Saturday, March 29, 2014

Getting back some of my favorite comic books

I have amassed a huge comic book collection in my over 40 years of collecting. Unfortunately, I lost most of them to a devastating typhoon while others to the ravages of time and lack of care while spending a long time abroad. 

Unlike before where I stopped collecting for two years and in doing so sold a lot of the remnants, this time I stuck to my love for the medium even after all these years. Only now, I get what I like. There is no need to collect everything.

In the last three months, I began to order a bunch of back issues that I wanted to get back. I ordered them from Mile High Comics and from My Comic Shop. There are a lot of new titles out there that I like -- Thor God of Thunder, The Sixth Gun, and Daredevil to name a few. But sometimes -- and I am not saying this because of a generational thing -- I believe the old stuff are a lot better. 

I collected X-Men with Uncanny X-Men #93 (but I first read it when the Neal Adams stories came out) and the Fantastic Four (beginning with George Perez' issues). Mike Baron's and Steve Rude's Nexus is a book I love as much as I did when I first bought it off the racks in Filbar's in Cubao (the first branch located at the corner of EDSA and Aurora Boulevard and not the New York, Cubao branch). I love Jack Kirby's return to Captain America during the American Bicentennial in 1976. That was the "Madbomb" storyline and I used to get my copies at the Army & Navy Club in Manila. 

Anyways, here are some of the back issues I got.

I was never a Green Arrow fan. My one memory of the character was seeing him lose his cool at the end of one story of Justice League of America as he almost got into a fight with Hawkman. Now I picked up The Longbow Hunters because I was a fan of Mike Grell's art on the Legion of the Super-Heroes. I liked Grell's stuff on Warlord and Starslayer and had issues of those titles so picking up The Longbow Hunters was an easy decision. The series will go down not only as his best work ever but perhaps the definitive Green Arrow story. I bought all three individual issues and the trade paperback (pictured above). I also picked up a few other Grell GA stuff.

My original TPB of The Longbow Hunters was destroyed during a typhoon and the original edition was out of print.

DC Comics recently came out with a newer trade paperback but somehow, it didn't cut it for me. I had to get the original first print of the TPB. And so I did. Fanboy satisfied.

Spider-Man has got to be one of my five best comic book characters ever. I loved the old John Romita issues but I only read the copies of an older cousin of mine. When I began to collect the book, Denny O'Neill was the writer. He was followed by Roger Stern and those issues from #200-251 were some of the best ever. I have nothing left from that run (destroyed as well). I have a few trades like the Wizard edition that collected "To Stop the Unbeatable Foe" and "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man" (#250) but I wanted to get some original back issues.

Two of my Spidey faves are J Jonah Jameson-centric stories: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18 that was penned by Stan Lee who returned to the book after over a decade's absence) and illustrated by Ron Frenz while the other was an issue titled "I Cover the Waterfront" from Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man. That was written by Bill Mantlo (who also wrote Amazing at one point) and drawn by Ron Frenz as well. Frenz at that time was hailed as the second coming of Steve Ditko and I loved his throwback style. In both books, Peter/Spidey took a backseat to Jameson but old webhead made an impact. I love these stories. 

I didn't collect G.I. Joe I have to admit. I was familiar with the book and read the copies from y friends' collections. When it was advertised that Michael Golden was going to illustrated Yearbook #2, I bought one. When I moved to the US, I purchased one during a New York Comicon. But I left that went I went back to the Philippines. When I got home, I couldn't find the copy I had purchased all those years ago. I have searched back issue bins for this. And I finally ordered it thru My Comic Shop.

I became a fan of Michael Golden from his days on The Micronauts, a title I love and wish I still had all those back issues. He was even better when he got on The Nam. This issue of G.I. Joe was a delight to glean. Plus it had the Oktober Guard!

I never really collected Magnus The Robot Fighter. My grandfather bought me a few of the Gold Key issues but they didn't impress me then. Yes, I know. I was wrong but I was young. I picked up the tie-up with Nexus because I was a Nexus fan and because Mike Baron and Steve Rude produced the book. The tie-in with Predator was due to the artwork of Lee Weeks who I felt was the second coming of the great David Mazzuchelli. I have since become a fan of Magnus and am looking to get those back issues.


Other stuff I got: the second wave of Amalgam Comics titles, Nexus Dark Horse issues, Detective Comics #500 and #572 (pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths), Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 & 3, Uncanny X-Men #275, and a bunch of others)

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