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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Non 1st Appearance Origin Key Comics Part 2

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8 | PART 9

We're back for another round of these 1st origin key comics that aren't contained within the character's 1st appearance issue. First off, I hope you're all having a Happy Easter.

In Part 2, there's some surprises. Well, at least, some surprises for me that is.

Quite a bit of under-valued and over-looked scarce comics, but as usual, that's my opinion. If you missed Part 1, that link will take you back. If you're good to go, let's dive into some more origin key comics.

1st origin of Green Arrow
1st origin of Speedy

Despite first jumping onto the page and slinging arrows in More Fun Comics #73, Green Arrow and Speedy did not get their first origin story until this issue here in the story of the "The Birth of the Battling Bowmen". In this origin story, Oliver Queen is depicted as a museum curator and an archeologist specializing in Native American cultures.

He travels to Lost Mesa in order to hunt for more artifacts after his museum is burned down. Unlike his later Silver Age origin, Oliver Queen meets Roy Harper on Lost Mesa and both team up to stop some baddies who followed Queen in hopes the hero would lead them to lost treasures.

Roy Harper in this origin is a survivor of a plane crash in which his parents died. The airplane crash survivor and his parents dying in it is kept during the Silver Age but was obviously changed.

Instead, Harper of the Silver Age was raised on a reservation and learned his amazing bow and arrow skills by Chief Thunderhead. The new origin of Speedy, literally entitled "The Origin of Speedy", was retold in Adventure Comics #209, which adds even more confusion in pinpointing Green Arrow's 1st Silver Age or Earth-One appearance. That issue of Adventure Comics #209 came out in 1955.

However, the newer origins of Green Arrow and Speedy after the 1st origin in this issue definitely make the Earth-Two and Earth-One versions of the characters quite different when it comes to back ground. When it comes to the CGC Census, this comic is really low. Not sure if it's really that scarce or if most know about it nor care.

Highest is a Restored 9.4, and highest Universal is a 9.0 so far. The 9.0 sold in 2010 for only $835.50 at Heritage? Wow! That's surprising. 
Currently, Overstreet notes this as Origin Green Arrow & Speedy team up, and while that's true, it's also the 1st origin story for Green Arrow & Speedy. Green Arrow is a pretty popular character and this 1st origin is surprisingly pretty under-valued.

Overstreet 1982-83 12th Edition
Overstreet 1990-91 20th Edition

Mint: $200
Fine: $95
Good: $32

Near Mint: $500
Fine: $210
Good: $83

Overstreet 2002-03 33rd Edition
Overstreet 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint: $1,600
Very Fine/Near Mint: $1,235
Very Fine: $869
Fine: $417 
Very Good: $278
Good: $139

Near Mint (low): $1,800
Very Fine/Near Mint: $1,271
Very Fine: $742
Fine: $348
Very Good: $232
Good: $116

You can see for yourself. Pretty rare so far, under-valued for some reason, most likely because it's not the origin that has stuck for the character, but it's a Golden Age goodie and a tough find for sure. 

Looks like the early 2000s was a better time for grades VF and below for this comic, but then again, a lot of good Golden Age stuff is over-looked in this current back issues market. March, 1943 is the cover date for More Fun Comics #89.

eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink | ComicConnect

1st origin of Catwoman
Selina Kyle ID revealed

Much like Bruce Wayne and the Joker, Catwoman did not receive her 1st origin story a long with her debut appearance in comics. It wasn't until this issue here that sees the 1st origin story to this iconic female super villain.

This origin is definitely not considered the widely accepted origin, but it is the first attempt to give the character a back ground story. In this issue, Catwoman tells Batman and Robin that she was once a stewardess named Selina Kyle who fell out of a plane just before it crashed.

Because of this accident, she had amnesia and her fascination with cats was due to her father owning a pet store and his teaching of cats to her was the only thing she remembered. Definitely not the greatest of origin stories, and it was later retconned that she lied about the amnesia bit.

In the later origin of Catwoman in which she lied about having amnesia, she married young to a wealthy man who constantly beat her. After their divorce, her ex used his money and connections to try to ruin her in anyway possible.

Selina Kyle understood that the only loss her ex cared about was material things, so she stole all his possessions and this began her life as a thief. So, the later origin is still connected to this origin in part.

Batman #62 only has 71 total copies in the CGC Census as of this writing. Highest grade is only one 9.4 currently.
A 7.5 CGC graded copy sold on eBay in early 2014 for only $982 bucks, but a 7.5 copy recently sold on ComicLink for $1,600. There's only 6 copies in the census for 7.5s.

The most recent highest graded sale was a CGC 9.2 in 2013 and it sold for $8,962.50 at Heritage. Not entirely over-looked, but this 1st origin for Catwoman is definitely pretty scarce even in lower grades.

Overstreet has this one guided at $3,100 for 9.2s. That value definitely needs to get upgraded for sure.

Overstreet 1982-83 12th Edition
Overstreet 1990-91 20th Edition

Mint: $56
Fine: $28
Good: $10

Near Mint: $350
Fine: $145
Good: $58

Overstreet 2002-03 33rd Edition
Overstreet 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint: $1,375
Very Fine/Near Mint: $1,060
Very Fine: $744
Fine: $357
Very Good: $238
Good: $119

Near Mint (low): $3,100
Very Fine/Near Mint: $2,190
Very Fine: $1,280
Fine: $600
Very Good: $400
Good: $200

Important key origin issue for sure, and I think this sucker is a bit under-valued if you compare how scarce it looks in the census. Cover date for Batman #62 is December, 1950, and this comic is the 1st time her real name Selina Kyle is revealed.

eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink | ComicConnect

1st Silver Age origin of Green Arrow

There is a debate of what issue holds the first Silver Age appearance of Green Arrow. Some say it's issue #250, some say this issue, some say it's Adventure Comics #229 - the first Silver Age issue of the titled series in which Green Arrow does appear in that comic.

Nothing has been solidified by Overstreet or CGC as to Green Arrow's first Silver Age appearance, most likely because it's hard to delineate or pinpoint exactly where GA's Golden Age ends and where his SA appearances begin. So, until Overstreet or CGC slaps down a definite, this origin here qualifies to be on this list.

As stated before, this origin is vastly different from the Golden Age origin of Green Arrow presented in More Fun Comics #89. Instead of a museum curator, this origin depicts Oliver Queen as a wealthy playboy who fell overboard on a yacht and swam to a nearby island.

Stranded on this Starfish Island, Queen had to master the bow and arrow in order to survive. This origin is still the quintessential Green Arrow origin that's widely accepted by later writers and fans, and Oliver Queen does not meet Speedy during the time he is marooned on Starfish Island.

Jack Kirby and Ed Herron wrote this story, and, of course, Jack Kirby does the pencils. It's known as the Jack Kirby origin for Green Arrow, though. Highest graded copy in the CGC Census so far is one lone 9.4, and it is a Universal copy.

The most recent and highest graded sale I could find was at Heritage. It is an 8.0 and sold for $776.75 back in 2012. There's only 5 registered copies in the census, and Overstreet seems to be lagging behind on the values for that since a different copy sold at Heritage for $507.88 back in 2007.

Overstreet 1982-83 12th Edition
Overstreet 1990-91 20th Edition

Mint: $30
Fine: $15
Good: $5

Near Mint: $175
Fine: $75
Good: $25

Overstreet 2002-03 33rd Edition
Overstreet 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint: $750
Very Fine/Near Mint: $578
Very Fine: $406
Fine: $195 
Very Good: $130
Good: $65

Near Mint (low): $1,300
Very Fine/Near Mint: $871
Very Fine: $442
Fine: $207
Very Good: $138
Good: $69

Pretty slow value increase for a comic that came out in 1959 and has a low amount of copies registered in the census. Adventure Comics #256 has the cover date of January, 1959. It probably hit the stands in late 1958.

1st origin of Justice League of America

When it comes to Silver Age superhero teams that are widely iconic in and outside of comic book fandom, the Justice League of America is without a doubt one of them. Right now, the early appearances of the Justice League of America in Brave and the Bold are finally sought out on a big enough scale.

However, the very 1st origin of this super-mega team is pretty over-looked and under-valued. The most recent CGC 9.4 sold for only $1,895.00 on eBay in February of 2016! Yes, this year.

Let me repeat that: for only $1,895.00 for a 1962 1st origin of the most major key team in DC Comics. Pretty hard to believe, at least, for me.

This issue isn't as rare as the previous Golden Age 1st origins for sure, but it isn't exactly plentiful either. Sure, the highest graded copies for this comic are currently four 9.6s and there are a total of 332 copies in the CGC census, but compare them to the amount of Marvel keys in the census that came out during the same year and you'll see what I'm getting at.
I still think this 1st origin of the Justice League of America has great potential and will take off, but I've been saying that for quite a while and still no go. According to Guide, 9.2 NM minus is only worth $1300.

Perhaps, if this issue also had a 1st appearance of a major character or villain, it'd be worth a lot more. Well, like I've said before, demand is demand.

The origin story is in flashback and told to Snapper Carr and Green Arrow. The Justice League members tell how they first banded together against the threat of alien Appellaxian invaders.

This issue should be a major key concerning the Justice League of America volume 1 series, but as I've said before, it has yet to really awaken over-all or across the board. High grades do well, of course.

A Justice League of America #9 CGC 9.6 sold for $12,250 at Pedigree Comics back in June of 2013, and that grade is the highest in the CGC Census so far. There are four as of this writing and all are Universals.

Still, a CGC 9.4 sold last month in 2016 for only $1,895 on eBay. Compare this to other major keys, and it's not spectacular by any means.

Adventure Comics #256, the Jack Kirby Silver Age origin of Green Arrow, has done better in the past. A CGC 8.0 AC #256 sold on eBay for 887.57 back in February, 2013. A CGC 8.5 Adventure Comics #256 sold on ComicConnect for $1,550 back in 2011.

A CGC 8.0 Justice League of America #9 sold on eBay for $799.00 back in December, 2015 which isn't too long ago. Then again, as we've seen, Adventure Comics #256 is seemingly quite a bit more rare in the CGC Census currently then JLA #9 for sure.

I think Overstreet will adjust the prices for this one when the 46th edition comes out this summer, but for now they look like this.

Overstreet 1982-83 12th Edition
Overstreet 1990-91 20th Edition

Mint: $40
Fine: $20
Good: $7

Near Mint: $150
Fine: $65
Good: $22

Overstreet 2002-03 33rd Edition
Overstreet 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint: $575
Very Fine/Near Mint: $442
Very Fine: $308
Fine: $123
Very Good: $82
Good: $41

Near Mint (low): $1,300
Very Fine/Near Mint: $834
Very Fine: $368
Fine: $138
Very Good: $92
Good: $46

You can see that this 1st origin has had a pretty slow incline when it comes to value increase over-all. Overstreet will most likely need to make adjustments since a 9.0 sold for $1,015 back in November of 2014 on eBay. A completely different copy sold in September of the same year for $1,000 even.

Justice League of America #9 has the cover date of February, 1962.

Many of these I think are under-valued, but that surely doesn't mean cheap nor sleeper. Some of these origin key comics have done well while others just aren't all that hot. More Fun Comics #89 is surprisingly over-looked considering that it's no easy find if those investing in comics were hunting for it.

Compared to the 1st origin of Catwoman, More Fun #89 has seriously little heat going for it in the current market, especially when the comic was more valuable over-all in the early 2000s than it is now. I think it's the only comic that is less valuable now than nearly 10 years ago.

Justice League of America #9 is slowly on it's way upward and finally getting recognized little by little. I still think it's got a while to go for quite a few grades, and I think it's definitely warranted. 'Bout time, as I say.

Although some of the comics here seem scarce in the CGC Census, I have no doubt that there are quite a few lower grade, raw copies out there for the Silver Age comics featured here. You can always check the different sites like eBay, mycomicshop, etc to see and judge for yourself.

With the values for some of these in lower to mid grades, some collectors just not might deem it worth getting slabbed at the moment. That's also a possibility that should be taken into consideration. 

Well, we've definitely got more origin key comics to sift through, and Part 3 is ready so click the link below to continue. See you there.


  1. I thought that a early silver age DC book with the origin of Green Arrow and Jack Kirby involved would be investment gold, but I guess not yet. I agree the Justice League of America #9 comic should be more popular with comic investors and more valuable as well. Maybe it will jump up in value with the current and upcoming DCU films. We will just have to wait and see. Since I have graded copies of both these books hopefully they will both take off in the near future.

    1. I hear ya on that. Even Green Arrow's original origin in More Fun Comics isn't getting much love in the market. Truly an X-File there. Jack Kirby's origin should definitely be more recognized in the market, but that's me opinion there. With the success of Arrow, you figured it would do better, eh?

      Justice League of America #9 is also a head scratcher for me, but we will have to see when it gets nearer to the movies.