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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Undervalued and Sleeper Comics Part 5

Time to mix things up and deter briefly from the Hot Comic Investments of 2015 series we've been looking at recently. Besides, it's been awhile since I've done one of these. The last one was September, 2014.

There's a reason for that, and I won't lie. It's not my most favorite series to delve upon. I've never been big on the term "undervalued" and how it's constantly and loosely thrown around in the comic collecting sphere.

More often than not, the word is often based purely on bias. I can even admit that many in this series are arguably biased as well to a certain point.

However, I will try to discuss reasons other than, This is one of my favorite characters so everyone should like them also, or this comic deserves to be more recognized.

Why does it deserve to be more recognized? I'm not saying it doesn't, but, heck, add some arguments to why a certain key is significant other than you just like the character.

So, I'll compare some of  the comics featured in this part to how some other comparable comics are doing in the market and what's being paid for them currently. I'll also be bringing up popularity (natural fan-base/significance), hype, and even rarity when it calls for it.

Once again, keep in mind that when comparing some of the comics featured here to other comics, I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm explaining my view on why a comic is undervalued compared to another.

It also has nothing to do with the comics I'm comparing these to as being over-valued either. It's about the some of the comics featured here being under-valued and why.

Then again, not all the comics in this part or series are under-valued comics. Some are just sleepers that aren't recognized or are starting to get recognized in the market.

Shiera becomes Hawkgirl
2nd appearance of Hawkgirl

Hawkgirl! No matter what version we are talking about here, Hawkgirl is an iconic female superhero in the DC Universe.

She may not be the most popular female super heroine, but any and everyone who has collected comics for a time knows of this character. Of course, this comic being undervalued could be debatable as most everything is, but humor me here.

Sure, this isn't the first appearance of Hawkgirl. The original first appearance of the original and Golden Age Hawkgirl is in All-Star Comics #5, but in that issue, she basically dons Hawkman's outfit and impersonates him briefly in that adventure.

So, technically, she's not really Hawkgirl but pretending to be Hawkman in that issue. Make sense?

Flash Comics #24 is the issue where she actually becomes the character of Hawkgirl and puts the character as a super heroine on the map officially. Being a Golden Age comic of substance and importance, it's definitely not cheap though.

That's surely not the point though. Let's compare this comic to Flash #105.

Flash #105 is basically the first issue to the Barry Allen Flash comic series. It's volume two and the numbering does take up where Flash Comics ended during the Golden Age. Sure, it has the first appearance of Mirror Master, a well-known Silver Age Flash rogue.

However, compare the Overstreet Guide prices. Flash #105 is astronomically more valuable than this over-looked Golden Age gem.

Flash #105 NM minus: $23,000
Flash Comics NM minus: $3850

$23,000 to $3850? Wow, folks! I think that's pretty undervalued. Flash #105 even beats Flash Comics #24 hands down in every grade.

Not to say that Flash #105 shouldn't be up there nor valuable. That's not the point either.

It's that Flash Comics #24 is that way under, $19,150 way under Flash #105. Since I hear so many collectors and comic investors talk about rare variants this and low print comics that or just about rarity for all the Modern Age hoopla, Flash Comics #24 is most likely more rare than Flash #105 or most of the so-called low print Modern Age gimmick stuff out there.

The CGC Census has Flash Comics #24 with only 17 total copies submitted at the time of this writing. Flash #105 has 438 so far.

And Flash Comics #24 has been on the map for quite a long time now. It's not like it's a new comic or anything or just recently discovered in the past 1 to 3 years.

Overlooked? Yes, I'd have to say so. Undervalued? Second verse same as the first.

In fact, comic investors and collectors would rather spend $3,000 on a CGC 9.8 Wolverine #1 volume 4 Deadpool variant when it first hit the market. Really?

Apparently so! That variant has an estimated 450 copies and 139 total registered copies in the CGC Census currently. I dunno Kung-Fu but I know Ka-Razy!

Let's even take this further. Brave and the Bold #34, which is the 1st appearance of Silver Age Hawkman & Hawkgirl is more valuable than Flash Comics #24 at 9.2 grades according to Overstreet.

Brave and the Bold #34 is worth $4300 at that grade, but NM- and VF/NMs are the only grades that beat out Flash Comics #24. Lower to mid grades of Flash Comics #24 are more valuable than Brave and the Bold #34.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! I know that Brave and the Bold #34 holds the first appearances of Katar Hol and Shayera Thal. Those versions of the characters are the more popular ones currently, but still.

Play the rarity card again and Brave and the Bold #34 currently sits at 451 total registered slabbers in the CGC Census. Once again, not saying that Brave and the Bold #34 or Flash #105 shouldn't be that valuable, but my humble opinion says that even some Golden Age keys are undervalued and overlooked in the market currently.

1st appearance of Killer Frost

Firestorm #1 was suppose to be on here, but due to the hype of the character being in the Flash TV series and later in the Legends of Tomorrow TV series, Firestorm #1 has jumped up considerably and is no longer a sleeper. It's even questionable to call it an undervalued comic for most collectors out there currently.

However, the first appearance of Killer Frost in Firestorm #3 is still undervalued and quickly rising out of the sleeper category as well. Once again, this is another hype comic that has seen recognition due to a TV show.

Before that, it was definitely a comic one could still snag somewhat cheap for both raw and CGC copies. It is starting to move up there for higher grade slabbed copies, so it may not stay undervalued for very long.

1st appearance of Caitlin Snow as Killer Frost

Eh, I wouldn't say this is an under-valued comic or really a sleeper anymore, but since I mentioned Killer Frost, I may as well mention the version that is actually on the Flash TV show. Well, actually, Caitlin Snow played by the very lovely Danielle Panabaker (Sky High), has yet to turn into her villainous alter ego, but she was teased as such in the very last episode of season one.

Still, this key issue isn't a heavy buy right now, and if you have it in your collection from some time ago (meaning a bargain bin buy or right off the rack when it first came out) may be a good time or close to a good time to sling it back into the market if you could really care less for the comic. Hey, if you're a fan, don't listen to this jargon and just keep it.

If you can still find this one in bargain bins in your local stomping grounds, may be one to get and flip if you can. This one has heated up since the Flash TV show on eBay, but not really in a big bad way.

It is a recent Modern Age comic, however. It is a very recent key comic, and came out in 2013.

The comic will have a pretty low CGC Census, because not many have deemed it worthy to send in to get slabbed on a large scale just yet. It only has 3 registered copies, and only two CGC 9.6s (highest yet recorded).

However, what is the estimated sales or print run that this comic had when it first hit the comic shops. It wasn't all that high like most would suspect.

This Modern Age key only had an estimated sales of around 10, 603 when it came out. So not all that high in print run at least, which isn't that well-known yet.

Also, it has had zero slabbed sales in 2015, and one slabbed copy on eBay currently. Sleeper still? Kinda when it comes to that. People are already noting it for eBay raw copies

When more CGC copies hit the market, expect Fixed Priced ones at first and for them to be up there in price. If you're really into getting this one slabbed, a bidding auction will most likely end up cheaper than the first batch of Fixed Priced auctions on eBay.

Avengers Annual #10 image
1st appearance of Rogue

Definitely no sleeper, but undervalued? Well, in my humble opinion, yes.

We are talking about one of the most popular female X-Men characters to come out of the Bronze Age. There's no doubt that Rogue is extremely well-known and loved by most X-Men fans, and she is an important character in the X-Men comic franchise.

However, for an extremely well-known and popular X-Men character, this book at CGC 9.8s are only in the $200 value range currently? Really?

Not to say that this comic is rare or anything, but less meaningful Copper Age keys or 1st appearances for characters are more valuable or at the same value as this one here currently. Pretty least to me, but then again, it's just my opinion and bias.

I dunno, take the first appearance of Crossbones in Captain America #360, and that book was even outselling this one during most of 2015. Crossbones?

Not to harsh on Crossbones, but that villain wasn't even that popular until the whole Captain America Winter Soldier and Civil War hype. Pure, bargain bin buy before then. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Rogue, on the other hand, has been a fan-favorite and important character since she became an X-Man. Not to say that Crossbones isn't a cool character, but in the world of comics, does the hype really justify the significance of Crossbones to be on the same value par with Avengers Annual #10 at CGC 9.8s?

You may not agree, but I don't think so.

Even the first appearance of Gambit in Uncanny X-Men #266 is worth more than Rogue's first appearance at CGC 9.8s currently in the market. Also, the first appearance of Deathstroke in New Teen Titans #2 is currently in the $400 to $500 range for CGC 9.8s and only came out a year before in 1980. Therefore, I think Avengers Annual #10 is undervalued currently.

I'm not saying the first appearance of Rogue needs a huge bump in value or should be more valuable than the other comics compared to it, but it should be in the higher $300 range at least. Too bad FOX screwed up the character in the movies.

That really shouldn't matter for the character of Rogue, though, but we are in a comic boom mostly driven by movie and TV hype. This may be seen as biased but the first appearance of Rogue should get more "sugah".

1st Todd McFarlane artwork in comics

Speaking mostly of raw copies, the first comic work by Todd McFarlane should be on every want list concerning fans of the legendary comic artist. However, it still seems that higher grade raw copies for Coyote #11 can still be snagged for decent prices if you hunt around offline.

Not to say that this comic isn't gaining recognition. It surely is.

Coyote #11 is definitely moving out of the sleeper zone, but in my humble opinion, it's still pretty undervalued according to the new guide. As for the CGC copies currently up on eBay for this issue, some are pretty grossly over-bloated which is no surprise in this current market. Actually, even the raw copies are over-bloated on eBay.

Do I think a raw NM- for $10 according to Overstreet is under-valued? Sure, I do.

Do I think the same raw grade of this comic for $116 bucks on eBay currently is over-bloated? Yep, absolutely.

Then again, since not that many have actually submitted this key issue to get graded by CGC just yet, it still may be considered a sleeper. Also, no CGC sales currently and raw sales on eBay aren't all that hot either.

Most likely due to very little selection so far and quite a few over-bloated prices currently. Also, probably because Coyote isn't exactly the most popular of comic characters, but Todd McFarlane was a huge comic artist when I first starting collecting comics back in the late 80s.

I'd definitely hunt for this offline if you're a Todd McFarlane fan. You may have a better chance at getting it for around guide or under if you can hunt this one down. May want to wait around for some bidding auctions that start off at a low price also.

1st Jim Lee artwork for Marvel
1st Jim Lee Wolverine

During the Copper Age, McFarlane and Jim Lee were both huge comic artist stars. Jim Lee was especially loved by fans of the Uncanny X-Men, and it's the title that I was first introduced to the comic artist.

However, Jim Lee's first work in professional comics came through the Alpha Flight title, and Alpha Flight #51 it is. This key issue is still highly undervalued and a bit of a sleeper as well.

It's barely known as Lee's first Marvel work. Many sellers on eBay aren't even noting this issue for it's key worthiness.

Like Todd McFarlane, it would be Archie Goodwin who had an important hand in bringing in this talent to the world of comics. Fans of Jim Lee or the Uncanny X-Men and even Wolverine, this one is definitely a Copper Age goodie to consider if you're on a tighter budget.

As mentioned before, the term "undervalued" often walks on a pretty thin line of bias.

On the flip end, so does "overvalued". Once again, it can be used as a biased term, especially when the mentality is, "Oh, I can't afford it anymore, so it's overvalued."

Respectfully, just because I'm not willing to pay as much for a comic does not mean that someone else won't either. That also goes for the reverse term of "undervalued".

Just because I would pay more for a certain key issue doesn't mean that someone else is willing to do the same. Therefore, I could go on and on about undervalued this and undervalued that but the majority of the market might not agree.

I dunno about you, but I don't think X-Force #1 is undervalued, nor do I think X-Men #1 from the 90s series is undervalued either. However, some people out there think those comics are, but if I take into account how many copies were printed and are still out there, I'd say nay.

Of course, when I use both terms - undervalued and overvalued - I take into account certain factors. Of course, I've outlined many in this series already but the common factors are - demand (significance/popularity/natural fan base), rarity, comparison to other comics roughly in the same caliber, and hype, which can lead to false demand (speculators who have no love for the character but see the comic as purely a financial investment or flip).

If you're new and don't know what I mean about natural fan base, it's the fan base of a character before whatever hype that comes along and makes people who could otherwise care for the comic or character gun for it. It's whether a character was considered a fan-favorite by the majority of comic fans for just being a cool character in the pages of comic books or not really cared for.

When all this movie and TV hype fades because people tire of it, which usually happens in every industry, a comic's demand and value will most likely revert back to being based simply on natural fan base when those who are just in it for the money pull out of the comic investing market.

I don't mind the term "sleeper". It's just a comic or key that hasn't been or is barely recognized currently. It may be heating up, but tagging "undervalued" with it is tricky. Some are just hype comics currently, and others just may really deserve the undervalued tag to an extent.

Yes, it can be debatable. What can't be in this world?

I'll give another example - Daredevil #1. I'll admit that for a long time that 1st appearance key issue was undervalued. Now, with the Daredevil TV series being a success and that comic finally up there in value, couldn't some out there now say it's "overvalued".

Sure, they could. Throw in significance or past popularity of the character, the rarity factor, hype, and compare it to other comparable keys and it could still be thought of as either.

Heck, by the time some read this Part or series, some of these comics may not even be undervalued or sleepers anymore. Some on Part 5 are even questionable as to being sleepers currently.

The difference in that for me is taking the chance on investing in comics with more significance and rarity or lesser significant, flash-in-the-pan, comics based solely on hype for the long-term or short-term.

I think you know which ones I'll more likely pick for long-term and which ones for the short-term. Any who, hope every one is enjoying the silly season so far.


  1. Hi Mayhem,

    as a McFarlane Fan I got myself a Coyote 11 some years ago. The Problem is, it has to do as much with McFarlane art as a turtle with a chicken soup. I mean, he' s just not in there yet, so I would rather recommend his first Marvel work, I think it was in the pages of the Incredible Hulk.

    Speculation Jones

    1. Epic is an imprint of Marvel Comics, so technically Coyote #11 is McFarlane's first Marvel work, but I do agree that Incredible Hulk #330 is a must-have for sure and still pretty under-valued as well.

  2. I still think Firestorm 3 to me has room to grow in the market. Yes undervalued. I totally agree on Avengers Annual 10 is way undervalued for such a popular female X-Men character compared to other 1st app. books. Just not much respect in the market. Maybe because not featured in recent movies. Kind of disappointed in that because I have a nice high grade raw copy.

    1. Firestorm #3 does have room to grow, but not entirely sure how much. I hope it does boom! I'll surely be hunting for it at cons and elsewhere...maybe if more 9.8s start to come out in the market. 1st Rogue is disappointing to me also. I don't have the issue yet, but it should be more valuable than it is currently.

  3. I love these undervalued posts!

    1. Thanks...I'm glad you do, and I'm kinda having a bit of fun doing them so far.

  4. Yo guys, you know about this group. Yes?