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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Undervalued and Sleeper Comics Part 17

Returning back to this series and we've got four more to go through. Two are still pretty much sleepers and one of them is a bit questionable. Not sure why a certain guide is noting that one as such.

I did guess and assume but still uncertain. There are two that can be seen as under-valued. The first of this batch I am basing it off the merits of the comic, how it contributes to a character's comic history, and stacking it up to another hottie that blew up big simply because of a certain movie called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

That movie was not very good yet that certain comic the movie was loosely based in part from has the same legendary writer and continued to sustain even after the flick left theaters with it's bad reviews lingering. Anyway, the key issue presented in Part 17 I believe is quite over-looked.

The other over-looked or arguably under-valued key does have a lot going for it in terms of key issue goodness. I am comparing his debut with the debut of another big bad whose 1st appearance skyrocketed since it was announced he would be the Biggest Bad of the upcoming Marvel/Disney flicks.

With that, I'm pretty sure you may have an idea of what debut comic I'm talking about. So, if you missed Part 16, click the link and check it out. If you're good to go, let's dive into these other under-valued or sleeper key comics. Hope you enjoy!

1st Modern Catwoman
1st appearance of Holly Robinson
1st appearance of Carmine Falcone
New-Earth Batman & Catwoman origins begin

Is this a sleeper to a certain extent and is this Copper Age goodie under-valued? Here's the thing about this comic or story for this issue: There's a lot of key issue goodness contained in Batman #404 that isn't really recognized or that well-known.

Sure, Batman #404 begins the classic Year One story line by Frank Miller, but it also retells or reboots Batman's origin Post-Crisis. Yep, this issue begins the New-Earth Batman origin and sees the 1st Modern appearance of Catwoman.

Frank Miller definitely gave Selina Kyle a more grittier origin or back ground Post-Crisis, and this tone for the character of Catwoman was established by Frank Miller and did influence later writers even to this day. Selina is first seen in this rebooted continuity as a prostitute working for a dirt bag pimp named Stan in the East End of Gotham.

She watches over a young Holly Robinson, who makes her debut in this comic. There's a big one right there - Holly Robinson! I expect her character to be making the big screen soon and most likely in Gotham City Sirens while not as the 2nd Catwoman like the character is in the comics. Well, you never know, right?

While the whole prostitute deal for Selina was later erased from continuity and the character instead was schooled as a thief on the mean streets of the East End, the character of Holly Robinson remained a long-time supporting character for Catwoman and even took up the mantle in later comics. Here's some more influences this comic had.

Mob boss of Carmine Falcone also sees his 1st appearance in this issue, and the character did make his live action debut in Batman Begins played by actor Tom Wilkinson. Falcone has appeared in the New 52 but not sure about the Rebirth stuff.

Post-Crisis definitely changed some things around for Barbara Gordon, but the Barbara Gordon in this issue is actually James Gordon's wife. The New-Earth continuity had James Gordon as Batgirl's uncle and adoptive father unlike she was during the Silver Age in which she was Gordon's biological daughter.

So, basically, his niece (Barbara Gordon as Batgirl) had the same name as his wife Post-Crisis. In Pre-Crisis continuity, James Gordon's wife was Thelma Gordon and the mother of Barbara Gordon.

Weird, but this version of Barbara Gordon as James' wife was also a character in both Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. The character was played by Ilyssa Fradin in Batman Begins and Melinda McGraw in The Dark Knight

Also, another character that was plucked from the Frank Miller's Year One story and used on the big screen was James and Barbara's son James Gordon Jr. Actor Nathan Gamble played the character as a young boy in Christopher Nolan's Batman flicks.

This is an influential comic and story line that has obviously influenced quite a bit of elements for both Batman and Catwoman that have carried over to this day. Don't really have to say that this is an important Batman Copper Age comic and is pretty over-looked if you compare it to another Frank Miller classic -  Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1.

I mean, this rendition has influenced later incarnations of the  character of Selina Kyle in which having a hard childhood and growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Gotham seems to be the accepted back ground or origin for the iconic thief and sometimes anti-hero. Many are speculating that this back ground will play out in the new DCEU as well as Gotham City Sirens.

Definitely a Copper Age Batman key issue that should be considered, but as usual, I leave that up to you. This issue is something I am gunning for within my stompin' grounds.

For those who are interested and more concerned about rarity when dealing with these Copper Age keys, there are regular U.S. newsstands of this comic and also Canadian Editions or Canadian price variants with the $1.00 cover price. As of this writing, newsstands do seem to pop up less on ole eBay. Well, let me restate: high grade newsstand copies seem less abundant on eBay so far and at the time of this writing.

Once again and for reference, here are the CGC Census numbers currently or at the time this post was published. Could be different by the time you look at them. 

Batman #404 has the cover date of February, 1987.

1st full appearance of Darkseid
1st appearance of Forever People
Debut mother box and boom tube
1st Darkseid & Superman meeting

Instead of propel whether this issue is actually under-valued or not, I actually just wanted to talk about it since it is such an interesting debate. Most already know about Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 and that issue is still more sought-out than this one currently even if it only has a one panel cameo of Darkseid.

I've heard claims about how it's ridiculous that Hulk #181 and the first full appearance of Wolverine is vastly more valuable than his first cameo in Hulk #180, but Darkseid's first full is vastly less valuable than his first cameo. Some arguments in regard to that is both Hulk #180 and #181 are pretty similar in regards to availability while Forever People #1 does seem to be quite a bit more abundant than Jimmy Olsen #134.

So Jimmy Olsen #134 is more rare than Forever People #1, but as blasphemous to either a Marvel or DC Comics fan, I'm actually going to compare this issue with Iron Man #55 and the 1st appearance of Thanos. Well, okay, the issue that is still recognized as the debut of Thanos.

I don't even want to get into that. Iron Man #55 is definitely a valuable key now and there's no doubt that his first appearance key issue got extremely hot because of all the movie stuff. While we do know Darkseid is going to be a main baddie for the all the DC extended stuff and most likely go through a similar build up like Marvel's Thanos, hype for his 1st full has seemed non-existent to pretty darn weak.

You don't need to be a DC Comics fan to know that Darkseid is a major villain in the actual comics. He is at least within the top 10 on most greatest DC comic villains of all time lists, and Darkseid ranked #2 on my Top DC Villain poll. You can click that link to check it out or vote if you feel like it.

So what's the deal with this issue here? It's barely making a dent.

Let's see how these are performing. Data below is from GoCollect and is the 2 year average of sales on ole eBay for CGC and CBCS.


Jeez, Forever People #1 and the first full appearance of Darkseid is highly under-valued compared to the 1st appearance of Thanos in Iron Man #55. Comparing 9.6 copies of the two is a bit shocking.

Maybe so or maybe shouldn't be so. Let's look at the CGC Census for these two bad boys. First up is Iron Man #55.

And now Forever People #1.

Wow, I don't see where that argument holds any water. Iron Man #55 has 43 more 9.6 copies than Forever People #1, and 36 more 9.8 copies in the census. Now, that isn't a massive disparity concerning census numbers but check out the total there.

That's a disparity of total submitted copies, and a 1,794 difference so far. I'm curious to see how much those individual grade numbers move up once more copies are submitted for Forever People #1.

So is Forever People under-valued, or is it just the market saying they don't care too much for the first full appearance of Darkseid? Well, it is apparent that Iron Man #55 is considered a more desired book right now. That is quite apparent and might even stay that way even when and after Darkseid gets his big screen debut.

But take the scope of Darkseid as a villain in the DC universe of comics. He's a pretty big Big Bad, and compared to Iron Man #55, this comic is shockingly quite a bit less valuable and less abundant.

The only problem is that most are willing to sling Forever People #1 in the secondary market, instead of holding on to them, so they are easier to acquire in correlation to demand. Still, Forever People #1 should not be considered a slouch when it comes to key issue goodness. 

Alright, here's what else this issue has going for it. This key also debuts the Forever People so it has double key issue goodness. No, it actually has more than that. Five of the main Forever People debut in this issue such as Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Mark Moonrider, Serifan, and Vykin the Black.

How are these guys significant? Well, let's explore that, shall we?

Well, let's talk about Apokolips and New Genesis. So Highfather of New Genesis is where he and the Forever People reside. His evil counterpart and the evil counterpart to New Genesis is the ruler of Apokolips known as Darkseid.

Now, I know that Hollyweird can twist the movie from the comics, and the Forever People could be completely neglected. It would be strange to have an Apokolips without a New Genesis, but that's my comic geek mind taking over.

Besides, who is to say that Earth isn't considered a type of New Genesis in the DCeU? However, it is clear that elements from the comics or Jack Kirby's Fourth World are being used in the DCeU.

Forever People #1 also introduces mother boxes and boom tubes. Also sees the debut of another character called Infinity Man. First meeting of Superman and Darkseid too, and you know that will play out on the big screen. They don't brawl or anything in this issue though.

There's a lot going on in this issue. I'll leave this one up to you, but I think you can guess I'm leaning towards a certain side on the scale. 

Forever People #1 is cover-dated March, 1971.

1st appearance of Murk
1st appearance of Dead King

Sleeper and might as well put this one in here for all of you that missed that bit of movie news. Yep, it seems that this character will be joining the Aquaman movie, and Murk is a pretty new character in the world of Aquaman comics.

So Ludi Lin from the Power Rangers movie has been cast as this Atlantean warrior. Well, he's actually one of them military leaders who first starts off loyal to Orm or Ocean Master, Aquaman's rival half-brother.

Murk has served Aquaman, but his loyalty for Orm is extremely strong. I expect this one to be an eventual right-hand man for Patrick Wilson's Orm.

There is tension between Aquaman and this character from the get-go. Here's Murk's debut in this issue seen below.

And then when some annoying human decides to get fresh with Aquaman, Murk takes matters into his own as seen below:

So, this one is a sleeper or it's such a minor character in the eyes of collectors, speculators or comic investors, Murk's debut is not cared for by most in the secondary market. Variant? Of course, this comic did come out in 2013.

Regular cover has an estimated print run of around 58,578. The sketch cover variant is a 1:25 deal, so estimate for the variant is somewhere around 2,343 or less.

Variant is a tad more pricey for some reason on eBay. Maybe find one locally for cheaper if interested. Aquaman #17 of the New 52 2011 series has the cover date of April, 2013.

1st full appearance of Tombstone?

Okay, let's talk about this one here, because it's pretty whack. Well, at least, trying to figure out why Overstreet notes this issue as the first full appearance of Tombstone is a bit whacked.

So recently I did Part 4 to the Copper Age Spider-Man key comics series and it listed Spectacular Spider-Man #138 as the first full appearance of Tombstone. Once again, that was done so because Overstreet notes it as such.

However, the mucked up thing is that Tombstone appears in the previous issue also and for around the same length as Spectacular Spider-Man #138. So, in the previous issue of #137, Tombstone appears in 8 panels on one page.

Here's how he appears in issue #137 below.

From Spectacular Spider-Man #137

From Spectacular Spider-Man #137

And there it is for Tombstone's appearance in issue #137. Onward!

Okay, now let's look at this very issue of #138, and Tombstone appears in 8 panels on three pages. Actually, one of the pages is a panel that has a newspaper photo of him. Alright, better that you see yourself and here's how he appears in Spectacular Spider-Man #138 below.

From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 11
From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 15

From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 15

From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 16

I am going to guess that it's because Tombstone is on more than one page, although the amount of panels are around the same. Might be that Tombstone is also shown more clearly more often in this issue of #138 also.

Issue #137 has two panels where his back is turned and one at a pretty far distance. In that issue, he's only clearly identifiable in five panels really. 

I dunno, and I'm just guessing here. Don't really know what the deal is.

Right now Web of Spider-Man #36 is the Tombstone appearance to get. He only shows up in four panels in that issue, though, as shown below. He is named, however.

Tombstone's debut in Web of Spider-Man #36

I think this one is pretty much a sleeper and kinda deserves to be since there can be more confusion surrounding why Overstreet notes this as Tombstone's first full appearance.

Hell, your call to make on this one but I think it's still pretty much a sleeper for a reason. Spectacular Spider-Man #138 has the cover date of May, 1988.

Forever People #1 still forever remains a mystery why it's not as desirable as the debut of Thanos in Iron Man #55. If we're talking about scarcity of high grades in the census, there's quite a disparity when it comes to that but not huge (concerning the top high grades of 9.8 and 9.6). 

Batman #404 is still widely over-looked over-all. So far Canadian Editions are pretty scarce finds in the secondary market, and the majority in the market place currently are direct market copies. 

1st appearance of Murk? Well, announcement for the character joining the Aquaman flick is pretty recent. If you're not sure who Ludi Lin is, it's this homie to the left over there.

However, so announcement is pretty recent, but the announcement of Dolph Lundgren cast as King Nereus is also pretty recent as well. His debut is pretty on-par with Murk right now.

So what is King Nereus' debut in comics? Not surprisingly he is a creation of Geoff Johns and debuted in Aquaman #19 of the New 52 series beginning in 2011. That comic is still over-looked as well, but thought I might as well mention it. I already did in the Google+ community a while back, and this issue not surprisingly has a 1:10 variant also and known as the Mad variant.  

Regular cover for Aquaman #19 from the New 52 series has an estimated print run or North American sales from Diamond Distributors to ole local comic shops as around
53,700. 1:10 Mad variant should be 5,370 or less.

Gonna leave this outro a bit shorter this time. Still dealing with family troubles and it's mostly legal shiz.

Legal means it takes a while and eats up everyone's time. Will try to have more comic goodness soon. See ya next time!



  1. Hey TCM,

    totally agree on Bats 404! Did get it 2 years ago. Not for the key issue godness but because Miller and David M. is allready a classic team. Gorgeous art that can also be seen in the pages of Daredevil. Investment tip? Get the whole Batman run and sell them alltogether.

    Max Rebo

  2. Definitely the first 2 books are undervalued in my opinion. The other 2 books I could care less about and will probably never buy. I'm trying to get more DC and Marvel Canadian Variants in my personal collection. I think some of them will be good investment books in the future because of rarity.