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Moon Knight #5 (Vol. 2)
Nov 19th, 2017 by Rusty

Moon Knight #5 cover

Moon Knight #5 (Vol. 2)

Date: November 1985
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 65¢
2017 Price: $3
Stats: 22 color pages plus Knight Mail, Bullpen Bulletins and ads
Writers: Jo Duffy and Chris Warner
Artists: Chris Warner, Alan Kupperberg, Rick Parker and Christy Scheele
Notable Notes: Moon Knight helps bring White Cobra to justice!

The Power of the Moon

This is the first Moon Knight comic I have read. I may have read it when I was younger, but I didn’t remember anything about it. It appears that the titular hero gets his strength from the moon, and the more full it is the more strength he gets. Moon Knight’s first comic book appearance was to help take down a Werewolf, but he has been in many other series, and a bunch of his own series as well. Anyhow, I quite enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to more Moon Knight stories in the future!
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ElfQuest #3
Nov 12th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #3 cover

ElfQuest #3

Date: December 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Rayek pin-up art, Meet the Wolfriders and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: Cutter and Rayek battle for Leetah’s love!

Fight For Your Right

Would you fight, literally fight, to win the heart of your sweetie? What about your job? Or your family? Or your home? Or your comic book collection? 😉 Sure, we’ve all heard of fighting for true love, but as I read this comic I asked myself “What do I consider worth fighting for?” It gave me a little bit to ponder… but not for too long, because I had the rest of the comic to read! Here is a great comic – beautifully rendered and fun to read!
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Young Allies #1
Nov 4th, 2017 by Rusty

Young Allies #1

Young Allies #1

Date: August 2010
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
2017 NM Price: $4
Stats: 23 color pages plus More About The Young Allies and ads
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artists: David Baldeón, N. Bowling, Chris Sotomayor
Notable Notes: The first issue featuring the Heroic Age Young Allies

Take 3

One cool and frustrating part of being a comic book reader is that there is so much history that sometimes ideas are recycled and you don’t even know it! Take this team of young super-heroes for example. I took a chance and bought the first issue of this series several years ago, and ended up loving it. I didn’t realize then that this was the third time there was a Marvel super-hero team named “The Young Allies”. Usually I don’t really like it when former ideas are resurrected and re-hashed into a newer version, but this book was an exception. See, I guess there is some value to not knowing history! 😉
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ElfQuest #2
Oct 26th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #2 cover

ElfQuest #2

Date: September 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $40
Stats: 31 color pages plus pin-up art, welcome and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The first book from WaRP Graphics

Love At First Sight

Ah, love at first sight… does it really exist? I tend to think that it should more accurately be called “lust at first sight” – at least in the real world. But in the world of fiction perhaps love at first sight is a thing that actually works out. In this issue of ElfQuest the Wolfriders’ leader, Cutter, is so smitten with a beautiful woman that he kidnaps her! But that works out OK for him – and that is another way to tell that we are in fictional world!
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Iron Man #56
Oct 21st, 2017 by Rusty

Iron Man #56 cover

Iron Man #56

Date: March 1973
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2017 Price Range: $5 – $75
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Jim Starlin, Mike Esposito, Charlotte Jetter
Notable Notes: The origin of Ichabod Rasputin

Roller skates

My daughter is really into rollerblading right now. She even got me to go with her yesterday, and now I have sore legs! Anyway, I was telling her that when I was a kid it was roller skates that were the big thing. Why am I telling you this? Because this issue of Iron Man starts out with him zooming around NYC on his jet powered roller skates! Yes, it is quite ridiculous! Iron Man himself even admits that he feels like a kid. Heaven knows he sure looks like one!
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ElfQuest #1
Oct 10th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #1 cover

ElfQuest #1

Date: April 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $4 – $50
Stats: 31 color pages plus forward, pin-up art and Elf-olution
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: A spruced-up reprint of ElfQuest’s first appearance!

Convoluted Publishing History

Some comic book series just really fly through the publishing companies. Astro City is one that comes to mind. ElfQuest is another one. Beginning in the late 1970s the Elf saga started off in Fantasy Quarterly #1 by an independent publisher, then it switched to the Pini’s homegrown company WaRP Graphics. Years later both Marvel and DC would pick up licenses to it, and so would Boing Boing and Dark Horse! Sheesh! Oh well, at least it is a good series, and one that deserves to be published – regardless of who is doing that publishing!
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G.I. Combat #1
Sep 29th, 2017 by Rusty

G.I. Combat #1 cover

G.I. Combat #1

Date: October 1952
Publisher: Quality Comics
Cover Price: 10¢
2017 Price Range: $97 – $1500
Stats: 29 color pages plus ads and text story
Writer: Robert Bernstein
Artists: Reed Crandall, Chuck Cuidera, Pete Morisi, Charles Nicholas
Notable Notes: First issue of one of the longest running war comics titles!

Little Interest in War

I have never really been a fan of war comics. My older brother read Sgt. Rock, but I could never get into it. In fact I have ever only had mild, passing interest in anything related to war or the military. Recently that changed, at least temporarily, when I started taking a college course about technology and global conflict. After spending several weeks reading and discussing military stuff, I have kind of been in the mood to watch war movies and try some war comics. So that is what I’m doing today – giving a classic war comic a try, and seeing how it turns out!

I decided to start with the first issue of G.I. Combat. Why? Well, because it was a famous, long running series, and it is the series where Sgt. Rock and The Haunted Tank got their starts. I figured that was as good a place as any to start!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #300
Sep 22nd, 2017 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #300 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #300

Date: May 1988
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.50
2017 Price Range: $9 – $160
Stats: 40 color pages plus ads and house columns
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Todd McFarlane, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: First full appearance of Venom!

New Costume or an Alien?

I was a young, comic reading teenager in the mid 1980s, and I remember when Spider-man got his new black costume. I got caught up in the first, original Secret Wars series and thought Spidey’s new costume was pretty cool – especially given how it could read his thoughts and transform itself into different types of clothing. But then I became “too grown up” to read comic books, and so fell away for about a decade. When I came back, however, I was really surprised to see that his black costume was now a separate villain know as Venom. It took me a long while to piece together what had really happened (remember, this was back before Wikipedia!) and when I finally did I had mixed feelings about Venom. Anyway, I recently decided to go back and read this classic comic book and see the beginning of the villain known as Venom.

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Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #5 (Vol. 2)
Dec 28th, 2016 by Rusty

Astro City #5 (Vol. 2)Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #5 (Vol. 2)

Date: January 1997
Publisher: Image/Homage Comics
Cover Price: $2.50
2016 NM Price: $6
Stats: 24 color pages plus “Greetings from Astro City” letters column and house ads
Creators: Kurt Busiek, Brent E. Anderson, Will Blyberg, Alex Ross, John G. Roshell and Alex Sinclair

Synopsis:

Astro City superhero, Confessor, has a new sidekick: Altar Boy! They train and do detective work at the sprawling Grandenetti Cathedral, and the master teaches his apprentice to see patterns and notice what doesn’t fit. Alter Boy takes his training seriously and uses it to figure out why another superhero has recently turned to petty crime.

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The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21
Jan 18th, 2016 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21

Date: 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.25
Stats: 43 color pages plus ads
Writers: Jim Shooter, David Michelinie
Artists: Paul Ryan, Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: Peter and MJ get married!

Cold Feet?

Hey, I’ll admit that my feet started to get cold before my wedding. It was a big commitment, and as the day got closer and closer I got more and more nervous. Luckily I had some good friends that helped me stay the course, and now I have been married for nearly 20 years! But I never thought of how a super hero would get nervous before his or her wedding – at least until I read this issue. It gives me a new kind of respect for those that are married. This issue deals with a lot of concerns that Spider-man has going into his marriage – and he ends up handling them pretty well I think!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #292
Jan 11th, 2016 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #292 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #292

Date: September 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 23 color pages plus ads and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Alex Saviuk, Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and George Roussos
Notable Notes: Spidey goes to Pittsburgh!

A New City!

I like to travel to new cities and places I’ve never seen before. And even though I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, it was fun to virtually visit that city as Peter and Mary Jane made their way past many of its sites! I think it is fun to see super heroes go to different places – as long as they don’t permanently stay there (I’m looking at you Daredevil in San Francisco!)

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The Amazing Spider-Man #291
Jan 4th, 2016 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #291 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #291

Date: August 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 24 color pages plus ads
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: John Romita, Jr., Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and George Roussos
Notable Notes: MJ in Pittsburgh and the Spider-Slayer in New York!

What is this?!

For the most part I love older comics from the 1970s and 1980s. But I gotta admit that there are some really stupid ideas in some of them! This issue is a case in point, what with the stupid elongating robot and the stereo-typical angry villain. Oh well, I guess you gotta take the bad in order to appreciate the good, right? Right?!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #290
Dec 28th, 2015 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #290 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #290

Date: July 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: John Romita, Jr., Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: Peter proposes to MJ!

Eternal love… or a ball-and-chain?

There are many ways to view marriage in the real world, but I’m not so convinced that it is such a good thing in the lives of comic book super heroes. It seems like the only married couple that has gone over well is the Fantastic Four’s Sue Storm and Reed Richards. Yes, I know it has been almost 30 years since Peter and MJ tied the knot, and I didn’t follow their marital events at all, but does anybody think it was a good idea for them to get married? Maybe. I decided to look at the beginning of that comic event and see how I really felt about it.

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Kickers, Inc. #1
Oct 3rd, 2015 by Rusty

Kickers, Inc. #1 cover

Kickers, Inc. #1

Date: November 1986
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
2015 NM Price: $3
Stats: 23 color pages plus Universe News and ads.
Creators: Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema, Phil Felix and George Roussos

The New Universe

The summer of 1986 was one of those times when I was really into comics. I was 15 years old and reading everything I could get my hands on. Marvel was celebrating its 25th anniversary, and started several new comic series set in an all new universe. This universe was supposed to be less magical, less fantastic and more realistic. I never really got into the titles, but the longest one only ended up running for 3 years. I guess people didn’t really want books that were more realistic. The fun part was getting to be there at the beginning, and seeing all the new origin stories!

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Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #1
Jul 13th, 2015 by Rusty

Astro City #1 coverKurt Busiek’s Astro City #1

Date: August 1995
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.25
2015 NM Price: $12
Stats: 24 color pages plus pullout poster, “Greetings from Astro City” and house ads
Creators: Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Richard Starkings, Steve Buccellato and Alex Ross

Dreams of Flying

When I was a kid I had many dreams where I could fly – heck, I still have them! Wouldn’t that be something – to just take off like Superman and fly away? Those were always the dreams where I was totally upset once I woke up and realized it wasn’t real. But still, it’s fun to dream isn’t it? Apparently we normal humans aren’t the only ones who dream of flying – this issue shows us that superheroes have those dreams too… even when they really can fly!

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