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Friday, June 21, 2013

Giant Size X-Men #1 CGC 9.4

Fresh from CGC, this Giant Size X-Men #1 had been a raw copy in my vault for little more than two years. I had gotten it off of ebay. I know, I totally gambled. I usually never buy unslabbed comics on ebay.
However, it's one my top three holy grail X-Men key issues to own. Written by Len Wein and with art by Dave Cockrum, this issue marks the famous new X-Men team that made the title extremely popular. Giant Size X-Men #1 features the first appearance of Storm, Nightcrawler, Collossus, and Thunderbird. It also marks the 2nd full appearance of Wolverine.

Giant Size X-Men #1 CGC 9.4 comic image

When it concerns bronze age Marvel key issues, this is one of the top comics to get for almost every collector. I was just happy to own a copy. 

Extremely fearful but curious to know what it would grade as, my curiosity won over my fear. I finally decided to submit it at the CGC booth at the Big Wow Comic Fest last month.

To be honest, the most I thought it would be was a 6.0 FINE. The most I was hoping for was a VF or VF+. Not less than a week after I submitted my comics, my anxiety started kicking in.

What if it comes back a VG? I started to freak out. I wasn't worried about the other comic I sent in to get graded. I knew what range that comic would come back graded as, but my Giant Size X-Men #1? I had no clue.

As most know, the GS X-Men #1 is bound differently than a normal comic. The page leaflets aren't stapled at the binding. The staples are inside the cover, holding the pages together. The cover is then glued to the binding like a square bound book.

I was sure quite a few grading standards are a bit different for this book compared to other comics, but I wasn't sure just what. Sure, the ebay seller advertised it was a NM book, but how many over grade unslabbed comics, especially on the world's largest auction site? Tons!

While I was getting antsy about the grade of the comic about the third week waiting for my submissions to come back, another worry shot into my mind and wouldn't go away:

What if it came back with the CGC Restored Label?

I remember saying to my buddy Gerry that if it came back a restored copy I would seriously cry. Actually, I also said the same thing if it miraculously came back a VG somehow.

Soon after that thought popped into my head, I managed to have three nightmares about getting my comics back and having them all low grade, restored copies! Serious!

Finally, two days ago, I got my package, opened it up, and cautiously peeked through the bubble wrap. Please don't be a purple label, I thought over and over!

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw they were both blue labels (Universal). I finally took them out of the wrapping. My heart nearly burst out of my chest when I saw that the Giant Size X-Men #1 was graded a 9.4! Like I said, I was hoping for the most a VF.

I stared at the slabbed book in my hands for a good long while, just savoring the moment. I finally put the comic back into my vault.

Saying I lucked out big time is an understatement. I gambled by buying an unslabbed comic on ebay, and it could've came back from CGC a lot worse. I lucked out this time, I thought, while I started making my list of comics to submit to CGC for next year. 

X-Men comic fan like me? See my list of X-Men key issues to get. Maybe you'll have a few that you should get CGC graded as well.


  1. Wow! Congrats! I was curious after you mentioned in your X-Men key issues post that you had your sent to CGC. 9.4! Not too shabby, huh?I just got a copy of this baby myself. Not in high grade or anything, in fact in has a very visible flaw in one corner, but it's a joy to have it nonetheless.

    1. Heya Laura...always good to hear from you! How goes it? Yah, I'm pretty elated that it came back higher than I thought it would. I totally agree, Giant Size X-Men #1 is a great issue just to have and congrats to you as well for picking one up! What else is on your want list?

    2. First, I must say I've been following your sound advice when buying my comics.
      Not enough space for my want list, LOL! but I would be over the moon if I had the chance to get my hands on a Tales to Astonish 35. It would go great next to my VG copy of issue 44. I'm an X-Men fan too so I'm trying to complete the bronze age run, up until numbers 141 and 142. I already got Giant Size 1 and issue 94 and a few others! I go little by little since I have to save up my dough to buy them. So I go slowly... but firmly!
      Keep up the great post! I'll be reading!

    3. Tales to Astonish #35 would be an amazing key issue to go along with the first appearance of The Wasp in issue #44. Any grade would be quite the snag for that comic.

      Awesome! You got both Giant Size X-Men #1 and issue #94! Congrats on #94. That issue is steadily rising and getting more and more pricey!

      And it's always best to go slowly but firmly and little by little. Key issue comic investments aren't cheap, so I know exactly what you mean.

      As always, thank you so much for your support and it's always a treat to hear from you. So, being an X-Man fan also, who is your favorite X-Men character and why?

  2. First I would like to say that I´m really enjoying every post of you, I´ve learnt a lot about key issue and collecting important items from your blog. Thanks for your enthusiasm! And- congratulations to your 9.4! :) Do you have any experiences about CGC and restored comics? Shortly I´ve bought a Batman #232 from Newkadia, very fine copy, but with one rusty staple. As I´m planning to send it to CGC for grading I would like to know if they restore it without asking me or just downgrade it? What would you say? Thanks and Regards from Berlin, Germany, Sven

    1. Thank you, Sven, and great to hear from you. I'm truly glad this blog has helped you. As for experience in CGC. I have used them once before. I tend to like to buy my comics already CGC graded (as you probably got exactly why from this post).

      As for newkadia, I have not heard of a complaint yet that they sell restored copies without letting the buyer know. I have heard complaints that newkadia is a bit liberal in grading, meaning they'll overgrade slightly. I buy from them from time to time, and I've yet had a problem with this.

      As for restoration, my knowledge is pretty limited. I do know that, according to Overstreet, a VF to NM copy can have staples replaced as long as they're vintage staples.

      Once you send in a submission to CGC, that's pretty much it. If they find that it's a restored copy, they grade it, encapsulate it with a Purple Label (Restored), and send it back to you. They do not ask you if they can do this, as you are actually giving them permission to grade it and this encompasses knowing whether your copy is restored or unrestored.

      They don't restore your comic. They only detect if it has been restored or hasn't and then designate it by a colored label.

      So if your comic is unrestored, they grade it, encapsulate it with either a blue (Universal) or Red (Qualified) label or Yellow (Signature Series), and then send it back to you.

  3. Thank you for that answer, I really appreciate this! And now I´m really looking forward to your next blog entry!! :)

    1. I hope my answer helped ya out. Thank you for reading and commenting, Sven. If you have any other questions, I'll always try my best to answer them so don't be shy.

  4. Again, I´ve got to admit Im ´really delighted to read your blog- and I´ve got to blame you for spending too much money lately for some wonderful items you´ve mentioned on your website! :) Thank you very much!!
    As you´ve mentioned some problems with newkadia for doing some overgrading I would like to ask you for your opinion: Is it wise enough to buy some items on this shop which are in Fine+ or Very Fine-, especially when it´s about some more bucks you´ve got to spend there... I mean it´s always special to find some Amazing Spider-man #1-#10 there- but there is also a big difference in the price when it comes to the decision to own a VF- or a F+, so I´m still not quite sure if it is a good decision to get THESE items at the newkadia shop... What do you think?
    Thanks again and Best Regards from Berlin/Germany, Sven

    1. Heya, Sven. How goes it across the pond in Germany?

      Well, I've always said to buy within your budget and make a separate budget for comics you want to invest in. If you feel like you're spending way too much money, scale it back a bit. Make a priority list of comics you're gunning for. The ones I list are suggestions, as well as comics that are getting or will get some extra push in demand.

      As for Newkadia, I've yet to have a problem with over-grading (that I know of yet). However, there have been a few that have stated in reviews of them over-grading. A very few have claimed this. Newkadia mostly gets very good reviews.

      Regardless, that's the problem of buying unslabbed comics online. You can't really look at them with your own eyes and inspect them close enough to determine if the grade advertised is close or just ridiculously far off.

      From reading my blog, you'll know that I'm very skeptical of buying unslabbed comics as investments. This post alone showed a bit how I freaked out with some valid concerns, and if you ever talked to my buddy Gerry, he'll confirm that I was quite anxious while waiting for this book to come back from CGC.

      Sure, sometimes you'll get lucky like I did. Sometimes you won't. I still have a bunch of unslabbed books that I'm planning to get CGC graded, so we'll see just how much my luck on that will continue.

      When it comes to buying a comic as an investment, especially if it costs mucho dollars like anything within ASM #1-10 in the first series, I like to minimize risk as much as possible. I do buy from newkadia, not often.

      I suggest them on Total Comic Mayhem because some comic collectors out there just don't like CGC or PGX slabbed comics at all. They'd rather have a raw copy (sure you can get some cheaper, but are you really getting what you paid for?), while I'm the opposite.

      I think I just gave you my answer right there.

      Hope this helped you somewhat and great to hear from you, Sven.