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Monday, May 2, 2016

Classic Comic Battles Key Issues Part 7

We've got another edition of classic comic battles, and as promised, I've got some DC stuff. Two of the comics are 1st appearance key issues. Kinda hard to neglect a 1st battle that doesn't have a 1st appearance or appearances as well.

Characters don't always have a 1st battle with their 1st appearance though, but it is more common than not to have one. We won't be seeing that example in this part, but there will an example in Part 8 as that was written a few days ago already.

Alright, let's get to the action. Click this Part 6 link if you need to.

1st Superman & Captain Marvel battle
3rd appearance of Black Adam

This issue here is the 1st battle between Superman & Captain Marvel or Shazam as it's entitled on the comic cover. I mean battle as in all-out slug fest. 

The two first met in Justice League of America #137 and that comic promised an epic battle between the two. It didn't happen, though, and just when the two were about to duke it out, Captain Marvel turned back into Billy Batson

So fans were robbed of a Superman vs Captain Marvel battle. Well, they finally got one in this issue, and it's a pretty bad ass brawl. Here's a bit of it to look over for pure amusement.

Lots of action in a pure sock 'em up comic fight, much to what fans back then were crying out for. DC Comics did not skimp out in this super match up, but the battle was pretty one-sided.

It was clear that DC heavily favored Superman, and he clearly comes out the winner in this classic and first battle between the Blue Boy Scout and the Big Red Cheese.

Perhaps, the old rivalry between the two characters during the Golden Age was still lingering when Captain Marvel started out-selling the Man of the Steel on the newsstands. Definitely would not be the last time these two go at it. Classic battle between two DC Comics' powerhouses, All-New Collector's Edition C-58 has the cover date of May, 1978.

FLASH #139
1st appearance of Professor Zoom/ Reverse Flash
1st battle between Flash & Professor Zoom

This really isn't a slug-fest of a battle, and although classic, it's early Flash stuff and the first time he goes up against another super speedster. Definitely more sought-out because it's the 1st appearance of Professor Zoom or Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne has become one of the Flash's most notable and iconic of villains.

I basically wanted to slap this one in here for those who never seen his first match up with Reverse Flash. Like I mentioned before, I don't think it's a great battle for today's standards, but they were building up the character at this time and experimenting with how two speedsters could clash.

I find it a bit amusing. Anyway, you decide for yourself.

Reverse Flash does make an escape, but the Flash will soon find him again for another go. It's more of chasing and evading than any physical combat.

So definitely a different kind of battle concerning the 1st Flash vs Professor Zoom battle. Lot's of chasing and very little physical combat as to be expected. Their battles would get a lot more interesting in later comics, and like mentioned before, this is basically a first outing for a speedster going up against another speedster in DC Comics.

Goofy but in a charming way concerning the times back then. September, 1963 is the cover date for Flash #139.

X-MEN #4
1st appearance Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
1st appearance of Toad, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch
1st X-Men vs. Brother of Evil Mutants battle
2nd appearance Magneto

Speaking of speedsters, how about we take a look at Marvel's first speedster and his first battle with the X-Men. Of course, he isn't going up against another speedster, but it's interesting to see how the two comic publishers used their speedsters in battle during this time in the Silver Age.

This comic is definitely one of the X-Men key issues that loaded with 1st appearance goodness. Aside from being the 1st conflict with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that the X-Men faced, this key comic is definitely more sought-out because of their 1st appearance and the 1st appearances of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for sure. 

X-Men #4 also has the 2nd appearance of Magneto as well, which often gets over-looked by the 1st appearance notations as well. So one of the best X-Men key issues out there? Absolutely!

The battle is a team effort, but as you'll see, the main players in the clash are really Beast, Angel, and Cyclops. They do go at it with members of the Brotherhood on a more one-on-one basis. Ice Man and Marvel Girl show up at the end and don't really go at it with the Brotherhood. Check it out and enjoy!

It's weird that Magneto has a regular, non-homo-superior army, but I'm guessing that Mastermind has something to do with that.
And we see our favorite Marvel speedster for the first time in action against Angel.

After that, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants make their escape, but the X-Men do give chase. However, their is another meeting between the two after, but the Brotherhood make their escape before any fight happens. Quicksilver also shows that he's more a hero than villain and defuses a bomb that was set to go off by Magneto before making his escape as well.

Definitely more action-packed that Flash #139, but Quicksilver really wasn't in any drag-out knock 'em scenes either. Then again, this is a battle between two super-teams, and it would be continued in the very next issue. 

Still a classic comic any which way you want to slice it. X-Men #4 has the cover date of March, 1964.

Some classic battles don't always have to have big ole slug fests. It really does depend on the character and villain, much like with Batman & the Joker.

Then again, some characters do have to have good dust ups for them to be classic, much like the Hulk vs. the Thing or Wolverine vs. Sabretooth. Superman vs. Captain Marvel, though? That should definitely be an all-out brawl no matter what era of comic that key issue hails from.

It's still fun to go back and look at how the artists and writers used and illustrated certain characters for battles. They might not seem overly graphic in terms of the comics that I grew up with and especially Modern Age comics, but for the time, they seemed to work pretty well for comic fans back in the day.

After all, if the battles weren't great enough, the fans wouldn't have written in to see more of their heroes go and up against so-and-so.


  1. I love these classic battles! Great idea and great posts, well written! In a previous part you mentioned a 9.8 of one of the battles (I can't remember which one) and a 9.6 of that issue selling for substantially less than its 9.8 counterpart. Do you think the difference in price between 9.8 and 9.6 is justified? I mean, how much of a difference is there between a comic with a 9.8 and one graded 9.6? Are people paying a premium on 9.8s in hopes they go up in price more than other grades? Too me, a 9.6 is a pretty sweet book to have, and I don't mind adding them to my collection, plus I can buy more comics in 9.6 with the same money I'd spend on one in a 9.8. I'm just curious as to why 9.8s pull more weight than a 9.6. Thanks! And really appreciate these awesome articles.

    1. That's a good question. It really depends on the era and the book. I think it was X-Men #104 I that had the disparity.

      In the CGC census there are far less 9.8s than 9.6s. It's a 48 to 134. The thing with most later Bronze Age and Copper Age books is that there are quite a bit of copies out there.

      For example, X-Men #104 wasn't recognized until a few years back as the 1st meeting and battle between the 2nd incarnation of the X-Men team and Magneto. Overstreet nor CGC recognizes it still.

      In that case, a low CGC Census just may mean that collectors have yet to deem the comic worth getting grading, so comic investors and speculators try to get the highest grade possible, most likely a 9.8.

      Why is this? It's because that there's a chance that once more people do deem X-Men #104 worth it to graded, there might be a lot of 9.6s that end up coming back from CGC or CBCS or PGX. I mean, right now there's 134 total 9.6s and the comic as a whole only has 861 total registered copies in the CGC Census.

      For a later Bronze Age Marvel book, you have to use common sense that there are a lot more raw copies out there that have yet to be graded. That's why there are some that are more partial to get a 9.8 than a 9.6 of that comic.

      Take Ms. Marvel #1 CGC Census, which was a really hot book a few years ago. It now has 129 9.8s and 376 9.6s in the census. Total registered to date is 2043.

      So that's why peeps gun for 9.8s over 9.6s. It also depends on how available the grade is. If there's a ton of 9.6s out there in the market place already but 9.8s aren't easy finds, it will take longer for the value to rise if demand isn't high enough for that book.

      Yes, sometimes the price difference is justified. Sometimes it's not. Depends on the book, era, how available it is in the market (grade wise) and demand. If demand is super high (X-Men #104 isn't in super high demand since it's not overly well-known in a huge way), like Batman Adventures #12, a CGC 9.6 just may be a good grade to snag before peak or before it blows up to ridiculous prices.

      That's the basic reasoning behind that. It's about demand and rarity is as simple as I can put it. I don't know of anyone who has the money to buy up 150 CGC 9.6 copies of the same comic at $200 a pop. That'd be putting all your eggs in one basket and any investment advisor would highly frown on that.

    2. Flash 139 and X-Men 4. Both huge silver age keys that should hold there value for years to come. Especially X-Men 4. Probably the second most important X-Men comic of all-time. Keep it comin' Mayhem.

  2. All no brainers, for sure! I' m always happy to have a nice copy without stamps, inks or major bruises. I don't mind minor flaws. Right now I snagged a nice copy of Marvel Team Up 100 - double whamy with first appearance of Karma of New Mutants fame & Frankie Miller art!

    Speculation Jones