There aren't many comic books collected by non-comic book collectors, but Mickey Mouse is. If ever there was an icon for youthful enthusiasm and fun, it's Mickey.
Today, a comic book is a smash hit if it sells 100,000 copies. But back in the 1960s, Mickey Mouse's circulation topped 500,000 per issue.
The storylines are universal, but the specifics often mimic the times. For example, in 1966 at the peak of the James Bond's movie popularity, three issues (#107-109) were re-titled Mickey Mouse, Super Secret Agent. And, of course, Mickey never had a cell phone back in the 1950s.
If you have a friend who laments about missing the "good old days", then this is a great gift. Because nothing says endless childhood like Mickey Mouse.
Here's a Mickey Mouse animated cartoon from 1936 to give you a taste:
The first four issues are a retelling of Mary Shelley's original novel and the remaining issues are original stories. Midway through the series, Frankenstein was put into suspended animation and revived in modern times.
Alas, the public was no better at coping with someone, or something, out of the ordinary in 1975 than they were in 1812 when Mary Shelley first wrote the story.
Although a member of the Marvel Universe, the original concept was to avoid having the monster chumming it up with Spider-Man or other Marvel superheroes. The series' original creators kept him off in a small corner of Marveldom, trying hard to live a life without interference from others. But alas, he finally did meet Spidey.
This series is an interesting take on Shelley's creation and with only 18 issues, it is easily affordable.
The success of The Walking Dead TV series brought to mind one of the first successful comic books featuring the supernatural and zombies -- DC's House of Mystery. It was DC's long-running horror comic book with a publication history spanning 321 issues over 32 years (1951 to 1983).
Within this one series, a reader can watch as fear of U.S. government censorship forced DC to drastically alter the content of the series.
The series began as a horror anthology, featuring tales of the supernatural. However, in the mid-1950s, when restrictions on horror-themed stories were imposed by the Comics Code Authority (banning stores with werewolves and vampires), the series evolved into stories featuring science-fiction monsters.
By the mid-1960s, superheroes infiltrated the title, including J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter from Mars, followed by Dial H for Hero.
Finally, in the early 1970s, after nearly 20 years of self-censorship, DC began challenging the Comics Code Authority and starting with issue #174, the series returned to horror stories. These stories were well-respected and won numerous awards. "The Demon Within", a story in issue #201 won the Shazam Award for Best Individual Short Story.
Later issues (#290 to #319) featured "I...Vampire", about a heroic vampire.
Dazzler was Marvel's 1980s entry in its never-ending quest to attract female readership with a female super-hero. Dazzler was a mutant who could convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams. As part of Marvel's strategy, some stories focussed on her career and her family relationships, rather than typical "fight the bad guy" plots.
In the series, Dazzler is an aspiring singer and uses her light powers to enhance her performances. In fact, she turns down an invitation to join the X-Men to continue her music career.
The 42 issue series is easy to collect -- a limited number of issues and a low cost for each (issue #1 in Near Mint- condition is only $4).
When Marvel comics hit it big in the early 1960s, they changed the entire comic book industry by creating a new brand of superhero -- multifaceted with faults as well as virtues. Their characters had "attitude".
In contrast, DC's superheroes were just vanilla "good guys" through and through. Marvel's success gave them a certain swagger. And Marvel enhanced that attitude by making fun, not only of the competition's characters, but their own. The result -- Not Brand Echh, a satirical look at the entire world of super-heroes.
Marvel's top of the line artists and writers -- Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Gen Colan, Bill Everett, John and Marie Severin and Roy Thomas -- flocked to the series to take satirical jabs at the entire genre of superheroes as well as the characters they created. There are only 13 issues, but there are lots of laughs in each one.
The first Star Trek comic book series was published by Gold Key comics starting in 1967. They're somewhat unique among our collection of comic books we like because they were illustrated by an Italian artist -- Alberto Giolitti. But that's not what's unique. Giolitti had never seen the TV show and he used publicity photos of the Star Trek's stars to draw their characters.
Most all of the stories are original stories, and not adaptations of the TV shows.
This series is popular among Star Trek fans and people looking for gifts for a Star Trek fan, because it was the first Star Trek series. The look is unmistakenly 1960s.
The series only has 61 issues. If you're not a Star Trek fan, don't bother. If you are Star Trek fan, don't miss this series.
One of the reasons I enjoy comic book series that began in the 1960s is that you can chart society's changes by the way the comic book stories reflects the changing moral fiber of the country. Marvel had proven a few years earlier that putting real world issues into their stories made the fantasy of comic books far more interesting. DC was slow to follow, but the Teen Titans finally made the transition to a more politically aware
The original Teen Titan series teamed up the teenage sidekicks of Batman, the Flash Wonder Woman and Aquaman -- Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Aqualad. Their first appearance in Brave and the Bold (1955 series) #60, led to their ongoing series.
At first, the stories dealt with the group helping other teenagers, pretty much ignoring the politics of the day. But, as the raucus 1960s moved to a conclusion, the stories explored some of the real issues of the day -- racial tension, the Vietnam War.
The series is a bit underappreciated these days and as a result, the books are priced lower than they probably should be. With only 60 issues, its one of the more affordable superhero titles of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Black Panther is yet another creation of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and as usual, they created an uniquely original hero.
Unlike DC characters of the 1960s, Marvel's characters had complex, multi-dimensional motiviations and none more so than the Black Panther.
As king of the African country of Wakanda, he invites the Fantastic Four to Wakanda. There, he attacks and defeats each one. Why? To conquer the world? Nope. For revenge? Nope. For money and riches? Nope.
The Black Panther (T'Challa) was the ruler of a spiritually-based warrior cult -- and Wakanda was the most technologically advanced nation on Earth. As a 19-year old (in issues #52 and #53 of Fantastic Four 1961 series
he battled the Fantastic Four to test his own powers and to test the Fantastic Four to see if they would be an effective ally to help him protect his kingdom and people from their mortal enemy Klaw.
This was the beauty of Kirby and Lee. They actually created motivations for their heroes, other than the cliched irrationality seen in DC comics -- "I want to rule world, for no apparent reason, other than, why not?".
After his first appearance in Fantastic Four, he starred in Jungle Action #5-24 and then in his own series. The Black Panther was Marvel's first black superhero (a novelty in the 1960s) and beyond that, the series is recognized as the first successful series using mult-issue story arcs. The first arc, "The Panther's Rage" ran for 13 issues in Jungle Action.
Acclaimed comic book writer Dwayne McDuffie raved:
"This overlooked and underrated classic is arguably the most tightly written multi-part superhero epic ever. If you can get your hands on it ... sit down and read the whole thing. It's damn-near flawless, every issue, every scene, a functional, necessary part of the whole. Okay, now go back and read any individual issue. You'll find seamlessly integrated words and pictures; clearly introduced characters and situations; a concise (sometimes even transparent) recap; beautifully
developed character relationships; at least one cool new villain; a stunning action set piece to test our hero's skills and resolve; and a story that is always moving forward towards a definite and satisfying conclusion."
The series is an under-appreciated madcap combination of comic book genres: part superhero spoof, part black comedy, part magic and fantasy.
Some stories were light-heared, some were violent. Some readers objected to the series' star -- Norbert Sykes a Vietnam war veteran suffering from multiple personality discorder. Regardless, the title was strong enough to survive for 70 issues and also survived the bankruptcy of its first publisher, Capital Comics.
If you're a John Byrne fan, this series is required reading. In the Next Men he weaved more mature topics -- including sex, abortion and the pains of child abuse -- into his stories. This series is definitely not for young readers.
A group of youngsters given up for adoption by single mothers were experimented on by a team of scientists to create a group of superhumans. The five escape from the scientists, only to be taken in by a U.S. Government agent.
Byrne broke with conventional comic book story telling, that's for sure. In addition to the mature themes, he eliminated thought baloons and sound effects. If you're looking for a different, more mature reading experience, the series is worth a look.
The short-lived Flash television series was cancelled way back in 1990 and there's never been a Flash movie. Regardless, this Flash series is our second best-selling DC series from the copper age, behind only Superman.
One reason is that this Flash was more flawed than his predecessors. Barry Allen, the alter-ego of the 1960 Flash series could move quickly without limitation. When he was killed off during DC's 1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths series, he was replaced as the Flash by his nephew, Wally West. The Wally West Flash could not maintain his fast speed indefinitely. Instead, he'd have to eat like a glutton to build up his metabolism. A marathon
runner beefs up on carbs before a big race. And Wally West needs to eat a house to keep up his speed. By limiting this Flash's endurance, the stories became more nuanced and threatening.
The series was also successful because the artwork is great and the villains memorable -- Reverse Flash, Gorilla Grod, Razer, and more.
The series ran for 247 issues. And now, more decades after his dismal television show, the character remains one of our best sellers of the era. You can get issue #1 for less than $10 in Near Mint- condition, and every other issue is less expensive. With the early issues published in the late 1980s and early 1990s, issues are easy to find at low prices.
Crisis on Infinite Earths is our best selling mini-series of all-time. We're constantly getting them in stock and they consistantly fly off the shelves. That's what happens to a series that some consider the most important DC mini-series of all time.
Published in 1985, the series was designed to simplifyy the then 50-year old DC universe. The problem originated when DC re-booted their super-heroes starting in 1956 with a re-introduction of a new Flash. To reconcile the new Flash with the Golden Age Flash, DC said that the two super-heroes existed on "alternate" earths. In fact, DC threw all of their Golden Age heroes (including a duplicate Superman with gray hair) into that alternate
universe, named Earth-Two. That opened up a pandora's box of alternate worlds, like Earth-Three (where heroes were villains and vice versa) and Earth Prime.
By 1985, it was pretty hard for readers, and DC's writers, to keep track of all the different worlds. Crisis on Infinite Earths tackled the problem by combining all the worlds into one universe in a 12-issue mega event. In the process, consolidated everyone onto one universe and also killed off about 30 characters.
The series was very successful in reigniting interest in comic books and helped popularize "crossover" comic book events, where one incident or story line spans every title of a publisher's line of comics, which is now an annual event for both DC and Marvel comics.
In the 1950's and early 1960's, just a few years removed from the Allied victory in World War II, some of the best-selling comic books were DC's war comics, G.I. Combat and Our Fighting Forces. They appealed both to the adults who fought in the war, and to young baby boomers whose fathers served in the military.
When Marvel achieved incredible success with its super-heroes starting in 1961, Stan Lee took aim at war comics. Bringing Marvel's unique creative approach to the genre, Marvel created Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos -- the first Marvel war title in years, and the only one which achieved success in the Silver Age.
The series ran for 167 issues, although new stories alternated with reprints from issues #80 to #120, and only reprints ran from #121 to #160.
What is so interesting is that the title's peak of popularity was during the Viet Nam War, when anti-war sentiment was at an all-time high in the United States. The success of the title was due, in part, to writers being able to incorporate 1960's anti-war sentiment within stories set in WWII -- which had little of the moral ambiguity of Viet Nam.
Sgt. Fury commanded the Howling Commandos, an elite special unit stationed in England during WWII.
Animal Man is one of DC's most under-appreciated heroes of all time. Buddy Baker is Animal Man, who can, based on some exploding spaceship mumbo-jumbo pseudo-science, "borrow" the ability of any nearby animal. The result is a nearly endless supply of novel and unique story lines and plots.
He's also an example of a super-hero that DC couldn't figure out how to properly utilize. Animal Man's first appearance was in Strange Adventures #180 in 1965 and 10 more appearances in various DC comics followed over the next 20 years.
Then, in 1988, when DC re-launched Swamp Thing by Alan Moore, and Sandman by Neil Gaiman, DC also relaunched Animal Man with Grant Morrison writing the first 26 issues.
Intended as a four issue mini-series, sales were so good, it became a regular series and lasted 89 issues. The series championed animal rights (which of course means it also championed vegetarianism -- since the best way to advance animal rights is not to EAT the animals).
I like the series because you never quite know where the next story will lead you. The possibilities are endless, the stories rarely predictable. As with most comics from the late 1980s and 1990s, the supply of copies in great condition is large and their cost is low -- most copies in Near Mint- condition cost less than $3.
We don't generally highlight cowboy comics but Jonah Hex is a worthwhile exception. IGN, a great comic book website, voted him the best western comic book character of all time.
Don't let Hollywood's lousy movie adaptation fool you. The comic book series is very good. Hex was the only DC western character to flourish in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite being blind in the right eye, he's an incredibly fast and accurate marksman, an excellent tracker, with a reputation as a ruthless killer, making him a ferociously successful bounty hunter in the Old West.
It's partially set during the American Civil War and the only successful comic book character I can think of who fought for the losing South in the war.
This is the first series named for him and it lasted 92 issues. His earlier adventures appeared in Weird Western Tales (1972 series) issues #12 to #38 and before that in All-Star Western #10 and #11.
In the late 1980's, the character was revived and transported to the 20th century in the series Hex, which was well received in Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Japan, but mostly ignored in the United State.
So, if you're seeking to broaden your horizons beyond superheroes and willing to try something different, check out Jonah Hex.
Once DC re-booted its original Detective Comic series and its original Action Comics series, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories became the longest running continuously published comic book in history.
The first issue was published in October 1940 and fresh issues are still coming off the printing presses today. This is a truly amazing achievement. No other radio show or television show has had anywhere near that longevity. No other magazine featuring fictional stories has had a longer run either.
It's a tribute to Walt Disney's brand of wholesome family entertainment.
There are alot of ways to collect the series. Some people collect only the earliest issues issues, while others collect issues starting with those published in the year that they were born. Still others only buy the most recent issues which are the least expensive.
One of our customers only buys issues which end in a zero -- 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, so she can enjoy seeing how the art styles and the story themes have evolved over the past 70 years.
One customer only collects issues with Donald Duck on the cover, another only collects issues featuring Minnie Mouse.
Do your ever wonder what it would have been like to have see Babe Ruth play in his prime? Well, guess what, it doesn't make a difference, because you can't.
But, 50 years later, you can still see what it was like to experience comic books' greatest writer/artist team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at their peak. And the early issues of Thor (1966 series) have some of their best work.
After creating a team of super-heroes bombarded with gamma rays (Fantastic Four) and a teenager bitten by a radioactive spider (Spider-Man), the Lee/Kirby team set their sights on Norse mythology to create the Mighty Thor.
On a mission from his father, Odin, Thor acted as a superhero while mainting the secret identify of Dr. Donald Blake, a physiscian with a partially disabling leg injury. When he tapped his cane on the floor, it became the magical hammer Mjolnir and Black transformed into Thor.
Forty five years after his debut, his first movie hit the big screen.
In a comic book world dominated by male readers, Wonder Woman is the biggest selling comic book in history featuring a female hero.
I always realized the need the for role models for young girls, but it didn't hit home until my own daughter dressed up as Wonder Woman one Halloween.
I'm no psychiatrist nor psychologist, but it's pretty apparent that people always drift to idolizing heroes who are similar to them. Spider-Man was a teenager back in 1963, and guess who the biggest buyers of comic books were back then?
Wonder Woman's creator, William Moulton Marston, created Wonder Woman because he believed in the educational potential of comics. Marston, a psychologist, struck upon the idea for a new superhero, one who could win any battle with love, rather than fists.;
You may think that the women's liberation movement began in the 1960s, but read what Marston wrote in 1943, in American Scholar magazine,
He wrote: "Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."
For me, Wonder Woman comic books are important, not only as a positive role mode for female readers but as reinforcement to young men that their female counterparts are equally deserving of respect. (Except, of course, if you live in Saudi Arabia).
The 1942 series features the more expensive earlier issues, while the 1987 series is more affordable. In May of 2011, Wonder Woman was ranked as the 5th most popular comic book hero of all time by IGN.
This is our biggest selling comic book from the Bronze Age (1970-1983), by far. It's also the most cost-effective way to get a full run of a Spider-Man series.
Whereas the original Spider-Man series (Amazing Spider-Man 1963 series) is pretty pricey, this series is an affordable way to get a long running series (263 issues). The first 10 issues of Amazing Spider-Man in Very Good condition will run you $7,346, but the first 10 issues of Spectacular Spider-Man in Very Good condition only cost $62. That's less than 1% of the cost of Amazing Spider-Man's first 10 issues.
Collecting Spectacular Spider-Man is a baragain because the price disparity between the two series makes little sense. For example, let's take a look at the issues published in September 1977 -- Spectacular Spider-Man #10 and Amazing Spider-Man #172. The cost of Amazing Spider-Man #172 in NM- condition is $30 and the cost of Spectacular Spider-Man #10 in NM- condition is $14 -- less than half the cost.
And yet, the stories in Spectacular Spider-Man are& all new (no reprints), the same length as those in Amazing Spider-Man, and are very popular with Spider-Man fans. In fact, among our customers who buy Amazing Spider-Man, this title is the 2nd biggest seller (only behind Fantastic Four 1961 series).
One of the drawbacks of the recent flurry of super-heroes movies is that the images from the movies can ruin your own image of a character. For example, for years I had a certain vision of Spider-Man and Peter Parker as a nerdy, zit-faced teenager. But once I saw the movie, that picture was replaced by Toby Maguire's face. And as much as they tried to make him look like a dork, he'd didn't.
So, one of wonderful things about the Sub-Mariner is that he's one of the few remaining Marvel characters who hasn't been portrayed in the movies, so whatever image you have of him is created in your own mind and subject to the nuances and biases of your own brain. No Hollywood casting director can formulate your image of the Sub-Mariner. And for that, I'm grateful.
His 1968 series is a wonderful one to collect for that reason and several others. First, since the earliest and most expensive Sub-Mariner stories were published in Tales of Suspense (1959 series), the Sub-Mariner series is pretty inexpensive. Second, with only 72 issues in the series, it's a great starter set for a youngster to test to see whether he'd be interested in collecting comics. After all, it won't take a long time to find all the issues and that can fuel the interest of a new collector.
The Sub-Mariner is one of the first super-heroes. He debuted in 1939, and was one of Marvel's top three heroes, along with Captain America and the original Human Torch. He was the son of a sea captain and a princess of Atlantis. He has super-strength and aquatic abilities that dwarf that of Mark Spitz or Michael Phelps.
He has been alternatively portrayed as a short-fused superhero and a hostile invader from the sea seeking vengeance against us surface dwellers for slights against his underwater home. Hmmm... he might very well have been the first environmentalist superhero.
This one is easy. The 2011 Green Lantern movie moved this title way up the charts. DC is still behind Marvel when it comes to getting their super-heroes on the screen, but the Green Lantern move did well at the box office. Here's its trailer.
Since the movie, the demand for Green Lantern comics has grown. The movie is based on DC's silver age Green Lantern, test pilot Hal Jordan. He was always at the top of DC's second-tier of heroes, behind Superman, Batman and Wonderg Woman.
If you're a long-time collector, you know that Hal Jordan wasn't the first Green Lantern, nor the most recent.
The original Green Lantern appeared in All-American Comics #16 in April of 1940. When comic book sales sank in the early 1950s, DC's team of super-heroes (with the exceptions of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (and a few others) simply disappeared. Then, in 1957, DC re-launched a new reincarnation of the Flash, followed in October of 1959 with a re-boot of Green Lantern. The next year, DC gave the character his own book, Green Lantern (1960 series).
The series is best known for its ground-breaking series of issues starting in 1970, with issue #76, (later reprinted in the series 'Green Lantern/Green Arrow), writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams pitted the sensibilities of the law-and-order-oriented Lantern with the populist Green Arrow.
The 14-issues broke the 31-year DC tradition of every super-hero being a goody two shoes. For the first time in the DC universe, super-heroes became multi-faceted personalities. Of course, it took DC nine years to figure out why Marvel Comic characters had sky-rocketed in popularity, but with this series of Green Lantern issues, many readers believed that this DC team had taken exceeded the best efforts of Marvel.
The stories were critically acclaimed, with publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Newsweek citing it as an example of how comic books were "growing up".
When the first Spider-Man movie was released, Spider-Man comics starting to sell like hotcakes and now, years later, they are still the biggest selling comic at NewKadia. Then, when the Batman and Iron Man movies came out, they moved up about 20 spots in our top sellers.
And, about a year after each of the movies, the prices of the original series of these comics began to skyrocket as interest in the characters, and thus the demand for their comics, increased.
Well, the same thing is happening to Avengers comics because of its 2012 blockbuster movie. One of the big movie events of the year -- it starred Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. Add Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and the movie created a giant media frenzy
which turbo-charged interest in Avengers comics.
Why the excitement? The movie was written by Josh Wheedon, who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer and who wrote the original Toy Story movie.
Avengers (1963 series) is the comic book series that inspired the movie and the series has always been one of the most popular in the Marvel universe. Created by (here we go again), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Avengers were the counter-Justice League. While everyone loved everyone else in the JLA, the Avengers interacted with each other more naturally, and eveyone wasn't quite lovey-dovey with each other.
The original Avengers series is a pre-requisite for any collector who wants to explore the Avengers universe, with spin off titles like West Coast Avengers and the current New Avengers and Mighty Avengers.
He is THE original super-hero. If not for Superman, there probably would never have been a Batman, Spider-Man, or any other super-hero. In fact, we take for granted the existance of super-heroes as a fictional genre, but before Superman comics, most people did not. (unless you studied ancient mythology).
So, while fantasizing about swinging through the streets of New York like Spider-Man, or donning the caped crusader's outfit may now be commonplace, readers in 1938 had no such frame of reference.
That's how amazing Superman was. He was totally original, sparking an entire industry. For those old enough to remember the first Star Wars movie, you can appreciate the spectacular breakthrough that film was for cinema. The same can be said for Superman with regard to the breakthrough his creation caused for magazines and fiction writing.
For those who can remember the first time they saw an iPod, or a computer, and that amazing awe that permeated your soul, well...that's what the debut of Superman did, too.
And the 1939 series is Superman's original series. Although he first appeared in Action Comics (where he was one of several features), DC quickly gave him his own title, where he starred in every story.
In a very real way, the stories chronicle America from 1939 to today, and as a result, should be required reading for any super-hero fan or social anthropologist. In fact, the number of Ph.D. dissertations dedicated to the real meaning of Superman number is in the hundreds.
There are lots of ways to collect this series. As the oldest comic book superhero, the oldest copies are very expensive. One customer wrote me that he only collects issues #200 and higher. Another told me he collects every 50th issue... #50, #100, #150, etc, to chart how the creative teams changed and evolved all the characters in the series.
The first series ran for 423 issues and then DC changed the name of the series to the Adventures of Superman for issues #424 to #649. From issue #650 to #714, the name changed back to Superman (2006 series). After that, DC re-booted the Superman character and his current adventures appear in Superman (2011 series).
Quick -- name the most popular comic book character created since 1990. For many, that question is a no-brainer. For them, the answer is Spawn.
Created by Todd McFarlane, who attained superstar comic book status writing and drawing Spider-Man in the 1980s, Spawn was his first creation when he left Marvel to form Image comics.
Spawn is Francis Simmons, a CIA officer who was transferred to the super-secret U.S. Security Group and becomes an assassin. After Simmons is murdered during an assignment and sent to hell, he makes a deal with the devil to serve Satan in return for being returned to Earth to see his wife one more time.
Spawn is certainly not your typical American teenager bitten by a spider origin. Geared to older readers, the title sacrificed a young boy audience in exchange for darker, more adult themes, which made it extremely popular with its more mature audience. You won't find Jimmy Olsen saying, "Jeepers, Mr. Kent" in this series.
So, if you're looking for darker, less childish story lines, this just might be the series for you.
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, then you should give Dr. Strange a try. Or, if you know someone who is a big Harry Potter fan, this is a series you should turn them on to.
He's a master magician, the "Sorcerer Supreme" of the cosmos. He can achieve most any effect -- telepathy, energy blasts, and teleportation. Originally billed as the "Master of Black Magic", potions, spells and strange, often bizarre settings fill his stories.
The series showcased surrealistic mystical landscapes and readers often analyzed the stories for their relationship to ancient myths. The series delved into very abstract realms. Dr. Strange's adventures take place in bizarre worlds and twisting dimensions that resembled Salvador Dali paintings.
Dr. Strange has always had a niche following among readers seeking a challenging alternative to more convention super-heroes. That's the reason that Dr. Strange has never made it in the movies, although Marvel comics constantly tries to figure out exactly how to move the character to the big screen. A Dr. Strange movie as "been in the works" for what seems like a decade. On the heels of the phenomenal success of Harry Potter, it would seem that Marvel's Dr.
Strange could find a home in Hollywood, too.
Dr. Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (sharing each issue with the Human Torch and then Nick Fury through issue #168). Then, due to his popularity, Marvel renamed Strange Tales and starting with issue #169 it was titled 'Dr. Strange (1968 series). The series ran through issue #183 when Marvel re-numbered the series, starting at issue #1 in 1974.
Although Hollywood still can't get the Incredible Hulk right, he remains one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe. The first Hulk series in 1962 lasted only six issues. And, like most comics from the early days of the Marvel revolution, the price for each of those six comics is quite high. Even though Marvel cancelled the title, Marvel made the Hulk the lead story in Tales to Astonish just 18 months later in issue #60. Hulk stories ran for 42 issues, through #101 and these issues of Tales to Astonish can also get a bit pricey.
Finally, in 1968, Marvel changed the title of Tales to Astonish to the Incredible Hulk (1968 series) and devoted the entire issue to the Hulk. This series ran for 38 years, until March of 1999 and contains some of the best Hulk story lines.
The Hulk was created by Jack Kirby and Kevin Watson and editor-in-chief Stan Lee summarized the appeal of the Hulk by comparing him to Frankenstein. Said Lee, "I had always loved the movie Frankenstein and it seemed to me that the monster wasn't really a bad guy. He was the good guy. He didn't want to hurt anybody. It's just those idiots with torches who kept running up and down the mountains, chasing him and getting him angry. And I thought, 'Wouldn't
it be fun to create a monster and make him the good guy?'"
So, in a very real way, the Hulk is literature's descendant of Frankenstein. It's a good thing that the copyright for Frankenstein ran out a long time ago, because it gave Marvel the ability to adapt some of his features for its own character. That probably couldn't happen today.
Ever since the U.S. Congress extended the length of copyrights from 28 to 150 years, the ability of new authors to craft characters from existing characters has pretty much been destroyed. You may not think that's a bad thing, but consider the Walt Disney company's use of characters whose copyrights had expired -- Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast and on and on. Disney created new classic versions of these old stories
And that's what Marvel did, too. It makes you appreciate Mary Shelley all the more. She "invented" the idea, and then Marvel really massaged it and fostered it for the next 50 years.
One of the most frustrating things for a comic book reader is enjoying one issue of a mini-series and then being unable to find the next issue. We've solved that problem becaise we have over 1,000 complete sets in stock and many sell for under $3 for the entire set (that's $3 for the entire set, not for each issue).
You might ask, "How good can a series be if it costs under $3?" Well, the answer is surprising -- it can be very good. Here's why.
First, the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide has a bias for pricing continuing series much higher than limited mini-series. And conversly, they have the bias towards pricing limited series much lower. As a result, the prices of limited series complete sets seem arbitrarily low.
Second, because the mini-series is a recent phenomenon (most less than 30 years old) most of their prices have stayed pretty low. Third, you can order the entire series with 1-click. You'll get the entire story and won't be left hanging.
The Eternals were Jack Kirby's first creation after he jumped back to Marvel from DC comics. The Eternals were an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created man. The story line was similar to the New Gods in that it mixed mythology with science fiction.
Pros 1. Another Jack Kirby creastion.
2. Only 19 issues to collect.
3. Cost for the entire set runs from $70 to $111.
Cons 1. If you hated Kirby's 4th World Saga (New Gods, Forever People, Mister Miracle), you won't like this either.
2. Only 19 issues. Readers of the 1970s didn't think this was one of Kirby's best works.