Three Decades of Comic Book Memories

Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 46, where we take a nostalgic look at six cool comic books I currently own, and one that I let get away.

For each of the comic books below, I list the current secondary market value. This is according to the listings at the website www.comicbookrealm.com. They list out the near mint prices, which are on the comic book grading scale of 9.4. If you go to the website to look up any in your collection, you can click on the price and see the value at different grades. Not all of my comics are 9.4. Some are probably better, and some are worse. But to simplify it, that’s the grading price I use here. And remember, a comic book is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Have you considered being a guest host for Cool Comics? You can do a theme or just pick any of your comics for inclusion (this blog is for all ages, so please keep that in mind), as long as there are seven comics in your episode (you can still own all seven, or do it like me and include one you no longer own). Repeat guest hosts are permitted and encouraged. Send your completed blog to edgosney62@gmail.com.

If you have any questions or comments, please scroll to the bottom of the page to where it says, “Leave a reply.” I hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I do writing about them. And now, Episode 46…

 

Cool comics in my collection #295: The Flash #4, September 1987.
Flash #4This issue of The Flash came out right around the time I got married, but I wasn’t reading or collecting comic books back then. I’ve never had speed, but I think it’s something we all wish we had, and The Flash, whether it be Barry Allen, Wally West, or Jay Garrick, allows us to dream of running faster than one can imagine. This was a back issue I bought for about 50 cents in Atlanta when I was serving down there in the Army. Since I started reading The Flash monthly, I wanted to collect some of the older issues, too. Today, while I don’t get monthly comics, I do watch The Flash on TV. I think the show is a lot of fun, and you might just like it too, if you haven’t watched it yet. The cover price of The Flash #4 is 75 cents, while the current value is $4.

 

Cool comics in my collection #296: The Fury of Firestorm #3, August 1982.
The Fury of Firestorm #3Besides running fast like the Flash, imagine if you could change the molecular structure of an object. That would make you very powerful. But throw in the combination of a teenager and a gray-haired college professor, and the conflicting natures might sometimes cause some trouble for this superhero who captured my interest back in 1982. When Firestorm came on the scene, he was very different from other heroes, and that’s what made the hero interesting, in my opinion. Plus, I thought he looked pretty darn cool. While I’m not all that happy with the portrayal of Firestorm on The CW shows (first Flash and now Legends of Tomorrow), at least he’s getting some exposure. Who would have thought the character would ever be on prime time? I bought this issue new back in 1982, and when I started collecting comics again in the Nineties, I made sure to find all the back issues I was missing of this series. Most of the Firestorm comics aren’t worth anything if you look at it from a money perspective. But to me, he’s worth a lot more. The cover price of The Fury of Firestorm #3 is 60 cents, while the current value is $3.

 

Cool comics in my collection #297: Valor #5, March 1993.
Valor #5I have a penchant for falling for comic books that don’t turn out to be very popular, and this certainly goes for Lar Gand, aka Valor. Maybe people like him better when he’s with the Legion, because this series lasted just short of two years, going 23 issues. But lack of popularity has never stopped me from liking something, and when I started reading Valor part way through his run, when I’d gotten back into comics in late 1992, I knew I’d hunt the back issues to have a complete run of his title. And you know what? It’s okay to like things that other people don’t. Variety is the spice of life, and one man’s treasure is another man’s garbage, and so forth. The cover price of Valor #5 is $1.25, while the current value is $2.25.

 
 

Cool comics in my collection #298: Omega the Unknown #5, November 1976.
Omega the Unknown #5As far as I can remember, I was the only kid in my neighborhood who bought Omega the Unknown monthly. He was such an enigmatic character that I just couldn’t resist. And it’s not like he was shoved into some corner of the Marvel Universe without reference to other characters, as both Hulk and Electro made early appearances. But as I reflect back on those days, I think now, as I’m 40 years older and perhaps a bit wiser, I realize that I feel a bit wistful for my youth when I think about this comic book. I distinctly remember seeing the covers at the little shop in Martins Ferry, Ohio, where I bought them, and the joy and excitement coursing through my veins to get home and start reading this mysterious comic. I’ve said it here before, and it bears repeating: sometimes it’s all about the memories. The cover price of Omega the Unknown #5 is 30 cents, while the current value is $8.

 

Cool comics in my collection #299: Thor #257, March 1977.
Thor #257When I first started buying comics in the Seventies, I wasn’t a big Thor fan. I watched the old Marvel Cartoon of him from the Sixties, and it had a cool theme song, but I don’t think many kids enjoyed the way Thor talked, and all the other Wagnerian themes taking place in Asgard. He came across as pompous, and a kid can’t relate all that well to the character. But I really started liking Thor in the Nineties, during my third comic collecting phase, and that’s when I bought this back issue. I collected a good number of older Thor comics for a while, and I’m glad I did as now I can appreciate the character more. And I think the current movies have done a good job with Thor, and I’m sure he has a better fan base then he did from that sixties cartoon. Or from his appearance on The Incredible Hulk TV show. The cover price of Thor #257 is 30 cents, while the current value is $10.

 

Cool comics in my collection #300: The Amazing Spider-Man #137, October 1974.
The Amazing Spider-Man #137So here we are, number 300. It’s hard to believe I’ve written this many little essays on Cool Comics in My Collection, and #300 is a special one to me. This issue of The Amazing Spider-Man came out just before I turned 12. My grandfather was sick in the hospital, nearly an hour away, and we made a number of trips to visit him. It was a strange, scary time for a boy, which made the superhero comics I read seem more meaningful to me, in a way. We usually don’t like to consider the reality of death, but it was inevitable that my grandfather wouldn’t be around much longer. So how does one cope? Spider-Man had seen many deaths, the most recent being his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, by the hands of his best friend’s father, who happened to be the Green Goblin. Then Harry becomes the Green Goblin, and Peter Parker’s world went screwy once more. I could choose to let the comics of my youth be a reminder of the death of my grandfather, but instead, when I see the dates, and think about my grandfather passing in November of 1974, I consider the good memories and fun times spent with him. The cover price of The Amazing Spider-Man #137 is 25 cents, while the current value is $100.

 

Cool comics in my collection #301 (One that got away): The Avengers #223, September 1982.
The Avengers #223A few years back when I claimed more living space over my giant comic collection, I sold nearly all of my Avengers comics at a garage sale. You would have loved the sale, because the first day every comic was just a quarter, and the next day I sold what was left for a dime apiece. And I had lots of comics for sale. This was one of them. I originally bought it during my second phase of comic book reading and collecting. I wasn’t a big fan of the Avengers, but they had some fun stories and cool characters, so I bought it monthly during that short period in the early eighties. Seeing the image of this cover takes me back to simpler times, as I was entering my sophomore year at Ohio State. It was time for football games and a return to classes, a time to see old friends once more, and to make new friends. No doubt, whether I still own a comic book or not, they are time machines of a sort. The cover price of The Avengers #223 is 60 cents, while the current value is $15.

About Ed Gosney

Ed Gosney grew up in the small river town of Martins Ferry, Ohio, near Wheeling, West Virginia. He claims it was a magical place that helped mold his imagination, as he spent countless hours roaming the hills, playing in a cave, and hanging out at the Ohio River with his childhood friends. Ed is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in English Education, and served in the Army, becoming a Journalist and the editor of the Army post newspaper. After being honorably discharged, he entered the corporate world to write business proposals, working for several different banks and at times managing proposal teams. Currently living in Copley, Ohio, Ed has been married to Melissa since 1987 and has three children, Renee, Ed, and Brynn.

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