Longbox Graveyard might be going through an Odinsleep, but packages continue to arrive here at my secret worldwide headquarters.
Unlike the last missive from Mars, this one was entirely expected:
It’s from my favorite online back-issue retailer — MyComicsShop.com!
But this order was mostly Omnibus reprints.
Leading off — the first two volumes of the reprinted Master of Kung Fu!
It is more than a little bizarre that I got these, as Master of Kung Fu is one of the few comics runs where I own almost every issue … but these Omnibus editions are easier to reference and read, and given these books have been out of print for so many decades, I felt I would be missing the party if I failed to buy them. And, hey, this way I get those Giant-Size MoKF issues that aren’t part of my collection.
Plus, this is an inexpensive way for me to finally read the very first appearances of Shang-Chi in the pages of Marvel Special Edition … I didn’t start collecting this series until issue #20, when the book had retitled itself Master of Kung Fu.
The series originated with Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, and was actually pretty good from the jump. This edition comes with forwards by Englehart and MoKF’s signature creator, Doug Moench, which shed a little light on the series’ origin, and also fill in some blanks for me. For instance, the reason that Paul Gulacy is on again/off again in the first dozen issue of this book was down to accelerated deadlines imposed by the printing schedule of Marvel UK. Ya learn something every day.
Anyway, they’re handsome volumes, and I’m glad to have them, even if it means I’m on the hook for the forthcoming Volumes 3 & 4 if I want to have the whole run. (Insert weary sigh of the collector, here). I’ve already read a good chunk of the first volume — maybe it will inspire me to restart my long-dormant Master of Kung Fu review series.
Next, two volumes of Frank Miller’s Daredevil … another favorite series where I already own most of the issues, but purchased here as collections because I am a damn fool.
Finally, some actual back-issues …
This nearly fills-in my run of Black Panther in Jungle Action, and completes my collection of Chris Claremont’s run on Marvel Two-In-One, which I will get around to reviewing here sooner or later. And that stray Captain Marvel just about fills in my run of that book, as well.
Finally, to give credit where it is due … I need to thank YOU, my Longbox Graveyard readers, for each and every book pictured here. You see, this haul was paid for entirely with trade credit earned by readers clicking through to MyComicsShop.com from the pages of Longbox Graveyard! And at better than four hundred bucks in trade credit, that is a LOT of clicks. Thanks so much!!
Now, I’ve got some reading to do. And some writing, too … Longbox Graveyard will return shortly with an actual issue review, sooner than you expect. Watch this space!
Last week brought welcome news of the return of Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu!
Arguably my favorite 1970s Marvel Comics series, Master of Kung Fu has never received the reprint/collection treatment it deserves, allegedly owing to licensing issues with the estate of Sax Rohmer, who wrote the original Fu Manchu stories that Master of Kung Fu uses as a springboard. It appears those issues have been resolved at last, and this classic run — with all its mystery, intrigue, espionage, and boots-to-the-head — will return in a series of Omnibus reprints starting in 2016!
It’s been awhile, but I have written a bit about Master of Kung Fu here at Longbox Graveyard, starting with Snowbuster, and early tale by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, which shared my youthful obsession with Bruce Lee:
Later, I wrote about Shang-Chi’s adventure on Mordillo’s Island, one of the weirder interludes in what could be a very weird book indeed:
I even put together a Shang-Chi Pinterest Gallery!
And all of this reminds me that I am long overdue in blogging about this book. I’ve been meaning to write about the “Clock of Shattered Time” story from issues #42-43 of MoKF — maybe this impending reprint will put a kung fu boot to my bottom to finally get going again!
This week I celebrate one-hundred consecutive Wednesday blogs here at Longbox Graveyard! To mark this anniversary, I thought I’d look at great “Issue #100” superhero comics covers of the past.
There are two criteria for making my list:
- There has to be a nod to “#100” or “Anniversary” on the cover. One-Hundred is a big number — I’m making a big deal out of it here at Longbox Graveyard, and I expect my comics covers to do the same! This eliminates some older books from consideration. For example, Action Comics #100 might be worth more than my house, but the cover doesn’t note the anniversary nature of that issue.
- It has to be an attractive cover! Or at least a significant cover. Better if it is both!
It’s actually harder than you’d think to find decent #100 covers. There aren’t many comics that make it to #100, in this or any era, and the covers aren’t always great when they do. But for better or worse, here are Longbox Graveyard’s Top Ten One-Hundreds!
10) Superman #100
All right, it’s kind of your Dad’s idea of what a comic book cover should look like, but it’s Superman — he gets a pass. Plus, you get a montage of past anniversary issues, like that thrilling time Supes let a lion bite him in issue #50!
9) X-Men #100
I’m not a fan of the “face-off” composition (and something similar was used to much worse effect for Defenders #100), but it’s cool to see the old and new teams on the same cover. Just looking at the match-ups, my money is on the new kids (unless Marvel Girl abruptly evolves into Dark Phoenix).
8) Master of Kung Fu #100
A pretty decent Mike Zeck cover for a series that didn’t have a lot of superior covers, and also the least likely anniversary issue in this round-up. I love Master of Kung Fu, and I’m just glad I live in a world where it lasted one hundred issues, even if that world was thirty years ago.
7) Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #100
I confess I’ve never read this issue — and I didn’t think a lot of Sgt. Fury when I reviewed the early series here at Longbox Graveyard — but this is a pretty dynamic cover. I love the juxtaposition of the old and new Fury.
6) Iron Man #100
Iron Man wasn’t always a Marvel A-Lister, and he beat the odds by making it to issue #100. I sense a bit of defiance in old Shell-Head — “It’s my 100th issue — deal with it!” This is the only issue in my list that uses the number “100” as an iconographic part of the cover design.
5) Batman #100
Similar to the Superman cover, above, but this cover checks in at #5 because … Batman. Also because Joker, Robin, and driving a pink motorcycle through a hoop of fire.
4) Captain America #100
Captain America gets his close-up, with a whole pack of Avengers in support. Fun fact — this issue #100 is also an issue #1 (kind of), as this marked the transformation of Tales of Suspense into Captain America (which is why you won’t find a Silver Age-era Captain America #1).
3) Avengers #100
It might be the “Mightiest 100th Issue of All!” but Avengers #100 rates no better than a bronze medal here at Longbox Graveyard. Still, any day is a good day to shout, “Avengers Assemble!”
2) Conan #100
This issue almost doesn’t qualify, given it’s subtle “anniversary” branding, but it’s a terrific cover and may be the last great issue of Conan the Barbarian ever published. The only real “down beat” anniversary issue on my list.
1) Amazing Spider-Man #100
I left Spider-Man off my Top Ten List of Marvel Characters (and have been paying for it ever since), so maybe I’ll recover some karma by naming Amazing Spider-Man #100 my top #100 cover of all time. Plus this story has “the wildest shock-ending of all time!” … and that isn’t just hyperbole!
Despite the caption, the gimmick ending of Amazing Spider-Man really was kind of a cop-out, and Spidey would shortly return to his normal, two-armed self. Cop-outs are a part of comics, after all, and I’m not above using them here at Longbox Graveyard (as my many Panel Galleries will attest). Cop-outs or no, I genuinely value this blog and the many readers who have honored me with their loyal readership these past two years. Thanks so much!
Let me know what you think of my choices for the top #100 covers of all time in comments, below … and a Longbox Graveyard No-Prize goes to the first reader who can correctly identify the artists of each of these covers!
(All covers sourced through CoverBrowser.com)
NEXT WEDNESDAY: #101 Sgt. Rock
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