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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Part 3 of the Uncanny X-Men Key Issues List

Welcome to Part Three of the Uncanny X-Men Key Issues List. We are winding our way towards some monster key issue X-Men comics here.

Like always, if you happened to stumble upon this post without reading Part One or Two, don't worry. You can use the menu to the lower right to jump around to any part you desire.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5





X-MEN #58

1st appearance of Havok in costume.

Finally we get to see Alex Summers as Havok in this issue. A great key issue drawn by Neal Adams of Batman fame. 

Neal Adams had a short run drawing on the X-Men series but was able to draw for two key issues within his run. Not bad. His first work on the series was X-Men #56, taking up briefly where Barry Smith left off.

I got this issue at Newkadia a while back at a VF. I'm surprised they've yet to restock this issue, or maybe they just keep selling out. I wouldn't doubt it. The first appearance of Havok in costume is a desired X-Men key issue. Which reminds me: I need to get it CGC graded next time!

ebay - Even though Newkadia and mycomicshop are out of this particular issue for the moment, you'll find a few copies of this issue over at ebay. Not too many CGC copies, however.






First appearance of Sauron.

The other key issue Neal Adams drew for is this one - The first appearance of Sauron. I never really got into Sauron or the whole Savage Land thing, but others seem to love it I guess.

Sauron is an energy vampire that looks like a humanoid pterodactyl. No wonder he confines himself to the prehistoric Savage Land.

Still, the first appearance of Sauron is a pretty sought out key issue among X-Men comics. It's in no way cheap either. Low NM 9.2 copies will run you above $200 bucks. VF and below are still quite affordable for this book.

Higher graded copies aren't that easy to find.

Newkadia - There are two lower graded copies of this book available over at newkadia. One is VG+ and the other is a GD+. Perfect to fill in gaps if you're a completist. 

mycomicshop - Looking for a mid-grade copy? Not too expensive and not too cheap? There's one Fine Plus unslabbed copy at mycomicshop. They also have a few lower grade copies as well.
 




First appearance of Sunfire.

I  believe I first saw the character of Sunfire in an Iron Man comic book. I think it was a bronze age issue, but I always thought the character was cool. Why didn't they bother introducing him in any of the X-Men movies?

Anywho, Sunfire is the very first Asian superhero in comic books. No, it's not Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu. Shang Chi made his debut in 1973. This X-Men issue in 1970, making this a bronze age key issue. 

Creator Roy Thomas had the character created for a while and wanted to diversify the group, believing that the X-Men team shouldn't all be white Americans. However, Stan Lee wasn't into the character much and didn't give his approval until Thomas got more free creative reign.

All in all, this key issue isn't particularly in hot demand. It's above the $200 mark for any CGC graded book above a 9.4, according to Overstreet. Then again, the new Overstreet Guide does come out next month and that can change.

mycomicshop.com - One copy is getting ready to go up on auction July 6th. The grade is a solid 8.0 VF. It's not graded CGC or PGX. Be sure to mark your calendar for the date if you're looking to bid on this copy.

Newkadia - Only one GD+ copy is available here.







Last new stories.
Hulk appearance.

Last new stories? What the hell does that mean?
Well, starting with issue 67 the stories were all reprints of earlier X-Men stories or from other comics like Amazing Adventures. So basically, they didn't write crap-o-la for the X-Men series for a while. This reprinting trend lasted until issue #93 in the X-Men volume 1 series.
In truth, the X-Men series was not going well in terms of sales. It was a luke warm title, and they didn't know what else to do with it.

The limbo between issue #67 and #93 would pave the way for a group of X-Men creators who would redefine the series completely and make the X-Men comics one of the most successful and popular titles in comic history, as you'll soon see with the next X-Men key issue on this list.
However, back to issue #66. If you're on the hunt for this book, here are some suggestions below:

mycomicshop -  There is a mid-grade 5.5 (Low Fine) available at the time of this writing.





GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1

First appearance of new X-Men team.
First appearance of Storm.
First appearance of Colossus.
First appearance of Nightcrawler.
First appearance of Thunderbird.
First Wolverine in X-Men team.

When it comes to holy grails of X-Men comics to invest in and own, this issue is in the top 3! It was actually this new X-Men team that really saved the series and made it one of the most popular titles ever in comics.

It's many of these characters from the 1975 X-Men team that I grew up loving and why I became a fan of the comics.

No I didn't grow up during the time this issue was published. Actually, I was born the year this key issue came out. Still much of the X-Men during the 80s consisted of the characters Storm, Colossus, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler.
[click the link for Wolverine's first appearance].

As I'm typing this out right now, my copy is currently being encapsulated by CGC. Don't know what the grade is yet and pretty nervous about it. The worst I think it will come back is a FINE. I'm hoping a VF. I'll have a heart attack if it comes back a VG or a Low Near Mint.

Anyways, if you're really looking for an X-Men key issue comic investment, this one is most definitely it.

ebay - While there use to be some really high grade CGC copies of Giant Size X-Men #1 over at mycomicshop, it seems they've all been bought by some pretty smart comic investing aficionados. 

However, finding this key issue is no task when it comes to ebay. If you like unslabbed comics or CGC/PGX comics, you'll find some there.






First new team in title series
2nd appearance of Colossus
2nd Nightcrawler & Storm
2nd Thunderbird 
3rd appearance of Wolverine

This is another big Bronze Age issue for the X-Men comic series. This issue marks the new team in the titled series, but it has a buttload of 2nd appearances as well.

The 2nd appearances of Colossus is in this issue as well as Nightcrawler and Storm. Also Thunderbird makes his 2nd appearance in this issue.

This issue should be Wolverine's 3rd appearance. CGC notes Giant-Size X-Men #1 as the 2nd full appearance of Wolverine, so that should make this Wolverine's 3rd appearance as he does appear next in this comic after Giant-Size X-Men #1.

Definitely one of the best X-Men key issues to get from the Bronze Age for sure. A solid X-Men comic investment and has been in sought out and in-demand for quite some time for a reason.

mycomicshop - A while back the fine folks over at mycomicshop had this issue at a really high grade NM. Now, they're gone like a fart in the wind. Not surprised at all.

However, there is one CGC graded copy available. It's an 8.5 (VF+), and believe me: That grade is still a wise comic investment. This key issue is highly sought out and getting more in demand (and more expensive too) as the years go by.

ebay - This is another of the top 3 X-Men key issues in which you should have no problem finding both slabbed and CGC graded copies. I've found loads of CGC copies for X-Men #94.






Death of Thunderbird.
3rd Storm, Nightcrawler & Colosus
4th full Wolverine

Somebody in the editorial staff didn't think Thunderbird was working out for some reason. I actually like the character, but I suppose two powerhouses like Colossus and Thunderbird was over-kill.

So the character of Thunderbird doesn't last long and is killed off in this issue. His death in X-Men #95 is sought out, but that may have more to do with this issue also holding the 3rd appearance of Colossus, Storm, and Nightcrawler as well.

Maybe the 4th appearance of Wolverine in this issue has something to do with it being a bit valuable also.

This issue gets up there a bit in price as well. CGC 9.6 copies have remained under the $500 so far. CGC 9.8 copies? Near the $1,000 mark but not quite breaking it yet.

Newkadia - A very nice VF+ copy has been located at newkadia for this bronze age key issue X-Men comic. You can find it by directly clicking the link and scrolling down a bit. 

ebay - No hard find for this issue over at ebay. There's a few CGC graded copies but only one in the NM range. However, if you prefer unslabbed copies, you'll find loads at the ebay link up top.





Old team vs. New team.
Beginning of Phoenix origin.

Oddly, this is one of the first silver age X-Men key issues I ever got. I still scratch my head whenever I see it, but my local had a gorgeous copy of this issue for a pretty good price.

I suppose it was near Halloween time and those at Marvel thought it would be cool to introduce Frankenstein's Monster in an X-Men issue. Actually, scratch that. I just checked and this issue was published in Jan 1968. Wow!

Lord, talk about a minor key issue. Can this even be considered a key issue? I know it's the first appearance of Frankenstein in the Marvel universe, but still. It's not like they did anything with the character since.

mycomicshop - Two very nice CGC graded copies can be found here for now. One's a high grade CGC 9.6 and the other a solid 9.4 NM. There are also two unslabbed copies at a VG and GD+.

NewKadia - Two copies in the VF range available. One is a low VF and the other a VF plus. This issue is on the same page as X-Men #95. Perfect chance to snag both at newkadia if you prefer unslabbed comics. 

ebay - Quite a few copies can be found on the mighty ebay. It may be more of challenge finding CGC graded copies. I did spot a 9.6 in the search results at the blue ebay link above.





First appearance of Phoenix.
Phoenix origin concludes.

An extremely high demand and sought out X-Men key issue. X-Men #101 gives us the first appearance of Phoenix and how Jean Grey turns into the character.

The Phoenix is an incredibly popular character and is, perhaps, one of the most over-cosplayed characters to date. The Phoenix saga is one of the most beloved story arcs within the X-Men comic series to fans. 

Actually, most of Chris Claremont's writing on the X-Men are deemed by fans as legendary and some of the best X-Men stories ever told. Expect to pay some moolah for this key issue, but it is one of the top X-Men key issues to get as a comic investment

mycomicshop - Although the folks over at Newkadia don't have this issue in stock, the fine peeps over at mycomicshop.com do. Only one copy, however. But it's a pretty nice one. If you're looking to add a CGC graded 8.5 (VF+) copy as a nice investment comic to your collection, don't hesitate to visit the link to snag this one up.

ebay - no shortage of unslabbed or CGC graded copies for this highly in demand key issue of the first appearance of Phoenix. Lot's of high grade CGC copies as well. You can check them out at the ebay search results link above.






Origin of Storm.

It's not only just another Juggernaut appearance in this issue, X-Men #102 also reveals the origin of Storm.

No doubt that Storm has become one of the most popular X-Men and female comic book superheroes in the world of comics. The character was featured in the first X-Men movie and played by gorgeous actress, Halle Berry.

This X-Men key issue is still extremely affordable if bought unslabbed. However CGC graded or PGX graded copies are not surprisingly more expensive. A CGC 9.4 is selling for little bit above $100.

Newkadia - You can find this key issue X-Men comic here. Only two copies left. One is a solid VF and the other a FINE plus. Both under a hundred bucks and pretty affordable.

mycomicshop - A very nice CGC 9.4 copy is available but not for long. Mycomicshop only has this copy for this issue.

 





First brief appearance of Starjammers.

Although we see another great bout between Magneto and the new X-Men team, we also get a glimpse of the highly odd space pirates, the Starjammers.

What does seem like a really odd concept to add into a comic book about mutants, there is one special factor that does tie into or connects the X-Men with the Starjammers.

I must admit that the Starjammers or any of the X-Men comics dealing with their tales aren't exactly my favorite story arcs. However, X-Men #104 is still a key issue that many fans recognize as an important addition to the X-Men's over-all lore. I do have an unslabbed copy of this X-Men key issue, but had no idea it was a key issue when I first acquired it.


Newkadia - Only 3 copies left at newkadia. A VF, FINE+, and FINE- (low FINE), are waiting to be added to your X-Men comic collection. Visit the link to check them out.







First full appearance of Starjammers.


Space pirates now enter the X-Men universe with the very first appearance of the Starjammers. Originally intended to have the Starjammers appear in their own series, creator Dave Cockrum originally submitted the concept to the try-out series Marvel Spotlight and Marvel Premiere, but both titles were booked solid for the next two years.

Impatient, Dave Cockrum pitched the idea to Chris Claremont to have the Starjammers appear in the X-Men comics. In order to make sense for these space pirates to make repeated appearances, both Claremont and Cockrum made the leader of the Starjammers, Corsair, the mysterious father of Cyclops and Havok (Scott and Alex Summers).

Although issue #107 doesn't reveal that Corsair is Cyclop's father, this issue is important in leading up to that shocking realization. As they say, the rest is history!

Newkadia - A fine selection of this key issue can be found at the link once visited. There's a Low NM copy, a Very Fine and VF-, as well as a FINE+. The choice is yours! 






John Byrne art begins on X-Men.

If there was ever a creative team up that fans as the best on the X-Men series, the Chris Claremont/John Byrne run on the X-Men is one of them. Actually, their work together is probably the most beloved by fans for the X-Men comics. Both have produced some of the most memorable X-Men story lines and arcs.

This issue is a sleeper in terms of high demand, but it's an important key that marks the beginning of John Byrne's famous work on X-Men. I highly recommend getting this issue. CGC 9.4 copies are still pretty affordable and, for now, are just a little bit above a $100 dollars.

I'd recommend at least a CGC 9.6 copy. You can get one for around $150.

mycomicshop - Those who love high grade CGC copies of important key issues it appears that there's two gorgeous CGG graded 9.6 copies and two CGC 9.4 copies available for the first John Byrne work on X-Men. How long they last depends.

Newkadia - If third party graded comics aren't your deal and you prefer raw/unslabbed copies, the folks at newkadia have two copies of this issue at a Low NM 9.2 and a VF+ 8.5 just waiting to be snagged up by a smart X-Men collector such as yourself. 




Part 4 and Part 5 are ready! Thanks for your patience.



Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

2 comments:

  1. Giant Size X-men 1, to me, is one of the most significant comic of all time. The first appearance of the x men team as we all know them. I'm a big wolverine fan and even though hulk 181 was the first appearance, this is the issue that really set the tone for wolverine: His association with the x men, his look, his attitude. This is the first issue that uses the iconic "snikt" sound when he draws his claws! Awesome job with the list btw

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    1. I agree that the X-Men comics really gave Wolverine the characteristics that fans know and love of the character, and Chris Claremont helped to develop the character as well. As a Wolverine fan and X-Men fan, Giant-Size X-Men #1 is one of my favorites...this new X-Men team are the ones who turned the team into fan-favorites and was a pretty diverse team.

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