Each month our team of writers each submits a classic or modern cover that they deem worthy of entering into the esteemed HALL OF WOW. At the end of each month, we ask our loyal followers over on our Wow Comix World Facebook page to vote on their favorite as part of our big giveaway!
See the inductees for March 2022 below!
The Amazing Spider-Man #75 – 1969 – Cover by John Romita
A fine reflective picture of a weary Web-Slinger. Truly iconic
Chosen by Taz Maz
Silver Surfer #4 – 1969 – Cover by John Buscema and Sal Buscema
The ‘Sky-Rider of the Spaceways’ faces Thor on Buscema’s classic cover. This depiction of a showdown on Asgard’s rainbow bridge stands as a great example of dynamic action, pose and character design. Each instantly recognisable and very much a signature of one of the old masters. Check out ‘How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way’ if you want to see how he worked his magic.
Chosen By Andrew Flood
Wonder Woman #600 – 2010 – Cover by Adam Hughes
There are no women like Adam Hughes women, and there are no covers like homage covers. Slap ’em together, and you get this stunning image. The already fantastic cover to Sensation Comics #41 is impeccably reworked by master artist Adam Hughes in a cover that no comic book fan could resist putting on display, and a fitting reward for readers of Wonder woman issue 600.
Chosen by Leo Brocklehurst
Unwritten#43 – 2013 – Cover by Yuko Shimizu
Could have picked any cover from this series. Shimizu drew them all and every one of them was brilliant!
Chosen by Ross Kelly
Tomb of Dracula #1, April 1972 – cover by Neal Adams
A cover that perfectly captures the over-the-top drama and the stunning artwork of the Bronze Age revival of horror comics, following a slight loosening of what the Comics Code would allow. Each issue of this series is a perfectly balanced blend of tense, dark atmosphere and melodramatic histrionics and this cover represents that perfectly, the helpless blonde in a classic Lugosi style Dracula’s arms with an eerie backdrop of forest, castle and moonlight. And that logo is just absolutely timeless!
Chosen by Nathan Harrison
Batman #496 – Cover by Kelly Jones
I’ve never been a fan of Kelly Jones’ artwork if I’m being perfectly honest. Which is why I have to give him credit for this brutal and haunting image from his Knightfall cover gallery, in which, the ghost of Jason Todd cries out for vengeance from beyond the grave. But is it a ghost or merely an expression of Batman’s guilt-ridden conscience? Pain, sorrow, guilt, justice, vengeance, anarchy, chaos: all of these things are happening here!
Chosen by Bryan Lomax
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: DEATH OF APOLLO #5 – 2015 – Mike Meyhew
This watercolor from Mike Meyhew is simply stunning. From a technical standpoint, it’s flawless. The color pallet, the postures, framing, and just how beautiful are those stars!
Thematically, it evokes an emotional depth in which the run itself just missed out on delivering, but given the title, any BSG fan would feel a lump in their throat seeing a scene such as this on the cover.
Chosen by LJ Marshall
Action Comics #393 – Oct 1970 – Cover by Curt Swan
It’s action, suspense, and a key question: why would a kid want to stop Supes from saving his father?
The added bonus of “How Superboy Became Superman” makes this a must-read
Chosen By Liam Ashby
That’s it for this week! Some fine pick’s there from our review team!
Have you got any of these classic covers? Which of this week’s selections would you vote for!? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget that you can see all of the HALL OF WOW featured covers by heading over there right now in the menu above!
Publication of The Dragon magazine started in 1976, following on from the great success of the D&D game
To others, we were a bunch of misfit kids, sat around a desk with strange dice and lots of books and papers, talking animatedly while caretakers cleaned the school corridors. We knew better. We were explorers, adventurers, dungeon delvers, each with amazing abilities that meant we could face down almost any foe. Be it wizard, thief, warrior, or ranger of the wilds, there was a character to suit all tastes. The skinny kid who was always picked last became a mighty warrior, the kid who struggled in class became a wise old mage… Too tall? No problem, in this world, you’re a dwarf or a hobbit if you like. Granted, it wasn’t the most fashionable pursuit in the eighties but we just called it ‘rugby club’ when around others and then got on with the business of having a good time.
It’s a special sort of hobby that enables people of all ages and from all walks of life to gather around a table, leave their everyday lives behind for a while and join in adventures to rival the best found in books, comics and film. Table top roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) offer experiences like no other, being fuelled almost entirely by the power of our shared imaginations. The hobby is perhaps more popular now than ever before, having a much better mainstream awareness (certainly a far cry from the ‘witch-hunt’ mania that plagued the hobby in the eighties) supported by both pop culture inclusion and a broader means of access.
Currently, on its immensely successful 5th edition, D&D is the public face of roleplaying games, being for many their first experience of the hobby by way of podcasts, YouTube or Stranger Things, even. No longer the sole province of ‘that bunch of weirdos’, D&D is enjoying a new and different heyday.
There are countless resources available to fuel and fire the imaginations of modern players, both online and in traditional print. It can be difficult to know where to start, following on from that first game or experience with a starter set or board/card game. One staple of the D&D player’s arsenal has always been Dragon (formerly ‘The Dragon’) magazine.
Filled with great art, engaging writing and bursting with ideas and cool new rules variants, almost every issue was, and is, an invaluable aid to deeper enjoyment of D&D. It’s interesting then, to return to the roots of the magazine (and indeed the hobby as a whole) and take a look at the inaugural issue. Perhaps more so now than ever, considering not only the modern popularity of 5th ed. but also the resurgence in recent years of what is now referred to as OSR or Old School Renaissance (games which are closer in tone and rules to the early iterations of the game).
The formative days of D&D came out of the desire to expand wargaming (often recreating historical military battles with table top miniatures) into something more fantastical, reflecting a love of heroic fantasy fiction. The Chainmail fantasy miniature wargame rules, written by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren and published in 1971 would eventually form the basis for Dungeons and Dragons. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson collaborated on this first outing for D&D, releasing it in 1974 as three booklets in a cardboard box. The game would go on to see numerous revisions and countless additions.
Publication of The Dragon magazine started in 1976, following on from the great success of the D&D game (its first three printings having sold out). It was a bi-monthly publication, replacing the in-house magazine The Strategic Review and aimed at support of the hobby about which its creators were so clearly passionate. By this point, it was already clear that the D&D ruleset was quite open, inviting ‘homebrew’ additions and adaptations of the rules. People were hungry for more, and The Dragon was there to help feed them.
Issue #1 could only have ever featured one thing on its cover and Bill Hannan didn’t disappoint, rendering a dragon which was sure to draw the eye of prospective adventurers and Dungeon Masters alike. The colours were lurid and, while they might simply have been a limitation of the printing process, evoked a surrealistic feeling of some magical miasma surrounding the dragon. The magazine’s logo meanwhile, was faintly ichorous, with oozing serifs and a hidden serpent, very seventies, very cool and very much appealing to the aesthetic of the hobby at the time.
Opening the issue, we find the first article to have been written by Fritz Leiber, a real luminary of the Sword and Sorcery fiction genre by way of his Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser stories. It’s a fun read, presented as a conversation with said characters, with Leiber attempting to gain their insight in order to enrich his writing of the then-upcoming table top game Lankhmar. By way of some dimension-crossing in the depths of the Caverns of Ningauble, the author sets about picking the brains of the two rogues and eventually comes away arguably none the wiser. The article will be of considerable interest to both gamers and fans of the ‘Swords’ stories, a curious and humorous piece of history for both.
Next up is a piece from Larry Smith detailing how to convert his Battle of the Five Armies game into a miniature wargame. It uses a modified form of the Chainmail ruleset and features in-depth options for re-enacting the battle from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This sort of adaptation and modification was common throughout Dragon’s history, and encouraged the ‘homebrew’ approach taken by many players. It’s a necessarily rules-heavy article that spans several pages which gives an insight into how early rules were balanced. An interesting piece of history for fans of Tolkien-related gaming.
This is followed up by an article with suggested ‘standardised’ approaches to handling in-game situations where a player wants to do something in D&D not fully covered by the existing rules. It’s almost a formative example of later skill-based systems using the core attributes found in D&D to this day. Wesley D. Ives demonstrates his system nicely with some examples of use in play featuring ‘Grod the fighter’, which makes learning and applying the system all the easier.
Another ‘ideas’ article follows, asking the question, ‘Magic and Science – Are They Compatible in D&D?’ Here James M. Ward presents his ideas based on a race of ‘Artificers’ who had transported their ‘Atlantis’ to another dimension. This race work with the intersection of magic and science and are suggested as a good challenge for powerful characters. There are some nice ideas here, offering a slightly different take on ‘standard D&D’ and while similar topics have been covered many times since, this would have been one of the earlier examples.
‘Languages or, Could you repeat that in Auld Wormish?’ is an essay on the then-current coverage of languages in D&D and the implications in game. It’s an engaging piece which provides plenty of food for thought through questions posed and examples provided. Ever an important component of the game, certainly in roleplaying terms, languages can sometimes have just as much impact as a stat or dice roll.
Jake Jaquet then brings us the first part in a light-hearted and somewhat ‘fourth wall breaking’ serialised story, ‘The Search for the Forbidden Chamber’. The antics of the misfit group are filled with good humour in a similar vein to that of the early Terry Pratchett novels and the whole thing serves as great chuckle fuel. More of this desire to entertain and amuse comes through in other parts of the magazine, with cartoons which would prove to be a regular feature in the future. Tabletop gamers rarely take themselves too seriously, and it’s nice to see the humorous side of the hobby represented in these pages.
The ‘Creature Features’ have always been a favourite of mine, and this very early example focuses on the Bulette, or Landshark. It’s presented in a way that would broadly become standard practice for future monster manuals and creature compendiums. There’s a great drawing showing the beast locked in fearsome combat with some knights in full plate followed by in game statistics for the Dungeon Master or referee. We then get some flavour text and guidance for play. Considering the Bulette is one of the D&D monsters based off the now hugely collectible ‘Chinasaurs’ (small plastic dinosaurs of imaginative morphology and dubious authenticity made in China as cheap toys), it’s a formidable foe, and an enduring D&D classic.
Reading on, there’s ‘Hints for D&D Judges, Part 2: Wilderness’. This title offers potential for confusion until it’s put together with the ‘Part 1’ published in The Dragon’s predecessor, The Strategic Review (Vol. II, No. 2, for those wanting to track it down). The article itself offers great guidance on expanding the scope of a game from a dungeon crawl or castle game into a broader campaign, in this instance by mapping out the larger terrain and wilderness areas. It’s the sort of article I used to eagerly pore over, looking to find new ways to world build. This one is helped out further by a very cool depiction of what is either Conan or a fantasy warrior that goes to the same tailor/hairdresser/gym.
This segues nicely (at least, it will do if I ignore the ‘Mighty Magic Miscellany’ piece on p.23, which wouldn’t be fair, as it’s got some cool spell ideas for illusionists) into an article about ‘Royal Armies of the Hyborean Age Additions’ by Lin Carter and Scott Bizar. As Lin Carter worked on expanding the stories of Conan and the Hyborean age, the article is written on good authority. It’s an expansion and companion piece to their main game and covers some of the ‘peripheral nationalities’ from the fictional worlds of Robert E. Howard and, as with the main game is a series of rules and information aimed as a guide for wargamers to enact battles in that setting.
None other than Gary Gygax presents the next article, a brief piece on the use of Hobbits and thieves in the Dungeon game. A similarly brief article appears near the end of the magazine concerning ‘The Three Kindreds of the Eldar’, being some extra information for the inclusion of Tolkien style elves in D&D.
Rounding off the issue, there is a ‘Press Release’ section, which features promotional overview coverage of three new games, followed by the first installment of a new fantasy novel from Garrison Ernst, ‘The Gnome Cache’.
The Dragon’s premier issue is fascinating not only as a time capsule, revealing the state of tabletop gaming in its formative years but also as a potential supplement for modern gamers, especially given the flexibility of 5th Ed. D&D and the various OSR games out there. The linework of the illustrations has a reassuring ‘old-school’ feel and will prove massively nostalgic for many, as will the occasional ads for miniatures and conventions. As with any old publication, it’s a product of its time and as such some content will be anachronistic in use today but, as has been proven many times over, gamers are an inventive bunch and will brew strange new concoctions out of almost anything…
That the essence of the content provided in The Dragon remained in a similar vein for many years suggests that Gygax and co. hit on a winning formula, just as they had with their now-famous game. Granted, the production values and volume increased, as did the level of illustration but the feeling of an exciting publication aimed at a hobby loved by many never went away. It’s like they were saying, ‘you’re not alone, guys… here’s something cool for you.’ As would so often be the case, it’s a promise they deliver on, with content covering everything from Middle Earth through to the realms of Conan and beyond. Not everyone will enjoy the rules-heavy articles or appreciate the rough-edged presentation but if you’ve made it this far, chances are you’re the sort of person that’ll find a lot to like in this fabled tome!
Thats right folks, we are having a big Warhammer clear-out on http://www.wowcomix.com! Please bare in mind these offers are exclusively available on our website, not in-store. You can check out some of what’s available in the sale below, but remember… once it’s gone at this price, it’s GONE! VAMOOSE!
Space Marines Devastator Squad – Warhammer 40,000
Space Marine Devastator Squad
Plastic models require assemble and painting.
5 Space Marine Devastator models
1 can be built as a SM Devastator Sgt (choose from 1 of 3 heads)
Space Marines Scouts with Sniper Rifles – Warhammer 40,000
Operating deep within hostile territory, Scout Squads reconnoitre the enemy’s movements, set ambushes, sabotage supply lines and destroy communications centres in daring commando raids. The task of the Scouts is to strike hard and vanish before the enemy has the chance to retaliate.
This kit comes with a variety of weapons, heads and optional accessories that allow you to personalise the models. One set of legs is also in a kneeling pose so that you can depict a scout ready to take a kill shot.
This 46-piece plastic kit makes 5 Space Marines Scouts each armed with a sniper rifle. There is also an option to arm one with a missile launcher instead. It comes supplied with five 25mm round bases and an Ultramarines transfer sheet.
Adeptus Astartes Space Marine Tactical Squad – Warhammer 40,000
Offering a good balance of melee and ranged fighting along with some impressive resilience, there is a reason that Space Marines are a popular choice for a hobbyists first models. This Tactical Squad is a great starting point and a key components in any Adeptus Astartes army. This 179 piece multi-part plastic kit allows your to build your own 10 man Space Marines Tactical Squad, including options for a Sergeant and Special Weapons marines too.
When it comes to marines in your Tactical Squad you get 11 torso fronts, 10 different leg poses, 16 different heads; 22 shoulder pads; 10 backpacks and 10 sets of left and right arms, making unique poses very achievable. You can add personality to each Space Marine thanks to an impressive amount of optional equipment and heraldry, like combat knives, grenades, back banner, holstered bolt pistol, targeting scopes, parchments and purity seals, ammo pouches, auspex, 3 spare hands and 2 Space Marine transfer sheets.
The Glaivewraith Stalkers are a set of 4 sinister, drifting gheists, each little more than a tattered shroud, a pair of arms and a leering animal skull. The vertebrae of their undead spines poke through their cowls, giving them at least some corporeal shape – however, from the correct angles you can see into the shroud, and clearly observe the negative space where the rest of their bodies should be. Each carries a 2-handed hunter’s glaive, the haft and blade worn through countless years of use, and 1 Glaivewraith can be assembled as a deathbeat drummer holding a drum under his left arm, beating it with the mallet held in his right. They come as 17 components, and are supplied with 4 32mm sculpted round bases – these depict a graveyard scene, with the Glaivewraiths attached via a mist of ethereal vapour.
You’ll also receive a starter brush, perfect for painting the Glaivewraiths, and 6 12ml pots of Citadel paint. This set is now OOP, so grab one while you can!
This set contains: – A 36-page Learn to Play Rulebook – The complete Storm of Celestus warband – a company of Stormcast Eternals. Build your warband with four push-fit, plastic models, cast in coloured plastic to ensure they stand out even when unpainted, plus fighter cards and a number of warband-specific cards that let you unleash their noble strategies in battle. – The complete Drepur’s Wraithcreepers warband – a group of Nighthaunt tormenting Shadespire. Build your warband with four push-fit, plastic models, cast in coloured plastic, and create your decks with fighter cards and a number of warband-specific cards that let you harness their power in battle. – 2 double-sided, fold-out game boards that can be used to assemble your battlefields – Warhammer Underworlds tokens, including objectives, wound markers, glory points, and many more – 8 Dice – 5 Attack dice and 3 Defence dice, enough for the most devastating blows and desperate defences!
This little addition to Wow Comix World is a celebration of comic covers! We LOVE a good comic cover, who doesn’t? And so we thought what better way to honor the very best than opening our own ‘Hall of Fame’.
Each month our noble review team submit two covers, past or present, that they personally deem worthy to be entered into our Hall Of Wow! Then, at the end of each month, ONE will be chosen as our grand champion. What’s more, if you predict the winner in our end-of-month giveaway, you could stand to win some free comics!
You can check out all of the covers selected so far here!
Onto the first batch of inductees this month…
Marvels #4, April 1994 – cover by Alex Ross
“Pretty much any piece by Alex Ross would be worthy of inclusion in the Hall of WOW. His unique, painterly approach never fails to lend a new perspective on fan favourite characters and this classic is no exception. By making use of the reflective surfaces of Spider-Man’s eyes, we’re given a haunting new take on the moment that broke Peter Parker’s heart and marked the moment when comic books came of age.”
Chosen By Nathan Harrison
Daredevil #228 Art by David Mazzucchelli – 1986
“Terrifying close-up of Matt Murdoch’s fear-drenched face as his life is torn apart by the kingpin. Stripped of everything except his sanity, but that too is about to fracture.”
Chosen by Ross Kelly
Detective Comics #457 – 1976
Art by Dick Giordano and Tatjana Wood
“One look at this cover tells you everything you need to know about why Batman does what he does. It’s such a beautiful composition of tragedy and pain that shows us, in a very literal sense, just what’s going on behind those whited-out eyes.”
Chosen by Bryan Lomax
Conan the Barbarian #73
April 1977 by Gil Kane and Ernie Chan
“Out from an ‘age undreamed of, after the oceans drank Atlantis… when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world’ comes this awesome cover, depicting Conan during his fabled adventures alongside the pirate queen Belit. Here they face near-insurmountable odds above ‘The Well of Skelos’, each valiantly facing down beasts and dark sorcery alike. This is full of what made the Conan tales such fun.”
Chosen by Andy Flood
Marvel comics #1000 – 2019
Art by Julian Totino Tedesco
“She hulk lights this cover up in one of the most dazzling images in marvel history, Spidey, Thor, Wolverine, and Hulk all stare in bewilderment that She Hulk still rocks a walkman. This cover is an instant classic. It’s funny, it’s awesome, it’s 80’s. This retro cover for 2019’s Marvel Comics #1000 begs you to pick it out of the longbox and slap it in one of your nicer bags and boards.”
“It raises eyebrows and questions simultaneously with its silhouetted characters and what looks like an alien abduction. The sideline saying: “There is no Section Zero” gives the new reader the impression that it is a secret society filled with intrigue.”
Chosen by Liam Ashby
Dark Knight Returns #2
Art By Frank Miller– 1986
“Ok, laugh it up. I see constipated Batman too, sure, but look again. I’m 98% sure on this being one of my favorite depictions of the man himself ever, let alone favorite cover art.
Perhaps it’s his expression, the huge arms, the torn clothing, or simply the pose itself that does it for me. Eitherway, I certainly know that this is the Batman who ain’t gonna go down without a fight! And I dig that.”
Chosen by L.J Marshall
Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8.
Art by Mike Zeck -1984
“The Symbiote that would become Venom owns this cover above all the chaos going on in the background. Original interior art for this comic recently sold for $ 3.36 million “
Chosen by Taz Maz
That’s it for this week! Some mighty fine first picks there from our review team!
Have you got any of these classic covers? Which of this week’s selections would you vote for!? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget that you can see all of the HALL OF WOW featured covers by heading over there right now in the menu above!
SPIDER-MAN is Marvel’s most popular, iconic, and lucrative character. He’s been headlining the comic industry for 60 years and has no shortage of iconic stories such as Kraven’s last hunt, the night Gwen Stacy died, coming home as well as a myriad of others. However, those are stories mostly EVERY Spidey fan has at least heard of if not read multiple times over, and not every great Spidey story has had its fair share of attention, so here’s 10 (count ’em, 10) Fantabulous Spidey books that deserve a little more love.
Some ground rules: 616 only (this list would be too hard if it wasn’t), must feature Spider-Man (obviously), and must be in comic book form, no books, games, or movies/shows are going to be found here.
10: THE CLONE SAGA (1994-1996)……..yup
Yes, the clone saga. THAT clone saga. The 2-year mega-event that for some reason is cast aside as a convoluted, uninteresting, pointless mess. Whilst it IS a convoluted mess, it’s got a hell of a lot going for it and most people you talk to likely haven’t read it due to what they’ve heard (and also the fact it was a 2-year mega-event). The clone saga gave birth to great stories like power and responsibility, revelations, and the heartbreaking issue 400; let’s consider these honorable mentions. I for one think that stories like these make memorable additions to Spider-man’s long history and so does the clone saga as a whole. The reason the clone saga is at the bottom of this list is that it’s kind of a cheat. It’s more of an era of Spider-man than one storyline but screw it, I want to show it some love. Go the 90’s! (P.S this isn’t the last you’ll hear from the clone saga on this list).
9: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (Sensational Spider-man annual #1 2007)
The final hurrah of Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage before one more day (curse you, Joe Quesadaaaaa!) is a really beautiful, touching story set during the post-Civil war era where Spider-man is on the run from the government. Two paths are taken. Peter Parker in a cafe talking to an agent and also Mary Jane talking to a S.H.I.E.L.D operative. That’s just the setup however, the great part of this story is the flashbacks, redrawn masterfully by Salvador Larroca, the book gives us both sides of their experiences together in an incredible one-shot issue. I won’t spoil it so you’re just gonna have to go and read it!
When the self-titled ‘Spider-man’ title of the ’90s came to an end in 1998, it was relaunched as Peter Parker: Spider-man the following year (not to be confused with Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-man). In 2003, this new series would end, bringing the run to a definitive ending. The title gave us a hell of a lot of long box fillers but on the other hand, did deliver some fantastic stories like the one listed here. REBORN is the work of acclaimed writer Zeb Wells alongside legendary Maxx creator Sam Kieth. REBORN centers around the sandman…Um, sandmen rather. William Baker’s alter ego is having a supernova of a mental breakdown, dividing himself into parts: his good-hearted self, a seductive woman, an innocent child, and a disturbing villain. In the midst of this, Spider-man attempts to solve Baker’s problems and stitch himself back together for the better. The ending of this arc is kind of sad, however, and ultimately Spider-man loses. If you want to know how I guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself!
7: DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN (Marvel Knights: Spider-man (2004) #’s 1-12)
Mark Millar has delivered some of the most prominent comic book stories of the last 30 years: kick ass, the secret service, the ultimates, swamp thing and so much more, I could go on for hours. Marvel Knights Spider-man however, is a series that doesn’t get noticed enough though. Without a doubt, you can walk into any comic book shop and find an issue from this series no question. It’s absolutely everywhere and yet it’s treated like box filler! It’s great! It’s exciting and moody, bringing new villains like Mac Gargan as Venom into the mix as well as old ones like Norman Osborn himself, the thriller tone to the book keeps you from putting it down and Terry Dodson and Frank Cho do an absolutely jaw-dropping job on pencil duties. The only reason this series shouldn’t be on your bookshelf is that a complete collection trade paperback is pretty tough to come by and if you manage to spot one, it’s likely to run you some change, so the cheapest way to get your hands on this series is to actually get the floppy’s in all their well-loved glory.
6: VS.FIRELORD (The Amazing Spider-man (1963) #’s 269-270)
Do you want to see Spider-man beat the ever-loving H-E-double hockey sticks out of a herald of Galactus? Yes? Well then, you’ve come across just the Spidey story for you! This quick, two-issue arc from 1985 delivers one of the worst @$$ Spider-man moments of all time. Firelord, a cosmically powered super being descends upon the earth for nothing more than a slice of pizza, in the process, he ends up getting a couple of New York citizens hurt which royally ticks Spider-man off. So with the little confrontation between the two, Firelord begins hunting Spider-man down with no signs of slowing until Spidey uses a combination of brains and brawn to beat the snot out of the former right-hand man to the galaxy’s scariest foe. And don’t be deceived by the (absolutely incredible Ron Frenz) artwork, all though Spider-man IS in his black suit, his powers aren’t enhanced as it’s not the actual symbiote, meaning Spidey took the Firelord out with only his standard set of arachnid-enhanced abilities. The only reason this balls to wall epic isn’t further up on this list is that it’s probably the most famous among the tales on this page and is not actually THAT underrated.
5: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CRUSHER HOGAN (The Amazing Spider-man (1963) #271)
Well, would you just look at that? Roger Stern and Ron Frenz must have been doing something right when they delivered this sensational story right after the last entry on this very list! Whatever happened to Crusher Hogan is the only issue of Amazing Spider-man that made me cry (yep, I’m man enough to admit it). Crusher Hogan is, of course, the brutish wrestler Peter Parker fought all those years ago in Amazing Fantasy #15. Unfortunately for Crusher, these days he’s a caretaker of a wrestling ring under the ownership of Man-slaughter, a big ol’ tough guy akin to tombstone or kingpin. Crusher tells these wonderful stories to the kids training there about how he trained Spider-man and gave him his web-shooters and the like. So when Spider-man shows up to take down Man-slaughter, the pair finally reunite. Although Crusher’s stories were all nothing more than fables, Spider-man gives Crusher vindication for his hard work and tells all the kids at the gym that Crusher really was Spidey’s mentor, they shake hands and Crusher was brought to tears, truly one of the most beautiful and heart-warming stories in Spidey history. If you can find this issue in the wild, I promise you that you won’t regret picking it up.
Remember when I was talking about the relaunched Peter Parker: Spider-man title? I said the majority of it was just long box fillers but there were some highlights. This story is one such highlight. A very, very high, light. Written yet again by Zeb Wells and again featuring the Sandman, this is probably the most fun, and funniest Spidey book ever, and when you’ve got an artist as cool as Jim Mahfood (GRRL SCOUTS author) there’s no way you can go wrong. If you want an absolutely hilarious story about the Sandman invading an MTV beach house equivalent with a certain web-slinger thrown into the mix, this is one story you don’t want to miss out on!
3: A MATTER OF FAITH (Taken from Spider-man: Holiday Special 1995)
It’s Christmas Eve, and Ben Reilly is taking out the trash in the New York City allies. (Yep, Ben Reilly, What did I say about the clone saga, eh?) On his patrol he sees that a woman is falling off the side of the Queenborough bridge, he instinctively swings in to save her but once they land safely on the ground, for the first time in Spidey’s career, he doesn’t get a thank you because tragically, the poor lady didn’t actually want to be saved. Sadly, the woman jumped off, so Spider-man decides he’s gonna show her around the city in an attempt to lift her Spirits, but on their tour, the D-list super-villain Scorcher shows up on the streets of times square! Spidey and the villain do battle but when some debris is flying straight for a member of the on-looking crowd, the woman heroically jumps in and saves them. Ben is able to teach Jenny (the lady’s name) that life is beautiful and worth living. Spidey is able to leave Jenny with a more hopeful output on life as they wish each other a merry Christmas. I myself have never actually heard anybody talk about this story, ever. So if YOU, o’ humble reader, see this, then hopefully you’ve discovered a story you weren’t formally aware of (or maybe you just know everything).
2: THE LOST YEARS (Spider-man: the lost years (1995)
Once more, we venture into the divisive clone saga for one of the most straight-up awesome Spider-man stories ever. Written by Spider-man vet J.M Demattias (Kraven’s last hunt, c’mon) and penciled by Spidey legend John Romita JR. The lost years take place in the five years in-between the original clone saga in the ’70s and its 90’s counterpart. Centering around Ben Reilly and his ‘brother’ Kaine, these issues tell two sides of the same story in an unexplainably awesome fashion. I won’t spoil it, but this book reads like a thriller novel. We’re given all the tropes of a great Tom Cruise movie and it works like a charm. If you have a day or two to spare on a shorter Spider-man series, this is it! You don’t even need to know anything going into it whatsoever except that it’s not Peter Parker we’re following, but his clone. Stunning art and a stellar story, what could possibly go wrong? The lost years is one Spider-man storyline you’ll never forget.
1: THE COLLABORATOR (Spider-man’s tangled web (2002) #15)
Here we are, number one on this list. So that means that in my opinion, at least, this should be the best and yet most underappreciated Spider-man comic book ever. Well friends, I truly believe that this is it. The collaborator is the greatest Spider-man comics book of all time.
It’s not just the best-underrated one, I can honestly say that this is the best. Ever. Master of independent comics Paul Pope joins marvel for a one-shot story for Marvel’s criminally overlooked tangled web title which tells the tale of a teenage girl who absolutely adores Spider-man, more than anything in the world. Unfortunately, her father doesn’t share the same opinion. But when the daughter is caught in the middle of a super-powered attack, Spider-man appears on the scene, on one page only, for the girl to tell him where the Villain went. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin the end for you because you owe it to yourself to hunt this book down like it was dinner for tonight. The sheer brilliance of this story lies in the fact that it is a Spider-man comic book through and through and yet he appears on one solitary page, in silence. The story isn’t even about him but it shows Spider-man how he would really be. The story is crafted to make you anticipate and build your expectations for the arrival of the wall-crawler and when he shows up you find yourself awe-stricken by the sight of this hero. It’s simply Amazing, Spectacular, sensational, ultimate, one could go as far to say its Web of. When I say that you NEED to read this issue, I really mean it. Treat yourself and snatch it up. My imaginary hat goes off to Paul Pope 1000%.
And with that, we draw to the conclusion of our list. So what have we learned? That’s right, Spider-man rocks and we should read more comics. Good night!
After a few weeks of moving we have finally left our shop at number 3, The Rock! The doors of our brand new shop on Bury Market are finally opening on Monday morning (7/2/22)
After a few weeks of dismantling, painting, and long box hauling we have finally left our shop at number 3, The Rock! The doors of our brand new shop on Bury Market are finally opening on Monday morning (7/2/22), and the people of Bury shall finally be saved from the tyranny of a local comic book shop-less existence once again!
You will now find us on the corner of Bury Indoor Market (Unit 21) and we will be open for business 9am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday! You can access it by either approaching from the indoor market area entrance within the Millgate, or via our main entrance outside the market hall which faces out across Angouleme Way should you be approaching out of the Millgate Shopping Center via Market Parade (The b&m side..), or from walking around the outdoor section of the market itself. It is also conveniently situated opposite one of the main pedestrian subways that lead into the town center. See the map below for a closer look!
Inside the new store, you will find all of the usual wonders that you might expect from us. So of course that means it’s rammed full of great vintage British and US comics, magazines, annuals, mugs, posters, toys, cards, models, and of course many other collectibles and critical reading material!
If you want to keep up with all the going’s on at Wow Comix Bury, make sure you are following us on its own Facebook page and our Twitter! You can also subscribe to us here on Wow Comix World of course where, alongside our customer-led news and reviews articles, we share all the events, photos, products, and other news and updates from all of our shops!
To our online customers, please be aware that we are not re-instigating the in-store pickup option at this moment in any of the stores. If you have any questions on the matter or anything regarding the new store do feel free to contact us via the contact form on www.wowcomix.com.
The process of leaving 3, The Rock brought back a lot of great memories for us as it’s been such an important part of our company as a whole since we moved there, having held our main office and online department in behind the shop front. Over the last few months, these parts of the business have now been relocated to other premises.
However, with closing the doors on the old shop we don’t find ourselves feeling overly sad to leave, simply because we are super excited to be opening some new doors (literally, it has two entrances!) just a stone’s throw away, and we can’t wait to see what you think of it! It opens at 9am tomorrow and we hope to see many of you there over the days and weeks ahead!
3, The Rock Is Dead! Long Live 21, Bury Indoor Market!
We take a look at seven classic George Perez covers.
A dark cloud has been cast up comic fans from all across the globe recently with the sad news of the impending retirement of the great George Perez.
If the retirement were under better circumstances for George then we have no doubt the same bravado would ensue, but alas it is not the case as it has been forced upon him by way of ill health. Tragically, it has become clear that it does not appear to be getting any better and one week ago CGC announced that on the 31st of January, George Perez would be holding one final, all be it private, signing session.
The impact and influence of George’s work upon the industry is legendary, his stories have become timeless classics and perhaps most impressively of all, many of the characters that he either created or redefined are still considered by many to be the definitive or standard setting versions, something that is backed up often in TV/Movie adaptations in recent years.
This is the start of a short series of articles we will be doing looking at some of our favorite elements from his most popular works. We are looking today at our seven favorite classic covers this time, perhaps an artists best way of becoming a household name of course is doing a classic cover, and George certainly knows how to set us up with something alluring to behold on the shelf, so lets take a look…
Logans Run #1 – (1977)
Perhaps its that totally awesome logo, or that mad dash out of the page that Logan and Jessica are doing in a remarkably Kirby-Kamandi like manner (Michael York-Mandi?), but anyway this cover has imprinted on many a readers memory. A fun little run too, if you like that kind of thing! We do!
The New Teen Titans #1 – (1980)
Iconic to the core. Having all the Titans on the front was always a must, but that badass arrangement around Raven coming towards us as the poor green skinned cannon fodder that’s about to be pummeled would have been an eye catcher for any punter in the shop that day looking for a bit of new DC action.
The Infinity Gauntlet #1 – (1991)
Just look at thing thing… I mean, flash forward thirty odd years and look around at the marketing used for the MCU, the designs on packaging for toys (good ones) and all manner of other things, this really has aged beautifully. Possibly more widely known now that it ever was back in the 90’s, its George’s ability to cram so much, so clearly and without any offence to the eye on any cover that continues to astound today.
Wonder Woman #20 – (1988)
This one may have as much to do with the story than it does the cover art. Without giving much away ‘Who Killed Myndi Mayer’ was a great arc that came at just the right time in the Perez run, with us witnessing Diana’s continuing struggle to find her own moral compass within a confusing new world, and on the back of the grim murder of her eccentric and controversial publicist. This mock newspaper cover was just the right tone needed to carry the story forward, and always sticks out when flicking through the run and brings us to a brief stop, as we pull it out and go “Ah yes… Who was it who killed Myndi again?”
Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 – (1985)
What needs to be said, arguably it doesn’t get more iconic than this. Its always been his most dramatic cover, that’s for sure. First we have that gut wrenching and hopeless pose from Superman, then there is the fact he’s holding his (spoilers) Supergirl, his dead cousin who is drooped in his arms with what on an initial look would be quite graphic injuries for a Superman feature cover from DC 1985. Then finally you have the wave of characters who mourn in the background, silhouetted like an army of the dead. It stinks of failure. Its perfect.
The New Teen Titans #39 – (1984)
There were lots of quality stories going on within the New Teen Titans, but one that was perfectly reflected by its cover was that of issue #39.
Kid Flash, or Wally West rather, formally announces that he is leaving the team and soon after Robin announces that he too is giving up being Robin entirely. It has some subtle emotional twists in the narrative, and despite not being a true classic, it certainly delivers. Much like the cover, which reflects the narrative within really well. You are very much left with an empty feeling, possibly even upset upon finishing the read, and so when turning back to the cover Perez gives us a perfect summery. No background, no jokes, no care or nostalgia for their uniforms at all as Robins costume conveniently hangs rather ominously from the Titans logo. Dramatic indeed.
Wonder Woman #36 – (1989)
I’ve read this run several times and I can’t for the life of me remember what part of the story this covers, however, it matters not. Just look at the cover. Perfectly capturing what feels like the essence of a character in one image. There are loads of brilliant Perez covers in his Wonder Woman run, many with Diana in battle of course, but this one stands out in particular for that incredible expression of harmless joy and the striking angular T pose as she leaps high above her home. This run had its really dark moments, but Perez knew how to treat us with iterations of these characters that we genuinely felt happy for when they were totally happy, and rare times they were indeed. It was the 80’s…
We have made the decision to move the Bury store into new premises. Our new shop will be open on February the 1st!
It looks like 2022 is starting with a bang for us here at Wow Comix, as we have some news to share that affects those customers who visit our Bury store.
We are moving! That’s right folks, the lease on our existing shop expires at the end of January and we have made the decision to move the Bury store into new premises. By the start of February you will find our brand new shop open within the indoor section of Bury Market (More details very soon).
We’ve been lucky enough to find a shop space which suits us nicely, its a good size in a very busy market area and are we currently hard at work getting the place set up (More long box hauling!). Our current shop will close its doors this coming Saturday (8th January) and we hope to reopen on the 1st February in the new store. It sounds like short notice but negotiations have been going on for several months in the background and we need time to make the physical move. We have enjoyed our three and a half years up on the Rock but there is no time to get nostalgic as we will only be gone for three weeks before we open in our new shop!
So… – Our store at 3, The Rock, Bury will be closing at 5pm on Saturday the 8th of January. – The new store down in Bury Market will be open on February the 1st. – Existing orders for pickup off the website will be posted out instead over the three week period where we will not have a store open. We are offering this FREE of charge and you will be notified about it via email in the coming days.
– Any questions or enquires about the move and the new store please email to email@example.com. – Any concerns or issues in respect of pre orders and store pick ups please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by all this as we know how much some of you enjoy coming in to browse on a regular basis, but rest assured that you will find all of the same comic goodness down at our new shop, and plenty of new stock to boot!
Coming next month, it’s the new Brilliant Stars Pokemon TCG Expansion pack!
Coming next month, it’s the new Brilliant Stars Pokemon TCG Expansion pack! Currently slated for a February 25th release, the set is based around the newly introduced VSTAR cards, which allow the player to evolve their Pokemon V cards in order to access higher HP, more powerful attacks and a brand new mechanic called VSTAR Power. VSTAR Power may consist of a strong new attack or ability, but the player may only use one VSTAR Power in the duration of the game.
As well as the new VSTAR Power attacks and abilities, Brilliant Stars also heavily features the Alpha Pokemon Arceus, which is undoubtedly due to its presence in the new Nintendo Switch game, Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Arceus will receive both a V and VSTAR card in the Brilliant Stars set (in both half art and full art formats), as will Charizard (again in half art and full art formats), Shaymin and Whimsicott. These four Pokemon also feature on the Brilliant Stars booster pack artwork, however the VSTAR cards won’t be limited just to this select group, as both Leafeon and Glaceon are set to receive special VSTAR collection boxes.
While much of the card list for Brilliant Stars is still being kept under wraps, from looking at the card list for its Japanese counterpart, Star Birth, we can see the likes of Pokemon such as Raichu, Lapras, Lucario, Floatzel, Luxray and numerous others may be making an appearance. Moltres has been confirmed to be featured in Brilliant Stars and although it doesn’t seem to be receiving a VSTAR or V card, it’s still looking pretty fired up!
It is quite strange to think that Brilliant Stars is the NINTH Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pack (where has the time gone!?) but with over 170 new cards on the way it seems that Pokemon TCG players and collectors alike are going to have their hands full for a long time yet!
Graphic novels with up to 70% off and up to 40% off Comics!
To help ease the pressures of it being 2022 (already, blimey!), this January we are offering up a bumper sale on Wowcomix.com!
You will find graphic novels with up to 70% off and up to 40% off comics, alongside discounts on vintage card sets, books and classic British annuals!
Whats more, throughout January, any purchase made over £5 in value will be eligible to be accompanied by a free Marvel comic or poster! All you have to do is make sure that you state which one you would like in the additional comments section of the checkout. If you don’t state, we will send you one anyway, and if you don’t want one then you just have to say. But are you gonna turn down a free comic!? Really?