Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 80, where we take a nostalgic look at comic books I currently own, and in some sad cases, ones that I let get away.
For each of the comic books I include in this blog, 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), with a maximum of seven issues. Repeat guest hosts are permitted and encouraged. Send your completed blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 80…
Cool Comics News!
This week Cool Comics is giving the DC Walmart 3 packs a rest and taking a look at some Marvel mid-Seventies issues. Also, if you haven’t signed up here for my newsletter yet, you may want to do it now. Soon, I’ll be giving away a dozen or so copies of my newest audiobook via a random drawing, and you have to be a subscriber to find out how to enter.
Cool comics in my collection #413: The Champions #1, October 1975.
Regular readers of Cool Comics know that my favorite era is the Seventies, so it’s no surprise that on this off week from DC Walmart Variants, I have to give more love to my generation. Last Saturday Mrs. Gosney, the youngest daughter, and I, happened to stop in a comic shop where I hadn’t previously ventured: J C Comics & Cards in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. There is a certain series I’m trying to finish up (I still need something like 44 issues), and while I’ve currently exhausted the back issue boxes of my regular store, I thought I’d do a little advance scouting and see what I could find at J C. And bingo, it looks like I may be able to get some of what I need, but I didn’t want to spend an hour looking through boxes and leave my family waiting. Yes, I’ll be back, but in the meantime, there are certain things I typically look for when in a shop, and currently it’s the short run of The Champions from the mid-Seventies. Before Saturday, I had issues 3 through 17, but as you can see, I finally located #1. It’s in very nice condition, and the price was a low $10! This is a bit of an unusual team-up book when you consider the line-up of heroes, but it’s lots of fun. Issue 2—you can run, but you can’t hide! I’ll find you sooner or later. The cover price of The Champions #1 is 25 cents, while the current value is $50.
Cool comics in my collection #414: Captain America #197, May 1976.
More Madbomb mayhem for Cap and the Falcon! This cover may be familiar even if you weren’t alive or reading comics back in 1976, as it’s been reprinted on different collectibles over the last few years. Written during a period of political unrest in the country, this storyline in Captain America was a little on the strange side for me and my buddies. Today, it seems like far more adults read comics than kids do, but back then, I don’t recall ever seeing adults looking at the comics when I road my bike up to Slicks in Martins Ferry, Ohio, to peruse over the comic stand, carefully weigh decisions, then drop a handful of quarters on the counter. I’m sure there were some grownups reading about Steve and Sam’s adventures through a dark America, and probably getting the deeper meanings behind the story, but as far as kids were concerned, we didn’t much like the politics. Still, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for this Star-Spangled Avenger, so I kept handing over my change. The cover price of Captain America #197 is 25 cents, while the current value is $18.
Cool comics in my collection #415: Power Man #42, April 1977.
Can you believe the price?! Suddenly comic books went up a nickel, and kids were scrambling around for a little extra change to help pay for their four-color habit. Whether it was delivering papers, mowing lawns, or searching for empty pop bottles to turn in at the local store to get the deposit money back (remember when that was a thing and you’d put your empty bottles back in the cartoon and then take them to the grocery store and get money for them?), kids would find a way to keep reading their favorite superhero exploits. But because of rising prices, gas shortages, and other tactics parents would use as a weapon to hinder our favorite pastime, we had tough decisions to make when gazing at the new issues every week. I didn’t know Luke Cage all that well back in those days. My only exposure to him was when he filled in for the Thing with the Fantastic Four the previous year. Ben Grimm lost his powers by reverting back to his normal body, and Reed Richards wanted muscle on the team. So he found a “Hero for Hire” in Fantastic Four #168. Problem was it made me sympathetic for Ben, and I held a bit of a grudge against Cage. Therefore, I didn’t read his comic back in the Seventies. Besides, I could afford only so many issues per month. As an adult, I’ve bought some back issues and now see the error of my ways. The cover price of Power Man #42 is 30 cents, while the current value is $10.
Recently Read Digital Comics
In December 2015, DC put out the first issue of a comic called Superman: Lois and Clark. It followed up the Convergence storyline (I haven’t read those yet) and features the Kents, along with their young son, Jon, after their Earth gets wiped from reality and they try to make a go of it on a similar, yet different, Earth. This one already has a Lois and Clark, so they live in California, rather than Metropolis, and keep their identities a secret, even from their own child. The series ran 8 issues, and then DC packaged it as a trade paperback collection for $18, putting “Road to Rebirth” across the top. You know I’ve been talking over the last few months about how impressed I am with the Rebirth comics (I have only read the ones that come out in the Walmart Variant packs), and this story helped explain some of my questions. I saw the digital comiXology version on sale for $5.99, which made my decision easy. If you haven’t read this, you might like it as much as I did. The story is easy to follow, the art is pleasing and not confusing to the eye, and it gives you those good feelings you had as a kid when you read comic books. If I were buying new superhero comics today on a weekly basis, DC’s offerings would be at the top of my list.