Here are our top 10 historical one of a kind original art pieces from our personal collection featuring only the biggest names;
Kirby, Ditko, Lee, McFarlane, Romita, Buscema, Ross, to name a few. Without further ado, check out the gallery below...
Pages of this rarity, cultural importance, and graphic perfection almost defy description. Suffice it to say, only Jack "King" Kirby and his inker supreme, Dick Ayers, could create a page of such intensity and majesty -- and as a result, one would be hard pressed to find a better early battle page of Thor by King Kirby. Arguably this is the best of Thor’s first three battle pages, only earlier pages are of the stone men in the tail end of issue #83 and the plane attack a few pages earlier in issue #84, but this is the first time the Mighty Thor takes on an army! This sublime page hailing from the mighty Thor's second appearance and Jane Foster’s first appearance, who is now Lady Thor, The Goddess of Thunder is certainly one of the ultimate pieces of our collection. This museum-worthy Marvel milestone has a large (twice-up) image area of 12.5" x 18.5". Note: There is wear on the board resulting in minor creasing and small tears (a quarter of an inch) at the corners and bottom of the page and some tape staining. This key issue introduced Jane Foster, the nurse who became Thor's love interest. On this earliest known action page or “battle page”, we see Thor battling an army to save Jane. He uses the power of his hammer, Mjolnir, to flip one of the army's tanks on top of another tank, and then goes on to actually dissolve the tank, exposing the soldiers inside of it. The page is inked by Dick Ayers, one of Kirby's primary inking partners during the early years of the Marvel Silver Age.
During the past decade Jane Foster has become a major player in the Marvel comic book universe and she actually took over the role of Thor for a couple of years after the traditional male Thor was deemed "unworthy" by his father Odin, the ruler of Asgard. The Jane as a female Thor saga is now being brought into the mega-popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fan-favorite actress Natalie Portman, who played Jane Foster in the first two Thor movies, will return for Thor: Love and Thunder and apparently take over the Thor role from the male version played by Chris Hemsworth. The film is currently scheduled to open in May 2022.
Illustrated by Wonder Woman's co-creator H.G. Peter (1880-1958). Very little H. G. Peter original art is known to exist, despite the fact that the artist and co-creator drew Wonder Woman for more than 15 years. The 7.5x13-3/8" artboard has pen and ink original art for unpublished comic story featuring Wonder Woman. Partial page from the story features two panels showing Wonder Woman in action rescuing a US Army truck that has run off road, her magic lasso wrapped around the large vehicle as Wonder Woman climbs up the steep incline. After further investigation, this US Army supply vehicle was linked to specific use in WWII only and with the lasso first appearing in Sensation Comics #6 in June 1942 this leaves us to believe this piece was created anywhere from late 1942 to 1945 before the war came to an end or soon after 9/45. Therefore making it one of the earliest, Wonder Woman original art “intended” published or unpublished pieces known to exist. We’ve gone through over 20+ years of auction results to not find any intended published or unpublished Wonder Woman original art from what is believed to be from 1945 or earlier. The only earlier H.G. Peter Wonder Woman art is the infamous original concept drawing from 1941 and the Ale House illustration from 1942, both not comic story intended art. Furthermore, the handful of other original art published and unpublished Wonder Woman art from the 1940’s were smaller panels, and not featuring the Amazonian Princess in action like this piece. This original art by the creator features a rare full body of "The Agile Amazon" (as the caption piece refers to her) in live action. Peter produced more than 4,000 pages of Wonder Woman art, but only a handful survive on the collector's market, and the small selection would be even smaller if not for partial pages like this one. Art is clean and overall in excellent condition. It appears likely that art is among the partial-page Golden Age original art that was saved from oblivion by DC interns during the 1960’s. Story goes, like many other unpublished stories, it lay in DC's storeroom for many years. Sometime in the 1960s, some DC interns were asked to cut up these old stories and put them in the trash. The dutiful comic-fan interns followed the letter if not the intent of the order. They cut each page between tiers and put it in a trash can... which they returned to later and cleaned out before the trash pick-up came around. That is all that rescued this and other examples of fantastic late Golden Age material. Art is further enhanced by great mat created by artist Dan Makara, featuring collage style utilizing Golden Age Wonder Woman comic panels from Winder Woman 13, Summer of 1945, from the story “Slaves in the Electric Gardens”, estimated from the same era of the original art panels. From the Dan Makara Collection.
Painted in watercolor and airbrush on board, this is the Alex Ross painted cover to the final issue of his multi-year trilogy which began with Earth X, continued with Universe X and concluded with Paradise X. The sensational cover features Captain Marvel, the cosmic Kree Captain Mar-Vell who became one of Earth's greatest heroes and helped to defeat Thanos during the original "Thanos Saga" of the 1970s. Although Mar-Vell famously passed away in the classic 1982 Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel and unlike most heroes has stayed deceased, Paradise X involved all of the deceased heroes coming back to life after Death herself was eliminated from existence. Art image is 10x15 in Excellent condition.
About Earth X
After Alex Ross completed his monumental dark vision of the future of the DC Universe in the 1996 series Kingdom Come, Wizard Magazine asked him to come up with a similar concept for Marvel's future as part of a fun exercise. Ross came up with rough designs for Earth X which appeared in the well-read magazine. The response was so positive that Marvel ended up turning Earth X into a best-selling maxi-series based on Ross' notes and using his character designs. Ross provided covers for the original series and its two sequels, Universe X and Paradise X.
Earth-X is possible future of the Marvel Universe where all humans receive superpowers from Terrigen Mists. It was a very ambitious project that made extensive use of Marvel history. The series and its two sequels went in some interesting directions. By the third sequel, Paradise X, Death herself has been eliminated and mankind had become immortal.
About Captain Marvel
Marvel's version of Captain Marvel, the Kree solider known at Mar-Vell, made his first appearance in 1967's Marvel Super-Heroes #12. The character was soon given his own title, which ran for several years. In 1982, Marvel made the unusual move of creating a special story to end the life of the character in a brand new format for the company, the graphic novel, written and drawn by the character's most notable writer/artist, Jim Starlin. Mar-Vell has remained dead now for almost 40 years, a tribute to the high quality of Starlin's work. The Captain Marvel legend was adapted loosely for the very successful 2019 Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel.
About the Artist
After first establishing himself as a superstar with 1994's Marvels, Alex Ross cemented his reputation with his classic work on the 1996 4-part Kingdom Come series telling the shocking future of the DC Universe. This led directly to Ross' creation of Earth X, which showed the future of the Marvel Universe. Ross' elegant and powerful painted work on the series established him as one of the most significant and sought after artists of the Modern era. His work is respected for both its realism and dynamic compositions
EARLIEST IRON MAN ORIGINAL ART STORY & BATTLE PAGE ISSUE TO SURFACE IN 25+ YEARS! 2ND EARLIEST IRON MAN ORIGINAL ART STORY KNOWN TO EXIST!
ART BY CO-CREATOR DON HECK, SIGNED BY CREATOR STAN LEE! (MARVEL, 1963)
We all know Iron Man’s first appearance was 3 issues earlier in Tales of Suspense 39, but interesting enough no original art from this landmark issue has surfaced in 25+ years, since Sotheby's auction in 1996! In fact, no original art has ever surfaced from the following two issues, Tales of Suspense 40-41 ever, making this early issue Iron Man’s first original art story to surface in over 25+ years!
In 1986, Comics Journal documented all of the original art in the Marvel vault, which was inventoried in the mid 1970’s. They were able to confirm at that time, Tales of Suspense issues #38-39 were not present, #40 apparently was (but has never surfaced, not even 1 page in nearly 50 years!), skips #41, to this issue #42 which was present, skips #43 and so on. Now in regards to issue #40 supposedly being out there in the wild existing in someone’s attic. It’s quite possible issue #40 art is alive and well somewhere, but the other hypothesis is it may have been inventoried nearly 50 years ago, but was stolen over the years from the vault, or was discarded and lost as other issues over the years. We do know this, issue #40 Art has never surfaced anywhere, not 1 page, Iron Man or not. We have had multiple comic historians conclude issue #42 is the earliest original art story of Iron Man to surface in over 25 years next to issue #39 story art, being the second earliest Iron Man original art story known to exist. Though issue #39 was not present in the vault, it somehow resurfaced, more than likely was stolen and eventually got in the hands of known collector and musician Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills and Nash. In 1996, along with other various comics and comic art, Nash auctioned off the 13 page story of issue #39, Iron Man's first appearance, but has not surfaced since, only thought to be locked away somewhere in a private collection. Now back to this historic page...
This page is significant for a number of reasons, not only for what we mentioned above, but this is technically Iron Man’s earliest original art “Battle” page to have also surfaced in 25+ years as well! And what a dynamic page it is! In this story, page 1 splash sets up the storyline with Iron Man looking on at the Red Barbarian, and page 2 the last panel sets up the battle page seen here on Page 3. This page features Great shots of Iron Man in his classic Model 1 Mark III Golden Armor suit (seen only in a nine issue run from #40-48) in 5 of the 6 large panels using his gadgets and his brains to defeat the "COMMIE SPY RING" instead of raw physical force. We also love Tony Stark borrowing a bit from the Amazing Spider-Man playbook with that swinging away exit! Side note: (Amazing Spider-Man #2 had just come out when this issue hit the newsstand).
And then there's the Stan Lee factor. Adding to its desirability the page is signed by Iron Man’s creator Stan Lee in the lower margin. Again, to our knowledge this is the earliest Iron Man original art issue to have surfaced in recent years and the only known signed by the creator Stan Lee from such an early story from the beginnings of the Marvel Universe. In fact, this issue was released even before Avengers #1! Don Heck rendered in ink over graphite on twice-up scale (Large Art) Bristol board with an image area of 12.75" x 18.5". Lightly toned with whiteout text corrections in several places. Art is In Excellent condition.
Todd McFarlane Pencils and Tony DeZuñiga Inks Infinity Inc. #30 Story Page 12 Original Art (DC, 1986). We recently removed another Spawn Mcfarlane splash page from issue 41 where he supplied the inks to showcase this piece instead, which is a poignant and moving page from early in McFarlane's first major body of comics work. With Mcfarlane Spidey pages are fetching record prices, naturally his other work, especially his earliest work is gaining ground as well. This page is a fine example of why Todd McFarlane made a name for himself with his pencils on this title, Tony DeZuniga supplied the dynamic inks on this page. This is quite an unusually somber piece from McFarlane and quite nice to see.
This issue is the epilogue to the last days of the Justice Society Special and the final issue dealing with the crisis aftermath and the disappearance of the JSA. The Infinitors learn from Dr. Fate (seen on the lower panels) of the Justice Society's removal from the mortal plane, and must deal with their grief and inform the JSA's friends and family of their departure on this twice-up page from "What Private Griefs”. McFarlane adequately displays his ability to convey the emotion of the title in the Infinity, Inc. saga with this piece. On this emotional page by Mcfarlane, we see “What Private Griefs” title spilling into the page with Obsidian and Jade delivering the news to Molly Mayne the ex Harlequin 1 of her husband Alan Scott aka Green Lantern’s departure. On the top left panel we see Brainwave Jr. (Henry King Jr.), looking on after Jade’s decision to leave him and side with her twin brother Obsidian. On the lower panels we have “Lyta” aka Hippolyta Trevor (Wonder Woman’s daughter), better known as Fury talking to her fiancé and soon to be husband Hector Hall aka Dr. Fate about her pet Kanga named “Trouble”, shown on the lower left. This is a great page, full of favorite characters from the series! All in all we have 6 Infinity Inc. characters accounted for on this page, along with Molly Mayne. This is a fitting tribute to these second-generation heroes by a first-rate artist. Ink over blue pencil and graphite on Bristol board with a twice up (large art) image area of 12" x 17.75”. In Very Good condition.
Mega-superstar artist Jim Lee illustrated this splash page from WildC.A.T.S.: Covert Action Teams #31 (1996). Lee is the #1 artist of our generation and powerful work like this from the early days of Image Comics/Wildstorm Studios will likely always be in high demand!
Alan Moore is considered by many to be the finest comics writer of the last quarter century. His standout achievements in the medium include WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and From Hell. Moore's defining run on WildC.A.T.s issues #21-34, he successfully took the team back to their roots and stirred up the WildStorm Universe considerably, creating a perfect starting point for catching up the flagship WildStorm superhero team. Moore’s issues were filled with unsettling revelations and gripping drama — and the introduction of one of WildStorm's great villains: Tao! (As seen here illustrated by Mega-Artist Jim Lee!)
Jim Lee's contribution to earlier years of Image remains some of the best to this day. Here is the finale page from this issue written by the great Alan Moore, incredible Jim Lee pencils and Richard Bennett inks, with The Tactical Augmented Organism or TAO, once an incredibly efficient member of The WildC.A.T.S exposing himself to the reader as the Machiavellian monster that he is. Savant, his love interest at the time looks on in the background.
The significance of this page is huge to say the least; early Jim Lee art work from Image, Alan Moore story and the Splash finale page to an intricate plot and character, so much so that Bleeding Cool and CNNRadio both did respective articles on this original art page when it was first offered to the marketplace. Ink over graphite on DC Bristol board with an image area of 10.5" x 15.75". Light handling wear and signed by the art team at the top right. In Excellent condition.
From her First Appearance the First Time Monica Rambeau Declares Herself Captain Marvel!
John Romita Jr. (pencils) and John Romita Sr. (inks) marks their first collaboration from the legendary father and son duo on this page from the historic introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest star, Monica Rambeau! Monica was introduced as Marvel's second Captain Marvel in the story featuring this page which appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982) titled “Who’s That Lady?”. This was just months after the first Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell of the Kree) passed away from cancer in Marvel Graphic Novel: The Death of Captain Marvel #1.
On this great featured Captain Marvel page we see Monica on 6 of the 7 panels in which she meets Ben Grimm, the Thing from the Fantastic Four. In the two previous Monica story pages we see her at work not in costume labeled “Captain Marvel” by the local Louisiana newspaper since she saved a Navy soldier who kept saying “The Captain is a Marvel”. At this point she's apprehensive of being called the name "Captain Marvel" by the professor. The next page, (prior to this one) shows Monica in costume, scoping out from a rooftop of where to go next, then pans to a familiar character, Spider-Man. But this very historic page is the first time Monica embraces the title and declares herself Captain Marvel, telling Thing “I’m...I’m Captain Marvel”. On the following panel we see her not knowing about the previous Captain Marvel and explaining to Thing about her recent mysterious powers, the fear and uncertainty of what she’s capable of. This is simply a Grail worthy early origin story page featuring Monica on nearly every panel! Interesting note, this is the first female Captain Marvel story, predates Carol Danvers titled as Captain Marvel!
Monica was introduced into the MCU in 2019's Captain Marvel as a young girl. That movie took place in the 1990s. The adult Monica was introduced in the huge hit Disney+ series WandaVision. She's expected to be one of the co-stars in the sequel to Captain Marvel entitled The Marvels, opening on November 22, 2022. Since WandaVision streamed a couple of months ago, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 has increased significantly in value and it makes sense that original art pages from this issue will follow suit. The art has an image area of approximately 10" X 15" on Bristol board.
Note: Panel 4 has staining from glue. Panel previously had a stat attached which is now loose but included, otherwise art is in very good condition.
John Romita Jr. began his extraordinary career as a comic book artist with Amazing Spider-Man Annual #11 in 1977 and he's been going strong ever since. He first became popular with his run on Iron Man in the late 70s. In the early 1980s, he had his first regular run on the Amazing Spider-Man. From 1983 to 1986 Romita was the main artist on Uncanny X-Men. For the next 30 years he would go on to produce many of the greatest moments in Marvel history including the Daredevil: The Man Without Fear mini-series with writer Frank Miller and the Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 run with writer J. Michael Straczynski. For the last couple of years, Romita Jr. has been doing his first work ever for DC, primarily working on Superman.
John Romita, along with Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, is considered one of the two most important artists to ever work on Spider-Man, the #1 Marvel character now for over five decades. Romita famously took over the Amazing Spider-Man title with 1966's issue #39, providing Spider-Man and Peter Parker with a fresh, more optimistic look that vaulted the character to a new level of popularity, assuring that Spidey would become arguably the biggest character in the history of the industry. Amazing Spider-Man is by far the most collected title in the hobby and Romita is a big part of the reason for that. By the early 70s, Romita was promoted to be Marvel's Art Director. Romita continued to contribute his own art to the company for decades, working mainly on covers and special projects. Romita was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2002. Romita, who is now 90 years young, is retired from Marvel. His son, John Romita Jr., followed in his footsteps and has been one of the most popular artists in the industry for more than 40 years
We couldn't have a gallery of original art without the master of the Marvel Method, Steve Ditko! Here we have after the epic "Born Again" storyline, where Steve Ditko stepped in to provide the art for a total of only three issues of the Man Without Fear, this page being one of only a few pages ever surfacing in the marketplace from the Ditko issues making it extremely rare! Here, Ditko renders the breakdowns on a page featuring the villain Mr. Hyde, the cover title story "A Safe Place" featuring "The Return of Daredevil's Deadliest Foe Mr. Hyde!" Ditko's almost ballet-style fight choreography makes this page a true treat, as the page's action and energy slides around and down the page with big, bold panels full of crisp, clean, lines rendered in ink over graphite on Bristol board with an image area of 10 x 15 finished by Danny Bulanadi. Any "Marvel Method" Ditko original art piece is a centerpiece to any collection. Slight toning, production trimmed top edge, stripped-in Panel 7 held by tape on the back, with light creasing and handling wear. Art is In Excellent condition.
We’ll lead this description off by The Bleeding Cool News publication who covered this piece very well in which this page was the featured cover image for the article.
Bleeding Cool... “Highlights from Best Spider-Man Collection Ever Assembled Hit Auction…”
“From Amazing Spider-Man No. 78 come two remarkable pages, offered separately, from John Buscema and Jim Mooney. Page 10 of this issue, which debuted Hobie Brown's Prowler, Peter Parker wanders the streets of New York bemoaning the loss of Gwen Stacy to Flash Thompson, fends off a couple of hoods and even complains he didn't have time to study. This is vintage Stan Lee – less about the hero, more about the man beneath the mask wondering where it all went wrong.” From The Spider-Steve Collection.
This historic 1/2 splash page by the legendary John Buscema, which is one of his earliest Amazing Spider-man art issues! This page not only has Peter battling a couple of street thugs in first half of the page, but that window washer in the last panel is actually Hobie (The Prowler) Brown's first interior appearance in a comic book! The opening page splash page might have the “Night of The Prowler” title but doesn’t feature the character until this very page, which is also the next splash from the opening title page 1. Silver Age “Amazing Spider-Man” art pages such as this are exceedingly rare, especially a Silver Age pre-100 key first appearance issue. Interesting note, to date, from all auction results, comic art fans etc this is the one and only Prowler first appearance original Art page that has ever surfaced! The page was created by Jim Mooney from John Buscema's layouts. Produced in ink over graphite and blue pencil on Bristol board with an image area of 10" x 15". There are some production stains in and around Panel 2. The board has been affixed to a 11.75" x 16.5" black mat board. In Very Good condition. From the Spider-Steve Collection.
The Prowler is Hobie Brown, an anti-hero introduced here in Amazing Spider-Man #78 (1969). The character was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema following a suggestion from a 13-year old John Romita Jr. to his father John Sr.. John Romita Sr. notes that Lee came up with the “twist” of making the new character’s civilian identity a young window washer, apparently no older than Spider-Man himself, though he doesn’t mention whose idea it was to make the character African-American. Hobie Brown has appeared in various animations and video games. In the Ultimate Universe, career criminal Aaron Davis also took on the Prowler identity. Aaron Davis was portrayed by Donald Glover in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and was voiced by Oscar winning actor Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth from Luke Cage and the new Blade the Vampire Slayer in an upcoming MCU film) in the Oscar winning animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).
It was Peter Quill's third appearance as Star-Lord in this rotating-feature series, and it was his first story illustrated by Carmine Infantino. For many fans, this harkened back to Infantino's work on DC's Adam Strange, with a more sophisticated "grown-up" feel. Quill aka Star-Lord is featured on all 5 panels of this original art page, including a great detailed close up shot! Peter Quill and Caryth are soon on their way to battle a swarm of alien insects in this story "Logos". Rendered in ink and Zipatone over graphite on Bristol board with an image area of 10.5" x 15", pencils by Infantino, inks by legendary Bob Wiacek. There is a stripped-in text correction in Panel 4 that is taped from the reverse side. In Excellent condition.