Comic Book Bargain Bin Diving Report- September ’23
There was a local toy and hobby show recently and I had a chance to hit it up. I deeply love bin-diving, but I don’t get to do it much these days as my local comic shop doesn’t have a back issue bin section these days. This local show is a regular event, but I haven’t been able to attend in recent years. This year, I cleared my schedule and budgeted some comic funds to be able to attend the show.
It was glorious. There were multiple vendor booths selling comics, many priced at $1. I was in heaven. There was so many Deathmates and WildC.A.T.s #1. I even heard one vendor complain that people weren’t wanting Slabbed & Graded comics. Which got me to chuckle because I loathe those things. Comics are meant to be read. Not slabbed for eternity. Damn collectors bubble.
Anyway, it was such a massive selection I had to leave behind the full run of Heroes Reborn Fantastic Four. I am…still regretting this. Oh well.
Let’s run down what I managed to pick up.
The Dollar Comics
These are the comics I found at various vendors for one buck. If multiple issues are listed I paid $1 each. I know that may be apparent to some, but I would like to be clear. Just for fun I am going to group them based on various criteria.
Weird 90’s Comics
The Exciting X-Patrol #1
These weird 90’s artifacts aren’t exactly good. They were an interesting experiment combining DC and Marvel heroes and trying to create the feeling of a lived-in universe. At one point in time, I had an impressive Amalgam comics collection. Those were unfortunately lost. This is the first Amalgam comic I have bought in years to rebuild this collection.
Sadly, it’s not a great one, but for a buck. I can’t complain.
Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Alpha
90’s EXCESS, Baby! Clone saga really screwed Peter Parker up and has essentially left him in a mess. Marvel really fumbled the bag with its attempt to fix the “Peter Parker Grown Up” problem. Maximum Clonage was the attempt to wrap up the whole Clone Saga that was suffocating the Spider-Man line at the time. They did this by declaring Peter Parker as the Clone. I am sure this would end well.
[Narrator] “It did not”
I love the sick acetate cover, though.
Zero Hour #0
I honestly bought this one by mistake. I had the whole event in my stack. It was going to replace the copies I lost to the flood, but I made a last-minute decision to put the series back. All but this one. Oh well. Zero Hour is a messy event, but I like it. Dan Jurgens does his best trying to “fix” issues stemming from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Depends on how much you like “Fix-it Fiction”.
The neat gimmick to this series was the fact it was released in Countdown order starting with #4 and ending on #0. The line-wide tie-ins were Zero-issues, as well. Some notable stuff happened in those issues too! Either way with my purchase of #0. I guess I need to buy the other 4 issues…again.
This comic also came with a foldout timeline of the DC Universe. I am sure this will end well.
[Narrator] “It did not”
Darker Image #1
I love my 90’s trash. This was Image’s attempt at MATURE COMICS. It is an anthology collecting The Maxx, Deathblow, and Blood Wulf. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. The comic was intended to be a 4 issue mini-series, but like most of 90’s Image output, the other issues never saw the light of day.
Shiny cover. I can’t pass up a good-looking chromium cover. This is the comic where Superman officially takes back the costume and disposes of Cyborg Superman. Fantastic stuff and a conclusion to a months-long story in Death and Return of Superman
Action Comics #41
I bought this one primarily for the fun Darwyn Cooke Joker 75th cover. This issue takes place during the New 52: DCYou era and specifically during the Superman Truth arc where the Man of Steel was effectively depowered to a state more aligned with his original Golden-Age power set. New 52 Superman was rocky at the start but when Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder took over Action Comics, the Man of Steel rounded more into shape. While this issue in the final year of the New 52 experiment, it is still a great issue. Plus, it’s a fantastic variant cover!
Batman: Creature of the Night #1-3
John Paul Leon was one of my favorite artists who tragically died in 2021 from Cancer. This was the first three issues of one of their final published comic works. This miniseries has Secret Identity vibes, and I am glad I managed to find these three in the bargain bin. Now to try to find the fourth one…
Ultimate Fantastic Four #58-59
Look, I was given a near-complete Ultimate Fantastic Four run in 2022. All but these issues. I don’t know why these two were missing, but here we are. I am going through dozens of long boxes, and I find these two issues. I couldn’t just leave them. I had to complete the collection of the lesser Ultimate franchise.
Countdown to Infinite Crisis One-Shot
The comic that started off the era of DC comics I am quite fond of—Infinite Crisis to Flashpoint. It’s focus on the second Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) as he desperately tries to get the rest of the Justice League to investigate the fast moving conspiracy against Meta-Humans, but only to get rebuked by friends and allies that are too preoccupied with their own issues, ie the whole Countdown to Infinite Crisis mini-series.
Fantastic comic and one that does a good job setting up the various lead-in miniseries for Infinite Crisis especially for OMAC Project.
Also, remember when DC would publish comics at a loss to get people hyped about upcoming events. I wish Marvel would do that. Looking at you, G.O.D.S and the $10 price tag.
DC Comics One Million #1-4, DC Comics One Million 80 Page Giant
One Million is a mad-underrated event. Grant Morrison was on their A-game with this one. It has so much happening in it that I cannot put it into this blurb. I highly recommend checking this one (and subsequent tie-in issues) out.
I buy a lot of X-Men Comics and this trip was no different. I had to put back some great stuff because it was just a lot to pick up.
X-Men #4, X-Men #10, X-Men Free Comic Book Day 2020
X-Men #4 is one of the stand outs of the Hickman X-men run. This is the Davos issue where Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse attend Davos while Cyclops and Gorgon wreck countless assassins’ crap. Not the best issue of the Hickman Run (Tied between #6 and #20—The Mystique ORCHIS issues), but fantastic.
X-Men #10 is that comic that makes it clear something is wrong with Gabriel Summers aka Vulcan. It does showcase the Baby Summers Brother power. Not a Vulcan fan. Probably will never be, but still a great issue especially for an Empyre tie-in.
X-Men FCBD 2020 sets up X of Swords and preview Dark Ages. I mostly got it for completion’s sake as finding some of these Free Comic Book Day books is a pain especially the 2020 batch as many retailers didn’t do FCBD due to Covid.
I have been slowly filling in my Hickman run collection as I wasn’t back from my years long comic hiatus until X of Swords was starting. These issues get me closer to this goal.
New X-Men Annual 2001
FIRST APPERANCE OF XORN!! While I jumped into comics during the tail end of the Whedon/Cassady Astonishing X-men run I am enamored with Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. I own it all in trade paper back form but I only have a couple issues of it in singles. This one is a fun one with it being apart of the 2001 Marvel Annual gimmick of Horizontal presentation. The story is about Cyclops, Wolverine, Domino, Beast, and—most importantly—Emma Frost going to China to investigate a murder and the Mutant organ harvesting black market. It’s a great issue that marks the start of Cyclops infidelity. Great to pick this up.
Generation X Collector’s Preview
A couple week’s prior to this toy and hobby show, I went into an antique shop and picked up Generation X #1. I am becoming a Generation X comic guy, it seems. Never saw this one in the wild before. This was the preview comic highlighting the then-upcoming team with the characters and sketches. A real neat pick-up of history.
Uncanny X-Men #318
More Generation X stuff. This comic is the bridge between Phalanx Covenant and the official launch of Generation X. Jubilee leaves the X-Men and the other Gen X kids leave to start the Xavier School- Massachusetts Academy. This era of X-Men is underrated.
Factor X #1-4
I had most of the Age of Apocalypse minis in my collection, but, like many comics in this post, I lost them. I picked Generation Next earlier this year and now I have returned Factor X to my collection. Factor X is one of my favorite Age of Apocalypse miniseries. It shows a twisted version of most of the Original 5 X-men in a world without Xavier. Good alternate timeline comics. Now, to find the Weapon X series.
I bought this primarily for the wicked die-cut cover. I already own this comic in collected form, but I had to have the cover. It is iconic 90’s cover treatments.
X-Men Unlimited #1
CHRIS BACHALO X-MEN COMIC! The X-men Unlimited series in the 90’s was a series of seemingly one-shot oversized stories that often would fit into current continuity but focus on more character driven moments or side-stories. This one features a story about Cyclops, Storm, and Professor X all trying to survive in the Antarctic wasteland following an attack by Siena Blaze that downed the Blackbird. Classic 90’s issue and a great pick up
Comics I paid more than a dollar
Uncanny X-Men #205
Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Claremont presents Wounded Wolf. The Hellfire goons Wolverine maimed during the Dark-Phoenix Saga are back with a vengeance after being enhanced by Spiral into the fearsome Reavers and joined by the fearsome Lady Deathstrike. Wolverine must defend not only himself but Katie Power from the Power Pack.
This is one of those classic Wolverine stories I have had my eye on every time I have visited various shops. Most had the issue priced from 8-10 Dollars. This copy being only $5 made this a no-brainer. This copy is definitely a reader copy but I am glad to have it.
The Amazing Spider-Man #371
Back in 1997, a family friend gifted me 100 or so comics. Mostly 90’s chaff from his collection. But in it was a stack of early-90’s Spider-Man comics. This one was one of my first Spider-Man comics, and one I have been searching for these last few years. I paid a bit more than I wanted to for this issue but considering the other deals I was getting at this booth and the general difficulty I’ve had in finding this comic, I was more than willing to part with 3 bucks.
Dark Knight Returns Trade-Paper Back
This was the gem of the haul. I have somehow managed to not own a copy of DKR. Just a combination of factors and different priorities. Either way the same vendor that had Uncanny X-Men #205 and The Amazing Spider-Man #371 was selling this for a smooth 5 bucks. On top of it all, it was the first printing, that’s not really a value boost but it makes it a neat artifact of the era. It features Alan Moore’s forward which is neat. Heck it’s such an early example of a collected edition it was published by Warner Books and not DC Comics. Pretty happy to have find this one in the trip.
While this wasn’t my first bin diving session of the year (I did my annual Father’s Day comic book hunt earlier this year) but this was one was the first big comic hunt that reminded me of late Teens and finding just wild comics and for a good deal. Definitely check out any local hobby shows going on in your town. You will be surprised by what you find.