Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 136, 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 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 136…
Cool Comics News!
This coming Saturday, May 5, will be the 17th Annual celebration of Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), which is always the first Saturday in May. If you’re a comic book reader, whether serious or casual, this is an event you don’t want to miss, in which you can get free comic books…and that’s always a good thing! FCBD gives you an opportunity to try titles and companies you’ve never experienced before, so don’t forget! Probably every comic book shop in the nation (and even internationally) will be participating in the event, along with some bookstores, and even libraries sometimes carry free comic books for this day. So what comic books are available? There will be 50 different titles this year. Most stores will limit you on how many you can actually get, but if you have several comic shops in your area, why not visit several and get all the titles you want? And while you’re there, I suggest looking around to see what else the store is carrying, because I believe in supporting your local comic book shop. Click the FCBD logo here, watch the video at their website to get excited for this Saturday, then scroll down the page and check out the video that shows all 50 of the comics you could potentially get this Saturday. And starting next week, Cool Comics will be featuring a new section, FCBD the Cool Comics Way. Each week I’ll read one of the 50 titles from my stack of free comics and give you my impressions of it in that weird way I always do.
Cool Comics Battle of the Week!
Your Cool Comics Battle of the Week is Wolverine versus Batman! What do you think would happen if they faced each other in a titanic tussle, and how do you see the winner achieving victory? Let us know in the comments section below.
Cool Comics in My Collection
#640 — Hunt For Wolverine #1, Marvel Comics, April 2018.
They killed Wolverine? I remember making a comment about this before, back in the early fall when I started reading new comic books again, and there was a sneaky appearance by Logan in Marvel Legacy. Then they started putting Wolverine at the end of a few more comics over the last couple months, all culminating in this special one-shot Hunt For Wolverine comic that finally…well, what does it finally tell us that we don’t already know? Oh yeah, it leads to four mini-series of four issues each, which makes 16 issues, sort of like the recent Avengers weekly ongoing story. Honestly, a couple of these “Hunt For Wolverine” mini-series have some characters I really like (Spider-Man, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, for example), but sometimes you just have to draw the line and spend your money on something else (like coffee and cheese, for example). Perhaps I’ll read the digital versions via comiXology someday, which works well enough for me. But I’m not disappointed that I bought and read this issue, because it helped fill in some gaps. By the way, as an Ohio State Buckeye grad, there are lots of potential jokes here, but I don’t want to alienate my Michigan readers. The cover price of Hunt For Wolverine #1 is $5.99, while the current value is $6.
#641 — The Last Fantastic Four Story #1, Marvel Comics, October 2007.
I recently picked this up at my local comic shop from a quarter box. And I can see you now, steam coming out of your ears, because you haven’t been able to find a comic shop that still has quarter boxes. Anyway, I went on a Saturday when everyone else in my household had somewhere else to go, and I didn’t have plans. And there they were, five long boxes, stuffed with comics for just a quarter each, and another long box that had 50 cent and dollar comics. You can’t expect to find specific things when you search through about a thousand comics, but you can usually find fun things you want to read. Yes, I got myself a nice pile, but I also included comics for each of my three kids, which made it an especially rewarding trip. Anyway, the cover to this one intrigued me, and I figured the Fantastic Four would face a nemesis that had them fighting tooth and nail to survive, or perhaps an apocalyptic scenario in which some sort of weapon has destroyed most of the earth, but the Four were all turned into zombies…or maybe they go into space in a rocket, get hurled into the future, and land on the Planet of the…okay, maybe my expectations, along with my imagination, got the best of me. Written by Stan Lee and drawn by John Romita, Jr., this comic was worth every penny (which just added up to 25 pennies, plus tax!), but it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for. Still, what a deal! The cover price of The Last Fantastic Four Story #1 is $4.99, while the current value is $5.
Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap
#642 — House of Secrets #6, DC Comics/Vertigo, March 1997.
When DC’s Vertigo imprint put out the first issue of volume two of House of Secrets in October 1996, I bought it, mostly because it made me think back to buying older copies of the original series from a used book store in Wheeling, West Virginia, in the early Seventies. The owner didn’t get new comics, but he had used comics on sale for just a dime each. A good many of the DC comics I bought from him were horror or weird anthology titles such as House of Secrets. I can’t remember the story from that first issue from 1996, but having just read #6 (pulled out of my legendary longbox), maybe there’s a reason I didn’t buy any more of them back in the Nineties. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the story was poorly written, or the art was indecipherable; instead, it was emotionally draining. It features a guy at his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and he tells the group that if he didn’t go to it, there would be consequences from his wife. Later, we learn why he drinks, and maybe we feel he’s even somewhat justified in this decision. I can’t pretend to know what it’s like for someone going through these experiences we see in House of Secrets, but it certainly pushed my empathy button. The cover price of House of Secrets #6 is $2.50, while the current value is $3.
Cool Comics Classics
#643 — Batman #195, DC Comics, September 1967.
I absolutely love digging through back issue boxes to find older, affordable comic books. Of course, the further in time you go back, especially if it’s a popular character or title, the more money you usually have to shell out to get your hands on these goodies. At the same time, our dollars are helping our favorite local comic shops stay in business, giving us a place to find back issues and getting in new stuff that comes out each week to satisfy our comic book cravings. Batman is the first superhero I can remember becoming obsessed with, and it was all because of the Sixties TV show. I loved it so much that my parents got me a toy Batmobile that I could ride around on, along with a Batman utility belt I proudly strapped around my waist. I remember that the Batmobile was tough on shoes if you continually scooted yourself around the block on it, which I did. Anyway, I recently decided I needed to find an old issue of Batman, preferably one from the period when I first came to love the Bat. I’m not overly picky when it comes to buying older comics. There are many collectors who are willing and able to purchase pristine issues at top dollar. As for me, I figure the less I spend, the more I can get. For example, this issue of Batman #195 was selling at my LCS for $6. A sticker on the protective bag it was placed in told me it had a subscription crease, and I could see that the bottom right corner of the cover was a little torn and raggedy. No big deal, as I could still read it and enjoy the fact that I now owned this Batman comic from 1967. Okay, I admit that I would rather have it at a high grade, but sometimes we must make compromises, and it’s just fun to have this piece of history. And this issue had an extra bonus inside, as one of the fan letters was written by Tony Isabella, the guy who later created Black Lightning (with artist Trevor Von Eeden) for DC Comics. I’ve met Tony at a couple different comic cons, so I got a big kick out of seeing his letter, which is pictured here for your reading pleasure (click the letter for a much larger image). The cover price of Batman #195 is 12¢, while the current value is $170.
Recently Read Digital Comics
A few months ago, this giant Zatanna collection, with much of it written by Paul Dini, was on sale at a price I couldn’t refuse (I can’t recall what I paid, but somewhere under $10…it’s normally $29.99 on comiXology). At 438 pages, it contains Zatanna 1-16, the entire series that ran from 2010-2011, along with Zatanna: Everyday Magic, a one-shot Vertigo comic from 2003 that now sells for $40. I hadn’t read many comics at all with this backwards speaking spellcaster, and I was probably more familiar with her from the Young Justice cartoon of a few years back. I liked most of the stories, but the backward spells tend to get annoying if you actually try to read them (yes, for those of you who have never read a comic with Zatanna, they do put in the words spelled backwards, which is how she is able to perform her brand of magic). I’m not sure who wins in a fight between her and the Potter, kid, but it would be fun to watch.
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