Cyberspace Comics market report, reviews and more

November 16, 2012

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #88

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 11:11 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 #88
Cover Date: 1991 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Sam Kieth; Jae Lee (back)


Wolverine in “Blood Hungry” part 4
written by Peter David
art by Sam Kieth

As Tyger Tiger and Cyber continue to negotiate the drug deal, Wolverine‘s healing factor works the hallucinagenic drug [that Cyber infect him with] out of his system.

Beast in “Just Friends” part 4
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Jae Lee

Jennifer Nyles is kidnapped by the Red Ghost’s Super Apes and Commander Courage arrests their leader. Later, the Beast breaks into Belgium’s Ministry of Defense to interrogate the Red Ghost – in an attempt to find out where the apes have taken his friend. Kragoff reveals that he doesn’t know where they’ve taken her – and, that the apes are no longer under his control!

Solo in “Hero of the People
written by Eric Fein
art by Mark Runyan

The Tarantula has been tracking down and killing perceived enemies of his nation of origin, Delvada. In response, Solo (“while he lives, terror dies”) tracks him down to put an end to his killing spree. But, he’s shocked the nation’s citizens come to the rescue of this terrorist!

Volcana in “Shopping
written by James Brock
art by James Brock

After the events of Secret Wars, Volcana is finding it hard to adjust to normal life, again. So, she sets out to be a super-heroine. Her first villain? The Wizard! Too bad she doesn’t realize he’s only intending to commit a minor theft. Everyone’s got to start somewhere, though … right?

This issue we were treated to plenty of “dream action” from Sam Kieth – something he’s good at (it’s a chance to flex his creativity). I’m curious to see what the Super Apes are up to; they rarely act without being told what to do. The last two features were really digging at the bottom of the barrel but, I suppose even D-Listers need a chance to shine once in a while, too. Interestingly enough, Tarantula was more fun to read about than Solo. As for Volcana, it’s nice to see a full-figured super-heroine in action in the Marvel Universe [a rare sight, indeed].

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Solo | Beast | Volcana
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Solo | Beast

November 15, 2012

Famous Fanmail #137 Joe Casey

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 9:04 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”!

After the success of Invincible and the Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman decided to launch his subsequent ongoing series, the Astounding Wolf-Man. He gave the first issue away for free in that year’s Free Comic Book Day Event. In the letters pages of the second issue (cover date – July 2007) , we get to see Joe Casey‘s reaction! You may know him from mainstream work like Uncanny X-Men, Superman and Wildcats but, you should really look into his creator-owned stuff like Automatic Kafka.

the Astounding Wolf-Man letters page with Joe Casey

On Ebay: Astounding Wolf-Man | Joe Casey
On AtomicAvenue: Astounding Wolf-Man

November 14, 2012

Connecting Covers #42 Transformers

Filed under: Connecting Covers — Doorman @ 8:11 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.

Dreamwave’s 2002 launch of Transformers: Generation One proved successful enough to warrant a second mini-series (and later, a third). As an incentive to buy both variants for each issue, each set combines into a larger issue. Here’s a look at vol. II #2.

Transformers: Generation One vol. II #2

On Ebay: Transformers
On AtomicAvenue: Transformers

November 13, 2012

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #137 Simpsons

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 9:13 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.

Simpsons Comics #4 utilized an “infinity cover” design by Matt Groening. Nine years later, they swiped their own cover!

the Simpsons #4
Simpsons Comics #4
May 1994
Matt Groening
the Simpsons #85
Simpsons Comics #85
August 2003
Matt Groening

On Ebay: Simpsons
On AtomicAvenue: Simpsons

November 12, 2012

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #32 the Thing and Invisible Girl

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Two-In-One — Doorman @ 7:47 am

Marvel Two-In-One launched in 1974, teaming the Thing with a different hero each month. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #32Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: October 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Ron Wilson

WHO stars in this issue?

the Thing – Benjamin J. Grimm was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space exploration flight, alongside three friends. The cosmic rays gave each of them different powers, and they formed the Fantastic Four. Ben underwent the most physical change of the foursome: his skin mutated into orange rock and, as a result, he gained super-strength.

Invisible Girl – Susan Storm was caught in the same accident that mutated Ben Grimm into the Thing. The cosmic rays gave her the ability to turn herself invisible and to project invisible force fields.

Spider-Woman – As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

Caught in Alicia‘s web, the Thing finds himself being attacked by his girlfriend, who’s being controlled by Hydra via a device lodged on her forehead. Spider-Woman (freshly freed of Hydra’s control) swoops in for a daring rescue. She suspects that Alicia’s mutated body-chemistry is unstable and, if she’s not shocked into submission, her rapid metabolism could kill her. As Spider-Woman lures Alicia back towards Big Ben (and away from the crowd), the Thing makes a call to the Baxter Building for help.

Meanwhile, underneath Parliament, Trevor and Chauncy manage to open the mysterious treasure chest – only find themselves exposed to a brilliant light and then sucked inside of it! Back at the battle scene, the Thing manages to tear Hydra’s control device from Alicia’s forehead. Without guidance, the mutated Alicia goes even crazier! Fortunately, the Invisible Girl arrives on the scene just in time to help out. Sue encases Alicia’s head within a force field, denying her oxygen – which knocks her unconscious.



Our heroes bring Alicia to the Kensington Park home of Doctor Kort (the man who created the serum that mutated her), to enlist his aid in returning her to normal. While they’re there, Kort reveals that he’s saved Deathlok from dying (that was the original purpose that brought the Thing and Alicia to London back in issue #29, remember?)

WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

In this issue, the Supreme Hydra puts Agent Eight in charge of Operation: Spider-Woman but I don’t know where that was followed up on (if ever) – nor do I know the group’s very next appearance. I do know that they showed up in Team America #1 (cover date: June 1982).

WHY is the Invisible Girl the guest-lead?

I really can’t figure out an ulterior motive for including the Invisible Girl into this story. It appears that Marv Wolfman just really wanted to write the character (he even managed to have her travel from NYC to London within mere moments [an hour, at best?]). And, a few months later, he began to write her regularly when he became the writer of the Fantastic Four with issue #195 (cover date: June 1978). As mentioned last issue, Spider-Woman’s appearance serves as a warm-up for readers who might want to check out her solo series, which debuted six months later.



HOW was it?

This issue resolved a lot of concerns: (1) Bring Alicia back to normal (2) Establish Spider-Woman as a heroine (3) Restore Deathlok’s health. But, we’re not without unresolved plotlines here: (A) Just what is Operation: Spider-Woman? (B) What’s the deal with that mysterious treasure chest?

We’re treated to plenty of spotlight on the Thing here as he walks the fine line between subduing the woman he loves – and hurting her. He also thinks hard on whether his presence in her life is worthwhile (he does seem to get her into a lot of trouble, eh?). With these morose subjects in mind, the Thing’s moments of characterization don’t get to focus on how much fun the character can be to read about – but, it certainly cements the depth and heart of the character.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #28, and includes a letter from creator, Beppe Sabatini.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman | Fantastic Four
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Woman | Fantastic Four

November 9, 2012

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #87

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 7:36 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 #87
Cover Date: 1991 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Sam Kieth; Joe Madureira (back)


Wolverine in “Blood Hungry” part 3
written by Peter David
art by Sam Kieth

After his meeting with General Coy, Cyber has approached Tyger Tiger to seek out a counter offer for the powerful hallucinogenic drug he intends to begin dealing in Madripor. Meanwhile, Logan is bleeding out from the wound Cyber gave him last issue. He’s lost so much blood that he’s started hallucinating. Perhaps Cyber infected Wolverine with the drug when he sliced open his gut last issue?

Firestar in “Life During War Time” conclusion
written by Marie Javins with Marcus McLaurin
art by Dwayne Turner

As Bart Jones begins to heal from his lung transplant operation, he’s unaware that his daughter, Firestar, has joined forces with Mystique against the Arms of Salvation. With Spiral’s help they defeat the the Arms and Mystique helps Firestar fake her death to keep them from coming back after her.

Beast in “Just Friends” part 3
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Rob Liefeld/Jae Lee

The Beast has a long, drawn-out fight against the Constrictor. During the fight, he recognizes one of the hotel guests as Dr. Ivan Kragoff (you might know him better as the Red Ghost). The Beast takes note that Kragoff looks like he’s dying. Just before he’s defeated, the Constrictor reveals that the Red Ghost hired him to kill the Beast. Soon after, the Symposium on Mutant Research cocktail hour begins and the Beast is introduced to his old friend, Jennifer Nyles. That very moment, they’re attacked by the Red Ghost’s Super Apes.

Shroud in “To Touch the Darkness
written by Eric Fein
art by Ron Wilson

In Los Angeles, a gang is attacking senior citizens – and the Shroud wants to put a stop to it!

Sam Kieth’s depiction of Tyger Tiger on page two is worth the price of admission, alone. Firestar’s story wraps up here and it’s plain to see this is intended as a prequel to New Warriors #1. I find it strange that they added in this plot point of faking her death. The Beast feature was a TON of fun – Beast is at the height of his quipping in his battle against the Constrictor. Shroud’s story was pretty basic – but I always enjoyed his story: becoming a crimelord in order to defeat crime. This short utilizes that plot point.

Note: this is Joe Madureira’s first published work!

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Firestar | Beast | Shroud
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Firestar | Beast | Shroud

November 8, 2012

Famous Fanmail #136 Ed Brubaker

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 7:40 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”!

After the success of Invincible and the Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman decided to launch his subsequent ongoing series, the Astounding Wolf-Man. He gave the first issue away for free in that year’s Free Comic Book Day Event. In the letters pages of the second issue (cover date – July 2007) , we get to see Ed Brubaker‘s reaction! You know him … he’s the guy that wrote the death of Captain America!

the Astounding Wolf-Man letters page with Ed Brubaker

On Ebay: Astounding Wolf-Man | Ed Brubaker
On AtomicAvenue: Astounding Wolf-Man

November 7, 2012

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #27 November 2012

Filed under: Cyberspace Comics Market Report — Doorman @ 8:28 am

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

Number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section: 2,001,541 (+7.85% from last month; +32.49% from last year)
Number of those that are Cyberspace Comics listings: 9,562 (-7.70%; +16.04%)
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on eBay: 0.47773% (-14.42%; -12.42%)

Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions: 179,043 (+51.29%; +147.65%)
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction: 8.95% (+40.21%; +86.75%)

My current eBay feedback (unique): 18,165
My current eBay feedback (total): 34,778
My postive eBay feedback score: 99.9%

Position Dollar Sales # of Current Listings
First Marvel Comics Clearance (2,246 listings)
Second TPBs Marvel Comics (1,332 listings)
Third DC Comics (↑) TPBs (1,032 listings)
Fourth Marvel (Bronze Age) Bad Girls (923 listings)
Fifth Image Comics (↑) Image Comics (809 listings)

eBay sellers have increased their listings dramatically, hoping to capitalize on Christmas shopping. This month, I created a new store category (Clearance) for older items who haven’t sold in over a year. Those items have been marked down significantly. In a few months, Clearance will be the top-selling store category.

 
Number of listings on Atomic Avenue: 1,446,723 (-0.74%; -2.08%)
Number of those that are in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue: 52,416 (+2.40%; +16.10%)
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue: 3.62308% (+3.16%; +18.57%)
Cyberspace Comics estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders: 4.73% (-2.07%; -26.89%)

 
Number of members on ComicCollectorLive: 88,730 (+0.55%); +7.68%)

November 6, 2012

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #136 Justice League

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 6:00 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.

The DeMatteis/Giffen/Maguire era of Justice League stories is a lot of fun. Early on, the story was building up towards a confrontation between Guy Gardner (at the height of his jerk-ishness) and Batman (who wasn’t going to tolerate Guy’s behavior). It culminated in issue #5 … famously! Around that same time, another confrontation was building in the pages of the Doom Patrol … less famously. This one was between Negative Man and Negative Woman. Going off of that similarity, Erik Larsen decided to pay homage to Kevin Maguire‘s cover.

Justice League #5
Justice League #5
September 1987
Kevin Maguire
the Doom Patrol vol. II #13
the Doom Patrol vol. II #13
October 1988
Erik Larsen

On Ebay: Justice League | Doom Patrol
On AtomicAvenue: Justice League | Doom Patrol

November 5, 2012

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #31 the Thing and ?

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Two-In-One — Doorman @ 7:44 am

Marvel Two-In-One launched in 1974, teaming the Thing with a different hero each month. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #31Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: September 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Ron Wilson

WHO stars in this issue?

the Thing – Benjamin J. Grimm was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space exploration flight, alongside three friends. The cosmic rays gave each of them different powers, and they formed the Fantastic Four. Ben underwent the most physical change of the foursome: his skin mutated into orange rock and, as a result, he gained super-strength.

Mystery Menace – A mutated Alicia Masters (girlfriend of the Thing; step-daughter of the Puppet Master)! Complete with fangs, web-spinners and eight new spidery legs.

Spider-Woman – As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

The explosion cleared Spider-Woman‘s head of Hydra’s control but, unfortunately for the Thing, she cannot recall where Alicia Masters was hidden away. Hoping to make up for previous injustices, she offers her help in finding the Hydra base where Alicia’s been taken to. Those bombers, Chauncy and Trevor, made off with the fifth and final piece of their map. With the map complete, they’re able to locate the treasure of Heinrich Buerer – which was buried long ago under the House of Parliament.



Meanwhile, Hydra has their hands on the formula that Kort created to duplicate the process that created Spider-Woman – and they intend to use it on their first test subject: Alicia Masters. Hours later, on the Victoria Embankment, the Thing and Spider-Woman are attacked by the mutated Alicia. The Thing is now faced with a hard battle … against the woman he loves!

And, back at the House of Parliament, Chauncy and Trevor have unearthed their long-sought-after treasure chest. But, what’s in it?



WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London.

WHEN does the villain next appear?

The villainous group, Hydra, appears in the very next issue as their plans continue.

WHY is Spider-Woman the guest-lead?

Spider-Woman debuted in the penultimate issue of Marvel Spotlight (February 1977) and then subsequently appeared in the previous two issues of Marvel Two-In-One. Her story continued into this issue and will continue into the next issue, as well – all, it seems, as a way to grab attention for her own series (also written by Marv Wolfman), which debuted in April 1978. It went on to last for 50 issues! At the time, she was the first Marvel heroine to have a solo series last that long. (That record was later broken by She-Hulk [60 issues] and Spider-Girl [100 issues]).



HOW was it?

Now that Spider-Woman’s been freed form Hydra’s influence, she gets a lot more limelight in this issue. There’s also a lot of attention drawn to the Thing’s tough decision on how to do battle with the mutated Alicia. She’s being controlled by Hydra to kill him while he’s trying to detain her without hurting her. There’s a lot of good emotion going on here. To top it off, we’ve still go the mystery of what’s in the treasure chest that Trevor and Chauncy have been working hard to locate.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #27.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Woman

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