FanExpo Canada 2018 Bound: The Great Toronto Comicbook Hunt

The weekend that Ontarian pop-culture nerds have been waiting for is finally here, well, kind of. Starting August 30th at 4 PM, the festivities got underway by featuring a variety of Doctor Who- and Harry Potter-themed escape rooms, LARPing, celebrity photo-ops, and a retro video gaming arcade. One presumes that there are also a variety of costumed folk hanging about, and, if there’s any sanity left in the world, a variety of back issues, vintage and otherwise, for fans to riffle through. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to witness the kickoff of FanExpo Canada 2018, but I will be providing some coverage of events on Friday and Sunday.

And, although I’ll be attending FanExpo Canada 2018 in my official capacity as a writer for Monkeys Fighting Robots, I’ll also be searching for a few back issues.

If you’re anything like me, a compulsive buyer of comicbooks, you’ll have a list of desired issues with you whenever you go comicbook shopping. I will be bringing my tattered six-page list to direct me in my purchases, and I hope to take it down a few pages. Because celebrity interviews are uncertain, but comicbook purchasing isn’t, I thought I’d provide my own kickoff of FanExpo Canada 2018 by sharing some parts of the extensive list of comicbooks I’m looking for. After all, the 14 boxes I already own are getting lonely.

FanExpo Canada 2018 Bound: My Love for Machine Man

FanExpo Canada 2018
“No, I’m not Jim Hammond or the Vision. My name is Machine Man. I made it easy to remember.”

Perhaps more than others, I have a soft spot for ’70s and ’80s B-list heroes and villains that over the years just didn’t develop a solid fan-base, Beta-Ray Bill among them. Unsurprisingly then, I am in search of Machine Man’s entire published bibliography. For those of you who have never heard of Machine Man, he’s another in a long line of Marvel’s sentient androids, but, significantly, he was one of the final Marvel properties created by Jack “King” Kirby, followed only by Devil Dinosaur and his pal Moon-Boy.

Machine Man was created and raised like a son by Dr. Abel Stack. For an alias, MM alternately goes by the first digits of his registry, X-51, or the name Aaron Stack, given to him by his creator.

FanExpo Canada 2018 Bound: Morlocks and the Mutant Massacres of the ’80s

FanExpo Canada 2018
“What I do best ain’t nice, but it looks real good in chromium.”

In addition to looking for Machine Man comicbooks, I’ll be looking for some others from the ’70s and ’80s, including issues of the “Mutant Massacre” story-line from 1986. This crossover hunt involves one of the most embarrassing titles on my list, Power Pack #27. For casual readers, the Power Pack are a group of super-powered children created by Louise Simonson and June Brigman in 1984. Although the series was actually quite popular, I never feel right, as a childless adult male, purchasing a comicbook about a bunch of super-brats.

In addition to rounding out my collection of the “Mutant Massacre” story-line, I’m also looking to finish off a few other mini-series and crossovers from the ’80s, including The Sword of Solomon Kane, Storm and Illyana: Magik, Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown, Warlock: Special Edition, and the “Atlantis Attacks” crossover featured in Marvel’s selection of annuals from 1989.

FanExpo Canada 2018 Bound: The ’90s and Beyond!

FanExpo Canada 2018
“Behold my cosmic cover!!”

Since I really started reading, and buying, comicbooks in the ’90s, I’m also on the hunt for several issues from that decade, including such classics as Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection, X-Men Spotlight on...Starjammers, Warlock Chronicles, and the complete run of Warlock & The Infinity Watch. Of course, I was collecting Infinity War and Infinity Gauntlet comicbooks before they were cool, and have been on the hunt for all of both multi-title crossovers for the past nine years — my progress slowed substantially by fans of the Avengers: Infinity War movie buying up all the film’s source material.

Bound to love any property thrown at me in the ’90s, I’ll also be looking for Deathlok comicbooks, specifically his initial four-part run from 1990.

I’m also a hopeless follower of of Spider-Man’s interminable clone saga, and have been trying to find every comicbook featuring Ben Reilly or any other creation of Professor Miles Warren for the past 11 years.

FanExpo Canada 2018 Bound: Special Selections

FanExpo Canada 2018
Not quite the last Galactus story…

Although my quest to find basically every Spider-Man comic published between 1995 and 1997 is no less valid than any other title hunt I’m on, I think that the coolest issues I’m looking for, and have been for some time, are Epic Illustrated #26–34. I’ve only found one so far, but I hope to find more. These nine comicbooks feature “The Last Galactus Story” by John Byrne and Terry Austin.

Although this epic tale of Galactus’s origin and life was cut short by the cancellation of Epic Illustrated in 1985, it remains one of the most fan and critically acclaimed tellings of the planet-eater’s origins, and, as there doesn’t appear to be a movie featuring Galactus currently in the works, I just might find some issues of this cool story at a reasonable price.

FanExpo Canada 2018 Bound: Great Community

Although I have to admit that I’m more excited about getting a chance to find some of my missing comicbooks than hobnobbing with fellow nerds, going to conventions is always a fun, if somewhat expensive, way to meet people with similar hobbies, or obsessions as the case may be.

The last convention I attended was a lot of fun, so I’m happy to be able to cover another one for Monkeys Fighting Robots. I’m even happier, though, that I’ll have my list with me this time.

Michael Bedford
Michael Bedford
Under intense scrutiny by the Temporal Authorities, I was coerced into actualizing my capsule in this causality loop. Through no fault of my own, I am marooned on this dangerous yet lovely level-four civilization. Stranded here, I have spent most of my time learning what I can of the social norms and oddities of the Terran species, including how to properly use the term "Hipster" and how to perform a "perfect pour." Under the assumed name of "Michael Bedford," I have completed BA's with specialized honours in both theatre studies and philosophy, and am currently saving up for enough galactic credits to buy a new--or suitably used--temporal contextualizer ... for a friend.