Cyberspace Comics market report, reviews and more

January 17, 2012

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #94 A-Next

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 12:21 pm

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.

What If? vol. II #105 is most famous for debuting Spider-Girl but, it was also the first appearance of A-Next. When Spider-Girl got her own ongoing series in 1998, A-Next got theirs as well! This next generation of Avengers included Bluestreak, J2 (the Juggernaut’s son), Jubilee, Mainframe, Speedball, Stinger (Ant-Man II’s daughter), and Thunderstrike II (Thunderstrike’s son). The cover to the final issue of the series paid homage to the first one.

A-Next #1
A-Next #1
October 1998
Ron Frenz
A-Next #12
A-Next #12
September 1999
Ron Frenz

On Ebay: Avengers | A-Next
On AtomicAvenue: Avengers | A-Next

January 16, 2012

One-Shot At Greatness #94 Curse of the Mutants: Storm & Gambit

Filed under: One-Shot At Greatness — Doorman @ 11:32 am

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!

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants - Storm & Gambit #1Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: October 2010
Cover Price: $3.99
Writer: Chuck Kim
Artist: Chris Bachalo

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

Once Xarus (Dracula’s son) became the new lord of the vampires, he declared war on San Francisco (the new home of the X-Men). The vampires are armed with new technology that allows them to walk in daylight so the X-Men will need their own secret weapon to take Xarus down … Dracula, himself. The X-Men dispatch Gambit and Storm to “Vampire Island” to figure out how to shut down its protective shield so they can return with Dracula’s body.

After the two former thieves have snuck onto the island, they meet with Janus, the firstborn son of Dracula. He wants to see his father reinstated as the lord of the vampires, and joins forces with Storm and Gambit, who share similar goals. As Janus and Gambit battle through Xarus’ vampiric forces, Storm manages to shut down the island’s protective field – allowing the other X-Men (Emma Fost, Colossus, Northstar, Angel, Psylocke, Wolverine and more!) to teleport in. They make short work of the vampires and transport Dracula’s headless body back home with them.

Chris Bachalo’s art style is very neat to explore but, at times it does get a bit sloppy (most noticeably in the page after the X-Men ‘port in). Kim’s script plays heavily on Storm’s past with Dracula, which is a nice treat for long-time fans like me, who remember those old issues. Even though Gambit is the guest-lead in this story and shares a lot of the action, the main characterization follows Storm as she is made to take an innocent life in order to shut down the vampires’ field of protection. It’s not something she does lightly and Gambit notes that the important part was her hesitation. Overall, it was a neat mutants vs vampire story that advanced the Curse of the Mutants storyline ever so slightly as the X-Men gained posession of Dracula’s body … but not his head …. not yet.

On Ebay: Curse of the Mutants | Chris Bachalo
On AtomicAvenue: X-Men | Gambit | Storm

January 13, 2012

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #44

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 10:55 am

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 #44
Cover Date: 1990 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Bryan Hitch


Wolverine in “Black Shadow, White Shadow” part 7
written by Marv Wolfman
art by John Buscema

Wolverine enters the temple and finds his friends (Mai & Ch’un) chained up. White Shadow appears and recommends that Wolverine runs away – he can’t stop Black Shadow forever, after all. But, the X-Man doesn’t heed the warning and he explores the temple further. He discovers a morbidly obese native sitting on a throne, near motionless. Moments later, a portal opens in his chest and Black Shadow emerges to attack Wolverine.

Wonder Man in “Stardust Miseries” part 7
written by Michael Higgins
art by Javier Saltares

At Avengers Mansion, Captain America and Thor discover a badly beaten Beast. Meanwhile, the Enchantress has hooked up Ant-Man, the Wasp and Iron Man to her assimilation machine. She intends to drain them of their life forces and imbue them within Wonder Man, enhancing his powers to all-new levels! Cap and Thor attempt to come to the rescue but, they’re bested by Wonder Man and the Enchantress – and then hooked into the machine, as well!

Dr. Strange in “Trashed
written by Roy Thomas
art by Dave Simons

When Doctor Strange is called to a neighboring dimension by his amulet, his apprentice, Rintrah is left to help Wong with household chores – like taking the garbage out. Putting his newly learned spells to work, he animates the garbage to have it take itself out. But, since he’s still new at this, the spell doesn’t quite work as planned and ends up creating a garbage monster rampaging through Greenwich Village. Can he set things right before his master returns?

Puma in “… And Not A Drop To Drink
written by Dan Mishkin
art by Gavin Curtis

Puma is faced with a lizard-monster that wants his family’s sacred land. The lizard offers to teach Puma the ancient ways and the ability to transform reality if he will just give his land over. Can Puma deduce the reason the lizard wants the land and then satisfy both it and his family tribe?

This issue features early work by now-popular atist, Bryan Hitch. I haven’t read many Doctor Strange stories but, I’ve always enjoyed the ones that feature Rintrah. This issue was no exception and the Doctor Strange story was easily my favorite of the four. But, that’s only because it was truly a Rintrah story (not a Dr. Strange tale, as it was billed).

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Doctor Strange | Puma
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Doctor Strange

January 12, 2012

Famous Fanmail #93 Mike W. Barr

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 3:18 pm

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”!

Mike W. Barr is a prolific comics writer that’s had his hands in Marvel, DC and creator-owned works. He’s written mainstays like Batman and Spider-Man for the big publishers, and he’s created well-regarded independents like the Maze Agency and the Ultraverse’s Mantra. He got a letter printed in Fantastic Four #131 (cover date – February 1973), imploring the writers to send Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) to college.

Fantastic Four letters page with Mike W. Barr

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | Mike Barr
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four

January 11, 2012

Connecting Covers #12 Potter’s Field

Filed under: Connecting Covers — Doorman @ 10:17 am

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.

The covers to Mark Waid’s Potter’s Field join up nicely. The story is about a graveyard where the unnamed dead are buried and a mysterious man’s quest to name them all.

Potter's Field #1 2 3

On Ebay: Potter’s Field | Mark Waid
On AtomicAvenue: Potter’s Field

January 10, 2012

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #93

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 10:19 am

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.

Avengers #70 featured the first major appearance of the Squadron Sinister (and their first cover appearance). It was a team of villains meant to be analogous to DC’s Justice League. Hyperion = Superman. Whizzer = the Flash. Doctor Spectrum = Green Lantern. Nighthawk = Batman. An alternate universe version of the team, the Squadron Supreme, has since been more prominently featured in the Marvel Universe and included even more heroes that were derived from DC characters.

Avengers #70
Avengers #70
November 1969
Sal Buscema
A-Next #10
A-Next #10
July 1999
Ron Frenz

On Ebay: Avengers | A-Next
On AtomicAvenue: Avengers | A-Next

January 9, 2012

One-Shot At Greatness #93 Inhumans 2099

Filed under: One-Shot At Greatness — Doorman @ 9:30 am

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!

Inhumans 2099 #1Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: November 2004
Cover Price: $2.99
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Cliff Rathburn

This is one of several one-shots that envisions what the Marvel Knights relaunches would have been like if they were published in 2099. In this future version of the Marvel Universe, the government re-enacted the Mutant Registration Act. The super-heroes joined together to defy the government but were eventually overpowered and went underground.

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

On the day of the Great Emergence, the lord of the Inhumans has deemed one of his young citizens worthy of receiving the transformative Terrigen Mists. The Mists unleash the process of Terrigenesis within the body of the receiver – developing the child’s inner potential super powers or mutation. And, as the moment of Terrigenesis approaches, the honored child’s parents grow concerned that they may unleash a dangerous or deformative mutation.

But, before the Terrigenesis ritual can progress, the Great Emergence must first occur. And, after fifty years, the lord of the Inhumans bears witness to the emergence of Black Bolt from his stasis pad. Years prior, when the Mutant Registration Act was enacted, the Inhumans took to the stars in an enormous vessel. Black Bolt and the rest of the ruling class entered cryogenic stasis but, Maximus broke out early and became the lord of the Inhumans. Maximus the Mad killed the others (Medusa, Gorgon, Crystal, Triton, Karnak) while they slept in their cryogenic pods. And, all this he has just revealed to the newly-risen former leader of the Inhumans, Black Bolt. With but one word, Black Bolt has his revenge on his mad brother … and ultimately dooms his entire race by destroying their spacecraft and leaving them unprotected from the ravages of deep space.

There’s a lot of set up here for Inhuman characters that ultimately have no bearing or importance on the larger story of the brothers, Black Bolt and Maximus. I feel that there were far too many pages devoted to these minor characters instead of developing the plot line of Black Bolt’s return. Additionally, the art wasn’t al that great, either. I’d skip this one if I were you.

On Ebay: Inhumans | Robert Kirkman | Cliff Rathburn
On AtomicAvenue: Inhumans

January 6, 2012

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #43

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 10:59 am

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 #43
Cover Date: 1990 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Erik Larsen


Wolverine in “Black Shadow, White Shadow” part 6
written by Marv Wolfman
art by John Buscema

The next morning, Wolverine wakes to find that Mai and Ch’un have left without him. And, as they near a deteriorating temple, they can hear the White Shadow and Black Shadow arguing. Inside the temple, Wolverine’s friends are met with an approaching shadow … and a growing sensation of fear.

Wonder Man in “Stardust Miseries” part 6
written by Michael Higgins
art by Javier Saltares

Hank Pym and the Beast use Tony Stark’s Modified Image Projector to send Iron Man’s image to meet up with Wonder Man and the Enchantress (and their captured Wasp). The Enchantress uses one of her spells to turn the image into the actual Iron Man and inadvertently transports the Beast and Pym along with him. The villains manage to subdue the Avengers and the Enchantress begins planning her next experiment!

Iron Man in “Donovan’s Brains
written by Ed Simmons
art by Mark Bagley

Stark Enterprises enters into a deal with Donovan Robotics due to their advancements in neural-network robots. Part of the terms is that Stark will help Donovan out with their industrial espionage problems. Months later, the problem rears its head in the form of a virus at Donovan Robotics. Iron Man steps in to take care of the situation but his armor’s higher functions are temporarily shut down, as a result. Moments later, he’s attacked by several robots – and it looks like Donovan is leading them. He hopes to add the secrets of the Iron Man armor to his robots to create invincible fighting machines. Can our hero stay alive long enough for his system to reboot?

Siryn in “Hello Little Girl … Is Your Father Home?
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Larry Stroman

Mr. McFadden and Teleplex send the Kinsmen (Wee One, Boulder, Highlander, Dyke, Rapscallion) to Cassidy Keep to escort Banshee in for a debriefing. His daughter, Siryn, answers the door and launches into battle with Ireland’s recently formed answer to the Avengers. And, despite being outnumbered, she makes short work of these “green” heroes.

As a fan of Erik Larsen’s 90s style of art, this cover really appeals to me. Unfortunately, not much else is really doing it for me in this issue. I’m really looking forward to being done with both Wolverine and Wonder Man’s features. Iron Man’s story was pretty ho-hum and Siryn’s was the best … but only by default. Interestingly enough, it debuted an Irish super-heroine named Dyke. My inner teenager gets a lot of laughs out of that. :-p

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Iron Man | Siryn
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Iron Man

January 5, 2012

Famous Fanmail #92 Bob Rozakis

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 9:28 am

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”!

Writer and editor, Bob Rozakis, is known as DC’s “Answer Man” but, in the 1970s he was reading at least one Marvel Comic that we know of. He got a letter printed in Fantastic Four #116 (cover date – November 1971), imploring the writers to send Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) to college.

Fantastic Four letters page with Bob Rozakis

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | Bob Rozakis
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four

January 4, 2012

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #17 Jan 2012

Filed under: Cyberspace Comics Market Report — Doorman @ 10:10 am

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

Number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section: 1,597,133 (-.18% from last month; -8.79% from last year)
Number of those that are Cyberspace Comics listings: 7,776 (-4.51%; +9.32%)
My “market share” of comic listings on eBay: 0.48249% (-4.34%; +19.86%)

Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions: 151,241
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction: 9.47%

My current eBay feedback (unique): 14,062
My current eBay feedback (total): 28,270
My postive eBay feedback score: 100%

Position Dollar Sales # of Current Listings
First Marvel Comics Marvel Comics (1,313 listings)
Second Bad Girls TPBs (824 listings)
Third Movie/TV Bad Girls (802 listings)
Fourth TPBs (↑) Image Comics (709 listings)
Fifth DC Comics (↓) Other Indies (493 listings)

 

All through December 2011, eBay continued its incentives to encourage auction postings. At one point, there were over 270,000 comic auctions going! I expect next month’s numbers to be back down to normalized numbers – maybe even a bit lower.

 
Number of listings on Atomic Avenue: 1,490,220 (+0.28%; +19.33%)
Number of those that are in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue: 46,188 (+2.49%; +207.00%)
My “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue: 3.0994% (+3.21%; +157.28%)
My estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders: 5.79% (+3.21%; +7.22%)

As you can see from these huge annual gains, my inventory on AtomicAvenue has increased greatly!

 
Number of members on ComicCollectorLive: 83,331 (+0.52%)
Number of listings in the Cyberspace Comics Store on CCL: 2,631 (-2.48%)
Number of unique listings in the Cyberspace Comics Store on CCL: 1,292 (-1.30%)

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