The iFanboy Letter Column – 11/13/2009

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s searching for the ultimate party where on the way, you and your friends get stuck in a 1980s movie-esque adventure. For others, Friday is the day you take get back on the horse.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming —


I’ve been going through my collection lately, with the instant gratificator that is, and just entered in my copy of strange tales 169, the first appearance of Brother Voodoo. Here’s what I noted on my blog:

The first appearance of Brother Voodoo – first appearance! – is quoted at $35 mint. The issue before (Strange Tales #168) …$80. Really? I know it’s oad (over and done) to say really? But really? And just a few issues back, also worth $80, you get Voltorg. Voltorg. Whom nothing can halt. Voltorg = 80 bones, Brother F’in Voodoo, who is experiencing something of a renaissance right now, 35. Don’t do the math; it’ll do you. Like Voltorg.

My inquiry to you gentlemen is thus: How does Voltorg beat Brother Voodoo by 45 bucks? 45? Please explain, as nonpolitically correct as possible, if so inclined. Your insight is  bound to be entertaining. 

Don J.

Every now and then I recall my former life as an early 1990s teenager who actively collected comics. And when I say “Actively collected,” I mean that not only did I buy them to read, but like the majority of us back then, I bought them for the value of the comics. You had Overstreet and Wizard telling you how much your comics were actually WORTH! Forget whether or not you could actually sell them at that price, but you can sure as hell buy them at those prices (*cough* New Mutants #87, first appearance of Cable, cost me $85 *cough*). Those were the days…

As I’ve grown older and found better ways to spend my money, I’ve embraced comics purely for the stories and art and have forgotten the ways of the collector. But I forget that people like you, Don J., sir, are still out there. Slabbing your books via the CGC and looking up the prices of your comics. That’s okay, whatever excites you and makes you happy — that’s my motto.

Your question reminded me of something I did enjoy doing while collecting my comics, seeing what they’re worth and trying to figure out why. What was it about that one issue that made it more valuable than the others? This exercise in research often led me to learn about first appearances of characters as well as creators, and to be honest, I owe my knowledge today to this practice as much as I owe the Marvel Trading Cards and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

So that said, let’s investigate shall we?

We have two titles, Strange Tales #166 where Doctor Strange fights Voltorg and Strange Tales #168, featuring a Doctor Strange story where he fights Yandroth. #166 was written by Jim Lawrence while #168 was written by Denny O’Neill; both with art by Dan Adkins, and both contain a Nick Fury story written and drawn by the great Jim Steranko.

And Strange Tales #169, which as you noted is the first appearance of Brother Voodoo (Currently Doctor Voodoo, the new Sorcerer Supreme) in a story by Len Wein and Gene Colan, a great creative team as well.

So what makes issue #166 or #168 worth about 45 more dollars. Look closely at the books and see if you can figure it out. I’ll wait….



Figure it out? If not, allow me to explain: Strange Tales #168, in 1968 was the last issue of that run, with the next issue it was renamed to Doctor Strange and picked up at Doctor Strange #169 and Nick Fury got his own series. Then 5 years later, in 1973, Marvel decided to revive the title of Strange Tales, along with its original numbering and released issue #169 with Brother Voodoo.

And you thought the crap we go through with new #1s and renumbering series (like Thor and Daredevil) nowadays was a new trend — it’s been happening forever in comics!

And so, my hypothesis is that the 45 dollar increase in value is driven because they’re both at the end of the epic run of Strange Tales, which lead to both Doctor Strange and Nick Fury’s series in the late 1960s and thus both 5 years older than Strange Tales #169. It’s simply just the age of the books!

If I were a betting man though, I would guess that Strange Tales #169 will see an increase of value from all the recent attention Brother Voodoo has gotten thanks to Bendis and Remender.

Man this was fun! Keep these type of questions coming!

Ron Richards


I know how much you LOVE getting asked where to start with Green Lantern, so I’m not gonna ask that. I really enjoy reading stories with Kilowog though, and so I wondered if you had one story which in your mind plays this character to it’s fullest.


I really enjoy the way that you guys keep coming up with different ways to ask variations on the “Where do I start with Green Lantern?” question. As it becomes more specific it becomes more impressive.

It’s tough to answer the essential Kilowog question because I am not entirely sure there has been a story where Kilowog get fully showcased. He is usually a strong supporting character to one of the other Green Lanterns like Hal, John, Kyle or Guy. When I think of Kilowog I think of Year One stories like Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn or Green Lantern: Year One where Hal shows up as a new member of the Corps and he must be trained. He has been particularly strong in the recent run on Green Lantern Corps that has been following the members of the Corps stationed on Oa, of which Kilowog is one.

Noe that I think about it, the stories in which Kilowog made the most impression on me were whenever he would show up in Giffen & DeMatteis’ Justice League. He’d always be coming by to whip Guy into shape and of course Guy loved taking orders from someone else so they got along swimmingly. I specifically recall one giant brawl they had that destroyed a house (was it Arisia’s house?), which they used their rings to fix. And after 24 hours all the repairs disappeared and the house collapsed again. Good times. Now that I think about it, those stories probably left the most impression on me because that was soon after Kilowog was created and I had never seen him before.

I wish I had a better answer for you, Mike, and I’m hoping that someone in the comments who has read more of the ancillary Green Lantern books than I have will be able to help us both out.

Conor Kilpatrick



  1. I think the Tales of the Corps mini series had a good Kilowog story, but I don’t think there’s much that stars him in particular. conor’s right, he’s always a supporting character

  2. I love the comedic impact of a good strikeout! 😉

  3. The re-naming re-numbering thing has been going on forever indeed.  It doesn’t bother me, and usually means the story will be better, which is why they promote these shakeups.  As long as the story is good I’m in. 

    I also like seeing what a story is worth.  I have some valuable comics as well.  Pretty cool.

  4. Emerald Dawn does showcase Kilowog well in the training scenes.  He was also a cool bad guy as the Dark Lantern in GL Legacy Last Wil and Testament of Hal Jordan.  Then his rebirth during the KYLE RAYNER issues was cool as well. 

  5. The issue that mikegraham6 is referencing is Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3.  The Kilowog story in that issue was quite solid, if I recall correctly.
    I also thought Kilowog’s role in The Sinestro Corp War was rather enjoyable. 
    @Paul – Interesting that you should mention the strikethrough over Kyle’s name, because I always thought of you as the Kyle of the iFanboy crew.  
  6. @stuclach – Read the latest Green Lantern Corp you’ll understand the strike.

  7. There is nothing wrong with collecting comics or knowing their relative worth. I mean all collecting is a bit stupid, putting too much value on old things, but as long you don’t take it too seriously it can be fun, whether it be vinyl records, 1st edition books, stamps, coins, or Disney Memorabilia (ok that last one might cross a line). In its purest form the collection gives you a way to connect further with something you love. Sometimes that thing you love is another person that got you involved in collecting in the first place. The key is to not let the collecting become the primary thing. Getting back to comics specifically, we love the art and stories. As long as one does not lose sight of that, collect away.

    And let me just emphasize that I am talking about collection, not speculation. I can recall telling my mother twenty years ago how much more my comics were going to be worth one day. That these comics were an investment. She rolled her eyes and of course she was quite right. Most comics do not go up in value. They certainly don’t in comparison to inflation. Old comics became valuable because no one thought of them as valuable in any way. They were all thrown away, which is a rare event nowadays, even with really crappy comics. Also, the price guides are more or less retail prices. I.e., they are the most one could expect to pay for a comic. I don’t know how hard it is to insure your comics, but I suspect you might be able to insure them for those prices… Which means a fire could be most profitable… Hmmm. Got to go check on some "faulty" wiring.




  8. @Crucio – I read it. I get the strikethrough.  I just thought it was funny that Paul pointed it out. Thank you, though.

  9. damn ron, you got a little condescending there.  other than that, great answer

  10. @JimBilly4 – I think you need to keep inventory of your comics if you want to declare them for insurance purposes (so you can’t say “Sure, I had an original mint Amazing Fantasy #15”), but otherwise it’s part of your house and they will honor current value based on a recognized guide.

    @stuclach – I thought the strikethrough was because Connor has an anti-Kyle bias. Someone in podcast-land does, I think it’s Connor. Still funny.

  11. @stuclach – Because I’m artsy? Otherwise…grrr….

  12. I like knowing that some of the comics I own are actually worth something, but I hold no delusion that I will someday buy an island and retire off their worth.

    But don’t tell my wife, she’s under the impression they’re worth a lot more than they actually are.

  13. Green Lantern Corps: Recharge. Again Kilowog was only supporting, but it was awesome.


    Also, another great example has been the weird numbering on the Hulk franchise. Incredible Hulk became Incredible Hercules, continuing the numbering, while  Hulk got a different series and thn Incredible Hulk started again, with a renumbered #600, running simultaneously with the exceptoional Hercules series.

  14. Kilowog’s an odd duck in the GL world. He’s often considered the "5th" Lantern because he appears so often, but he has little in the way of actual stories about HIM! A lot of people are under the impression he’s been with the comics for a while, which isn’t quite true. Kilowog is one of the first "Post Crisis Characters" like Booster Gold. He appeared in Green Lantern Corps #201 in 1986. (After Green Lantern #200 there was a soft-boot with the Corps disbanding a few GLs teaming up to live on Earth and continue being GLs: Hal, John, Katma, C’Hp, Salak) He appeared in almost every issue of GLC, so…. GLC #201-224 and he made sporadic appearances in Hal’s Action Comics Weekly stories. He became important when they redid Hal’s Origin in EMERALD DAWN and EMERALD DAWN II which Johns uses as a basis for Secret Origin (and, IMHO, they’re better). And Kilowog appeared in the JLI books as Conor mentioned. He appeared a few times between GL #1-50 with Hal and then he reappeared in LEGACY: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF HAL JORDAN which bled into the pages of GL #169 through #181 and from there he’s been a constant in the GL Universe. Hope that helps.

  15. @Paul – Exactly. You are artistic.  That and your fear of refrigerators.

  16. I love it when Prax shows up and blows me away with his encyclopedic knowledge of the DCU. Aw yeah!

  17. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from ebay, it’s this: value is in the eye of the beholder.  People will pay what they pay depending on what they think something is worth. Simple as that.  

    I collect for the intrinsic worth I get from a comic, not the monetary value.  Nothing wrong with those that like to know what their stuff is worth though. 

  18. I think that must succinct answer to the Strange Tales question is that #168 has a kick ass Kirby drawn floating head of Nick Fury. #169 doesn’t have that, so it is worth about 45 less. Cool points, that is. Technically, it has Kirby art on the cover and Steranko art inside. Pretty darn cool.

  19. If I recall my Marvel comic book history, I believe that comic book sales kept soaring throught the 60s and into the 70s. In other words I suspect 5 years tucked in the middle of that decade had a large effect on the print run one would expect for any particular comic book. And of course it is common for the print runt o be shrinking as a comic book fades out, which Strange Tales apparently sort of was. 

    In other words I strongly suspect the main difference in price is that there are a lot more Strange Tales 169 compared to Strange Tales 168. Supply and Demand, people. 


  20. @JimBilly4 I believe you’re correct.

  21. I originally thought the strikethrough was a joke about Kyle being a ‘strong supporting character’. I was LOLing @ Connor Conor Hunter! Now I’m sad…


  22. If you want an awesome Kilowog story, check Green Lantern Corps 208. Here’s a link to the cover:

    In the 80s, this issue alone made Kilowog one of my top 3 Green Lanterns.

  23. @nilcam One of the best stories of that era and one of my favorite covers, too.

  24. @Matrix Yay. A Conor/Hunter joke. Haven’t heard one of those in a while. Always good for a laugh.

  25. Awesomes, and very interesting.  Thanks for answering my question, and doing the research.  By the way, found that Deadpool appearance in a stack (I guess my brother bought it), it’s going for a cool fifty right now.  

  26. Always liked Kilowog, though as a Brit I find that name bloody awful.