The Toronto Comic Con was a couple of weeks ago, and as usual, I had a list of items I wanted to pick up to complete some runs or just to pick up for the sake of reading runs I missed when they came out.

Most of the items on my list this go round were John Byrne books that I didn’t have or no longer had. Most were available incredibly for $2-$5 dollars.

I found Byrne way back when he was getting started and he was doing Doomsday+One for Charleton. Before he was grabbed by Marvel, he worked on this series and another, an adaptation of the TV series Space 1999. Both runs of these were on my list. I wasn’t able to find any Space 1999 except for a UK copy of #5 which cost me $1.00 and a Fantagraphics reprinting of the Doomsday+One series that they retitled Doomsday Squad.

In Doomsday Squad the editor was going on and on, issue after issue about what an upgrade this was from the original printing. It was recolored by Mark Wheatly and George Kochell. I honestly wasn’t as impressed as the editor, but it was interesting to see the early storytelling of John Byrne’s work. At the time, and again looking back at it, it was obvious to me John Byrne was a real talent. Yes, it was early in his professional career, but his talent was instantly recognizable.

In between cons, I keep a list on my phone of comic books that I read about or see discussed that catches my eye. Sometimes I have no idea afterward exactly why I put it on the list and am usually pleasantly surprised at what I find.

I completed the last three issues I needed from Byrne’s Incredible Hulk run. His Avengers run of #181-#191.

A great Dark Horse Presents #117, with some beautiful Gene Colan artwork on an Alien story that I had never seen.

Amazon#1 which was part of the DC/Marvel Amalgam line which blended similar characters together in a mish-mash story with some working better than others. This was a take on Storm/Wonder Woman and was a John Byrne/Terry Austin beauty.

A couple of other runs I picked up were done by Esad Ribic, Silver Surfer Reqiuem and The Sub-Mariner “The Depths”. Both of these had a very interesting take with fully painted artwork.

Out of all the books however that I picked up, one of the sweetest surprises was John Byrne’s What If #36 “What If The Fantastic Four Had Not Gained Their Super-Powers.”

Now I had just seen this story last year in all its Artist Edition glory and picked it up in this format to see how well the original comic held up to the scans of the Original Art.

It was an unusually good looking book for 1982! Great inking by Byrne and the colouring by Bob Sharon was very good.

So once again the trip to Comic Con was worth it! Some great material at a great value. I ended up clearing a ton of stuff off my list and even picked up 3 Ditko Spideys in decent shape to savour that great early Lee/Ditko magic!

Continued Happy Collecting!