Monday, February 18, 2019

Amazing Spider-Man #101

Marvel - Oct 1971

Key Issue Notes
First appearance of Morbius (Dr. Michael Morbius)

There's a lot of news out there about Sony expanding it's Spider-Man universe by adding a new character into the mix. As you can tell from the Key Issue Notes above, that character is going to be Morbius: The Living Vampire.

He is the next to join Sony's Spider-verse, (or should I say Spider-less-verse) after the confirmation that Jared Leto will be playing the character on the big screen. I for one don't now how to take this news. He was, for me personally, the worst Joker to be portrayed to date. I guess I'll have to play the "wait and see" game to see if his Morbius will be any better than his Clown Prince of Crime.

How this movie is going to work without everyone's favorite webslinger being involved is beyond me. The Venom movie seemed to do alright at the box office, so maybe this movie has a chance to as well?

Ok, enough about that. Let's get into just who the hell this Morbius guy is, as it pertains to this issue. When we first meet Morbius, he is being chased down by crew members on a boat after a few mysterious deaths occur. Since he was a mystery man that was picked up by the passing boat as he was adrift at sea, he was the logical person to point the blame at, and with good cause. But, to make a short story even shorter, he winds up killing everyone on board and jumping overboard, only to be washed up on shore.

He doesn't just wash up on any shore, no sir. He just happens to wash up on the beachfront of the vacation home of one Dr, Curt Connors. You may know him by his alter ego of The Lizard.

I should go back in the story a little bit. In the last issue (Amazing Spider-Man #100), Peter Parker decides that he can't be Spider-Man and be with the woman that he loves (Gwen Stacey). He created a formula that would rid him of his powers, but when he took it, it didn't have the effect that he thought it would. This is where the infamous six armed Spider-Man story line starts.

Jump back to this issue. Since Peter can't go out in public with newly acquired arms, he decides to lay low and try to figure out a solution to his newly formed problem, or problems as the case may be. Where does good ol Pete decide to go? Curt Connors vacation home.

Needless to say, a battle ensues between our six armed webslinger and Morbius: The Living Vampire. Who wins this battle? Well, no one. Not in this issue anyway.

Overall, nothing really exciting happens in this issue, other than the fact that it holds the first appearance of a popular Spider-Man villain.

2nd print or reprint?
I don't believe that there are any true variants for this issue. In my research, I found a few European foreign editions, so I guess they can be considered variants.

There is also a "second print" copy that has a blue title with a silver background, but seeing as that it was printed in 1992, I'd consider that to be a reprint, and not a variant. I mean, it even says "Reprinting the first appearance of Morbius The Living Vampire right on the cover. CGC does label this a second print on their label but I don't know if CBCS does or not.

On the other hand, it is from the same title and is the same number, so I suppose that it could also be considered a second print, even though it was printed 21 years after the original. I'll let you decide what it should be called but I'm saying that it's a reprint.

As I expected, the CGC census has quite a few copies of this comic listed, but to be honest, not as many as I had expected. With this being a well known key issue of a somewhat popular character, and the amount of copies that I can only guess that are out there, I did expect this number to be higher. At the time of this writing, there have only been 2,317 copies graded by CGC.

Most of these copies are in mid to high grade, but there are a few nice, really high grade copies floating around out there somewhere. So far, there are 63 9.6 NM+ and 31 9.8 NM/M copies out there. So, if you're looking for a nice high grade copy, there are some available.

Again, CBCS and PGX don't have a census on their sites so I'm sure the number of graded copies is higher.

Values for Amazing Spider-Man #101
On Gocollect
As you may already know, with any movie announcement, demand for these key issues goes crazy. This comic isn't any different. It wasn't a bargain bin comic before the announcement, but now, sales for some grades have gotten pretty up there in value. It wasn't that long ago you could buy a midgrade 7.0 copy for less than $200. That's definitely not the case now. If you're loooking for a copy in that grade, you'll probably be shelling out over $600 for it. All grades have had a similar rise in value over that same time period.

Find a copy here
eBay - ComicLink - MyComicShop - ComicConnect

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Punisher #4

1st MicrochipMarvel - Nov. 1987

Key Issue Notes
First appearance of Microchip
First appearance of Microchip Jr.
First appearance of Church of the Saved
First appearance of Samuel Smith
First appearance of Keena
First appearance of Ray White
First appearance of Vickie White
First appearance of Melissa White

CGC 9.8As most of us already know, The Punisher is going to be coming out on Netflix, hopefully, anytime now, although there has been no official release date as of yet. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how they will have Mr. Castle portrayed and am more excited to see this Netflix series more than I have been for the past few that they have released.

But I digress.

Looking over the key issue notes above, you'd think that there's a lot that make this a worthy key issue, but there is really only one real reason that this comic has any significance at this time. The reason being the first appearance of Microchip. All of the other appearances are very minor, but they are first appearances, and no matter how minor they might be, they still make up a key issue status and therefore, I will make mention of them.

I'm not going to go too in depth for these minor characters. Most of them don't really make any appearances outside of this story line, so there really isn't much to talk about anyway.

The Punisher, Microchip Jr and Microchip
As I already said, The Punisher is going to be released soon and Microchip is going to make an appearance in the show. He is a pretty important piece of Frank Castle's life as the Punisher. Microchip is to him as Q is to James Bond. He is the guy that builds the gadget for Frank and rebuilds the Punisher Van every time that it gets destroyed by everyone's favorite anti-hero. His real name is David Lieberman, but he goes by the alias of Lowell Bartholomew Ori in this issue. I don't know in what issue we learn his real name.

Up next we have the first appearance of Louis Frohike. No relation to Frohike from the Lone Gunmen I'm sure. Louis is the bastard son of David Lieberman, and he is also great with computer programming and hacking, and he took his place by his fathers side as Microchip Jr. Junior only has a handful of appearances in comics so I don't seem making an appearance on the small, or big screen anytime soon.

Ray White
I'm going out of order from the list above a little here. Next I'm going to talk about Ray White. Ray is an ex cop who's wife (Vickie) and daughter (Melissa) was seduced into joining the Church of the Saved. That's really all there is to say about these three characters. In the next issue, The Punisher ends up reuniting them all, and they live happily ever after..... or do they?

Now, what is the Church of the Saved? When I was reading the story, I could only think about the events that happened in Waco Tx. in early 1993. I'll get into why in a second.

The leader of the Church of the Saved is Rev. Samuel Smith. He is a man with a gift. He has a silver tongue, but he also has "abilities". They call it The Touch. It's never really explain what The Touch is, but from what I read, it would seem that Smith has the power of persuasion, as well as the ability to heal others. I know, I know, he doesn't really sound like that bad of a guy, but here's where I got a connection to Waco.

Rev. Samuel Smith
Smith, being the leader of the religious faction, even though he is an atheist, was stockpiling arms to eventually go to war with the "Sodom that is America". I'm not saying that David Koresh was going to go to war with America, but he was stockpiling arms and definitely had a silver tongue. There are a few more similarities that I found in the story as well but I could be here forever going on about them.

Anyway, the Punisher goes up against Rev. Smith and the the Church of the Saved and in the end the, the church is disbanded.

Oops, I almost forgot to talk about Keena. He was a troubled, drug abusing kid that found his way to the Church of the Saved with the intent to rob them. Smith got to him, probably using the "Touch", and eventually Keena joined the church and became Rev. Smith's right hand man and body guard, seeing as how big the dude is.

That's all there is. Like I said, with the exception of Microchip, all of these characters are very minor and are hardly worth mentioning. But seeing as how I created this site to go over all things key issue, I felt that I have to talk about them, no matter how insignificant the characters might be. I can't see any of these minor characters making their way into live action anytime soon, if at all.

To the best of my knowledge, there are only direct and newsstand versions of this comic. I couldn't find anything on foreign editions. That doesn't mean they don't exist though.

Newsstand Edition
Even before I looked at the CGC census, I knew that the numbers for this issue were going to be low. This is a relatively minor key issue after all. However, of the 56 copies that are listed, well over half (34) have been graded at 9.8 NM/M. If you're looking for an already graded, high grade copy of this comic, there are some out there, but I would think that your best be would be to find a nice high grade raw copy. Maybe hold onto it for a little while and see if this comic takes off and gets a nice bump in value or not. Because, as of right now, they are not doing much of anything as you will see in the next section.

Values for Punisher #4 on GoCollect
The sales data that I have only goes back to 2013 for 9.8 NM/M copies of this comic. Looking at that first sale, the selling price was a underwhelming $35. As you can see, this wasn't a very sought out book back then. Most of the sales were in 2016 after Netflix announced that they were indeed making a Punisher series. Now, usually after an announcement like that, you will see speculators buying up copies and making some demand in the market, which in turn will usually sent values up. Even though there was a small increase in value, it's pretty negligible. The highest sale was in Dec. of 2016 and it sold for $72. I realize that its double the original sale in 2013, but really, if it's not breaking the $100 mark, it hardly seems worth it. However, if Microchip becomes a more prominent character in the series, we may see this sucker start to creep up in value, but that's some hard speculation right there.

So, if you're looking for a sleeper for a quick flip for a profit, you may want to look for another comic at this time. But, if you want a very high grade key issue comic just to have in your collection, this might be a comic that you could consider. Either way, I wish you luck on your hunt.

Find a copy here
eBay - ComicLink - MyComicShop - ComicConnect