Comics

Marvel Premiere, Alice Cooper

1979, Marvel Comics

This is the first comic to feature Alice Cooper and was released in 1979.  The comic is loosely based on the From The Inside album, which was released a year earlier and sees Alice (complete with snake) checking in to the clinic to help him overcome the effects of travelling, recording, writing, drinking and playing golf with celebrities!

 

The comic also includes a biography on both Alice and the original band which ends with calls for fans to let Marvel know if they should proceed with a regular series.  This never happened so this comic essential acts as a pilot release.

 

Alice's character looks like a cross between the man himself and someone from a Beano or Dandy comic, he also appears to sporting a six-pack!

Rock N Roll Comics, Alice Cooper

1990, Revolutionary Comics

The second comic to feature Alice Cooper was released in 1990.  This was an unofficial release and was essentially a diagramatic biography of Alice's career.  It starts with the formation of The Earwigs, through the bands success to the break up then on through the solo years as far as Trash.  Overall, it's nicely presented and provides a reasonably accurate account of the history (the break up all seems rather amicable though, with a hand shake pictured).

 

This copy is signed by Steven Goupil and Sean Konot who are credited as the artist and letterer respectively.

The Last Temptation, Book I

1994, Marvel Music

In 1994, Alice's The Last Temptation album was accompanied by a series of 3 comics written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by Michael Zulli.  The initial album release came bundled with Book I, 'Bad Place Alone' (each book was named after a track from the album) with the cover reflecting that of the album.  A 'Direct Edition' was also released for sale in comic stores, this was essentially the same but with an alternative front and back cover (see images below). 

 

The storylines of the comics follow a similar theme to the album (e.g. temptation), this makes for a great experience if read directly before or after listening to the album.  The illustrations by Michael Zulli are excellent with Alice (who is referred to simply as 'The Showman') and the other characters, which include a child called Steven (ring any bells?), depicted in a dark, menacing, manner.  The idea to use a comic to accompany the album was a fresh and contemporary idea, much like the album itself. 

 

Promotional Text:

 

A mysterious theatre appears from nowhere; a sinister Showman entices Steven inside, and shows him some theatrical entertainments.  The Showman claims that the show is free.  Steven is beginning to suspect that there may have been some kind of price after all...

Front View (Album Version on left, Direct Edition on right)

The Last Temptation, Book II

1994, Marvel Music

Book II is titled 'Unholy War' and continues the story from Book I.  It was available from comic stores a month or so after the release of The Last Temptation album.

 

Promotional Text:

 

Yesterday Steven discovered a theatre which hadn't been there before and met The Showman and his strange troupe.  Last night he dreamed of an angel, and of The Showman, who repeated his offer; he wants Steven to join his troupe.  Steven's day at school was haunted by the mysterious Showman; now it's after school on Halloween and Steven has decided to return to the theatre.

The Last Temptation, Book III

1994, Marvel Music

Book II Iis titled 'Cleansed By Fire' and continues the story from Book II.  It was available from comic stores a month or so after the release of Book II.

 

Promotional Text:

 

In Book III we return to the theatre.  We learn a little history, watch a little pain, find no mercy and pray with Steven that The Showman's world can be Cleaned By Fire.

The Compleat Alice Cooper

1995, Marvel Music, ISBN# 0-7851-0119-5

The Compleat Alice Cooper was released in 1995 and incorporates all 3 original comics in a paperback book.  Also included is a 3 page foreword by writer Neil Gaiman, single page biographies for Neil Gaiman, artist Michael Zulli and cover artist Dave McKean, a 3 page biography for Alice Cooper, plus a copy of a handwritten note by Alice (also dated 1995).

 

The paper used is good quality and the original artwork is nicely remastered, with it now being slightly richer than before and with additional colouring touches throughout (see picture below).  The only downside is that some of the images are now a little darker with some of the detail of the previous comics now reduced.

 

This was an essential purchase, but has now been surpassed by subsequent hardback re-issues (see below).

The Last Temptation Collection

2000, Dark Horse, ISBN 1-84023-272-2

In 2000 Dark Horse released a paperback compliation of all three of The Last Temptation comics complete with the Neil Gaiman introduction from The Compleat Alice Cooper (above).  Rather dissapointingly, the comics feature the orginal (uncoloured) inked art, which in my opinion really takes away the special feel of the original comics.  The paper used isn't particularly nice either, resulting in a rather poor overall experience.

The Last Temptation Collection

2005, Dark Horse, ISBN 1-59307-414-X

In 2005 a slightly larger hardback version of The Last Temptation Collection was released by Dark Horse.  Although practically identical to the paperback version, this is printed on much nicer paper.  Again though, all the images are presented in black and white.

 

Neither of the Black Horse releases are essential items given the other, superior, versions available of these comics.

The Last Temptation, 20th Anniversary Standard Edition

2014, Dynamite, ISBN 978-1-606-90536-4

In 2014, 20 years after the original releases, Dynamite produced their own 165-page compilation of The Last Temptation comic books.  This is a great hardback product, printed on glossy paper, which oozes class throughout.  

 

Included within are the newly remastered and coloured images and the introduction by Neil Gaiman that featured in The Compleat Alice Cooper (above).  Also provided is a copy of the original written pitch sent by Neil Gaiman to Alice Cooper, original scripts, a cover gallery and an afterword by Michael Zulli featuring a new piece of art specially created for this edition.

 

Make no mistake, this is the definitive copy to have!

The Last Temptation, 20th Anniversary Signed Edition

2014, Dynamite, ISBN 978-1-606-90544-9

In addition to The Last Temptation 20th Anniversary Standard Edition (above), a special 'Signed Edition' was released with just 250 copies produced.  This is exactly the same as the Standard Edition with the exception of an additional page featuring the hand-signed autographs of Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli and Alice Cooper.  The only other change is that it is marked as the 'Signed Edition' on the back cover.

The Last Temptation, 20th Anniversary Signed & Remarked Edition 2015, Dynamite, ISBN 978-1-606-90608-8

This further 'Signed & Remarked Edition' of The Last Temptation 20th Anniversary book was released in 2015, with just 200 copies produced.  It is exactly the same as the 'Signed Edition' (above) only this time the additional page features the hand-signed autographs of Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli only (and not Alice Cooper).  

 

In place of an Alice autograph though, the owner recieves a custom piece of artwork which is personally remarked by Michael Zulli.  This is a terrific touch and makes for a very special release.  The only other change is again that it is marked as the 'Signed & Remarked Edition' on the back cover.

Simpsons Comics #124

2006, Bongo Comics Group

Despite his personal love for the TV show, Alice has never appeared in it. However, he has featured in a comic book devoted to The Simpsons.  Issue #124 was released in October 2006 and also includes stories featuring Gene Simmons (from KISS) and Rob Zombie.  

 

The story around Alice is called 'The Legend Of Batterface' and sees an evil version of Homer 'batter' Alice to death with 13 doughnuts!  Alice also features on the cover art, which is replicated as a centrefold poster.

Alice Cooper, Issue #1 (2014, Dynamite)

In 2014 Dynamite launched a monthly comic book series, simply titled 'Alice Cooper'.  

 

As seems to be the way these days, various different versions of essentially the same product were made available to purchase.  As a mimimum, the 'Main Cover' version of each release could be purchased in 'Virgin Cover' format for a whopping $50 (the standard version was just $3.99).  This essentially meant getting the same background art on the front cover but with no titles or banners etc.  Other than that I believe they were exactly the same.  

 

If that wasn't expensive enough, you could also buy the 'Gold Elite Edition', which was typically the Virgin Cover version complete with Alice's autograph and certificate of authenticity for $200!  Production numbers were limited to just 40 copies for Issue #1.

 

Issue #1 had 2 different covers (not including the Virgin Art or Gold Elite versions), the Main Cover featuring a rather crude looking sketch of Alice with a snake wrapped around him, and the 'Alternative Cover' featuring a nice concert photo from mid 80's.

 

The comics are nicely presented (in vivid colours and on glossy paper) with Alice appearing similar to how he did in The Last Temptation series. There is certainly an adult edge to them with women often appearing in various states of undress and the occasional profanity included. 

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

The X-Files' Joe Harris takes on The Prince of Darkness - Alice Cooper in his FIRST ongoing comic series! Rock n' roll legend Alice Cooper was never a stranger to the mystic and the macabre. His stage shows were the stuff of legend, featuring snakes and pyrotechnics and the invocation of dark themes and darker forces.

 

But while he was a legend in the waking world, few knew his role as "The Lord of Nightmares" beyond it, where he watched over us while we dreamed, and delivered horrors unto the deserving. Only someone took it all away from him, cast him out of his realm and locked him away... until now. And if he's going to reclaim his dark throne, he's going to need all the help he can get! 

Front View (Main Cover on left, Alternative Cover on right)
Inside View 1
Inside View 2
Inside View 3
Inside View 4
Signed 'Gold Elite Edition' (image from Facebook)
'Gold Elite Edition' Certificate of Authenticity (Image from Facebook)

Alice Cooper, Issue #2 (2014, Dynamite)

Issue #2 had 3 different covers (not including the Virgin Art or Gold Elite editions), the Main Cover version features another rather crude looking sketch of Alice and the Alternative Cover versions a drawing of Alice in concert in both colour and black and white (the latter being the rarer, I believe).

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

Alice Cooper has escaped the dark clutches of Lucius Black only to find himself in thrall to a new master. But if the "Lord of All Nightmares" hopes to ever control his own destiny and restore his shock n' roll legacy, he'll have to put some more bullies in their place first.

Front View (Main Cover on left, Alternative Covers in centre and on the right)
Inside View

Alice Cooper, Issue #3

2014, Dynamite

This issue is the first not to feature an Alternative Cover (other than the Virgin Art or Gold Elite editions).  The cover features a nice hand drawn image of Alice. 

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

The Lord of All Nightmares has returned to his realm. But the demonic Andronicus Black and Clan Black aren't backing off, looking to drag their 'client' back into the fold by any means necessary.

Front View
Inside View

Alice Cooper, Issue #4

2014, Dynamite

This issue also features no Alternative Cover (other than the Virgin Art or Gold Elite editions).  The cover features an inverted image of Alice's face. 

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

Alice Cooper has broken free from his bondage and worked hard to reconsolidate his power. But when the Nightmares in his realm begin following a new Lord who walks among them, can an old rock n' roller survive? Over-the-top shock and worst nightmares collide in the penultimate chapter of our first arc!

Front View
Inside View

Alice Cooper, Issue #5

2015, Dynamite

This issue also features no Alternative Cover (other than the Virgin Art or Gold Elite editions).  The cover features a rather bizarre hand-drawn image of Alice's face.

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

As friends, fans, demons and derelicts gather for his big "comeback" show, Alice Cooper prepares his final vengeance against Clan Black. The first rocking, shocking story arc concludes... and there will be casualties.

Front View
Inside View 2
Inside View 3

Alice Cooper, Issue #6

2015, Dynamite

The final issue in the series features no Alternative Cover (other than the Virgin Art or Gold Elite editions).  The cover depitcs a tortured image of Alice.

 

I also managed to pick up a cheap(ish) Virgin Art cover version of this one on eBay, so did at least manage to get hold of one in this series!

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

"LIFE AND DEATH OF THE PARTY" - Alice Cooper, the Nightmare Lord, has reclaimed the seat of power in his own dark realm. it's time to celebrate with a full-on tour of the weird dreamworld that our hero calls home...but there's something sinister lurking in the shadows. Who is Doubting Thomas, and what does he want with Alice? it's a done-in-one tale of terror!

Front View
Inside View 1
Inside View 2
Inside View 3
Virgin Art Version (Front View)