Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 107, 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 107…
Cool Comics News!
When comic book companies have been around for multiple decades, sometimes they need to stir the pot a bit to keep readers reading, or bring back those who felt the ship was sinking. And sometimes the continuity is so convoluted, it just seems like the right thing to do. And sometimes it seems completely unnecessary, and you find yourself scratching your head as to why your favorite heroes are now a little different. We all have our own opinions on which major change worked and which didn’t, from Crisis to Heroes Reborn to the New 52 to Rebirth, and now to Legacy. As constant readers of Cool Comics know, I’ve read a handful of Rebirth titles via Walmart 3-Packs. When this newest DC event started, I wasn’t reading comic books regularly. But I’ve started weekly visits to Kenmore Komics once more, so I’m actually on the ground floor for Marvel’s Legacy, and I’m going to be bringing you my views of the first issue of each one I decide to buy (we’ve been promised 53, including several that are one-shots…I can’t afford to get them all). I hope you enjoy my brand of coverage, and please feel free to leave family friendly comments in the Reply section below.
Cool comics in my collection #509: Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America #1, November 2017.
As a prelude to Legacy, Marvel published Generations, basically 10 One-Shots that featured related heroes, with one character thrown out of time, as a sort of bridge. I hadn’t read Marvel Comics for 14 years (with the exception of a few digital titles, which I just started reading this year), but I’m aware that they’ve fallen out of favor in the minds of many fans, not necessarily due to the stories themselves, per se, but mostly, from what I’ve read (though some will disagree, but I’m just stating what I’ve seen others say), because they’ve been replacing long-time favorite heroes with more diverse characters (some want their heroes to stay as they were created, and some say the same thing, but state there is a place for diverse characters, so just create new ones…and that’s all I’ve got to say about that). Personally, I’ve enjoyed the Generations titles, and especially so this last one, featuring Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers, both who’ve wielded the shield of Captain America. If you buy no other, this is the one to get. It’s different from the other nine titles in a couple ways. First, rather than one character finding themselves at a momentous point in time and then returning after their “mission” is complete, this character ends up living out a lifetime. Second, the other Generations characters are shown at the end of the issue, and we know that Legacy is coming next. This comic would make a great movie, if even a made for TV or Netflix type of movie. I felt it was that good. The cover price of Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America #1 is $4.99, while the current value is $5.
Cool comics in my collection #510: Marvel Legacy #1, November 2017.
The Marvel Legacy one-shot isn’t a necessity to enjoy the comics that follow, but it does a great job of setting the tone for what is to come from Marvel titles in the future. Oh, it also has a big reveal that doesn’t feel like much of a surprise, since I saw it on the Internet in the days leading up to its publication. For some of you, knowing this reveal will be the driving force behind spending your hard-earned dollars on the title. For others, you might say, “Ho-hum, it’s exactly what I expected.” When it comes to comic books, I like to let out my inner child, so I’m on the team that jumped on my banana seat bike and furiously peddled to the store and handed over my pocket full of change to the guy behind the counter. Yet, with all the change we’ve seen in the Big 2 companies since the Eighties, it’s no wonder so many have become cynical. The prices keep rising, and many fans no longer recognize their childhood heroes. But sometimes we have to look at comic books as if we were twelve years old once more, and see the magic on the page in a different light. For me, this issue does that. The cover price of Marvel Legacy #1 is $5.99, while the current value is $6.
Cool comics in my collection #511: Avengers #672, December 2017.
I wonder if anyone is keeping track of how many roster changes The Avengers title has undergone in its 54 years of existence? Fans of the movies who aren’t comic book readers may have no idea of just how many Marvel characters have served in that capacity. Who was on the team when you started reading The Avengers? The first issue I bought was in 1974, #125, and it has Vision, the Scarlet Witch, Captain America, and Thor on the cover, facing off against Thanos. Isn’t that a great introduction to the team? And while the first Legacy issue of Avengers (the idea of going back to “Legacy” numbering might jar some readers, especially as how this current Avengers series goes from #11 to #672) doesn’t quite match up to what 11-year-old me discovered between the pages 43 years ago, the fact that I’ve been away from Marvel for a while allowed me to discover some interesting new things. The lineup consists of Wasp, Thor, Falcon, Vision, Spider-Man, and Hercules. Only Wasp isn’t Janet Van Dyne, she’s Nadia Pym…and Thor is Jane Foster. New readers get even more thrown their way, as the Avengers are teamed up with The Champions. Old guys like me might say, “wait a minute, Hercules is a Champion, so how can he be an Avenger, too?” Only this is an entirely new team of Champions. And what heroes make up that team? Keep reading Cool Comics to find out when that issue becomes part of my collection. Originally, I wasn’t going to get The Champions, but they’ve created a multi-issue crossover with the two titles, hoping to hook readers in. Smart marketing so we could see if we like The Champions, or more reason to be upset with Marvel? I guess it depends on how each reader tends to look at things. The cover price of The Avengers #672 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.
Cool comics in my collection #512: Iron Fist #73, December 2017.
Iron Fist is one of the titles I’ve been most looking forward to with this Legacy rebranding, and issue #73 didn’t let me down at all. Though I didn’t mention this above for The Avengers, each of the first Legacy titles ends with three comic book pages of story that gives you some pertinent background for the title. If you’ve watched or are watching Iron Fist on Netflix, then you will notice that there are some differences in the origin, but the show does a nice job capturing the essence of Danny Rand’s origin (Note: Iron Fist seems to be the least favorite of the Netflix Marvel shows. As for me, I think it’s one of the best. I enjoy the background and all the character interactions that are used to set up the action sequences.). When you think of Sabretooth, I would venture to say that most comic book fans think of Wolverine. But Victor Creed’s animalistic alter-ego made his debut in Iron Fist #14 in 1977, so it’s fitting that the first Iron Fist Legacy title features Sabretooth. And you know what else is cool about these Legacy titles? Marvel Value Stamps are back! That’s right, folks, I’m sure you remember back in the Seventies how you whipped out your mother’s scissors and proceeded to mutilate your comic book collections so that you could have those little square pictures of your favorites sitting on your nightstand. The good news is, the Marvel Value Stamps are now on a special insert, so no cutting your comic books. And if you want to leave them in there, a code has been provided to collect them digitally. What will they think of next? The cover price of Iron Fist #73 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.
Cool comics in my collection #513: Spirits of Vengeance #1, December 2017.
This comic was strictly an impulse buy. When I looked through Previews a couple months back and carefully selected which comics I wanted my shop to pull for me, Spirits of Vengeance #1 didn’t make the cut. I actually like the characters being featured in this limited series, but I’m trying to be more cash conscious this time around in my weekly buys. And there it sat on the shelf, calling to me with that neat looking lenticular cover that mixed with Giant-Size X-Men #1, a comic most collectors would love to have in their collection. The other Legacy comics in my stack were just the regular cover versions. I picked it up. I put it back down. I looked around at other comics on the shelf. Then I picked it up again and bought it. One thing I quickly found out is that the lenticular covers don’t come with the Marvel Value Stamp, so that piece of nostalgia is missing. The story was okay. Not bad, not great. But again, I like the characters in it. Will I purchase the next four issues? It’s hard to say at this point, so it’s a big “maybe,” for now. The cover price of Spirits of Vengeance #1 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.
Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap
Cool comics in my collection #514: Slots #1 Ashcan, August 2017.
When it comes to Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap, never look a gift comic in the mouth (or the spines, staples, edges, creases…you get the picture). I started this newer section off by covering a couple issues from a long box I purchased for just $20, full of hundreds of issues. But sometimes we need to step away when other great deals come our way, and in this case, they came in the form of an Ashcan comic book given to me by my local comic shop owner. I haven’t read any Image comics since…well, I may have to go back to the Nineties. Dan Panosian gives us the story of an over-the-hill boxer in Las Vegas, acting as both writer and artist. Panosian was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and since I’m an Ohioan, I have to mention this fact! Anyway, this is not the typical heroes and villains story I usually cover here, but an interesting story nonetheless. Beware that the language isn’t child friendly, but the instances of mature language are slim in this ashcan. The regular first issue is now out, so if you enjoy the variety of stories Image Comics offers, you may want to pick up Slots before it’s gone. The cover price of Slots Ashcan #1 is free (from my understanding, the distribution was one per comic shop, making this somewhat rare, if you like the Ashcan sized comics), while the current value is $6.
Cool Comics Classics
Cool comics in my collection #515: The Amazing Spider-Man #344, February 1991.
I think this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man is the newest comic I’ve ever put in the category of Cool Comics Classics. Seriously, 1991 doesn’t seem that distant, does it? It’s almost shocking to think this came out over 26 years ago. I had it stored away with other back issues and recently, when I took it out to read, I discovered that it’s the first appearance of Cletus Kasady, who later becomes Carnage. And even though I’m not a fan of that villain, I like the idea that I have this issue. We also see the first appearance of Cardiac, and Spidey’s old pal Rhino is thrown in just for kicks. And his kicks hurt…a lot! I bought this, along with a handful of other Spider-Man comics, in the mid-Nineties when I’d started my third phase of comic book collecting, and wanted to catch up on Peter Parker and his friends. Sometimes we have small treasures sitting around and we don’t even realize it. Not that this is worth hundreds of dollars, but it does have a little comic book historical significance. The cover price of The Amazing Spider-Man #344 is $1, while the current value is $30.