459 Lexington Ave., nr. 45th St.; 800-411-3341
Here, and at the Times Square sister store, Marvel mavens scout back issues, comic art, and crowded glass cases housing armies of action figures. Dark Knight and Speed Racer figures are snapped up quickly ($9.99–$14.99), as well as Iron Man apparel. On June 26, the Grand Central store hosts an appearance by Brian K. Vaughan, creator of the acclaimed comic series Y: The Last Man.
St. Mark’s Comics
11 St. Marks Pl., nr. Third Ave.; 212-598-9439
Owner Mitch Cutler recommends comics for every level of fandom, from the Ultimate Universe trade paperback series for kids ($15–$25) and the comprehensive Essential reprints for newbies (around $20) to the hardcover, full-color Marvel Masterworks line for true devotees ($50–$60). For post-bar hoppers, the shop stays open until 1 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
249 Grand St., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-2913
Comics depicting Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Avengers are unfurled across hand-painted coffee tables at this vibrant shop for international gifts and accessories. The spot satisfies a range of tastes, propping up boxed sets of vintage Marvel postcards beside woven baskets of crafty home décor, plus piles of colorful Lucha Libre masks from Mexico.
Comic Book Club
Peoples Improv Theater, 154 W. 29th St., nr. Seventh Ave., second fl.; 212-563-7488
Alex Zalben created this weekly talk show with two comic-loving friends in 2006 with the lofty goal to be “like Politically Correct With Bill Maher, but about comic books,” he says. The $5 Tuesday-night shows are rooted in comedy and comics, with guests like Bill Hader (Officer Slater of Superbad), Seth Meyers (SNL), and cartoonist Ed Brubaker (Captain America, X-Men).