Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 97, 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.
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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 97…
Cool Comics News!
This week I’m diving into another collection from Walmart. Only this Marvel Comics 3-Pack cost nearly double the $5 that I’ve grown accustomed to buying. Still, it wasn’t a bad deal, since the cover prices (not to mention taxes) add up to nearly $14. Unlike the previous two Walmart packages from Marvel I talked about here that that cost just $5 and were pretty loose in the bag, these were sealed tight, much like the DC 3-Packs from Walmart (ahem…they’re still just $5…who doesn’t like to get a bargain?). Also, for the third consecutive week, I’m featuring another issue that gets a little more attention by being classified as a Cool Comics Classic.
Cool comics in my collection #465: Champions #1, December 2016.
One of the titles from the Seventies I’ve been attempting to get a complete run of is The Champions. You remember, the one with Hercules, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, Angel, and Iceman. I never bought any issues when they originally came out, but during comic book collecting phase three (1993-2003), I picked up a handful of Champions (alas, it lasted just 17 issues), and since have found all but issue #2. So it was interesting getting this copy of Champions in the 3-pack, a new team with the same name, and some characters I thought I recognized, but didn’t, it turns out. I thought I knew the Hulk, only it wasn’t Bruce Banner, but instead a guy by the name of Amadeus Cho (and as far as I know, he doesn’t compose music!). Sam Alexander is Nova, instead of Rich Rider, and Kamala Khan is Ms. Marvel. And the Vision has a daughter. I’m not quite sure how that came about, but that’s what you get when you’ve been away for 14 years. It wasn’t a bad comic, but it certainly wasn’t the Champions from the Seventies that I love. The cover price of Champions #1 is $4.99, while the current value is $5.
Cool comics in my collection #466: Howard the Duck #2, February 2016.
I used to own Howard the Duck #1…not this newer volume, but the one that’s cover dated January 1976. Unfortunately, I sold it when I was in college, even though it had Spider-Man in it and Howard was based in Cleveland, Ohio, which is practically my backyard. And forty years later, here’s Howard once more, in my possession. The cover for this issue looks kinda weird, doesn’t it? That’s because the Walmart 3-Pack gave me a variant cover. Currently it’s not listed as being more expensive on the secondary market, but who knows what the future will bring? Still, it’s got this character on both the cover and inside called Gwenpool, a strange cross between Gwen Stacy and Deadpool. There’s also a Spider-Gwen. Really. But she’s not in this comic. Folks at Marvel, you killed her off in the Seventies, resurrected her a few years later as a clone, and continue to do strange things with her. Then again, the title of this comic is Howard the Duck, and he’s not at all an ordinary hero. The cover price of Howard the Duck #2 is $4.99, while the current value of this variant is $5.
Cool comics in my collection #467: Secret Wars #7, January 2016.
For our next Cool Comic, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re seeing a definite theme in this Walmart 3-Pack I bought, and set to music it’s “Everything Old Is New Again.” Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars hit the scene in the spring of 1984, and while I wasn’t buying comic books at that time, I was aware of it. And remember the toy line? I’m sure some of you probably own a bunch of those action figures. The problem is, Marvel gave comic buyers of this 3-Pack issue #7 of 9 (sounds Borg-ish, doesn’t it?), plus it’s a second printing, to boot. But this isn’t just any second printing. The “front” cover, which usually contains the price, issue number, etc., is on the back. The cover has the same art, but no words. Which is just plain weird, in my opinion. Okay, let’s take a quick step back. This is a limited series, and they give me a #7. What happened in the first 6 issues? Why are these people fighting each other? Why should I care when I can’t figure any of this out? Marvel, please note that if you’re going to do this and you want people to read the series, at least give us issue #1 (even if it’s a third printing!), because then your readers who are interested might want to buy a trade paperback or hunt down the original issues. A lost marketing opportunity, in my opinion. The cover price of Secret Wars #7 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.
Cool Comics Classics
Cool comics in my collection #468: Spider-Man versus Wolverine #1, February 1987.
This Cool Comics Classic came out between collecting periods for me, and I grabbed it out of a 50¢ bin in Atlanta during the Nineties. Just looking at the cover and seeing both Spider-Man and Wolverine, I knew I had to have this one-shot, but it ended up getting filed away in a box for a couple decades, and I finally cracked open the cover. And I was shocked to find out that this issue features the death of Ned Leeds! Supporting casts come and go in the world of comics, and I guess I didn’t even realize he was gone when I was reading Spider-Man from 1993 to 2003. Anyway, this is a pretty cool issue, though some people at Marvel weren’t too happy that the writer killed off Leeds. It also features Spider-Man get tricked into doing something pretty shocking. I won’t reveal that one, in case you hunt this comic out to read for yourself. The cover price of Spider-Man versus Wolverine is $2.50, while the current value is $28.
Recently Read Digital Comics
I finally made my way through the long digital comic I mentioned a couple weeks ago. Punisher Max: The Complete Collection Vol. 1, contains the mini-series Born issues 1-4, and The Punisher 1-12 from 2004. A few weeks back, Amazon had some great sale prices on Marvel digital collections, and I enjoyed making some fantastic purchases. The Punisher came into being when I was first collecting comics as a kid, so he holds a mythic place in my childlike heart. The only problem is, I didn’t realize just how graphic these Max comics are. I guess they’re like R-rated films, as far as comparisons go. And with that being said, just because you can say R-rated words doesn’t mean they at all improve the story. When you use them too much, the shock value drops out the window and it gets to a point of ridiculousness. Off course this is just my opinion, but since this is my blog and my opinion, I think these stories could have been told just as well without all the Max stuff. That being said, the story and art are good, so if the Max factor (see what I did?) doesn’t offend thee, you might just enjoy this long digital comic.