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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Giant-Man Key Comics Part 1

With all the fuss about Ant-Man growing larger or giant size in Captain America Civil War, Ace requested a Giant-Man key comics series. This is going to be a short and sweet one.

It's true that Hank Pym was not Ant-Man for very long as an Avenger, and it makes sense that Giant-Man will probably hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, we'll be covering some of the characters that most likely have a good chance of being Giant-Man if it's not Scott Lang who takes up the mantle or for very long in the possible movies.

I'll also be throwing in some other key comics that are somewhat related as well. So, let's get to it!

1st appearance of Giant-Man

Henry Pym develops a new formula that can make things grow in size instead of shrink. In this issue, we see the first appearance of Giant-Man, and Henry Pym would be the character for a bit.

Pym often changes superhero monikers, so Giant-Man would be phased out by Goliath and then Yellowjacket. There are, however, others who have taken up the mantle of Giant-Man.

There's rumors that Ant-Man Scott Lang grows taller instead of shrinks of Captain America Civil War, but I'm far from calling that an appearance of Giant-Man. Giant-Man has a different look than Ant-Man, and if that does happen in the movie, it's basically a precursor to Scott Lang possibly changing his moniker to Giant-Man in the future or somebody else taking up the mantle of the character.

It does make sense to go that direction. The Ant-Man movie already established that Lang has the technology to shrink things and make them grow as well.

However, it would be weird since Ant-Man is a franchise, meaning there's probably two more Ant-Man movies to go. It would also be strange but interesting to have the Ant-Man sequel be entitled Giant-Man.

For one, sure us comic fans would get it, but the studios just don't target comic fans. They actually target the general audience and non-comic fans more.

Having a sequel entitled Giant-Man might confuse non-comic book fans. Then again, in the comics, Ant-Man doesn't really last that long as an Avengers.

Let me explain that better. Pym is a long-time member, yes, but as Ant-Man, he only appears as Avenger once in the comics. His appearance in Avengers #2 is as Giant-Man.

So while I think it would be strange in a movie marketability sense, it's not so strange in a comic book sense. Then again, we are talking about Henry Pym here. Scott Lang never became Giant-Man.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure the speculators will be all over this one like flies on doo doo pretty soon, if they haven't jumped on it already. It was already a pretty valuable book before then in real high grades. Tales to Astonish #49 and the first appearance of Goliath has the cover date of November, 1963.

2nd appearance of Giant-Man & Avengers
1st Giant-Man in Avengers title
2nd issue to comic series
Hulk leaves team & 1st Space Phantom

2nd issue to probably the most popular superhero team in Marvel Comics, 2nd appearance of the Avengers, and this comic has the 2nd appearance of Giant-Man as well. Lot's of 2nds with this issue.

There is a 1st, however, and that's the 1st Giant-Man in the Avengers title. Not an extremely important key notation, but the Hulk also leaves the team in this issue also.

Space Phantom is a minor villain whose origins were often revamped. However, in canon, he or his kind are pawns of Immortus. Space Phantom first appears in this issue, and he does make several other appearances in Marvel Comics.

Not a huge villain, and I'm sure not that many collectors give that first appearance much importance currently, but you never know. Avengers #2 is still a comic that's loaded with key issue goodness, and This comic is actually more valuable and sought-out than the first appearance of Giant-Man in Tales to Astonish #49.

If that isn't much of a surprise! Avengers #2 has the cover date of December, 1963.

4th appearance Giant-Man?
1st meeting of Avengers & Namor
1st Hulk & Namor meeting, battle, and team up
1st Hulk battle with Avengers
1st Namor battle with Avengers

Along with doing this Giant-Man key issues or comics series, I'm also working on a Classic Comic Battles key issues series as well. This one will pop up on there also, so expect to see it again.

This comic actually ties with Tales to Astonish #51 as the 4th appearance of Giant-Man. Both have the same cover date and copyright or on sale date.

There's a lot of key issue goodness that this issue holds that isn't being recognized fully in the secondary market. For one, the story of this issue is titled, "The Avengers Meet Sub-Mariner!"

Yep that means it's the first time Namor meets the Avengers. Industry is recognizing that it's the 1st Hulk and Namor team up, but this issue also has the 1st meeting between the two as well.

The Hulk and Namor do have a brief one-one battle as well, so it's the first Hulk and Namor battle in this very issue. After this brief scuffle where they do exchange blows (Thor and Hulk don't in the first battle between Hulk and Avengers in this issue), they decide to team up against the Avengers.

The fight between Subby and Hulk is about a page and nine panels. Namor wins since the fight ends up in the water at the end. 

The two challenge the Avengers and even in the 2nd fight, Thor and Hulk never exchange blows. Hulk does try to wrench Thor's hammer from his grip unsuccessfully though. 

This comic really has Namor do most of the fighting when the Hulk and Namor take on the Avengers. Unfortunately, before Hulk can do anything meaningful, he transforms into Bruce Banner and flees.

Namor is defeated by the Avengers, and he is clocked by Giant-Man in one of the panels. So, there's a lot of key issue goodness that is going under the radar considering this issue.

I guess I could note this as the first meeting of Giant-Man and Namor as well, but that's going a bit too far. Since Giant-Man is part of the Avengers in this issue, obviously since he appeared in issue #2 as the character, Avengers #3 belongs here and has the cover date of  January, 1964. 

1st meeting of Giant-Man & Spider-Man
1st Giant-Man vs. Spider-Man battle

Spider-Man did not meet Henry Pym as Ant-Man in the early comics. The famous Web Slinger actually first met the character when he was Giant-Man, and this issue here has it.

Now, in Captain America Civil War, it's obvious that Spidey is first going to meet Ant-Man and not Henry Pym but Scott Lang. However, this issue does have the first meeting and battle of Giant-Man and Spider-Man as it came out before Avengers #11.

Needless to say, but it also has the first meeting and battle of Wasp and Spider-Man as well. So, this here is a key issue that isn't that well-known yet in the market.

Well, at least Overstreet nor CGC are noting it as such. Just because it's not noted for it's key issue goodness doesn't mean this comic isn't valuable. High grade 9.4 CGCs are already selling above the $1,000 mark. 

Most recent or last sale sold for $1,650 back in September of 2015 on eBay. A 9.8 CGC sold for $6,651.76 back in 2012 and also on eBay. Last 9.2 sold on eBay for $665.08 back in 2013.

Either way, here it is on this Giant-Man key issues list. Tales to Astonish #57 has the cover date of July, 1964.

Giant-Man new costume
Giant-Man new powers

Not really an overly important Giant-Man key issue, but a key for Giant-Man nonetheless. In this issue we get a new Giant-Man. 

Actually, it's just a new costume, but this new costume can somehow not only affect his size, but the size of anything around him. Doesn't matter much since Henry Pym would soon become Goliath anyway, but he does wear this new costume for a minute before he becomes Yellowjacket in Avengers #59.

It's so far a pretty over-looked Silver Age key, and an 8.5 CGC slabber only sold for $102 bucks. Tales to Astonish #65 has the cover date of March, 1965.

1st appearance of Goliath
1st appearance of the Collector 
Goliath joins Avengers
Henry Pym reveals identity to Avengers

In this issue, Giant-Man becomes Goliath, complete with a new costume to go a long with his new moniker. Goliath would get a costume change again in a later issue.

This particular issue Goliath is stuck at 10 feet and cannot grow nor shrink. The growth in size has put too much strain on his body. Giant-Man was 12 feet tall.

So under this new moniker, Pym joins the Avengers as Goliath and reveals his identity to his team mates. This issue has already seen heat for the 1st appearance of the Collector, who had already made his onscreen debut in Guardians of the Galaxy and is played by Benicio Del Torro.

Avengers #28 has the cover date of May, 1966.

If you're looking for sleepers in this Part 1 here, there aren't many if any at all. Most of these are already pretty up there in high grades, but I did unlock some neglected or over-looked key notations for some well-known keys. 

I thought I might as well thrown in some keys pertaining to Goliath as well. Not many but some just in case. After all, who knows if it will be Giant-Man or Goliath that hits the big screen?

Who knows if it might be both? Depends on who exactly takes up the mantle of Giant-Man. Just because Scott Lang grows into Giant-Man a few times doesn't mean he'll take up the moniker for long.

He might recruit another for the job in the movies. Perfect way to add another Marvel character to cinema.

As for the 3rd and 5th appearances of Giant-Man, they are in Tales to Astonish #50 (3rd). The 5th appearance is in Tales to Astonish #52 (5th).

Journey into Mystery #49 does have the same cover date as Avengers #3 and Tales to Astonish #51, but the on sale date is October 8th, 1964 for JIM #49.

Avengers #3 and TTA #51 were both released the 1st of that month. Also, JIM #49 only has a cameo appearance of Giant-Man and the Avengers, so the 4th appearance of Giant-Man is tied between Avengers #3 and TTA #51. 

However, the story from TTA #51 does continue from issue #50. I'm not sure when Avengers #3 takes place in continuity.


  1. Great write up Vic, thanks for the effort. Do you think Tales to Astonish 59 "Giant Man vs Hulk" may be considered a soon Classic battle cover? :) Oh and btw that CGC 9.4 ToS #57 ...That's mine, only wish it had White pages rather than C/OW. There's just not a lot of these books out there in higher grades so I had to take what I could get

    1. Awesome! Still a great snag Rick. It might be considered a classic cover in the future. Not exactly sure but anything's possible.