A Green Lama. Hot Wheels. Plop. And Dracula for good measure. This means only one thing: the Comic Trends & Oddball of the Week have returned, and, boy, are there some weird nominees.
Who’s buying this stuff? This week’s comic trends had some true oddities in its ranks. Collectors were buying up some of the most random titles, many of which I had never heard of before now. Let’s dive in and embrace the strangeness of the Hottest Comics index.
837. HOT WHEELS #1 (+162)
The kids’ comics from the Bronze Age and into the Modern Age are becoming more and more collectible. After decades of being tossed aside and forgotten, what makes them valuable is just that – adults didn’t want them, and kids either mishandled them or threw them away.
That leaves a small number in the higher grades, and that makes those 9.8s relatively hard to find.
This particular comic was the first of a six-part limited series that was meant to promote the Hot Wheels cartoon series. The word on the internet is that Hasbro is moving forward with a Hot Wheels movie, and that has sparked interest in this 1970 issue.
911. KORAK, SON OF TARZAN #50 (+88)
Before I discovered Korak #50 on the Hottest Comics index, I wasn’t aware that Tarzan had a kid with his own comic series. Not only did Korak #50 crack the top 1,001 comics, but Korak #51 ranked 916 and #52 moved into 930. What gives?
My guess is that it has to do with the all-star talent that brought these issues to life. Helping out with the pencils is Joe Kubert while Len Wein was part of the writing team.
935. PLOP! #1 (+64)
This is not the first time we have seen an issue of the cheeky Mad-ripoff grace the Hottest Comics. Granted, Plop! is never ranked very high, but it is a testament to the series’ enduring popularity when it consistently cracks the list.
What makes this particular issue collectible is the appearances of Cain and Abel. These Biblical names have been part of DC Comics for ages, hosting horror stories in House of Mystery and House of Secrets before going on to have recurring roles in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics.
936. DRACULA LIVES! #1 (+63)
There are so many MCU rumors connected to the vampire of vampires, Dracula. And not just any version of Dracula, either. We’re talking about the Marvel Comics Dracula who made superhero crossovers galore in the Bronze Age. Thanks to the creative team at Dell Comics, he even donned a purple costume and became a superhero himself (‘60s comics were weird).
There is word on the internet that Drac could be the villain either in the Blade reboot or even the Disney+ Moon Knight series. In any event, the speculation is fueling sales for all those Dracula comics.
ODDBALL OF THE WEEK AWARD
412. GREEN LAMA #7 (+587)
With such stiff competition, it really takes something special to get the Oddball of the Week Award for this round. I present for your consideration, the Green Lama.
This may be the greatest superhero you’ve never heard of. Coming from the Golden Age during the mass production of costumed superheroes aimed at younger audiences, the creative teams were basically throwing anything at the wall and seeing what stuck. What’s your favorite color? “Green.” What’s the scariest animal you can think of? “Lamas, sir.”
Ta-da! We have the name all criminals fear, or at least turn a puzzled head toward: the Green Lama. If there is any character worthy of his own tongue-in-cheek cartoon, it’s this guy. He was more along the lines of the Shadow than Superman, and he had enhanced Buddhist powers, which I guess means he’s super-insightful. What’s not to love?