collection update 4, pt 2

Meltdown

Havok and Wolverine – Meltdown

Today we’re gonna start out with my favorite books, the ones that made me a fan of the medium, the oppressed super-powered mutants protecting a world that hates and fears them – The X-Men.

When i first stumbled on Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown, i was a new X-Men fan and this book, with a more mature story and ethereal watercolor artwork broadened my view on comic books as ‘kid-stuff’ and showed me the partially opened doorway into the world beyond the Comics Code Authority and into smart, visual-storytelling.

Collecting these was not easy. This was pre-internet so ordering options were limited and while Fresno had 5-6 comic stores at the time, coming across them in a box of back issues was not very likely – in fact it would be years from that point of buying the first issue to actually tracking down all four of them.

I also had a shirt with the image of issue 1 on it. i wore that shit into dust. It was so threadbare by the time i said goodbye it would have fallen apart in the washing machine.

meltdown shirt

if you knew me in the 90’s, you saw me wear this shirt

The newest X-series, The All-New X-Men, has turned out to be the book i look forward to the most every month. The story and the art have been pitch perfect since the first issue. They took a concept that i thought was not going to work and turned it into one of the best X-Books in years.

All New X-Men

All New X-Men – one of the Marvel Now highlights

The newest X-series is the re-started Uncanny X-Men which follows Cyclops and his small band of fallen heroes collecting newly emerging mutants to join his rebellion. Its only 2 issues in but with Chris Bachalo on pencils its quickly becoming one of my favorite books just as he is one of my new favorite artists.

The Uncanny X-Men

The Uncanny X-Men #1 covers

Bachalo’s artwork is very distinctive and the first 2 covers for Uncanny have his style all over them with stark, almost mono-chromatic colors.

The two variant covers i got for the first issue, tho not by Bachalo, are still pretty cool. Of course Skottie Young did his requisite baby cover (which is one of my favorites so far) and there is a deadpool cover with the US State birds in a not-too subtle jab at DC Comics new Justice League series where they did a variant cover for each of the 50 state flags.

Last off in the Marvel Universe for this week is another series i wasn’t quite sure about going into it but its been a really fun read and the art by Mike Allred is one of a kind – he’s one of those artists where you can recognize their stuff a mile away due to the distinctive style. He is also doing the covers for It Girl! and The Atomics (see below).

FF

FF – the companion book to The Fantastic Four. issue 1-4 + 2 variants

FF is about the group who takes over for the Fantastic Four as Reed Richards takes his family into the universe in search of a cure for his illness in the guise of an educational trip for the kids. Reed put together a new team to cover for the FF as they go on their trip. Due to the trip being thru both time and space, Reed thought they would only be gone for 4 minutes. Now there wouldn’t be much of a story if things go according to plan so the 4 minutes come and go with no returning Fantastic Four. Now Steven Lang, AKA Ant-Man, must lead the new Fantastic Four as well as the Future Foundation – a think-tank of the best and brightest kids collected by Richards to be the best hope of leadership in the future. Its a book worth checking out.

It-Girl and The Atomics is a series on Image written by Jamie Rich with cover art by Mike Allred and is based on a character from Allred’s other book, Madman.

It Girl!

It-Girl and The Atomics collection

After i started collecting It Girl! (her superpower is to take on the properties of whatever substance she touches – rocks, rubber, feathers…), Jamie Rich came to Heroes Comics here in town to do an in-store signing that i had to miss because i was working. However the owner, Dave, had him autograph a stack of extras so i was able to get signed copies of issues 1-5. As i continued to go back over the next few weeks, i noticed the rest of the signed copies sitting in the bin with the rest of the issues. i watched them and when it didn’t look like they were going anywhere, i started buying them. you can see the results above. As far as i can tell the only variant for the series is a second cover for issue #3 which i really like (the balloon cover shown above).

The Rocketeer may have lost its creator, Dave Stevens, but the attempts to keep the series alive in some form go on. Some of my prized comics are the Stevens autographed copies of the original Rocketeer series from the 80’s that i got at Wonder-Con in high-school.

Dave Stevens signed Rocketeer 1 (1982)

Dave Stevens signed Rocketeer 1 (1982)

There have been a few mini-series published since i left the world of comics. I just started to research the publication history to see what i missed but i did manage to pick up a few to get the ball rolling…

The Rocketeer!

The Rocketeer!

Last but not least for this update is one of my favorite series that doesn’t have a Marvel logo on it, Morning Glories.

Morning Glories

My MG collection – only missing issue #1 !!

Im. One. Issue. Away.

but that one issue…

MG #1

Morning Glories #1 un-graded on eBay

its not exactly cheap. And if i want it graded…add about $100.

Well, tomorrow is Wednesday, and that means New Comic Day!! I’m looking forward to the new Ultron crossover from Marvel, All New X-Men and of course Superior Spider-Man!

In the next week or so i will be getting a few more things shipped in and ill be doing write-ups of what I’ve gotten from Ghostbusters Adventure Time and a few other really interesting indy comics. I also ordered some REALLY cool stuff but it not going to ship for a month or 2 so keep an eye out for that…

and as always, support your local comic shop!

Happy reading!

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collection update 4, part 1

Well my little collection is growing and growing! (its almost like i was building stock for a future store or something… đŸ˜‰ When i re-started the collection late last year, i had one short box and one long box. The current state of affairs are a little bigger…

The current state of the collection

the collection: 3-3-13

Probably the biggest news in Marvel recently were the events of the end of The Amazing Spider-Man. With the normal practice of releasing variant covers for big events jacked up to 11 due to the one-two punch of the end of the series and the ‘death’ of Peter Parker, there were plenty of alternate covers and expensive ‘incentive’ editions for collectors.

Besides the 700th issue there were four ‘regular’ (ie: under $50) alternate covers to the book that I was able to find as a collection on eBay for a reasonable price before they were released. Soon after they actually came out the same set of five covers tripled in price on ebay.

ASM - The End

The Amazing Spider-Man, lead-up to #700 + alt covers

I wanted to have them professionally graded and encapsulated but a small flaw on each of the spines would ensure the higher grade that would be needed to justify the extra expense of the grading process would not be achieved; Without that high 9.8 or 9.9 grading there would be no purpose since why buy a lower grade when there are higher grades available?

On the top row is the run-up to the final issue – 698-700 – and the big revelation of Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus now sharing Parker’s body through a last ditch brain transfer from a dying Octatius.

Its a story that has fans sharply divided but im liking it so far as it has transitioned into the new title, The Superior Spider-Man which Octavius swore he would become; a better, smarter, SUPERIOR version of the web-slinging wall-crawler he’s now forced to be.

superior sm

The Superior Spider-man #1

Dan Slott, the writer that has taken Peter Parker/Spider-Man through the last 5 years of stories has taken a lot of shit for his direction on the book but you cant say he’s a boring writer!

Midtown Comics was offering copies of Superior SM #1 signed by Slott and i had to grab a pair; one first printing, one second.

SSM 1 signed

Superior Spider-man #1 – Signed by writer Dan Slott

Dan Slott autograph

Dan Slott autograph

Incidentally, these are the first autographed comics that are “certified” that i have acquired; the other ones i have had signed personally at conventions but it was before the days of certifying convention autographs.

and just cause i love redheads, here is a recent purchase featuring a cute-as-hell Mary-Jane… đŸ™‚

I love this cover

I love this cover…i love redheads

Two of the hallmarks of the Marvel Now relaunch for me have been the striking covers and the writers making me care about characters i have previously disregarded. Case in point – The Mighty Thor and Hawkeye. Ive never disliked these characters, but they have never really done much for me. Not true with these Marvel Now relaunches. Both series boast striking artwork, amazing covers and engaging stories – Hawkeye especially is surprisingly low-key and personal. What does a non-superpowered Avenger do on his downtime anyway?

More cool covers from series i didn't care for before

More cool covers from series i didn’t care for before

Another thing Marvel has been doing a lot of are connecting covers. The first two of Thor create a cool 2-cover piece of art…

Thor #1-2 joined covers

Thor #1-2 joined covers

In the realm of cool covers and normally unexplored books, the Young Avengers book is off to a great start so far. I picked up an ebay auction for all four ‘regular’ covers for the first issue which included the blank convention cover, the Skottie Young (which i was getting anyway: see below) and a cover by Scott Pilgrim artist/creator Brian Lee O’Malley that i really liked…

Young Avengers #1 covers

Young Avengers #1 covers

X-Men: Legacy pre-Marvel Now was mostly focused on Rogue but this new re-launch has Prof. Xaiver’s son Legion in the spotlight as he comes to terms with his awesome, reality-altering abilities, splintered personality and his place in a world where his father was struck down by an insane Cyclops, all but destroying any hope for the dream of human-mutant co-existence.

X-Men Legacy covers

X-Men Legacy covers

I’m still warming to this book but now that he is interacting with the rest of the x-Men again, it’s starting to turn into an interesting series.

Marvel is keeping with the release of a Skottie Young baby cover variant for each Marvel Now launch title and there have been some really cool releases.

Skottie Young Covers

Some of my favorite Skottie Young Marvel Now covers

I’ve pretty much collected all the ones that are already out but with more new titles launching for the next few months, the project is not over yet! Some really cute ones on the way, too!

….next time, part two featuring the All New X-Men, the replacement to the Fantastic Four and a bunch of independent releases including Morning Glories, It Girl! and newcomers to the collection and really good series, Ghostbusters and Adventure Time!