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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Total Comic Mayhem Year In Review 2013

Happy New Year! It seems another year has flown by, and some pretty awesome things have happened in 2013. 

So let's recap:

On the upcoming comic book movie front, we got some really big announcements. This past year saw the Black Panther movie take a back seat to a confirmed Ant-Man movie directed by Edgar Wright. Just recently it was confirmed that Paul Rudd will be Ant-Man. Disney and Marvel also announced a Doctor Strange movie for part of their cinematic Phase 3, though the actor to play Doctor Strange has yet been announced.

Casting for Guardians of the Galaxy saw some major actors stepping in the roles of the Marvel cosmic comic team. Zoe Saldana will be stepping into the role of Gamora, and WWE wrestler Dave Bautista was cast for the bad ass role of Drax the Destroyer. Also Bradley Cooper will voice Rocket Racoon with Vin Diesel voicing Groot.

Also, Marvel and Disney announced that the highly anticipated Avengers sequel will be titled Avengers Age of Ultron, giving us comic fans the low down on the sequels next main baddie. James Spader from the movie Stargate will play Ultron. Joss Whedon also leaked out that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will assemble in the sequel as well. Aaron Johnson Taylor from the Kick Ass movies will be the mutant speedster, though it's highly unlikely that this Quicksilver version will be a mutant since Fox owns the rights to Marvel's gallery of mutant comic characters.

It seems that we got two Quicksilvers in the movie world. After it was announced that the sequel to X-Men First Class would be X-Men Days of Future Past, based on the fan favorite comic book storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, the role of Quicksilver was cast and confirmed to be in the sequel. We also got the leak the very unsurprising leak that the sequel would center around Logan, deviating from the comic's central character of Kitty Pryde. 

Don't know what to think of that, but I am excited to see that we finally get our Sentinels causing mayhem for our mutant heroes in this flick. Oh, yes, and we did get to see the first trailer for Days of Future Past, and it looks like it might be a winner.

We also got a glimpse of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer which teased and hinted at all sorts of crazy stuff that Sony plans to do with the franchise. Like Fox with the X-Men, it's pretty clear that Sony is gunning to expand their Spider-Man cinematic world. Last month saw the announcement that Sony plans to produce spin-off flicks, with Venom and a Sinister Six movie in the works.

As for comic book movies that came out in 2013, I have but one word for that - disappointing! Yep, yep!

Iron Man 3 was garbage, and what they did with the Mandarin character was just inexcusable. Actually, all the villains in the movie were flat out lame. Not that the acting was not good. The acting was just fine. The villains were just written horribly. Why don't any of these directors put their foot down when they realize just how much a character, or characters, are being butchered? Shane Black, I don't even know what to say.

Thor 2 The Dark World? No comment! Okay, I do have a comment. The Dark Elves looked like Teletubbies on acid. And Dark Elves? Just doesn't seem like worthy opponents for Thor nor his fellow Asgardians when there are a lot more interesting villains Thor could smite with his mighty hammer. Okay, that was two.

Sadly to say that Man of Steel was the best comic book movie to hit theaters this past year. It didn't really impress me all that much, but the announcement that the sequel would see the team up of Batman and Superman did! Even if Warner Bros. did cast Ben Affleck and there was a huge outcry about him being Batman.

As I stated earlier I have Ben Affleck's back on this. Why? I'll give you two reasons:

First of all homeboy is a comic geek and a comic fan to begin with. I give him props on that. Two, he's been a loyal friend of Kevin Smith, whom I'm a fan of, even to the point of hurting his career in the past while starring in some of Smith's later films. I give Ben even more props on that.

Oh yes, and just recently we got the announcement that Wonder Woman will be finally making her big screen debut by casting actress Gal Gadot. Now that's truly exciting and a bit scary at the same time, but I do have to say it's about time!

On the comic book front: It was a pretty good year for me. I was able to cross off quite a few from my want list and shorten that up a bit. Okay, that was a lie. Every time I cross one off, I discover five more key issue comics that I want. 

But I was able to finally get Amazing Spider-Man #129, first appearance of the Punisher, CGC graded 8.0. I know, it's the bottom tier of what is a high grade comic, but it's a dead solid investment comic that has an impeccable track record of being highly sought out. Been gunning for that one for a long time, so I'm happy that I finally pulled the trigger.

I also snagged an Amazing Spider-Man #8 CGC 6.0, solid FINE, and a CGC 4.5, Very Good Plus, Amazing Spider-Man #15, first appearance of Kraven The Hunter.

As for my X-Men fix, an unslabbed X-Men #5 and a CGC 9.4 Near Mint X-Men #115 was added to my vault. Also, I finally was able to scratch off X-Men #95, CGC graded 7.0, off my want list. I found that at the Toy Havoc and Comic Chaos convention at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

And last but not least, although ASM #129 was my last purchase of 2013 concerning comics, a nice CGC 9.4 Star Wars #1 from the first Marvel series found a nice home within my vault as well.

However, the highlights concerning comics really were the two comics I submitted at the CGC booth at the Big Wow Comic Fest last year. The two was Amazing Spider-Man #6, first appearance of Lizard, and Giant Size X-Men #1. I was hoping the ASM #6 would come back the most a Very Good, but it came back a 5.0 Very Good/FINE. Can't complain about that.

As for the Giant Size X-Men #1, I was hoping the most a Very Fine and dreading it coming back a FINE or labeled restored. However, I pleasantly excited when it came back a whopping 9.4 Near Mint. Actually, excited is an understatement, but I really can't find the word to describe the feeling of getting it back at that grade and giving myself high fives since there was no one around to high five.

Then, Gerry's Marvel Superheroes Secret War #8, first black Symbiote costume, finally came back from CGC and was a gorgeous 9.6 Near Mint Plus to top off the years CGC submission goodness. We are both definitely looking forward to submitting more to CGC this year. 

Speaking of costumes, cosplaying in 2013 was finally a reality, and dressing up as the Red Hood at Stockton Con was really an awesome experience and so much fun. Once again thanks to Gerry for taking the pics that day. I can't wait to cosplay again at Big Wow Comic Fest and Stockton Con this year as well. Hopefully I can get both Gerry and Jamie to do it as well. If you're in the bay area California and are planning to attend these comic conventions, look for me and say hi. It's always great to meet fellow comic book collectors and fans.

As for Total Comic Mayhem, 2013 has been an okay year. TCM finally has a Facebook page, and there are a few who actually like it. I truly appreciate those that did and for those who've shared posts and commented on them. I'm sincerely grateful, so thank you.

Actually, thank you for just reading. I hope this year will bring more comic book goodness as it did in 2013 for us all. Actually, I'm pretty sure it will. As for the new year here at Total Comic Mayhem, plan for more comic book goodness, so keep staying tuned!

Happy Safe New Year! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

NewKadia Once A Year Clearance Sale 20 to 30% Off!

Another year is quickly winding down and that means a lot of businesses will be trying to clear out old inventory so they can bring in the new. Comic shops online or offline are no exception, and it's a great time to get some deals.

So, where to buy comics and get in on some of these savings to expand your comic book collection and start your comic collecting new year off right? NewKadia is once again having their annual clearance sale in which you can save from 20% to 30% off all orders. Not too shabby. Here's the spread:

Save on orders
20%....$20 to $249
25%....$250 to $598
30%....$599 and up

The sale ends Jan. 13th, 2014! Just use this code you see below at checkout:


Once again, if you've never bought from NewKadia before, you are still eligible to save even more with their 1st Time Customer Sale:

15% . . . $10 - $48
18% . . . $49 - $98 
20% . . . $99 - $298
25% . . . $299 - $498
30% . . . $499 & up 

If you are a new buyer to NewKadia, use the code below at checkout:

Use the new4 code for the 1st Time Customer Sale before you use the coupon code for the Clearance Sale. Not only will you miss the opportunity to save with the new4  coupon code forever if you don't, the minimum purchase price to receive 30% off your entire order is lower than the clearance sale savings.

But that's only if you really are a 1st time buyer with NewKadia. I cannot use this the new4 code, and I got some great comics my first time buying from NewKadia.

I got Journey Into Mystery #118, first appearance of The Destroyer at a FINE, and I also got Daredevil #7 (first red costume) in the same order. I believe the Daredevil #7 was a FINE Plus. In fact, there is a very good minus copy of Daredevil #7 for sale right now at the time of this writing if that's on your want list.

I also saw a Green Lantern #2 from volume two (silver age). It holds the first appearance of Pieface, and the grade is advertised as Very Good Plus (VG+). There's actually quite a few Green Lantern volume two comics within the #1-20 range for sale at NewKadia that I've spotted. They might go fast during this clearance sale, so I cannot guarantee they'll still be there by the time you read this. It still never hurts to check, so be sure to click this Green Lantern link here to see what silver age goodies are still in stock.

And, of course, there's plenty more great silver age, bronze age, copper age, and modern age comics to buy and save on over there. You'll just have to break out those want lists and hunt around the site for a bit. There's even some golden age comics there if you hunt around long enough.

Oh, yes, and no you cannot stack the coupon codes on top of each other. Only one coupon code is allowed per order, which is why I'm stressing that if you've never bought comics there, use the new4 code before you dig into the clearance sale savings. The 1st Time Customer sale is only a once in a lifetime thing, while clearance sales are every year.

Alrighty now, thanks for reading and happy hunting! If you're new to my site, feel free to look around. See ya next time!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas From Total Comic Mayhem!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope everyone got through all the usual Christmas shopping mayhem and had a safe one this year.

We all know it can get quite loopy out there during the silly season, which is why I usually buy 99.9% of my gifts online. Quick, easy, and convenient without the hassle. Who can beat that?

So my standout gifts so far are from my very good friends Gerry and Jamie. Got the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Back to the Future trilogy on bluray! I've played all three movies over and over so far! It's been a long time since I've seen those movies, and they brought back some great memories. have the song "Back in Time" by Huey Lewis & The News stuck in my head.

Gerry got me three CGC comic boxes, which is awesome! Now I just need to find a good place to store it, and I noticed I seriously need to start submitting more comics to CGC so I can fill her up.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what to get Jamie, so I just got her a gift card at Walmart. Better to give her something she can use instead of gifting her something she won't even like. As for Gerry, I got him a Spider-Man PS3 game, because that's his favorite character. Hopefully I gave some good gifts out also this year.

Well, I hope you got some pretty awesome Christmas gifts as well this morning - perhaps some nice CGC comics or some great key issue comics. Just comics in general would be pretty awesome or maybe some cool comic related stuff as well. I also hope you all had a great Christmas Eve dinner with the family and got to spend some quality time with friends and loved ones. After all, that's what it's suppose to be about, right?

Wow, this year has flown by. Lots of comic goodness this year and hopefully more to come for all of us next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays if ya celebrate something else and see ya soon!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Paul Rudd Confirmed As Henry Pym The Ant-Man!

Finally, we get some great Ant-Man movie news on which actor will step into the role of founding Avengers member Henry Pym as the Ant-Man. If you were rooting for Joseph Gordon Levitt, sorry but it's not him. Well, not yet.

Paul Rudd image
So who is it? None other than Paul Rudd. Yes, he has been rumored to be in the front running for the role for a long time along side Levitt, but Marvel confirmed that Rudd is the winner.

Kevin Feige stated, “When Edgar Wright came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd, we felt a huge sense of relief because the first step in creating any Marvel Studios film is finding the right star. We knew early on that we had found the right person in Paul. When he not only agreed to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we’d ever met with about doing the work, we knew we’d found the right guy. We couldn’t be more excited for our audiences to see what he’s going to do to bring Ant-Man to life.”

I agree! Although not really my choice, I am quite interested in what he'll bring to the role also. He has yet to play a big action movie, and his career has been regulated to primarily comedies and romantic comedies such as Anchorman 1 & 2, Our Idiot Brother, Admission, Knocked Up, and so forth. But, he does look like he could pull off an overly intelligent, snarky, and arrogant yet self-conscious scientist, which is needed to play Dr. Henry Pym.

That's if Henry Pym will be the star of Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. Different sources have been spewing that Edgar Wright may focus on Scott Lang instead, and other sources confirm the Ant-Man movie will be about the original Ant-Man. Yet, others rumor point to both actors being in the movie with Rudd as Henry Pym and Joseph Gordon Levitt as Scott Lang.

UPDATE: It appears that Michael Douglas will be playing Henry Pym and Paul Rudd will be playing Scott Lang. It's probably safe to guess that the Ant-Man flick will focus more on the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man.

Anyways, finally casting the lead role is good Ant-Man movie news. Filming of Ant-Man is slated to begin next year, and plot details for the movie that will spear head Marvel's "Phase 3" has been tightly under wraps.

Rashida Jones picture
As for rumors surrounding Janet Van Dyne, also known as The Wasp and original founding member of the Avengers (in the comic books at least), the only contender for the role that has been circulating around the rumor-mill is the ever gorgeous Rashida Jones. I sure do hope the rumors are true on this call, and she ends up with the role. She can definitely pull off the strikingly beautiful yet smart type of woman. Cut her hair a bit shorter, throw in a red tint, and we've got our Wasp.

Also, both Rudd and Jones are not strangers to working with each other. They've both acted together in the movies Our Idiot Brother and I love You, Man. They seemed to have great chemistry in Our Idiot Brother. Still, even though Marvel Entertainment may want her, we shouldn't forget that Jones could still deny the role, which I hope she seriously does not.

Though Edgar Wright has yet to comment about Rashida Jones for the part, he has said, "Janet would [only] be a love interest and major supporting character, we would see multiple references to her future as The Wasp throughout the film."

Looking for the first appearance of Ant-Man or The Wasp? Just click the link to find out!
“Janet would [only] be a love interest and a major supporting character, we would see multiple references to her future as The Wasp throughout the film.”
Edgar Wright's plans for The Wasp in the Ant-Man adaptation: “Janet would [only] be a love interest and a major supporting character, we would see multiple references to her future as The Wasp throughout the film.
Edgar Wright's plans for The Wasp in the Ant-Man adaptation: “Janet would [only] be a love interest and a major supporting character, we would see multiple references to her future as The Wasp throughout the film.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sony Announces Venom and Sinister Six Spin Off Movies!

As I was saying earlier in High Grade Alert post for Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie trailer made quite a few references to other characters in the Spider-Man comics. I speculated that it would only be a matter of time before the Sinister Six may make an appearance in theaters.

Not long after my speculation, Sony released a press release saying that they were going to expand on the Spider-Man cinematic universe. Surprise, surprise. Actually, it's not since the studios (Fox, Sony, WB) are now following the model of what Disney and Marvel accomplished with all the movies that tied into the mega-hit Avengers movie last year.

So what's the scoop? A venom movie is finally seriously in the works. Fans have been chanting for a Venom movie for a while now, and it seems that Marc Webb has finally gave the studio a workable in for the character.

Venom was one of the characters the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer made a reference to, along with Morbius, Doctor Octopus, and The Vulture, and it appears the Venom spin-off movie will be linked in shared Amazing Spider-Man cinematic universe. Surprise, surprise!

So, it looks like the first appearance of Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #300 will get another boost in demand, which will be great for my copy. I need to get that one CGC'd. 

The other major shocker announced by Sony was a Sinister Six spin-off movie in the works as well, and this movie seems to be what would've been Amazing Spider-Man #4. Makes complete sense why Andrew Garfield recently said, "not anything to do with me," after being questioned about a possible fourth film. 

And whom can we safely assume with be the rogue gallery of this cinematic Sinister Six? The Lizard, Green Goblin, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Electro, and the Rhino. Eh, at least they have three of the original Sinister Six members.

However, that won't matter for the comic book. The first appearance of the Sinister Six is already hot, and values are being pushed up as you read this.

A dream team of sorts has been assembled to get these projects in the works and to cohesively share the same movieverse. 

The triple brain busting team of Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Ed Solomon will write Venom, with Kurtzman directing the future project.

However, Drew Goddard will write and possibly direct Sinister Six. If you've yet to watch the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer, just click the link. It looks pretty damn good.

Looking for the first appearance of Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, The Vulture, and Electro? Just visit the link to see my list of Spider-Man key comics you should be on the hunt for and soon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Interview With A Comic Fan Case File #1: Gerry!

Comic fans! We are diverse bunch from all walks of life from all over the globe, fanatic about the comic book characters we love and especially our collections. 

And no one comic fan is alike. We are all unique in our likes of comic characters, comic artists, writers, allegiance to comic publishers, and especially comic collecting methods.

I don't know about you, but I love talking about comics. So when my buddy Gerry and I were rapping about comics one day, I brought up the idea of interviewing him. Why not? I thought. 

It's fun to learn about how others got into this crazy world of comic collecting, what certain characters lured them in and why, and what personal philosophies they have on the matter. 

So here it is Interview With A Comic Fan Case File #1. Enjoy!

The Punisher #31 cover imageWhat got you started in comic collecting?

I was never really interested in comics until one day I was wandering through my local book store and came across a rack of comic books. As I was glancing through the titles that were there, The Punisher #31 caught my eye. I picked it up and started scanning through it, then decided I had to buy it. I took it home and read it and I've been hooked on comics ever since.

Why? What is it about comics that appeal to you so much?

I was really into the artwork. I still enjoy looking through my old comics and checking out the art. I tried really hard to draw the characters and the action like I saw in those panels but could never copy what I saw in the books. 

I'm not as much of a fan of the newer artwork. Not because of the artists, but the fact that they use computers to color in a scene now. There's something I like about the simplicity of the colors in the older comics.

I can still remember the first comic I ever read and it's definitely not what anyone would think it would be. Therefore, can you still  remember the first comic book you ever read and what was it?

Yes! The Punisher #31. And I still have it to this day. I don't really remember the story but I can remember buying it almost as if it was yesterday.

Every collector has a certain style of collecting whether it's a certain character/title or key issues or only high grade or certain comic eras like silver age or bronze age. Many collectors mix these preferences as well like I do. What's your approach to collecting? Any particular preferences?

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 comic
My style of collecting has definitely changed over the years. Shortly after I started collecting comics, I really got into Spider-Man. I had a friend in Jr. High that traded me all of his Spider-Man and X-Men comics for a handful of Gameboy games. I ended up getting The Amazing Spider-Man annual #21 in that trade. 

My collection was starting to get bigger and bigger, and I wanted more and more books. I'd buy long boxes just to build up my collection. I decided now that I want a good collection, not a big collection, so now I'm trying to thin down my collection to more key issues. I like owning those parts of comic book history.

We all have want lists and there are always comics that are on top of our want lists. What's the comic book you are gunning for the most right now?

Right now I'm always on the lookout for some good silver age Amazing Spider-Man keys, but also on my want list is Superboy #68, the first appearance of Bizzaro. Why you ask? I don't really know. It's just something I'd like to have.

You know I love comic book movies and I know you love 'em too, but what's your favorite live action comic book movie to date so far?

This is probably the hardest question for me. How do I choose? I really liked Watchmen and V for Vendetta. Maybe The Dark Knight. There are so many great comic book movies, it's hard to remember them all or pick just one.

What comic book movie you are most looking forward to watching when it hits the theaters?

I'm really looking forward to The Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a title I used to read when I was younger. I also want to see a Spider-Man movie with Mysterio or the Sinister Six in it.

Who are your favorite comic artists?

I really liked Todd McFarlane's work on The Amazing Spider-Man. Jim Lee is one of my favorites too. I recently had the privilage to meet Ron Lim and not only is he a great artist, but also one hell of a nice guy.

I agree. Ron Lim is one hell of a nice guy and if any of you should ever see him at a comic convention, be sure to stop by and say hi to him. Ron is a class act, and so is my buddy Gerry for taking the time to indulge me with this interview.

Amazing Spider Man Annual #21 and Punisher #31 comics
Comic images courtesy of Gerry Dudley

A big thanks to him and to you for reading. Stay tuned for more comic book goodness coming soon!

The Comic Collector's Important List Of Spider Man Comics Part 4

Alrighty, I decided to extend or expand this key Spider-Man issue list with a part 4, because it seems I forgot some pretty important Spider-Man comics to be on the hunt for. So let's stop wasting time and get this going!

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
  •  First appearance of the Sinister Six
Okay, as I've written prior, there's a big buzz about Sony expanding the Spider-Man movie universe basically because all the other studios are doing it and cashing in. Ka-ching!

So, with the announcement of a Sinister Six spin off movie in development, you can guess what's happening with the first appearance of the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, right?

That's right: homeboy is on the hot burner. Not that this wasn't already an in-demand key issue before. It was, as this is the iconic and most popular super villain team up of some of Spidey's greatest foes ever like Doctor Octopus, The Vulture, Sandman, and Electro just to name a few.

Anyway you wanna slice it, this is a key Spider-Man comic to get, and it's already pretty darn expensive even in lower grades. Higher grades are becoming more and more harder to find.

ebay - A few unslabbed copies in the lower grade realm, and a CGC 4.5 available. There is one CGC high grade copy at a Very Fine 8.0. 

The one CGC 8.5 Very Fine Plus copy I posted in the High Grade Alert section has unsurprisingly already been snagged. If this is key issue comic is high on your list, be sure to click the link and see the ebay search results for this issue.

ComicLink - A whopping CGC 9.8 high grade copy found on ComicLink. Also is an unslabbed VF and a CGC 7.0 FN/VF.

 Amazing Spider-Man King Size Special #5 
  • First appearance of Richard Parker
  • First appearance of Mary Parker 
 Oh, the first appearances of Peter Parker's mysterious parents? Yub, yub and it's in this annual. Actually this was brought to my attention by a fellow reader on my facebook page, so here it is. 

It seems like the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie is gearing up to reveal Peter Parker's mysterious past and his parents as well, so this book that reveals the first appearance of Richard Parker and the first appearance of Mary Parker (only in flashbacks though) will get a nice boost once more catch on.

NewKadia -  Three unslabbed copies found here. Highest is a VF- low Very Fine, and the others are in the Very Good realm. Not too bad. Just click the blue link if those appeal to you and you'll be directed to the page where you can get this bad boy.

Also, please remember if you've never purchased from NewKadia before, enter the code new4 during checkout to get your discount!
mycomicshop - Three copies here as well. No CGC unfortunately. Highest copy is a FN-, low FN. Really affordable.

ebay - No problem finding unslabbed copies of this Amazing Spider-Man King Size Special on ebay, and they're really cheap now. However, I only saw a CGC 8.0 Signature Series copy signed by Stan Lee on ebay. It's the best time to get this sleeper comic before it gets a huge expected push.

ComicLink - If high grade CGC copies are more in your blood, then ComicLink has some of ASM King Size Special #5 worth checking it out. Highest is a CGC solid NM 9.4, a CGC 9.2 low Near Mint, as well as a CGC 8.5. These are super affordable for silver age key issues.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21
  • Wedding Issue
Okay, there's no movie backing up this issue, but it's still a good one to get. Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's relationship is iconic in the world of Marvel Comics, and this wedding issue solidifies that.

NewKadia - Only two copies left. Highest is a NM-, low NM. The second is a VF-, low Very Fine. If you're looking for cheap key issue comics, there they are just waiting to be snagged. You'll need to scroll near the bottom of the page once you click the NewKadia link above.

ebay - This wedding issue is also a sleeper, and still highly reasonable to get. It's also no trouble finding. Even in high grade CGC copies. Saw a beautiful CGC 9.8 copy in the search results. Just click the ebay link above to be instantly teleported there. 

If you're hunting for high grade CGC Copies, just visit the link to check out the selection on ebay as of this writing. 

ComicLink - Two beautiful CGC 9.8 copies available, as well as two CGC 9.4 copies.

Okie Dokey, I think I'll end it there. Whether I continue in expanding this series, I really don't know. I probably will.

If you haven't read the previous parts to this list of Spider-Man key issues, just use the links below to navigate your way around. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed. Please share. It would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


X-Factor #5
1st appearance of Apocalypse (Cameo)
 Published June 1986
Writer: Bob Layton
Artist: Jackson Guice
Inker: Josef Rubinstein

High Grade Key Issue Located:

mycomicshop - Gorgeous CGC 9.8 has been located at mycomicshop for this X-Factor #5 copper age key issue. Only $130, minus buyer's premium and shipping. 

This is the best deal I could find. Even ebay prices for high grade CGC 9.8 copies are going for more than the one located at mycomicshop.


I'm pretty sure you know already why, but for those that don't it seemed that Bryan Singer got all excited and tweeted that the next X-Men installment titled X-Men: Apocalypse. The movie will be released in 2016.

Quite strange for Bryan Singer to unleash such news even before the X-Men movie Days of Future Past that he's currently working on hasn't even been released in theaters yet. But, oh, well! I'm not complaining.
So we know that Apocalypse will be making his big debut on screen, and we all know what certain key issue is now on the hot burner. That's right: X-Factor #5!

This copper age key issue is known as the first appearance of Apocalypse, but it really only shows in shadow. Wouldn't that be a first brief appearance of the character? I don't know. I don't make up these first brief and first full appearance rules.

One of the oldest living  and powerful mutants alive, Apocalypse was created by writer Louise Simonson and designed by artist Walter Simonson. He has become a fan favorite villain within the X-Men universe, and it's no surprise that the character will finally be added the X-Men cinematic universe. 

What is surprising is that this key issue Marvel first appearance has taken so long to get a boost in demand. So far X-Factor #5 is worth well over the hundred dollar mark for most high grade CGC copies. However, I'm sure you can still get unslabbed copies for way less, but getting an unslabbed that's truly a 9.8 and not over graded is a different story.

If you didn't already know, the first X-Factor comics basically spun off the original X-Men characters of Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Marvel Girl (also known as Jean Grey) into their own series. The series first came out when I was a kid, and I do actually remember picking it up the first issue.

Alright, X-Factor #5, first appearance of Apocalypse (as regarded for now), is expected to be in demand for quite a while. I'm even expecting this issue to keep in solid demand after the movie in 2016. 

This is a copper age book, so that means the highest grade you can get, as there are already a lot of high grade copies floating around. I wouldn't go below a 9.6. Actually, I would only consider a 9.8, but that's just me.

Once again, the CGC 9.8 copy at mycomicshop is the best deal I could find (as of this writing) for it's grade. It won't last long there either. There's a second copy there at the same grade that's selling for the average price going around of $180. 

Looking to find more high grade comics? Visit the link to see the High Grade Alert section.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Marvel Star Wars #1 CGC 9.4 Near Mint

I remember once seeing the Marvel Star Wars #1 comic as a kid back in the mid-80s. Matt's older brother had one and read a lot of that first series. I doubt he still has that #1 issue or any of those comics. They were all probably readers anyways.

A little back ground about this comic? Lucasfilm's publicity supervisor, Charles Lippincott, met with Stan Lee in 1975 to talk about Marvel Comics publishing a Star Wars comic book prior to the film's release. This was a move to appeal to the film's most likely audience and garner excitement for the film prior to release. 

Stan Lee declined the proposal until the film was completed. At the time, movie tie-in comics did not sell well, but Roy Thomas ended up convincing Stan Lee in a second meeting, in which a publishing arrangement was negotiated that provided no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000.  Only until sales reached this provision could legal arrangements be revisited.

Well, we all know what happened with movie. It became one of the most iconic films in pop culture around the world, a long with the film's characters like Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. 

Also, as Roy Thomas foresaw, the Star Wars comic series became one of the industry's top selling titles from 1979 to 1980, and the sales quota of 100,000 copies was reached quickly. Issues #1-6 are adaptations of Star Wars: A New Hope, but the series was so popular that much of the comic series involved new stories, with the exception of issues #39-44 which adapted The Empire Strikes Back.

Once Disney bought the Star Wars franchise and announced more movies, I immediately started gunning for the first 1977 Marvel Star Wars #1. I knew that this comic was primed to go up in value. It wasn't just because news of more Star Wars movies would help to push demand for this bronze age key issue. To be honest, the movie news hype has done little to raise the value of this key issue. Another key reason I was intent on getting this was because this issue would hit its 40th anniversary in 2017.

So, in the summer of this year (2013), I searched on ebay, but found none up for auction. I wanted a CGC copy and a solid near mint 9.4, nothing lower than that. I even did a High Grade Alert post on this comic, letting you all know that this comic should be in your sights back in April.

Any how, I ended up getting a CGC 9.4 solid near mint with the buy it now price of $140. Oops! I would later find that I over paid about $30 bucks at the time, for I would see auctions of CGC 9.4 copies drop a few weeks later at around $110 to $120.

I wasn't too worried about it, however. I mean, sure, getting it cheaper would mean that I'd have more of a profit from my investment, but I knew this comic would rise in value soon. 

Well, it did. It went up $10 from last year, reaching $120 at low near mint grades. Recent sales on ebay for Star Wars #1 CGC 9.4 are dropping around $160 to $170, so demand is increasing slowly. Once it nears to the release of Episode 7, I expect demand for this issue to increase more and once the movie is in theaters, I expect demand to increase even more.

Regardless of all that comic investing mess, I still always wanted this comic since I was a fan of the movies...well, the original trilogy at least...and now it's a prized piece in my vault. Though, the thought that I should've gotten a CGC 9.8 copy still lingers in the back of my mind.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Comics Collectionary! Another Great Resource for Comic Fans!
Alrighty, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back and glad to have ya. Since I started Total Comic Mayhem, I wanted this blog to be a great resource for comic collectors and fans to find information on most everything about comics, comic investing, the best places where to buy comics, as well as other comic-related sites worth checking out.

The Collectionary is one of those resources that comic fans should check out. It aims to be a dictionary for collectibles, where you can go and discover neat facts about various items you've collected over the years. Not just for comics, but everything collectible like action figures, sports cards, you name it. 
They do have a specific section just for comics, called the Comics Collectionary, and it looks like it's becoming a pretty cool and fast growing community. It's free to join as well.

Another cool thing is the site also directs you to where you can find certain comics, just like here on Total Comic Mayhem. So, if I'm unable to locate certain silver age comics, golden age comics, or whatever comic era, The Collectionary may be able to point you to where that Marvel first appearance or DC Comics key issue you're on the hunt for can be found and snagged.

Anything to help you guys with your hunt to find key comics and some deals. So, I recommend checking out their site and thought I'd let the fine folks at The Collectionary explain what they're about.

What inspired The Collectionary into existence?

The Collectionary was created because we wanted to create a Dictionary of everything in the world that people collect.   There are hundreds of e-commerce sites, but there is no dedicated place where you can learn about different items. Whether it's the history, facts, or unique attributes regarding a particular collectible or item, we want to give people a place to learn about the collectibles they love.   

What made you coin it The Collectionary? 

Collectionary comes from combining the words Collection and Dictionary.  A fun play on words that explains what we are working on with our site and brand. 

Why is your site devoted solely to Comics?

No, the Comics Collectionary is one out of hundreds of different Collectionaries to join.  We have expert collectors we call moderators that help us with each Collectionary to add new and cool items to the site.  In fact, we would love to have more Comics moderators willing to help out :). 

What's the takeaway for potential customers? What can they hope to gain from perusing your site?

We hope anyone checking out our site will enjoy looking at all the amazing collectibles ever created.  Looking at the older, nostalgic items we want them to bring back many fond memories as a child or another time in your life.  We also want people to learn about Collectibles as we point to where those items are for sale anywhere on the internet. 

Anything unusual worth noting about your site? Comics? 

Our site would love to have more moderators helping us out. I'm sure you will find many unusual and never before seen Comics items here.

So there ya are! Sounds pretty cool, eh? Be sure to visit the link and check out the Comics Collectionary

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for even more comic goodness coming soon.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

HIGH GRADE ALERT: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 CGC 8.5 VF+

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
1st appearance of The Sinister Six

Published Nov 1964
Writer: Stan Lee

 Artist: Steve Ditko
Inker: Steve Ditko

High Grade Key Issue Located:


The first Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, c'mon? This is a must have just for that sole reason alone. Well, okay, maybe not, but a CGC 8.5 VF+ is an investment worthy copy for this silver age key issue.

But more on reasons why this issue is important. Can we say the super-villain team this comic issue introduces? Yes, that's right - It's the Sinister Six, whom are beloved by many Spidey fans. 

This super villain team is an ensemble of many of Spider-Man's most deadly and popular foes. With members like Doctor Octopus, The Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and Sandman, who can say anything else but "classic".

This is an important key issue no doubt, and an extremely wise investment comic to own. However, in light of the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie trailer, in which dropped some easter eggs, this silver age key issue comic may soon be even hotter.

The Vulture and Doctor Octopus ASM 2 easter egg pic

Fanboys have long speculated that the Spider-Man movie franchise may be working towards introducing the Sinister Six, and this rumor may not remain one for long. Nothing has been confirmed, take into mind, but this one scene from the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer does hint at Doctor Octopus and The Vulture, two original members of the Sinister Six.

If true, I'm sure the line up would be different and not feature all the members of the original Sinister Six. I'm pretty sure they will substitute Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. However, like a fellow comic fan commented on the ASM 2 movie post on Total Comic Mayhem, it sure does look like Oscorp is becoming a "super villain central" in the rebooted Spidey movie franchise.

But even if these are just rumors and remain so, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 and the first appearance of the Sinister Six should either already be in your collection or on your want list. And if you're a high grade collector, perhaps that CGC 8.5 VF+ is the perfect comic to invest in and add to your collection.

If you haven't seen the trailer, just visit the link to see the first official Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie trailer.

Also, if you're a Spidey comic collector, be sure to click the link to see a list of important Spider-Man key comics, an ultimate reference guide for your want list.