Harry Lime

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About Harry Lime

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  • Birthday December 4

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    Silver Age
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    Copper Age
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  1. Harry Lime

    Marvel Strange Tales

    I'll take these.
  2. Harry Lime

    AJD's comic notebook

    I want to read a comic in a cylinder! Lucky you, I've always wanted to go to Japan.
  3. Shhhhhhh. It's 1966 and DC might find out.
  4. Tales of Suspense #76 April 1966 Bought from the boards. My Copy - Grade 6.0 Cover: 3/5 ~ Clean, simple & dynamic. Add in restrained blurbing, Kirby men-in-green-hats appearance and plenty of opportunities for Marwood's fart scripts and we have a, sorta, winner. Stories reviewed separately "Here Lies Hidden.. The Unspeakable Ultimo!" Art: 3.5/5 ~ I do like Austin's work generally but I'm surprised it works so well on IM. Here he gives the story a distinctly noirish feel (at least in the American placed part) and the full page sequence depicting Tony Stark's mysterious abduction from the squad car had a strong resemblance to that gripping sequence from Close Encounters when Roy Neary first experiences a UFO. Story: 2/5 ~ Unfortunately one of those '9 pagers' that wrap one plot arc up and start another one in the same issue. It's not even that disruptive to the narrative flow but I always feel kinda cheated somehow. We ended #75 on a cliffhanger and we start on the same cliffhanger (no Flash Gordon chicanery here). Luckily for IM just before the Freak can reach him the effects of the Eneravator take effect and he starts to change back into Happy Hogan. This gives Stark enough time to whip off his burning armour and to start worrying that now Hogan has been restored his secret identity is no longer secret (all these events occurred in as of yet unreviewed TOS). But luckily for us ignorant readers there's a quick flashback just before Hogan regains consciousness and reveals that he's lost his memory! Oh, happy days, secret identity lovers. Next to burst in is a senator and some cops forcing Stark to accompany them to Washington where he has to testify regarding IM's identity. Luckily for Stark (or maybe not), en route he's whisked away by the Mandarin's trans-dimensional thingamabob to his Chinese fortress for the purpose, in the best tradition of Marvel megalomaniacs, of witnessing the Mandarin's impending dominion of the planet. Quote of the Day ~ "As Tony Stark, I'm virtually helpless...defenseless against an enemy's attack! I'd never dare remove my iron armor again! I'd become, in fact, a prisoner of my own secret identity!" My assessment ~ On with the next issue! "The Gladiator, The Girl, and the Glory!" Art: 3/5 ~ Whereas last ish we had Kirby/Ayers on drawing duties this time around it's Romita on his own. He does an excellent job with the action sequences but location wise doesn't have a lot to work with. Just a Shield hideaway and the (as yet unnamed) villain's lair. Story: 3/5 ~ Now this is more like it. Carries on from the last issue with no ponderous retelling of events. It's fast paced, has plenty of action and only a sprinkling of megalomania. The main antagonist, Batroc, has no pretensions of ruling the world. Rather he's a mercenary with a large ego, a flair for the dramatic, even a code of honour of sorts. True he does exhibit some extreme stereotyping but this is 1966 where such things were considered comedic and acceptable. The story doesn't stop 3 pages from the end and start another tale either or end on a cliffhanger, it appears there's more to come from the mysterious blonde from Cap's past and the shadowy villains who wanted the Inferno-42. Quote of the Day ~ "Alors!! They are fleeing! They have taken zee vial!! And my minkey as well! Stand aside, mon ami! We can continue our fight any time! But those villains must not escape us!" My assessment ~ Genuinely enjoyable. These 9 pagers can punch above their weight if they focus their efforts on one thing and one issue at a time. Thanks for reading!
  5. Yeah, I've not got that one . Thanks!
  6. Harry Lime

    Marvel Pence Priced Variants

    There are quite a few pence, low grade, key Marvel raws up for auction on Britbay at the moment and they are going for absolutely silly money considering the terrible pictures supplied and the old proviso "Please study photos, I'm not an expert grader"
  7. Thought about whether I should include this for a while but as it's unlikely I'll be getting an ASM 4 or FF 3 or want a TTA 37 any time soon, I finally concluded it's worth reviewing. Besides it is a genuine SA book and collectible in it's own right now. What I love about these 60's reprints is that they still serve the same function now as 50 years ago. Classic tales in their original format at a very affordable price. Marvel Collectors' Item Classics #2 April 1966 My Copy - Grade 9.0 A really nice looking copy, bought from BritBay for under a tenner! Cover: Errmm, N/A? Stories reviewed separately "The Menace of the Miracle Man" (from FF#3) Art: 3.5/5 ~ Very early FF fare so we have the Thing at his smoochiest, a very young looking Torch, lots of Reed's elastic based antics (bouncing ball, making himself into a human tyre etc). Nice panel containing a cut-away diagram of the Baxter Building and of course the first appearance of the Fantasti-Car and the FF's uniforms. The Thing does not look right in a boiler suit, booties and helmet and he's soon ripping the garments off. Most of the art is pretty bland by Kirby standards but it's saved by the almost iconic depiction of the Bijou Monster from Mars. Such a cool creation and one of the earliest FF memories I have is the shock and awe when it comes 'alive'. Story: 3/5 ~ Nothing earth-shattering but containing all the elements that proved so successful for the FF in the early days. Ben wanting to fight the world and especially the Torch, Johnny Storm at his most juvenile, hanging out with his pals, sodas & hot-rods. Sue being fashionable and getting herself kidnapped and Reed acting very professorial, trying to keep the whole dysfunctional 'family' from tearing itself apart. The actual plot is intriguing to a certain extent but as it goes on it become more and more apparent what the Miracle Man's real power is. I'm certain the tale is loaded with some major plot holes but I tend to cut some slack for these very early Marvels unless they particularly annoy me. Quote of the Day ~ "You stay hidden, Sue, in case we need you! As for me, I'm gettin' outta this monkey suit so I can move!" My assessment ~ Just another day for the first flawed superhero family in ol' Marveldom. "Trapped by the Protector" (from TTA 37) Art: 2/5 ~ The art is serviceable enough to display Ant-Man in all his diminutive glory and his miniature escapades. The highlight probably being his close escape with a street drain and a small trickle of water. Not much expression going on in the faces of those around him though, it's probably why he prefers the company of his insect chums. Story: 1/5 ~ Achieving the almost remarkable feat of being both absurd and banal this is a story that struggles and fails to make an interesting tale out of a boring plot. Jewellery shops are facing a crime-wave of extortion as an apparently large and threatening character (the Protector) is demanding money for not reducing the store owners' wares to dust. Ant-Man hears about it on the anternet and decides to investigate, must have been a slow couple of weeks in New York that summer. The rest of the issue is filled with the perils of either being an ant-sized human (being almost drowned by a water-pistol, sucked up by a vacuum cleaner) or the advantages of being an Ant leader (in truth it's the ants that do most of the crime-busting). Ant-Man does do a spot of detective work, that barely justifies his inclusion into the -script, to unmask the Protector and New York's finest move in to apprehend the culprit after being tipped off by some remarkably linguistic ants at the police station. Quote of the Day ~ Oh boy, this is going to be tough. If only the ants could speak. "I'd better see what's up! But not as Professor Henry Pym...I'll just release my reducing gas...and allow the vapor to engulf me...to make me smaller...and smaller...and smaller...until at last I can go to the trouble spot as Ant-Man!" My assessment ~ I just don't get these early Ant-man's. He is quite possibly the worst super-hero ever, one whose power actually causes him more peril than if he didn't use it at all. If it wasn't for his ant buddies he would be well & truly done for. Even allowing for the suspension of disbelief, the amount of absurdity on show makes it extremely difficult to buy into the ethos. "Nothing can stop...The Sandman!" (from ASM 4) Art: 4/5 ~ Ditko is at his creative best with this issue, not only with the varied and inventive uses he generates for the Sandman's unique ability but with the generous time he gives to Parker's supporting cast as well. Three whole pages are reserved solely for Parker's haberdashery problems whilst cleverly incorporating the Sandman's origin and some Aunt May mollycoddling. I've always much preferred this original look for Flint Marko compared to costumed appearance as in the Frightful Four. And that wonderful splash page, it would have made such a better cover than the original! Story: 4/5 ~ Starts off in typical off-beat fashion as Spidey is a tad too hasty in apprehending some crims and has to flee when they start threatening law-suits. Then we have his first encounter with the Sandman and his failure to cope with Marko's powers (to be fair, they are extraordinary). Matters are mad worse by an accidental tearing of the Spider mask causing him to run to protect his identity. After committing many crimes and terrorising the populace during Spidey's enforced absence, Marko is looking for a place to hide from the cops and weirdly picks Parker's high-school. Making his entrance whilst Parker is otherwise engaged in light janitorial duties gives Peter the chance to change into his now repaired Spider-Man outfit and rejoin the battle. This time Parker uses his intelligence as well as his abilities and although he comes close to losing through a pretty epic fight manages to manoeuvre the Sandman into the basement and the waiting industrial vacuum cleaner. You know where this is going and in truth is by far the weakest part of the story that Spidey literally sucks up the Sandman to put an end to his villainy for now. After the events in TTA 37 perhaps they should have called this the Hoover Special? Quote of the Day ~ "Wow-eeee! This sure has studying calculus beat all hollow!!" My assessment ~ A classic Spidey tale, close to perfect, but let down by the weak and unsatisfying ending. Thanks for reading!
  8. Harry Lime

    AJD's comic notebook

    I ddn't realise your journal had been moved over here, AJD, so I'd missed the last couple of pages. That error has been rectified as I'm now following your Antipodean Annals. Love those Planet Stories books, amazing covers & classic sci-fi stories.
  9. Top one please. Top one please (VG $20)
  10. I was hoping that this journal thing would get sorted out and we'd get our own forum again. Doesn't look like that's going to happen so the next update will have to be inflicted upon the Silverites.
  11. Harry Lime

    SA/BA Number 1 and Firsts

    I'll take this one as well now.
  12. Harry Lime

    Doctor Tom Brent and his Flying Nurses

    Did you win it for 99 pence? Still must be very rare even in that condition.
  13. In the general condition of the book as it is, I don't think that sort of scribbling is going to affect it much. I would say a 3.0 but if you get lucky could be a 3.5.