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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Luke Cage Key Comic Books Part 2

We got more Luke Cage key comic books comin' atcha in Part 2, and there will be some famous first meetings with our hero and some big Marvel icons. Of course, we have some first appearances of some extremely minor villains in this one as well.

Forgot to mention in Part 1 that actor Nick Cage once said that Luke Cage was his favorite comic hero as a youth, and he actually changed his last name of Coppola to Cage because of that. Doesn't sound too off since it's no secret that Mr. Cage also collects comics as investments as well.

If you missed Part 1, you know what to do. If not, let's turn up the power and roll through some more Luke Cage key issues.

1st meeting between Luke Cage & Dr. Doom

Before this issue, Luke Cage's stories were all dealt within his own world without connecting to the larger Marvel Universe. It's this issue that signifies that Luke Cage is indeed part of the larger mainstream canon or universe when he first meets Dr. Doom.

Dr. Doom is actually Luke Cage's client and hires him to track down and destroy his rogue robots that have been let loose upon the city. Cage fulfills his end of the bargain, but when he goes to collect payment, he finds that Doom stiffed him and went back to Latveria.

April, 1973 is the publishing date for the eighth issue of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.

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1st Luke Cage & FF meeting
1st battle with Fantastic Four
1st battle with Doctor Doom

Issue #9 of Luke Cage's first comic series does see the first time Luke Cage and the Fantastic Four actually meet, and in typical comic book fashion, the result is in a mighty clash between the two. Because Luke Cage is a badass, he is able to fend off the mighty four in a standstill all by his lonesome.

When Cage explains to the Fantastic Four that he broke into the Baxter Building to obtain a ship so he can hunt down Doom for the money that the villain owes him, Reed Richards concedes. Cage flies to Latveria and has his first ever battle with the menace known as Doctor Doom.

Double whammy when it comes to first battles with other iconic superheroes and villains. Triple whammy key issue. In the end, Doom ends up paying up. This comic was published May, 1973.

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1st appearance of Senor Suerte

Since the Jenks job, Luke Cage has been constantly attacked by thugs, and he decides to get himself some answers as to why. He visits Mrs. Jenks again, and she tells him that her late husband was not a well-liked man and this all may have something to do with his safety deposit box.

The two go to the bank to check out the box and find a match book to a Spanish restaurant, but when Cage checks it out, the establishment has been burnt to the ground. Elsewhere in the city, enter Senor Suerte who is relishing in the fact that he was able to silence Frank Jenks before he could expose his illegal gambling ring.

In true and dumb comic book fashion, Suerte gets a big ole ego and decides he wants to reveal his identity to others. Dubbing himself Senor Muerte, he puts on a specialized costume that has a roulette wheel built into the chest, and when spun, charges one of his hands with an electrical jolt.

Suerte/Muerte then heads out to show his enemies who is actually boss. This issue also sees Phil Fox sneak into Noah Burnstein's clinic and stealing an experiment log.

When Muerte finds out that Cage had been snooping around the Spanish restaurant, he and his men go to greet Luke Cage at the Gem Theater. The clash ends up with Luke Cage out for the count and chained to a wall of a water passage near the harbor to drown once the passage fills up.

Not the greatest of villains. If they even use this character in the TV series, expect Senor Suerte to be extremely changed up so that he's more realistic and less tacky.

Sure, a normal street-level gangster running an illegal gambling ring I can see. A guy with a roulette wheel on his chest? Not unless it's a tattoo. June, 1973 is the publishing date for this comic, and Senor Suerte would die in the next issue.

1st Luke Cage & Spider-Man meeting
2nd Luke Cage cross-over

Looks like business is going good for Luke Cage, and his next client would be none other than J. Jonah Jameson from the Daily Bugle. Always thinking of ways to catch the Spider-Man menace, Jameson hires Luke Cage to capture our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

So, there it is. Luke Cage first meets and battles Spider-Man in this issue. Of course, Spidey is able to talk some sense into Cage, and in the end, they leave on good terms. Luke visits Jameson's office and tells the grump to stuff his 5 grand down his throat.

The Amazing Spider-Man #123 was published August, 1973.

1st appearance of Chemistro

What? Another lame villain for Luke Cage? Nah!

Okay, yes! This issue sees the first appearance of Curtis Carr or Chemistro, and he is the first out of three to take the mantle of this Luke Cage villain. A chemist, Carr created an "alchemy gun" capable of transmuting matter from one form to another such as a piece of glass to wood.

Unfortunately, he created this gun at his place of work at Mainstream Motors, and when Carr expressed his intention of keeping the gun, his boss argued that since the invention was made on company time and grounds, it belonged to the company.

Ultimately, his boss fired him, and, of course, Carr took the identity of Chemistro to get revenge and extort his former employer. His first altercation with Luke Cage saw himself beaten and taken to jail, but that would not be the last of Chemistro unfortunately.

August, 1973 is the publishing date for this comic, and this issue does come after the events of The Amazing Spider-Man #123. 

1st appearance of Big Ben Donovan
Death of Phil Fox

Big Ben Donovan would go toe to toe with Luke Cage when the big guy takes Mrs. Jenks out for dinner and won't take no for an answer. So ole Luke has to teach the dude some manners.

The two fight but it's a draw and the two call a truce. Big Ben Donovan is a lawyer, and after his intoxicated scuffle with Luke, Ben Donovan would be z competent lawyer for Luke Cage and eventually become his friend. Unfortunately, Donovan would turn to crime later on and become involved in drug trafficking with the Maggia Crime Family.

Back to this issue. Shades and Commanche (both 1st appeared in issue #1) are old cellmates of Luke Cage escape from prison with the goal of exacting revenge on their tormentor Billy Bob Rackham. In the meantime, Rackham and Phil Fox meet each other and decide to team up in order to expose Luke Cage.

The two super geniuses decide the best way to trap their enemy is to kidnap Luke's girlfriend Claire Temple. Instead, they end up kidnapping Mrs. Jenks back at her house.

Fox is the one who realizes that they kidnapped the wrong woman, and the two men argue. Claire Temple arrives at the apartment looking for Luke when she hears the men arguing and the sound of a gunshot suddenly going off.

When she enters the apartment, she finds Fox's murdered body on the ground. Mrs. Jenks and Rackham are gone. Stupidly, she picks up the murder weapon just when the police arrive and immediately assume she is the murderer.

October, 1973 is the publishing date for this comic issue.

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We see Luke Cage 's introduction into the actual mainstream continuity of Marvel with three big first meetings in Part 2. Fantastic Four and Spider-Man? Can't get much bigger than that. Dr. Doom as the first villain to cross-over over into his title outside of it? Definitely, a big one there.

Concerning actual villains created within the title, not really much to say about them except not so great things. Speculating on which may be used in the Netflix series, hard to say as well.

I say that because I'm sure a lot...and I mean a lot...of liberties will probably be taken for any villains they actually decide to use for the Netflix series. They may actually make them normal average street hoods or gangsters and scrape off the all comic book cheese, or they may just not use them altogether.

Then again, Luke Cage does need some super powered villains, and I just don't think a guy with a roulette wheel strapped to his chest and an over-glorified hand buzzer does the trick or is in anyway a cool villain most people would want to see on any screen.

What is certain about Luke Cage's supporting cast so far is that it is a constant triangle of Noah Burnstein, Claire Temple, and David Griffith. Yes, I made the two supporting Luke Cage characters we've yet to see on-screen italicized for a reason.

But aside from speculation, they are actual key issues within the Luke Cage title series, and they are what they are. If you're looking for any major villains to be introduced in this comic series, not gonna happen.

Alright, if you missed the PREVIOUS part, that big ole link will bring you back. Click the PART 3 link below to carry onward.

Luke Cage Key Comic Books

To be honest with you, the whole Netflix Marvel line up having Jessica Jones come before Luke Cage really makes it puzzling where they're gonna start the character of Luke Cage off. Yeah, I'm pretty sure they'll do the origin of the character. That's a given.

But where in the present for Luke Cage? After he meets Jessica Jones? Probably so since he will be making an appearance in Jessica Jones series.

So, really, as for speculation? Hard call. Luke Cage has an infinitely weak rogues list for his first series. To be honest, the majority of keys in this list that may later tie into the Netflix Luke Cage series just might see demand and then fizzle once the series is available for streaming after a few months.

However, there are a few keys worth considering in Luke Cage volume one in my opinion, and if you're actually a fan, who really cares about speculation then?

Alright, here's the first batch:  

1st appearance of Luke Cage
Origin of Luke Cage
1st appearance of Dr. Noah Burnstein
1st appearance of Diamondback
1st appearance of Billy Bob Rackham

When it comes to this character and his early mythos, this issue has three major first appearances. For one, Billy Bob Rackham is an important Luke Cage enemy, and I have no doubt that he will be in the Netflix series when they recap the character's origin.

However, the dude does die in the comics, and it's most likely he'll get his due in the Netflix series also. So Billy Bob Rackham was a racist prison guard at Seagate Prison where Carl Lucas was wrongfully incarcerated. He was notorious for tormenting the prisoners, especially African-American ones.

He is crucial in Luke Cage receiving his powers as he tampered with Dr. Noah's experiment with the hopes of killing Cage. Dr. Noah Burnstein would end up being a long supporting character of Luke Cage in this volume.

No doubt that he will be in the Netflix series. How frequently is up in the air. Who knows? They just may kill him in the Netflix series.

Still, this is the first issue and the first appearance of Luke Cage in comics. He was created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr.

His creation at the time was due to the rise in popularity of Blaxploitation films. He was definitely more a street-level hero than most comic heroes at the time, and the setting for his stories were in grungy, crime-ridden neighborhoods or ghettos.

Okay, just to clear this up because some sites get this completely wrong. The Falcon is the first African American superhero in mainstream comics, not Luke Cage. The 2nd might actually be Black Racer from DC Comics who first appeared in 1971 and was created by Jack Kirby during his New Gods series.

Not sure about that, but might be. Anyways, back to the subject at hand.

So Diamondback is the leader of the Rivals, a gang in Harlem that Luke Cage use to belong to. Diamondback is Willis Stryker and was once Carl Lucas' best-friend. They both spent many of their early years in gang fights with the Diablos, whom also make their first appearance here.

Carl would change his life and find an honest job, but Willis continued and became a skilled gangster. However, they both remained friends until a girl named Reva Conners, who loved both men, decided that Carl Lucas was the better choice.

Out of jealousy, Willis framed his former best-friend by hiding drugs where Lucas lived, which is why our hero ends up at Seagate prison. Stryker would die in the next issue, but he is an important character in Luke Cage's origin.

I'm sure he will be in the Luke Cage TV series when they have the episode that details his origins before prison. I'm actually looking forward to seeing how that plays out on screen, because who doesn't like a bit of villainous betrayal in a story?

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 was published June, 1972.

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2nd appearance of Luke Cage
1st appearance of Claire Temple
1st appearance of David Griffith
1st appearance of Gem Theater & Bertha

Okay, this should be another big one for the four reasons noted above. Rosario Dawson is Claire Temple and will return for Daredevil Season Two, and unlike the show, Claire Temple was first a love interest for Luke Cage in the comics.

Also, concerning another long supporting character for Luke Cage during his early years is David Griffith. Fans know that David Griffith operated the Gem Theater for his uncle and leased a third-story office to Luke Cage for his Heroes for Hire gig.

Despite that fact that Luke Cage would cause repeated and immense damages to the place, David and Cage would strike up a long friendship. During the early years for the character, Luke Cage considered D.W. Griffith his only friend.

If they go the Hero for Hire route for the Netflix series, which they should, I'm expecting to see the Gem Theater and D.W. Griffith in the show. It would be a huge disappointment if they disregard that character and place.

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 also, of course, has the 2nd appearance of Luke Cage and was published August, 1972.

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3rd appearance of Luke Cage
1st appearance of Gideon Mace

Aside from the 3rd appearance of Luke Cage in this issue, Gideon Mace lost his hand in the Vietnam War during an unauthorized attack on a village, which he led. Afterwards, he was discharged from the Army for his actions and like most villains, he felt he was mistreated and swore revenge on the country that did so.

Yes, as you can tell by the name, the creators went with the obvious and Gideon does actually have a mace for one of his hands. Gideon would be recurring foe for Luke Cage, but if they do use this character in the Netflix TV series, they will really have to take a lot of liberties.

Well, unless they have the character an anti-American terrorist and they want Luke Cage to have some kind of Hero for Hire job that investigates that route. Dunno.

Pretty insignificant villain over-all, and to be perfectly honest, not the best of comic villains or the worst. October, 1972 was when Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 was published.

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4th appearance of Luke Cage
1st appearance of Phil Fox

A pretty disreputable reporter for the Daily Bugle, Phil Fox somehow and for some reason grew an interest to Luke Cage. He would be a nuisance for our hero, starting a private investigation to find out more about Cage.

Due to his efforts, Phil Fox would later uncover the truth about the secret experimentation that Burnstein performed on Cage. Of course, Phil Fox would die in the series and it would be at the hands of Billy Bob Rackham.

I can see a Phil Fox in the Luke Cage Netflix series, but I highly doubt he would survive past Season One. Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #4 also has the 4th appearance of Luke Cage, and this comic was published December, 1972.

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5th appearance of Luke Cage
1st appearance of Flea
1st appearance of Mrs. Jenks
1st appearance of Black Mariah

Flea from the Red Hot...just kidding. Before there was that Flea, there was this Flea and this character is Luke Cage's informant who helped him to track down the heroin that Willis Stryker or Diamondback used to frame him with.

Every street-level hero needs an informant of some kind. Okay, that's not true, but I think it makes it a bit more realistic than having a hero know exactly where and what time to drop in on some baddies from the ceiling like clockwork.

Flea would die at the hands of Cottonmouth's men when the title reverts to Powerman. As for Black Mariah, she is a laughable villain.

A big ole, lady and leader of a New York gang called the Rat Pack, Black Mariah and her crew would drive around in an stolen ambulance and pick up the bodies of the recently deceased. Then they would lift these bodies of their valuables. Classy!

Honestly, though, we don't need to be seeing any Black Mariah and the Rat Pack in Luke Cage's TV show unless they do the story about Mrs. Jenks. Mrs. Jenks' husband Frank Jenks was murdered in the Gem Theater and was picked up by the Rat Pack.

Mrs. Jenks hired Luke Cage to find her husband's body, and when our hero does so, he clashes with Black Mariah and her Rat Pack. Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #5 was published January, 1973.

First Luke Cage cross-over

Although a cameo appearance, this is the first time Luke Cage crosses over into another title or comic series other than his own. Nobody really cares about this currently and no one in industry is really noting it at all. Most likely, it's not all that well-known either in the current market, so you can call it a sleeper.

For the record, Luke Cage does not meet the Fantastic Four at all in this issue. He is actually shown in a panel remarking about how he is snubbed by the FF as they fly right on by him "An' not even stoppin' for a dude's autograph".

However, this issue does set up the first time Luke Cage meets the legendary team and their legendary villain. Fantastic Four #133 was published April, 1973.

Sweet Christmas! Plenty of Luke Cage key comic books to go. In my opinion, the safer ones are probably #1 & 2 if you got them before hype and peak. Now, I am not so sure and there is a good chance you will over-pay an over-bloated peak price, especially if you gun for high grade CGC copies.

I don't always write this only because I hate repeating myself, but buying a key issue at max peak is dangerous. If that comic only goes up slightly but not even enough to make you profit and then starts to lose demand and value, you will be closer to the price mark when your comic investment becomes a loss.

Still, you might be able to go around a peak and find a good deal at a comic con, your local comic shop, or where ever offline. Nothing is ever hopeless, just takes a lot more hunting since Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 has been a hot comic for the last two years.

Trickling down (I won't explain this one again...if you don't know what tricking down is, read the Comic Investing Tips Section) or getting a raw copy may be a better alternative.

Anywho, more Luke Cage key issues in Part 2 so click the link below to continue.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The New Spider-Man Movies Will Have New Villains?

Looks like Spidey news is definitely heating up across the web. Pun definitely intended. We recently got our casting confirmation for our new Peter Parker in which actor Tom Holland has landed, but now Kevin Feige has landed some new quotes about the villains for these new Spider-Man flicks.

Speaking with Birth Movies Death at the "Ant-Man" press junket, Kevin Feige said, "Right now we're interested in seeing villains we haven't seen before."

Oh, shiz, he just did, didn't he? Obviously, this is a move to separate and differentiate the new reboot from the past Spider-Man movies as much as possible.

So, that means scratch out the Green Goblin. Scratch out the Lizard. Scratch out Venom. Scratch out Doctor Octopus, Electro, Rhino and Sandman for any of the reboot Spider-Man movies.

Feige also added, "It's the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting. Just as we hadn't seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time, we haven't seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie - only John Hughes could - but we're inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven't done before excites us."

Wow, really, John Hughes influenced Spidey flick? That kind of statement really tugs at the question of what kind of villains will make sense in menacing this John Hughes influenced Webslinger in the new reboot?

"Stakes don't need to be end of the world," Feige said of the movie and also indicated that Spider-Man didn't have to be part of the larger Marvel Universe in order to "work." 

So villains we've yet to see? Jeez, that means a whole bunch of candidates to choose from, and Feige's comments has really put a huge question mark as to the next great or not-so-great Spidey villain to hinder the new Spider-Man on the big screen.

Interesting bit of recent news. Any ideas as to which new villains it will be for this Spider-Man reboot?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The New Spider-Man Finally Cast!

To all those who speculated that Miles Morales would be the new Spider-Man for the film franchise, what in the world made you think that?

Seriously, though, when Kevin Feige reported quite some time ago that the new Spider-Man will be about Peter Parker, I drew a sigh of relief an eagerly anticipated casting news. Not to say that I wasn't worried though.

Everyone knows that Sony and Marvel has made a deal, but when you have one company who doesn't know what to do with the character yet has a big ego and another company who knows what to do with the character and has a big ego, sometimes something worse can come out of it.

Keven Feige will be on-board to produce the new Spider-Man movie, so that's a bit of a relief.  

Anyways, back to the subject at hand. The lucky star that will be the new Spider-Man or Peter Parker is Tom Holland. Clap. Cheer, or boo! Once again, he is a British actor and that really shouldn't matter or should it?

Back in 1994, Juliette Binoche played the role of Katherine Earnshaw from the book Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and was smashed by British critics because of her accent. Many even said that there were more than capable British actresses who could play the part, so why her?

So now, it's my turn for some douche-baggery. Why him? There are more than capable American actors who can play Peter Parker, who is an American icon.

You want a young American actor who has chops that could fit the role of Parker? Logan Lerman.

Anyways, apparently the lad screen tested with Robert Downey Jr. and Cris Evans and that culminated in the final decision. It was down to two actors, Holland and Charlie Rowe and those last two screen test apparently sealed the deal.

Charlie Rowe is also English. What's with Sony wanting Peter Parker to be an English actor? An outrage! Just like it was an outrage when American actress Anne Hathaway was first cast as Jane Austen in Becoming Jane over in England.

I dunno, look like Peter Parker to you? I think he passes.

Tom Holland is 19 years old and only 5 feet and 6 inches tall. Peter Parker is 5 foot 10, but that's nothing that lifts can't take care of. They obviously wanted the kid look since Feige did announce a while ago that they would set the character back in good ole Midtown High.

Most likely, I doubt that many of the comic purists could care less whether the actor is English, Irish, German, or American as long as he's White. Just throwing the truth out on front street is all.

With Holland's final and separate test screenings with RDJ as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America, you could say it's confirmed that the new Spider-Man will show up in Captain America Civil War. Personally, don't really care for the choice only cause I don't know his work, but let's see what the guy brings. 

On a serious note, congrats to Tom Holland for getting the role. A big break indeed for an upcoming actor! I am excited for him.

For those who didn't get it, the whole bit about American or non English actors playing English characters and getting smashed for it by them was purely made in jest, with sarcasm, and a truckload of truth about the militancy some or most often feel about their national or pop culture icons.

Anyways, better brace yourself for the coming of the new Spider-Man and Captain America Civil War coming soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Batman #181 CBCS 5.0

By: Gerry D

Here we are at the third and final part of this short Vault series of Silver Age Batman first appearances. Batman #181 holds the first appearance of Poison Ivy.

As you all probably know, Poison Ivy is a very popular female Batman villain, or should I say villainess and I wanted to snag this book before it got too expensive and out of my moderately priced reach. 

I again found an unslabbed copy on eBay. It was listed at $210. But the auction also included Batman #183 as well. Batman #183 holds the 2nd appearance of Poison Ivy. 

I checked out all of my resources to see if it was worth getting at that price. First stop was the Overstreet Price Guide. It was priced quite a bit higher than that but I also had to check out the sold listings on eBay as well as GoCollect

I love having a resource like GoCollect. From the information I got from both of them, I saw that books were selling for about $300 to $400 depending on the grade. I will admit that even with all of the pictures I had to look at, I over-graded this comic by about one full grade. Opps.

After all was said and done and after I submitted it to CBCS, I still came out in the black. The most recent sale for Batman #181 at a 5.0 on GoCollect sold for $215. There were a couple of earlier sales that went for $300. 

It's still hard to tell where the market is going with this book in this grade as all of the sales points are 6-8 months apart from each other. And although it's not a huge profit, it's only for one book. Take into consideration that I got Batman #183 in the auction as well and it doesn't hurt too bad.

Well, that concludes this short Vault series. I hope you enjoyed reading about my quest to get these first appearances into my collection. It was a lot of fun getting them, and it always is. Until next time......

Friday, June 26, 2015

Batman #189 CBCS 7.0

By: Gerry D

Welcome to part two of my three part Vault series of Silver Age Batman first appearances. Up next we have Batman #189 and the first Silver Age appearance of Scarecrow, also known as Dr. Jonathan Crane.

Like in part one, I bought this one raw. But unlike part one, I got this one on eBay and not at a convention.

I've always liked the Scarecrow. Maybe it's because he reminds me of Halloween and I love this cover by comic legend Carmine Infantino. It's probably one of my favorite covers in my collection. This comic was definitely on my want list, and I was searching for a good deal for quite some time before finally, about a year ago now, I found this listing with a Best Offer option

Again, I bought it raw but there were plenty of pictures for me to gauge the condition fairly accurately. It was priced somewhere around $300. Far more than I wanted to pay for it. I offered the seller $200 instead and was floored when my offer was accepted.

I had already sent in my test book to CBCS beforehand to see what kind of service they offered and was satisfied with it. This book was in the second batch of books that I mailed out. 

Unlike my first go around with CBCS, all of the books I sent came back in the right time frame and everything was labeled correctly. It even came back at a higher grade than I expected it to which is always nice.

Sales for Batman #189 have been a mystery to me. They went up briefly before coming back down to the prices that they were before. I'm not sure why more people aren't interested in this book as it's a nice key issue at a still very affordable price. Especially unslabbed copies. 

It doesn't really matter to me though. I'm happy to have it in my collection. For me, there's more to collecting than just dollar signs and I was able to cross another book off of my want list.

There's one more part coming in this short Vault series so click the link below to continue...

Batman #155 CGC 5.5

By Gerry D.

I'm going to switch it up and do a three part Vault series. Instead of just pulling random books out and writing about them, I'm going to do the first appearances in Silver Age Batman that I've acquired over the past couple of years. 

They will be posted them in the order that I got them, not in numerical order. Without further adieu, here's part one.

Batman #155 holds the first Silver Age appearance of the Penguin. Not the most fearsome of Batman villains but he is definitely a very well-known villain that's starting to get a little more attention due to the Gotham T.V. series.

Like all of the books that I'll feature in this series, I bought this raw at a microscopic-sized con at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds a couple years ago. One of the vendors, Steve Wyatt from Moonball Comics, had this comic on his wall. 

This was my first experience with this vendor at the time. Now, I always search him out when I'm at a con because he has very fair prices and is still willing to barter. Super nice guy too.

I thought nothing of it until Vic informed me that it was the Penguin's first S.A. appearance. Price tag, $75 bucks. 

I looked at it and put it back like I often do and checked out the rest of the con, which didn't take long. It wasn't on my want list but I went back and offered him $60 for the book and with no hesitation at all he said "ok". It always makes me wonder if I could have offered them less when they respond that quickly.

I had it sitting in my collection for about a year until I sent it in to be graded. I signed up for the CGC Premium Membership and sent this in as one of my submissions for the coupon I received. 

We can all see the final result. A decent slabbed 5.5 copy of Batman #155 which was actually graded higher than it was advertised at. No over-grading by Steve on this one.

This book, along with other Silver Age Batman comics, has seen a small boost in demand since the show first came out. There aren't that many graded sales on GoCollect to really gauge off of but raw copies on eBay have seen a nice little bump since I've added it to my Vault.

On a side note, if you're at a con in California like SDCC, go look for Steve's table and say hi. It's usually the table with the giant Big Wow Comic Fest banner. And while you're there, check out what he has for sale.

Part 2 is ready so just click the link below to continue

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jessica Jones Key Issues Part 2

Tough to figure out where the creatives at Netflix are going with the series in terms of key issue speculation. For one, we all know Luke Cage will be in there somewhere as a photo of the pair was leaked.

We also know that liberties were taken and Carol Danvers from the actual comics will be replaced by Patsy Walker or Hellcat as Jessica Jone's best-friend in the live action series. Rachael Taylor has been cast for Patsy Walker since the beginning of 2015, and surprisingly, she looks like a better Carol Danvers or Captain Marvel.

So, we get an actual long-standing Defenders members in the Jessica Jones series. Whether she'll suit up in the series or the Defenders series is possible, and I hope she does.

As far as we know, we also know that the show will feature a Daredevil villain known as Purple Man, who Brian Michael Bendis did connect with Jessica Jones in the actual comic series Alias. We will be checking two of those out.

This will be a short and sweet list and Part 2 is the last one out of this Jessica Jones key issues series. If you missed Part 1, that weird-looking blue and under-lined link will take you there.

Purple Man story arc begins

Kevin Plunder, also known as Ka-Zar, makes a brief cameo cross-over in this comic issue. More importantly is the Purple Man storyline that begins here.

As we all should know by now, the Purple Man will be in the Jessica Jones Netflix TV series, and this story line pretty much reveals why. A woman named Kim Rourke contacts Alias Investigations in order to hire Jones with the task of finding one Zebediah Killgrave, a.k.a the Purple Man.

The Purple Man does not show up in this issue and is featured only in a photograph. The mystery begins with this issue of how Jessica Jones is connected to Zebediah Killgrave. Actor David Tennant will play the villain in the upcoming TV show.

The next issue will reveal the disturbing connection and history Jessica Jones had with Purple Man. September, 2003 is the publishing date for Alias #24.

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Purple Man back story revealed
Reveals Jones as superhero Jewel

This issue definitely adds more back story and depth to the character of Jessica Jones. When we start with the character in Alias #1, we learn throughout the series that she was a former superhero who had given up on the crime fighting career for whatever reason.

However, during her days as a superhero, she did meet up with Purple Man. Apparently she was the costumed hero known as Jewel and met Killgrave at a restaurant.

A fight broke out between the patrons and Jones discovered it was Zebediah who made it happen. He also used his mental influence to make Jones take care of the cops so he could finish his dinner.

Purple Man took Jessica Jones hostage for eight months, but while Jones was telling this to Luke Cage in this issue, she did reveal that he never raped her. Instead, Killgrave made her watch him having sex with other girls and made her beg to have sex with him.

This was all done in retaliation to get back at Daredevil for constantly besting him, so once again, another connection to the Hells Kitchen's horned one.

If you don't know Purple Man, he can produce chemical pheromones that allows him to control other people's actions with verbal suggestions after they are inhaled or absorbed through  the skin. Jones also revealed that Killgrave made her hurt people as well.

This issue also reveals that Killgrave made Jessica Jones go after Daredevil and to kill any other superhero that got in her way. She flew to the Avengers mansion to do his bidding, but the psychoactive effects were beginning to wear off when she attacked the first red costumed hero she saw. That happened to be the Scarlet Witch.

Jones fled and Thor would pursue after her. While I highly doubt that Scarlet Witch and Thor will be in the Netflix series, it's possible that the Purple Man storyline in this issue could play out on the small screen with some liberties taken.

Actually, it's quite plausible, and I am interested in what route they take for it. Alias #25 was published October, 2003.

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Purple Man story concludes
Jessica reveals pregnancy to Luke Cage
Last issue to comic series

This is the last issue and wraps up this story line, in which Jessica Jones finally has her showdown with Purple Man and gives him a good whomping. Maybe not a big deal in terms of speculation, but this issue also sees Jessica reveal her pregnancy to Luke Cage.

Throughout the series, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage has had an on-and-off-again type of relationship. At the end of Alias #28, the two decide they want a committed relationship with each other and set off to do so.

Their relationship as a couple and parents would bring all sorts of drama to their stories. Somewhere down the line, I wonder if this is going to play out. This situation, after all, does become a part of the character.

But like I said, it would be highly weird for Jessica Jones to be pregnant and then joining up with the Defenders and fighting crime while one's in the oven. Alias #28 was published January, 2004.

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1st appearance in titled series
1st issue to titled series

Jessica Jones hangs up her private investigator hat and goes to work for the Daily Bugle as a consultant for reporters Ben Ulrich and Kat Farrel. Since we all know that Ben Ulrich died in Season One of Daredevil, I wonder if Kat Farrel will become a supporting character for Jessica Jones and work for the same newspaper in the Daredevil series which was not the Daily Bugle.

Luke Cage also co-stars in this series and it's written by Brian Michael Bendis to no surprise. Apparently, he wanted to keep the Jessica Jones character in comics and some eventful things happen in this series for both Jessica and Luke.

The Pulse #1 was published April, 2004.

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1st Danielle Cage comic cover

Before Danielle Cage is even in an actual story or is even given a name, she makes her comic cover debut on Pulse #11. This issue sets up the events prior to Jessica Jones giving birth to her and Luke Cage's daughter.

While it would be strange to add the pregnancy in an early season of Jessica Jones, which might detract from her super-hero exploits, I'm sure this aspect to the character will be played out eventually. After all, a TV show can draw out a pregnancy for a long time.

Whatever Hollyweird chooses to do, Danielle Cage is obviously an important supporting character for both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Since Captain America's next film will be from the Civil War storyline, I wonder if hints of that or story ties will be in any of the Netflix Marvel TV series.

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1st appearance of Danielle Cage

The Pulse #13 finally sees the birth of the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, and, of course, marks the first appearance of Danielle Cage. She is unnamed in this issue however, and actually goes unnamed for quite a while surprisingly.

Oh, well, gotta love comics, and we'll cover the issue and the first named appearance of Danielle Cage pretty soon. This issue has a textless variant cover. The Pulse #13 was published March, 2006.

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More backstory details
Last issue to series

In the last issue of the Pulse, we find out more of the character's superhero past in #14, and that Jessica Jones was also once a hardened vigilante named Knightress. Another secret origin involving Jessica Jones and this comic is most likely her first appearance as Knightress in flashback of course.

After all, her as Knightress is on the cover of the comic. This story leads into the New Avengers Annual #1 and The Pulse #14 was published May, 2006. Jessica would become a supporting character for the New Avengers after The Pulse.

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Marriage of Luke Cage & Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones finally says yes to Luke Cage and the two have a superhero wedding with the New Avengers present. I am not sure if Iron Fist is in this issue or not.

If so, it may actually be the first meeting between Iron Fist and Jessica Jones, but I'm not sure about that to be honest. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones have been a fan-favorite couple during the Modern Age, but this issue is still pretty much still a bargain bin.

Nonetheless, still a key issue for both characters. New Avengers Annual #1 was published June, 2006.

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1st named appearance of Danielle Cage

Finally, the baby gets a name, and New Avengers #34 is the first named appearance of Danielle Cage. Yup, she is named after Cage's best buddy and former Hero for Hire partner Daniel Rand a.k.a Iron Fist.

Iron Fist does become a member of the New Avengers in the 1st and 2nd series and would take the mantle of Daredevil during the Civil War storyline. Iron Fist would join the team in New Avengers #27 volume 1 at the same time Clint Barton as Ronin joins.

I do not think Jessica Jones ever joins the New Avengers in the 1st series. November, 2007 was when the first named appearance of Danielle Cage was published in the New Avengers #34.

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Jessica Jones joins team
Iron Fist joins team

Jessica Jones finally joins the New Avengers, a team that Luke Cage has been long a member of during the Modern Age of comics. Cage would lead this team, and I think it's the first actual team that Jessica Jones and Iron Fist are both members of in the comic books.

Yes, it's not the Defenders that the three characters are members of in the comics, but it's actually the New Avengers from the 2nd series. Even Daredevil would join the team in New Avengers #16 of the series.

So actually, it's the first team that all four members of the Netflix incarnation of the Defenders are members of at once in the comics. For the life of me, I have no idea when Iron Fist and Jessica Jones first meet.

Perhaps, it's their wedding issue in New Avengers Annual #1 or Secret War #1 vol 1? The New Avengers #1 volume 2 was published August, 2010.

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Alright, that concludes this Jessica Jones key issues list. The character does go on to become a supporting character for the Young Avengers as well.

It'll be interesting to see where the Netflix show takes us with this character. We can get a small glimpse from these keys, but I'm sure a lot of liberties will be taken for the show.

Since the character is deeply tied to Luke Cage in the comics and most likely the show, it'll be quite a puzzle to see who they bring in as supporting characters for both heroes. 
Anyways, hope you enjoyed this short and sweet Jessica Jones key issues series. Thanks for reading and see ya soon.