After weeks of cold and snow, we finally got some rather pleasant weather here in New York City yesterday, with temperatures actually climbing to around 55 degrees. Michele and I were happy to be able to get out of the apartment. We spent most of the afternoon in Manhattan, walking around the West Village after having lunch in a nice Greek place.
Earlier this week, when I was on the M Train heading into work, I was reading a trade paperback, namely Mister Miracle by Jack Kirby. A guy sitting next to me asked “Are you a Jack Kirby fan?” I answered that I was, and we ended up talking about comic books for a few minutes. Right before the guy got off the train, he asked me which comic shops I went to in the city. I mentioned the usual places: Midtown Comics, Forbidden Planet, and Jim Hanley’s Universe. He commented that he liked Roger’s Time Machine. I replied that I hadn’t been there in over five years, and I hadn’t even been sure they were still in business.
So, there I was on Saturday with Michele in the West Village, walking uptown. She asked me if I wanted to go anywhere in particular. I remembered my conversation on the subway a few days before, and I mentioned Roger’s Time Machine. By now we were only a few blocks south of West 14th Street, which is where they were located, so we decided to head over.
It turned out that Roger’s Time Machine is now known as Mysterious Island. But they still have the same incredible selection of back issues that I remembered from my last visit. It’s a good thing that I was on a budget and that Michele was there because, wow, I probably could have spent a couple of hours browsing. As it was, I did end up picking up several cool back issues.
My first selections were Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #s 226 to 229. Those comics feature (37 year old spoiler alert) the first appearance of Dawnstar (designed by artist Mike Grell) and the death of Chemical King. I’ve wanted to read these stories for quite some time, so I’m glad I’m finally going to have the opportunity.
I then took a look through the section of Bronze Age back issues for smaller companies, with an eye to finding some Charlton horror comics. The store had quite a few, and I selected Ghostly Haunts #39 and Haunted Love #s 4 & 10. I also came across several books published by the short-lived Atlas Comics in the mid-1970s. One of these was the first (and only) issue of Demon Hunter, which was plotted & illustrated by Rich Buckler, with a script by David Anthony Kraft. Demon Hunter’s career may have been cut unceremoniously short, but a year and a half later Buckler & Kraft introduced the very similar Devil-Slayer within the pages of the Deathlok story in Marvel Spotlight #33.
Finally, from the 99 cent long boxes, I picked out a couple other things. I found Secret Origins #26, featuring a Black Lightning story by his creator Tony Isabella. I wasn’t even aware of this issue previously, so it was a pleasant surprise. And for Michele, I bought Howard the Duck #8, the issue where Steve Gerber’s cigar-chomping misanthropic mallard ran for President.
All in all, I came away with a nice haul, as well as an affordable one. I’m looking forward to reading this selection of Bronze Age goodness.
Mysterious Island is located at 207 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor, right by Seventh Avenue. I highly recommend stopping by there. They’ve got a lot of really great stuff.