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Saturday, January 31, 2015

SHIELD Key Issue Comics Part 2

Here we are with Part 2 to this SHIELD key issue comics series, and we are still in the Silver Age. This one will be a short and sweet series, and I'm thinking that Part 2 will be last. 

Yes, I'm only covering the key issues within the first featured series as well as first titled series. There aren't that many SHIELD key issues worth talking about after these two comic series, especially during the Copper Age and Modern Age.

Alright, if you missed Part 1, just click the link to go back. If not, let's get this key comics list rollin' and over with.

First Modern appearance of Jimmy Woo

Okay, most comic fans probably don't know who the hell Jimmy Woo is nor cared to take notice. Yes, he is one of the first Asian American heroes in comics and made his first appearance in The Yellow Claw #1 back in October, 1956, which is the month and date that the Silver Age of comics began.

He was not tied to SHIELD in that short comic series, but he was a hero spy secret agent and one of the first Asian comic book characters to be portrayed in a positive light, although the main nemesis and villain, the Yellow Claw, is pretty much a typical stereotype of the largely negative view of Asians depicted during and post World War II in comic books and the public at large.

Strange Tales #160 would bring back Jimmy Woo and the Yellow Claw characters and integrate them into the mythos of SHIELD.

Pretty minor Marvel character, but since this key issue falls into the first SHIELD feature in Strange Tales, it goes on this list. Strange Tales #160 was published September, 1967.

eBay - Quite a few raw copies of this one at the time of this writing. Four CGC copies with the highest being an 8.5 VF+ Signature Series. It's signed by Stan Lee.

mycomicshop - Three raw copies here and all are in stock. All are also in the low grade range with the highest being a 5.0 VG/FN.

NewKadia - Four raw copies with the highest being a VF+. Other three copies are a VF minus, a VG+, and a GD+.

ComicLink - Only one CGC 9.4 NM copy here so far.

Last Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD in title

Here we are with the last Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD in the Strange Tales title. After Strange Tales #168, both Doctor Strange and Nick Fury would be spun off in their own titled series. Brother Voodoo would take over Strange Tales starting with issue #169.

Strange Tales #168 was published May, 1968.

eBay - No shortage of copies of this one on the mighty eBay also. 9.0 VF/NM is the highest CGC copy so far. Lowest is a 6.5 FN+. There are a total of four slabbed copies at the time of this writing.

mycomicshop - Four copies here and all are raw. Highest is a consignment item and it's only a FN+. Others are in stock and are two VGs and one GD/VG.

ComicConnect - Only raw copies here for now, and there are six of them. High grade raw copies here include two VF/NMs and a VF. Others are mid-grade and one low grade VG.

ComicLink - Four CGC copies and all are in the NM range. There's a 9.6, two 9.4s and one 9.2 available at the time of this writing.

First issue to self-titled series
First full appearance of Scorpio

Nick Fury and SHIELD got their own titled series pretty quickly with their James Bond type of espionage stories. This late Silver Age goodie is the first issue and also holds the first full appearance of Scorpio.

Scorpio is the brother of Nick Fury, Jake Fury, who resented his brother and make several attacks on him as the Scorpio. It would be much later when Jake Fury is revealed to be Scorpio.

June, 1968 was when this comic was published.

eBay - Didn't spot that many on eBay of this key issue, but there are raw and slabbed options available. Actually, quite a few CGC copies there at the moment. Highest located is a 9.6 NM+ slab.

mycomicshop - Seven copies here with only one of them being a CGC and that slab is an 8.0 VF. Other copies are all raw and low grade. Two highest raw copies are both VG+s. Rest is downhill after that.

ComicConnect - Two CGC copies and three raw copies. Most are high grade except for one. For slabs, one is a 9.6 NM+ and the other is a 9.2 NM minus. For raw copies, the highest is a 9.2 followed by a 9.0 VF/NM.

ComicLink - Only three CGC copies spotted here and the highest is a CGC 9.8 followed by a CGC 9.6 NM+. The other and last copy is a 9.4 NM.

First appearance of Noah Black
Jimmy Woo joins SHIELD
2nd issue to on-going titled series

Another pretty minor key considering SHIELD key issues. In this issue, Jimmy Woo officially becomes a member of SHIELD. Aside from that and being a 2nd issue to the first Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD comic series, there isn't much else this comic has going for it.

Oh, wait, nevermind. This issue has the first appearance of Noah Black, also known as Centurius. A Nobel Prize award-winning geneticist, Noah Black goes mad shortly after his big win and becomes Centurius.

Centurius is responsible for creating numerous monstrous creatures and becomes one of the more recurring villains for the SHIELD organization. He later becomes a member of the Thunderbolts. July, 1968 was when this comic was published.

eBay - Lower grade raw copies and some claiming to be VFs as well. Six slabs so far and the highest is a 9.6 NM+. A few 9.4 NMs as well with one being a Pacific Coast Pedigree. One 9.2 low NM spotted as well.

mycomicshop - Only two raw copies in stock and the highest is a VG and the other is way too low and not even worth mentioning.

ComicConnect - CGC 9.6 and two 9.4 NMs here. There's also a raw 9.2 low NM and a VF.

ComicLink - CGC 9.8 heads the cast here so far. There's also two 9.4s and two 9.2s as well. One raw copy that's a 9.0 VF/NM.

First appearance and death of Bull's Eye

Not to be confused with the Daredevil version, this Bull's Eye is Edward Forsyth, an assassin hired by Hydra to eliminate Nick Fury. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD has the first and last appearance of this character, who also dies in this issue.

Minor key, but still a key pertaining to SHIELD key issues.
This comic was published November, 1969.

eBay - Selection is a bit more limited for this key issue comic on eBay. Raw copies and slabs available but only two slabbers. One is a Universal 9.6 NM+ and the other is a 9.2 Signature Series signed by Stan Lee.

mycomicshop - VF+ and a VG+ both on consignment here. Both are also raw as well.

NewKadia - Two VF copies in stock here.

Last issue to first titled series

The Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD first titled series did not last long. Actually, issue #17 and #18 contained reprints from the stories contained in the Strange Tales comic series.

However, if you're big on last issues, this is one from the first titled comic series, but I'd still consider it a minor key. However, this last issue may be a lower print run. This Bronze Age last issue was published March, 1971.

eBay - Quite limited selection for this one. Only a few raw copies spotted and no CGC at the moment.

mycomicshop - Only one raw VG/FN copy, but it is in stock.

ComicLink - Only one CGC 9.6 NM+ copy and it's going for a pretty crazy price. Not sure why that is though.

Thinking about ending this one right here. If there are enough requests for me to expand this with first appearances of some of the most popular or well-known SHIELD agents, I may do so. I won't do every single character that's ever been an agent or operative, as that would include half of the Marvel Universe, but I'll list the most noteworthy.

I'll make it your call. If want it, just comment below. If not, don't do anything. Trust me, the ones worth mentioning are already listed all over in various other key issues lists on this site.

SHIELD Key Issue Comics

Due to a request, we're gonna tackle some SHIELD key issues. There are not that many in this series and it will deal with some key issues within self titled series or the split feature where SHIELD started in Strange Tales. It won't directly be a first appearances of known or well-known SHIELD agents as there are an unbelievable amount of Marvel characters that were once agents or operatives.

First appearance of SHIELD
First appearance of Agent H
First appearance Imperial Hydra
First appearance of Hydra
First SHIELD Helicarrier

This issue is toted as the 1st appearance of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, and since Strange Tales #135 also has the origin of how Nick Fury becomes an agent of the Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement, which was the original title of this organization before it was changed in the 90s to the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, it can also be said that this issue holds the first appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well.

And, no, I won't be spelling out the acronym every time, because it is a pain with all the periods. In this story, Tony Stark is already a member of this organization and in charge of the Special Weaponry Section. Nick Fury is chosen to lead the mission in order to destroy Hydra.

Of course, Fury is reluctant at first but agrees when he uncovers a bomb that's rigged to blow him and other high ranking officials. There are some important firsts in this issue, and not only is this the first appearance of SHIELD, it also has the first appearance of Hydra, which has become an important villainous organization in the comics as well as the Marvel's cinematic universe.

Agent H, is Laura Brown, whom was the daughter of the leader of Hydra back in those days. Her father's name is Arnold Brown. Unconvinced of her father's plot to conquer the world, Laura helped Nick Fury escape and saved his life. Much later, she would join SHIELD and become an agent of the organization.

As you already guessed, Arnold Brown is the Imperial Hydra, but the position is really a smoke screen for the true leader of the group. That bad man is Baron von Strucker. Great key issue for sure, and Strange Tales #135 was published August, 1965.

eBay - Doesn't seem to be any shortage of copies here for this key issue. Plenty of raw copies and quite a few CGC copies as well. Highest are 9.4 NMs and they're pretty up there already. Slabbed 8.0 VFs seem to be the best high grade options that are much cheaper in comparison. Of course, there are some mid-grade and lower grade slabs as well.

mycomicshop - Few copies here and all are in the low grade realm. One CGC 5.0 VG/FN is the highest copy and the rest are raw. Unslabbed highest is a VG minus. All are on consignment too.

ComicConnect - Only one CGC 9.4 NM copy here for now.

ComicLink - Only two CGC 9.4 NM copies here at the moment.

2nd appearance of SHIELD
2nd appearance of Hydra
First appearance of SHIELD Barber Shop HQ

Another 2nd appearance key issue I've yet to talk about on this site, Strange Tales #136 is a double whammy. Of course, this issue holds the 2nd appearance of SHIELD, but is also holds the 2nd appearance of Hydra.

Unlike the cinematic universe, Hydra started out as the main nemesis for SHIELD, not Captain America. A pretty minor but fun fact to acknowledge is that Strange Tales #136 has the first appearance of the Barber Shop front that provided access to the main underground complex that was SHIELD's headquarters. Yep, it was the Barber Shop chairs that actually descended down to the underground complex.

September, 1965 was when Strange Tales #136 was published, and I'm pretty sure this 2nd appearance key issue is pretty over-looked in the market right now.

eBay - Also appears to be quite a few raw copies here, but most are in the lower grades as expected. On the CGC front, there are three Signature Series copies and no Universal. The highest is a 7.5 VF minus out of the SS bunch. There is a CBCS 9.0 VF/NM copy however, and one PGX 4.0 VG.

mycomicshop - Three raw copies and one CGC copy. Slabbed copy is an 8.0 VF and is on consignment. All raw copies are low grade starting with a VG but they are all in stock.

NewKadia - Two raw copies with the highest being a VG minus.

3rd appearance of SHIELD?
3rd appearance of Hydra

Two friends from Nick Fury's past make their reintroductions in this comic. Those two are Gabe Jones and Dum Dum Dugan from the World War II Howling Commandos.

Of course, in Strange Tales #137, they are agents of SHIELD. I suppose you could say this is their first appearance as agents of SHIELD, but would anyone really care about that minor key notation? Maybe.

However, Strange tales #137 does have the 3rd appearance of Hydra in comics, but I am not so sure about the 3rd appearance of SHIELD. Reason for this is that Fantastic Four Annual #3 also features SHIELD and it came out around the month of October, 1965 as well.

As far as continuity goes, Fantastic Four #44 is the next issue after FF Annual #3 and FF #44 was published November, 1965. The story that precedes FF Annual #3 is Fantastic Four #43 which has the same publishing date of October, 1965 and features Reed and Sue before they're married.

Some sources out there are claiming the publishing date of this comic as January 6th, 1965 which makes no sense since it precedes the first appearance of Nick Fury as an agent of SHIELD, and the agency is clearly doing security for Reed and Sue's wedding in FF Annual #3.

So, confusing as it is, I'm going with Strange Tales #137 as the 3rd appearance of SHIELD though it may be wrong. This issue was published  October, 1965.

eBay - No shortage of this issue in raw low grades on eBay at the moment. Highest CGC copy is an 8.0 VF. There are two more, but one of them is Restored and the other is a VG.

NewKadia - VG and a GD copy are the only two in stock at the moment.

ComicLink - Two CGC copies with the highest being a 9.6 NM+ Rocky Mountain Pedigree. Other CGC slab is a 5.5 low FN.

First appearance of Jasper Sitwell

A little known agent of SHIELD, but an agent who has shown up plenty of times in the SHIELD related comic books is Jasper Sitwell. This agent has also had appearances in the Agents of SHIELD TV series as well as little known bit roles in such movies as Thor, the Avengers and Captain America Winter Soldier.

The character has also appeared in the Marvel One Shot short films The Consultant and Item 47. Highly over-looked SHIELD key issue, and though it may be a minor supporting character, it's still a key issue. So, Strange Tales #144 goes on here and published May, 1966.

eBay - Plenty of raw copies, and quite a few are in comic lots. Highest CGC copies are 8.5 VF+s and a lot of them are cheap.

mycomicshop - Two CGC copies here for now. Highest is an 8.5 VF+ and the other option is an 8.0 VF. The VF+ seems to have minor cracks in the slab as noted.

First Jim Steranko Marvel artwork

For fans of this series and of comic legend artist Jim Steranko, Strange Tales #151 is a biggie since it is his first Marvel Comics work. Steranko started off as an inker for Jack Kirby's pencils in this issue. Later he would take on writing, pencils, and inking duties as well.

The Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD series is the work that brought Jim Steranko acclaim, and it's his work with the character and the SHIELD series in Strange Tales and later the self-titled series that he is most known for. 

Definitely not a key issue to be missed. December, 1966 was when Strange Tales #151 was published.

eBay - Appears to be quite a few copies here on the mighty eBay. Of course, most are raw copies, but there are a few slabs. Highest is a 9.4 NM followed by a 9.2 low NM with an old label.

mycomicshop - Six copies, all raw, all in stock, and all low grade here at the moment.

ComicLink -Two CGC copies with one being a 9.4 NM Twin Cities Pedigree. Highest copy is a 9.6 NM+.

First appearance of Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine
First unnamed appearance of Jake Fury

In the mythos of SHIELD, Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine was a love interest for Nick Fury. Valentina would eventually become one of the leaders of SHIELD. Her character did appear on the small screen in the 1998 TV movie Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD starring David Hasselholff.

The first appearance of Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine was published August, 1967. 

eBay - Quite a few raw copies for this one. About seven slabbed copies located as well. Highest slab is a 9.4 NM Signature Series. Highest Universal is a 9.2 low NM.

mycomicshop - Six copies and only one of them is a slabber. Slabbed copy is a PGX 9.2 NM minus. Other four copies are all raw. Highest are in the mid-grade realm.

ComicConnect - Three raw copies and one CGC 9.2 low NM. Highest raw copy is a VF/NM 9.0. 2nd highest is an 8.0 VF that's up for auction as of this writing. There's also another VF raw copy as well here.

ComicLink - CGC 9.2 low NM and an 8.0 VF are the only two copies here at the time of this writing.

As stated at the beginning, this SHIELD key issue comics list only pertains to the feature or the titled series. It won't be all over the place with different titles since it seems that almost everyone has been a SHIELD agent at one point or another. 

Part 2 is on it's way to continue this key issue comics list. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #6 vs Amazing Spider-Man #14

Here we are with another head to head of which comic investment is the better of the other. This was also suggested by JW and sorry for getting around to this one so late but these do take time. 

Going head to head are two Amazing Spider-Man comics and both are first appearance key issues. This time in the octagon are Amazing Spider-Man #6, first appearance of the Lizard, and Amazing Spider-Man #14, first appearance of Green Goblin.

Just like with the last comic vs. comic regarding X-Men #94 and Giant Size X-Men #1, we'll be going by the same criteria to determine the better of the two comic investments. Here they are again:

1. Key issue importance - What's the key issue status of these two comics and why are they important to the over-all back issues market as comic investments?

2. Values - Values of the two comics across the board of all grades. The values will be determined by Overstreet Price Guide and Go Collect for CGC sales. Go Collect is the most reliable source of tracking eBay CGC sales and averages for the past two years, one year, or a few months.

Overstreet Price Guide values will be based off the last decade of values to see how they've grown according to OPG, and which has outperformed the other in comic investing terms.

3. Growth - The value increases or growth of the two comics at various grades for the span of about a decade according to Overstreet and Go Collect.

4. Rarity - Of course, we have to look at the CGC Census to see the rarity of slabbed copies compared to one another to see if there is any disparity.

 Amazing Spider-Man #6
 Amazing Spider-Man #14

 First appearance of Lizard
Origin of the Lizard

 First appearance of Green Goblin

Now with this one, Amazing Spider-Man #6 also has the first appearance of the Lizard and his origin, while Amazing Spider-Man #14 only has the first appearance of the Green Goblin. Gobby's origin is in another issue though. 

It's not that big of a deal, considering that the Green Goblin is Spider-Man's most popular and well-known villain. However, Amazing Spider-Man #6 is within the first 10 issues of the first titled comic series and that gives it a bit of extra weight as well.

Unlike last time with the X-Men #94 and Giant Size X-Men #1, there isn't a huge disparity between prices at high grade NMs that we can compare. However, as shown in the 2 year CGC sales on eBay, there are quite a few gaps for certain grades pertaining to Amazing Spider-Man #6.

Even without noticing that, I'd still look up the CGC Census. Usually because I'm just curious and it's a habit of mine to do so. Amazing Spider-Man #6 is the first image and #14 follows it.

Pretty interesting. If you look at the total number of copies submitted, it seems that there are more Amazing Spider-Man #14s by a large margin. Also there's three ASM #6s at CGC 9.8 while ASM #14 has zero.

These books are less than a year apart from each other, so I'd actually have to say the reason more ASM #14s were submitted to be graded is simply because of the magnitude and popularity of the Green Goblin. Let's look at it a bit more starting with 9.6 NM+s.

ASM #6 and the first appearance of the Lizard has a total of 8 submitted copies compared to ASM #14s total of 24 NM+ copies. CGC 9.4 NMs are relatively close for both comics. 9.2 NM minus have a tad bit of a disparity. There's more than double 9.2  ASM #14s than it's competitor.

However, when we start getting down to the 8.5 VF+ and below, we start seeing more copies of the ASM #14 and the first appearance of Green Goblin than ASM #6. Then again, there are 878 less submissions for the first appearance of the Lizard compared to the first appearance of the Green Goblin.

In truth, Amazing Spider-Man #6 really blew up in demand when the character was announced to be the main villain of the Amazing Spider-Man movie reboot. Green Goblin has been an extremely popular villain and his first appearance in ASM #14 has been a book that's been in high-demand for quite a while.

In short, I'm not quite so sure about the rarity of ASM #6 compared to ASM #14. The values sold for high grade CGC copies are pretty close, but let's see how the two compare head to head according to Overstreet Guide.


9.2 NM- - $2021.50 
9.0 VF/NM – $1743
8.0 VF - $1185
6.0 FN – $417
4.0 VG – $278
2.0 GD – $139

9.2 NM- - $2440
9.0 VF/NM – $2080
8.0 VF - $1360
6.0 FN – $480
4.0 VG – $320
2.0 GD – $160

In 2003, it looks like ASM #14 trumps ASM #6, but let's look at the 2014 guide values.


9.2 NM- - $5200
9.0 VF/NM – $3339
8.0 VF - $1477
6.0 FN – $537
4.0 VG – $358
2.0 GD – $179

9.2 NM- - $5100
9.0 VF/NM – $3276
8.0 VF - $1452
6.0 FN – $528
4.0 VG – $352
2.0 GD – $176

As you can see, Amazing Spider-Man #6 made a major come back and closed the gap pretty closely for most grades. It even whallops Amazing Spider-Man #14 on every recorded guide grade level as well in the 2014 edition. Once again, according to the 2 year CGC sales from GoCollect, these numbers do not reflect the CGC sales on eBay for each grade, in which Amazing Spider-Man #14 still whomps the first appearance of the Lizard in most grades.

However, according to guide, let's see which two of these key comic issues had the better growth.


9.2 NM- - $3178.50
9.0 VF/NM – $1596
8.0 VF - $292
6.0 FN – $120
4.0 VG – $80
2.0 GD – $40

9.2 NM- - $2660
9.0 VF/NM – $1196
8.0 VF - $92
6.0 FN – $48
4.0 VG – $32
2.0 GD – $16

Pretty scary according to guide value increases. ASM #6 whomps ASM #14, but as I've always said, numbers at first glance can be deceiving. So let's actually take a look at the 1 year CGC sales and then see the growth compared to the 2 year CGC eBay sales.

In the last year on eBay, ASM #14 still beats ASM #6 in most grade categories except for 2.5 GD+s. Pretty interesting, so let's look at the growth according to the eBay CGC market compared from 1 year to 2 years.


9.8 M- | $ (No data)
9.6 NM+ | $ (No data)
9.4 NM | $0 (no sale 2014) 
9.2 NM- | $0 (no sale 2013)
9.0 VF/NM – $ (No data)
8.5 VF+ | $111.23 (up)
8.0 VF | $64.71 (up)
7.5 VF- | $83.79 (up)
7.0 FN/VF | -$8.83 (down)
6.5 FN+ | -$58.33 (down)
6.0 FN | $12.52 (up)
5.5 FN- | $44.88 (up)
5.0 VG/FN | $36.43 (up)
4.5 VG+ | $7.21 (up)
4.0 VG | $ (No Data)
3.5 VG- | $18.69 (up)
3.0 GD/VG | $1.75 (up)
2.5 GD+ | $2.12 (up)
2.0 GD | $ (No Data)

9.8 M- | $ (No data)
9.6 NM+ | $0 (no sale 2014)
9.4 NM | $0 (no sale 2014) 
9.2 NM- | $0 (no sale 2014)
9.0 VF/NM | -$12.50 (down)
8.5 VF+ | $12.55 (up)
8.0 VF | $71.25 (up)
7.5 VF- | $ (No Data)
7.0 FN/VF | $68 (up)
6.5 FN+ | $52.23 (up)
6.0 FN | $147.49 (up)
5.5 FN- | $93.33 (up)
5.0 VG/FN | $47.29 (up)
4.5 VG+ | $66.40 (up)
4.0 VG | $42.93 (up)
3.5 VG- | $58.61 (up)
3.0 GD/VG | $43.23 (up)
2.5 GD+ | -$11.73 (down)
2.0 GD | $ (No Data)

If we look at the growth from 2 years compared to 1 year, you can see there's a lot of grades where we can't really compare them due to either no sales in that time frame or no sales in either year. Regardless, for those that we can compare, Amazing Spider-Man #14 clearly beats Amazing Spider-Man #6 in growth.

Even the grades that showed values going down, ASM #14 had less value loss than ASM #6, which the largest loss was $58.33 at CGC 6.5 FN+. Total value loss for ASM #6 was $67.16 and for ASM #14 the total value loss was $24.23 out of the whole spectrum of grades.

I don't even have to continue and could assume that the winner is clearly the first appearance of Green Goblin when it comes to performance, but I'll just throw in the 3 month CGC eBay sales data according to GoCollect.

For the grades with sales that we can compare, ASM #14 clearly beats ASM #6 in head to head values for the 3 month outlook as well. So what are the over-all results.

According to Overstreet Guide, Amazing Spider-Man #6 and the first appearance of Lizard or Curt Connors had the best growth, but if you take a look at the eBay CGC sales data on GoCollect, this doesn't really ring true. Amazing Spider-Man #14 has proven to be more valuable for nearly every grade and garnered the most growth for most CGC graded sales as well.

Although ASM #6 is a super early ASM key issue, I have to give this one to Amazing Spider-Man #14. The first appearance of the Green Goblin beats the first appearance of the Lizard for now.

The reason I say for now is because this market is pretty fickle at best. We are in a speculator market and there is no telling what can happen with the Lizard in the movie realm that could give ASM #6 that extra boost and drive up demand and prices once again.

Both are great comic investments and Spider-Man key comics to get no doubt, but in this comparison, I'd have to say Green Goblin taps out the Lizard.