In 1986 I was laid off from the phone company and I was out of work for a few months. Instead of going on unemployment, I decided I would take a job at a bookstore. It was a large chain bookstore that sold mainly books, but there were magazine racks filled with magazines, yet there was very little in the way of comic books. There was a single rack for comic books and I only became aware of it when the manager asked me to move the rack away from the door because she was concerned about shoplifters.
I felt sorry for the comic books, so one night I decided that I would buy a few titles – I think it was something like a dozen. Because I had taken such a drastic cut in pay after the layoffs, my wife was not too happy with my spending money on something frivolous like comic books. So, for the next 30 years, I followed her orders and bought not a single comic book.
Three of the books that I bought that night were in a new series titled Secret Origins and the ones that I bought were Secret Origins: Golden age Superman #1, Secret Origins: Shazam!, and Secret Origins starring Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. I still have these books and the others that I bought. Now I know that there was a total of 50 issues in the series, and it ran from 1986 to 1990. I remember wondering at the time: Would these comic books be worth something someday? I realized that they certainly were not anywhere close in value as the originals but due to their being what I thought was were a bunch of one-offs maybe they would be worth something someday. I guess I thought that I was the only one who bought comic books in 1986 and of course, they actually are worth something.
I would estimate these books to be rated as Very Good or Fine and I figure a reseller would probably price them at a $1.70 each.
This page of the week comes from Secret Origins #11 (February 1987), the subtitle of which reads “Starring the Golden Age Hawkman & Power Girl“. (and as usual, Hawkgirl is not on the cover.)
In the story titled “The Secret Origin of the Golden Age Hawkman” writer Roy Thomas and artists Luke McDonnell & Tony DeZuniga retell the origin story of Hawkman almost word-for-word, panel-for-panel as it was originally told by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville in January 1940. I say almost because there was one slight difference in this new origin story, but it did not seem to change the story in any way. In the original story Carter Hall did not float around his library with the aid of an Nth metal belt.
In both stories,, independently wealthy archeologist, Carter Hall has recently come into contact with a mysterious element known as Nth Metal. After having received in the mail a mysterious knife sent to him by a fellow archaeologist from Egypt, he had a very strange dream in which he and a young woman had lived in ancient Egypt and the pair were murdered by a villain named Hath-Set. Wanting to clear his head, Carter Hall goes for a walk on the bustling streets of Gotham city.
Almost as soon as he steps out, he witnesses a stampede of panicked citizens running out of the subway screaming that the rails have turned blue! Being the brave and heroic sort, instead of running away from danger, Carter Hall runs towards it.
As he is about to enter the subway he runs into a young woman wearing a yellow sweater and he immediately recognizes her as the woman from the dream. Shiera Sanders is astonished when the tall blonder stranger grabs her by shoulders and calls her by her name. Thus begins the saga of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
Below is the original page drawn by Dennis Neville.