GI Combat 152,This arrived yesterday! An upgrade for my set. Highest grade, 1 of 3. Almost sounds like a Borg designation! Anyway picked this one up from eBay for a reasonable price. If anyone has something higher than what I have in my set, and you might consider selling it, let me know! Thanks!
We're almost to real time now. My recap is winding to a close...I have two more books to show. Here's the first: I bought this book sight unseen from a good friend. I was absolutely stunned to open the box and see this. I knew the grade but that was all. I won't usually pay these kinds of dollars for a book (though I got a great friend-to-friend discount), but this is one that I've thought about buying for a few decades. For the grade, it has everything going for it. Nice centering, white pages, and almost no spine or staple stress.
So why December of 1978?
Well, there was a movie released that month called Superman The Movie, that's why!
A favorite complaint these days is that neither Marvel or DC has appropriate books on the shelves to take advantage of the heat that is generated by comic book movies. So how did DC do back in 1978 at the golden age of superhero movies?
Not too shabby!
All-New Collectors' Edition: Superman The Movie #C-62 was right there to take advantage of the hype, with an issue dedicated to the movie itself!
The FFE's had ceased publication a few years prior, but they revived the title for one more issue with Famous First Edition Superman #C-61. How they neglected to print this issue back in 1974-1975 when they printed copies for Batman #1 and Wonder Woman #1 remains a mystery, but the timing worked out for them in the end.
As for the other books that month? Pretty standard mid-to-late Bronze Age stuff.
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!
The second part of this epic three-part examination of Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle's 1980's Blackhawk run is now available to listen to. I guarantee this is the only podcast in the world that will deliver three hours of conversation about Mark Evanier's Blackhawk!
In this middle installment, we start going through the actual issues themselves, discussing #251-259 in detail. Enjoy!
Yesterday we took a look at the dawn of the Bronze Age with the Superbooks. It would be about another year, however, for the Superbooks to start hitting their stride with some classic Bronze Age goodness. For me, the quintessential Superman Bronze Age book is Superman #233, so let's see what else was on the newsstands that month as well.
Aside from having the most iconic of Neal Adams' Superman covers, this issue starts a year-long story of a de-powered Superman by Denny O'Neil. While this was supposed to reset the status quo, it was largely contained within the pages of Superman and lasted only as long as Denny O'Neil stuck around. Those eleven issues are now affectionately known as the Sand-Superman Saga. It has its rightful place in Superman history, but honestly...80% of the reason is that cover!
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #107 has another Rose & Thorn back-up, and nothing screams Bronze Age like street-level vigilantism.
Superboy #171 has one of the better (and all too rare) Carmine Infantino Superman covers. Great stuff! I'm not much of an historian for Aquaman, but was Aquaboy ever really a thing?
Jack Kirby was just getting started on his Fourth World epic, and we get Darkseid's second appearance here in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #135.
...and is that another cover in the "people vs. Superman" theme on Action Comics #396? Suddenly he's the Rodney Dangerfield of super-heroes.
Another decent month in the world of Superman!
Continuing on for the theme of the week, let's set the time machine forward a few years to April of 1969 to see both the end of one era, and the dawn of another.
The end of the Silver Age is a hard one to pin down, and there's a ton of debate to be had. I, myself, like to keep things simple and generally assume that the end of the 12¢ books also ends the Silver Age, and this is the month that it happened.
I sorted the books by release date, so you'll see that it starts with 10¢ books and ends with the 12¢ books. Aside from Adventure Comics #381, which features the debut issue of the solo Supergirl stories, there is no real tonal shift per se. It was more of a gradual shift as the civil rights movement started to shift the consciousness of the country forward.
We do get a great month of Neal Adams covers though! Superboy #157 features another in the all time favorite "people vs. Superman" theme. Superman and Batman duel it out gladiator-style in World's Finest Comics #185. While not one of his most iconic covers, he gets the honor of doing Supergirl's first issue from her headlining run in Adventure Comics. He's also credited with inking the Curt Swan cover for Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #120, but I'll be darned if I can see any of Curt left in the final project.
Superman #217 is a giant-size issue, featuring a great load of reprints with the first appearances of Brainiac, Metallo, Lori Lemaris, the pre-Kara Supergirl, and of course...Mala!
Four Neal Adams covers and a bunch of classic reprints? I call that a win!
Been a while, just been crazy busy at work and Summer activities. When you live in Minnesota you have to take advantage of time outdoors in the Summer. The good news is, I have finished up the rest of the Pasko run and ready to start Moore, can't wait. But first I am going to finish up the rest of the reviews of Pasko's run.
Also picked up my own Swamp Thing!
Now on to the review of issues #14 and #15. Both issues are written by Dan Mishkin and the Art by Bo and Scott Hampton.
Swamp Thing #14 and #15 (June and July, 1983)
Cover Price: $.60
Title: Crystal Visions and Shattered Dreams/Empires Made Out of Sands
Art-Bo and Scott Hampton (Cover: Yates)
Also of note: The Phantom Stranger backups have been dropped as of issue #14. But the Phantom Stranger appears in both issues.
Issue 14 starts out with Swamp Thing finishing his rejuvenation in the swamp where he was turned into Swamp Thing. Now being completely healed, he decides that he wants to be left alone for a bit before rejoining Liz, Dennis and Dr. Kay. Meanwhile a scientist named Nat Broder and his wife Sally are experimenting with computer chips (where Nat has made his fortune), however the experiment goes wrong and Nat is killed during the experiment. The company then decides to cover it up and dumps Nat's body out in the swamp. However Nat is not dead and has transformed into a crystal type of creature, anything he touches also turn in crystal. Soon Swamp Thing encounters Nat and the two battle ending with Swamp Thing defeated and turned into crystal.
Issue 15 continues on from issue 14. Swamp Thing now back Broder Electronics is able to free himself. Once again Swampy and Nat battle but Swamp Thing is unable to defeat him. However Sally (with guidance from the Phantom Stranger) knows how to defeat Nat and plays an organ at the right frequency shattering him. The issue ends with Swamp Thing saying his good-byes to Sally and moving on to and the Phantom Stranger reminiscing over the events over the last two issues.
Over all the two issues were okay. To me they were just two average fill in issues with guest creators. I'm not sure any of it will have any significance down the road.
So I was ruminating on the state of my Superman collection the other day, as I am getting close to checking off all of the 12¢ books from Superman and Action Comics. That made me curious as to how far back I could get in my collection, and have the entire month of Superman books represented. I figured it would be early in the 12¢ run somewhere, but to my surprise it was late in the 10¢ era instead.
Step out of the time machine, and welcome to the world of November 1959!
No key issues for this month, but the Superbabies are quite popular as we get both a Superboy and a Supergirl Superbaby story. Since Supergirl only made her first appearance less than a year prior, I'm guessing that this is the first Supergirl Superbaby story? See, there is a key here after all!
Now I know what your thinking..."Hold up, how can there be a story of Supergirl when she was a baby as she came to Earth as a teenager?" Blame it on the fountain of youth she inadvertently swims through while rescuing a drowning native in a far off exotic island.
And that is why Silver Age stories never get boring. There's always a fountain of youth around when you need one to spice up a story!
While the cover for Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #14 teases a Batman appearance, it's not to be. It's all a ruse by Supergirl meddling in her cousin's love life trying to make Superman jealous.
This is Supergirl's first appearance in Lois' book and her third outside of Action Comics, after guest-starring in Jimmy Olsen's and Superman a few month's prior.
The Superboy #78 is the real winner from this month however, as not only do you get a great Jor-El cover, but all three of the stories inside are gems. Since the aforementioned debut of Supergirl had just happened and proved a hit, I guess Superboy wanted to get in on the action as the opening story has Clark changed to Claire Kent, Super-Sister!
Hey kids, look! It's Supergirl as a brunette!
The second story gives us the origin of Clark's super-suit, while the last one gives us a view into the early life of Mr. Mxyzptlk and the origin of their longstanding feud. Good stuff!
All in all, a solid month, and it's especially great if you are a Supergirl fan. I do wonder though, how this period played out if you were a Superman fan who was still of the age where girls had cooties.
earlier today the comic I most regretted selling has been restored to my collection. It is an Incredible Hulk 2. The story on this begins in 2010. I saw a Hulk 2 raw listed on Ebay that looked seriously under graded as a buy it now for $400 dollars. It looked to be 6.5 to 7.0 but was listed as a vg minus 3.5. I watched it thinking it was to good to be true . I waited and watched the seconds tick down to zero but did not buy it. No one did. A week later it was relisted as an auction starting at $400. So the second time around I watched all week until the final 15 seconds and placed my bid. At the same time another bid came in. Fortunately for me the other person bid $400 even and I got it for a few bucks more.
So I got it and it was sharp with white pages. Sent it to CGC and it came back 6.5 with white pages. I was selling comics on Ebay then to get money to buy other comics for my collection so I listed it right away with some others to make a quick profit. The seller did tell me he knew it was better than a vg minus but he always under graded on higher dollar comics so there would be no issues with the buyers. I listed it with an $850 reserve and it slowly went up to about $800 in the last hour. With a few seconds left a bid came in which met my reserve and it sold for the $850 price. I had no problem selling it at the time as I saw a 6.5 and 7.0 sell at that time and thought I would pick up one later down the road with no problem. However some time passed and I decided I needed to get a nice copy for myself but was shocked how much the book went up and not many mid grade copies. I could have probably waited to December this year to get a 6.5 if I could find one as I get a bonus from my employer at that time but I saw this one on line for $1400 which for a 5.0 is a decent price at this time so I got it. Not as nice as the one I sold but the price was right and I'm happy with one a grade and a half less. Regret over selling that book is the main reason I don't sell anymore.
It's all buying for me now at least until I retire which is over five years away. Here it is.
Yesterday I was a little surprised that I was able to go all the way back to November of 1959, with having a complete set of all the Superbooks on sale for a particular month. I thought for sure that my oldest set would've been in the early 12¢ era. I ended up being wrong twice, as not only could I go farther back than I thought, but the next instance of this happening is way into the second half of the Silver Age. It takes another 7 ½ years for my collection to once again have all of the Superbooks for any particular month.
I give to you, the Superman newsstand of June 1967...
There's two things to notice here. First, we have three different cover dates for the books that were on sale during June of 1967. The monthly books are all cover dated August, while the 80 Pg. Giants are dated September and October. I don't claim to have a PhD in cover dates, but I do know enough that the month on the cover is supposed to be the month that the books were to be removed from the newsstand, and not the actual month that they were released. Why they decided to give Lois' 80-pager an extra month over Jimmy's is curious. I'm guessing it's because the Lois book was released during the last week of June.
For future newsstand months, I should probably put them in order of release date, rather than my typical fashion of ordering them by the age of the title (e.g. Action always goes first, then Adventure, World's Finest, Superboy, etc...)
The other thing that sharp-eyed readers may notice is that there is a book missing...Superman #199. This book is the first Superman/Flash race, and a true key for any Superman or Flash collector. So why is it missing? Here's why...
About 8 years ago or so, I finished up the small run of the Silver Age Superman/Flash races, which includes the following...
World's Finest #198-199
When I laid them all out in order, it was a perfect example of the linear storytelling we all enjoy so much. The first book has the two heroes right at the start of the match, then Superman pulls ahead, then Flash pulls ahead, then to the last book where it is neck and neck over the finish line. I loved the way they looked so much, that I hired my sister to mat and frame them for me! She ended up doing it for free as a birthday present, and they've been hanging up in my office ever since.
So here's that cheap unappreciated Neal Adams Superman. I was showing this around in the Bronze Comics Forum:
How can you not love this? Superman at the gates of Hell! How'd that happen? Where are those gates? What did the lady do, and should Superman help her?
I'm going to find out and I'll report back!
Edit: OK, I read it. A few things I can say, Curt Swan interior art and a Batman Cameo. But I can't describe the plot without revealing spoilers. I can say that it's a good story!
I bought this beauty at TampaCon
Ordinarily, I would try to buy a nicer book, but this one was in the mid $300 range and my dollar seemed to go just far enough with this. What I mean by that is that I saw a scraggly looking raw Batman 251 (perhaps a VG book) for $250 at the show. It seems you almost have to pay at least $200 just to get a halfway decent raw book. For the extra $100, I could get this. It seems that the extra $100 was money well spent to attain a more presentable copy. And yet, though it's not high grade, I don't really like pushing into the $400 range or more in filling my "box of thirty". At least at this point. Perhaps later when upgrading begins. While this book gets a lot of hype, I have to say that it seems to be well-deserved. Yes, the cover art is amazing. But the entire book was drawn by Adams (not just the cover) and the story was very good,and established the Joker as a serious and dangerous adversary. It's an important book, not just a pretty book.
Note that I intentionally bought a book that has universal appeal. There are a bunch of under-appreciated Neal Adams books, and some seem to come in and out of style, but this one is always a front runner. There is an old expression that goes like this: "The race does not always to go the fleet, nor the battle to the strong, but that's a hell of a good way to bet".
Footnote: I did actually buy one book before this on a lark. A cheap, underappreciated, out of favor, Neal Adams Superman. But this Batman 251 is a serious and calculated addition to my collection instead of an impulse purchase.
Back when I was collecting coins, I was interested in appreciation. Yet I kept making the same mistake over and over. A mistake that collecting Bronze Comics corrects.
Without fail, when presented with a cool looking coin from the early 1800's, vs. a cool looking coin from the modern era for the same price, I would always buy the old coin. But that was a mistake....and here's why:
Imagine a coin made in the year 1800 worth $100. Now compare that to another coin made in the year 2000, also worth $100. Which is a better buy based on appreciation? It's important to realize that the coin made in 1800 took 217 years to appreciate to a value of $100. Yet the coin made in 2000 did it in a scant 17 years! In summary, the newer coin is increasing in value at a much faster rate!
For fun, I played around with a spreadsheet and made some assumptions. If a bronze age comic book is worth about $250 today, then it is roughly appreciating at a rate of 13% a year. That's actually a pretty healthy internal rate of return! Why $250? Well, that's the general price point I've been dabbling in lately. I've fleshed out my collection of CGC 9.4 early X-Men at that price point.
OK, so here's something interesting. A silver age comic book is around 10 years older than a bronze age book. So assuming it's also growing at a rate of 13% a year, it would need grow to about $1,000 since it's publication date 10 years prior to the bronze era. .
What would that $1,000 buy today? To give you an idea, that's the approximate value of a Spider-Man #50 (1st Kingpin) in CGC 8.0. Not too shabby! How many of us would like to jump in a time machine, go back 10 years, and purchase some VF copies of Spidey #50 in VF for around $250? I know I would! I'd stockpile them!
So there you go. Buying higher grade (justified expensive) key bronze is not just fun, but I think it's smart too.
Here's a master list of all the episodes of the Classic Comics Forum Podcast so far!
As new episodes are released, i will update this list as well as post new entries for new episodes.
Most episodes I am joined by guests, so before we start the discussion about the topic at hand, there's a short interview where we discuss their reading and collecting history so you have an idea what their frame of reference is going into the discussion.
Issue #1: Life the Archie: The Married Life part 1
Issue #2: Life with Archie: The Married Like part 2
Issue #3: Boy Comics
Issue #4: Red Sonja part 1
Issue #5: Red Sonja part 2
Issue #6: 1st Issue Special part 1
Issue #7: 1st Issue Special part 2
Issue #8: Captain America by Steve Englehart part 1
Issue #9: Captain America by Steve Englehart part 2
Issue #10: Green Arrow by Mike Grell part 1
Issue #11: Green Arrow by Mike Grell part 2
Issue #12: Blackhawk by Mark Evanier part 1
Issue #13: Blackhawk by Mark Evanier part 2
Issue #14: Blackhawk by Mark Evanier part 3
Issue #15: Cap's Kooky Quartet part 1
Issue #16: Cap's Kooky Quartet part 2
Lastly for this week of low content anagram fun, let's see what we can do with this latest round of purchases from the wilds of eBay.
A nice little run of high-grade Weird Western Tales featuring Jonah Hex! Such good stuff. I especially like this cover Weird Western Tales #25 from December 1974.
Jonah Hex riding out on horseback from a pit of quicksand! How badass is that?!
Jonah Hex = ?
I got nothing here. Hex is an enigma even in the world of anagrams.
Weird Western Tales = Tawdriest Newsreel
Newsreels wouldn't be a thing for another 50 years in Hex's world, but I can only imagine that if they were around in the wild west, they would've been quite tawdry!
Have a great weekend everyone, thanks for reading!
I picked up a couple of early 12¢ Action Comics off of eBay recently to help fill out the run.
Action Comics #290 from July 1962 and Action Comics #306 from November 1963.
I realized long ago that trying to fill out a run of both Action Comics and Superman was going to be a herculean task at best. With that in mind, I settled on a minimum grade for the 12¢ books to be at least a nice presenting F/VF. I'll obviously make exceptions, however, if I come across some beaters at a price I can't resist.
I love that cover for #306, as it tells a hell of a story with just one image. It's got it all...Clark Kent in peril, kryptonite, a 3rd world generalissimo, a cigarette smoking mastermind, the secret identity in jeopardy, etc... If I can't have world-shaking super-villain fist fights, than these are the type of stories that I really enjoy from the Silver and Bronze Ages.
Anyways, on to the anagram fun!
Clark Kent = Tank Clerk
Let's see...Clark is essentially the clerk that handles the routine duties for the tank that is Superman. I'll buy that. Fun fact (and a peek behind the curtain): I use the internet to figure out my anagrams, and so far "Clark Kent" are the letters that have generated the least amount of anagrams, with only 3 total. That man's in a class by himself!
Lois Lane = Los Alien
My spanish is rusty, but that means the alien, right?
Action Comics = Iconic Mascot
That makes a lot sense, seeing as how this title birthed the original superhero!
Yesterday I mentioned that I'll pick up lower grade 12¢ books to help fill out the run if the price is right, well on these the price was right!
The focus of my collection is completing Action Comics and Superman, but I've slowly been filling out the secondary and tertiary titles as the opportunities present themselves. After enjoying the heck out of @Silver's Superboy Complete thread over in the Silver Age Forum, I decided to bump the Superboy collecting up a notch as there are some great books in there.
Thanks to @SOLAR BOY for another killer sales thread that had some of those Superboy books I enjoyed seeing over in @Silver's thread. And thanks for the freebie too!
With this haul, and yesterday's, that brings me pretty darn close to filling out all of the Action Comics and Superman 12¢ books, as I need only 12 more Actions and 16 more Supermans. Hopefully by the end of the year I can finish off that mini-goal and be able to fully concentrate on the 10¢ books.
And what do the anagrams have to say?
Superboy = Buy Ropes
Superman = Man Purse
Not to much secret insight there. Let's try the creators on these issues.
Leo Dorfman = Elf Doorman
Edmond Hamilton = Damned Monolith
Al Plastino = Nasal Pilot
Curt Swan = ...
Tread lightly on that last one, as there are some decidedly NSFW anagrams there.
I am normally not one to purchase sketches or even pay to have them done. I believe they're way to costly and I could purchase several other items for the amount of money most of my favorite artist would charge for a commission. With that being said I came across a wonderful cover sketch for Invincible #111. Anissa as the joker with Mark in Batgirls shoes done by Scott Blair. I fell in love with this cover as soon as I found it. I think a lot of you guys/gals will appreciate it. Thanks for reading. Phillip
Low content mode week continues, as we delve deeper into the latest purchases for my collection, through the skewed lens of anagrams.
This next book I picked up off of eBay after a fellow boardie tipped me off that this is, in fact, the first use of the Supergirl masthead.
From what I could turn up, it does appear that The Brave And The Bold #63 from January 1965 is in fact the first usage. It predates Action Comics #334 from March 1966 by over a year, which I would have guessed previously was the first.
All in all, a nice little bit of trivia that I was previously unaware of.
Now, on to the anagrams...
Supergirl = pig rulers
Kara Zor-El = kale razor
Linda Lee Danvers = lavender denials or vanilla needs red
There's nothing there that gives us any secret insight into Supergirl, so let's try Wonder Woman...
Wonder Woman = onward women
That's better, a nice feminine mantra hidden in plain sight!
Lastly, how about Multi-Face...
Multi-Face = a cute MILF
I'm not so sure about that, but who am I to cast aspersions. I journal, you decide....
It's looking like a low content week for the journal, as I have a busy work week ahead of me, so I'll probably be spending it posting some pics of my newest acquisitions.
First up, I got this beauty off of eBay for a great price...
Adventure Comics #267 from December 1959, featuring the second appearance of The Legion of Super-Heroes. This particular issue only cost me $42 bucks, and it's a killer looking copy, although I'm sure some would balk at the ½" tear that goes through the entire book on the right edge. I'll still keep my eye out for an upgrade, but I am more than content with this issue for right now, as it gets me one step closer to completing those early Legion appearances. I'm now only missing 4 of their first 20 appearances, although that last one is going to be painful to the old wallet.
It's a shame though, that they didn't keep the original costumes, as the originals are so much better.
And a big shout-out to @Marwood & I for unknowingly setting the theme for low content mode week! I so enjoyed his anagramming of Legion members from my Nemesis Kid post last week, that I just have to try it for myself this week.
Cosmic Boy anagrams to boy comics
That's not to shabby, if a little lazy.
Lightning Lad anagrams to dangling hilt
That must be where he keeps his lighting rod.
Saturn Girl anagrams to raring slut
Yikes, how dare the internet anagram maker impugn our beloved Legionnaire like that. For shame!