frequency.) We’ve topped up all 15 issues of 80 Page Giant in our listing (except #7, peculiarly), so that they’re all available in a choice of grades and prices: Superman, Batman, Flash, World’s Finest, Secret Origins, Superboy, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. These fondly remembered volumes represent great reading value and entertainment. Back when they were published, when I were a lad, with no comic shops or back issue market, this was the only way to read these lovely old stories.
*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 very high grade, with just the most minimal handling wear preventing a perfect grade.
PICTURED: HULK #340 NM- £90
*Marvel: A Lee/Romita co-creation, the Shocker – a.k.a. Herman Schultz, career criminal and part-time scientist – created a special insulated suit which generated electrical waves that could open safes and incapacitate the police. Outsmarted by Spider-Man on their first clash, he has returned many times to battle the Web-Slinger and many other Marvel heroes, making his big screen debut in ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ in 2017. This is a decent copy of his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #46, pence printed with a clean cover image, good staples and reasonable pages. There is some corner blunting, edge and handling wear and a 1 cm spine split at the top of the spine, but not at all bad.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #46 GD/VG p £60
*Marvel: I remember these Marvel’s Greatest Collector’s Packs, four comics in a shrink-wrapped sealed cardboard case. They came out in 1993/94 just as 30th Century was starting up, and a lot of them passed through our hands in our early days. It’s been a long time now since we’ve seen one, however, so we’re particularly pleased to have one in stock this week, featuring the initial Gambit mini-series, all four issues, including #1 with its distinctive gold foil stamped cover. This example is just as pristine as when it was issued, still sealed and undamaged.
PICTURED: MARVEL’S GREATEST COLLECTOR’S PACK: GAMBIT #1-4 MINT £50
*Marvel: One of Marvel’s long-running and more beloved villains, Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, premiered in this issue, with his ability to absorb and replicate the properties of any person, object or substance causing quite a headache for our favourite Thunder God! Despite his surly mien, many folks feel that Crusher Creel is, to quote the Shangri-Las, ‘Good-bad, but not evil‘, and he has quite the fan-base, especially in latter decades since he married Titania. This first appearance of an enduring villain is a decent pence stamped copy with strong, deep colours and some cover gloss; there is some corner blunting and minor edge wear with a couple of colour-breaking creases across the bottom right corner; nice off-white pages and good staples.
PICTURED: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114 VG+ p £70
*Marvel: Just four additions to our Star Wars original series stock: #3-5 and #55; the first three are pence copies but low grade with some cover staining. See our catalogue for details.
*Marvel: Carrying on with our alphabetical tour of the Marvel Universe, the letter ‘D’ yields just two titles with new stock: Daredevil and Defenders, the former between #17 & #177, the latter between #16 & #92. Significant chunks of both titles now added to our catalogue.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Raised in Burma by a tigress after his parents were killed, young David Merryweather developed superhuman strength, reflexes, agility and heightened senses from… living with tigers? Because of course you would. Oh, and the traditionally feline nine lives. Eventually returning to the US, David became a Private Eye, then joined the US Army while stopping criminals preying on the innocent, as… the Catman! Eventually picking up a random orphan, Katie Conn, who without any powers or training decided to join Catman as ‘The Kitten’, a distaff Boy Wonder. Catman’s adventures, from 1941 to 1946, started out as routine superheroics, but rapidly developed a horrific edge and more mature tone, becoming notorious for gore and the way his young sidekick, ahem, matured really really fast. Now keenly sought-after by collectors, they are vanishingly rare in any condition — in 30 years, no other copy of any issue of this title has passed through our hands. This is a copy of Catman’s final issue, #32, from August 1946, with a famous and visually stunning L. B. Cole ‘shark-fight’ cover. A CGC Blue label 2.5 (GD+), acknowledging the presence of three tape strips on the spine, but with no restoration.
PICTURED: CATMAN #32 CGC 2.5 GD+ £635
*Horror 1940-1959: Atlas’s Journey Into Unknown Worlds started out, as you might imagine from its title, as a series which featured horrific science-fiction stories, in much the same mode as some of the work of writers such as C L Moore and Clark Ashton Smith, for example. In this update, we have two such early issues. #6 features the work of Colan & Heath among others and is a lovely FN+ copy, with great cover colour and gloss, tight, firm staples and really nice off-white pages. Edge wear is at a minimum but for a small 1 cm tear to the right cover edge. #7 is an Apparent VG/FN and features Colan, Maneeley (an electric chair story) and the Wolverton story ‘The Planet Of Terror’; a decent copy with good cover colour and gloss, nice staples and pages and a few nicks at the edges; the Maneeley story has one panel cut out due to a coupon on the reverse, but included are a high quality photo-copy of the complete affected story page as well as a small black and white copy of the affected panel (double-sided). Due to this defect, the comic is half the price it otherwise would be in this grade. Our third new listing is for one of the last pre-code issues of this title, #31 GD- £27, by which time it had mutated into more ‘traditional’ Atlas horror fare.
PICTURED: JOURNEY INTO UNKNOWN WORLDS
#6 FN+ £165
#7 App. VG/FN £95
*Western: This week, the 30th Century cowpunchers have rustled up a whole herd of DC titles for your consideration, including the 1970 series of All-Star Western (from #1 with Pow Wow Smith, El Diablo and more), the excellent Bat Lash (from #1 with art by Nick Cardy), Jonah Hex (inc. #92, the final issue), Tomahawk (inc a couple of issues with Neal Adams covers), Weird Western Tales (with Jonah Hex, El Diablo and Scalphunter, inc. #70, the final issue), and Western Comics. We’ll visit the old West again very soon for more gunslingin’ goodness!
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: Some classic DC & Fawcett material in this category this week: From K. G. Murray (Aus), two issues of Batman (#45 & #71) one Super-Adventure (#59, featuring Superman & Batman) and one Superboy (#94 in full colour throughout); plus a large format Marvel Family #64 from Miller. Full details as always in our catalogue.
PICTURED: BATMAN #45 VG+ £45
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Two 1970s’ issues with football-themed Free Gifts this week. From 1972, Hotspur #675 complete with ‘Super-Duper Football Poster’; from 1976, Victor #818 complete with a sheet of 12 stand-up colour photos of famous footballers (NB the comic here is only GD due to a heavy dust shadow across the top edge). Both gifts are excellent VF unused condition.
HOTSPUR #675 VG WITH FREE GIFT VF £20
VICTOR #818 GD WITH FREE GIFT VF £20
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Just one item in this category this week, but a great one: Thriller Comics # 1 from 1951. This digest-sized comics series, most famous under its later title of Thriller Picture Library, ran for 450 issues until 1963, and while it featured a plethora of characters during its lengthy run, the trend for the early years was for historical swashbucklers based on fictional (but serendipitously copyright-free) characters such as Robin Hood, Rob Roy, and so on. One such was the Three Musketeers, who were chosen to lead off the series in this volume. The artists were all accomplished Fleetway professionals, and readers thrived on these beautifully-illustrated pocket adventures. This copy of #1 is FA/GD, structurally sound but with considerable spine wear, including long splits at top and bottom and the habitual rusty staples, which haven’t bled too badly; interior pages clean and flexible.
PICTURED: THRILLER COMICS #1 FA/GD £60
*TV & Film Related Comics: The long-running Mickey Mouse Weekly was a delightful title and we have several dozen fresh in this week from 1951-1957. As well as the rather fun and exciting adventures of Mickey & Donald (often just as full of mystery and adventure as humour), many other Disney favourites were also featured, such as Peter Pan, Dumbo and Alice In Wonderland. In addition, there were many strips which would have more than graced Boys’ Adventure comics of the time, such as Robin Hood, the Pied Piper, Davy Crockett, Strongbow the Mighty, Don Conquest and the Visitor from Space, Pecos Bill and Nemo and the Nautilus. As if this wasn’t enough, there were also schoolboy (and girl) adventures with the likes of Billy Brave, Monty Carstairs and Malcolm Savile’s Lone Pine Five. The comic was printed on superior paper and the glorious colour used for the covers and centrefold rivalled the technicolour of Disney’s films. Truly a classic, and at £2.25 for a GD copy up to £4 for a FN, wonderful value.
PICTURED: MICKEY MOUSE WEEKLY 3/5/52 VG £3
*Girls’ Comics: Misty is today just about the top-selling Girls’ title. The original run of 101 issues is keenly collected, but are not rare. Much less common is the Best of Misty revival from 1986, 8 bumper issues compiling complete stories from the original run. We have 7 of these new in this week (missing just #3) and whilst not in tip-top shape (cover creases and edge wear), they’re priced to reflect that and are not torn or defaced. Fabulous Shirley Bellwood covers on each. Accompanying them is the one-off Souvenir issue from 2009. Misty may be gone, but not forgotten, and she always seems to find her way back through the mists…
PICTURED: BEST OF MISTY
#1 GD £25
#2 GD/VG £25
#4 GD/VG £25
#5 GD £20
#6 GD/VG £25
#7 VG £30
#8 GD/VG £25
SPECIAL SOUVENIR ISSUE 2009 VG £15
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Some odds and ends added this week, left over from collections we’ve recently bought in. Many favourite titles included such as June & School Friend (inc 2 Holiday Specials), Princess, Schoolgirls’ Adventure Library and Star Love Stories. See our catalogue listings for full details.
PICTURED: JUNE & SCHOOL FRIEND PICTURE LIBRARY HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1969 VG £15
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: Just one book this week, but it’s a cult favourite: Thunderbirds Are Go, the novelization of the Thunderbirds film from 1966. Cover credited to Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, inside it is credited as ‘Story by Angus P Allan, based on the film by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson,’ this Armada 1966 first edition paperback is also from 1966 and has illustrations by James Watson. All the usuals are involved in this thrilling space adventure — all five Tracy Brothers, Lady Penelope and Parker, Brains and the Hood. A nice glossy cover, if a little worn, with a short back cover tear; the spine is a little sunned and split by about 2 cm at bottom front.
PICTURED: THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO 1st UK PB GD £7.50
*DC: Here’s a nice set of poly-bagged Collector’s Editions telling the story of the Death & Rebirth of Superman, all sealed in their original bags. Headlined by the Superman #75 Platinum Edition, numbered 6982 in NM condition. The Platinum Edtions were distributed one per retailer and are keenly sought after when they come up for sale. It is accompanied here by the black poly-bagged Superman #75 Collectors’ Edition in NM- (due to a small patch of label residue on the poly-bag); both Platinum & Collector’s Editions come complete with the same extras: comic with fold out splash back cover, memorial poster, commemorative stamps, Daily Planet obituary, black mourning armband and trading card. Finally, Superman is back in Adventures of Superman #500 (NM) in its white poly-bag, complete with 64 page comic with removable translucent cover, 8 extra story pages and trading card. These were hugely hyped and popular when they were published — I can remember Superman #75 selling out in no time flat in every London comic shop the day it came out in 1993.
SUPERMAN #75 PLATINUM EDITION NM £135
SUPERMAN #75 COLLECTOR’S EDITION NM- £30 SOLD
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500 COLLECTOR’S EDITION #500 NM £25 SOLD
*DC: After try-out issues in Brave & Bold and Showcase, the ‘Junior Justice League’ graduated to their own title in 1966, which lasted a very respectable 53 issues into the 1970s, with the estimable Nick Cardy often at the artistic helm, as here in Teen Titans #1. This copy is a solid mid-grade pence stamped example, with bright colours, tight staples and minimal edge wear and corner blunting; nice page quality. There is a very small colour-breaking crease across the bottom right corner and a tiny score mark top right cover with is replicated on the first few pages, but overall a glossy, nice copy.
PICTURED: TEEN TITANS #1 FN p £100
*DC: We start a long series of updates to the comic that gave DC its name, with a dozen issues of Detective Comics between #303 & #326, the last years before the ‘new look’ was launched with #327. As well as the regulation aliens and monsters, villains featured include Dr. Double X, Cat-Man, Dr. No Face, the Terrible Trio & the Zodiac Master. And J’Onn J’Onzz back-ups, of course — mostly mid-grade and higher. More Detectives soon.
*Marvel: How do you follow up the introduction of an enormously popular brain-sucking symbiote? Well, a few years after Venom, the House of Ideas came up with the spawn of Venom, and thus Carnage was created in Amazing Spider-Man #361. Our latest issue of this modern classic is a delightful NM, as good as new with no flaws or defects, and is accompanied by #362, the second Carnage appearance in the same condition (NM £35).
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #361 NM £140 SOLD
*DC/Marvel: In 1976, after some delicate negotiations, the two major publishers decided to pool their talents and 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 epic event! While Wizard of Oz is technically the first Marvel/DC co-production, that’s really just DC piggybacking onto a project Marvel had already produced, to avoid litigation (long story, Google it if you’re bothered). This was the first true collaboration between the titans of the comics industry, and it’s a tribute to the organisation involved that Superman and Spider-Man (as well as guest villains Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus) are note perfect in this mega-sized saga. This pence printed copy is for the budget conscious; the spine is okay apart from a small split at the bottom, but there are multiple creases to front and back covers; the pages are okay except for one tear and a paint stain in one page margin, and the cover image largely unspoilt. The most affordable copy we’ve had in many a year.
PICTURED: SUPERMAN VS THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN GD+ p £35
*Marvel: One of Iron Man’s perhaps less famous Rogues’ Gallery members is the Unicorn, another menace from behind the Iron Curtain and somewhat of a protege of the Crimson Dynamo. Chief among the many weapons built into his armour was his Power Horn, but you knew that, didn’t you? Iron Man takes him on in this epic encounter from Tales Of Suspense #56. This is a lovely pence printed copy, with great cover colour and gloss, clean and bright, with only a couple of minor spine stress marks and tiny edge and corner wear; tight and flat with excellent staples and off-white pages; presents very well indeed.
PICTURED: TALES OF SUSPENSE #56 VF p £140
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. When the Ant-Man name was unclaimed in the late 1970s, a brainier-than-average sneak-thief, Scott Lang, stole Hank Pym’s old apparatus and became the second bearer of that title! But it’s okay – he did bad things for good reasons, specifically to find a cure for his dying daughter, as was revealed in Marvel Premiere #47, the tale which (after a non-costumed cameo in Avengers #181) was Scott’s first full appearance. John Byrne and David Michelinie created this different take on the hero, and since then, Scott has had his ups and downs – been in jail a few times, been dead a few more, been a love-slave of the Purple Man (No, really. Google it. Better yet, don’t) – but he’s fought his way back to respectability, and has achieved cinematic stardom in two eponymous movie hits, plus pivotal roles in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. This lovely high grade pence printed copy has just very tiny stress marks at spine, but is otherwise as good as new.
PICTURED: MARVEL PREMIERE #47 VF/NM p £90
*Marvel: From 1967, an excellent issue of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! With Captain America temporarily absent, the Avengers ranks had been bolstered by the addition of Hercules, and in this stirring adventure featuring the Cosmic Cube, they encountered the hero-villain Sub-Mariner. A superb high-grade pence printed copy with great cover colour and gloss, flat and tight with great staples and off-white to white pages.
PICTURED: AVENGERS #40 VF+ p £54
*Marvel: Three significant issues of X-Men from the 1980s this week. We have the two-part encounter between Wolverine and Sabretooth from #212 & #213, the latter drawn by Alan Davies, and #256, drawn by Jim Lee, featuring the debut of Psylocke as a Ninja warrior. All are high grade copies.
#212 VF/NM £30
#213 NM- £35
#256 NM £25
*Marvel: We continue through the Marvel alphabet with titles beginning with the letters ‘B’ and ‘C’, featuring additions to Battlestar Galactica, Black Goliath, Captain America (Jack Kirby issues), Captain Marvel, Champions (from #1), Conan and King Conan.
*Horror 1940-1959: Witchcraft is a classic 6 issue pre-code horror series from Avon in 1952/53, and issue #2 has a classic skull cover much coveted by pre-code horror collectors. Interior art and inside front cover preview by Sid Check, Joe Kubert, Norman Nodel and others. But it is the cover art (by artist unknown) that draws the eye to this issue. It presents well here, with an unmarked cover, remarkably retaining some gloss after all these years, with nice colours, unmarked but for a small pencil arrival date below the logo. There is a tiny chip out top cover edge, a tiny split at the bottom of the spine, and some spine wear with the staples off at the front cover only (see splash photo), firmly attached at the rear and centrefold. This issue doesn’t come cheap, but it is one of the iconic pre-code horror covers. High resolution images are available on request.
PICTURED: WITCHCRAFT #2 VG- £630 SOLD
*Western: We’ve lassoed a few more tales of the old west for you this week from Dell & Gold Key: Annie Oakley, Bat Masterson, Gene Autrey (the singing cowboy), Roy Rogers (didn’t he sing too?), Sugarfoot & Zorro. Many of these Western stars shared their billing with their horses; can you match these equine companions to the above: Tagg, Champion & Trigger?
*Modern Reprints: Long out of print and difficult to get, we’re very pleased to have a nice copy of Volume 4 of the Dr. Strange Marvel Masterworks fresh into stock. This reprints the last few issues of the Doctor’s original series, a couple of guest shots, the solo story from Marvel Feature #1 and the earliest stories from Marvel Premiere #3-8. Featuring the work of Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Gardner Fox, Stan Lee, Barry Windsor-Smith and many others, this lovely copy has only the slightest signs of having been read.
PICTURED: MARVEL MASTERWORKS DR. STRANGE VOL 4 VF/NM £60 SOLD
*Alan Class Reprints: A huge update to the Alan Class title Uncanny Tales, with dozens of additions previously missing from our listing. This update includes both certificated Alan Class file copies and regular copies, pre and post decimal. Included are many Marvel reprints and other characters such as the Phantom, the Fly and Thunder Agents etc, as well as very many of those horror/mystery stories so beloved by Alan Class fans. Full details in our catalogue and don’t forget you can check content in our Alan Class Rough Guide, which has recently been updated yet again.
PICTURED: UNCANNY TALES #59 FN/VF £29
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A diverse selection of material in this category this week: a vintage Australian Biggles, the Dan Dare Holiday Special from 1990, from Miller two uncommon issues of Marvelman with WW2 themes, and the esoteric Super Thriller Comic from World Distributors (#29 from 1950), featuring Ace Hart The Atom Man in an interplanetary adventure, as well as Western and crime stories.
DAN DARE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1990 FN £8
MARVELMAN #228 VG/FN £17.50 SOLD
SUPER THRILLER COMIC #29 VG/FN £20 SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A fresh batch of the most successful picture library of them all, D C Thomson’s Commando, new into stock this week. About 20 pre-decimal issues ranging between #238 and #376, all in nice condition, many FN and some VF, and almost all previously missing from our listing. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Humour Comics: Half a dozen issues of Dandy new in from 1953, including #624, that year’s Fireworks issue (it has a small hole in the cover, but this does not impinge on story enjoyment). Low grade copies but great value.
PICTURED: DANDY #624 FA £7.50 Fireworks issue
*Girls’ Comics: Free Gift issues of Princess Tina seem vanishingly rare; I suspect the items of plastic jewellery on offer were extracted from their packets and proudly adorned necks, fingers and wrists. Not so here with this lovely issue from 1969. 8th March features a ‘wonderful imitation pearl ring’, pristine in its sealed plastic envelope; the price here reflects rarity.
PICTURED: PRINCESS TINA 8/3/69 FN WITH FREE GIFT NM £50 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Dozens of Bunty new in, all the way from #28 right up to #451, featuring a large range towards the end of this series’ run in the late 1990s. Inexpensive and fun reads.
PICTURED: BUNTY PICTURE STORY LIBRARY #48 VG £6
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Three vintage science-fiction hardcover editions for your consideration this week. Firstly, one of the classic works by British author Edmund Cooper, The Tenth Planet, FN in FN DJ, 2nd UK HC from 1974. Secondly, the famous pulp epic The Radio Man (aka An Earth Man on Venus) by Ralph Milne Farley; although this edition purports to be a 1st from 1948, it clearly isn’t, although no data is available on its vintage, other than it’s post 1969; FN in FN DJ. Finally, an intriguing anthology edited by Martin Greenberg, The Robot And The Man, a 1st edition from 1954 (VG/FN no DJ), with stories by well-known authors with robot themes. Full details of course in our website catalogue.
PICTURED: THE RADIO MAN by Ralph Milne Farley; US HC, FN with FN DJ; later printing £10
His death was reported on his Facebook account by his son, Matthew:
“This is Matthew Lightle, Steve Lightle’s son. This morning my father passed away from Cardiac Arrest. I wished to thank you all for your friendship to my father, and also to ask that if you are a Patreon follower, please cancel your account as we are just beginning to take care of his affairs.”
Born November 19th 1959 in Kansas, his first professional comics work was a story in Americomics’ Black Diamond #4. That same year, he illustrated the story ‘Ekko’ for DC’s New Talent Showcase, after which he briefly drew World’s Finest Comics before succeeding Keith Giffen as the illustrator on the Baxter format Legion of Super-Heroes; his idealised and heroic illustrative style providing a considerable contrast to the increasingly exaggerated and cartoonish Giffen art.
One ‘first’ during his tenure was that he and writer Paul Levitz co-created new Legionnaires Tellus and Quislet, the first members of the interplanetary team to have non-humanoid physiologies – prior to that, it had often been noted that for a team made up of the inhabitants of multiple worlds, the Legion was uniformly human in composition, with only a handful of variations in skin colour.
Leaving the LSH as interior artist after two years, he departed the book to relaunch the Doom Patrol series in 1987, though he continued to be the regular cover artist on LSH until 1988.
Despite his relatively short stay on the Legion, he always described it as his ‘dream assignment’, and revisited the group – then being published under the title The Legion – for a couple of issues in the early part of this century. He continued to draw many Legion-related pieces, either as commission works or for his own enjoyment, over the ensuing decades.
His artwork also appeared in numerous other series from DC and Marvel, including Flash, Outsiders, Marvel Comics Presents, Classic X-Men and Quasar.
As Legion of Super-Heroes fans ourselves, he will always have a place in our hearts.
*DC: The Riddler made just two appearances in Detective Comics in 1948, before returning to plague the Dynamic Duo in the Silver Age in Batman #171 in 1965 and staying pretty much a constant thorn in Batman’s side ever since. Interest has now built to a frenzy since the announcement of the Riddler’s appearance in the upcoming Batman movie, so what better time to invest in this lovely copy of his Silver Age debut? A pence stamped copy, with vivid rich colour and brilliant gloss, and a superb Carmine Infantino cover illustration. Tight and flat with excellent staples, off white pages with just a hint of tan at the edges. Wear is at a minimum, with just some minor stress marks at spine, minor handling wear at right edge and tiny marks of discolouration to the right of the DC logo (and we do mean tiny). Personally, I don’t think Batman’s classic foes have ever looked better than on covers from this classic period.
PICTURED: BATMAN #171 FN p £450
*DC: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. This week, a rare opportunity to acquire one of the Jack Kirby issues of Challengers of the Unknown. Jolly Jack drew the Challengers’ earliest adventures, including their four try-out issues in Showcase and the first eight issues of their own series. In this issue, #5, he was joined on inks by the wonderful Wally Wood for a truly dynamic package. An action-packed full-length tale of a super-powered villain, featuring the ‘honorary’ female Challenger June. This superior copy from 1958, pre UK distribution, is bright, tight and flat, with good cover colour, firmly attached staples and nice off white pages. Just minor edge wear brings the grade down, with narrow, barely colour-breaking creasing faintly at the top edge.
PICTURED: CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN #5 FN £105 SOLD
*DC: A chunky update to our DC catalogue for titles beginning with the letter D, featuring DC Comics Presents (from #1), DC 100 Page Super-Spectacular (Batman, Flash and many more), DC Special (inc Super-Heroes Battle Super-Gorillas!), DC Special Series, DC Super-Stars (inc 1st Star Hunters), Jack Kirby’s Demon (inc 1st Klarion the Witch Boy in #7), and many classic issues of the Doom Patrol. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Marvel: 1965’s Fantastic Four #45 saw the culmination of a long-running subplot – and the introduction of a whole new family of supporting super-stars. Since #36, the mysterious Madame Medusa had been a thorn in the side of the FF, and latterly, from #44, she had been pursued by the equally mysterious Gorgon. Now, the pair’s true origin, and their royal heritage, was revealed, as the monarchs of the Inhumans made their debut in these two issues. Black Bolt, Crystal, Triton, Karnak and Lockjaw rounded out the Royal Family tree, and became long-running allies of the Fantastic Four. This pence printed copy has excellent cover colour and gloss, nice tight staples and off-white pages; there are no cover markings. Edge wear and corner blunting are not too bad; there are thin white reading creases next to the spine and one colour-breaking crease across the bottom right corner (see scan), but a solid copy that holds together and presents well, with one of the FF’s most appealing cover scenes.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #45 VG+ p £125
*Marvel: In Tales To Astonish #36 (1962), Hank (Ant-Man) Pym made his third appearance (second in costume) when he faced the menace of Comrade X, one of those dastardly commies so widespread as foes of the early Marvel heroes. Comrade X’s gimmick was that he wasn’t a ‘he’, unmasked by our hero at the story’s conclusion as ‘Madam X’. This is sadly a tired and worn pence printed copy, with edge wear and small tears, and small upper and lower spine splits. Nevertheless, it is not defaced and the pages are reasonably good.
PICTURED: TALES TO ASTONISH #36 GD p £65 SOLD
*Marvel: The polymath skill-pilferer Taskmaster has proved one of the more popular characters from the later 20th Century Marvel Universe, achieving the status of reluctant anti-hero through nuanced and well-written stints in the series Avengers: The Initiative and Avengers Academy. Now announced as the villain in the forthcoming Black Widow film, Taskmaster’s star is rising, and we have his first appearances in stock: Avengers #195 (NM- p £25), in which he makes a suitably menacing last-page cameo having overcome both Hank Pym and Scott Lang, and #196, in which he makes his full nefarious debut.
PICTURED: AVENGERS #196 VF+ p £100
*Marvel: Luke Cage, Hero For Hire, had been around about a year when he came up against Spidey in issue #123 of the web-slinger’s title. Less commonly seen in the UK, this is a lovely cents copy (no pence copies distributed, of course), with virtually no wear apart from very minor corner blunting; tight, flat and glossy.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #123 VF £60
*Marvel: Altough Alex Summers (brother of Scott) had been around since issue #54 of the X-Men, it wasn’t until #58 that he adopted both his costume and the name Havok and we saw his true mutant heritage. This issue is one of the run drawn by Neal Adams, and, inked by Tom Palmer, this sequence forms my favourite work by Adams. This is a nice flat copy with tight staples, good colour, residual gloss and white to off-white pages. Little signs of handling wear at spine and edges, but nothing breaks colour.
PICTURED: X-MEN #58 FN+ p £75 SOLD
*Marvel: The Marvel Special Edition: Star Wars from 1977/78 reprint in Treasury size the first six issues of Marvel’s Star Wars regular comic, adapting the original Star Wars film. We have both new in, I have to say in very average condition, but very sought after.
PICTURED: MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION STAR WARS
#1 VG- £15 SOLD
#2 VG- £15 SOLD