That’s Right – STAN FRICKIN’ LEE my friends! – I Really Want This!

Ask either of my boys (7 &11) who the coolest person living on this planet is, and the answer might surprise you. It isn’t an athlete, movie star, or world leader… although he does go by the moniker of “King Of Cameos” in movies, but has never been the star – Yep, that’s right – Stan Frickin’ Lee – the creator of almost every character Marvel hold near and profitably dear to its corporate Disney heart.

stan-lee-comicbooks

My kids are Marvel fans in a big way. Comics, video games, television and movies, and their favorite part of all of these are when they spot Stan doing one of his “EPIC” cameos. Each of us can debate the most hilarious or heroic moment Stan has had.

(Here, Pick Your Own)

Anyway, after my older son Rowan and I had finished our nightly comic book read, he asked about Fan-Expo Toronto. Of course, when my younger overheard, ran over to say he was going as well. All this before I had even said a word about the when and where. So now my wife and I are looking at a family day out to Fan-Expo with the hopes of getting something cool and collectable for the family. I mean, sure these guys, including Stan, sign their own headshots, but let’s face it, that wouldn’t be as cool as

THIS

amazingfantasy15ap-1

http://www.sportsposterwarehouse.com/detail_AP-COM-909__999__amazingfantasy15ap.html

SIGNED

Ok maybe this

spiderman1ap-1

http://www.sportsposterwarehouse.com/detail_AP-COM-903__999.html

SIGNED

Or this,

theavengers1ap-3

http://www.sportsposterwarehouse.com/detail_AP-COM-919__999__theavengers1ap.html

BUT…

Regardless, the whole family is wondering which wall will become the Stan Lee shrine. Funny thing is, of all the cool collectable things I would like – this one is probably not only the most realistic, but far more about the family in general.

 

I Really Want This! Captain America’s Shield

I’m on Facebook yesterday just checking out stories and pictures when up pops Chris Evans and Chris Pratt at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

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Of course Evans is in full Captain America garb handing out gifts to kids and posing with – the Shield. The one of a kind vibranium/adamantium hybrid. OK, sure, as mentioned before, I’m a comic geek. So depending on what origin story you prefer for his shield it just can’t be destroyed by any ordinary means. (OK a couple of small ‘g’ gods have done the trick over the years, but it gets fixed by some other small ‘g’ divinity and all is again good in the universe.

capshield2

And I suppose that is the point. Steve Rogers isn’t just one of us. Or rather, he ‘is’ a representation of what we could aspire to be. He is empathetic, compassionate, and regardless of the consequences true to himself… even when the country he loves turns its back on him, (See how Rogers becomes Nomad and even returns the Shield to President Nixon when he sees corruption at the highest level. see Captain America & the Falcon #180, 1974 and a few other issues after.)

CaptainAmericaV1-180

Captain America does the right thing – not because he’s ordered to, not because of reward, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

So when Steve Rogers looked to be killed during the Marvel Civil War a few years ago, and Joe Quesada (Marvels Head Honcho at the time) gave the shield to Steven Colbert – I was jealous. Sure, in the comics it went to Bucky Barnes (yes the Winter Soldier), but I watched Colbert and stewed.

Anyway, now Chris Evans is visiting kids with shield in tow, being the coolest possible Captain America, and I want that shield even more than before. And no my sons Cap Frisbee just will not do.

Of course there is this little problem of money… and that little problem of being sold out… but I’ll ignore that for a moment.

You see, an official replica of the one carried in the movies is available. It is actually made from the same mold as the actual movie prop… but it isn’t cheap.

capshield

Still, in my dreams it looks great sitting a couple feet away from my Big Star neon sign and a 360/12 Rickenbacker guitar like Roger McGuinn played in the Byrds.

 

Comic Relief – Shield me (from these crazy prices!) Marvel Team-Up #95 [Spider-Man & Mockingbird]

Amazing what an appearance on a TV show will do for ones image… or value, in the case of a comic book. Take Mockingbird for example.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s when one-shot comic books were the norm, Marvel used to have several ‘team-up vehicles’ to get their more popular characters working with their B, C and even D listers. One such comic was Marvel Team – Up featuring Spider-Man and a new special guest each month.

mtu95

If you look at comic catalogues on line, Marvel Team-Up is not a comic that people have viewed in the category of a ‘fine wine’. For the most part they are inexpensive; in fact most new comics sell for more than these ‘vintage’ mags. Still, every so often something strange happens. A character shows up in a movie or TV show, and the whole world starts getting twisted all around. Check out Mondo and their Guardians of the Galaxy posters for a giant example. Of course, a less well known, but equally compelling thing has happened with an old 1980 edition of Marvel Team-Up.

This is the first appearance of Mockingbird. Now while Barbara (Bobbi) Morse appeared earlier in Marvel Comics dating back to 1971, it wasn’t until her 1980 appearance as Mockingbird that the character became a genuine ‘C’ lister.

Think of it like this

A) Popular characters with their own titles like Spider-Man, Thor, Iron-Man and Captain America.

B) Popular team characters like Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, various X-Men, and various Avengers

C) Characters who come and go and show on various teams that only comic geeks (like myself) would really know about. Think Wonder-Man, Hercules, Quicksilver and various Inhumans.

D) Characters created only to appear to give hero “something to do” before a real threat shows up… Stilt-Man and various villains who made only one appearance.

Very soon after her spot in Marvel Team-Up she was joining Hawkeye in his mini-series, and following him onto the new West Coast Avengers. Eventually she was killed off and ret-coned back to life during Marvel’s Secret Invasion.

hkeye wca

Anyway, of all the characters the show Agents of Shield could introduce, it turned out to be Mockingbird. To some extent it makes sense. From her very first appearance she was linked to Shield as a scientist and agent of extraordinary talent who had been fighting corruption within Shield itself.

But what wasn’t expected was the renewed interest and value of Marvel Team – Up #95. Where once you could get a copy from your local comic store for under $5.00, you now have people on e-bay trying to sell it for as much as a $100.00. (Actually there are some mint packaged copies that some are trying to sell for as much as $682.08 – but that is insane!)

As one-shot comics go, Marvel Team – Up isn’t bad. It holds up much better than many from the era, but it really shouldn’t be commanding a price tag any higher than $20.00.

As much as I love Agents of Shield and the portrayal of Mockingbird by Adrianne Palicki, it’s weird to think that a comic that had no significant value before this summer is suddenly being sold for a lot more money.

If you spot it, pick it up for a comic fan or a fan of Agents of Shield, but don’t go crazy with the price.