Back in the Secret Stash for this week’s episode of ‘Comic Book Men’, we open on the gang discussing the greatest, most epic superhero battles. Mike says that Superman vs. Shazam is his pick for number one. Walt loves seeing Thing vs. Hulk. Ming says hands down that Batman vs. Superman is the best battle, but then he’s called out for not even reading it when he can’t name the issue. Bryan says that the best battle in all of comics is any battle between him vs. his dad when he’s drank too much and doesn’t want Bryan in the house.
After the credits, Walt asks what the number one zombie movie is. Mike says that ‘Night of the Living Dead’ is the best. Then, the topic switches to favorite horror movies. Ming says that his is ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. Kevin said that he’s always been afraid of the Satanist movies that involved devil worship, especially ‘Race With the Devil’, featuring Peter Fonda.
For the first time since we saw the guys selling things at the flea market, we see a sale being made. A couple walks into the Stash and eyes up Giant Size X-men. Walt talks about the top two things stopping a man from buying comics: Money and the wife. But, as Ming points out, the girl is the one who wants the comics this time. Ming makes a joke about his wife wanting to take Wolverine memorabilia out of the dining room, and the girl says that Wolverine would make her hungrier. Excited to hear that, Ming brings up that they have copies of Hulk #180, first appearance of Wolverine, and Hulk #181, Wolverine’s big introduction into the Marvel universe. Mike says that it would be $1700 for all 3, but she’s hesitant. She offers $1200, but the lowest Mike will go is $1600 for just X-men and Hulk #181. After the customer shows more hesitation, Mike says he can give them all 3 at $1600, which the couple accepts. Ming points out that this is one of the biggest sales at the Stash in recent history.
While Bryan and Walt discuss Superman going to the bathroom and how we never see it, Ming approaches them with an idea to exploit the new zombie trend. He wants to have a zombie day at the shop, along with a 20% off sale to bring customers in. Walt is weary because of a past idea that Ming had to advertise in a Spanish newspaper that didn’t pan out. After a bit of convincing, Walt reluctantly agrees.
Another couple comes in trying to sell a Godzilla figure. Walt calls in Robert Bruce to consult on the piece. Kevin asks what are some of their favorite giant monsters. His is Mechagodzilla, the giant robot version of Godzilla, and Walt says his is King Ghidorah, the three-headed space dragon. Rob notices that the tail of the toy is hot glued on, which greatly decreases the value. Walt has no interest in the piece, but Rob shows interest in it and offers $125. The girl wants $200, and Rob offers $150, but he said that it’s still too much. They finally settle on $175, and Rob has a new toy to add to his collection.
Ming brings in a makeup artist to zombify the gang for the photo shoot for the fliers for his sale. Walt continues to be skeptical about the idea. The guys discuss the best theatrical makeup, and Heath Ledger’s Joker makeup and the ‘Planet of the Apes’ makeup. Ming has one of the fliers to show Kevin, who appreciated the homage on the poster to ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ with the font and by calling the sale “Day of the Walking Deal”. Even though Walt says that the shoot was fun, he continues to come down on Ming for the idea.
Ming asks Mike and Walt about the 70s Kung Fu craze and if they got into it or if they ever used any. Mike said that he did once and got his jaw broken in that fight. A girl comes in with a collection that she is looking to sell so she can go back to school. Some books in the box were Spider-man #2, but in a bad condition, Fantastic Four #48, and Daredevil #1, but it’s in bad condition as well. Walt comes across Fantastic Four #51, which is his favorite comic ever. A tale that involves someone disguising himself as The Thing and trying to kill The Fantastic Four, Walt calls this the “greatest story ever told”. Kevin and Walt discuss the friendship between Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, and the guilt that Reed always feels because of what happened to his best friend on account of him. Walt says that the box is worth about $8000 and instructs her to check out a price guide before she goes selling them. Bryan asks if Walt was more inclined to help because she was a girl. Kevin concludes that Walt just sees dollar signs and only cares about men like Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, and Batman.
Ming hangs the fliers for the sale all over town. Walt asks what iconic monster the crew would be. Bryan picks Dracula, since it’s always sexy time with Dracula. Walt asks if Bryan can deal with feeding on blood, to which he says, “Clearly I can feed on anything.” When Ming comes back after papering the town, Walt says that they’ll keep the store open late to accommodate the sale, if need be.
Kevin points out that Batman is just a guy, and that anybody could to that, with the right equipment and such. He says that he and Bryan took some criminology classes at community college back in the day with hopes to maybe be Batmen. They did this right before Clerks, so Kevin was glad that Clerks took off, or else he and Bryan would have been running around trying to be Batman.
A guy comes in looking for McFarlane’s Tortured Souls action figures. He had them before, but had to get rid of them because his girlfriend, so now he’s looking to get them again. Bryan calls the figures visions of hell molded in plastic. Walt asks what happened to the girlfriend, and the customer shares that she cheated on him, so they broke up. By him buying these, it symbolizes him getting his balls back. The Stash is selling all 5 figures for $375, which proves to be too much for the customer. Walt goes down to $250 for him, thus restoring the poor guys manhood.
The Day of the Walking Deal is upon the shop. Ming stands outside the store and tries to draw in some customers. When he sees that Ming is talking to a hot girl, Walt says that Ming is going for the wrong demographic. Walt says to go for the meek, mousey, slightly overweight guys. Bryan says to go for the guys that look like them. That’s where all their money is.
Rob brings in a friend to the shop who has original artwork from a Silver Surfer graphic novel by John Buscema. Walt is extremely excited and says that he’s never seen these come through the store ever. He declares that these pages are his Holy Grail. On the topic of Holy Grails, Kevin says his is the Sandman statue that he had to sell to make Clerks, Ming’s was a jet-firing Boba Fett action figure, and Mike’s is the cover of Avengers #151 by Jack Kirby. Rob’s friend is looking for $12,000 for the set. Walt offers $8,000, but the seller doesn’t go for it. Emphasizing that they are the only ones in the world, the seller says $9,500, but Walt throws out $9,200. After clearly seeing that Walt would give the pages a good home, the seller accepts, making Walt a very happy camper.
Ming’s sale ended up being a bust and Walt is kicking himself for letting Ming go through with it. Bryan points out that the posters probably cost more than what they made that day. Ming says that even though it’s a failure, he’s learned something from the experience: that he should look for another job. Kevin remains positive and quotes Wayne Gretsky by saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Kevin finishes up by praising Ming for trying, and says that he did the footwork to possibly get customers in the future.
That covers this week’s recap of ‘Comic Book Men’. If you want to catch up on the season so far, go back and read my other recaps, including the one for last week’s episode of , ‘Comic Book Men: Commercial’.