In the finale of season two of ‘Comic Book Men’, the staff of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash have quite the occasion to celebrate. For fifteen years, Walt Flanagan has been firmly positioned at the helm of the Stash ship and now Mike, Ming, and Bryan are putting something together to commemorate the milestone.
Before the party gets started, Anthony, a frequent flyer of the Stash who previously brought in Superman Kryptonite Rocks and some smoke-damaged books, pays the gang a visit bearing more gifts. This time, he has with him a Batman 3D Shadow Box recreating ‘Batman’ #4 and he’s asking $500 for it. Walt mentions that he’s a little intimidated by Anthony because he brought some muscle with him last time, so he tags in Ming to handle this deal. Ming steps up and critiques the piece, noting that it’s limited to 250 pieces before offering $250. They settle on $350 and Anthony goes home happy. Throughout the transaction, Ming looked nervous, and rightfully so. Anthony is one of those guys that just looks like you wouldn’t want to upset him.
In the booth, Kevin talks about Walt getting him into comics. That’s why when he opened up a comic book store, he thought of no one else but Walt to run it. Now, he’s been running the store for 15 years, so while he’s away, Ming approaches Mike and Bryan about planning something special for Walt. They think about the things that Walt likes and they bring up how big of a hockey fan he is. Mike suggests asking Kevin what they could do that was hockey-related and worthy of this occasion. Bryan says that he’s in to help, on the condition that if Walt hates it, then he had nothing to do with it.
Another customer comes in looking for ‘Giant Sized X-Men’ #1. He’s in luck because the Stash recently won a copy in an online auction. This book is essentially where the modern iteration of the team began as it is the first appearance of fan favorite characters Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Storm. Walt and Mike haven’t even examined the book yet to put on the shelf, so when this guy asks for it, that’s when they first notice that the first page is signed by renowned artist Dave Cockrum. Upon seeing that, the price of the book immediately went up. The customer says that he’s looking to spend around $200, but that’s not even close to what the store is looking for. Walt says that he’s looking for $500, but goes down to $425. Customer can’t do it and it goes on the wall, as Walt says that eventually someone will come in willing to pay the price that they want.
The next customer coming in comes bearing a piece of cinematic history. Before Peter Jackson’s epic film trilogy, the quintessential ‘Lord of the Rings movie was the animated one from 1978. This guy comes in with an original animation cell depicting Frodo and Gandalf. Rob Bruce says it’s worth around $350, so the customer is looking for $325. Walt says best he can do is $200, but settle on $275 to add another very cool piece of artwork to the wall.
The last customer of the season comes into the shop looking for an “epic comic book gift” for her boyfriend and is willing to spend $500. Mike pitches the ‘Giant Sized X-Men’ #1 from earlier and she says that it’s perfect because her boyfriend is an X-Men fan. Walt is asking for $575, but after Mike explains just how important this issue is, she is willing to put out the extra money. Walt lets it go for $550 and exclaims that his patience paid off.
Finally, it’s time for Walt’s special celebration. The crew walks into the Prudential Center and their leader is absolutely in awe when he sees who stands before him. Walt is a huge New Jersey Devils fan, so he’s understandably a mess when Ken Daneyko, Grant Marshall, Bruce Driver, and Jim Dowd are right in front of him. After fanboying out a bit, the four players show off their Stanley Cup rings, which Kevin says are more powerful than any Green Lantern’s ring.
After introductions, Mike, Ming, Walt and Bryan head back to the locker room to throw on some skates. After Bryan pokes fun at Walt for his reaction to meeting the players, he gets into some pads and skates into net because Walt and the gang were being invited to shoot around on the ice with some of the finest men to put on a Devils jersey. The entire time, you could see a certain sparkle in Walt’s eye as he was like a kid meeting his heroes. Truly, this was above and beyond one of the best things that his friends could have done for him.
But seeing Walt’s face when he met those Devils players was so heart-warming. The wide-eyed innocence of a child took over in that moment. The whole plan was downright excellent of Mike, Ming, Bryan, and Kevin to do for Walt. What a great way to celebrate a milestone in one’s life! And even though I’m a Flyers fan, I really mean that sincerely.
Moments like that really make me question why this show has it’s detractors. In my humble opinion, this show really exhibits all the different facets of geekdom and spotlights them, even if you happen to be a hockey fanatic like Walt. Hate the show or love it, I’ve always looked at ‘Comic Book Men’ as a celebration of passion, be it for comics, movies, collectibles, or even hockey. That’s why I’ll go so far as to say that this was definitely one of the best episodes this season. It was also a great note to end on. Hopefully we’ll be seeing Kevin Smith’s band of merry men back on AMC next season. Until we hear back one way or another, feel free to go back and check out my past recaps and our other ‘Comic Book Men’ related articles.