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Doc Savage #1
Sep 6th, 2014 by Rusty

Doc Savage #1 cover

Doc Savage #1

Date: October 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2014 Price Range: $3.00 – $42.00
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and “Meet Doc Savage” page
Writers Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart
Artists: Ross Andru, Jim Mooney and John Costanza
Notable Notes: 1st issue – based on the pulp fiction story “The Man of Bronze”

The First Superhero?

OK, I’ll admit it – this was the first Doc Savage story I have ever read! Of course I’d heard of him, and being the big SF fan that I am you’d think I would have read one of the many novels about him – but no. So after reading this cool comic book that was given to me by my sister several years ago, I looked up some information about this classic character. It turns out he started in story form back in the 1930s, and has been featured in a variety of media since: magazines, novels, comics and even movies. He has quite the interesting history and a cool gang of side-kicks. I think I’ll have to delve more into some of the Doc Savage stories. See – comics are still a great medium for introducing people to new characters and properties!
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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #249
Aug 9th, 2014 by Rusty

Donald Duck #249 cover

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #249

Date: January 1987
Publisher: Gladstone Publishing
Cover Price: 75¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $16.00
Stats: 29 color pages plus house ads and “The Quacker Box” letters page
Writers Volker Reiche, Geoffrey Blum, Carl Barks and Marty Greim
Artists: Daan Jippes, Volker Reiche, Carl Barks and Marty Greim
Notable Notes: Donald is a scientist, a goblin and a monster hunter!

A Scientist

I have always liked the idea of being a scientist. I used to play at it when I was a kid, and I very much enjoyed science classes in school. During the last few years I have been taking some serious social science classes at the university where I work, and have quite enjoyed them. I still like the idea of being a scientist, and am slowly moving towards that goal. In this issue we get to see Donald fantasize about the same thing – only here he actually starts mixing chemicals in a lab and disastrous results follow! C’mon – what would a Donald Duck story be without funny mayhem?

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G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #19
Jul 21st, 2014 by Rusty

G.I. Joe #19 cover

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #19

Date: January 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $18.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Postbox: The Pit!” letters page and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Mike Vosburg, Jon D’Agostino, Rick Parker, George Roussos
Notable Notes: The Joes trick Cobra into attacking a fake base!
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Itty Bitty Hellboy #1
Jun 18th, 2014 by Rusty

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 cover

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1

Date: April 2014
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $1.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus Itty Bitty Letters and ads
Writers: Art Baltazar & Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Notable Notes: The tiny red guy with the big hand playfully battles his cartoon-ish enemies!

Big Boxes Are Awesome!

Did you ever make a fort out of big boxes when you were little? (Do you still do it?) I did, and I loved it when my parents bought some new appliance because that meant we got a new fort for a while! The best one we ever got was a huge box from my mom’s shiny new Wurlitzer organ. It was big enough that we were able to cut kid sized doors and windows into it! Ah… what great memories. This comic book brought up all sorts of memories about the forts I used to build… and the ones I still make with my kids!

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Batman: Gotham Adventures #2
May 31st, 2014 by Rusty

Batman: Gotham Adventures #2 cover

Batman: Gotham Adventures #2

Date: July 1998
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $1.95
2014 NM Value: $3.00
Stats: 22 color pages
Writer: Ty Templeton
Artists: Rick Burchett, Terry Beatty, Lee Loughridge, Tim Harkins
Notable Notes: In which we get a glimpse of Two-Face’s dysfunctional family!

Father Issues?

Trouble with one’s parents seems to make for good story lines. This issue shows the problems Two-Face had with his old man, but we can also look to other comics for this common theme. Daredevil had minor issues with his father, and so did Peter Parker. I guess Clark Kent got along pretty well with his dad – in fact, maybe I’ve got this all backwards! Maybe fathers played a big, important role in most heroes’ lives. You know – just like real-life dads do!

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Daredevil #27 (Vol. 3)
May 11th, 2014 by Rusty

Daredevil #27 cover

Daredevil #27 (Vol. 3)

Date: August 2013
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads and “Letters Without Fear”.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez, Joe Caramagna
Notable Notes: Bullseye explains it all!

When Good Plans Work Well

Have you ever created a good plan – you know, a really great strategy – and had it work flawlessly? I have a few times – although not as often as I would have liked! It feels good though, knowing that you put your intellect to work and it paid off. In this issue we get to see the fruit of Daredevil’s labors – and they turn out pretty good, which is really cool!

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Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3
Apr 27th, 2014 by Rusty

Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3 cover

Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3

Date: 2011
Publisher: Ape Entertainment / Kizoic
Cover Price: $3.95
Stats: 25 color pages – and no ads!
Writers: Quinn Johnson, Rob Worley, Earl Kress, Patrick Rills
Artists: James Silvani, Armando Zanker, Jake Myler, Dustin Evans, Andrew Dalhouse
Notable Notes: Richie and friends uncover a secret tomb in Egypt!

2 of my favorite subjects!

You probably don’t know this about me, but I love archeology – especially the Egyptian flavor. I find the study of ancient pharaohs in splendid tombs to be infinitely fascinating. I also love science fiction – yeah, I even have my own review web site. So when this issue combined both of those wonderful ideas into one story – well, let’s just say that it was right up my alley!

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Captain America #13 (Vol. 3)
Apr 20th, 2014 by Rusty

Captain America #13 cover

Captain America #13 (Vol. 3)

Date: January 1999
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.99
2014 NM Price: $3.00
Stats: 21 color pages plus “American Graffiti” letters page, Bullpen Bulletins, fold-out gate cover and ads
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Dougie Braithwaite, Robin Riggs, Shannon Blanchard, Kevin Tinsley and Todd Klein
Notable Notes: Cap investigates a congressman.

Two Different People?

Wait a minute – Steve Rogers and Captain America are two different people?! Who would’ve thunk it! I was pleasantly surprised to see Steve Rogers follow a different path than Cap in this issue. Yeah, you know, Captain America is a national symbol and an Avenger and all that, so its not too surprising that he has to be very careful with the people and things he publicly endorses. However, as we find out in this issue, Steve Rogers is free to do whatever he likes! A very simple, yet cool, idea – and one that I totally didn’t see coming!

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Batman #227
Apr 12th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman #227 cover

Batman #227

Date: December 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2014 Price Range: $15 – $350
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Letters to the Batman”, Direct Currents, 1 page Casey the Cop story and Daily Planet Extra.
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Irv Novick and Dick Giordano
Notable Notes: Batman rescues Alfred’s niece!

A Difficult Comic to Collect!

Last fall I decided that I wanted to collect and read some of the Batman issues in the early 200s. I started with #224 and worked my way up from there. This one, #227, proved the most difficult and expensive to get so far. I didn’t realize it before, but it has a few things going for it that makes it so collectible. First, the awesome cover art is a swipe from Detective Comics #31, which itself is the classic “Batman over castle” image from 1939. Second, the cover is by the great Batman artist Neal Adams. And third, there is a wonderful classic Batman story inside by none other than legendary scribe Denny O’Neil! Put those three things together and you can see why I spent weeks on eBay bidding for copies, and finally ended up paying $50 for a mid-grade copy. And you know what? I am totally happy with it too!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #257
Mar 30th, 2014 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #257 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #257

Date: October 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 Price Range: $1.00 – $10.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Spider’s Web” letters page
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Ron Frenz, Josef Rubinstein, Joe Rosen and Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: Puma, Black Cat, MJ and The Rose all make amazing discoveries!

A Classy Villain!

Most villains are real scum-bags and jerks – but not Puma. No, he is a real class act! In this issue we see him take it easy on the Lady Heroes, give Spider-man time to recuperate, shower between fights, dry clean his costume and have second thoughts about killing Spidey. Wow – if only all such villains were so thoughtful and considerate. Remember kids – you too can be a classy villain!

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Akiko #9
Mar 23rd, 2014 by Rusty

Akiko #9 cover

Akiko #9

Date: December 1996
Publisher: Sirius Entertainment
Cover Price: $2.50
2014 NM Price: $3.00
Stats: 21 black & white pages plus “Letters to Akiko”, 1 gag page and 1 house ad
Story & Art: Mark Crilley
Notable Notes: Akiko and her friends finally reach the Great Wall of Trudd.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?

Well… are you? I like to think that I’m not, but I am… a little bit. You know how I can tell? Whenever I get somewhere that is too high, or I see a movie where the people may fall a long ways, then my palms get all sweaty. Yeah, so its a good thing that I wasn’t a character in this issue when the gang has no way around the Great Wall of Trudd – so they climb over it… or start climbing anyways. I’m afraid my slick hands would have dealt me a quick death!

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Thor #345
Mar 16th, 2014 by Rusty

Thor #345 cover

Thor #345

Date: July 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page.
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: A search for the Casket of Ancient Winters!

Beware of Helpful Women?

If there is one subtle take-away from this issue it is this: that characters in Thor should *always* be wary of beautiful or helpful women. Why is that? Well, because in this comic those kinds of women are nothing but trouble, that’s why! The doctor’s secretary, Melodi, the jail guard and especially the hot woman in the car – they all have really mean ulterior motives. For the most part they get what’s coming to them… but the car woman – she turns out to be something very different (and very bad) indeed!

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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #248
Mar 8th, 2014 by Rusty

Donald Duck #248 cover

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #248

Date: December 1986
Publisher: Gladstone Publishing
Cover Price: 75¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $16.00
Stats: 27 color pages plus house ads, Letters to Donald Duck and A Letter From The Duck Man.
Writer: Carl Barks
Artists: Carl Barks with Daan Jippes and Mike McCormick
Notable Notes: Donald and the Nephews travel to South America!

South America

I have always dreamed of going to South America – especially Brazil and the Amazon rain forest. I think it would be a wonderful adventure, and a little bit scary too. Probably not as scary as for the first explorers to visit that region of the world, but still, there might be a few things. In this issue Donald and his nephews do just that – they head to Brazil to capture some rare insects… and brave the ferocious wild life that lives there – ulp!

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Daredevil #26 (Vol. 3)
Mar 2nd, 2014 by Rusty

Daredevil #26 cover

Daredevil #26 (Vol. 3)

Date: July 2013
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads, 2 pages of behind-the-scenes and an 8 page back-up story.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez, Joe Caramagna
Notable Notes: Daredevil finds out who has been behind his recent attacks!

Palanquins

I am a big fan of science fiction novels, and one of my favorite series is Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space books. There are some rich people who seal themselves inside motorized boxes so that they can avoid contact with the nano-technology destroying Melding Plague. Anyway, there is a character in this issue of Daredevil that reminded me of those Palanquins, but this one can’t move and the brain behind it is still very deadly!

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G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #18
Feb 22nd, 2014 by Rusty

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #18 cover

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #18

Date: December 1983
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $18.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Postbox: The Pit!” letters page and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Mike Vosburg, Jon D’Agostino, Edward Norton, George Roussos
Notable Notes: Joes and Cobra invade Coney Island!

Old Amusement Parks

Have you ever encountered an old, abandoned amusement park? I have, once, in Guam! I remember seeing it from the highway – all the rides overgrown with tropical vegetation. It was downright spooky! I did think it would be fun to play hide-n-seek or some sort of war game in though. Can you imagine how fun that’d be – running around and hiding amongst all the old rides and game booths! I’ve haven’t thought of that old amusement park in a long, long time – but this issue reminded me of it because both the G.I. Joes and Cobra head to a famous amusement park to carry out their plans.

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