I always like finding new heroes and new stories. I had read about Magnus, Robot Fighter and Solar, Man of the Atom in Comics Values Monthly, a magazine that I found in bookstores in the early 1990s. They sounded cool, even though I hadn’t read the Gold Key originals at that time. So I was on the lookout at my next comic-book store stop.
I remember seeing this on the bottom shelf at the New World Comics that was then in Oklahoma City. I picked it up and was hooked. From then on, I was buying everything Valiant put out, at least for the next year, as I also went back to get all the back issues I could find. I missed a few here and there, but I was super-excited about this new superhero universe being crafted by Jim Shooter, former Marvel editor-in-chief.
This issue also featured the first appearance of Rai in the flip-book story (a cool concept that I like). I reviewed the entire “Invasion” storyline last year, which you can check out here. “Solar, Man of the Atom” No. 2 was also out this month, but it had already sold out, so I had to track it down as a back issue.
I continued on my “Captain America” collecting, with two issues of the regular series — #391 and #392 — and the first issue of the prestige miniseries, “The Adventures of
Captain America,” by Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire. I liked both of these guys’ work, but $4.95 for a comic sure felt like a lot to me at the time, with a regular issue of “Cap” selling for $1. I also picked up “What If” No. 29, which featured Captain America.
Other Marvels I picked up were “Infinity Gauntlet” #3, continuing the cosmic saga; “Marvel Comics Presents” #85, the first part of a new Wolverine storyline; “New Warriors” #15; “Sensational She-Hulk” #31, featuring the return of John Byrne; “Silver Surfer” #54 and #55, tying into “Infinity Gauntlet”; “Spider-Man” #14, by Todd McFarlane; “Uncanny X-Men” No. 280; “Wolverine” No. 45 and 46; “Wonder Man” No. 1; “X-Factor” No. 70 and “X-Force” No. 2.
The “Uncanny” and “X-Factor” storylines were wrapping up as the teams would merge in the next issues into new “X-Men” teams. “X-Force” featured Deadpool, introduced not long before in the already hard-to-find “New Mutants” No. 98. I think “X-Force” No. 2 was another flea market booth buy; it’s crazy to remember how excited I was to find it at the time. I was still at least a few months away from setting up a pull list at a comic shop, which I eventually did to keep up with my Valiant purchases.
It was summer, and I needed entertainment even more than during the school year, making July a pretty big month for purchases.
From DC, I got “Batman” No. 467, featuring Robin on the cover; and the next issue, “Batman” No. 468, continuing the storyline; some “Armageddon 2001″ tie-ins with “Action Comics” Annual 3 and “Flash” Annual 2, as well as “Flash” No. 54, which I remember as a particularly good issue; I’m pretty sure I also tried out “War of the Gods” No. 1, but I didn’t stick it out through the entire series. The “Action” annual features a peek into Superman’s future that sees him being elected president of the United States.
My brother and I started picking up some of the “Impact” all-ages superhero line as well, based on the Archie characters, being licensed by DC. I think that started this month with “The Fly” No. 1, and we may also have gotten “The Comet” No. 2.
- Matt Price