30th Jan2019

eBuying Comics: Week 12

by Ian Wells


Lights! Camera! Action! This week I am talking movie tie ins and movie adaptation comics.

In the old days the show was firmly on the other foot when it came to comics and movies. A big summer blockbuster would be released and behind the scenes the comics publishers would be battling it out to land the rights to continue the adventures in the four colour format. I actually got into comics via a movie tie in. The glamorous version of events I tell people is the X-Men movie got me to go to a Forbidden Planet and Wolverine #157-160 were my first comics but in fact it started the summer before that with an X-Men movie comic. You hear stories of people like Kevin Smith and most current comic creator who were collecting in the mid 80’s to early 90’s saying they left comics behind when they hit puberty. Well the X-Men movie hit as I started my final years of compulsory education so I made the exact opposite move.

The comic in question was The UK edition of the official movie adaptation. In the UK is was distributed by Panini the cover had a photo of the cast rather than the cover supplied by Anthony Williams and Andy Lanning on the US edition. Also the UK edition had some interviews with the cast and crew at the back so that summer this comic was my X-Men bible. It is a pretty solid adaptation taking a tighter look at the story. It makes the huge assumption that people reading it have seen the movie so they can fill in between the panels. This comic was actually followed up on with a sequel titled ‘X-Men The Movie Special Edition.’ It serves as a sequel before an actual cinematic sequel was put into production. Essentially it is Xavier and Magneto having a dick measuring contest as they brag about new recruits. But it is super cool to see Angel, Psylocke and Colossus rendered in movie style black costumes! Both of these comics are readily available on eBay in good condition for £5 and under. For fans of the first X-Men movies I would recommend them both more for the nostalgia factor. I would however highly advise staying away from the movie prequels. The Wolverine one in particular is horrendous! The creators of the movie couldn’t stress enough how they were trying to ground the merry mutants in reality. Then in the Wolverine prequel comic the writer tries to work in Silver Samurai. The worrying thing is the Dynamic Forces variants for this below par story still fetch upwards of £10 in good condition. The X-Men 2 Wolverine prequel on the other hand is brilliant. Its like they actually put effort in on this one. A solid Wolverine vs Sabertooth story that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Wolverine ongoing. It was also helpful in explaining Sabertooths absence from the second movie. Two more reasons to pick it up first being you can easily find it for under £5 online and secondly it is from the creative powerhouse duo of Brian K Vaughn and Tom Mandrake. My exposure to comic adaptations kind of began and ended with the X-Men until now…

I felt I had to make a purchase to coincide with this blog. So another movie that I loved upon release and began my love for the character was Daredevil! I had an intense bidding war to get my prize. There were a few cheaper but with more expensive postage than the one I eventually purchased. The seller had it listed at £5 + £2.90 P+P with a make an offer option. I went in with an opening bid if £2.55, he countered with £4, I countered again with £3.50 and he won out in the end at £3.75. I have to admit I’m really looking forward to reading this!

We don’t really get movie adaptations now. Marvel dabbles with the prelude comics but to me they represent a weird middle ground. Fans who only like the movies and only know these characters as movie characters won’t be seeking them out and hardcore comic fans will more likely to stick with their tried and trusted 616 continuity. Most of these comics in single issue or trade can be found for cover price or below. Interestingly there was a seller with a good bulk of the prelude comics selling them all for £119. That seems a lot to me. With the movies having the success they have I have this nagging feeling we could easily slip back into the speculator market that helped crash the comics industry in the 90’s. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two years anything Avengers Infinity War related is hot right now. Case in point Infinity War Prelude #1 are online with the CGC treatment signed by Jim Starlin who has nothing to do with the actual comic itself are priced at £200. Add Stan Lees autograph to that and its £900+. Add some no the cast to that and you easily clear £1000! That seems outrageous to me for a comic that has very little to do with Marvel Comics mythology as a whole and doesn’t add a great deal to movie continuity.

There are many pluses to movie adaptations. In 1988 Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal manga series Akira was made into an animated movie. The same year Marvel published a coloured version under their Epic banner. It ran for 38 issues and actually played an important role in Akira’s success in Western markets. Akira has left a long lasting legacy and is still highly influential, so prices for these Marvel single issues vary greatly. The cheapest #1 I found was £9.11 at a 6.0 grade. Perhaps better value was the listing for issue 1-3 at VF+ for £53. If CGC is your thing a 9.6 is between £60-£100 depending on the seller. Comics that adapt or expand on a movie are great for giving more time to lesser characters. How many characters were in the original Star Wars movies with little or no chance to shine? Marvel got the rights to publish Star Wars comics upon the movies release. Over the course of its 107 issue run they did out and out adaptations of the three movies as well as expanding on its growing success. Boba Fett is the character in Star Wars everyone thinks of when they think of a character greatly expanded upon outside the main source material. Which is why Star Wars #42 is such a sought after item for us nerds. It is one of them comics that just seems to continuously be going up in price. If you really want it you may have to come down a grade or two to secure a more reasonable price. Eventually the publishing rights moved to Dark Horse and the universe expanded into a rich legacy that maybe even George Lucas didn’t envisage. In a series called Star Wars Tales in issue 19 the people of Dark Horse gave us something amazing. Han Solo meeting Indiana Jones! If you are a fan of both of those movie franchises this is the comic for you but be prepared to pay for it. The cheapest one I found listed was £21 an the highest was £87. There is a Harrison Ford photo cover variant which increases the price even further putting this 64 page comic over £100. Sticking with Dark Horse the carved out a niche for themselves in the 80’s and 90’s publishing comics based on popular movie properties. Predator was fighting Aliens long before it happened on the big screen. In fact there aren’t many characters Predator hasn’t hunted down. Batman, Judge Dredd and everyones favourite red head Archie Andrews.

Movie adaptations and tie ins are a dying breed which as I’ve presented here is a good thing and a bad thing. At their worst they are the worst stories featuring your favourite characters. At their best they are mythology enriching masterpieces.

Watch List:

  • Western Adventure – Vol 2 No. 10 April 1958 – Pulp Street and Smith –  Starting Price: £4.99 – Unsold
  • Western Adventure. Vol. 2 No. 11 Olmsted et al. 1958 Book – £5.40 ends 29/01/19 @ 23.04 GMT

Shopping Cart:

  • Daredevil Official Comic Movie Adaptation – Paid: £3.75 + £2.90 P+P



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