4 Under the Radar X-Men Titles

by C.M Boggs

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We all know how hot mutant firsts are right now. We have a pretty solid chance of them moving into the mainstream MCU. With that little bit of information, the market for first mutant books has swelled, massively. Books like Uncanny X-Men #1 and #2,  (which have always been popular), are seeing tons of action again. But let’s move away from the spotlight for a moment.

There are several mutant firsts that are currently being ignored by the vast majority because of shining grails. For those without the means to grab these Mega-Keys, there may be some nice gems to grab while they’re still in the shade. Because once they have news and movement, they’re going to be hard to catch. So let’s take a closer look at some of those X-Men titles.

Uncanny X-Men #120

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When there is trouble in Canada, there is only one group to call. X-Men #120 is the first cameo appearance of Alpha Flight. The Canadian mutant team has been on speculators’ watchlists for a while, and it’s easy to see why. With so many lovable characters coming from this team, any one of them could be seeing new fan demand soon.

While this is still a rather valuable Bronze Age key, I think it is currently flying under the radar. With high-grade raw copies sitting just under $100, this is still a relatively nice pickup for any collector. Graded books will still run a hefty premium, especially anything past a 9.4. Which is fair considering its age and significance.

I think Alpha Flight has a good chance to see some kind of light sooner rather than later. There is a lot of love for super teams right now, and this will be the key that collectors and fans will move to as soon as X-Men #121 is out of reach. Having both is the dream, but if you want a nice stepping stone into Uncanny keys, this is a good one to look into at the moment.

Uncanny X-Men #109

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Hard to mention Uncanny #121 without also throwing this title into the mix. Uncanny X-Men #109 is the first appearance of Weapon Alpha (AKA James Hudson. Later Becomes Guardian). The leader of the Alpha Flight team. I think this issue is a cannon ready to fire. With so many new heroes getting a debut on screen, it’s a wonder they have yet to enter the ring. Especially since they were well recognized enough to receive their own title.

Still seeing ranges of $100 – $150, raw copies have been sleeping quite a while. Considering how well X-Men keys are doing right now, this one seems a tad low, with 9.4 slabbed issues not even at $400. Thankfully, that means there are still plenty of opportunities to jump in on this early Uncanny key.

Looking at how well the Team dynamic has been working in Hollywood, there look to be perfect waters for something like an Alpha Flight movie or show to hit us sometime soon. Given they don’t have as big a fanbase as other heroes or hero teams, it may stay a dream a while longer. But who knows, The Eternals got a movie. So anything’s possible.

Uncanny X-Men #160

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Uncanny #160 is the first appearance of Illyana Rasputina as an adult. While her first actual appearance is in Giant-Sized X-Men #1, she is only seen momentarily and as a child. There is no argument about what her first appearance is. However, I think this is a very big key in Magik’s collection as this is her actual character that we see going forward.

With Magik making more of a splash in X of Swords, I think there will certainly be some new fans coming from the series for her. With new fans comes movement in key issues. And this issue is REALLY under the radar right now. Some raw copies are as low as $20. While a 9.8 could still hit around $400, I would say there is quite a range to get in on this issue.

There is also a newsstand version of this issue. And at this point, there is no premium for it. Both it and the direct seem to be running near the same amount. Because this is an ’82, there is a smaller difference in rarity between the two versions. However, if we’re talking sheer surviving numbers, the newsstand will almost always have fewer copies. So something to keep in mind as you hunt.

Uncanny X-Men #266

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Ah, an old favorite of mine and probably everyone else. Mr. Remy LaBeau is probably one of the most recognizable X-Men of all time. Even for being one of the latest to the scene. Yes, right now I think even the first appearance of Gambit is currently under the radar. His price tag may be high right now, but think of how far he’ll skyrocket if he gets brought into the new MCU.

Mutants are coming. We all know this. But it’s WHICH mutants that are coming in that has everyone in a daze. With so many to choose from, they really have their pick of the pot. So why not bring in someone that will delight X-Fans new and old? Well, that’s just what some of us are hoping they will do.

Currently, prices on this issue are around $150 for a raw book. And a 9.6 slab can run $250 and up. However, this issue also has a newsstand. This one with a hefty cost though. As a 9.6 newsstand will run you almost double what the direct would. So check your collection!

Final Remarks:

X-Men titles have been spinning up lately with all the MCU mutant talk. And while these keys have already seen a bump or two, I think with the atmosphere we have at the moment, all of these titles have room to grow. So make sure you keep up to date on the latest mutant news!

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