Friday, July 17, 2009

At Last, You Will Learn What Lives Within...The Comic Box!

Welcome to the first in a series of posts (coming somewhat regularly, but I don't want to bore you with em) featuring some of the comics in my collection!

I have been reading and collecting comics since somewhere around 1993 or 1994. I had comics as a kid and if I was good my parents would sometimes buy me these grab bags they had in a rack at the supermarket. I still have a bunch of them, although I drew in some or got lollipop goo on em (I'm not kidding, I have an issue of the A-Team that I clearly remember drooling an orange lollipop onto accidentally), but I still have em.
My father actually was able to save a couple dozen comics from the wrath of my Grandmother by hiding what she didn't throw away. He put them away and eventually gave them to me, so I have some pretty sweet DC books from the Silver Age (which I will feature from time to time). I also had a great aunt that was something of a pack rat (which is a bit of an understatement) and she had a few silver age books I ended up with too, including what I consider the prize of my collection.
That particular book will probably be featured next time, but for my first post I wanted to go with the theme that got me into real collecting, not just visiting the local comic shop and picking up the new books, I mean real collecting, as in books that tend to be as old or older than I am.

One of my favorite characters, for some reason, is the B list Marvel character, Adam Warlock. He's a Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creation and his first appearance was in Fantastic Four #66 and #67 and at the time was only known as Him.
Him was created by the Enclave to be a perfect god-like being whom they could control and use to take over the world. The plan didn't work out. Recognizing them as evil and destroying their lab, Him eventually left for deep space, with some help from Ben Grim's girlfriend, Alicia Masters.

Adam has since gone on to be a Christ-like savior of Counter Earth, the keeper of the Soul Infinity Gem and a staple of Marvel's cosmic superheroes.
His main power, in my opinion, is his ability to regenerate when he's injured. Each time he forms a protective cocoon around himself and eventually he emerges with slightly different powers. It's a pretty handy ability to have because it means he can be recreated time and time again as each writer sees fit, so the character doesn't necessarily have to get stagnant. He can always be retooled to fit modern sensibilities and no one has a reason to complain about the change, unlike characters like Superman or Spider-Man. If you are going to go and change them, you better have a damn good reason. Often, that's reason is pretty paper thin and only ends with the characters reverting to their old selves, proving that there is no reason to change the character but that the companies should be looking to change the creative team on the damn books.
But I'm getting off on a rant here, back to comic collecting.

So the reason I chose this as my first comic post, was that over the years I had been picking up new Warlock stories but had never read his origin or his original series from the 70's. I knew the story, but not all the details. Some stuff was collected in trades but most of it wasn't. While at the Boston Comic-con I picked up a "Marvel Masterworks, Warlock Vol. 1" on the cheap. I enjoyed the early adventures but didn't expect to ever see a Vol. 2 (it actually just came out last week). So I gave myself the task to collect every appearance of Adam Warlock, as opposed to just key appearances. If I'm going to start something, I figure I might as go all the way.
This was partly inspired by the fine folks I see regularly at Comicazi in Davis Sq. and at gang at Graphic Novel Addict, the graphic novel book club we belong to and it was also just something I had been considering for some time any way.

I found that I quickly learned a lot about comic grades, which comics were more scarce than others and which comics I personally found desirable. This moved me into other characters and other stories and other creators. So far it's been a lot of fun trying to hunt down a decent issue of a comic for a decent price. I feel like I'm finally starting to have a real collection, instead of a crap load of modern age comics that I'll never or rarely read again, I now have a number of comics that are worth re-reading even if it's just to look at the art and that is kind of a cool feeling.

Hooray consumerism!

With that, I'll leave you before I start on another rant!


  1. Although I'm a DC guy, I do know a little bit about the Marvel guys, but will be interested in reading about what you have for books and your thoughts on them. Of course, I'll have plenty to say when you do a DC book. Excelsior!

  2. Have no fear, I'll post some of my DC books. Maybe I'll do one of the DC books next instead of the one I was originally planning on.
    The benefit of posting my Silver Age DC is that I'll have to re-read them again to refresh my memory. It's been a loooooong time since I last took a look.

  3. Keep Gary happy, he is a very loyal reader :D

  4. No mention of Her (aka Paragon aka Kismet aka Ayesha)?

  5. Her was not created at the same time as Him. She didn't pop up until the Incredible Hulk Annual #6, I think, something like 10 (our years) later.