*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Four issues of the long-running comic Victor, two from 1967 and two from 1968, each with its original Free Gift in high grade. #309 (Jan 21st 1967) is in VG condition and comes with the balsa-wood Victor Glider, ready-to assemble in the original sealed envelope. Comic and FN gift for £25. #310 has an alternative aviation option in the ‘Whirling Skimmer’, the exact instructions for which we can’t go into, as it, too, is sealed in the original envelope. The comic in this case is VF (unusually white pages for a pulp weekly of this vintage) with Free Gift also VF, £40 the pair. Moving on to 1968, issue #362 is FN, and the Free Gift of Cup-Tie Diary with wallet is VF. While the Cup-Tie Diary itself isn’t uncommon, the accompanying ‘wallet’ – pretty much a plastic bag with ‘Victor for Boys’ printed on it – is exceptionally flimsy and usually damaged or lost, so the complete Free Gift is scarce. Comic and Gift at £30. Lastly, #364 is another unusually bright VF copy, with the accompanying Free Gift of nine ‘stand-up footballers’, on punch-out card (but not punched out) also VF. Comic and gift on sale at £40. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*TV & Film Related Comics: A plethora of new issues of Look-In, the ‘Junior TV Times’ best remembered now for its comic strip adaptations of TV series of the day, frequently drawn by the cream of British comic artists. Examples include Mike Noble on ‘Timeslip’ and ‘Follyfoot’, John M. Burns on ‘Tomorrow People’, John Bolton on ‘Bionic Woman’, and many more. This 50+ issue update includes many from 1971, the first year of publication, and scattered numbers through to 1978. Illustrated is 1971’s #22, cover-featuring TV’s Avengers, John Steed and Tara King (FN £15); details on the others, of course, to be found in our online listings. SORRY, PICTURED ITEM NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: We bring you a very attractive selection of Buster Holiday Fun Specials, commencing with the very first from 1969, in outstanding grades, all four FN/VF. Uncommon at the best of times, (traditionally bought on holiday, and lost or discarded on the way home), and rarely found in better than FN, as the extra page count causes unusual staple stress. 1969’s premier Buster Holiday Special is £90, 1970 is £25, 1971 is £17.50 and 1975 is also £17.50. All four, as previously mentioned, in outstanding FN/VF grade. Join Charlie Peace, the Misers, Galaxus, Gus the Gorilla, Clever Dick, the Rent-A-Ghost crew, Fishboy and of course Buster himself for seaside shenanigans! SORRY, 1969 NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: Always a popular series, we’re pleased to add 40 new issues to our stock of June this update, ranging from 10th July 1965 to 8th June 1974. These are mostly from June’s lengthy ‘marriage’ to the fallen School Friend, generally acknowledged as the series’ peak, to the extent that many folk believe that ‘June & School Friend’ was the permanent full title of the series – but no; circa 1972, June ‘divorced’ School Friend, and after a few solo issues took up with the short-lived Pixie as her ‘merger chum’. These issues feature, at various times, ‘Lucky’s Living Doll’, ‘Vanessa From Venus’, ‘Fourth Form Wonder’, ‘Orphans of Italy’, fashion doll ‘Sindy’, ‘Serena From Space’ and many more well-loved series, anchored, of course, by nutritionally-unchallenged funstress ‘Bessie Bunter’!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This update adds six works by well known authors. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) all explore dystopias. Solaris (Stanislaw Lem) concerns humans attempting to make sense of a sentient ocean, Sirius (Olaf Stapledon) is about a dog born with human intelligence, while Fourth Mansions (R A Lafferty) is a fantastical tale where few things are what they seem. Whichever of these you choose, you’re guaranteed an entertaining (and possibly an enlightening) read!
*Modern Reprints: Recently, both DC and Marvel have issued reproductions of their classic key issues. These facsimiles are, apart from legally-necessary cover additions for modern pricing, exact, full-colour cover-to-cover replicas of the originals, including all story pages, text pages, lettercols and advertisements – though we strongly advise against sending off for anything from the ads! This update, Marvel offers us facsimiles of Alpha Flight #1 (the Canadian Crusaders get their own series), Daredevil #181 (Bullseye Vs Elektra), Howard the Duck #1 (The Foul-mouthed fowl gets his own title), Marvel Presents #3 (Guardians of the Galaxy’s first ongoing series), Marvel Spotlight #12 (1st Son of Satan), and X-Men #137 (First death of Jean Grey/Phoenix). DC meanwhile brings us only one new facsimile – but it’s a cracker! Batman #251, ‘The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge!’, the O’Neil/Adams classic which relaunched the Joker’s career from the ludicrous camp of the Batman TV show to the definitive nemesis of the Batman he is today. Pictured: Batman #251 facsimile at £4. Details on all the others may be found in our online catalogue.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: ……if you don’t take a look at these Agatha Christie stories, all centred on the fussy little Belgian, all in Pan or Great Pan editions. The Pan editions are Appointment With Death, Five Little Pigs and Poirot Investigates, all dating from the 1950s. The Great Pan editions are The ABC Murders, The Big Four and The Murder On The Links, all from 1960 or 1961. All apart from Poirot Investigates are full-length novels, while Poirot Investigates is made up of 11 short stories. With stunning painted covers and one of the world’s best known detectives, your little grey cells are in for a treat!
*DC: While all early issues of Hawkman are superb, with high-flying sci-fi stories by Gardner Fox and luminous Murphy Anderson artwork (not that we’re prejudiced witnesses or anything… ), the most sought-after in recent years is issue #4, featuring the debut of the Princess of Prestidigitation – Zatanna! Zee (as she’s familiarly known), a personal favourite here at 30th Century, is the daughter of DC’s Golden Age magician Zatara, and took her quest for her missing father through the pages of Green Lantern, Atom, Detective Comics and the Justice League of America in one of DC’s earliest ‘story arcs’, but this is where her illustrious career – which has branched out into both animated and live-action TV – began. (And yes, they did miss a bet by not having her featured on the cover – foolish mortals!). This latest copy of Zatanna’s debut is VG-, superficially nicer, with tight staples and flexible off-white interior pages, but a previous owner having outlined Hawkman’s head and torso in biro on the cover brings it down a notch. VG-, cents with no pence pricing, £150.
*DC: Daringly, in 1975, DC awarded the Joker his own title, (in defiance of the Comics Code, which said that villains couldn’t be shown to triumph) and even now, decades later, it remains the Clown Prince Of Crime’s only on-going series. Not that it ‘on-went’ for long, stopping at #9. But what was a Bronze Age curio has now become a much sought-after short series with one of the hottest characters in comics. We have the first issue newly in stock: #1, pitting ‘Mr. J.’ against fellow villain Two-Face, is VF at £65, a cents copy, with no UK price markings or overstamp. With the Joker recently getting his own solo big-screen movie, his Silver and Bronze Age appearances are spiralling in value… SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Following the huge success of the Batman Animated TV series in 1992, which was praised for its thematic complexity, film noir aesthetics, darker tone, and modernization of its title character’s crime-fighting origins, DC launched a comics adaptation which almost reached the heights of its TV inspiration. Entitled Batman Adventures, it was set in the same nouveau-retro hybrid milieu as its televisual inspiration, and featured mostly done-in-one stories which evoked the finer aspects of comics’ Silver and Golden Ages. With stellar creators such as Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, Brad Rader and the late Mike Parobeck, these issues were a nostalgic delight. We are pleased to have many of the first Batman Adventures series (there have been several) back in stock, commencing with issue #1 (VF+ p £20), and running through to #22, including two of the sought-after Joker cover issues: #3 VF/NM p £25 and #16 NM p £25.
*DC: Another selection of Bronze Age first issues, beginning with DC Super-Stars from 1976. While DC Super-Stars eventually featured new material, it kicked off with a reprint celebration of the Teen Titans – no, the proper ones! DC Special Series #1 is often mis-filed as ‘5-Star Super-hero Spectacular’, its apparent cover title. This ‘Dollar Comic’ premier edition of the rotating anthology title had five all-new stories starring Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Atom and the Flash. Dynamic Classics #1 was a short-lived casualty of the infamous ‘DC Implosion’ of 1978, lasting but a single issue before cancellation – but it does give you a superlative Neal Adams Batman story and Simonson’s Manhunter, so a class act while it lasted. The Legion of Super-Heroes’ Karate Kid got his own solo title in 1976, doubtless intended to emulate Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu; written by Legion scribe Paul Levitz, it’s… well, actually, it’s not very good at all, but us sad Legion completists (raises hand) have to have it anyway! Following his ‘Fourth World’ series’ cancellation, Jack Kirby turned his hand to other tales at DC, and 1976’s pulp-inspired Kobra told the tale of twin brothers, one intent on world domination, and the other determined to thwart him. And the Fourth World ‘proper’ commenced with 1971’s New Gods #1, the debut of Orion, and the launch of a new cosmic tapestry for the DC Universe. This is a clean sound affordable copy of a key issue, with only three book centre stamps (two faint) and a scribble over the cover price precluding a higher grade. DC Super-Stars #1 VF/NM £25; DC Special Series #1 FN- £11.25; Dynamic Classics #1 NM- £9.25; Karate Kid #1 VF+ p £20.75; Kobra #1 FN/VF £10 and New Gods #1 GD p £12.
*Marvel: Flush with success at the dawn of the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee had an epiphany: if Iron Man, Thor and company were successful on their own – how much better would they be together? Thus was born the Avengers, in which Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp were brought together by the fiendish machinations of Loki and an heroic dynasty began which continues to this day! The Avengers has lasted myriad issues, with a plethora of spin-offs, and a veritable regiment of members (not to mention an extremely lucrative movie franchise), but this is the comic in which it all began! This copy is in Fair condition, pence-printed. Generally structurally sound, it has considerable edge and spine wear, soft corners, and minor age-related discolouration. A large ‘2’ has been written on the cover in marker, as well as a smaller squiggle over the Hulk’s face. Staples still attached at cover and centrefold, all interior pages clean and unmarked. High resolution images are available on request. £650 is the price for this piece of comics history.
*Marvel: In the wake of the Kung Fu craze which swept the mass media in the 1970s, Marvel, having already scored big with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, tried to repeat the success with Iron Fist, an orphaned Caucasian boy who learned mystical martial arts in the hidden land of K’Un Lun. This week, a Two-Fisted slabbed update: Marvel Premiere #15, Iron Fist’s debut, in which Roy Thomas and Gil Kane kicked off the career of the fisting fury, (ahem) and issue #14 of Iron Fist’s own series, in which the sinister Sabretooth, bane of the X-Men and major Marvel villain, made his first appearance. Marvel Premiere #15 is CGC 9.0 VF/NM at £250; Iron Fist #14 is CBCS 9.2 NM- at £340. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of Marvel’s most successful attempts at diversifying their line in the 1970s was their cash-in on the Martial Arts craze, with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu! His inauspicious debut in Special Marvel Edition, a series previously devoted to reprints, indicated that there wasn’t much faith in Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin’s co-creation, but readers took him to their collective hearts, and more than 100 issues ensued, with a star roster of creators including Doug Moench, Gene Day and Paul Gulacy. Here, however, was where it all started, in Special Marvel Edition #15, December 1973, with the Son of Fu Manchu discovering his villainous heritage, and setting out to oppose his father. This copy of Shang-Chi’s debut has unbroken cover colour, tight staples, and only minor spine and edge wear, with light traces of ‘ballast ink’ at upper and lower edges and lower spine. Shang-Chi is now in line for a big screen debut – Marvel doubtless hoping to repeat the ‘outsider’ successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel – so this debut will only increase in price. Never distributed in the UK, and therefore doubly sought after, on these shores, this VG/FN copy is on sale at £160. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Well, your demand for the early adventures of Spider-Man seems insatiable – bless your hearts – so we’re happy to oblige with issue #11, a Stan Lee/Steve Ditko classic featuring the second-ever appearance of Doctor Octopus, who vies with the Green Goblin for the position of Spidey’s #1 foe; this copy of #11 is a FN p copy, minor spine and corner wear but vivid unfaded cover colour and tight staples at cover and centrefold. On sale at £300.
*Marvel: Following his debut in Fantastic Four #48, Norrin Radd, Herald of Galactus, gained popularity as a recurring guest star, and his status was confirmed when Marvel launched the Silver Surfer’s own series in the double-sized format in 1968. This premier issue featured, for the first time, John Buscema’s illustrations on the Surfer, a body of work generally acknowledged to be among his finest, and presented also for the first time a 38 page account of the Surfer’s origins, plus, in the back, a 13 page tale of the Watcher, detailing the reasons behind the Watcher’s oath of non-interference. The first run of the Surfer’s solo series has achieved cult status, with the first seven double-sized issues in particular being keenly sought out. Uncommon in any grade, this latest copy of Surfer #1 is evidently from the top of a ‘bundle’, bearing stress marks at the edges where the copies were tied together. There are multiple fine cover creases, and a marked indentation at the right edge centre. Nevertheless, interior pages are fine, and the central cover image unimpaired. GD- p £120. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Devil Dinosaur was created in response to rumours that DC was working on an animated series featuring Kirby’s Kamandi. Marvel attempted to one-up their competitor by instructing Kirby to create a series similar to Kamandi, but incorporating a dinosaur co-star, since dinosaurs were hugely popular with young audiences of the time. The resulting Devil Dinosaur series lasted only nine issues, and the proposed animated series never entered development. Originally, Devil and his ape-like humanoid chum, Moon-Boy, had adventures in Dinosaur World, represented as a parallel Earth, but subsequently they were integrated into mainstream Marvel continuity, and even today, a version of Devil co-starred with child genius Moon Girl in a recent series. We have the complete original run of Devil Dinosaur, all nine issues, newly in stock, all cents issues (never distributed in the UK), in high grades. Issue #1 NM is £55. Details on the others may be found in our catalogue. SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: From 1968, a gamma-infused milestone, with the first issue of the Hulk’s own series, eccentrically numbered #102, as he assumed the numbering of Tales to Astonish, the split book which had been his home for several years. This was Brucie’s big break, his comeback vehicle after his early 60s 6 issue flop, and the start of the long-running series most associated with him. Mirthful Marie Severin illustrated not only a recap of Bruce Banner’s irradiated origin, but also a new story thread with Jade-Jaws frolicking with some of Thor’s Asgardian chums, including the Warriors Three! (Bonus points for the appearance of guest villainess the Enchantress, obviously) This copy is clean, tight at staples, good cover colour and gloss, but moderate to noticeable wear at the upper cover edge. This debut issue of Bruce Banner’s solo show is a pence copy, VG £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: After a one-off black & white magazine in 1975, Legion of Monsters, used up a rag-bag of separate inventory stories starring Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, Manphibian and other horror heroes, someone at Marvel decided that the title was nifty enough to merit a further outing, and therefore the bizarre and otherwise inexplicable Marvel Premiere #28 came about. Unlike the Legion of Monsters one-shot, which featured unrelated stories, Marvel Premiere #28 brought Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night and Morbius the Living Vampire together as an actual team, albeit one even more mis-matched than the Champions! From the team of Bill Mantlo and Frank Robbins, it’s… everything you might expect! For decades discarded in bargain boxes everywhere, this issue has acquired white-hot collector’s status in the last decade. This is a cents copy in VF+, and is on sale at £80. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of the more ground-breaking issues of the 1970s was Iron Man #128, in which creators David Michelinie and John Romita Jr. played out the plot they’d been building up for months: the dark underside of Tony Stark’s insouciant playboy façade, as his struggle with alcoholism was revealed. This was presented as an ongoing illness, rather than being wrapped up neatly by the issue’s end, and in fact even the current Tony Stark is still influenced by his addiction. Although the story caused controversy and outrage at the time of its release, over time it has received acclaim and respect as the first serious presentation of the subject in a mainstream comic. This copy of the ground-breaking issue is VG/FN, cents, with light to moderate spine wear, on sale at £30. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A chunky bonus for our friendly neighbourhood you-know-who this week, consisting of most issues between #301 and #332, predominantly the phenomenally popular Todd MacFarlane years, now available in a choice of grades, with many Near Mint pristine copies sitting in our boxes alongside mid-grade cheaper copies. A top-selling period for Spidey this.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Lars of Mars’ unique selling point was positively postmodern: the greatest hero of Mars, he came to Earth to prevent nuclear war, and while fighting crime as ‘Lars of Mars’, he operated under the secret identity of… an Earth actor who played ‘Lars of Mars’ on a popular TV series! My, how very metatextual! With art by the superlative Murphy Anderson, these stories are huge fun, as Lars tries to disabuse his co-worker at the TV station, Lois – er, June – from her conviction that the TV Lars and the heroic Lars are one and the same. Similarities between this and the Silver Age Superman are doubtless not coincidental, as Supes’ co-creator Jerry Siegel is believed to have scripted the series. Backed up by tales of ‘Ken Brady, Rocket Pilot’ drawn by a fledgling Gene Colan, and featuring gorgeous painted covers by Allen Anderson, these are a delight. For all their charm, however, Lars’ adventures didn’t catch a wider audience, and these two issues (inexplicably numbered #10 and #11) are all that there was. Issue #10, first in the series, is GD+, light vertical cover creasing, at £100; #11, with some spine repairs in the staple area, is also GD+ £100.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: With #20, January 1947, All-Winners Comics inexplicably ‘morphed’ for only one issue into All Teen Comics, with humour features Georgie, Willie, Mitzi and – of course – Patsy Walker stood in for the usual Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch and other superheroes. This oddity was a ‘stealth pilot’ pilot for Teen Comics, a title which debuted later that same year, but this is the only issue to appear under the ‘All Teen’ banner, as with issue #21 it became the superheroic All-Winners again for one final issue. This is a lovely copy of a one-off wonder, clean and bright with vivid colour and tight staples, flexible interior cream-coloured pages with no brittleness, and only two small cover markings, a pencilled ‘1946’ (dated Jan. ’47, it would have appeared in late ’46) in the upper left corner, and a faintly stamped ‘Nov 20 pm’ in the upper cover centre. FN at £145 – buy it, and you’ve collected the set!
*Tarzan/E R Burroughs: A chunky update to comics based on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs from both sides of the pond this week. From the US, all three of the Gold Key issues of John Carter Of Mars, plus an update to the Marvel series of the same name, Gold Key and DC Koraks (son of Tarzan) and, the man himself, Tarzan from Gold Key, DC (inc Tarzan Family) and Marvel (inc first and final issues of the Marvel series). From the UK, dozens of issues from Top Sellers: Korak, Tarzan Fortnightly from 1971 (inc #2 with Free Gift Leopard Mask), and the Giant Quarterly Tarzan Special Superadventure.
*Memorabila & Esoterica: These two items aren’t comics, but their media-spanning protagonists have certainly appeared in comics often enough, so we believe there’s more than sufficient interest for these vintage mass-market souvenir magazines. 1966’s Thunderbirds Are Go!, released to tie-in with the premiere of the Thunderbirds movie, featured extensive photos, (b & w and colour), cast list, behind-the-scenes, synopsis and more of International Rescue’s venture onto the silver screen! Similarly, Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007, also (we believe, though it doesn’t say) from 1966, has extensive photos from the then-latest release; Subtitled ‘In the Incredible World of Thunderball, with his Thunderbirds’ (Hmm, bit cheeky), in addition to mostly focusing on Thunderball, it looks back at previous cinematic iterations of Sean Connery’s most famous role. Thunderbirds Are Go! is GD/VG at £40; James Bond 007 is VG/FN £25. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel UK: This week we begin a new event celebrating Captain Britain. In 1976, Marvel UK’s attempt to broaden their readership by generating a new British hero; Captain Britain was the subject of much controversy, not least because he was created by two Americans (Chris Claremont & Herb Trimpe) whose interpretation of the UK’s manners and mores made the Austin Powers films look like documentaries. Despite this, the character became a respected figure in later iterations – and rumours of a media adaptation persist – so these early issues are now attracting keen collector attention. Issue #1, debuts of Captain Britain, Merlin and Roma, is FN+ with Free Gift Captain Britain mask in FN. at £50; issue #2 is VF with Free Gift – Captain Britain Boomerang (?) in VG (both ‘bars’ punched out of the supporting card, but never assembled) on sale at £25. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Collected Editions: Rebellion, in conjunction with the Book Palace, have expanded their compilations of classic British comics to include these collections of characters from the Picture Library series, each focused on one key character. Volume 1 features Larrigan, the Western Hero Arturo Del Castillo, from Lone Rider and Cowboy Picture Libraries; to quote David Roach’s introduction, ‘Del Castillo’s Larrigan strips were dark and atmospheric, seemingly set in an eternal twilight which seemed to prefigure the Spaghetti Western genre by several years.’ Volume 2 stars science-fiction adventurer Jet-Ace Logan, a long-running feature in Comet and later Tiger, but this collection is of the specially-drawn Thriller Picture Library issues, illustrated by Ron Turner and Kurt Caesar. These smaller format hardcovers (6 1/2″ by 9″, 272 interior pages) are on white paper and reproduce the artwork to the highest possible standard. Each is brand-new at £25.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The long-running sports-related anthology, Tiger, is restocked this week with more than 120 issues ranging from 1968’s New Year issue (28/12) to the 4th December 1976. For most of this run, the series alternated a handful of popular strips on its front cover; ‘Roy of the Rovers’ took the lead, of course, backed up by racing star and Hurricane-import ‘Skid Solo’, and First American wrestling champ ‘Johnny Cougar’. When Scorcher merged with Tiger, ‘Billy’s Boots’ was added to make it a four-way cover rotation, with ‘Martin’s Marvelous Mini’ (car, not skirt!) replacing Roy on the rota when the latter got his own solo weekly. This run includes the first ‘Tiger & Jet’ merger (5/4/69), and the 15/5/76 edition, wherein Roy of the Rovers finally marries his long-suffering sweetheart!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: The popular aviation-themed war picture library, Air Ace, is renewed this week with an unbroken run from #200 to #299, in mid-to-high grades, averaging FN. Included in this sequence is #212, which – uniquely in Air Ace’s history, as far as we’re aware – adapts a story from another medium, specifically ‘633 Squadron’ from the book and film of the same name! Issue #212 (pictured) is Fine at £10; details on all the other issues, of course, may be found in our online catalogue. SORRY, PICTURED ITEM NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: A pair of Free Gift issues from both sides of the UK comics’ ‘Big Two’; from IPC/Fleetway, Pixie #1, the 1972-launched girl’s weekly which ran 30 issues and ended its days as the last ‘mergee’ with the venerable June. Printed on better quality paper than most of its contemporaries, and with more colour pages, the star strips mostly featured famous characters from literature, including Black Beauty, The Naughtiest Girl In the School, Marion of Sherwood and Secret Garden. This copy of Pixie #1 comes with the Free Gift of a Doll’s Vanity Set, still mounted on its plastic frame and sealed in the original glued-in envelope (within comic). Comic is FN, Free Gift VF, on sale together for £50. From D.C. Thomson comes Debbie #33, home of, among others, ‘Marsalla of the Mists’, ‘Million-Pound Mutt’, ‘Nobody Loves Nancy’ and the long-running ‘Lisa – Lonely Ballerina’. This copy comes with its gift of ‘4 Pop Star Transfers’, iron-on images bearing (if you squint a bit) some vague resemblance to pop icons of the day. In our experience, transfers are more ephemeral and rarer than other gifts, so we have priced the comic (FN) and gift (VF) combo at £50.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We’ve just added 12 novels, all by different authors, all published in the 1960s and 1970s. There’s a range of themes including badly behaved robots or computers (Unwise Child by Randall Garret, The Fall Of Colossus by D F Jones, and Limbo ’90 by Bernard Wolfe) and dystopian futures (The Joy Makers by James Gunn, Candy Man by Vincent King, Guernica Night by Barry N Malzberg, and Code Three by Rick Raphael). The other novels deal with alien invasions in various guises (Planet Of The Dreamers by John D Macdonald, The Bright Phoenix by Harold Mead, Shadows In The Sun by Chad Oliver, and Cardinal Of The Stars by Francis G Rayer) and cold-war genetics shenanigans (G.O.G.666 by John Taine). The final book is a collection of short stories by the sole woman in this update, Katherine MacLean’s The Diploids And Other Flights Of Fancy.
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: *Marvel A – C
and in our American/British section: *Tarzan/E R Burroughs *Phantom
and in our British section: *TV & Film Related Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: J G Ballard’s dystopian approach to Science Fiction is amply illustrated in the eight books that we’ve just added. He seems to have taken a very English view of the world, with a keen interest in the weather – for example in novels The Drought, The Drowned World and The Wind From Nowhere. We also have five collections of his stories: The Four-Dimensional Nightmare, The Overloaded Man, The Terminal Beach, The Voices Of Time And Other Stories and The Day Of Forever (which rather optimistically states on the back cover that the early stories included therein ‘furnish an invaluable key to his later, more experimental writing’.
*DC: In Batman #232, creators Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams brought us one of Batman’s most significant villains: Ra’s al Ghul, a.k.a. the Head of the Demon, leader of the League of Assassins and father of Talia, the only woman who ever posed Catwoman a serious threat for the Caped Crusader’s affections. Both Talia and the League had made a couple of appearances before this, but this was the first time the readers saw the mysterious head of the League, and this issue kick-started an epic saga that continues to unravel to this very day, as well as opening the way for Ra’s appearances in the DC TV Universe and other media crossovers. This landmark issue, with gorgeous Neal Adams artwork throughout, is a GD+ cents copy, no pence price or overstamp; there is slight wear at the upper and lower right cover corners, but overall a very well-presenting copy, on sale at £125.
*DC: From 1961, this striking item presents a heartrending story as Superman, Supergirl and Krypto once again find themselves homeless – or do they? Needless to say, all is not as it appears in this twist-ending tale, backed up – in those value for money days – with two other stories, ‘The Super-Weapon’, in which Lex Luthor’s villainy rears its head once more, and an Untold Tale, ‘Superboy’s First Public Appearance!’. This lovely item is a FN+ cents copy, no UK stamp or overprint, with outstanding cover colour and gloss, vivid and unbroken save for one tiny diagonal crease at lower right. Truly an outstanding example of a vintage item, before the very first comics price rise – ‘Still 10c’, as it proudly cover-proclaims. Today, it’ll cost you a bit more than 10 cents; this FN+ beauty is on sale for £110. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Well, technically they returned, along with other Justice Society members, in Justice League of America #21, but this was the first time since the Golden Age that readers had had a chance to see these heroes as more than faces in a super-crowd, and with the talents of scripter Gardner Fox, illustrator Murphy Anderson, the villainous Solomon Grundy and guest-hero Green Lantern (Alan Scott), this was a truly epic battle, as the supernatural Doctor Fate and the super-scientist Hourman joined forces against an eldritch menace which threatened to overwhelm them both! This FN+ p copy, with deep, unfaded cover colour and remarkable interior page quality, can be yours for £140.
*DC: Following his ‘Fourth World’ saga, Kirby launched into two very different series at DC; one, of course, was Kamandi, the dystopic-future feral child in a world of anthropomorphic animals, but for the second series, Kirby looked to the past – specifically Arthurian legend, and came up with the Demon! A centuries-old curse imbued Jason Blood with the powers, and the malevolent desires, of the demon Etrigan, and the series focused on the war between our hero’s dual nature in a shadowy world of eldritch deeds, both in the past and the present day. Our new selection of Demon, replenishing our entirely depleted stock, runs from #4 to #7 (First Klarion the Witchboy, FN p £35, pictured) then #10 to #16, the final issue of Etrigan’s original run. Further details in our online catalogue.
*DC: Launched as an historical adventure title, the Brave & The Bold slowly transformed into a ‘try-out’ book a la its companion Showcase, then changed still further at the height of Batmania into a series co-starring Batman with a myriad of other stars from DC. This new influx of 26 copies opens with one of the last try-outs – numbers #57 & #58, the debut and second appearance of Metamorpho the Element Man, segueing neatly into a Batman/Metamorpho team-up in #68, then taking us on a merry ride through the DCU, as Batman meets with, and occasionally battles, the likes of Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman, the Metal Men, Teen Titans, Wonder Woman and scores more. This is a very attractive collection, averaging Fine or better, with many VFs and some still higher grades. This run also includes several of the issues illustrated by legendary artist Neal Adams – and yet our heart belongs to #91, a profoundly stupid story co-starring the Black Canary, but gorgeously drawn by the incomparable Nick Cardy and with a stunning cover! This selection wraps up with two sparkling NM 100-Page issues from the 1970s, #115 and 116, each NM £75 (pictured.) For details on all the rest, please see our catalogue listings.
*Marvel: When Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, flounced out of the Baxter Building after complaining about being treated like a kid (thus proving everybody else’s point), he ended up in the Bowery, where he encountered a strangely familiar vagrant, who turned out to be the legendary anti-hero of the past – Namor, Prince of Atlantis, the Sub-Mariner! Shocked back into possession of his memory, the previously-amnesiac Namor discovered an awful fate had befallen his Atlantean subjects, and vowed vengeance on the surface world – except for Johnny’s shapely sister, Sue Storm, a.k.a. the Invisible Girl! Thus began a deadly enmity (and occasional reluctant alliance) that would persist for decades, as Namor regained his own series, and became as major a player in the modern Marvel Universe as he had been in the Golden Age! This copy of Fantastic Four #4 is CGC Blue Label (no restoration) 3.5 (VG- equiv.), and is on sale at £1,500. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: When the misjudged appeal of the Human Torch’s solo strip in Strange Tales started to falter, the series needed a new star to come along, and fortunately Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, already the creators of hugely popular twist-ending tales in a plethora of Big Panty Monster comics, turned their talents to an eldritch hero, and Doctor Strange was born! Unheralded on the cover – honestly, is anyone really bothered if Paste-Pot Pete’s Invincible Paste-Gun does finish the Torch off? – the stylish back-up story introduced the Sorceror Supreme to the Marvel Universe, commencing a lengthy career which has crossed over into the blockbuster film starring Bandersnatch Chamberpot. Now that the good Doctor is a multi-media phenom, his earliest appearances are spiralling up in price – but if you’re going to get one, this is the one to get! This copy is GD+, cents with no pence stamp or overprint. Sound and tight, firm, staples, the only drawback preventing a higher grade is the fact that a large number ‘6’ has been drawn on the cover centre, and a smaller ‘x’ in the upper left cover corner. At some point an attempt has been made to erase these, we suspect, with the result that they are fainter than might be expected – but the erasure attempt has not damaged the underlying cover colour. If not for that, this copy would be firmly in the FN zone. Dr. Strange’s debut, on sale at £700. Front and back cover and splash images are shown below; high resolution images are available on request.
*Marvel: While we yield to no one in our regard for Steve Ditko as the ‘proper’ Spider-Man artist, we have to concede that John Romita did a cracking job when he took over, redefining the character for the Swingin’ Sixties – and Jazzy Johnny’s background as a romance artist certainly didn’t hurt when it came to drawing Peter Parker’s own ‘Betty & Veronica’, Gwen and Mary Jane! Issue #39 marked Romita’s first as illustrator, and he dove right in, making the character his own, and creating a cover scene which is almost as often ‘homaged’ as his famous Spidey #50 cover! #39 and #40 constituted a two-part confrontation with the Green Goblin and firmly established Romita’s tenure on the title. Both parts of this epic are back in stock; #39 is a VG+ p copy, with very light creasing at lower and upper cover corners and one faint diagonal crease lower right cover not detracting from the impact of the cover scene, on sale at £100. #40 is VG p, light to moderate wear upper and lower right cover corners, again cover scene unmarred, on sale at £70. SORRY, #39 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Following his 1976 return to Marvel, the legendary Jack Kirby was anxious not to get trapped in the cycle of just illustrating super-heroes again, and one of his conditions was that he would be allowed to write and draw his own concepts. How much of the Eternals concept was his is, politely, open to debate; heavily ‘influenced’ (ahem, ahem) by the popular Erich Von Daniken paperbacks, which postulated that mankind’s ancient ‘Gods’ were alien visitors, Kirby’s Eternals portrayed the return of ancient immortal extraterrestrials, and the cataclysmic repercussions for humanity. Originally intended to stand apart from the Marvel Universe, it was shoehorned in at editorial insistence, which resulted in Kirby eventually abandoning the strip mid-narrative. Because of this dissonance, the Eternals have been comparatively overlooked by all but the most diehard Kirby Kollectors, but with the confirmation of an Eternals movie starring Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, The Bodyguard) as Ikaris, prices are spiralling. We have a virtually complete run of Eternals, lacking only the final two of the 19-issue series, but including the one and only Annual, averaging VF with many better. Issue #1 is VF p £100; 2 VF/NM p £65; 3 VF+ p (1st Sersi) £50; 5 VF+ p (1st Zuras, Thena, Makkari, Domo) £50; prices and grades on all the others may be seen in our online catalogue. SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Following the liberalisation of the Comics Code’s censorship in 1971, ‘classic’ horror creatures such as vampires and werewolves were allowed to be presented for the first time since the 1950s, and Marvel lost no time, with a one-two punch of Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf By Night, the latter being ‘piloted’ in Marvel Spotlight #2, #3 & #4. Created by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog, the story of a young man named Jack Russell (no, really; stop laughing at the back there) who contracted a lycanthropic curse hit a high note with the readership and spun off into his own series after these three issues. As a bonus, the extra-thick #2, issued during Marvel’s fleeting flirtation with a 25c standard price, has a gorgeous Venus back-up reprint strip drawn by the incomparable Bill Everett. Issue #2, the premier WBN, is VG, light wear at top and bottom of spine but otherwise clean and tight copy, on sale at £90, with #3 VF+ £50, and #4 VF £30. None of these were distributed in the UK, so here’s an uncommon chance to grab the ‘pilots’ for the popular and long-running series! SORRY, #2 & #3 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Marvel’s first published mini-series, issued in 1982, Contest of Champions came about almost by accident. Originally intended as a Marvel Treasury Special to tie-in with the 1980 Olympics, the project crashed & burned when the USA pulled out of said event, and the prepared pages, after a time in limbo, were re-edited into this three-parter, in which virtually every Marvel super-hero (and several brand-new international ones created for the Olympic tie-in) are drafted by the Grandmaster in a contest with Death to win back the life of the deceased Collector. Split into teams, the heroes are used as pawns to gain artefacts and therefore win points to determine which cosmic entity wins their goal. By Mark Gruenwald, John Romita Jr. and Bob Layton, the unexpected success of this unplanned mini-series paved the way for more premeditated events, beginning, of course, with Marvel’s Secret Wars in 1984. This complete three-issue series averages VF, pence copies, and is on sale as a set for £35.
*Marvel: Another stellar line-up of everyone’s favourite assemblers again this week, ranging from #101-210. Okay, so maybe we start out here artistic wise with Bob Brown and Don Heck (both by this time past their best work), things soon liven up with George Perez and John Byrne, finishing off with Gene Colan. Notable storylines in this period include Magneto & the X-Men, the Avengers/Defenders War, the Serpent Crown, the Korvac Saga and many more. Consult our catalogue for full listings.
*Marvel: A stirring sextet of premier issues, in mostly affordable mid-grades. Hank Pym’s former assistant gets his own super-gig as Black Goliath, legendary pulp hero Doc Savage returns to comics, Howard the Duck meets the lovely Bev Switzler and the equally lovely Spider-Man, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner share a magazine for the first time, Robert E. Howard’s Kull the Conqueror gains his own title, and Marvel Chillers #1 brings us the debut of Modred the Mystic. Black Goliath #1 VG p £20; Doc Savage #1 VF £29; Howard the Duck #1 GD- £5; Iron man and Sub-Mariner #1 is GD+ p £30; Kull #1 VG £12 and Marvel Chillers #1 FN p £7.50.
*Marvel: A small but beautifully formed update to Marvel’s Merry Mutants this week, including the debuts of Banshee in #28, Alex Summers in #54 and Sunfire in #64, several reprint issues between #69 and #93, mostly in mid-high grade (pence copies), and a guest star appearance by the Amazing Spider-Man in #35. And yet more…
*Marvel: Inspired no doubt by DC’s Imaginary Stories of the 1960s, in 1977 Marvel came up with the What If concept, which had fun with the what-might-have-beens of the Marvel Universe. Highly popular with fans, who loved this sort of done-in-one stories previously only the speculations of fandom, the What If franchise lasted 47 issues of the first series, spawned a highly successful sequel series and still continues with a range of one-shots periodically to this day. We have over half the run of the first series fresh in, including #31 (VF p £29 – What If Wolverine Had Killed The Hulk?). Our personal favourite from this selection is #11 (What If The Original Marvel Bullpen Had Become the Fantastic Four?), which has to be seen to be believed.
*Marvel: After their debut in 1968, it took quite a while for the Guardians Of The Galaxy to find their feet in the Marvel Universe, but a significant stepping stone along the way came along in their brief series in Marvel Presents (1975), where their story occupied issues #3-12 of that series. There’s still quite an evolutionary gap to their status in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe of today, but here’s where they were first developed beyond their origin. Most issues fresh into stock; see our catalogue for details.