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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Undervalued & Sleeper Comics Part 10

Here we are with Part 10, and trying to find some awesome sauce when it comes to under-valued comics or sleepers. This part, however, will have more under-valued comics than sleepers. 

I got Anthrax's I Am the Law playing on a loop just to give you a hint of some of the comics we'll be taking a look at. This part will be featuring mostly comic artist spotlights.

So, same drill as usual. If you missed Part 9, click the link. Otherwise, here's some more arguably under-valued or sleeper comics to feast on.

1st Jim Steranko published art

Jim Steranko is another comic legend that's been an influential comic artist for incorporating op art and surrealism into the pages of comic books. He's also noted for his incorporation of psychedelia.

Steranko's 1st published work is in this Harvey Comics issue of Spyman #1. He also created the character before becoming a part of the Marvel family and gaining recognition for his work on the Nick Fury stories in Strange Tales.

Starting off as a graphic designer, Steranko lent his skills in the trade in creating that classic X-Men logo starting with issue #50. Yes, it's the skewed block-type letters one and this X-Men logo would be an iconic benchmark for the super-hero team for decades.

He is credited with creating The Contessa, a foe of Nick Fury, and Madame Hydra or Viper for Captain America. Viper was a character in the 2013 Wolverine movie.

This issue is not that well-known for being Steranko's 1st published work when it comes to most comic fans, but it is noted by Overstreet and CGC. However, even though Jim Steranko was influential in revolutionizing comic art, this comic is highly over-looked and under-valued.

Right now guide has a 9.2 NM minus at $100. Yep, no kidding there, but that's just my opinion as usual. Spyman #1 has the cover date of September, 1966. It has a low CGC Census so far.

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1st Jim Steranko Marvel work
1st Jim Steranko Nick Fury

When it comes to his run on Nick Fury, Jim Steranko's work is highly praised and is the fan-favorite artist for the comic title. This is his first work on Nick Fury, and it's also his 1st work for Marvel Comics.

CGC and Overstreet both note this issue as Jim Steranko's first Marvel work, so it's not a sleeper in that sense. Under-valued, however? It could be.

Steranko created and introduced the Dreadnoughts in this comic series. The Dreadnoughts were often employed by the Maggia. As mentioned before he created The Contessa, also known as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. She would be a major recurring character in the Nick Fury mythos and first appeared in Strange Tales #159.

Steranko would also bring Jimmy Woo into the fold as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and create several other agents like Clay Quarterman. Before the fold out technique, Steranko was the first to use the 4 page spread, which debuted in Strange Tales #167.
In order to achieve this, readers had to buy two copies of the issue #167 to place the two double page spreads together. Steranko's work on Nick Fury is definitely influential and is a fan-favorite.

This issue was already featured in the S.H.I.E.L.D. key issues list.

Overstreet guides this at $170 for NM minus copies. Frank Miller's 1st work in The Twilight Zone #84 is at $160 at the same grade. So, of course, it's arguable, but I think this comic is under-valued and has the cover date of December, 1966.

2000 A.D. PROG #41
1st Brian Bolland Judge Dredd work

Brian Bolland, best known to fans for his work on Judge Dredd and The Killing Joke, was an early part of the British Invasion in comics during the 80s. This movement was strongly associated to artists like Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Peter Milligan.

Brian Bolland was recruited by DC Comics in the early 80s, preceding what's normally considered as the British Invasion marked by Alan Moore's success on Swamp Thing. However, many of these British artist worked on the British comic 2000 A.D.

Bolland became initially famous for his work on Judge Dredd before his talents were imported into the U.S. comic industry. 2000 A.D. Prog #41 is his 1st work on the character that would get him noticed.

In his run as artist for the Judge Dredd character, Bolland also created the iconic villain of Judge Death, a character that has been used in T-Shirts and promotional materials for the band Anthrax. This is a sleeper and quite undervalued.

So, for all you fans of Judge Dredd or Brian Bolland, this comic here is probably one to have your sights on. 2000 A.D. Prog #41 cover date is December, 1977.

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2000 A.D. PROG #149
1st appearance of Judge Death

Another comic that's a sleeper and pretty much under-valued is the 1st appearance of Judge Death in 2000 AD Prog #149. As mentioned before, this fan-favorite villain within the Judge Dredd mythos was created by Brian Bolland.

Bolland also created the Dark Judges, which Judge Death is a member of. Actually, Judge Death is the leader of the Dark Judges, who consist of Judge Fire, Judge Fear and Judge Mortis. 

These morbid and sadistic Judges are from a parallel dimension, and the Dark Judges had the ideal of that all crime was committed by the living, so all life is crime. Therefore, these Dark Judges went around killing for any kind of justification no matter how minor.

They are undead and must inhabit corpses. Fan-favorite villain here and these comics are not easy finds or plentiful in the market. 2000 A.D. Prog #149 has the cover date of January, 1980.

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1st Gil Kane Marvel work

Gil Kane is a legendary comic artist without a doubt. Kane was one of two inkers for this comic issue in the story  "The Spawn of Death".

His accomplishments and contributions to comic books is vast, so I'm just going to give you the freeze dried version on the Marvel side. While this comic is definitely not cheap any longer, it's not really being recognized.

So what did Gil Kane do on the Marvel side of things? Well, he helped to turn HIM into Adam Warlock, and he became the regular penciler for the Amazing Spider-Man comics.

With that move, came the birth of Morbius in Amazing Spider-Man #101. He also drew the story that killed of Captain George Stacy in issue #90. Ironically, he also drew the classic Spidey story line, "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" that saw the death of Gwen Stacy as well, and penciled the famous drug issues #96 through #98.

Kane also co-created the character Iron Fist, who will be in the Netflix line up of Marvel streaming shows. It's been confirmed that Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones will be playing Danny Rand.

Right now this comic is guided at $2,300 for low NMs. So, not exactly cheap, but I think it's under-valued considering the artist we're talking about and the rarity of this comic.

So, he's been a pretty important comic artist on the Marvel side of things, but his contributions to DC Comics is astounding as well. Young Allies #11 has the cover date of March, 1944.

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1st Gil Kane DC work (ghost artist)

This is a Golden Age comic so it's already pretty valuable already, but under-valued can surely be debated. However, it's not that widely known that this is Gil Kane's first DC work, in which he contributed art as a ghost artist for Jack Kirby in the Sandman story, "Courage a la Carte" in this very issue.

Why do I think it's under-valued? Well, if we're talking about contributions that Gil Kane made in the comic industry, he surely made a lot.

Just on the DC side alone, he helped co-create the Silver Age Green Lantern as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy. He co-created Carol Ferris and Star Sapphire, the arch nemesis Sinestro, and Guy Gardner among many in just the Green Lantern mythos alone.

Gil Kane also created the Silver Age Atom, Ray Palmer. He and Marv Wolfman created the origin of Wondergirl. Needless to say, this legendary comic artist was an important figure in the Silver Age revival of super-hero comics.

This comic is only noted as the "last Simon and Kirby Sandman" in Overstreet and is guided at only $1,850 for NM minus copies. Wow, I think if comic fans are getting into the 1st artwork of influential comic artists and writers, then this issue here should be recognized and more valuable.

Besides, I'm betting that there aren't a whole lot of copies out there of this issue. High grade ones? Definitely fewer. Adventure Comics #91 has the cover date of March, 1944.

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Some 1sts for some influential artists in comics. Some are well-known, some aren't. 

The definite sleepers are Brian Bolland's work in the 2000 A.D. comics featured here in this post. The others are under-valued in my opinion, and that's surely debatable.

Alright, gonna enjoy what's left of this weekend and hope you do as well. See ya soon and happy hunting.


  1. Not only the 2000AD #149, but also #150. that's the first appearance of Judge Anderson, Psi Cop. #224 is also a great issue, first appearance of the Dark Judges.

    on a different note, i really love those 2000AD's ... beautiful work by lots of great artists and writers. Including some Alan Moore works.

  2. TCM is know the good guys get all the glory but how about atop ten villain first appearance thanks JW

    1. Heya JW...interesting topic. By the way, who is your favorite comic book villain?

    2. have to be loki JW

  3. Anyone know why people are suddenly craving for the first appearance of the Master of Shang Shi??? (Special Marvel Edition 15) Movie? Net Flix? What gives? Help appreciated.

    Mark Question

    1. Mark...Netflix rumors. The rumor is that possibly due to the backlash Marvel is getting from a lack of Asian characters in the MCU, that they are looking at casting Shang Chi to be part of the Iron Fist / Defenders setup.

      Only rumors so far...

      TCM...Long time listener; First time caller. Another great list. I'm going to go hunting for that Spyman. Thanks for all that you do.

      They Call Me MISTER Hibbs

  4. Thanks! Muchas Gracias Mr. Hibbs. Unfortunately I only found the 2nd appearance of Shang Chi for 14 $. Maybe Mayhem knows if it is worth a dime... Why - Mayhem San, if you' re at it, make us a


    Mark Question