Anthony's Hidden Gems

So, I will be honest, I haven’t published a Blind Adam’s hidden gems in a while. I have a bunch but I am behind. Mostly because Adam uses voice to text and I have to decipher what is being said. It was a time consuming process. I will be publishing more in the future as my time frees up. (Life has been very crazy for me lately and I just haven’t had the time or energy to do a lot of stuff.) Anyway, one of the things I loved doing was padding the Hidden Gems lists with books I thought were cool. I would add a couple in every time I ran one. So needless to say, I still see books I love and want to spotlight so it will get the love and notice it wouldn’t otherwise get. So I am going to drop those nuggets here. Randomly, as I come across books I have or see that I think deserves attention.

Here is the first:
Transformers #53
Later Transformers covers got to be weird, violent, and sometimes creepy. These are my favorite covers from the series. This one features a scantily clad female warrior holding a worse for the wear Autobot by the wires. The great thing about this is it is an early Jim Lee cover from Marvel. Jim was about 1.5 - 2 years into his stint at Marvel, and before leaving to form Image.

This isn’t the only one Jim did either, he covered Transformers #67 featuring a triumphant Decepticon on the cover. Mycomicshop calls 67 “possibly Jim Lee’s earliest work for Marvel.” Not sure if they mean chronologically by when he completed and submitted the work, but it is certainly not the earliest published.

Finally, my favorite cover which reaches towards horrific is Transformers #70 which features two robots horrifically merged and holding up a simple “Help Us” sign.

And finally, while we are on the topic of Marvel Robot comics, one comic I think is highly undervalued, features multiple first appearances of licensed characters, and is just damn cool, is Shogun Warriors #1. I loved the toys as a kid and think I sprinkled this one in a Blind Adam post a while back.

So there you go, I hope you enjoyed the inaugural edition of Anthony’s Hidden Gems (with respect and love to Blind Adam)


Liking the transformers theme for this edition.

Having the complete run of this first series (many slabbed) I can say the black cover of issue 53 is a tough fun in NM+ or higher. Newsstand (shown in the pic) forget about it. Newsstands if all issues in 9.8 go for good money.

Issue 67 is a great cover. I don’t have that one slabbed, but on the lookout for a 9.6 or higher copy for the right price.

The two robots merged in issue 70 are Ratchet & Megatron. I haven’t read it in a while, but I think it was a story arc.

I have compiled a list of 1st appearances of the most popular characters that include the US and UK. I need to roll that out sometime.


Feel free to post it here man. Or start the D-Rog-Trans-Wiki for you


Shut up, Alana. Someone’s gotta get things started.

I’d like to create a page like the “hunt the shelves” thread a while back where anyone can edit it as they learn more info. Gotta look back to see how that worked.

After you create a topic, click settings and convert to Wiki.

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Time for another Hidden Gems. This one is about SpongeBob (kinda).

SpongeBob is the most popular Nickelodeon TV show, and will be a huge nostalgia factor in the future. Heck, it is already a huge seller on the secondary market, selling for over $100 on eBay.

If you are a fan of the show, you know the original name for SpongeBob was SpongeBoy. They had to change it due to an already existing character, not a mop like some online sites say. So let’s go down the rabbit hole.

The original SpongeBob actually appeared in a 1980’s comic called “Intertidal Zone” written by Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob, when he was a marine biologist. His name was originally Bob the Sponge. This is an absolute ghost, I have tried to find one, and have yet to locate it. It was an educational comic used as a teaching tool, so not sure if any copies are out there.

Anyway, when SpongeBob went to Nick, the original episode had been recorded with the name SpongeBoy. Nick’s legal department put a halt on the name due to an existing character, Sponge Boy. Sponge Boy was a character who first appeared as a sidekick to Flaming Carrot. Sponge Boy first appears in Aardvark AD in 3-D

Sponge Boy is kidnapped in the issue and doesn’t return for 3 years later when he shows up in Cerebus #104

Sponge Boy’s last appearance was in Flaming Carrot Comics #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

So there you go, the strange case of SpongeBoy comics


I believe the Bob in SpongeBob was in recognition of Bob Burden (flaming carrot writer/artist). Or so the story goes…

What the heck? I bought a copy of #1 a few years back for like $20 I think. Time to sell I suppose.

SpongeBob was a cartoon I didn’t mind watching when the kids were smaller. Stupid humor, but still I always enjoyed watching with the kids. Awesome write-up, I had no idea of the origins of the character.
I had a copy of issue 1, I sold it for $150/$180- I forget exactly how much-a year of two ago. Subsequent early issues of the comic can go for decent money too. Im not sure how long they printed the comic, but I’ve seen listings for issues numbered in 70’s/80s if I’m not mistaken.

Just for self validation on this week’s Covrprice Weekly Report


That was a nice blast from the past. Every so often this books shows up on a list.

I never did pick up issue 67 slabbed. Need to keep an eye out in this down market.

Found one in nice shape for $9. That was a little after I stopped collecting the series monthly so into the pc it gores.

Time to dust off the wayback machine for some obscure books and post another hidden gems. This one has a horror/sci-fi horror theme.

First up, the classic John Carpenter Movie (I just watched The Thing this past weekend while sick in bed) They Live. Now, they live is based off a short story, a very short story, about 1800 words total. The story was called Nada (as in nothing) there was really not much to draw off the story. However, there was a short comic, about 8 pages, that adapted the short story and added a lot of visuals that Carpenter added into his story. The strip was by by Ray Nelson and Bill Wray. Carpenter has even said he was influenced by the comic. The 8 page comic was printed in Alien Encounters #6 from Eclipse Comics. Eclipse was on of my favorite 80’s publishers putting out some great horror and sci-fi books.

Good luck finding this one. While it is not extremely valuable, it just isn’t out there much, let me know if you find a copy though.

EC Comics has such a rich and interesting history. It first put out bible comics and history comics. Exciting comics like Picture Stories from the Bible and Picture Stories from American History under publisher Max Gaines. Not exactly the titles you think of when thinking of EC. But then Max passed away and his son William took over. He gave us the books we are familiar with, books like Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt. One really cool thing about the company as they were beasts at cranking out comics. The way they did this was the writers would script the story and dialog directly to the comic pages, and the artists would then draw around it. A complete comic could be pushed out in a week, and in fact, EC had strict guidelines on how long artists had to compete the pages. This was the very traditional 1950’s layout style with only a few panels per page. The traditional golden age layout style, pages with fewer pictures and a ton of writing. Not the modern style we have today where the art can show movement and set the pace. But one artist would change that, Bernard Krigstein. Krigstein was a reluctant comic artist, who had no plans on being one. He was a fine artist who needed the money, worked for Marvel (hated Stan Lee) and also DC. He created the modern art style by cutting up the panels, moving the dialog and even having panels of art with no words at all. The story was called Master Race, and I tell you, is one of the best horror comic stories ever put out. This comic was so powerful Frank Miller borrowed a lot of the style in his works, the story was studied and written about by Art Spiegelman, who would go on to write another very powerful comic about Nazis and the holocaust, Maus. The problem with all this is, Krigstein took so long to the comic wasn’t published in time. It sat in the office for a while, long enough for Seduction of the Innocents to come out, along with the comic code, and demolish EC Comics. EC lost all their staple comics, as works like Terror could not be used in comic titles any more. So EC launched “New Direction”
comics, which would see the publishing of Master Race. The story would appear in Impact #1 (later in Impact Annual #1 and several other collections).

Finally, this is an easy one. Swamp Thing #33. This book has a lot going for it. It is written by Alan Moore. It features art by by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben. It includes a reprint of House of Secrets #92 and the cover is an homage to HOS 92 as well. Nice as this one is pretty affordable and great collection piece.


Great post!

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Thank you.

Someone just listed the Alien Encounters for $40 on eBay. Well done lol.

Ha. Good luck with the sale to whomever.

Get that money!

Here is one from the dustiest of back issue bins. A tale of a multimedia crossover character that barely was. A spectacular fail by Stan “The Man” Lee. This is the story of Nightcat.

Ah Marvel, their biggest music star is Dazzler. Except she never put out music outside the Marvel Universe. There was an album, Dazzler Sounds of Light and Fury, but prop only from SDCC 2016. There were plans to release music for Dazzler through Casablanca Records, but that never happened. However, since Marvel is the House of Ideas, and there would be an attempt to cross music and comics over, and it was going to be big, it even says so on the cover of the comic.

Nightcat #1 was a oneshot put out in 1991, written by Stan Lee, Jim Salicrup and Barry Dutter with art by Denys Cowan and Jimmy Palmiotti and a cover by Joe Jusko. The character design was done by Jim Lee.

The story is about Jackie Tavares a 19-year old growing up in Queens with her parents, dreaming of being a singer. Her dad is a cop and her mom is an alcoholic. Jackie dons the guise of Nightcat and wins a singing contest, and immediately afterwards stumbles into a drug deal, where she gets injected with an experimental drug giving her cat-like powers. (thank god she had already taken on the moniker “Nightcat”).

So here is where the weirdness comes in, Stan Lee had helped form Night Cat Entertainment, the parent company that coordinated the project, and represented the real life Jackie Tavares, thats right, the character was based off a real lie singer, who the character was based on and modeled after. In fact, Jackie Tavares performed several times on national tv in costume. Jackie made appearances on Into the Night With Rick Dees, Dance Party USA, and The Party Machine with Nia Peeples. The album that was released at the same time, and featuring the same artwork as the comic, came out on cd, cassette, and a promotional vinyl 12 inch single, with Jackie in costume on the cover.

The Jim Lee design would appear on the 1991 Comic Images #19 trading card

So how did this all go over, well, considering most of you never heard of this comic, not very well. The music was not well received and the comic didn’t catch on. It turned into another 1990’s gimmick that never took off. Besides the oneshot, Nightcat only ever appeared in Marvel Age #98, which is worth money due to the Toxic Avenger appearance on the cover and in the book. The album itself was reviewed in Marvel Year in Review 1991.

So there you have it, the story of Nightcat, Marvel’s attempt at branching their comics into music, and failing along the way.