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Archive for October, 2011

One-Shot At Greatness #81 Mangaverse X-Men

17 Oct

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!

Mavel Mangaverse: X-Men #1Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: March 2002
Cover Price: $2.25
Writer: C.B. Cebulski
Artist: Jeff Matsuda

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

Rogue has fled the X-Men because they’ve been unable to help her control her powers. She’s sought the aid of Amanda Sefton (a sorceress) and her foe, Magnus (an electromagnetic demon). Storm surmises that Magnus will attempt to take over Rogue’s physical form and, once he’s “grounded” in a body, Amanda Sefton will destroy him (along with Rogue’s body) to take her revenge. So, the X-Men race off to save their teammate. But, first they must battle through Sefton’s team of villains, the Azure (Nightcrawler, Mystique, and the Beast). Afterwards, they realize that Magnus has returned … but not in Rogue’s body … he’s in Colossus. And, the only thing that can stop him is Rogue with borrowed Phoenix powers!

This is probably the second best Mangaverse one-shot … but that’s not very high praise. There’s a lot going on here, plenty of characters to juggle and almost no characterization. It almost seems like halfway-decent fan-fiction. Perhaps the best part about this book is the opportunity for Matsuda to redesign the X-Characters. Unfortunately, most of them are fairly unimpressive or, at least, not much different than their established looks. But, I did take note of Cyclops’ cool (and unique) new look along with Storm’s afro puffs.

On Ebay: Mangaverse | X-Men | Jeff Matsuda
On AtomicAvenue: Mangaverse

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #31

14 Oct

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 #31
Cover Date: Early November 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Jon Bogdanove with Peter Craig Russell


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

 
Plasma reveals that everything that’s occurred over the past few days was a ruse to lure Havok into the clutches of the Cult of the Living Pharaoh. The Cult intended to use Havok’s power to empower a new leader – a descendant of the Living Pharaoh. Turns out that descendant is Plasma (she’s the Pharaoh’s niece) and she wants Havok to use his powers to energize her own powers. But Havok doesn’t like being used – he denies her the power and defeats her in battle.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 19
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
Patrick Slade is now dead at the hands of Gore, a South African mercenary. The information about the Black Panther‘s mother forever locked within his lifeless brain. Desperate for answers, the Panther visits Sarah Slade, newly widowed, to figure out his next move. She had a note there, left by one of the mercenaries, Strike, for him. The note essentially told him to “bug off” and it was signed Ramonda. His mother…

Coldblood in “Rise and Shine” part 6
written by Doug Moench
art by Paul Gulacy

Coldblood-7′s computer reveals how Eric Savin’s lifeless body was brought back to life by Mako’s surgeons and enhanced with cybernetics by Gina Dyson. Meanwhile, Mako and his team have tracked Coldblood to his location in the Las Vegas Lucky 7 Motel. A robotic agent of theirs meets with Coldblood to reveal that his friend, Gina, is now their captive. They’ve given him an offer: if he turns himself back in, they won’t kill her. He answers by destroying the robot.

Excalibur in “Having A Wild Weekend” part 1
written by Michael Higgins
art by Erik Larsen

The Loonies escape from Kitty Pryde’s computer and invade Excalibur‘s base. All six members (Guns Gummy, Rooster Cockburn, Billy Bird, Southpaw, the Ham, Tailgunner) quickly launch into attack mode! And, perhaps due to their surprise attack advantage, the “Looney Tunes” rip-offs defeat our heroes and lock them up within their Carrot Confinement Containers!

Well, the conclusion to Havok’s story certainly had a twist but, overall it wasn’t that much of an interesting story. Girl want power. Girl can’t have power. Fight! The Excalibur story features some nice art by Erik Larsen but I’m concerned it’ll stay in this “silly” vein for too long.

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

 

Famous Fanmail #80 Dave Cockrum

13 Oct

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”!

Here’s another letter from Dave Cockrum, X-Men artist. This one was published in Fantastic Four #49 (cover date – April 1966). In it, Cockrum complains about Stan & Jack creating “continued” stories. I suppose he’d prefer all one-and-done tales. He also suggests that the Inhumans get their own series (they later do!) and comments rather poignantly on Dragon Man.

Fantastic Four letters page with Dave Cockrum

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | Dave Cockrum
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four

 

Celebrity Cameos #23 Phil Donahue

12 Oct

Some of the best parts of movies like Old School and Zombieland are their unexpected celebrity cameos. The same thing happens in comics, every once in a while. Here’s a look at another Celebrity Cameo!

The Phil Donahue Show was the very first to utilize the talk show format. It ran for 26 years and had a significant impact during its run. In Silver Sable #18, the lead character was featured on Donahue!

On Ebay: Silver Sable
On AtomicAvenue: Silver Sable

 

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #80 Defenders of Dynatron City

11 Oct

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.

In 1992, LucasFilm Games released Defenders of Dynatron City for the NES. An animated pilot based on the characters was produced that same year and featured voice work by Christopher Walken and other notable actors. It failed to get picked up as an ongoing series but, the film was released on VHS (remember those?!). The property was also licensed by Marvel, and a six issue mini-series was published written by Steve Purcell (best known for creating Sam & Max).

Defenders of Dynatron City #1
Defenders of Dynatron City #1
February 1992
Frank Cirocco
Defenders of Dynatron City #6
Defenders of Dynatron City #6
July 1992
Frank Cirocco

On Ebay: Dynatron
On AtomicAvenue: Dynatron

 

One-Shot At Greatness #80 JLX Unleashed

10 Oct

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!

JLX: Unleashed #1Publisher: Amalgam Comics
Cover Date: June 1997
Cover Price: $1.95
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Oscar Jimenez

When the DC and Marvel Universes merged in Marvel vs DC, a new one was created: the Amalgam Universe. This one-shot combined the X-Men with the Justice League.

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

Mankind’s inter-species war has turned in favor of humanity and metamutantkind’s premiere team, JLX, has been imprisoned. But, now that Fin Fang Flame has been loosed upon the Earth by the Hellfire League of Injustice, Amazon has freed and joined the JLX. They, along with their new recruit, Chaos, may be the Earth’s only hope against the giant fiery dragon!

I’m always up for a super-team going up against a huge monster. And, when it’s the witty and smart Fin Fang Foom (c’mon – it’s him, for all intents and purposes), it’s even better! We get some new recruits this issue: Amazon (Storm/Wonder Woman) and Chaos (Havok), a near-death experience for one of our heros and some more limelight on Nightcreeper. Lots of fun action to be had here but, nothing serious and very little characterization.

On Ebay: Amalgam | Christopher Priest
On AtomicAvenue: Amalgam Comics

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #30

07 Oct

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 #30
Cover Date: Late October 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Steve Geiger with Peter Craig Russell


Havok in “Pharaoh’s Legacy” part 7
written by Howard Mackie
art by Rich Buckler

 
Havok and Wolverine invade the base of the Cult of the Living Pharaoh and come face to face with Plasma - who takes off her mask to reveal that she is Leila O’Toole!

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 18
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
As Patrick Slade is held at knife-point by the South African soldier, Gore, he reflects upon how he discovered that the Black Panther’s mother was still alive. Unfortunately for Slade, the Black Panther cannot react quickly enough to save him from the blade – now covered in his blood.

Coldblood in “Rise and Shine” part 5
written by Doug Moench
art by Paul Gulacy

 
Coldblood-7 finds sanctuary at a Las Vegas brothel while, back at the complex, Mako accuses Gina of helping Coldblood escape and subdues her. Given safety and time, Coldblood asks the computer to reveal his past to him. He learns that he is Eric Savin, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the U.S. Army and that the fake city he escaped from was a training ground for super-soldier cyborgs like him. The program was unwittingly funded by the U.S. Government for the mad scientist, Mako. And, the cyber-surgeon behind all of this was Gina Dyson – the woman who has now, in her guilt, given aid to Coldblood so he can shut the whole thing down.

Leir in “The Temper Of A God…
written by Sue Flaxman
art by Tom Morgan

An intruder has disturbed the peaceful autumn morning on Avalon and it’s up to Leir, the Celtic Lord of Lightning and God of the Spear, to dispatch the troll. Dagda, the God of the Druids, claims that the Fomorians sent the troll to test the Celtic gods. So, to teach them a lesson, Leir and Caber (the God of Bards) invade the Fomorians’ camp. But, Dagda intervenes before Leir can kill the rival tribe. The Lord of Lightning, it seems, has a lot to learn about mercy.

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

 

Famous Fanmail #79 Don McGregor

06 Oct

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”!

I just posted a Don McGregor letter weeks ago – and here’s another one! This one was published in Fantastic Four #48 (cover date – March 1966) – the first appearances of the Watcher, Galactus and Silver Surfer! In the letter he explains that he’ll soon be leaving for the service … but have no fear! … for, his fiancee will be buying the newest issue of the Fantastic Four for him, each month. What a gal! And, nice guys that they are, Marvel offered him a free subscription to the FF while he was in the service. I wonder how many similar letters this kind act spurred.

Fantastic Four letters page with Don McGregor

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | Don McGregor
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four

 

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #14 Oct. 2011

05 Oct

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

Number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section: 1,548,426 (-1.86% from last month; -11.45% from last year)
Number of those that are Cyberspace Comics listings: 5,237 (-3.02%; -15.86%)
My “market share” of comic listings on eBay: .33821% (-1.18%; -4.98%)

Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions: 83,400
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction: 5.39%

My current eBay feedback (unique): 12,988
My current eBay feedback (total): 26,780
My postive eBay feedback score: 99.9%

Position Dollar Sales # of Current Listings
First Underground Bad Girls (655 listings)
Second DC Comics (↑) Marvel Comics (556 listings)
Third Marvel Comics (↓) Image Comics (469 listings)
Fourth Sam Kieth (↑) Other Indies (413 listings)
Fifth TPBs (↓) DC Comics (333 listings)

 

This month’s jump in the Sam Kieth category can be attributed to the sale of original art pages from his Wolverine/Hulk series. The used market on ebay continues to shrink! I would assume mostly due to ebay’s new policy of charging fees on shipping charges.

 
Number of listings on Atomic Avenue: 1,459,934 (+1.43%)
Number of those that are in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue: 42,297 (+1.19%)
My “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue: 2.8972% (-0.23%)
My estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders: 6.01% (-19.97%)

 

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #79 Spider-Man

04 Oct

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.

Amazing Spider-Man #546 kicked off the Brand New Day direction, showcasing a single Peter Parker and a new publishing schedule (three times a month). The Marvel Apes special featuring Spider-Monkey used it as a target for parody.

Amazing Spider-Man #546
Amazing Spider-Man #546
February 2008
Steve McNiven
Marvel Apes: Amazing Spider-Monkey #1
Marvel Apes: Amazing Spider-Monkey #1
June 2009
 

On Ebay: Spider-Man | Marvel Apes
On AtomicAvenue: Spider-Man | Marvel Apes