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Archive for September, 2011

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #27

16 Sep

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!


Marvel Comics Presents #27
Cover Date: Early September 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Al Milgrom


Havok in “Pharaoh’s Legacy” part 4
written by Howard Mackie
art by Rich Buckler

 
Havok locates the Cairo Confectioneers Warehouse and discovers the Cult of the Living Pharaoh is, indeed, there – and they’ve got his new girlfriend, Leila O’Toole captive. Now he has to fight his way through the Cult’s enforcers – the Trackers.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 15
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
Miyo Moshigo uses the Black Panther‘s distraction to beat a hasty retreat but Zanti Chikane comes to the rescue! Unfortunately, during the vicious attack, a fire is loosed upon the village, ravaging Theodore Olebogeng, one of the young children.

Coldblood in “Rise and Shine” part 2
written by Doug Moench
art by Paul Gulacy

 
After defeating the Pursuer, Coldblood-7 reprograms it to lead him back to its controllers. Eventually, he comes to a wall and notices that his body starts to shut down. Someone wants to keep him away from this area. But who? He soon discovers a woman’s voice in his head that leads him through the city maze to the controllers’ base. To prevent him from invading their complex, they unleash their robotic henchmen. But, deep within the complex, the mystery woman watches and hopes that Coldblood will reach her.

American Eagle in “Just Another Shade of Hate
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Ron Wilson

 
When the Knights of Saint Virgil launch an attack on Dr. Cobleskill and “the Movement”, the American Eagle steps in to take down the racist villains. When he police arrive at the scene, Eagle grabs reporter Ms. Cargill and flees the scene. He attempts to convince her that Cobleskill actually hired the Knights to spark a racial conflict that would draw support to his cause. And, later, at a rally, Cobleskill is revealed as the Peace Monger, a mutant with the ability to siphon hatred and turn it into physical power. With his power, he intends to bring about peace between all men – even if he has to accomplish it by killing them all. So, it’s up to the Native American hero, the American Eagle to swoop in and defeat him.

The mystery of the Coldblood story deepens and the American Eagle tale provides a wonderful insight into racial movements. It was easily my favorite of this issue’s four stories.

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Havok | Black Panther | Coldblood
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Black Panther | Mutant X (aka Havok)

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #26

16 Sep

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!


Marvel Comics Presents #26
Cover Date: Late August 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Paul Gulacy


Havok in “Pharaoh’s Legacy” part 3
written by Howard Mackie
art by Rich Buckler

 
With his new girlfriend captured, Havok journeys to some seedy places in Australia to find a clue as to where she is. Along the way, he finds one of the mercenaries who left him for dead employs some force to get some information out of him. He reveals that the Trackers have taken Leila O’Toole to the Cairo Confectioneers Warehouse in Egypt.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 14
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
Miyo Moshigo is the man who has been ambushed by his fellow villagers. And, as the mob hurls him out of his home into the street to kill him, the Black Panther leaps into action. Amid the battle, Moshigo reveals that he was not wrongly accused by the men. Revitalized in their anger, the mob overwhelms both the Panther and the traitor.

Coldblood in “Rise and Shine” part 1
written by Doug Moench
art by Paul Gulacy

 
Coldblood-7 patrols the streets of New York – now filled with scavenging animals. His onboard computer reveals that the city has fallen into such a state because the Maker has had his way with it. It also reveals that he is the fifth model of his generation of urban soldier cyborgs. In his quest to discover his identity, the onboard computer grafted to his brain can only refer to him as the Target. And, it seems he’s caught up in a deadly game of tag. His pursuer is an Elite Pursuer-9 assault tank!

Hulk in “Splashdown
written by Peter David
art by Jeff Purves

 
Mr. Fixit (aka the Hulk) has been sent to collect the considerable amount of Las Vegas casino debt that Jonas Marlin owes. Unfortunately for him, he only has half of the cash on hand. In a desperate bid for survival, he offers Mr. Fixit’s employer a percentage interest in his business – the Marlinworld aquarium/theme park. And, while touring the park, Shandu (the killer whale) goes berserk! Naturally, the only one present who can tame the beast is the Hulk but, it’ll cost ya!

In this issue, Moench & Gulacy debut their cyborg hero, Coldblood-7. It hasn’t been revealed yet but, it seems like this is an alternate future. It may not even be set within the Mainstream Marvel Universe (although, I seem to remember catching a glimpse of him during Marvel’s Civil War. It seems like a slight rip-off of Marvel’s original Deathlok concept from the 1970s but, even still, I’m interested to learn more. And, as silly as the Hulk feature may seem, it’s actually a prelude to the inter-annual-crossover, Atlantis Attacks!

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Havok | Black Panther | Coldblood | Hulk | Atlantis Attacks
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Black Panther | Mutant X (aka Havok) | Hulk

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #25

16 Sep

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!


Marvel Comics Presents #25
Cover Date: Early August 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Kevin Maguire


Havok in “Pharaoh’s Legacy” part 2
written by Howard Mackie
art by Rich Buckler

 
Havok uses his powers to blast free of the net and delay the attackers long enough for him and Leila to steal their flying ship and escape. The couple spends the next few days experiencing Australia together as a romance between them buds. Soon enough, the cult’s hunters have tracked them down again and this time the Living Pharaoh (although, it’s a new guy in the costume) is with them. In the attack, the squad captures Leila and leaves Havok for dead.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 13
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
South African Minister of Security Doeke Riebeeck and Magistrate of Communcations Anton Pretorius angrily debate the implications of killing the Black Panther, now that he’s invaded their country. Riebeeck feels that it may come down to the death of the invader but Pretorius fears that his death may cause international repercussions. Meanwhile, back in Zanti’s neighborhood, the villagers have formed a mob and are attacking a man who they believe is to be a traitor to their people.

Nth Man in “… From Little Acorns Grow
written by Larry Hama
art by Ron Wagner

 
Once again, John Doe & Alfie Doe are in trouble in Iowa’s Merrivale Home For Boys. The administrator, Elmore, recalls how the boys were dropped off at the home by a women who looked like she had burst into flames from the inside out. The woman warned them that one of the boys was very, very good … and one was very, very bad. And, locked in their room as punishment, we discover that these boys are able to project themselves into their very own futures. They call it looking at “could-be” stuff – and this time they go into the future to discover John Doe is the CIA’s number one operative. They also find Alfie’s in charge of nuclear missiles! But, they’re abruptly woken out of their “could-be” journey to meet the O’Meagan couple – Alfie’s new, adopted parents!

Ursa Major in “Sophia
written by John Figueroa
art by Ron Wilson

 
One of the Soviet Super Soldiers, Ursa Major, is on vacation in the mountains, when he meets a young girl named Sophia Ilyitch Kharkova. And, three days later, he discovers her mother in an ambulance – badly beaten. Mikhail assumes his bear-form to rescue the young girl from her attackers.

This issue marks the first appearance of Nth Man and is a prelude to his ongoing series that went on to last for 16 issues. Unfortunately, the Black Panther feature was mostly filler, as was Ursa Major’s.

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Havok | Black Panther | Nth Man | Soviet
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Black Panther | Mutant X (aka Havok) |Nth Man

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #24

16 Sep

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!


Marvel Comics Presents #24
Cover Date: Late July 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Erik Larsen with Al Gordon


Cyclops in “the Retribution Affair” conclusion
written by Bob Harras
art by Ron Lim

 
As Cyclops attacks Master Mold physically, the Sentinel is doing battle with Conscience, in its programming. But, the final blow is delivered by Banshee (his powers have been restored by the cure for the Retribution Cirus that Moira just developed). Conscience drops our heroes off on Muir Island and brings the Sentinel ship into orbit, destroying himself, Master Mold and the ship with its auto-destruct program.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 12
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
This issue spotlights Zanti Chikane as he has rejoined his family in their home. As his children play, he explains to his wife, Miriam, that he desires to continue to aid the Black Panther in his quest to find his mother.

Shamrock in “I Haven’t Got Time For The Pain
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Dennis Jensen

 
Shamrock returns home when she learns of her brother’s death, and reunites with he estranged father. But, her father blames her for the death of her brother, Paddy, at the hands of terrorists and he drgus her. Now the captive of her father and a glitchy Arnim Zola, Shamrock’s good luck powers are intended to be used against the Irish terrorists. Under his investigation, Zola learns that Shamrock’s powers are driven by the souls of innocents killed in war. Those same powers help her break free and defeat the former Nazi villain. However, she’s still left to face the more threatening foe – her disaproving father.

Havok in “Pharaoh’s Legacy” part 1
written by Howard Mackie
art by Rich Buckler

 
On break from the X-Men in the Australian Outback, Havok stops on the side of the road to help a young woman named Leila O’Toole with her car troubles. The couple quickly find themselves under attack by laser-shooting men in flying ships. Havok’s powers make short work of them but not before they destroy his car, too. He and the girl decide to start the long walk to the nearest town. On their trip, Leila explains how she was indoctrinated into a cult that worshipped the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. But, when she learned that the cult demanded human sacrifices, she ran – and has been running from them ever since. This attack was their latest move against her – they don’t allow anyone to leave. At the end of this chapter, Havok and Leila find themselves ransacked and netted by a strike force.

The Cyclops story reached its conclusion with this issue and, it was certainly a neat story for the X-Man (actually, he was a member of X-Factor, at the time). Ron Lim’s art was great (as always) and the new character Conscience was a very entertaining villain (with a heart of gold). It played an important part in Banshee‘s history (he was depowered years prior to this in Uncanny X-Men #119) and the plot of a mutant-killing virus that spreads to humans is later echoed with Stryfe‘s Legacy Virus.

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Cyclops | Black Panther | Shamrock | Havok
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Cyclops | Black Panther | Mutant X (aka Havok)

 

Famous Fanmail #76 George R.R. Martin

15 Sep

You may not be surprised to learn that most people in the comic business grew up reading comic books. However, you might be interested in knowing what they were reading. Here’s a look at “Famous Fanmail”!

George R.R. Martin (HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on his A Song of Ice and Fire series) is back again with another letter to the Fantastic Four. This one was published in Fantastic Four #34 (cover date – January 1965). Here he is chastising Marvel for letting their Special Announcements Section devolve into nothing but boring, uninteresting advertisements – instead of the hot source of news he once loved.

Fantastic Four letters page with George R.R. Martin

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | George R.R. Martin
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four | George R.R. Martin

 

Connecting Covers #4 Kiss: Psycho Circus

14 Sep

A fun aspect of comic books is that sometimes their covers combine to make an even larger image. Here’s a look at some connecting covers.

To celebrate Brian Holguin‘s four part Destroyer storyline, Angel Medina created four covers, each featuring a different member of KISS, that combine into one image. You can click the image below to enlarge it and take a better look at the art.

Kiss: Psycho Circus #10 11 12 13

On Ebay: Kiss
On AtomicAvenue: Kiss

 

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #76 Mary Jane

13 Sep

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

Mary Jane and the mini-series that followed were great comics full of cute slice-of-life stories written by Sean McKeever and excellently illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa. Certainly a strange source for Marvel Zombies to take from…

Mary Jane #2
Mary Jane #2
September 2004
Takeshi Miyazawa
Marvel Zombies Hardcover (5th printing)
Marvel Zombies Hardcover (5th printing)
 
Arthur Suydam

On Ebay: Mary Jane | Marvel Zombies
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Zombies | Mary Jane

 

One-Shot At Greatness #76 Iron Lantern

12 Sep

Because publishers want you to buy their product every month, comics are typically serial in nature. However, occasionally (and more often nowadays than ever before) publishers launch a comic title that is only meant to last for one issue. While ongoing series often have multiple chances to hook in new readers, the comics highlighted in this ongoing investigations only had One-Shot At Greatness!

Iron Lantern #1Publisher: Amalgam Comics
Cover Date: June 1997
Cover Price: $1.95
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Paul Smith

When the DC and Marvel Universes merged in Marvel vs DC, a new one was created: the Amalgam Universe. This one-shot combined Iron Man with Green Lantern.

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

Pepper Ferris has resumed her malicious role as Madame Sapphire and sent Great White to destroy everyone attending Stark’s reception for Senator Ferris. As Iron Lantern battles the giant robotic shark, his friends Happy & Rhodes have to defender his power source from Kyle O’Brien, who intends to steal it to become the new Iron Lantern again. And, just who is the mastermind behind all of these attacks on the Iron Lantern?

I truly had high hopes for this story, mainly because Kurt Busiek was attached as the writer. And, the opening page showed Oa, the Living Planet - a combination of Ego and Oa – which I thought was ingenious! But, the story got quickly bogged down by way too many developing plots before it could come to any reasonable conclusion. And, in fact, it doesn’t. This is probably the only Amalgam comic to end on a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger that, due to the very nature of the Amalgam universe, will never be followed up on. For shame!

On Ebay: Amalgam | Kurt Busiek | Paul Smith
On AtomicAvenue: Amalgam Comics

 

Famous Fanmail #75 George R.R. Martin

08 Sep

You may not be surprised to learn that most people in the comic business grew up reading comic books. However, you might be interested in knowing what they were reading. Here’s a look at “Famous Fanmail”!

As previously seen, George R.R. Martin (HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on his A Song of Ice and Fire series) was a Fantastic Four. Here’s another letter that he got published in Fantastic Four #32 (cover date – November 1964) at the age of 17. In this letter he pokes fun at Reed Richards who pronounced the Puppet Master dead in issue #8 … only to find the villain alive again in issue #14. Some scientist, huh?

Fantastic Four letters page with George R.R. Martin

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | George R.R. Martin
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four | George R.R. Martin

 

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #13 Sept. 2011

07 Sep

Here’s a look back at the previous month in online comic sales.

Number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section: 1,577,772 (+0.75% from last month; -11.53% from last year)
Number of those that are Cyberspace Comics listings: 5,400 (-12.69%; -9.33%)
My “market share” of comic listings on eBay: .34225% (-13.75%; +2.49%)

Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions: 78,219
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction: 4.96%

My current eBay feedback (unique): 12,817
My current eBay feedback (total): 26,525
My postive eBay feedback score: 100%

Position Dollar Sales # of Current Listings
First Underground Bad Girls (680 listings)
Second Marvel Comics (↑) Marvel Comics (567 listings)
Third DC Comics (↑) Image Comics (496 listings)
Fourth TPBs (↑) Other Indies (419 listings)
Fifth Other Indies DC Comics (348 listings)

 
Number of listings on Atomic Avenue: 1,439,416 (+1.05%)
Number of those that are in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue: 41,799 (+8.35%)
My “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue: 2.9039% (+7.22%)
My estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders: 7.51% (+14.83%)