||Collecting the Rest of Quality Heroic Titles
Having completed an overview of Quality’s seven monthly heroic titles during the Golden Age, it’s time to have a crack at the single-character comics. Only Blackhawk was an unqualified success, though Dollman enjoyed a solid run, outlasting many seemingly better heroes. The Spirit, Kid Eternity and Uncle Sam were moderately successful; Lady Luck was not.
Let’s save the best -- Blackhawk -- for last.
Lady Luck, an extension of Smash Comics, ran for five issues with #86 (December 1949) through #90 (August 1950). Here’s a great example of a classic title which is far more appreciated today than it was more than half a century ago. My recommendation is to try to obtain at least one if you’re shooting for a representative Quality collection.
The same advice applies for Uncle Sam #1-8 (Autumn, 1941-1943). Every issue is a truly marvelous period piece, but they can be pricey. If you can get one or two for less than $75 to $100 in any condition better than fair, consider yourself fortunate.
Some collectors like the 18-issue run of Kid Eternity from 1946-49; I wouldn’t waste my money on the title at half Overstreet. For my money, Kid Eternity is the worst of all Quality productions, a truly ridiculous concept. Ironically, the title morphed into Buccaneers #19-27, one of Quality’s best efforts. The fact that Kid Eternity lasted 18 issues and Buccaneers only nine remains one of the great mysteries in all of comic history. Kid Eternity is one of the few Golden Age comics of which I have never owned a copy.
As for The Spirit, what can you say? I especially love the covers to issues #18-22, the final five issues of the run. The more issues you can get of this title, the better, if only for some really cool covers.
You really can’t go wrong with any issue of Dollman, especially the first seven, from #1-7 (Autumn, 1941-1943). One can only conclude wartime paper restrictions forced the unique little guy, so often illustrated by Reed Crandall in those early issues, into a hiatus for nearly three years. In an odd reversal of the fate of so many Golden Age heroes, Dollman ran quarterly when resumed with #8-16 (Spring, 1946-1948). Then the title became a bi-monthly just as so many other heroes were being ditched. With the exception a couple of issues spaced three months apart, the title remained a bi-monthly all the way through #47 (October 1953). Truly, a Golden Age anomaly.
In fact, Dollman even added a partner, Dollgirl, with #37 (December 1951). To the best of my knowledge, this was a unique late-run development for a character created in 1939, during the dawn of the Golden Age. Dollman #37-47 followed honor themes on the cover, making the title something of an unusual hybrid. Dollman #27 (March 1950) through #36 (October 1951) featured 10 of the wildest, most colorful covers of all comics available at the time. This was just an outrageously amusing title. Fortunately, low-grade copies aren’t too expensive, allowing any collector to afford an issue or two. As a bonus, short Torchy tales appear in most issues beginning with #8.
Plastic Man appeared in Vital Publications with 1943 and 1944 one-shots--even though Quality was publishing his flagship title, Police Comics -- before Quality picked up the title with #3 (Spring 1946), during a period when the company started most of its other single-character titles.
Plastic Man followed Dollman’s pattern with runs of quarterly (#3-11) and bi-monthly (#12-48) issues. I believe all the stories in Plastic Man #1-43 are original; thereafter, almost all of them are reprints, although all the covers are fresh. When Plastic Man ended with # 64 (November 1956), it provided a nifty juxtaposition of the Golden Age and Silver Age, since Showcase #4 (September-October 1956) with the first Silver Age Flash story may still have been on the same newsstand. Oddly, Plastic Man (albeit with reprints) was published monthly for eighth months in 1955-56, from #55-62.
When Quality sold out to DC at the end of 1956, National Comics continued only four titles — Robin Hood Tales (because of the television show’s success), G.I. Combat, Heart Throbs (wise genre choices), and, of course, Blackhawk.
Blackhawk was unquestionably one of the great success stories of the 1950s or it would not have been published monthly for so long. Readers had their choices of covers generally - dealing with either weird machines or exotic situations, often involving communist-inspired villains and villainesses. Like Dollman and Plastic Man, Blackhawk made the leap in 1948 from quarterly publication (#10-18) to bi-monthly frequency (#19-33). The first issue, #9 (Winter 1943-44), continuing from Uncle Sam, was essentially a one-shot, apparently because of paper restrictions. But beginning with #34 (November 1950) -- the month after Modern Comics vanished -- Blackhawk never missed a month for many years, including through the end of the Quality portion of the run with #107 (December 1956). Quality never handled any other title in the 1950s the way it handled Blackhawk.
Why? Blackhawk was simply a unique team concept in comics, dubbed everything from "an international lynch mob" to "the knights of the airplanes." There were a couple of half-hearted imitations in the 1940s, but nothing could match Blackhawk from the end of World War II on. And many of the stories were just the best heroic tales available on the newsstands.
Many readers may not prefer to acquire every issue, so your best bet is to leaf through anything that seems to appeal to you. Some of the stories are truly over the top, while others seem relatively tame. I know one reader who loves the machines of menace and another who prefers the issues with political propaganda and communistic villains. By the way, another reason for Blackhawk’s success in the 1950s was the title’s consistent drumbeat against communism and fascism.
"Lost" and Found
Be the first to own Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #1 CGC 9.8 signed by Lost creator Damon Lindelof from WizardUniverse.com
Damon Lindelof, co-creator and executive producer of the hit television series Lost, will bring his creative genius and storytelling talent to Marvel’s "Ultimate" universe this December with Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk. And now you can own a CGC Graded 9.8 copy signed by Lindelof himself, courtesy of Wizard Universe!
Not only will Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk Mark Lindelof’s first comic book writing effort, but a portion of the proceeds from the CGC Graded Signed versions will benefit the charity of Damon Lindelof's choice!
The story goes:
Dr. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk) has been presumed dead since his execution following a murderous rampage through Manhattan. But when reports start cropping up of an unidentified creature appearing around the globe, General Nick Fury – head of America’s premiere intelligence organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. – begins to get worried. Not because Banner can turn from man to unstoppable monster in seconds, but because Banner’s existence is the one secret that can bring Fury down. So he turns to the only man he can trust: James Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine of the X-Men, to take care of Banner – by any means necessary.
The series will be illustrated by Leinil Yu (Wolverine and X-Men), who recently signed an exclusive contract with Marvel.
"I actually owned Hulk #181 when I was a kid," Lindelof said. "Then my mom threw it away. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have the opportunity to re-introduce these two iconic characters to each other in the no-holds-barred world of the Ultimate Universe. I am truly honored to get a chance to fulfill my life-long dream of writing for Marvel."
Prior to Lost, Lindelof was co-producer on the popular crime drama Crossing Jordan and wrote for the first three seasons of the show. Last year, along with J.J. Abrams, Lindelof created the hit ABC drama Lost. Currently in his position as Executive Producer of Lost, Lindelof shares day-to-day show running and writing responsibilities with Carlton Cuse.
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1
Signed & Graded CGC Signature Series 9.8 are available here:
Graded CGC 9.8 are available here:
Graded Sketch Cover 1 in 50 CGC 9.8 are available here:
To order multiple copies of this or any CGC-graded book, please contact Mike Scigliano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ComicLink Has Hundeds of No Reserve CGC-Graded Comics In January & February Auctions!
Mark your calendars folks! CGC has just learned that ComicLink is gearing up for its next two Focused Auctions. Both auctions will contain primarily high-end CGC-graded comic books. The January auction will feature over 500 CGC-graded comic books from the Silver and Bronze Age and, like the last few successful auctions of its kind, it will be completely NO RESERVE auction. The auction is schedule to run over two nights, on January 7th and 8th. The February Auction will feature a substantial amount of high end Golden Age comics and is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 6th and run for 10 days.
For further information about either of these high-end auctions, e-mail email@example.com or call Josh Nathanson or Tomis Erb at 718/246-0300 (normal hours are weekdays 11 am -7 pm EST). If you are new to ComicLink, you can also refer to the Services Section of ComicLink.com for more information.
ComicLink also has over 6,500 CGC-graded comics available in the For Sale/Bid Section and new items are listed every day. Examples of a couple of new featured listings within the last week include Detective Comics #38 CGC 8.0, Journey Into Mystery #103 CGC 9.6, Justice League #1 CGC 8.5, Four Color #157 CGC 9.4. Scheduled to be posted next week are Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.0, Amazing Spider-Man #1 CGC 9.2 and X-men #1 CGC 9.2 among others.
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I recently found out that one of my favorite shows on television, Arrested Development, had been cancelled. This came as a shock, not because I didn’t see it coming, for most non-reality shows nowadays get the axe fairly quickly, but because in my opinion, this was one of the best written shows on television. I honestly thought it would last longer than three seasons. But later that day, during a conversation with a friend, I brought up the cancellation of the show, and we soon found ourselves on the topic of another cancelled show titled Firefly.
Firefly, a Sci-Fi meets western television series about a band of space smugglers set 500 years in the future, was created by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) and sadly lasted only 11 episodes. After its demise, a feature length movie titled Serenity was being prepped for release to sum up where the series left off and possibly bring in more fans to a now defunct franchise. As an added bonus for all the other rabid fans of the series, Dark Horse Comics announced that it was releasing a three-issue mini series titled Serenity, which would continue the adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his renegade crew.
Serenity the comic series was also written by Joss Whedon, and co-written by Brett Matthews. Issue one was released with three different covers, each showcasing a different character from the series, drawn by comic artists J.G. Jones, John Cassaday and Bryan Hitch. The series artist was Will Conrad, who went beyond the call of duty to capture the characters straight from the screen and put them on paper. His art style superbly illustrates the world that Whedon created. His attention to detail captured the Western atmosphere created for the show, and blew away the reader with his attention to well-crafted science fiction detail. Issue #1 seemed to pick up right where the last episode of the television series left off, starting an all new adventure for the band of smugglers, and thanks to the writing, the translation of language and dialogue are transferred nicely from screen to page.
Serenity the comic is a self contained story, with some parts tying into the movie, but it’s not required to have read or seen either the show or the movie to fully understand what is going on. In my opinion, with the soon-to-be released DVD of the film, Serenity would be a great comic series to pick up in order to get acquainted with Joss Whedon’s characters and universe.
Limited Spots Open for a Prestigious CGC Signature Series Signing with Brad Meltzer
Identity Crisis author Brad Meltzer is making a rare convention appearance and has agreed to sign a limited number of comics for the prestigious CGC Signature Series! Certified Collectibles Company is accepting CGC Signature Series submissions for this limited signing, to take place during the New York Comic-Con, February 24-26 at the Jacob Javits Center. Signing opportunities are limited to 100 books.
Certified Collectibles Company has hosted other CGC Signature Series Limited Signings with artists like John Romita Sr., Brian Hitch, and Ethan Van Sciver. Certified Collectibles Company Vice President Kris Moore is very excited about this event. "This is far more exciting due to Mr. Meltzer’s canon of work and the extreme popularity of Identity Crisis," he said.
A portion of the money collected for submissions will be donated to A.C.T.O.R. (A Commitment To Our Roots).
For more information or to submit books, contact Kris Moore 972-355-3916 or e-mail Kris_comics@yahoo.com
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Dynamic Forces Presents: The Great CGC Give-Away
20 Lucky Grand Prize Winners!
Until this Friday, DECEMBER 16, 2005, Dynamic Forces is giving 20 lucky winners the chance to add a random CGC-Graded comic to their collection!<
That's right, 20 winners!
Each random CGC-graded comic is graded a 9.6 or higher and may include the following titles: X-23 #1, Ultimate Volume 2, #1, Wolverine #25, X-Force #1, Ultimate Iron Man #1, and more! These contests are just another big thank you to all of our customers, fans and supporters! Good luck and let a friend know about these weekly contests! They'll owe ya once you tell them about this!
Learn more here.
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The Spectre Haunts Heritage!
CGC graded Larson pedigree copy of More Fun #52 offered in upcoming auction
Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers (HG&A) will offer the Larson pedigree copy of More Fun #52, CGC-graded NM-9.2 with off-white to white pages, in their upcoming Comic and Original Comic Art Signature Auction, to be held January 20 - 21, 2006, in Dallas, Texas.
"This extremely desirable book commands hefty sums in even lesser grades," said Ed Jaster, Vice-President for HG&A. "For a pedigreed stunner like this, the sky's the limit."
"More Fun Comics, which debuted in 1935 as New Fun Comics, was DC's first comic book series, and carried a variety of humor and action strips, most fairly forgettable," said Jaster. "With issue #52 in 1940, however, and the introduction of Bernard Bailey's The Spectre, the book became one of the jewels in the DC crown. The Spectre went on to become a major player in the Golden Age DC Universe, joining the Justice Society in their premiere tale (in All-Star Comics #3), and was one of the first of the Golden Age heroes to be treated to a revival years later in the Silver Age." Read more
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