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Vampirella (1969)

Vampirella is a vampire superheroine created by Forrest J Ackerman and costume designer Trina Robbins in Warren Publishing‘s black-and-white horror comics magazine Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969). Writer-editor Archie Goodwin later developed the character from horror-story hostess, in which capacity she remained through issue #8 (Nov. 1970), to a horror-drama leading character. Vampirella was ranked 35th in Comics Buyer’s Guide‘s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.

 

 

Catwoman V2 (1990’s)

In 1993, Catwoman was given her first ongoing comic book series. This series, written by an assortment of writers, but primarily penciled by Jim Balent, generally depicted the character as an international thief (and occasional bounty hunter) with an ambiguous moral code.

Story-lines include her adoption of teenage runaway, and erstwhile sidekick, Arizona; aiding Bane, whom she later betrays to Azrael; and a stint as a reluctant government operative. The series also fleshes out more of her origin, revealing her beginnings as a young thief, her difficult period in juvenile incarceration, and her training with Ted “Wildcat” Grant.

Moving to New York, Selina becomes corporate vice president then CEO of Randolf Industries, a mafia-influenced company, through blackmail. She plans to use this position to run for Mayor of New York City, but her hopes are dashed when the Trickster inadvertently connects her to her criminal alter ego.

Selina then returns to Gotham City, which at this time is in the midst of the No Man’s Land storyline. As Catwoman, she assists Batman against Lex Luthor in the reconstruction of the city. After being arrested by Commissioner Gordon, she escapes from prison. Later that year, during the “Officer Down” storyline in the Batman titles, Catwoman is initially the chief suspect. Although later cleared, she displays increasingly erratic behavior throughout the story. Soon afterward, she disappears and is believed to have been killed by the assassin Deathstroke the Terminator, ending her series at issue #94.

X-23 (2005)

In X-23: “Innocence Lost”, a top-secret program is tasked to replicate the original Weapon X experiment that bonded adamantium to the skeleton of Wolverine. The project is taken in a new direction: Dr. Martin Sutter recruits renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney to develop a clone of Wolverine. Also on the team is Sutter’s protege, Dr. Zander Rice, who was raised by Sutter after his father was killed by the original Weapon X.

Since the only genetic sample from Weapon X is damaged, Kinney is unable to salvage the Y chromosome. Kinney proposes the creation of a female genetic twin. Her request is denied; Rice is opposed to the idea. After 22 failed attempts at reconstituting the DNA using a duplicate X chromosome, the 23rd sample yields a viable sample to combine with an embryo. Although Kinney is allowed to proceed, Rice exacts revenge for her insubordination by forcing her to act as the surrogate mother of the specimen. For nine months, Kinney’s every move is monitored. Finally, she gives birth to “X-23”

 

Optic Nerve (1995)

Optic Nerve is a series by cartoonist Adrian Tomine. Originally self-published by Tomine in 1991 as a series of mini-comics (which have later been collected in a single volume,32 Stories), the series has been published by Drawn and Quarterly since 1995.

Tomine’s style and subject matter are restrained and realistic. Many are set in Northern California. Many of his stories for Optic Nerve feature Asian American characters, including “Hawaiian Getaway,” “Six-Day Cold,” “Layover,” and “Shortcomings.” Adrian Tomine is Asian American and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Many topics of his stories are at least partly autobiographical.

In the initial self-published issues, as well as the first eight Drawn & Quarterly issues (1995-2001), Optic Nerve was typically a collection of short stories. After an extended hiatus, Tomine resumed the comic in fall of 2004 and began his first multi-issue storyline, “Shortcomings,” with #9. The most recent issue, #13, was published in July 2013.

The New Teen Titans (1980’s)

In 1980, Teen Titans relaunched as The New Teen Titans, aging the characters to young adulthood. Original members Robin, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash were joined by new characters Cyborg, Starfire and Raven, as well as the former Doom Patrol member Beast Boy, as Changeling. The group had several encounters with the original Titans of Greek mythology, particularly Hyperion.

The team’s adversaries included Deathstroke the Terminator, a mercenary who takes a contract to kill the Titans to fulfill a job his son had been unable to complete. This led to perhaps the most notable Titans storyline of the era. 1984’s “The Judas Contract,” in Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44 and Teen Titans Annual #3 featured a psychopathic girl named Terra with the power to manipulate earth and all earth-related materials. She infiltrates the Titans in order to destroy them. “The Judas Contract” won the Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Award for “Favorite Comic Book Story” of 1984, and was later reprinted as a standalone trade paperback in 1988. Robin adopts the identity of Nightwing, while Wally West gives up his Kid Flash persona and quits the Titans. It also featured the introduction of a new member in Jericho, Deathstroke’s other son.

 

Uncanny X-men (1990’s)

After Claremont’s run, the X-Men were divided into two color-coded squads, with a Blue team headlining the adjectiveless X-Men title, while the Gold team, consisting of Archangel, Colossus, Jean Grey, Iceman and Storm, appeared in Uncanny. This roster was later joined by Bishop, another refugee from the future. After Claremont’s departure, Jim Lee continued as plotter, while John Byrne scripted from #281 to #286. Byrne was replaced as scripter from #286 by Scott Lobdell, who was fully credited as writer from #289. The “X-Cutioner’s Song” crossover was released in the fall of 1992 and resulted in the outbreak of the Legacy virus, a mutant-specific plague which continued as a story element in X-Men comics until 2001.

The Unexpected (1970’s)

In 1979, The Unexpected converted to the Dollar Comics format and incorporated House of Secrets and The Witching Hour. Each “Unexpected” story would always include the word in its last panel. After the merge, this was only true of the Unexpected section; there would then be complete, ad-free issues of The Witching Hour, hosted by its witches, and The House of Secrets, hosted by AbelThe Witching Hour feature was alternated with Doorway to Nightmare starring Madame Xanadu, which appeared in issues #190, 192, 194, and 195.

 

Silver Surfer V7 (2014)

The series sees Norrin Rad severed from Galactus and free to explore the universe with a human friend named Dawn Greenwood. Slott said, “The way I look at the Surfer is that he’s the embodiment of freedom. The character has really been two things since he became the Silver Surfer. He’s been a slave to Galactus, and he’s been a prisoner of Earth, trapped beyond that great barrier. There’s something about him where, the minute you take that barrier away, and the minute you take him away from Galactus, he’s the guy with the board who can go anywhere and do anything. It really is that kind of joy and freedom like you’re 16 and you just got the keys to the car. But imagine not just driving near your home – you can go anywhere in the universe. There’s something very exciting about that.”

B.P.R.D. The Universal Machine (2006)

After the catastrophic encounter with the monster-god Katha-Hem, Dr. Kate Corrigan travels to rural France in search of an ancient text that might undo the death of Roger. Back at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Captain Daimio tells the story of his own death, Johann Kraus confesses a bizarre love triangle arising from one of his séances, Abe recalls a mission with Hellboy during his early days at the B.P.R.D., and Liz reveals a weird tale of the family members she killed while discovering her firestarter powers.

AKIRA – Epic (1988)

Akira (often stylized as AKIRA) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil. Initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected into six volumes by its publisher Kodansha. The work was first published in an English-language version by the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics, one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety. Otomo’s art is considered outstanding, and a breakthrough for both Otomo and the manga form. Throughout the breadth of the work, Otomo explores themes of social isolation, corruption, and power.