Holy Bat-Signal Batman; Is that a vinyl record or a ‘baterang’? – Where to buy S#!t vol. 2 – Mondo

With a quicker step than usual Tristan and I would beat a hasty retreat from the ugly Mackinnon Building to the drafty basement of Johnston Hall; not because the food on campus was any better there than anywhere else, but because there was a TV.

The opening notes of Danny Elfman’s score would begin and then the greatest superhero show of them all would start – Batman: The Animated Series. A show so cool it didn’t even bother putting the name of it on during the opening theme.

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During that first season in ‘92, it was on right after class and we wouldn’t say a word until the commercials. To this day, the debate over who is the best ‘Batman’ is so frickin obvious I scoff at anyone who denies it.

Kevin Conroy (the voice of the Bat & Bruce). You may never see him in the costume… but he is the Bat!

The official series may have finished many years ago, but to fans, it lives large in the psyche. So imagine my fan-boy glee when I’m looking at different types of collectibles and this appears…

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The opening and closing themes on bat-shaped vinyl! Bat –shaped and with grey splatter on the variant limited edition. ( http://mondotees.com/products/batman-the-animated-series-die-cut-12-single?variant=967910731)

Now, that is the thing about Mondo (http://mondotees.com/), the good people who have released this glorious single, everything they do is limited and outstanding and is collectors gold. In fact, this isn’t even the first time they’ve released the theme on vinyl. Others in the series include covers of the Joker, Harley Quinn, Clayface and Man-Bat.

In terms of vinyl, they pretty much only release soundtracks. So, in addition to my bat-vinyl I also picked up the Jon Brions’ original soundtrack to Paranorman.

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However, they got all kinds of wonderful things for those geeky folks who seem impossible to buy for. Iron Giant t-shirts, Fargo knit-wear, and a Gremlins Christmas sweater are hi-lights of the clothing, but it’s the posters and original artwork you really want to see.

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Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Batman, there is certainly a lot of material for fans to choose from, but honestly, that just scrapes the surface. Big with Mondo is variant movie posters released in limited edition. They are mostly based on cult horror or sci-fi/fantasy films, and are absolutely incredible. Here are a couple examples…

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The other thing that is a little on the insane side is the resale value, or at least what people are selling them for on e-bay.

This Guardians of the Galaxy poster originally sold for $60.00 and was limited to 750 copies.

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On e-bay sellers are now asking for more than $750.00 for it. Oh, and don’t for one second think this is an anomaly.  In ten minutes of research I could literally find dozens of examples. Just this week I tried to order an X-Men: Days Of Future Past poster and the damn thing sold out in the 45 minutes I was away from the computer. So, if you’re looking for a unique gift for that crazy super-fan or collector… keep an eye on Mondo. Now, maybe I could call Tristan up for a Batman: The Animated Series marathon. In fact, I think maybe a whole party or something… I am such a geek.

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.

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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.

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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.