*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: ACG’s best remembered today for their long-running series of genteel mystery comics, often with a strong poignant or romantic element – but there was none of that fey air about Commander Battle and His Atomic Sub, starring four manly he-men (and their kid sidekick, who inevitably came to the rescue when they got trapped after leaving him behind for his safety!) who battled the Reds on land, in the air, but mostly, as the title implies, on (or under) the water with their amazing vehicle – which, given that it was capable of containing entire airplanes, might have benefitted from more than a four-man crew so they didn’t have to rely on the kid so much. Just saying. Be that as it may, these ‘Atomic Commandos’, courtesy of editor/scripter Richard E. Hughes and artist Sheldon Moldoff, struggled against primarily Soviet forces for the political fate of the world, aided only by their all-American pluck and their amazing vehicle, which on at least one occasion became an atomic spaceship! Ah, radioactivity – it’s a miraculous thing. Despite all these merits – and a #1 attempt to cash in on the 3-D craze with overlapping panel borders and exaggerated foreshortening for a faux-3-D effect – Commander Battle’s sub sank with issue #7, but like many short-run failures of the 1950s, it’s become an achievable cult collectible in the 21st Century! We have the entire 7 issue run in stock. Pictured are #1 GD £45; #4 VG+ £60; #5 FN- £75 and #7 VG/FN £75.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: By 1952, the teen humour/romance juggernaut that was Patsy Walker had already conquered two regular titles (Miss America and her own self-titled series), and this launched the third, focusing on the rivalry between Patsy and her ‘frenemy’, Hedy Wolfe (like the others didn’t!). Patsy and Hedy continued into the Marvel Age proper, our heroines growing up from high-schoolers, to young career women, to ‘Gals on the Go-Go!’, finally fading out in 1967 with #110 – by which time, having guested at Reed and Sue’s wedding, Patsy & Hedy’s links to the Marvel Universe ‘proper’ were firmly established. Featuring early work by famous humourist Al Jaffee (later known for his many contributions to Mad Magazine), this selection begins with #1 (VG £90 pictured) and continues to #49, in a wide variety of grades.
*Magazines & Books About Vintage US Comics: One of the most influential writer/artists of the comics medium, Jack Kirby’s career spanned seven decades, creating or co-creating scores of characters who still loom larger than ever in the public consciousness. This week, we add in a multitude of magazines and books devoted to the life and art of Jack Kirby, including issues of the Twomorrows publication Jack Kirby Collector, the first two volumes of Greg Theakston’s Complete Jack Kirby, the 1998 Jack Kirby Index, Theakston’s Jack Kirby Treasury, Eclipse Book’s Real Love – which collects and comments upon the finest examples of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s pioneering work in the romance genre – and Taaru! the UK Kirby tribute ‘zine. Pictured is the oversized (and awe-inspiring) ‘Art of Jack Kirby’ paperback, VF at £30. Kirby sez: “Don’t ask – look in our catalogue for the details of the rest!” PICTURED ITEM SOLD
*Marvel UK: The Hulk Weekly launched by Marvel UK in 1979 – the height of the Hulk TV show’s popularity in Britain – was a refreshing change from their all-reprint fare. Although there were some twice-told tales in its pages, it was at first mostly new tales of old favourites, produced by stars in the making: Hulk by Dave Gibbons, Black Knight by Steve Parkhouse & John Stokes, Nick Fury by Steve Moore & Steve Dillon and immortal vigilante Night Raven by Steve Parkhouse & David Lloyd, who made his debut in the premier issue. “All very nice, but what’s that got to do with Captain Britain?” we hear you ask. Well, most of the new material fell by the wayside early on, but the Black Knight strip continued (with a brief hiatus from #31-40) to the very final issue, and introduced a wandering mysterious figure who eventually turned out to be – you guessed it – Captain Britain, who was to co-star for much of the strip’s remaining run. One of the Captain’s least-remembered gigs, but noteworthy work from an under-rated creative team. We have a complete run of Hulk Weekly new in, all 63 issues, mostly mid-grade ‘readers’, but a chance to pick up a lot of material that has never been reprinted anywhere else.
*Annuals: The large-format D.C. Thomson girls’ weekly, Diana, was known for its high quality reproduction, often in full colour, and top-notch art, qualities which were carried over into its Annuals, which, though not in the same oversized format, had the same quality standards, a definite cut above the average. From the same pedigree source as our 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 few have minor edge wear from long-term storage, or occasionally light breaks in the laminate, but all have exceptional eye appeal, and some could almost pass for new! We have an unbroken sequence of Diana Annuals from 1965 to 1969, with the original black background dustjackets – notoriously prone to scuffs, tears and creases – in beautiful condition. This clean and bright selection features flying adventuress ‘Starr of Wonderland’, ‘Jane – Model Miss’, ‘Emergency Nurse Gwen’, swimming stars ‘The Mermaids’, schoolgirl secret agents ‘The Girls From N.O.O.D.L.E.S’, and many more well-remembered strips. Pictured: 1965 (the first Diana Annual) in VF/NM with DJ VF £40. Details on the others, of course, in our online catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The D.C. Thomson story paper Wizard, launched in 1922, was laid to rest in 1963 – but after a decent interval the Powers-That-Be tried Wizard again, this time in comic strip format. Launching with a centre 16 pages devoted exclusively to soccer-themed strips, including factoid/biographical and fiction such as ‘The Voice That Ran The Rangers;’ non-football series included pressurised pugilism in ‘Slave of the Ring’, plucky wandering orphan in ‘Scrappy: A Boy All Alone’ and futuristic peace-keepers in ‘Soldiers of the Jet Age’. We welcome back into stock the first three issues of the ‘reboot’, each with their original (and surprisingly scarce) Free Gifts. Issue #1 comes with ‘The Sure-Shot Shooter’, a plastic weapon which would get you banged up under today’s Zero Tolerance policies. Still sealed in its original envelope and glued into the comic, the gift is VF, but its decades-long presence has caused some cover creasing and ‘bumps’, meaning that the comic itself is only VG. Issue #2 is the biggie – the comic is only GD (perfectly sound, but with some foxing and corner wear), but the Free Gift is a plastic wallet containing glossy photographs of eight soccer stars. According to every source we can find, this is a very scarce item intact (the flimsy wallet often goes astray), let alone in this high grade of VF. Lastly, #3 features eight more full-colour cards to cut up and stick in your wallet from the previous issue. The comic is Fine, the cards uncut and VF – and by ‘eck, judging by these mugshots, footballers were a lot less pretty in the 1970s! Issue #1 VG with Gift VF is £35; Issue #2 GD with Gift VF is £50 and issue #3 FN with Gift VF £25. SOLD
*TV & Film Related Comics: Following its ground-breaking first run, TV21 tried again to capture lightning in a bottle by amalgamating with the failed Joe 90 weekly as ‘TV21 and Joe 90’. Within a short space of time, though, Joe ‘left the building’, along with the rest of the Gerry Anderson-related material, but what remained by 1970 was still nice: new Star Trek adventures by Mike Noble and others, Tarzan, The Saint, Land of the Giants and non-media inspired drama, fantasy and sci-fi strips such as aquatic adventurers ‘S.N.O.R.K.E.L.’, rags-to-riches soccer star ‘Forward From The Back Streets’, would-be alien overlord ‘The Heat-Master’ and apprentice magician ‘Danny Merlin’, among others. Later issues in the run added edited reprints of Marvel’s Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, and – the big one – Homer the Happy Ghost! 30 issues between #41 and #103 newly added to our stock, in very respectable grades, VG or frequently better.
*Girls’ Comics: The long-running Princess had four Holiday Specials during its run, and we have two of these scarce items back in stock, from 1965 and 1966 respectively. Although Princess tried to up-market itself as a magazine on the covers, the comic strips were nevertheless the prime selling point of the series, in particular ‘The Happy Days’, starring the irrepressible Sue Day and her family. The 1965 Holiday Special is VG £40 (crossword not done, paper dolls firmly in place); 1966 is GD/VG £35.
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/British section: *Classics Illustrated
and in our British section: *Alan Class Reprints
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Six works by Harry Harrison are featured here, all published in the 1960s or 1970s and none of which have graced our shelves before. Four are novels; Captive Universe, Planet Of The Damned, Skyfall and The Jupiter Legacy. One is a collection of Harrison’s short stories, War With The Robots, and for the final book he acted as editor, SF: Authors’ Choice features 14 eminent writers choosing their best stories.
Now’s your chance to accessorise to the max with our new 30th Century jute bag. Both stylish and attractive, with our logo printed on both sides, in natural jute with black handles and trim, this sturdy and capacious bag is just the thing for carrying away your comic and book purchases, and will offer many opportunities for re-use in its lifetime. So now you can be both cool and help save the planet at the same time. £5 each for shop visitors. (Many thanks to Allan Harvey for design and technical experise)
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: After a hugely successful stint as driving force behind the Avengers and (in the 1970s the New Avengers), Brian Clemens turned his attention to a tougher crime action series, the Professionals, another big hit that ran from 1977 to 1983; for a while, Cowley, Bodie & Doyle became household names as their hard-edged series became perhaps a metaphor for the times, replacing the eccentric and psychedelic 1960s. Inevitably, a series of paperback novelisations by Ken Blake spun off from the series and have always found a good market on our shelves. Six more nice graded copies of these now in stock: #8 Dead Reckoning, #10 Cry Wolf, #11 Spy Probe, #12 Foxhole, #14 Operation Susie and #15 You’ll Be All Right.
*Modern Reprints: Have you ever wanted to own a pristine Mint copy of the most sought after Silver Age comic? Of course you have, and here’s your chance to add Amazing Fantasy #15 — the debut and origin of Spider-Man — to your collection, for just £4! This brand new facsimile edition has all the pages, ads and features of the original, with just the cover price altered (and the addition of a bar-code box). A good place marker for your collection until the real thing comes along!
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 M – S
and in our British section: *Annuals *Magazines/Books About Vintage UK Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: Following his debut in #400, Kirk Langstrom, the tragic anti-hero Man-Bat, was rapidly brought back by his creators Frank Robbins and Neal Adams for a second bout with the Caped Crusader, the poignancy this time being augmented by Langstrom’s fiancée Francine (later herself to become the She-Bat – it’s nice when couples have a common interest…) being thrown into the mix. This copy of a quality issue, with Adams’ work at its peak, is a CGC Blue Label (no restoration) issue, graded 8.5, a VF+ equivalent, and is on sale at £150. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: We know, it sounds a bit weird, but two decades after the publication of this 1965 issue, DC linked it retroactively to their blockbuster crossover ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’, by declaring the major events therein (no, we’re not going to tell you what they were – spoilers!) as the retconned kick-off to Crisis. This nifty team-up between the Green Lanterns of Earths One and Two has therefore acquired an historic value beyond that seemingly justified by its (admittedly considerable) merits. This is an attractive glossy VG+ p copy, light corner and edge wear, on sale at £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: The second DC mini-series, Untold Legend of the Batman, was released in 1980 with the involvement of superstar artist John Byrne being heavily touted in advance publicity. Sadly, Byrne clashed with the powers-that-be at DC, and the second and third issues were drawn by veteran illustrator Jim Aparo – though, to be fair, Aparo’s inks over Byrne on the first issue are so strong that there’s barely a perceptible difference! Scripted by Len Wein, and with evocative covers by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, this tense three-part thriller explores the past of the Batman and his closest enemies and allies, while delivering a present-day mystery for the Dark Knight Detective to resolve. All three issues are available as a set, cents copies with no pence stamp or overprint, averaging NM-, at £30 the set. Pictured is #1 (NM) SORRY, THIS SET HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Despite the many issues of Amazing Spider-Man which have passed through our hands in the last quarter century, we’re always thrilled when an early copy by the ‘real’ Spidey artist, Steve Ditko, comes into our possession, and seldom more so than by this week’s acquisition, the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man, featuring the debut of one of his most enduring enemies, the Vulture! Despite his physically frail appearance, the airborne pensioner has survived numerous deaths, remodels, and replacements by younger counterparts, and the importing of the Vulture into the Spidey cinematic mythos with ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ has enhanced the character’s popularity. This issue also features the premier appearance of the Terrible Tinkerer – no, really – who while less persistent than the Vulture, is still an occasional player in the Spidey mythos. Only Spider-Man’s third-ever appearance anywhere! This is a CGC Blue Label (no restoration) 3.5 (VG- equivalent), on sale at £1,000.
*Marvel: The 1970s Marvel Comics series of Star Wars isn’t commonplace in the UK, many of the issues having been completely non-distributed in Britain, and the rest having only low circulation here. We are delighted, therefore, to welcome back to our boxes the first ten issues, initially adapting the famous first movie, then, from #7, featuring entirely original stories crafted by the Marvel Bullpen. Hard to find in any grade, and you’ll go a long way before seeing copies as nice as these, averaging NM-. Our #1 is an extremely tight, bright & white NM-, a truly outstanding copy, on sale at £175; also depicted are #2 NM £70 and #4 NM p £70. Details on the other issues in the ‘Top Ten’ may be found in our online catalogue.
*Marvel: One of the scarcer early Thor appearances, at least here in the Old Country, is Journey Into Mystery #112, an oddball ‘untold tale’ flashing back to the events of Avengers #3. Intervening in a dispute between fans of the Hulk and Thor, the Thunder God himself responds to the question of who’s stronger by narrating an extended ‘Director’s Cut’ of the previous skirmish between himself and old Jade-Jaws in said Avengers issue. Apparently intended to ‘big up’ the profile of the Hulk – who was at that point homeless, a wandering villain without his own series – this ‘extended remix’ story is superbly told by Lee and Kirby, and in the back, ‘Tales of Asgard’ relates the origin of Loki. Only lightly distributed in the UK for unknown reasons, this is scarcer here than its contemporaries, although this specific copy is a pence edition; VG+, with light to moderate edge wear, but vivid colour and unimpaired cover image, this is on sale at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: It’s always a great pleasure to welcome the works of Jim Steranko to our catalogue, and nowhere more so than in the pages of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD from 1968. He only stayed with the title for a few issues after it launched from Strange Tales, but what issues they were! In his SHIELD issues, Jaunty Jim took the brakes off and went all-out when Nick Fury’s Pals n’ Gals got their own full-length series, with cinematic storytelling and psychedelic designs, particularly on the cover and splash pages, that utilised the full potential of the medium with an imagination seldom seen since the heyday of Eisner. Nick Fury #1, ‘Who Is Scorpio?’, is the definitive example, with the popular espionage tropes of the day turned up to 11, and a striking cover image that still resonates in the fandom psyche half a century later. Issue #3 is a haunting and evocative Holmesian tribute, redolent with mood and atmosphere, and issue #5 returns to the spy tropes with a psychedelic vengeance, as the Scorpio subplot is resolved, courtesy of many lingering images (narratively unnecessary, but visually appreciated) of Nick’s main squeeze, La Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Our newest Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #1 is a VG+ pence copy, with beautiful unmarred cover image, at £27. #3 is FN- p £18, and issue #5 is FN p £25. All pictured here for your delectation, but if you think the covers are stunning, wait till you look inside! SORRY, #1 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Lorna Dane had met up with the X-Men in the previous issue, rescued by Iceman after being caught up in one of the bouts of anti-mutant hysteria which sweep Marvel-Earth twice a week, but it wasn’t until issue #50 that she had her Big Reveal: she was the daughter of Magneto, Master of Evil Mutants and heir to all his power! Fortuitously, this issue was one of a handful drawn by Jim Steranko, and his innovative layouts, cinematic storytelling and nifty costume design for Lorna (who, though generally known as Polaris, didn’t formally adopt that codename until later) made this story a gripping read with stunning visuals. To say that Lorna’s history has been convoluted is an understatement – the ‘official’ position as to whether she’s Magneto’s offspring or not has changed many times (she is at the moment, but give it a week or two…), but – except when she’s had psychotic breaks and become a villain, as you do – she’s been a stalwart member of the X-Men and/or X-Factor for decades now. This copy of her premiere is a lovely FN cents copy, light edge & corner wear but unimpeded image of one of the most striking covers of the Silver Age; on sale at £80.
*Marvel: It took a couple of years, but with 1978’s Marvel Team-Up #65, Captain Britain was firmly integrated into the Marvel Universe ‘proper’, teaming up with Spider-Man as both heroes were captured by the villainous Arcade, master of deadly amusements, who made his debut in this very issue. This significant issue (pictured) is a VF cents copy, no pence stamp or overprint, on sale at £30. The second half of the story, #66, is also newly added to our lists. SORRY, #65 HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: From 1984, a little later than most fare in our catalogue, the famous Marvel series which launched a sequence of crossover ‘events’ which still reverberate through the Marvel Universe today. Secret Wars was the first of its kind, and featured many landmarks, but most famously the origin of Spidey’s black costume (later revealed to be the alien symbiote Venom) in #8. Cuddly brain-eating symbiotes remaining eternally popular with the kiddies, this origin issue is keenly sought-after – especially now our evil protoplasmic chum is the star of his own movie franchise – and our new copy of Secret Wars #8 is an attractive FN p copy at £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: From the early Silver Age, four consecutive issues of Marvel’s founding family, the Fantastic Four, commencing with #24, which sees the FF faced with a mysterious monster in ‘The Infant Terrible’, while issues #25 & #26 feature the epic first Thing/Hulk battle, as the other members of the FF fall by the wayside leaving Ben Grimm standing alone… at least, until the Avengers join the fray! And we wrap it up for now with #27, in which the FF are joined by the savage Sub-Mariner and Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange! #26 (pictured) is GD/VG p £70; details on the others may be seen in our online Catalogue.
*Marvel: 1976’s Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #1 marked the second ongoing Spider-Man title published by Marvel, in what people feared might dilute the franchise – if only they knew! Intended originally to focus more on Spidey’s civilian alter ego, it rapidly evolved into an adjunct to, and frequent crossover with, Amazing Spider-Man, founding the practise which was to become industry standard in later decades. This copy of PPSM #1 is VF+, a pence copy at £35. Listed in our catalogue under ‘Spider-Man, Spectacular’.
*Marvel: In 1976, the House Of Ideas came up with Nova, designed originally to be an ‘everyman’ character like Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but quickly developing into a cosmic ‘soldier’ more akin to DC’s Green Lantern – luckily, DC’s lawyers didn’t notice the parallels! Although the original run lasted a mere 25 issues, Nova has returned many times to the Marvel Universe, and where he shines is in the protracted cosmic crossovers of which Marvel is so fond. The Nova Corps having been namechecked in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, it can only be a matter of time before the man himself makes an on-screen appearance, and prices are rising, so grab these while you can! Every issue in stock as of the time of writing. #1 (pictured) is VG p £35.
*Marvel: We’re pleased to extend our range of the Defenders, Marvel’s non-team, by adding issues to our catalogue between #51-99. Included is #94, the 1st Gargoyle. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Gold Key/Whitman: A large update this week to this esoteric publisher from the 1960s and 1970s. Titles include: Bandwagon (Hanna-Barbera), Battle Of The Planets, Captain Johner & the Aliens, Dark Shadows, Dear Nancy Parker, Doctor Solar, Jet Dream (and her Stunt Girl Counterspies), the Lucy Show, Magnus Robot Fighter, National Velvet, the Nurses, PT 109 (JFK), Secret Agent (Danger Man), Space Family Robinson, the Three Stooges, TOM & Jerry and (last but not least) Turok, Son Of Stone.
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards: As part of his pioneering, if short-lived, involvement with the ‘America’s Best Comics’ imprint, Alan Moore created, in conjunction with artist Kevin O’Neill, a Victorian era combination of characters from famous literary works: Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man and so forth. This unlikely and reluctant alliance faced down foes in two mini-series, then resurfaced periodically from various publishers in a number of one-offs, original graphic novels and spin-offs, as well as trade paperbacks compiling the early iterations. The subject of a controversial film (which Moore publicly disavowed and condemned, and which is rumoured to have caused star Sean Connery to retire from acting!), the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics and graphic novels are of a much higher quality. Even if, over the intervening years, Moore’s narrative techniques have become ever more esoteric and oblique, there is much entertainment to be had in his shameless plundering of popular culture, with characters from Thunderbirds, TV’s Avengers, Ian Fleming’s oeuvre and Billy Bunter being involved in cosmos-altering events – sometimes as major players, sometimes as carefully non-litigious cameos. Our newly listed League of Extra Gents stock features selections from the two original mini-series (including the catch-up Compendium Editions of series one), the original Graphic Novel Black Dossier, the spin-off hardcover OGNs Nemo: Heart of Ice, Nemo: The Roses of Berlin, and Nemo: The River of Ghosts, and three trade paperback compilations, of Series One, Series Two and Volume Three, which collects three stand-alone editions.
*Horror 1940-1959: Launched in 1952 as Unknown World, this series abruptly switched to the lengthier title Strange Stories From Another World with issue #2, but continued very much as it had started, with top-notch tales of mystery and suspense by creators such as Bill Woolfolk, Sheldon Moldoff, and Maurice Gutworth, with breathtaking painted covers by Norm Saunders. Relying more on craft than explicit gore (though when that does occur, it’s more effective because of the general restraint), these are first-rate examples of the genre. Any issue of this series is uncommon, so it’s positively serendipitous that we currently have all five in our possession – but, we predict, not for long! Unknown Worlds #1 is GD+, with a tiny chip out of the upper left corner, at £95; #2 is FN £140; #3 VG- £85; #4 VG/FN £150 and #5 GD+ £50. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Alan Class Reprints: Twelve new issues added to our inventory of Alan Class reprints, each one offering an early ‘repeat’ (believed to be the first reprinting in most cases) of a Marvel Silver Age classic. Depicted are Creepy Worlds #36 (Debut of Doctor Doom from Fantastic Four #5) GD/VG £70, Creepy Worlds #120 (Silver Surfer #11) VG £12, Secrets of the Unknown #38 (Journey Into Mystery #84, 2nd Thor, 1st Jane Foster) FN+ £100, Secrets of the Unknown #71 (Iron Man from Tales of Suspense #46) FN/VF £20, and Suspense #26 (Strange Tales #110, 1st Doctor Strange) GD £50. Other adventures of Thor, Daredevil, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD, and Giant-Man and the Wasp are presented in Astounding, Creepy Worlds, Sinister Tales, Uncanny Tales and Weird Planets; for details, see our online listings. SORRY, CREEPY WORLDS #36 AND SECERTS OF THE UNKNOWN #38 HAVE NOW SOLD
*Annuals: Doctor Who, of course, has been a fixture in the zeitgeist almost since the TV series debuted in 1963, and it wasn’t long before a world of merchandise emerged themed around Gallifrey’s favourite son and his time-traversing adventures. The BBC released Annuals of original material for the lucrative Christmas gift market commencing in 1965, (for 1966). We have two copies of the first Annual, from the same pedigree source as our 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. Also from the ‘Immaculate’ provenance, the scarce 1968 Annual, the first featuring Patrick Troughton’s iteration of the Doctor. From an alternate source – hence the ‘Special Guest’ tag in our heading – we have also obtained a copy of the single rarest Dr. Who Annual, from 1969. Our 1966 Annuals are VF £35 (pictured) and FN/VF £30, respectively. The scarce 1968 is a virtually flawless VF/NM at £100, tight pages, bright pristine interiors. The 1969, rarest Dr. Who Annual, is a lower grade of GD/VG. Sound and complete, with no price clipped or gift dedication, but it does have moderate wear to top and bottom of spine (though spine is complete) and light label residue in upper right front cover, plus a previous owner’s name written neatly in the lower margin of Page 25. The 1969 Annual, GD/VG, is on sale at £75. SORRY, FIRST TWO PICTURED HAVE NOW SOLD
*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