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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! 


  1. Hi, It's Loren again. I'm the guy always posting. Just wishing you a Happy New Years! I got a few goodies this year too. I just upgraded my Amazing Spiderman 2 from a 2.5 pgx to a VF signed Stan Lee copy. I also snagged iron man 55 cgc 7.5, and Spidey 121 & 122 Both cgc 8.0
    I am drooling over your Xmen 9.4..Wow! And I totally agree with your IronMan 3 movie review..yuck!
    Looking forward to more of your comic words of wisdom in 2014....ROCK!!!

    1. Hey Loren, thanks for always commenting, and Happy New Years too. Damn, I'm drooling over your Amazing Spider-Man #2 VF and signed by Stan Lee! That's awesome! The first appearance of Thanos is still a strong investment, and #121/122 for ASM are classics! Great snags. Looks like 2013 was a great year for you as well. Rock On!

  2. I must say, you've made some excellent investments this year. I've been able to do the same on that front as well pulling in a ASM 50, ASM 129, Giant Sized X-Men #1 & (my proudest one) Avengers 4, just to name a few. I tried working on a lot of first appearances this year and have been pretty successful. But now it's time to focus on the new year in comics which entails filling holes in early runs of X-men & Avengers to start then I plan on working on a run of the original Ghost Rider series. What are some of your goals leading into the new year?

    1. You got some great snags too. Avengers #4...I'd be proud of that one as well. As for goals leading into the new year: Hulk 181!

  3. Off the cuff question: We invest our time & money in comics, hoping one day to turn a nice profit on our investments. Who will be buying the comics 20 years from now? Most kids I talk to don't even collect comics. Is it going to go south like Beanie Babies & Baseball Cards? What will keep the Next Generations hunting after these pricey bits of colored paper?

    1. I see kids all the time at comic conventions and in comic shops. What's really surprising is that I see a lot of teen girls and women collecting comics. When I was growing up, hardly any female was into collecting comics. If they were, they were in the closet about it.

      Comic conventions use to be just a lot of guys geeking out. Now, comic conventions have a huge diversity of all ages, genders, nationalities, and races attending them. Even smaller cons like Stockton Con and Big Wow have a lot of diverse people attending them.

      The market is definitely growing, look at all the online comic market places now. Comic book movies are not just revitalizing interest in comics, they're spreading comic heroes and the hobby globally. A whole different generation is being exposed to comic books all over the world from the movies.

      As for Beanie Babies & Baseball Cards, Beanie Babies were a flat out trend...unlike Transformers. Baseball cards, I still know a few who collect Baseball Cards, but my take on that is that they're just not as fun like comics.

      Comics first intended purpose is not to collect. It was to read, enjoy the story and the artwork, and fall in love with the characters. Baseball cards first purpose was primarily to collect. Sure you can read the statistics of a player on a baseball card, but personally I could care less about statistics.

      That's just my opinion about Baseball cards.

    2. You are right about comicons. I just sold comics & comic art at the Albany Comicon.
      There were many people buying comics, a few buying art, and tons of people just dressing up to be seen. There were all ages and a lot of excitement over heroes & movies.
      Growing up, I had always hoped that I would one day see my fave heroes on the big screen. I was a kid when Superman hit, and was re-ignited about comics when the Batman movie (1989) came out. I immediately went directly to the nearest comic book store for a fix. And now, my brother and I are alway on the hunt. I had baseball cards as a kid, but they were'nt as cool as a colorful comic cover and story. COMICS ROCK!
      Also, I invest in silver/gold, but with all of the "manipulation", it's sometimes a tough road. Comics are just wayyyyy more fun. When I first saw beanie babies, I thought $40 for a bean bag? but then again, I will drop $750 on a comic and feel like I got a good deal. Later, Loren

    3. Was it your first time selling at a comicon? How was the experience?

      I felt the same way growing up as a kid. I remember watching every episode of the Electric Company, hoping it be one that had Spidey on it. I, too, was blown away by Superman The Movie and the Batman 1989, but I kept wondering why Marvel was lagging behind on that. Then the Punisher came out with Dolph Lungren, and I was so excited in hearing about that. I rented it and was like, WTF is this. It was terrible.

      I collected Baseball, Football, and Basketball cards for a short while, but stopped due to an unfortunate incident. I agree, COMICS DO ROCK!

      Keep rockin', Loren. Always good to hear from ya!

  4. Happy New Year!

    Firstly, I want to say that this is a great site and I check it almost every day for your next post! You're writing is clear and well researched, perfect.

    I also thought about the future of comic collecting and weighed up it's worth. However, on Christmas Day my 13 year old cousin showed me his new Wii game (the name is lost on me) but it had Thor, Captain America, Dr Doom, Iron Man etc. He's never picked up a comic in his life, yet he knows these characters inside out!

    For this new generation there will be a shift away from buying traditional paper comics to buying these types of computer games, more superhero movies and a shift into digital comics. But, when grow up and all these things become a bit childish they will want that form of nostalgia and artwork in the form of an original comic. As you said, these characters are being idolsed at conventions across the world, theyre part of popular culture. I think it's still a great time to invest, but what I've learnt this year is to be far more selective as those 'keys' are keys for a reason.

    Look forward to more great posts in 2014!

    1. Heya Brook,

      Happy New Year! That actually sounds like how I started getting into comics. I use to watch the Incredible Hulk t.v. series as a kid. He was my favorite then, even had the Hulk doll modeled off of Lou Ferrigno. Then of course it was the Batman t.v. series reruns, the Super Friends cartoon, etc. But I never picked up a comic.

      When my parents use to visit their friends every week, their sons collected comics and use to let me browse through their Rom Space Knight comics. Honestly though, I just looked at the pictures and never read them.

      By 6th grade, a handful of kids turned me on to comic books, by bringing me to a very, very small comic shop that was down town (no longer open). I was hooked, and would skateboard there daily after school to get my fix.

      So there was that progression for me as well....I just didn't have the video games back then. I agree with you about keys and being far more selective. Most common issues sell for garbage, especially on ebay.

  5. You never mentioned The Wolverine. Curious what your thoughts were on that movie. Thanks!!!

    1. The Wolverine wasn't that bad. My only beef was that they did to the Silver Samurai what Iron Man 3 did to the Mandarin and all their villains. I would've liked to see Silver Samurai as a mutant just like in the comics. I don't understand why Hollywood thinks these characters wont work as written in the comics yet still wants to use them in a film and completely butcher them.

      Silver Samurai could've been the top enforcer for the main baddie trying to steal Wolverine's healing factor. It could've played out the same.

    2. Yeah, not sure who's Idea it was to make the Mandarin a wussy, but that guy should be fired. Just like the remake of Willy Wonka. Why mess with success. Willy Wonka...check, golden tickets...check, kids with issues...check, let's change all the music and make really stupid looking oompa loompas...put down the pipe. Hopefully Planet of the Apes heads in the right direction...and Star Wars too.
      By the way, I used to desparately wait for Electric Company for Spidey. And watched all Superfriends, Hulk Tv series, Hong Kong Fooey, Mighty Mouse & Underdog. As far as Punisher, I thought the 2nd guy was pretty good and if you haven't seen "Dirty Laundry" (a Punisher short film)on Youtube yet, you are in for a treat...They should let this guy direct a REAL Punisher Movie, then all of our comics will go back up in value!
      Just my 2 pennies, Loren

      Here's the link to "Dirty Laundry"

    4. This is an awesome fan film of The Punisher! I agree, give this dude a shot at directing a Punisher flick. Thanks for sharing that!

      Ah, all the good cartoons and tv series us comic fans used to watch back in the day. Great memories, man, great memories.

      I actually really enjoyed the Planet of The Apes reboot. I thought it was done really well, and I think it will head into the right direction. I hear the sequel will be the apes vs. humans showdown, and I'm really interested to see that. What did you think of the new Planet of the Apes?

  6. just curious, what's your take on these new comics selling for hundreds, (walking dead, saga, peter panzerfaust) you don't seem to mention these as comics to invest in? thanks, i'm going to see if i can find the electric company on youtube now..

    1. I've answered this question so many times, and I actually do have a modern comic list of investments post on here somewhere, and the Walking Dead #1 is on it. As for me personally, I'm not into the whole zombie thing. It gets old for me, and there's only so much you can do with a virus that infects people and turns them into twitching cannibals walking around trying to eat people. Where do you go from there? Kill zombies and try to find a cure, but then what? Kill more zombies?

      But we are talking about the comics here, and I generally stay away from most modern comics as investments for various reasons I've already written about on here. I wouldn't drop 10 grand on a high grade walking dead #1 right now. I'd much rather take that 10 grande and drop it on an Amazing Fantasy #15, a key issue that has been sought after for the last 50 years.

      I would've dropped the $3 to buy WD #1 when it first came out, however, but who can really tell then that it would have become so popular now?

      I'm not saying that one shouldn't try investing in low print indie titles when they first come out. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, first printing, CGC 9.8 just sold on eBay for $15 grande, but I wouldn't drop $15 grande now for that issue. Just my freeze dried opinion on the question.

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