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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Undervalued & Sleeper Comics Part 7

Alright, another edition of Undervalued and Sleeper Comics. This is Part 7, and there will be some heavy hitters here. No sleeper comics, but all will be undervalued comics.

Well, at least, I think they are. I'll be comparing them to other comics of caliber or from the era as well, so you can make up your own mind about them.

This one will be long as I do have quite a bit of information about these. If you missed the previous part, this Part 6 link will bring you back. Otherwise, here's some more undervalued comics.

Origin of the Justice League

We have here another Silver Age DC Comics comic that's surprisingly pretty under-valued. I could go on and on about how the Justice League of America is the most popular super hero team in world of DC, but I think we all get the point.

It's pretty apparent that any movie isn't going to base the Justice League origin off the story featured in Justice League of America #9, but let's forget about movie hype. When it comes to the very first origin of the JLA, this issue is it.

Since the story in this issue is the first time the members of the JLA band together, the events in this comic actually precedes the story in Brave and the Bold #28. Besides, if the market makes a big deal out Black Panther first joining the Avengers, then this comic should be a big deal as well.

But enough of that. Why is this sucker undervalued? $1,300 for a low NM 9.2 according to guide?

Well, not to harsh on the Incredible Hulk #3 from the very first 1963 series, but that bad boy is worth more in Overstreet than Justice League of America #9. Incredible Hulk #3 is the 3rd appearance of the Jade Giant but only retells the origin of the Hulk and has the 1st appearance of the Ring Master.

As we all know, Ring Master isn't exactly an A-list villain in the Marvel Universe. However, the Incredible Hulk #3 at a NM minus or low NM is worth $6,500.

Justice League of America #9 and the 1st origin of the JLA at the same grade - $1,300. Both comics came out the same year and both aren't exactly plentiful.

Incredible Hulk #3 has about 574 in the CGC Census currently. Highest grades are three 9.6s.

Justice League of America #9 has about 319 total registered copies in the census. There's also four 9.6s and that's the highest grade so far.

Once again, not saying JLA #9 is more rare either, but significance wise, I think the issue should be worth more. Maybe not as much as the 3rd appearance of the Hulk, but it should be up there and worth more than $1,300 for a NM minus. Yes, I think this conundrum is a head scratcher.

Also, if you check on gocollect, both comics have about the same amount of sales for CGC copies on eBay in a 2 year period. Incredible Hulk #3 had 27 overall slabbed sales and Justice League of America #9 had 26.

The highest grade sold within 2 years for The Incredible Hulk #3 was a 7.0, and it sold at around $857 in 2014. So match a CGC 7.0 with that, and the Justice League of America #9 at the same slabbed grade last sold for only $550 this year.

Even Iron Man #1 from 1968 is only $100 lower than Justice League of America #9. Far as I know, Iron Man #1 is just basically the 1st issue to Iron Man's first headlining comic series and retells Iron Man's origin as well. 

Can we say an overlooked and significant key? Toss in undervalued as well and we may just have an X-File.

Hell, even Incredible Hulk #6 at 9.2 NM minus is worth $3,700 more than our poor overlooked key issue over here. I'm definitely calling this Silver Age key issue undervalued currently.

This is a tough one to compare to others since many 1st appearances also have the 1st origins with them, but first origin story to one of the most popular superhero teams in comics ever...should be worth a lot more in my opinion.

FLASH #135
1st appearance of Kid Flash's iconic costume

This one here is definitely arguable. It shouldn't be a secret now that a lot of Silver Age DC key issues are overlooked and undervalued, and this one here just very well may be one.

Look iconic costumes for comic characters are just as important as a character's personality or superpower. It's the visual we first get, that "it" factor that first makes us go, "!"

A costume later becomes a character's identity. It's what we associate with the character.

When we think of Daredevil, we usually don't first think of his original yellow and brown costume. We first think of the red costume.

Same thing with Wonder Woman. We don't first associate the character with the short blue skirt with white stars and red and gold bustier. We first picture her in the classic blue panty with white stars and red and gold bustier costume.

The word here for a superhero's costume is that "classic" or "iconic" look. Okay, there's no doubt that Wally West as the Kid Flash is a popular character in DC Comics. I don't have to hurl a comic box at any comic geek's head in order to jog their memory concerning that.

Kid Flash is well-known, and his classic yellow and red costume is iconic to the character. When Kid Flash first hit the scene, Mini-Flash was just wearing the same look that Barry Allen wore as the Flash.

The only thing that differentiated the two was that Kid Flash was much shorter. But, BAM! Give the character his own costume and look, and it's like you slapped that character with his or her own identity in the world of comics.

However, Flash #135 and the 1st appearance of Kid Flash in his iconic costume gets little love currently in this market? What's that all about?

FLASH #135
NM- (9.2) $2,050
VF/NM (9.0) $1,317
VF (8.0) $584
FN (6.0) $219
VG (4.0) $146
GD (2.0) $73
NM- (9.2) $375
VF/NM (9.0) $243
VF (8.0) $110
FN (6.0) $48
VG (4.0) $32
GD (2.0) $16

Flash #135 came out in 1963. Daredevil #7 came out in 1965.

Overlooked? Yep! Undervalued? Extremely and also scarce in the market currently! 'Nuff said.

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Tales to Astonish #44 cover pictureTALES TO ASTONISH #44
1st appearance of Wasp
Origin of Wasp

Yep, this comic was just recently covered in the Hot Comic Investments of 2015 Part 12, but that in no way means this comic isn't undervalued. During the Marvel boom of the Silver Age, many iconic characters and teams were being ushered into the comic world by Marvel Comics during the era.

While the Ant-Man or Wasp were not popular enough to headline their own self-titled series at the time, they are classic Marvel Silver Age characters without a doubt. They are both the founding and original members of one of the most popular and iconic Marvel superhero teams ever.

The characters have also been long connected to the team and it's spin-off groups. Nevertheless, if they weren't iconic characters, there would be no need or heed to even give them live action status in the Avengers Cinematic Universe.

If we're gonna talk about historical significance in the world of Marvel Comics, she is the 2nd female to debut as an actual super heroine under the "Marvel" brand created during the Silver Age era. The first super heroine is obviously Sue Richards the Invisible Woman.

Tales to Astonish #44 has the cover date of June, 1963. Jean Grey or Marvel Girl didn't appear until X-Men #1 with the cover date of September, 1963.

Black Widow, Clea, or Sif? All came out in 1964. I suppose you could argue that Frigga's first appearance is before the 1st appearance of Janet van Dyne as the Wasp, but Frigga was Thor's mommy and wife to Odin. Not really a super heroine that went around and fought evil or crime.

Once again, the 2nd female to actually debut as a super heroine in their first appearance under the Marvel brand. Not debut as a normal person and then a year or years later become a super powered hero.

So, it's definitely a head scratcher as to why Tales to Astonish #44 and the 1st appearance of the Wasp is undervalued for an early Marvel Silver Age key issue. Oh, yeah, it is also a double whammy and has her origin story as well.

In the current guide, Tales to Astonish #44 is only worth $2,000 at 9.2 NM minus grades. What? Only $2,000? I'm not even joking.

If you take all the boys that 1st appeared during the era, their 1st appearances are remarkably higher. I don't really have to list them do I?

Hell, even Hawkeye's 1st appearance in Tales of Suspense #57 that came out a year later is worth $200 more than the 1st appearance of Wasp according to guide. Say what?

Not to say that Tales of Suspense #57 isn't undervalued as well, but that's just an example.

3rd appearance of Iron Man? Worth more than the 1st appearance of the Wasp. 3rd appearance?

Yep, even the 3rd appearance of Ant-Man is more valuable according to guide. Once again, 3rd appearance, folks?

Then again, a CGC 9.2 Tales to Astonish #44 did drop this year for $5,500 smackers. Compare that to Ant-Man's 2nd appearance and 1st in costume at CGC 8.5, it's about $235 bucks lighter. However, even Ant-Man's 3rd appearance is worth more in 9.0 and 9.2 grades according to guide.

There's only 8 CGC 9.2s in the CGC Census currently. Total is 389 for this comic at the time of this writing for the Wasp's 1st appearance.

Tales to Astonish #35 has a total of 581 and 9 CGC 9.2s currently. 1st appearance and origin of Wasp in Tales to Astonish #44 undervalued? I think so.

To even add further insult to injury, I'm gonna stack this comic up with some of the boys that also came out in the same year.

NM- (9.2) $15,000
VF/NM (9.0) $10,000
VF (8.0) $5,000
FN (6.0) $2,200
VG (4.0) $1,100
GD (2.0) $550
NM- (9.2) $2,000
VF/NM (9.0) $1,500
VF (8.0) $1,000
FN (6.0) $500
VG (4.0) $250
GD (2.0) $125

1st appearance of Doctor Strange is pretty under-valued as well, but not even close to Tales to Astonish #44. Wasp has briefly been in the Ant-Man movie.

Doctor Strange has yet to appear so far, but his 1st appearance in Strange Tales #110 has already blasted off beyond the $10,000 range for higher 9.2s and up. Both characters did come out in the same year of 1963.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Dr. Strange had many self-titled comic series and yadedadeda. I have a point for later that should squash that argument. 1st Wasp should be up there with Strange Tales #110 and that it isn't anywhere near it is the real Tales to Astonish.

NM- (9.2) $42,000
VF/NM (9.0) $25,800
VF (8.0) $9,600
FN (6.0) $4,800
VG (4.0) $2,400
GD (2.0) $1,200
NM- (9.2) $2,000
VF/NM (9.0) $1,500
VF (8.0) $1,000
FN (6.0) $500
VG (4.0) $250
GD (2.0) $125

Iron Man is no doubt an extremely popular Avenger. The guy came out in 1963 a long with Wasp and Doctor Strange.

Comparing both 1st appearances to the Invincible Iron Man's? I'd say both Strange Tales #110 and Tales to Astonish are quite undervalued.

Also, of course, all the movies he's been in as well. However, Wasp has only been in one to date, and a brief cameo as well.

However,  I've already explained the significance of the character despite fickle movie hype.

NM- (9.2) $11,000
VF/NM (9.0) $7,060
VF (8.0) $3,120
FN (6.0) $1,101
VG (4.0) $734
GD (2.0) $367
NM- (9.2) $2,000
VF/NM (9.0) $1,500
VF (8.0) $1,000
FN (6.0) $500
VG (4.0) $250
GD (2.0) $125

Sorry, had to cut out the Howling Commandos part, but even that 1st appearance of Nick Fury is a lot more valuable than the 1st appearance of the Wasp. Then again, all the boys have had headlined their own solo comic series numerous times.

The Wasp hasn't really headlined her own solo series and was pretty much a supporting character. That may be a factor, but it may not be also.

I'll get to that argument in the next comic listing coming up soon, because it really shouldn't even be one. You'll see what I'm saying when I bring it up.

Tales to Astonish #44 isn't just under-valued, it's extremely under-valued.

Tales of Suspense #52 cover imageTALES OF SUSPENSE #52
1st appearance of Black Widow

Like most of the comics featured before this one, the 1st appearance of the Black Widow is definitely not cheap in high grades, but is it undervalued? Well, let's start off with her significance.

No doubt that Black Widow is currently a very, very popular female comic character and super hero. This character is tied to almost everyone - from an early Iron Man villain to Hawkeye to the Avengers to Daredevil and to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hell, they even connected a young Natasha to Wolverine in pages of Uncanny X-Men. To put it bluntly, she's been around. Go to any of the big comic cons, and you'll have someone cosplaying the Black Widow for sure.

NM- (9.2) $2,800 
VF/NM (9.0) $1,800
VF (8.0) $800
 FN (6.0) $300
VG (4.0) $200
GD (2.0) $100
NM- (9.2) $2,200
VF/NM (9.0) $1416
VF (8.0) $632
FN (6.0) $237
VG (4.0) $158
GD (2.0) $79

The Inhumans, a group that was not that popular much until movie hype. Sure, they had a cult following in the world of fandom, but in the 2002-2003 Overstreet Guide, the 1st appearance of the Inhumans was less valuable than Tales of Suspense #52.

Fantastic Four #45 being more valuable now than the 1st appearance of Black Widow I do question.

NM- (9.2) $6,600
VF/NM (9.0) $4,241
VF (8.0) $1,881
FN (6.0) $684
VG (4.0) $456
GD (2.0) $228
NM- (9.2) $2,200
VF/NM (9.0) $1416
VF (8.0) $632
FN (6.0) $237
VG (4.0) $158
GD (2.0) $79

As for Avengers #4, I know Captain America is iconic. I mean an iconic superhero in the world of comics period.

Sure, he's probably the most popular and iconic Avenger also, but Avengers #4 is really just a revival of the character into the Silver Age. 1st appearance in the Silver Age, yep, but it's not the character's actual 1st appearance.

Sure, it's also his Silver Age origin or how he survived from the Golden Age into the world of Silver Age Marvel, and I know he joins the Avengers as well. It's a big key issue no doubt, but the 1st appearance of Black Widow is quite undervalued compared to Avengers #4.

I'm not saying it should be on par with Cap's 1st S.A. appearance and S.A. origin story and joining of the Avengers, but it shouldn't be that low valued compared to it at least in Overstreet.

Actually, in the CGC market, Tales of Suspense are starting to creep up on Avengers #4. At least for 9.2s. Below that grade, there's still a big disparity between the two. 

NM- (9.2) $5,200
VF/NM (9.0) $3,339
VF (8.0) $1,477
FN (6.0) $537
VG (4.0) $358
GD (2.0) $179
NM- (9.2) $2,200
VF/NM (9.0) $1416
VF (8.0) $632
FN (6.0) $237
VG (4.0) $158
GD (2.0) $79

This one might have a cry of outrage and is extremely arguable. One of the top and most iconic  of Spider-Man villains is without a doubt the Green Goblin.
Yes, Amazing Spider-Man #14 should be a highly valuable comic for sure. Spider-Man is the most popular Marvel superhero, and I personally think ASM #14 should be even more valuable.

Gobby came out shortly after Black Widow debuted, and to tell you truth, the Black Widow wasn't the most of iconic villains for Iron Man as she started out. However, the character has evolved into one of the most popular female super heroes in the Marvel world and has made Top Comic Characters and Sexiest Female Super Heroine lists consistently.

Okay, I know that Black Widow was first introduced as a normal spy with really no superpowers nor even a costume. Compared to many of the 1st appearances in 1964, her comic is more valuable than the likes of Black Panther, Hercules, and Wonder Man.

However, Black Widow is an early female villain in the superhero genre under the Marvel brand. Once again, early female villain within the superhero genre when Marvel was Marvel and not Atlas or Timely.

The Scarlet Witch and Enchantress are two of the earliest super powered female villains to come out during the Silver Age of Marvel Comics.The Scarlet Witch may have hit the scene before Black Widow and Enchantress in 1964, and the latter two might of arrived on the stands around the same time.

Yep, before them, most of the villains were dudes or monsters with no identifying gender. Medusa of the Inhumans came out in 1965.

There could be the argument that Black Widow never got her own spin-off title during the Silver Age and took a while to develop into a costumed villain or hero, but here's the thing: None of Marvel female super heroines got their own headlining or self-titled series during that time.

Not Jean Grey as Marvel Girl, not Scarlet Witch, not Black Widow, not the Invisible Woman, not the Wasp, not Medusa of the Inhumans, and not Sif. Yep, the females were relegated only to supporting characters while the boys mainly got the spotlight.

Now, I'm talking about females within the super hero genre of Marvel Comics. Yes, there were female Marvel characters with their own self-titled or headlining books like Patsy Walker and Linda Carter who eventually became Night Nurse later on. However, they did not start in the super hero genre and were in the teen or romance genre.

So, I'm still calling Black Widow's 1st appearance in Tales of Suspense #52 undervalued.

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1st appearance of Zatanna
Origin of Zatanna

Once again, if we're talking about female super heroes that debuted in 1964, this one on the DC side of under-valued is definitely it. Zatanna is an extremely popular comic character and has made Sexiest Female Comic Characters and Top DC Characters lists.

In fact, she was ranked #4 in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list. I'd have to agree that she is up there.

Recognizable member of the Justice League of America and Justice League Dark, Zatanna's first story arc known as "Zatanna's Search" which started with Hawkman #4 and continues in Detective Comics #336, Atom #19, Green Lantern Vol. 2 #42, Detective Comics #355 and ending in Justice League of America #51. This story line features the earliest appearances of Zatanna and is starting to be regarded as DC's first crossover event story line.

However, her 1st appearance in Hawkman #4 is pretty under-valued currently if we stack up Zatanna to some other key issues of the era or not from the era. Let's take a look at guide here.

NM- (9.2) $2,200
VF/NM (9.0) $1416
VF (8.0) $632
FN (6.0) $237
VG (4.0) $158
GD (2.0) $79
NM- (9.2) $1,500
VF/NM (9.0) $966
VF (8.0) $432
FN (6.0) $162
VG (4.0) $108
GD (2.0) $54

Stacking up Black Widow's 1st against Zatanna's. Once again, not saying any comic comparison is over-valued here. It's about under-valued.

Like the Widow, Zatanna has been connected to many of the major characters but in the DC realm. She also was late in getting her own self-titled series as well.

Sure, I know movie hype pushed Black Widow up, but let's forget movie or TV hype. After all, without the comics, nobody would be writing scripts for all the great shows and flicks we get to see today featuring our favorite comic book superheroes.

And Overstreet guide doesn't represent the CGC or slabbed values. When it comes to Tales of Suspense at CGC 9.2, it's in the $4,000 range while CGC 9.2s of Hawkman #4 are currently selling in the $1,700 to $1,800 range. Yowza!

NM- (9.2) $3,000
VF/NM (9.0) $1,928
VF (8.0) $856
FN (6.0) $321
VG (4.0) $214
GD (2.0) $107
NM- (9.2) $1,500
VF/NM (9.0) $966
VF (8.0) $432
FN (6.0) $162
VG (4.0) $108
GD (2.0) $54

While Black Widow and Zatanna 1st appearances are both in 1964, the very 1st Aquaman self-titled series debuted in 1961-62. Yes, this is the very first comic series that headlined Aquaman in his own comic series.

So, yep, pretty important for the character. As for 1st appearances, this comic has the 1st appearance of Quisp, and that's a pretty minor character. 

Still, this book is valued a bit higher than Hawkman #4 for some reason or another according to guide. CGC 9.2s are going for $4,000 for Aquaman #1, so even slabbers are quite a lot more valuable than slabbed copies of the 1st appearance of Zatanna.

NM- (9.2) $3,100
VF/NM (9.0) $1,994
VF (8.0) $888
FN (6.0) $333
VG (4.0) $222
GD (2.0) $111
NM- (9.2) $1,500
VF/NM (9.0) $966
VF (8.0) $432
FN (6.0) $162
VG (4.0) $108
GD (2.0) $54

Although nobody really notes it yet, I do believe that Avengers #2 is the 2nd appearance of the iconic Marvel team. Okay, it's also the 2nd issue to their 1st self-titled series as well.

So, yes, I do believe it's significant and with all the movie hype and excitement surrounding the Avengers in the cinematic world, I'm not surprised issue #2 is valuable and probably should be a bit more valuable. However, it's quite a bit above Hawkman #4. Not by a huge margin but a bit.

Well, according to guide that is. In CGC world, Avengers #2 CGC 9.0s are selling in the $1700 range currently and Hawkman #4 CGC 9.0s in the lower $1,000 range. 2014 actually saw Hawkman #4 selling for more at that grade, but lesser grades are still selling for quite a bit less.

I think both books should be more valuable, but then again, that is just my humble opinion.

During the Golden Age of Timely Comics, there were more female super-heroes that headlined their own self-titled series such as Miss Fury, Miss America (only lasted one issue before it changed to completely something different), and Namora. However, there weren't a lot.

While DC Comics always had Wonder Woman headline her own comic series for a long time, there weren't that many female superheroes that got their own self-titled series during the Silver Age. This is especially true of Marvel Comics.

It really does seem the time had the females relegated to just supporting the men. Only comic title I can think of off my head that is an exception is Wonder Woman.

The Bronze Age is the era that seemed to open up to more diversity in superhero comics when it came to ethnicity. Also, the Bronze Age begin to see female superheroes headlining their own comic titles like they once did during the Golden Age. 

Such characters like She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Super Girl were some to get their own comic during the Bronze Age. Some might say this is an example of sexism.

I'm not too sure. Not saying that it is or isn't, but a bigger reason just may have to do with reader interest during those eras.

Though females did get their spotlight in their own self-titled comics during the Bronze Age, many did not run for very long and were cancelled after a few issues. The only long-running female titled superhero comic I can think of is still Wonder Woman. Namora's self-titled Golden Age series only lasted 3 issues.

Nowadays, this has obviously changed, but it is easy to see why the boys mostly got their own series and are extremely more valued currently in the market. However, I did say that this was changing and just because most Silver Age female superheroes didn't get their own self-titled series due to whatever back in the day doesn't mean their 1st appearances should remain under-valued, some even ridiculously under-valued.

Just my half-a-cent on the subject. You may not agree, and of course, even some Silver Age key issue goodies like the Flash #135 and the 1st appearance of Kid Flash's iconic costume is under-valued and highly overlooked. 

Finding these comics raw offline may be able to net you a deal near or around guide, but they will be hunt. Getting a great deal online will be even harder for most of these. All in all, these are undervalued compared to other heavy hitters out there.


  1. It looks like Overstreet always struggles to keep up with market values of some key books. It's tough to use them when speculating on comics before they rise in value. Batman Adventures 12 is also a good example of this. They didn't list it as 1st appearance of Harley Quinn till around 2012 or 2013. I considered buying it many times on Ebay but never pulled the trigger because of the uncertainty. Now of course I'm really kicking myself for it. I think out of the ones listed above TOA 44 is the most undervalued in the guide.

  2. Totally agree with the comment from above. It' s time those guys at Overstreet realize that not only golden age books demand top dollar! 80 percent of the modern books are really prized at hilarious levels. I mean, come on, I also don' t know why people are willing to pay over 100 bucks for a Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe mini series but hey, they do! It' s a fact! By the way, if anyone could tell me why indeed people are paying so much for these 4 comics, info would be appreciated.

    Max Rebo

    1. Yeah maybe the Overstreet needs market report advisors for each age of comics. Then maybe it could be more accurate towards what people are paying for comics. A lot of modern age books in the guide are always not close to market values. This of course includes most Deadpool comics. I too don't understand the money people are throwing down for some of these modern age books. I mean there are some good ones to buy, but I'd rather buy a nice golden age or silver age comic before putting a bunch of money down on a modern age comic.

  3. Hey Mayhem!!! They need a guy like you with your knowledge and understanding of the comic world on the Overstreet staff. They miss A LOT and I MEAN A LOT of key issue listings. You are a great addition to this comic collectors world. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to this wonderful addiction of ours. Comics!!!!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I appreciate the comment Nova. I think Overstreet does quite well for a resource that deals with thousands and thousands of comics and has to publish it once a year. If they asked me to do whatever and paid me for it, i sure wouldn't turn it down. Just trying my best to make this beast informative. COMICS!!!