Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 102, where we take a look at comic books I own (and in some cases ones that I let get away), both new and old, often with a nostalgic leaning for those feelings of yesteryear.
For each of the comic books I include in this blog (except for digital issues), 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 102…
Cool Comics News!
Can you believe it’s been an entire month since I last tore open a DC Comics 3-pack from Walmart? This puts me halfway through the newest collection currently appearing at your local Walmart. So far, they’ve been distributing them in sets of 8, with each 3-pack selling for just $5, which is a pretty decent price, considering what the original cover prices add up to for each pack.
Cool comics in my collection #485: Batman: Night of the Monster Men #1, July 2017.
DC loves to promote the caped crusader, and I understand why so many of the Walmart 3-Packs contain Batman issues. But for the life of me, why would they do the variants from Rebirth out of order? Granted, most comics have short arcs that contain a certain amount of issues, and these variants are a great promotional gimmick to get new readers, but at the same time, we aren’t stupid, and we like to read our comics as sequentially as possible. So what in the world am I talking about? In a previously released batch of Walmart DC 3-Packs, one of the Rebirth variants packed on top was Batman #9 (although they’ve been renumbering them all as #1). This story, Night of the Monster Men, was really issue #7. Why? I don’t know if anyone has the answer, but if I could ask the marketing people at DC behind these decisions, that’s what I’d ask. At any rate, this contained some Bat people I’m not familiar with, and a big-headed, strange enemy who may just pop up in one of my nightmares sometime. It was pretty gross. The cover price of Batman #7 is $2.99, while the current value of this variant is $5.
Cool comics in my collection #486: Justice League Dark #36, January 2015.
This cover is pretty bizarre, even by comic book standards. I mean, it’s hard to tell what’s going on, and frankly, with a title like Justice League Dark, just who are the good guys? Typically, I like good guys good, and bad guys bad. Yet I really enjoyed the Suicide Squad movie, so I try to keep an open mind. And oh yeah…this has a vampire, the Frankenstein monster, and Swamp Thing. So that settles that, as I’m a sucker for monsters. Especially the Frankenstein monster. Have you ever read any of the Dean Koontz novels featuring him? I’ve just read the first one so far, and if you have preconceived notions of Boris Karloff staggering around in those extra-large Herman Munster boots, Koontz gives us a different look at the monster, one that would make Mary Shelley proud. Anyway, back to Justice League Dark. These anti-heroes are stuck on a small piece of what appears to be all that’s left of the Earth. And we go from there. I liked it, even though I didn’t know what came before. That’s part of the fun of these Walmart 3-packs. I’m reading titles I’ve never explored (especially lots of New 52 comics) and discovering some good ones. Being that I hadn’t bought any new DC titles since 2003, each issue is a new realm for me, and it’s been a lot of fun. The cover price of Justice League Dark #36 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.
Cool comics in my collection #487: The New 52: Futures End #13, September 2014.
I’ve covered a few Futures End titles here in cool comics, but each of them seemed to go with a specific ongoing series. I hadn’t realized Futures End also had its own ongoing series that ran 48 issues. This particular issue features Batman Beyond, Big Barda, and Emiko. I believe this is the first comic I’ve read with Batman Beyond, although I’m familiar with him. Emiko was completely new to me, being that she had her first appearance a decade after I’d gone cold turkey on comic books. With these factors in mind, and considering that all the Futures End titles take place five years in the future from when they were written, and factoring in that this is issue 13 and I missed a bunch of what happened previously, it was a decent read. If you’re a fan of the New 52, or wonder if it’s still relevant after Rebirth, perhaps the answer lies somewhere outside the “52” multiverses. Which takes us to Dark Nights: Metal #1, directly below. The cover price of The New 52: Futures End #13 is $2.99, while the current value is $3.
Cool comics in my collection #488: Dark Nights: Metal #1, October 2017.
As a kid in the Seventies, I cut my teeth on mostly Marvel Comics. When it was time to ride my bike to Slicks (a little newsstand/party store/candy haven) in search of new issues to buy, Marvel titles were the ongoing comics I bought, most of the time. Most of my DC Comics from those days came from either the drug store where my father worked, when they got in the 100-page issues, or over in Wheeling, WV, at The Paradox Bookstore, a used bookstore that sold older comic books for just a dime apiece. I picked up some cool Strange Adventures and House of Mystery comics, along with other DC Comics that typically frightened me just a little. It wasn’t until the early Eighties that I gave DC a serious look, and that collecting period was short-lived. Then, from 1993 until 2003, I read lots of different titles, and while I enjoyed a variety of DC Comics, most of my monthly buys were Marvel. So now that I’m buying some new comics once more, I decided to pick up this limited series. When I first got it, I didn’t realize it was crossing over into so many different ongoing titles, which I’m not going to buy. So the question is, is it worth it to read the six issues alone? I know I’ll miss out on some of what’s going on (that’s typically the case with these kinds of mini-series), but I’m limiting how many ongoing titles I buy each month. I did some digging around on the Internet to learn a little about it, and how it ties in with the idea of 52 multiverses, a Dark Multiverse (isn’t that always lovely?), and how the series is very Batman-centric, along with DC’s other famous heavy hitters. But there’s a cost factor ($…BINGO), and the first issue was $4.99, and I’m guessing the final 5 will also cost the same. Does anyone out there have advice? Does anyone believe this series will be worth it, both from a reading and DC historical factor? Feel free to chime in via the comments section below. The cover price of Dark Nights: Metal #1 is $4.99, while the current value is $5.
Cool Comics Classics
Cool comics in my collection #489: World’s Finest Comics #158, June 1966.
This cool comics classic dates pretty far back in time, and I was just a wee lad of 3, going on 4, when it appeared at your local newsstand. As you can see from the cover, Superman and Batman appear to be outclassed by this giant, and that’s because they are in a bottled city. Not Kandor, but there are three other Kryptonian bottled cities in this issue, and things would have been fine if only Robin and Jimmy Olsen had left well enough alone. But they found these tiny cities and couldn’t resist shrinking themselves and going for a visit. When Superman and Batman discover the shrinking machine has been used, they realize their best course of action is to do the same, and save the youngsters. But there’s a problem. Superman’s powers don’t work in any of them, due to the colors of the artificial sun in each. Will they survive? No spoilers here, lol! This issue also comes with some short stories, such as Super-Turtle and Roy Raymond TV Detective. As always in older comics, I give each advertisement a good look, because so much of the fun comes from there! The cover price of World’s Finest Comics #158 is 12¢, while the current value is $90.
Recently Read Digital Comics
One of the earlier collections I read on the comiXology app was Doctor Strange, Volume 1: The Way of the Weird. I really liked it and bought Doctor Strange, Volume 2, The Last Days of Magic, when it was on sale via Amazon. This collection covers issues #6-10 of the series that started in 2015, along with the single issue Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic comic. These issues concern a group of aliens called the Empirikul, and they are out to destroy all magic in every dimension. While it had some interesting ideas and plotlines, it didn’t grab me the way the first volume did. I don’t mind having spent the money and taking the time to read it, but this is definitely one of those cases in which I’m glad I bought the digital version, since I am often able to buy them for a fraction of the price of the original issues and trades.
A few months back I mentioned the Prime Reading program that Amazon now has for Prime members. Besides books and magazines, single comic books and collections are also available to read as part of your Prime membership. It’s a really nice deal, and worth taking a look at every month or so to see what the current offerings happen to be. My advice is, if you happen to see some comics on there you want to read, download them, even if you won’t get to them for a while (you can have up to 10 at a time), because you never know if they might switch out some issues. I finally got around to watching Jessica Jones on Netflix, so I jumped on the opportunity to read the first 9 issues of Alias, collected as Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1, and the comparison was quite interesting. It’s a Max title, and as you may know, they are definitely on the more mature side. Really, Marvel doesn’t need to go there, because if you put out a good story, you can keep it cleaner. And the comic version was much cleaner than the Netflix show. I think if you remove about a minute and a half from the Netflix series, it would have a wider audience. The stuff they put in that keeps the kids from seeing it, and many adults, too, is so unnecessary, but that’s just my opinion. I like my stories and superheroes more on the clean-cut side.
My wife and I had a little getaway to Millersburg, Ohio, this past Labor Day weekend (a continuance of our 30th Anniversary celebration), and I didn’t want to pack up any comics, so I just took my tablet with me. This is one of the reasons I love digital comics. I had dozens at my fingertips on one device. After shopping and eating, eating and shopping, I kicked back in bed and finished the Jessica Jones: Alias collection while Melissa watched a movie. It was getting late on the last night there, so I wanted something shorter, and I just so happened to have Daredevil #1 on my tablet, which is a nice companion piece to the Netflix series (I’m closing in on being halfway through season 2). It’s been years since I read his origin story (Son of Origins of Marvel Comics…back in the Seventies!), and in my retro mind, it still holds up quite well.