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, 759606 015702 00111

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...

The Last Temptation, Book II

1994, Marvel Music, 759606 100828 00211

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, 759606 015702 00311

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.

Orbit Alice Cooper

2014, Bluewater Comics

In 2014, Bluewater Comics released an unofficial comic which, similar to the 1990 offering by Revolutionary Comics, was essentially a biography of Alice's career.  Alice is drawn in a less menacing looking fashion than in some of his other comic-based adventures, furthermore the story also explores areas of his personal life with Alice even dishing out some life coaching to the kids that the story centres around.  Overall, it's not a bad comic but far from essential.

 

Issue 1 (the only one to date) was available with 3 different covers.  Cover A (which cost about $4) features a drawing of a modern day Alice, complete with snake, under attack by skeletons.  

 

Also available was Cover B, a 'Comic Flea Market Exclusive' (which cost about $6), and features a drawing of Alice with his fists clenched and snake wrapped around him.

 

Finally, Cover C was a 'Comic Flea Market Limited Edition' (which cost around $10), and features a drawing of Alice with eyes closed and arms held out either side of him.  This was limited to just 100 copies with the issue number printed on the inside of the front cover (mine is number 12). 

 

Promotion Text:

 

Alice Cooper is a man, a band, and an idea that took on a life of its own, a voice for shock and glitter rockers whose influence created stars like Marilyn Manson and KISS.  Behind the paint, the boa constrictors, and the staged executions is a man...

Alice Cooper, Issue #1

2014, Dynamite, 725130 220462 (01011 and 01021) 

In 2014 Dynamite launched a monthly comic book series, simply titled 'Alice Cooper', which featured stories centered around Alice.  

 

As seems to be the way these days, various different versions of the same product were made available to purchase.  As a mimimum, the 'Main Cover' version of each issue 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' of each issue, which was 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 (and presumably also the other issues).

 

Issue #1 had 2 different covers (excluding the Virgin Art and Gold Elite versions), the Main Cover featuring a rather crude looking sketch of Alice with a snake wrapped around him, and the 'Photo Incentive 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! 

Alice Cooper, Issue #2

2014, Dynamite, 725130 220462 (02011, 02021 and 02041)

This issue had 3 different covers (excluding the Virgin Art and Gold Elite versions), the Main Cover version features another rather crude looking sketch of Alice, the Incentive Cover a colour drawing of Alice in concert and the 'Rare B&W Art Cover' a black and white version of the Incentive Cover.

 

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.

Alice Cooper, Issue #3

2014, Dynamite, 725130 220462 03011

This issue is the first not to feature an alternative cover (excluding the Virgin Art and Gold Elite versions).  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.

Alice Cooper, Issue #4

2014, Dynamite, 725130 220462 04011

This issue also features no alternative cover (excluding the Virgin Art and Gold Elite versions).  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!

Alice Cooper, Issue #5

2015, Dynamite, 725130 220462 05011

This issue also features no alternative cover (excluding the Virgin Art and Gold Elite versions).  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.

Alice Cooper, Issue #6

2015, Dynamite, 725130 220462 06011

The final issue in the series features no alternative cover (excluding the Virgin Art and Gold Elite versions).  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!

Alice Cooper, Volume 1: Welcome To My Nightmare Standard Edition

2015, Dynamite, 97810606 906927 52499

This nice hardback release features all 6 of the 'Alice Cooper' comic books (above) plus some bonus material.  Each edition is started by the original 'Virgin Art' cover with the following material the same as the original releases (minus the adverts).  I'm not quite sure why the 'Welcome To My Nightmare' title was added, or why it's titled 'Volume 1' but maybe we'll find out in the future!

 

The bonus material is prints of the alternative 'Incentive covers' for issues 1 and 2 (the coloured one) plus a reproduction of the 1979 Marvel comic

 

Dynamite Promotional Text:

 

Rock n' roll legend Alice Cooper has never been a stranger to the mystic and the macabre. His stage shows were the stuff of legend, featuring snakes and pyrotechnics, the invocation of dark themes and darker forces. But while he was a legend in the waking world, few knew his service 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. No longer enslaved to the Clan Black, Alice Cooper will reclaim his dark throne at all costs. All hail the Godfather of Shock Rock! This mind-bending collection includes the complete six-issue Dynamite comic book series, plus Alice Cooper's first-ever comic book appearance from Marvel Premiere #50, featuring the creative talents of Alice Cooper, Jim Salicrup, Roger L. Stern, Ed J. Hannigan, and Tom F. Sutton, fully remastered!

Alice Cooper, Volume 1: Welcome To My Nightmare Signed Edition

2015, Dynamite, 97810606 907542 58999

In addition to the  Standard Edition (above), a very limited Signed Edition was also released.  The Signed Edition is exactly the same as the Standard Edition with the exception of an additional page featuring the hand-signed autograph of Alice Cooper.  The only other change is that a new barcode sticker is present on the back.  This copy was purchased from Forbidden Planet so it also has one of their 'Signed' stickers on the front.

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos, Issue #1

2015, Dynamite, 725130 239242 (01011, 01021, 01031, 01051 and 01061)

In 2015, Dynamite released a further comic book series featuring Alice Cooper.  This series was subject to 6 editions and, as with the previous series, saw a number of different covers offered.

 

Issue 1 could be found in 6 (yes 6) different covers, these were as follows:

 

1. Main Cover (01011);

2. Virgin Art Cover (01041);

3. Black and White Incentive Cover (01031);

4. Blank Authentix Cover (01021);

5. Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusive Photo Cover (01051); and

6. New York Comic-Con Exclusive Photo Cover (01061).

 

I have all of the above except the Virgin Art Cover, as just like the previous series by Dynamite this is simply the Main Cover version without the title and banners for $50 rather than $3.99!. 

 

Dynamite Promotional Text:

 

It's the ultimate heavy metal crossover as the original shock rocker meets the original death metal comic book universe! Bizarre nightmares are plaguing Evil Ernie, Chastity and Purgatori, and though the hate each other's guts, they may have to join the teen monster team called The Chosen to find the one and only Alice Cooper!

Co-writer Tim Seeley says, "I'm excited to work with my friend Jim Terry on the perfect mash-up of our favorite things. Dynamite is a great place to make crossovers, and this one will be pure metal. Raise your devil hand, fiends."

Co-writer and artist Jim Terry says, "Diving headfirst into the CHAOS universe has been incredible, like being pushed out of a plane into a combat zone filled with gods, nut jobs and the most gorgeous women you could fathom. I'm doing my best to keep up with it and hopefully kick in a little dramatic flair, as well as Tim and my own particular brand of madness. Add Alice Cooper to the mix and we're hoping to leave fans breathless from action, horror and mind bending rock n roll surrealism.

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos, Issue #2

2015, Dynamite, 725130 239242 (02011 and 02021)

Issue #2 had 2 different covers (not including the Virgin Art edition), the 'Main Cover' and the 'Black and White Incentive Cover'.

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

Chaos reigns as a plague of nightmares descends on the Alice Cooper concert in Milwaukee! But with Alice's supernatural powers on the fritz, he'll have to turn to the monsters for help! Meanwhile, Purgatori and Evil Ernie form an unholy alliance in search of Mr. Nice Guy!

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos, Issue #3

2015, Dynamite, 725130 239242 (03011 and 03021)

Issue #3 had 2 different covers (not including the Virgin Art edition), the 'Main Cover' and the 'Black and White Incentive Cover'.

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

The Chosen are in hot pursuit of...a giant evil walking tree? Meanwhile, Ernie and Purgatori are "guests" of the maker of "Mr. Nice Guy" happy pills, and Alice Cooper must venture into the world of nightmares, without his powers!

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos, Issue #4

2015, Dynamite, 725130 239242 (04011 and 04021)

Issue #4 had 2 different covers (not including the Virgin Art edition), the 'Main Cover' and the 'Black and White Incentive Cover'.

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

The Chosen are on the run from a monster tree, Evil Ernie and Purgatori are guinea pigs for a pharmaceutical company, and Alice Cooper is trapped in a horrific asylum by a familiar enemy! How does the old saying go? "It's always darkest before the dusk"?

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos, Issue #5

2016, Dynamite, 725130 239242 (05011 and 05021)

Issue #5 had 2 different covers (not including the Virgin Art edition), the 'Main Cover' and the 'Black and White Incentive Cover'.

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

Alice Cooper discovers just how chaotic the Chaos! Universe can truly be, as he faces off against the horrific monsters of his own mind. Meanwhile, the Chosen tangle with a monstrous tree, while Evil Ernie is the prisoner of an even more evil pharmaceutical company! Can the unlikely alliances of Alice Cooper, the dream witch Vex, and the vampire assassin Chastity escape from a twisted nightmare realm and stop the badder guys from beating the bad guys?

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos, Issue #6

2016, Dynamite, 725130 239242 (06011 and 06021)

Issue #6 had 2 different covers (not including the Virgin Art edition), the 'Main Cover' and the 'Black and White Incentive Cover'.

 

Dynamite promotional text:

 

This is it! The union of Mistress Hel and "Evil" Alice Cooper has dominated the realm of nightmares, and it won't be long before they plunge the world into horror. The monsters of the Chaos! universe must rescue the real Alice and keep from killing each other long enough to save us all!

Alice Cooper Vs Chaos Compilation

2016, Dynamite, ISBN10: 1-60690-881-2

This nice compilation paperback features all 6 editions of the Alice Cooper Vs Chaos miniseries (see above).  Prior to each edition is the standard cover, plus at the end are the 2 Comic-Con exclusive covers from Baltimore and New York.  Other than that, there is nothing else of note.