Remembering the Eighties!

Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 116, 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.

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 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 116…

 

Cool Comics News!

Last week in Cool Comics News I pondered gift ideas for the comic book lover in your life, and suggestions both in the comments here and in other forums included gift cards to comic shops, tickets to a local comic convention, separate issues/trade paperbacks, and just about everything comic book related, except for boxer shorts in tin cans with super heroes plastered all over! This week, as we get closer to the holiday, I’d love to hear your suggestions of specific comics to buy for those who don’t read comics. Again, single issues, collections, and graphic novels are fine. For example, you may want to give the Maus graphic novel to a history buff. Let’s try to have some fun with this, and maybe it will give the rest of us some ideas, in the comment section below.

 

Cool Comics

 Cool comics in my collection #555: Marvel Comics Digest #3, December 2017.

Although they aren’t the easiest on my eyes, I really appreciate and enjoy these Marvel Comics Digests. Containing reprints from the Sixties to the present, this is an opportunity for fans to read some issues they might be missing in their collections, or to remind them of which era of comics they enjoyed the most. Issue #3 has some fun Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Thor stories, including issues #154-157, featuring the Mangog in his attempt to usher in Ragnarok. One of the reasons I enjoy these is because I hadn’t bought any new comics from mid-2003 until a few months ago, and it’s always interesting to see what’s gone on in the lives and adventures of these characters. And you get a pretty good value, considering that there are ten stories in each, and over 200 pages of comic book digest fun! The advertising for these is sort of funny, as they continually bill them as a one-time only printing, even though they contain all reprints. But in this format, grab them while you can if you want to travel through time with some of your favorite Marvel heroes. The cover price of Marvel Comics Digest #3 is $6.99, while the current value is $7.

 

Cool comics in my collection #556: Riverdale #8, January 2018.

If you can’t get enough of the quirky TV show Riverdale on The CW, then you may just want to start reading Riverdale, the comic. It’s a companion piece to the show, with stories that fall in between episodes. Issue #8 provides an interesting take as Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead take a road trip to New York City. Veronica wants Archie to spend time with her and her old friends, while Betty and Jughead explore the city. The timing for this issue was pretty spot on, as in a recent episode of the TV show, Archie and Jughead discussed the possibility of living in NYC someday. While the comic (so far) hasn’t been as quirky as the TV show, and the stories are fairly self-contained, it does provide further character development and reveals some interesting tidbits about the teens so many of us have grown up with. The cover price of Riverdale #8 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.

 

Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap

Cool comics in my collection #557: E-Man #3, June 1983.

Somewhere between 1988 and 1992, I found some comic books in bundled packs at a discount store in Akron, Ohio. It could have been a Big Lots, but I no longer remember. What I do remember is seeing a display table with these bundled comics I’d never before heard of. I hadn’t bought any comic books since 1982, and these were published by a company called First Comics. I think they were three for $1, and I bought a few packs of them. I remember reading them all, but because I had no background with the characters, I couldn’t always understand everything that was going on. One of the issues was E-Man #5, but when I read issue 3 a few days ago, I can’t claim I remember the other one at all. Yet E-Man didn’t originate with First Comics. He actually got his start with Charlton in 1973, but throughout the Seventies, my comics were mostly Marvel, with a scattering of DC. If you’re a fan of the X-Men, and enjoy parody, you may want to check out this issue. It’s pretty obvious by the cover what’s being done here. First Comics didn’t conform to the Comic Code Authority, and there are a few things in this issue that made that fact clear. Whereas most modern comics can be read in 10 to 15 minutes, this one takes at least twice as long, so if you like lots of dialogue, there you go. And best of all? It cost me less than 5¢. The cover price of E-Man #3 is $1, while the current value is $3.

 

Cool Comics Classics

Cool comics in my collection #558: The Fury of Firestorm #4, September 1982.

I’m stepping back to the Eighties once again this episode, as the Cool Comics Classic takes us to issue four of Firestorm’s second volume. When Firestorm, The Nuclear Man, hit the shelves in 1978, I was at the end of my first phase of comic book purchases, and didn’t give his (or is it “their,” since the character consists of both Ronnie Raymond and Professor Martin Stein?) comic a glance. But when phase 2 of my life with comic books launched in 1982, I wanted to try a few new things, and The Fury of Firestorm #1 beckoned me with open arms. I loved it from the start, and enjoyed the idea of two individuals making up one Superhero. “Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!” As you can see from the cover, Firestorm also grabbed the attention of some big guns, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Zatanna, and Red Tornado. And, of course, Crystal Frost couldn’t resist a battle between fire and ice. The cover price of The Fury of Firestorm #4 is 60¢, while the current value is $4.

 

Recently Read Digital Comics

Get This Book
Did you happen to see the fantastic Black Friday sales on comiXology and Amazon? I couldn’t resist picking up some collections I’ve been interested in reading, and Super Sons Vol. 1: When I Grow Up, didn’t disappoint. I’ve been hearing some buzz over the last few months about what a fun read it is, and I have to agree. Reading it made me feel like a kid again, and these first six digital issues make for some cool comics. If you’re not familiar with Super Sons, the series features Jonathan Kent, the son of Lois and Clark, in the Rebirth DC Universe. He’s young, not even a teenager yet, and as his superpowers continue to develop, he needs to learn when and how to use them. Damien Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, is smart, resourceful, and stubborn. Sounds like a chip off the old Bat. I loved these first six issues and will be reading the next collection sometime in the future (and be sure to let me know if you see Vol. 2 on sale…once it’s available!).

 

I’ve seen some people comment that when Aquaman is done right, his comics are every bit as good as anything else out there, which is exactly my feeling after finishing Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning (contains Aquaman: Rebirth, and Aquaman #1-6). By no means am I an Aquaman expert (before this collection, I’d only read 18 issues from various volumes of the King of Atlantis), but I know what I like, and when my finger can’t seem to turn digital pages fast enough, that’s evidence that I’m in the reading zone and far removed from everything else going on around me. And Aquaman takes us to another world, both underwater and on the surface, as politics, revenge, and prejudice lead to a clash between Aquaman and…but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t had the pleasure yet of discovering this title. One last thing I enjoyed about this were some of the jokes about Aquaman being the “fish” guy. Who doesn’t appreciate their comics—especially when serious matters are taking place—being infused with some comedy?

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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