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Friday, February 19, 2016

Undervalued & Sleeper Comics Part 8

This is Part 8 to this on-going series. Quite a few of these aren't really sleepers, and are already known. However, they can be considered more over-looked if anything. Some can be considered under-valued which can be quite subjective.

If you missed Part 7, the blue link will bring you back. Otherwise, here's more under-valued and sleeper comics.

1st full appearance of Mantis?
1st cover appearance of Mantis

Alright, Mr. Speculation Jones brought this to my attention in a very recent comment about the 1st appearance of Mantis. Right now, Overstreet and CGC and CBCS, basically everyone, notes Avengers #112 as the 1st appearance of Mantis.

Avengers #112
Speculation Jones mentioned that she only shows up in one panel in that issue. So, I checked it out, and Mantis does actually show up in 3 panels, two of which clearly shows the character. The 1st is of her in shadow and at a distance, so that may not really count. However, doesn't matter about one or two panels, S.J. is right that it might be changed to a cameo or brief appearance in the near future.

According to what industry now notes cameos, brief appearances, and 1st full appearances, I too thought that Avengers #113 just might have her in the issue more to constitute a 1st full appearance. So, I checked that out as well.

Avengers #113
However, she only shows up in three panels in issue #113 also, and those are the very three panels she shows up in the comic book issue. So, issue #114 just might be changed in the near future to the 1st full appearance of Mantis. She is definitely in that issue a lot more than 6 panels and more than 3 pages, but definitely enough to constitute what industry might consider a 1st full appearance.

This issue also has her 1st cover appearance as well as S.J. noted, adding a bit more umphh to why this issue just may be sought out a lot more in the very near future. So, for all you speculating out there, thank S.J. for bringing this to our attention.

Mantis has very recently been confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and this comic is somewhat a sleeper so far.

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Origin of Mantis
1st cameo of Star Stalker

Since, we're on the subject of Mantis, this issue reveals the origin of Mantis. So, Gustav Brandt is the father of Mantis. He served during the Vietnam War and that's where he met his mother.

He left his daughter with the Priests of Pama when the brother of Mantis' mother found out and was enraged that his sister had a baby with Gustav Brandt. He ordered them to be burned alive, but Gustav had escaped with his daughter.

Gustav Brandt ends up being the criminal known as Libra in the Zodiac Crime Cartel. So far this issue is somewhat of a sleeper, and Overstreet does not note it. CGC does, however.

What I mean is by sleeper is that it isn't that widely known or sought out yet. It's also not that expensive for high grade copies, and that really depends on your definition of expensive when it comes to comic investments. That may or may not change in the near future, though.

1st appearance of Earth 2 Huntress (Helena Wayne)

Looks like Overstreet and CGC are finally putting their mark on the 1st appearance of Helena Wayne as the Earth 2 Huntress. Before it was thought that DC Super Stars #17 was her 1st appearance, but now that is being noted as the origin of the Earth 2 Huntress.

This comic is starting to get recognized right now currently, but it hasn't shot up to ridiculous prices and DC Super Stars #17 is still going for  a lot more currently. This comic definitely has room for growth and is still a bit overlooked for now.

All-Star Comics #69 and the 1st appearance of the Earth Two Huntress has the cover date of December, 1977.

1st John Byrne X-Men art

When it concerns legendary comic artists, 1st works concerning a character or team or title that the artist gained recognition or fame from can be quite desirable. In the case of John Byrne, it's without a doubt the X-Men.

However, his 1st stint drawing the team wasn't actually in the titled series. It was in this comic here - Marvel Team Up #53.

Not to say that John Byrne's only claim to fame in his career as a comic artist was the X-Men. The guy also had a long run on Fantastic Four and Alpha Flight. Other notable works include Superman, in which he rebooted the character, and the Legends miniseries that has become quite popular recently.

As a co-creator, John Byrne helped to create the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight including members such as Vindicator, Puck, Northstar, Allura, Snowbird, Sasquatch, and basically the entire team. He created the Great Lakes Avengers team, the Hellfire Club including Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, and the Next Men just to name a few. By the way, FOX has ordered a pilot called Hellfire, and the show does deal with the Hellfire Club.

With the major contributions John Byrne has made to the X-Men alone, it is a head scratcher as to why this comic is pretty undervalued. I mean, CGC 9.8s aren't even selling at the $250 mark.

However, you got Frank Miller's 1st Daredevil art in Spectacular Spider-Man #27 selling around $250 at CGC 9.8s? No doubt that Frank Miller was instrumental in Daredevil's popularity, but so was John Byrne's artwork with the X-Men.

Marvel Team Up #53 has the cover date of January, 1977.

1st Frank Miller Daredevil art

When we think of Frank Miller in comics, we think of a lot of things like 300, Ronin, Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Wolvernine limited series, etc. However, if there's one character or comic run that also pops up when it comes to this legendary artist and writer, it's his art and writing on his famous Daredevil run.

No doubt and without a doubt. His work on Daredevil made that comic series exceptionally popular and his run on it is considered a classic.

So, yeah, after comparing this one to John Byrne's 1st X-Men art in Marvel Team Up #53, I'm also going to feature his 1st Daredevil artwork in Spectacular Spider-Man #27. Both under-valued in my opinion and still only in the $200 range for CGC 9.8s.

I mean, let's face it here: The whole dark and gritty tone that is in the Daredevil Netflix series is attributed to what Frank Miller brought to the character and comic series. I don't have to tell you how he made the character much darker and grittier than writers of the series before him.

Plus you got a Spidey and Daredevil team up in this issue as well? How does it get any better?

Well, I'm not 100% sure, but this might be the 1st Spider-Man art by Frank Miller as well since this issue here seems to be the artist's 2nd Marvel work. His 1st Marvel work was on John Carter Warlord of Mars #18.

Then again, let's not get carried away here. Miller didn't get famous for drawing or writing Spidey, but if Miller's Dark Knight Returns 1st prints are going for considerably a lot more than this issue here, I think that this one should be definitely considered under-valued.

Not the 1st time I've mentioned this comic, but it does need to be mentioned again. Spectacular Spider-Man #27 has the cover date of February, 1979.

FLASH #120
1st Flash & Kid Flash team up
1st Kid Flash cover
Kid Flash learns Flash's identity

If we're talking about over-looked Silver Age key issues, this one just might be a some what good candidate. Not to say this is under-valued or a sleeper, but this one does have quite a few key notations for it.

Right now the focus is that Flash #120 has the 1st Flash and Kid Flash team up. However, what's not that widely known is that this issue also has the 1st Kid Flash cover appearance.

Other than the 1st team up bit, CGC also notes this issue as the Flash revealing his secret identity to Kid Flash or Wally West. Not a huge key issue notation, but still worth knowing about.

Overstreet Guides a 9.2 NM minus at $900, so it's not exactly cheap. However, compare this to Wonder Woman #98, which is going for $2000 at low grades, and this issue here may need a price bump.

Then again, Wonder Woman #98 is her 1st Silver Age appearance and origin. It's pretty scarce so far in the market, but Flash #120 isn't exactly abundant in high grades 8.0 and up either.

The CGC Census so far has only 73 total copies with only 27 copies within the 8.0 to 9.6 range. Wonder Woman #98 is lower at 36 total copies with the highest graded copies so far being two 8.0s. Yowza!

Another and probably a better comparison in Tales of Suspense #58, which has Captain America vs. Iron Man and the 2nd appearance of Kraven. Right now CGC 9.0s are in the $1,000 range, and ToS #58 has a larger CGC Census total at 542. 

So this one is a bit over-looked in my opinion. I snagged a CGC 8.5 for under guide recently so it definitely ain't that sought out in the market for some reason.

Saying it's under-valued is a bit debatable. It is one of the most valuable Silver Age 1st team ups out there, but comparing the key status to Tales of Suspense #58, I think it deserves to be valued a lot more. I mean, I got this for $370 CGC 8.5 plus a free gift, which I can sell and knock down the price off that comic even more.

Overstreet has this book at around $400 currently. So far Flash #120 has a low CGC Census but Flash #110 (1st Kid Flash) is up in the 200s, which is still pretty low. There are quite a few low grade, raw copies up on eBay alone for Flash #120.

I'm not expecting this one to have a CGC Census as low as Wonder Woman #98 or anything. I do think there will be more graded copies for Flash #120 eventually, but I do predict that high grade copies of this key will still remain relatively low.

If this one proves to be as scarce as it's looking now, it may be a good idea to snag an 8.0 or up if you can find them still cheap or even under guide like I did - Online or offline. It will be a hunt though.

Once again, the term under-valued is pretty subjective. Some people don't see the merit of some of the comics listed here or maybe even for different issues in the previous parts.

Undervalued or not, some might not even care enough to plop the money down for some or maybe all the issues presented here. Most, if not all, of the issues here in Part 8 aren't really sleepers...maybe except for Avengers #114.

I believe most are already known, but that doesn't mean that they aren't currently over-looked. It also doesn't mean that the issues here aren't known for other over-looked key significance like Flash #120 and being Kid Flash's 1st cover.

I'm not saying these are or aren't great comics to invest in either. What I see the potential in you may or may not. I leave that up to you to make that call, and wish you a fun hunt regardless. 


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    thanks for bringing Marvel Team Up 53 to my attention. Never heard of that one. But to be honest, the true key for X-Men fans is still Iron Fist 15 (First Claremont & Byrne collabo on X-Men).

    Max Rebo

    1. If we're going by an artists 1st work on a comic character or team that they revolutionized and made major contributions to or were just hugely popular, Marvel Team Up #53 should be a comic to consider for any die hard X-Men and John Byrne fan.

      If we must go by movie hype, then comparing MTU #53 to Miller's Dark Knight Returns #1 is a good example. That comic only inspired one film so far - Batman v. Superman.

      However, the characters that Byrne helped to create in the X-Men have been in a lot of movies so far. Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Sabretooth, hellfire club, etc have already been in countless a new TV series in the works called Hellfire.

      I'm not saying that Iron Fist #15 is definitely one to get or isn't a better option. I'm just saying that Marvel Team Up #53 is also an option as well. Like the article states, up to you to consider or dismiss.

    2. Okay, maybe not countless movies, but at least one or more of his co-creations have ended up in an X-Men film.

  2. hey mayhem how is vaule of some of the mega key issues as far as undervalued example amazing fantasy 15 and showcase 4 are they even worth getting in a very low grade anymore or would you pass. thanks

  3. Howdy Mayhem,

    I remember you once mentioned that the Maggia could become somewhat important on future Netflix episodes. Is there a first appearance to that organisation? Who are the members? For me it was quite confusing to read that the Maggia consists of different families like the Silvermane Family or the Hammerhead Family. Perhaps you could make a special which introduces the big players...

    Much appreciated!


    1. Hi Ace, sure I could a special on that, but it would list all the members major and minor. I'll be sure to note which are the major members in each family. It's just the American mafia...there are different families that consist of the American Cosa Nostra.

      With the Maggia, it's the same concept just with super-villains. 1st appearance of the organization is Avengers #13 which also has the 1st appearance of Count Nefaria.

  4. Not sure, but I think the first appearance of the Maggia is in Fantastic Four 101. I would also be interested in a little background on that organisation.

    Max Rebo

  5. Hey Mr. Rebo,

    according to my information Avengers 13 has the first appearance of the Maggia. Really confusing, the whole thing. Looks like a Mayhem matter, true.

    Speculation Jones

  6. I didn't even catch those 3 panels in Avengers #113, And 112 is going for silly prices right now. I did however notice in 114 that Mantis is actually a key character throughout the whole story. On a side note since its been a while since I've seen mention of Adam Warlock, and it does appear Kurt Russel was mentioned as a confirmed actor in the GotG2 movie in something I any thoughts on what part would fit Warlck best? Assuming KR //may// have been casted to play a part and does bear a striking resemblance to one of our mutual favorite-and-yet-to-be-confirmed characters- :) keep up the awesome articles and thanks for sharing the insights!

  7. Man, I've made a mint out of ebaying some of these suggestions that I've had a couple of copies ofor that you've suggested. Some I even forgot. Momentum..