What ever happened to Mike W. Barr? I enjoyed his run on DETECTIVE COMICS and BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS.
— king7739@bellsouth.net

What better way to answer this question than by contacting Mike directly…

<< Thanks for relaying the inquiry about my current projects; I am gratified to know that your readers (or at least, one of them) are (or is) interested in what’s up with me.

As regards “Oldies but Goodies,” there are a couple of old — excuse me, vintage! — projects in recirculation. Dark Horse has reprinted in their new STAR WARS TPB one of my favorite stories, “The Last Jedi,” which I wrote for Marvel — now all DH has to do is return my calls so I can find out if I’m getting paid for it. DC has just reprinted, in one volume entitled FEAR THE REAPER, the story arc from DETECTIVE COMICS I wrote entitled “Batman: Year Two,” which introduced the villain “The Reaper,” and the graphic novel follow-up, BATMAN: FULL CIRCLE. This last is my personal favorite of all the Batman stories I’ve written.

As to new comics, not much is going on. Though lots of readers have asked me when I’ll be writing more Batman stories, the Batman editor recently rejected a proposal of mine, saying I had “nothing new to say about the character.” And though DC has told me for years that there was “no commercial potential” in reviving The Outsiders, I have learned they are reviving Outsiders, though Jim Aparo and I have nothing to do with it. I learned this from the Internet. The husband is always the last to know.

Readers often ask me if I’ll be reviving my creator-owned whodunit comic, THE MAZE AGENCY. I have submitted a proposal to CrossGen to revive the title as part of their CGE line, so the ball’s in their court.

My only current comics work is the Internet fantasy comic strip — I call ’em “Interstrips” — titled “SORCERER OF FORTUNE” with the incomparable Dario Carrasco on the art. Interested parties can get a free taste by accessing www.adventure strips.com, where SOF appears weekly with lots of other cool adventure strips. These are comic strips, not animation, so no annoying downloads are required.

The biggest news, I guess, is that my first STAR TREK novel, entitled GEMINI, will be published in February. Those fans of my Trek comics may be interested to know that some of the characters I introduced in the comic show up here, too. It’s Classic Trek, with Kirk, Spock and McCoy, set during the continuity of the TV show. I even got to write the line “He’s dead, Jim.” For a first generation Trekker like me, it doesn’t get much better than that.

With comics becoming more and more insular as their sales continue to shrink, I hope to be writing more novels.

Thanks again for the inquiry; hope all’s well with you, yours and your readers this holiday season.
— Mike W. Barr


FEEDBACK DEPARTMENT
Regarding airbags: The earliest U.S. patent I could find for automobile airbags is #2,842,372: “Safety Steering Wheel with Inflatable Cushion for Vehicles,” which was granted on July 8, 1958. This makes is mighty unlikely that a comic book written in 1978 inspired the idea…
— superman@umich.edu

That depends on when the first time machine was patented…
*****
Superman didn’t immediately go from being powerless (circa THE FINAL NIGHT) to his electric-blue mode. There was an interim period of a few months in between and THAT’S when the early issues of Grant Morrison’s JLA took place.
Re: the Clark Kent comment in the Spectre series. You’re right. It took place on Earth-One, where there’d been so many attempts to prove that Clark was Superman that it was the subject of jokes on late-night television. Remember the Johnny Nevada story in 1977’s ACTION COMICS #474?
— John Wells (mikishawm@yahoo.com)

As always, John comes through with the pertinent information.


THE WHAT’S IT WORTH DEPARTMENT:
Okay, before getting started in this section (those of you who hate these questions, feel free to skip right over the entire thing), let’s all repeat the “What’s It Worth” mantra: “It is worth what somebody else is willing to pay you for it!”

How much is a Japanese holographic Arcanine that has hp as 90 and damage is 120 worth?
— Michael (flamehead999@hotmail.com)

I don’t even know what this IS!

*****
I have a 1972 SWAMP THING #3. Is it worth anything?
— jbachler@twcny.rr.com

It catalogs at $4 in Near Mint condition.

*****
My mom bought my brother and me some Superman cards dating back to God knows when! We were wondering how much they are worth. Do you know a site or someone or yourself who can tell me?
— Simmeclem18@aol.com

Without knowing what the cards are, I doubt that anybody can tell you. Try a Google search for “Superman cards” and see what comes up.

*****
I have RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK #s 1, 2, 3 and Marvel INDIANA JONES #s 1, 2, 3. Could you tell me if they are worth anything?
— Deb (Auntdeb47@yahoo.com)

They catalog at $3 each in NM condition.

*****
I was just wondering if pogs are worth anything now. I collected them when they were out and they are in mint condition in books. Do you know if they are worth anything?
— CareBareBoo@yahoo.com

As I stated recently, there does not seem to be much of a market for pogs any more.

*****
I have got tons of comic books from the 40s on up. Can you tell me what to look for as far as the most valuable? I would appreciate it.
— Ruth Shimek (handbag@lakefield.net)

Get a copy of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide or a similar volume and look up the books you have. I’d start with the 40s books first.

*****
What is the price on a black tulip bulb?
— bubblegumgrl49015@yahoo.com

I’ll give you a nickel.
*****
What’s a copy of SPY SMASHER #11 (1942) worth?
— Unsigned

$80 in Good condition up to $675 in NM.

*****
How much is a comic book named DR. DOOM VS. DR. DOOM?
— dbboy199@yahoo.com

$2.95 or thereabouts, assuming it’s a new comic.

*****
I need to find out how much my comic is worth. It is STAR WARS RETURN OF THE JEDI #2; it was made in 1983.
— TwUrKuLa8r@aol.com

It catalogs at $1 in Good condition and $9 in NM.

*****
How much are the original 150 Pokemon cards in mint condition worth?
— Unsigned

…How much are Pokeman cards worth these days?
— Gr8tmom2AOL.COM@optimm.uberservers.com

I have no idea. But I’ll give you a nickel for them.

*****
Do you know how much SUPERMAN # 1 is worth in fair or good or near mint condition? My friend just got one and needs to know.
— sexandlove1970@hotmail.com

Well, if it’s the one from 1939, you’re looking at between $15,000 and $210,000. Of course, I suspect what you have is the 1986 #1, which catalogs at $5 in NM.

*****
I just spent $1,000 on tons of comic books but I can’t find a web site that has all these old comic books. Can you help me out by telling me which is the best web site for that?
— sherizbronxmann@aol.com

Wait a minute! You just spent $1000 on comic books and have no idea what you have? Spend the $30 on an Overstreet Price Guide and maybe you’ll have some idea. (Although if you really got a TON of them, 50c a pound is a pretty good price.)


MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:

Has DC retconned the fact that Alan Scott’s lantern and ring was derived from some magical element discarded by the Guardians of the Universe as “unpure” or “unstable”? Or am I just altogether wrong about this? (And I DO know Alan Scott no longer needs either a ring or lantern.)
— Giancarlo Malchiodi (EngTeacher@att.net)

The Guardians gathered all the mystical energy in the universe and created the Starheart. When the Starheart took on a mind of its own, a fragment escaped and made its way to Earth, where it was eventually made into Alan Scott’s ring and lantern.

*****
Following on from the question of the Golden Age Green Arrow and Speedy’s non-disappearance in ALL-STAR SQUADRON #60, I noted Plastic Man was also present. With Plas enjoying a renaissance in JLA, has DC ever determined whether he is the same hero who was alive during WWII, or whether this is another slice of DCU history which has been retconned in recent years?
— matt_j_adams@hotmail.com

I suspect my official unofficial researcher John Wells will come up with more info, but I haven’t seen any revamped history. (The 1960s version, however, was supposed to be the son of the original, though.)

*****
Did the Steve Ditko character the Odd Man ever appear anywhere other than advertisements for his never seen comic in the 70s or 80s?
— wade_raeburn@hotmail.com

A victim of the “DC Implosion,” the Odd Man’s CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE adventure was published in DETECTIVE COMICS #487.

*****
Outside of legacy-named characters such as Starman and Sandman, multi-title characters like Spiderman and Batman, and returning old characters such as Hawkman, what were the last new titles from Marvel and DC called Something-Man?
— The Bad Dwarf (the.bad.dwarf@ntlworld.com)

Hitman and Resurrection Man (1996 and 1997, respectively) are probably the most recent from DC. And (stretching it just a bit) MACHINE MAN 2020 from Marvel in 1994.

*****
Who were the co-stars in SGT BILKO?
— raerae40@comcast.net

The most notable – and the only only one who got his own comic book – was Pvt. Doberman.

*****
Can you tell me the origins of the different stuff in Batman’s cave? More specifically, from what adventures did Batman obtain the giant penny, the giant Joker card, and the giant t-rex from?
— Oliver (islandboy1982@yahoo.com)

The most visible of Batman’s trophies came from “The Penny Plunderers” (WORLD’S FINEST #30), “The Thousand and One Trophies of Batman” (DETECTIVE COMICS #158) and “Dinosaur Island” (BATMAN #35).


Time for me to head back to the Answer-Cave. Join me here again next week as I fight to rid Gotham City of questions. Meantime, don’t forget to check out my daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.

 


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Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


 

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