*DC: Lois Lane has mad many mad moments – wacky bodily transformations, marrying random aliens/robots/villains, and convoluted and extreme schemes to entrap the Man of Steel into matrimony – but one of the maddest was her 106th issue – and the thing is, the creators weren’t even trying for the crazy! By this point, the writers were trying to make Lois more socially relevant, so she started embracing ‘issues’, and the issue here was racial tension. Now, younger readers won’t recall that in 1970, there was a controversial and sexually explicit film on release called ‘I Am Curious (Yellow)’ – writer Bob Kanigher, having apparently heard the title without grasping the context, stole this for the story’s title, ‘I Am Curious (Black)’, thereby bewildering, disappointing and offending multiple factions at once. Lois, having become suddenly aware of racial disparity – (precisely zero black people having appeared in her book until this point) uses Kryptonian ‘Transformoflux-Mold’ technology to turn herself into a black woman, and investigates Metropolis’ ‘Little Africa’ ghetto – from the inside! To be fair, the intentions were benign, and there are actually a couple of good points and good lines buried in there, but the overwhelming ham-fisted and cringe-making patronage of the issue has made it a bit of a cult item among connoisseurs of bad comics. This is a FN+ cents copy, no pence pricing, tight and clean with only light to moderate corner wear and firm staples. A… classic of its kind? Yours for £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: A second helping of Batmania this week as we feature issues #202-231 (almost all in that sequence) freshly added to our stock in superior grades; almost every issue is Fine or considerably better. A nice run full of Giants (Secrets Of The Bat-Cave, Women in Batman’s Life, 30th Anniversary Special, Batman’s Crime File, Danger Around The World, Deadly Traps), the debut of the Ten-Eyed Man in #226, a delightful Catwoman caper in #210 and a Neal Adams short in #219, presaging what was to follow. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*DC: One of DC’s earliest mini-series joins our catalogue this week as we add the 1982 Phantom Zone series from the talented pen of Steve Gerber and the gorgeous pencils of Gene Colan. A humane method of criminal confinement or a dimension without hope? You decide… all four issues now in stock and as cheap as chips!
*DC/Marvel: In 1976, after some delicate negotiations, Marvel and DC decided to create a team-up between their two iconic characters which proved too big for a regular-sized comic – so the tabloid-sized format, as seen in Marvel’s Treasury Editions and DC’s Limited Collectors’ Editions, was co-opted for this event! Superman and Spider-Man (as well as guest-villains Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus) are note-perfect in this mega-sized saga. This triggered a series of cross-overs between the two companies, with DC and Marvel alternating on the publishing chores. DC was at the helm for DC Special Series #27, an apparent mismatch between Batman and the Hulk – which, owing to the intervention of the Joker and the Shaper of Worlds, isn’t the one-panel wonder you’d expect! Superbly illustrated by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, the Bat/Hulk clash is less frequently encountered ‘in the wild’. Marvel was at the production helm by 1981, when Marvel Treasury Edition #28 was released, with Superman and Spider-Man’s ‘second date’, this time co-featuring Wonder Woman and the Hulk and the villainy of Doctor Doom and the Parasite! We are delighted to have all of these epic editions back in stock: Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, to give the first its full title, is VG, moderate corner and edge wear but clean and unmarred interiors. DC Special Series #27 is VG+, light corner wear and a few small breaks in cover colour at the spine. Marvel Treasury Edition #28 is FN, minimal corner wear, clean interiors, vivid unimpaired cover scene. Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man is VG £45; DC Special Series #27 is VG+ £40, and Marvel Treasury Edition #28 is FN £50. All three are cents copies with no UK pricing. SORRY, FIRST 2 PICTURED ITEMS HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A 1970s character who has seen a massive spike in popularity due to the media is Luke Cage, recently star of his own Netflix series and the Defenders show. His comic started out in 1972 as ‘Luke Cage, Hero For Hire’ before changing to Power Man for later issues. Created by Archie Goodwin and George Tuska, this tapped into the ‘Blaxploitation’ craze of the day, and genuinely tried to present a seamier side of the Marvel world, with Luke defying a deluge of corruption, though the series’ good intentions were often subverted by the attempt to emulate ‘street’ slang in the dialogue without using actual swear words! We have a copy of his debut issue new in – cents, of course, there are no pence copies as it was ND UK. This is a highly desirable VF+, with unbroken black cover background, vivid colour and gloss, excellent interiors and firm staples, with only the lightest corner blunting preventing a nicer evaluation. First appearances of both Luke himself and his arch-enemy Diamondback, VF+ £400.
*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 to Venom, who eclipsed most longer-established villains to become Spidey’s crucial nemesis for ensuing decades, and eventually the star of his own hit film franchise – without Spidey! Although the first appearance of the symbiote in internal continuity was Secret Wars #8, its debut in real time was this very issue. This is an outstanding CGC Blue Label (no restoration) copy graded at 9.6, a NM+ equivalent, on sale at £150.
*Marvel: Writer/Artist Jim Starlin, together with scripter Mike Friedrich, took the Captain Marvel character, largely moribund by the early 1970s, and placed him on a galactic canvas, in the process opening up a much broader horizon for the Marvel Universe. Opinion remains divided, but the balance of judgement falls on this having been A Good Thing, allowing for such cosmic crossovers as the decades-later Infinity Gauntlet and its offspring. Having introduced most of the major players in Iron Man #55, Starlin developed Thanos and his fellow Titans into significant figures, and these issues laid the groundwork. We open with the first Starlin/Friedrich issue, #23, and continue until #33 (lacking only #32 from the run), with the second, third, and other early appearances of Thanos, as well as guests Mentor, Eros, the Destroyer, Moondragon, the Thing and the Avengers. Issue #26 (2nd Thanos, pictured) is FN at £55; details on the others may be found in our online listings.
*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, 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. #195 is NM p £40; #196 is a cents copy, VF/NM at £150. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Early adventures of Odin’s favourite son remain sought-after here at 30th Century, and we’re delighted to have more copies coming in. This week, we present Journey Into Mystery #108, an early cross-over issue in which Thor and his evil brother Loki encounter Doctor Strange, Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, and discover a very different kind of magic from Loki’s Asgardian enchantments in this Lee & Kirby classic. This is a FN p copy, light corner wear but lovely unbroken cover colour, on sale at £55. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of comics’ biggest events of the final decades of the 20th Century was Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet, in which Thanos, the megavillain Starlin had been building up for nearly twenty years, armed with the reality-altering Infinity Gauntlet, faced down the Marvel super-beings en masse, in a struggle for the fate of the universe! Infinity Gauntlet was such a huge success that Starlin wrote two equally cosmic sequels, Infinity War and Infinity Crusade, each taking in most of the Marvel super-stars of the time. Hugely popular ever since their inception, but with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet at the centre of the current Avengers: Endgame cinematic juggernaut, demand for these issues is at its height. We have the first issues of all three series in stock – Infinity Crusade #1 NM p £8, Infinity War #1 NM p £10 and Infinity Gauntlet #1 (pictured) VF p £30, as well as Infinity Gauntlet #2 and #3 and the entire remaining series of Infinity War #2-6. SORRY, INFINITY GAUNTLET #1 HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Howard the Duck, Steve Gerber’s cynical anti-hero, first graced the pages of Giant-Size Man-Thing (no, really) before gaining his own critically-acclaimed series, in which Gerber, through his waterfowl mouthpiece, took endless potshots at the wider world of the 1970s with his tale of a misanthrophic anthropomorph trapped in, as later taglines averred, ‘A World He Never Made’ (no, it made no sense, but sounded deep). Howard’s made three cameos in the Marvel cinematic universe to date, so can it be long before our feathered friend takes flight again on the silver screen? Superbly illustrated by Frank Brunner, this is the issue in which Howard met his ‘hairless ape’ sweetheart, the buoyant Beverley Switzler, and a partnership made in comedic Heaven was born. This is a VF p issue, tight and sharp with firm staples, on sale at £35.
*Marvel: Well, if you can’t have Ditko, his successor is the next best thing! John Romita brought a new style to everyone’s favourite wall-crawler, with a dynamic sense of layout, design and style, featuring some classic covers. A whole range of Romita issues this update, nearly 20 issues between Amazing Spider-Man #47 and #97, featuring Spidey’s tangles with Kraven, the KIngpin, Doctor Octopus, Ka-Zar (& Zabu), the Vulture, Silvermane, the Lizard, the Schemer, Iceman, the Prowler and, of course, the Green Goblin. A mix of grades, many nice and some cheap readers!
*Marvel: Another sweep through the Marvel Universe, this time focusing on titles from A-H, including: Astonishing Tales with Deathlok, Avengers (inc. #93 by Neal Adams and #100 by Barry Smith), Captain America (inc. #164 1st Nightshade), Champions (inc. #17 final issue), Conan (Barry Smith issues from #6 upwards & Giant-Size #1), Fantastic Four (from #40 inc. #100 and Annual #6), Ghost Rider and Howard the Duck.
*Horror 1940-1959: Thanks for sticking with us throughout this long, long Mega-Fest of 1940s and 1950s Pre and Post Code Horror we’ve been running since last Autumn. This week we at last reach the final entries in this category for the time being. From Harvey, we have Chamber of Chills #24, with a gripping Lee Elias cover; from Fawcett, Strange Suspense Stories #4, with a literal death-cheating cover and lead tale; from Avon, #17 of the early horror series Eerie (GD+ £55, pictured) and a quartet of Atlas: the Post-Code World of Mystery #1 and World of Suspense #5, and two more Pre-Code beauties, both depicted: Spellbound #20 VG+ £110, with a stunning Russ Heath cover, and Suspense #15 VG+ £95, with Joe Maneely at his most menacing.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: We begin a new event this week, featuring Timely/Atlas/Marvel’s famous funny girl. Created by Stuart Little and Ruth Atkinson in the second issue of Miss America Magazine in 1944, teen comedy star Patsy Walker proved so popular with the readership that she not only shoplifted Miss America’s own book from her, but was awarded her own magazine the next year, running for more than twenty years.
A distaff ‘Archie’, well-meaning everygirl Patsy, her ‘frenemy’ Hedy Wolfe, her sweetheart Buzz Baxter, and other friends and foes in the town of Centerville starred in Patsy & Hedy, Patsy and Her Pals, A Date With Patsy… well, you get the idea. She was a female Archie in more ways than one, carrying an entire line of spin-offs and sustaining the ailing publisher through the dark days of the Fifties.
Adopted into the Marvel Universe proper in 1976 as the super-heroine Hellcat, Patsy’s been an Avenger, a Defender, a hero, a villain, a victim of domestic abuse, a werecat, a demon, mad, bald, crippled, occasionally dead and wedded to the Son of Satan – and she’s still standing in the Marvel TV Universe, as a regular on Jessica Jones!
We kick off this Patsy extravaganza with her first solo flight, Patsy Walker #1, the start of her long-running eponymous series. Cover by Mike Sekowsky, interior stories by Ruth Atkinson and Chris Rule. Formerly a CGC blue label unrestored copy graded at 7.0 (FN/VF equivalent) it has been released from the slab by a previous owner (though the CGC slip remains with the copy). We must say that we agree with the grade applied by CGC. The deep black cover background is unmarred, with no cracks or breaks. Pages are off-white, flexible and firmly attached, staples firm at cover and centrefold, no interior markings, creasings, tears or disfigurement of any sort. The only mark on the cover is a small pencilled ‘A’ on Patsy’s upraised left calf. Truly extraordinary condition for a comic of this vintage. Given the unusually high grade for a Timely Golden Age item, and Patsy’s significance in all three eras of the Timely/Atlas/Marvel eras, the price is £3,000 for this beautiful item. Front and back covers and splash page are shown here; high resolution images are available on request. Please note that this comic is not kept at our shop; viewing is strictly by appointment only and requires a minimum of 48 hours’ notice.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: In 1971 Marvel, still trying to broaden its readership, tried again to crack the black & white magazine market which Warren had successfully exploited. Savage Tales #1 was rated ‘M’ for the Mature Reader (translation; a bit of swearing and occasional boobs), and set out to slightly repackage some of their existing properties – Conan and Ka-Zar – and introduce some new concepts. Of the latter, ‘Black Brother’, a ham-fisted race relations piece, is best forgotten, and ‘The Femizons’, a cringe-making take on Women’s Liberation which served as the basis for Thundra, does at least supply some (albeit unintentional) laughs; but the very first appearance of Marvel’s ‘Man-Thing’ is stylish and evocative, despite the character being a shameless Swamp Thing rip-off. While the writing is hit & miss (though the Conan and Man-Thing stories are definitely hits) the artwork is stunning throughout: Barry Smith, John Romita, John Buscema, Gene Colan and Gray Morrow, all at their respective peaks. Never distributed in the UK, and far from commonplace in the USA, we’ve only seen Savage Tales #1 a handful of times in our 25 years of trading. This is a lovely FN/VF copy, unmarred cover image, tight squarebound spine with only minimal lower spine wear, with excellent interiors, on sale at £250. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: Further tear-stained moonlit sagas from Miller and Streamline, two of the re-packaging juggernauts of the Fifties. From Streamline, we have the one-off titles My Happiness, My Love Memoirs, My Love Story, My Second Love, My Secret Life, and Secret Husband. Don’t be fooled by the cover come-on, ‘All in Colour’, though – once you open them up, they’re black, white and one other colour! (Well, there was still rationing on…). From Len Miller, we have new issues of his re-presentation of the Atlas romances, including a couple of #1 issues; titles include My Own Romance, Secret Story Romances, True Secrets and True Tales of Love, with the usual array of classy artists – Jay Scott Pike, Ann Brewster, Joe Maneely, and even some good Vince Coletta – no, really. Pictured: Secret Husband (FN/VF £12), Secret Story Romances #1 (FN, with a Matt Baker story, £20) and True Secrets #1 (FN £15)
*Annuals: Continuing our ‘Immaculate Annuals’ event, we revisit TV & Film Related Annuals, from the same pedigree source. As with previous ‘Immaculate’ selections, these are from a newsagent’s inventory, never circulated or read, no prices clipped, no gift dedications, ‘This Book Belongs To’ inscriptions or other interior markings, solid spines, tight corners and bright, vibrant colours. A couple of them, because of slightly marred laminate or a tiny bit of cover fading, do dip to FN/VF, but mostly these are VF to VF/NM, truly lovely items, virtually able to pass for new. Added this listing: Doctor Kildare 1965 and 1966, Emergency Ward 10 1964, Follyfoot 1975, Man From UNCLE 1967 to 1969, No Hiding Place 1966, Orlando 1968, Roger Moore’s Adventure Book 1966, Saint 1968, Star Trek 1970 and 1973 and TV Tornado 1968 (1st) and 1969. Pictured are Man From UNCLE 1969 VF/NM £22.50, Saint 1968 £22.50 and TV Tornado 1968 VF/NM £50. For details on the others, please see the appropriate section of our catalogue listings.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Technically a Holiday Special, but in a format like a paperback Annual, the Valiant Space Specials were squarebound and 100 pages cover to cover, featuring original, non-reprint adventures of Valiant favourites with a space theme – Captain Hurricane, Kelly’s Eye, the Steel Claw, and yes, even Billy Bunter and the Nutts getting into the act! Plus other sci-fi stories without series characters. This is the second (and final) Valiant Space Special, and is less common than its ‘parent’ of the previous year. The paperback format means that most copies have usually sustained damage, but this one, albeit with some light corner ‘bumps’ owing to the extra-wide format, is an attractive VG/FN, with only minor creasing in the lower right cover corner and generally excellent interiors. On sale at £45.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Chunky updates to four favourite titles this week. From the 1950s, Lion 1952/53 the first two years of publication, as earfly as the 4th issue, and from the 1970s, a trio of thrills: Battle from 1975 (its first year) and 1976, including first appearances and the first combo issue with Valiant (23/10/76), Bullet 1976 (from #3) and Roy Of The Rovers, many issues in FN condition from its first year 1976. Many gaps in our inventory now filled (at least temporarily!)
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: One of the most popular Boys’ Picture Libraries is Air Ace, tales of daring aviators defending the Empire’s skyways, and following on from our April update, in which we offered most of the first 100 issues, we now have in stock most of the second hundred – and a handful from the first hundred which slipped through our net last time, ahem ahem. This substantial but not complete run starts with #66 and concludes with #199, generally issues in otherwise excellent shape but suffering from staple rust, so the average grade is VG/FN on these numbers, many of which were completely unrepresented in our previous inventory. Depicted is one of the many striking painted covers, #103 ‘Broken Swastika’ (FN £4). For prices and grades on the others, check our online catalogue.
*TV & Film Related Comics: From 1974, Marvel UK’s repackaging of the licensed material spun off from the then-megahit movie franchise, Planet of the Apes. Given the weekly schedule, however, demand for anthropoid antics soon outstripped the sedate bi-monthly pace of the American edition, so even with new material being developed for UK consumption first, the publishers were forced by issue #23 to repurpose the Killraven/War of the Worlds series, rebranding Martians as apes and rechristening the hero ‘Apeslayer’, in one of the more bizarre bodge-jobs of comics history. You can read more about all that in the Extras section of our catalogue. A selection – 28 of the first 36 POTA weeklies – is restocked from #1 upwards, in affordable low to mid grades. Prices and grades in our online catalogue, Get your hands on these damn dirty apes!
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Running from 1957 to 1965, Love & Life Library was another in the D.C. Thomson line of done-in-one romance digest comics, with striking, meticulously crafted interior art and often stunning painted covers. We have a range of Love & Life new in, commencing with #13 and concluding with #91, averaging FN grades but with a couple of VFs. Pictured are issue #91 (VF £15) and #33 (which, at VG £9 is the lowest-graded of this selection – but we had to show the cover ’cause it’s soooo pretty!)
*Girl’s Comics: Our spotlight on previously listed stock this week falls on the quintessential Girl’s comic/Magazine Jackie. In 1964, Jackie was launched to bridge female readers between Bunty and Woman’s Own, a brief playtime with the ‘England Swings’ zeitgeist of the day, before girls were expected to settle into consumerist conformism. This debut issue, 11 Jan 1964, features Pin-Ups of Cliff, Elvis and the Beatles, Perfume Tips for a More Kissable You, Dreamy Picture Love Stories and Way-Out Exclusives on all the Popsters – for pity’s sake, what more could you want? Well, how about the original Free Gift – a ‘Twin Heart’ Love Ring – still sealed in its original packaging, never having had a chance to turn anyone’s finger green in the intervening decades? Plus – the Power! The Fury! The senses-shattering debut of Cathy and Claire, Jackie’s indefatigable advice page oracles, dispensing wisdom on bras, boys, and (hushed voice) ladyproblems. Jackie became a watchword for a generation, not bowing out until 1993 with number #1539 (also still in stock, kids!), and is well-remembered today. This Jackie #1 is FN+, just falling short of a higher grade on account of a tiny amount of upper right soft corner creasing. The Free Gift, never opened, is NM. Together, comic and gift can be yours for £175.
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
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Collected Editions: Those lovely people at Rebellion, bless them, continue to collect and respect the vast and still largely unexplored history of British Comics with their sequential compilations of classic strips, and occasional revivals. This week, we welcome into stock Death Wish Volume 1 by Barrie Tomlinson and artist Vayo, the tale of a Formula 1 driver who, tragically disfigured in a crash, lost the urge to live, taking on ever more outlandish challenges in an attempt to court death. Launched in the short-lived Speed weekly, ‘Death Wish’ carried over into Tiger for a much longer life than in its original home. This is a brand-new softcover at £15. Sweeny Toddler, the gremlin-like two-year old, was the creation of classic comedy artist Leo Baxendale, and Sweeny’s horrendous parental abuse made him a firm favourite in the short-lived Shiver & Shake – from which he leapt to a long run as the lead in Whoopee weekly, finally jumping to Whizzer & Chips! My, he did lead a full life, and Baxendale’s manic invention chronicles every misdeed in obsessive detail! The first volume of Sweeny’s collected misadventures is hardcover, brand new at £15. Finally this update, a companion to the previous all-new Scream & Misty and Buster & Cor Specials, comes Tammy & Jinty Special 2019, in which venerable series from the girls’ comics of yesteryear are given a modern twist in all-new tales of ‘The Justice of Justine’, ‘Maisie’s Magic Eye’ (hang on, weren’t those two originally from Sally?) ‘Bella at the Bar’ and more. This full-colour 48-page mag is brand new at £5.
*DC: Three stunning Silver Age issues of Detective Comics this update, each a VF+ cents copy with no pence price or overstamp: #332 pits the Dynamic Duo against the Crown Prince of Crime in “The Joker’s Last Laugh!”, #364 features the Riddler in ‘The Curious Case of the Crime-Less Clues!’, and #387 is a special 30th Anniversary issue featuring an all new thriller ‘The Cry of Night Is Sudden Death!’, plus a then-unprecedented reprint of the very first Batman story from 1939’s Detective Comics #27! As previously mentioned, these are all VF+ cents copies, tight, bright and lustrous; #332 is £150, #364 is £64, and #387 is £95. SORRY, #364 & #387 NOW SOLD
*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 an attractive VG, with light to moderate wear at spine and corners, but tight staples, unmarred cover scene, and flexible off-white interior pages. VG p £140. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: For many years largely overlooked by collectors, the 1973 Shazam! series – DC’s reboot of the original Captain Marvel, who was put out of business by a protracted lawsuit from DC in the ’50s – is now riding high because of the smash-hit (and hugely fun) film starring Zachary Levi as Billy Batson’s supernaturally-powered alter ego. In 1973 C.C. Beck, co-creator of Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel, teamed up with contemporary writers to produce new stories of ‘The Big Red Cheese’. Beck was followed by other distinguished artists such as Kurt Schaffenberger and Bob Oksner, creating lighter, friendlier but imaginative adventures, from which, in large part, the sensibility of the film has been derived. This copy of Shazam! #1 is a lovely VF/NM cents copy, flat, tight & bright, virtually as new, on sale at £100.
*DC: A new selection in of the classic series of Justice League of America, ranging from #58 all the way through to the end of the series #261 plus annuals. Not every issue in that run, but every one of the dozens of issues new in was previously missing from our inventory. Giant issues, anniversary issues and Justice Society crossovers aplenty in this update to DC’s premier team title. As always, see our catalogue for details.
*DC: Originally serialised in the UK’s Warrior comic, DC took up the reins of V For Vendetta and published the full story (Warrior folded before the story was completed) in 1988/89. Subsequently filmed, Alan Moore’s dystopian politcal thriller is a story of facist state vs anarchism, portraying in metaphor the Thatcher government and Guy Fawkes as the antagonists. The imagery (by David Lloyd) of V’s Guy Fawkes mask has subsequently been made even more famous by the Occupy movement. Alan Moore’s harrowing storytelling at its best, combined with the moody art of Lloyd and atmospheric colouring by our old friend Steve Whitaker (among others). Most issues of this classic 10 issues series newly listed in NM grade.
*Marvel: Ghost Rider had been the title of a short-lived Western series of the 1960s, and in 1972, writer Gary Friedrich and artist Mike Ploog reinterpreted the cowboy trope with the nearest modern equivalent – a motorbike rider! In the wake of ‘Easy Rider’ and adding in lashings of the then-popular Satanic-possession movies, they came up with Johnny Blaze, stunt-rider turned emissary of Satan, having sacrificed his soul to save his loved ones. But this being a Code-Approved Marvel comic, Johnny’s battle of wills with his demonic master usually led to his actions coming down on the side of good, despite Old Nick’s best efforts. Ghost Rider went on to 80+ issues of his original series after a successful run in Marvel Spotlight, and despite two truly execrable Nicolas Cage-starring movies, remains a mainstay of the Marvel Universe today. This copy of his first appearance is a CGC Blue Label (unrestored), at 4.0, VG equivalent, on sale at £280. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: We’re always happy to welcome new stock from the ‘proper’ Spider-Man artist, Steve Ditko – no disrespect intended to Jazzy Johnny Romita – and this week we have one of the less common issues in #17, the second-ever appearance of perhaps Spidey’s greatest enemy, the Green Goblin – with a decidedly stoned-looking (judging by the cover image) Human Torch thrown into the mix! This classic tale is a less frequent visitor to our display than its contemporaries, and this is a highly attractive VG+ pence copy, with light creasing in the lower right cover corner and minor edge & corner wear, but beautiful lustrous cover colour and an unmarred cover image. On sale at £125. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the early Marvel Age – when, you must recall, the halcyon days of the Golden Age were a mere 10-15 years in the past – Marvel received a lot of requests to revive their 1940s stars. They tested the waters with the Human Torch’s solo story in Strange Tales #114, wherein Johnny Storm appeared to meet and battle Captain America, legendary hero of World War II! Needless to say – oh, don’t give me ‘Spoilers’, it was more than half a century ago – it turned out to be a villain appropriating Cap’s costume, but the issue sold so well that it triggered the revival of the actual Captain America in Avengers #4, and the rest is history. This is not often seen in any condition, and this copy is an attractive FN cents copy, with only minimal corner and edge wear and bright, lustrous cover colours, on sale at £150. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The popular Marvel series of Star Wars, which had been ticking along nicely with original stories, suddenly upped its game with issues #39 to #44, which presented for the first time a graphic adaptation of the second movie, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Contrary to the habit of movie adaptations (banged-out cash-cows), this was a quality piece of work by scripter Archie Goodwin, with truly stunning visuals by Al Williamson. In addition, issue #42 featured the first appearance of mercenary Boba Fett, who became a bit of a cult character. All six issues are new in stock: #39 NM £30, #40 VF/NM £20, #41 NM £30, #42 FN/VF £45 (pictured), #43 NM- £15, and #44 NM £30. SORRY, #42 HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Lee & Kirby, in Fantastic Four #66, laid the groundwork for another cult character, though this one turned out to be a bit of a slow burner. In issue #66, scientists calling themselves the Enclave created an artificial, perfect human, who the readers didn’t actually see until #67, when the new-born demigod initially called himself ‘Him’. After rebelling against his creators, ‘Him’ set out to discover the world, and decided to seek a mate – unfortunately, the mate he chose was Thor’s main squeeze Lady Sif! After a two-part confrontation with the Thunder God, ‘Him’ flew off to discover the universe, eventually coming back as Warlock – in which guise he’s had several solo series, and is scheduled to appear in the hit Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise! His (Him’s?) two-part origin and epic clash with Thor are all newly restocked: Fantastic Four #66 FN/VF £75 and #67 FN/VF £175 (both FFs pictured), and Thor #165 FA £35 and #166 VG- p £35.
*Marvel: A significant latecomer to the Silver Marvel Age, the enigmatic synthezoid, the Vision premiered in Avengers #57 as a villainous pawn of the evil Ultron. Rapidly being discovered to be misguided, he was offered membership the next issue, in one of the most rapid reforms ever, and became a mainstay of the Avengers and the MU in general, particularly through his convoluted relationship with the Scarlet Witch. Based on a Simon & Kirby character from the 1940s, Roy Thomas’ love affair with all things Golden Age stood him in good stead, as the ‘new’ Vision of the Silver Age captured the hearts and minds of readers worldwide… though the exquisite art by John Buscema doubtless didn’t hurt! This copy of Vizh’s first appearance is a GD-; structurally sound, but the cover has been nibbled at by some bygone rodent, leaving a narrow strip on the right edge from the middle to the base gnawed away. Oddly, this doesn’t impinge on the actual cover image at all, and the interiors are sound and unmarred. So, a chance to get a key issue at a reasonably low price: GD- cents £35. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Not quite enough for a proper ‘Return Of…’, but nevertheless we have a few of the pre-hero Marvel series with unfeasibly enlarged antagonists plotting to conquer the world, only to be discouraged by plucky scientists – a trope which made Marvel a mint before the Fantastic Four went up in their rocketship! Tales of Suspense #22 (VG £60 pictured) brings us Bruttu. Tales to Astonish #20 (GD+ £44) offers us X – The Thing That Lived! And Tales to Astonish #33 (VG+ p £56 pictured) varies the theme by having normal-sized and fully-clad alien monsters – but loads of ’em – in ‘Dead Storage!’
*Marvel: From 1977 to 1979, Godzilla, the legendary movie monster created by Toho Studios, was incorporated firmly into the Marvel Universe with a 24 issue series in which the giant dinosaur rampaged across America, courtesy of creators Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe. Along the way, Godzilla encountered the Agents of SHIELD, Ghost Rider, the Champions, the Avengers and Spider-Man, and even after Marvel lost the rights to Godzilla himself, villains and supporting cast from the series have turned up in other Marvel series years later. This complete run averages NM, highly attractive copies with minimal wear and considerable eye appeal – all cents copies, as the series was never distributed here in the Old Country. Depicted is #1 NM £55; details on the others in our catalogue.
*Marvel: Thirty new issues added to the latter years of our Amazing Spider-Man listing, commencing with #141 (first appearance of the second Mysterio), and concluding with #297. Along the way, significant debuts and events include the second appearance of the Black Cat in #195, the second Black Cat storyline, a two-parter in #226 and #227, the debut of the Rose in #253, the Puma’s premiere in #256, the first appearance of the sultry Silver Sable in #265, and the first two chapters of the iconic ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’ storyline in #293 and #294. All that, plus the usual web-swinging, wall-crawling action you’ve come to love!
*Marvel: A small but significant restock to our Hulk inventory, a selection of issues running from #103, his second number, and closing with the extra-large #300, in which Jade-Jaws takes on – well, most of the other Marvel heroes! Along the way, we have the first Shaper of Worlds in #155, the first death of Warlock in #178 (he got better; then he died again; I’ve lost track of where he is now…) the debut of the second Moonstone, later Meteorite of the Thunderbolts, in #228, and the double-sized #250, in which Hulk clashes with the Silver Surfer!
*Marvel: One of the most peculiar corners of the Marvel Universe was inhabited by the Human Fly, a costumed stuntman in the manner of Evel Knievel, who inexplicably became the star of his own comics series in 1977. Although there was briefly a real-life performer of that name, later revealed as stuntman Rick Rojatt, we suspect the comics version’s origin – having 60% of his skeleton replaced by steel after a traumatic accident – was not Mr. Rojatt’s own background. At least we hope not, for his sake. The comics version interacted with Ghost Rider and the White Tiger, among other Marvel luminaries, but owing to the hero’s nomadic activities, the only supporting cast was plucky journalista Harmony Whyte, who Lois Laned our hero across the USA reporting on his activities while trying to reveal the man behind the mask. Like every other Marvel property this side of Willie Lumpkin, the Human Fly is now rumoured to have a movie in production; will it be a hit? Well, another Bill Mantlo creation, Rocket Raccoon, has done unexpectedly well for himself, so you never know! The complete 19-issue series, cents copies, averaging NM, is now available for the relatively bargainaceous price of £40; buy it now before the speculators jump in! SORRY, THIS SERIES HAS NOW SOLD
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: A selection from various publishers and genres from the 1940s and 1950s, including Feature Book #40, starring Chic Young”s Blondie; Boy Comics from Gleason with Chuck Chandler, the former ‘Crimebuster’; Buster Brown Comics, a promotional item with beautifully-illustrated adventure strips; Comedy Comics from Timely, starring Super-Rabbit; Fawcett Movie Comic, starring Anthony Dexter in ‘The Brigand’ (no, blank looks here too); Heroic Comics, with true-life tales of daring and Al williamson art; Major Inapak, another promotional item with rather lovely Bob Powell art on our space-faring hero and finally, Lost Worlds #6 (pictured, FA+ £25), with Alex Toth and others illustrating the advertised ‘Weird Thrills of the Past and Future!’. What more could you ask for?
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: Not long after House of Secrets’ ‘rebranding’ as a horror title (following its decades as a genteel sci-fi series), issue #92 saw a story that transcended the traditional one-off horror genre, and launched a character who became a major star for DC, culminating in his recent TV series. (We won’t talk about the movies. Ever.) In ‘Swamp Thing’, we were introduced to Alex Olsen and Damien Ridge, 19th-century best friends whose love for the same woman led Damien to murder Alex after Alex had married the beautiful Linda. Later, however, when Linda began to suspect the truth, Damien planned to murder her too: but her life was saved by Alex, returned from the swamp as a subhuman plant-creature. Linda fled from the creature in horror, never realizing that the beast who saved her was her beloved Alex. This classic tale of love, betrayal and revenge, masterfully told by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson, struck a powerful chord with the readership, and a 20th-century version of the character was launched in his own series, and has starred in some of the most critically-acclaimed stories in the comics medium. This copy of Swamp Thing’s first appearance is VF+; the distinctive greytone cover skilfully evokes a feeling of imminent menace, and is one of the most consistently ‘homaged’ images in comics. Staples are firm at cover and centrefold, minimal corner and edge wear, off-white interior pages. A VF+ cents copy with no pence price or overstamp, it is on sale for £2,000. Front and back covers and splash page are shown here; high resolution images are available on request. Please note that this comic is not kept at our shop; viewing is strictly by appointment only and requires a minimum of 48 hours’ notice.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: One long-overlooked character in the Marvel pantheon was Star-Lord, the cosmic adventurer who was introduced in a few issues of Marvel Preview and Marvel Comics Super Special in the 1970s, never really went anywhere, and simmered into obscurity – until his revival as a central character in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, accompanied by the sensationally successful films, made him one of the bleated breakout characters of the 21st Century! This update, we present a VF copy of his very first appearance, in 1976’s Marvel Preview issue #4. Steve Englehart and Steve Gan’s presentation of Peter Quill, the not-yet-legendary Starlord, has fewer laughs than the movie version (and definitely a much quieter soundtrack!), but this is where the character got his start, and prices have been going bonkers on early Star-Lord appearances. This sharp VF copy, with tight staples and only minimal corner blunting, is on sale at £175.
*Marvel UK: Marvel UK’s experimental 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) who, from the evidence presented here, had never met an English person, and whose interpretation of the UK’s manners and mores made the Austin Powers films look like documentaries. Be that as it may, the character endured to become a respected icon of the medium, and early issues are now attracting keen collector attention. We have a new copy in of the good Captain’s first issue, FN with the original Free Gift (a Captain Britain mask) in VF, at £35 for the comic & gift combo. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Annuals: No relation to the ouvre of the late George Michael, Wham! was a 1964-launched weekly from Odhams’ Power Comics imprint based around the works of legendary cartoonist Leo Baxendale, who had then broken away from the Beano. We list it here in the Boys’ Annuals sub-category because, although Power Comics weeklies have their own separate listing, Power Comics Annuals seldom hang around long enough to be worth listing in their own category! As with our other ‘Immaculate Annuals’ updates, these are uncirculated 1960s and 1970s stock from a newsagent’s inventory, never sold or even displayed, so the only flaws in any of them occur from long-term storage. No prices clipped, no gift dedications, ‘This Book Belongs To’ inscriptions or other interior markings, solid spines, tight corners and bright, vibrant colours, occasionally very slight tanning of interior pages owing to age. We have five Wham! Annuals, featuring the cult characters ‘Georgie’s Germs’, ‘Frankie Stein’, ‘Pest of the West’, ‘Eagle Eye Junior Spy’, ‘Sammy Shrink’ and more. We have 1967 VF, 1971 FN, and Wham & Pow! 1974 VF (though owing to an original printing defect, the latter has pages 24-40 printed upside down!) (prices for these shown in our catalogue) but the jewels of this selection are 1968 and 1969 (pictured) each in a flawless NM, a grade hardly ever awarded to items of this vintage. On sale at £30 each. Snap them up before they go-go!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Micron’s Combat Picture Library, despite being overshadowed by its more famous brethren Commando, War, Air Ace and the like, had a very respectable 1,000+ run from 1959 to 1985. The early issues particularly are much less commonly seen than contemporary Air Ace or Battle Picture Libraries, and have quite a bit of visual appeal, with intricate interior art and striking painted covers. This newest selection is consecutive from #101 to #184, then #189-192, and #195-200, missing only a handful of issues. This sequence is in truly remarkable grade, with only a few of them dipping below VF. From an uncirculated newsagent’s inventory, never to our knowledge sold, displayed, or read, these are beautiful copies. Pictured are #101, #150, and #200, all VF at £5 each.
*Humour Comics: Dozens of issues of Buster newly listed for the years 1967-1969 in a variety of grades from Fair to Fine, the vast majority previously missing from our listings, so a chance to fill those gaps! Buster fans don’t need reminding of the quality of the many famous strips that await within these pages, both adventure and comedy; Buster in its 35 year history was arguably the best title to combine those genres. Included here are the Christmas issues for 1967 (FN £10) and 1968 (FN £8), both pictured, as well as the Easter and Fireworks numbers for 1968.
*Clearance Corner: Following on from our Beano clearance last month, it is with regret that we follow up with a huge Dandy clearout, Beano’s ‘older brother’. Just like the Beano, we love the Dandy too — it’s another British comics institution and features classic, immortal characters. But there’s no doubting that with the decline of the UK comics industry in recent decades, later Dandys are less collected than their classic period and the title itself shuffled off a few years back. So the time has come for us to dispense with our 1981 upward stock. Here’s a batch of 97 issues from the years 1981-1983, no duplicates, all in reasonable condition from GD to FN, on offer for just £20 the lot. UK postage (if required) would be an extra £8. SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD