Atlas Monster Comics – Part 2

by Douglas Ohlandt

010423E-1024x536 Atlas Monster Comics - Part 2We’re back with more Atlas monster comics. Last time around, we took a look at the biggest and baddest monsters featured in Strange Tales and Journey Into Mystery. This time, we’ll analyze the monsters in Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish.

Prototypes Galore

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Tales of Suspense issues prior to Tales of Suspense #39 (the first appearance of Iron Man) are known more for “prototypes” – renderings of future Marvel characters in some way, shape, or form – than they are for the monsters themselves.

Other than the first appearance of a monster known as Colossus in Tales of Suspense #14 – a creation that would become known as It! The Living Colossus in the Bronze Age – none of the monsters created in the pages of the series would gain any future notoriety.

There are very few sales of Tales of Suspense #14; only four graded copies have sold in 2022. That makes it difficult to note any trends. In fact, of 90 graded copies, only 38 have changed hands. In the mid-grades, you’re looking at roughly $150 to $350 purchase if you want a copy.

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The prototypes show up quite a bit more in the later issues, including early Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and the Watcher prototypes, among others. A creature known as the Monster in the Iron Mask appears on the cover of Tales of Suspense #31 wearing a mask that would not look out of place on the face of Dr. Doom.

With 172 graded copies, sales are much more plentiful for this issue. The most recent sale was a 7.5 graded copy selling in an eBay fixed price sale for $1,191 on November 26, a marked increase over the $811 paid in an eBay auction in August 2021.

While there has been some softening of value in the high grades, grades 8.0 and below show, for the most part, a positive trendline. For Dr. Doom completists, Tales of Suspense #31 could be worth adding to your collection.

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Best three monster names in Tales of Suspense go to Gor-Kill (Tales of Suspense #12), Googam (Tales of Suspense #17), and Kraa (Tales of Suspense #18). Honorable mention goes to Oog (Tales of Suspense #27).

Everyone’s Favorite Talking Tree

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Ever since Groot made his MCU debut in the Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s been a fan favorite. The talking tree and his three-word vocabulary has appeared in both Guardians of the Galaxy films, two Avengers films, and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. He’s even had his own animated spin-off.

His fame has made him the king of the Atlas monsters. Groot made his first comic book appearance in Tales to Astonish #13, a book that far outpaces any other Atlas monster comic in terms of value.

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A restored 2.0 graded copy sold in a December 14 eBay auction for $1,245, essentially setting a four-figure floor for this comic. In the mid-grades, a 5.0 sold in the November 22 Heritage auction for $4,080, setting a record in the grade. In the 7.5 grade, while the price has risen and then fallen in the few sales this year – from $10,500 to $16,500 to $13,812 –  it is now, and will likely remain, a five-figure comic.

The two highest-graded copies are a 9.4, which has never sold, and a 9.2 which last sold in 2014 for nearly $15,000. It will be fascinating to see how much it will take to purchase either of these two in the future.

TtA25-199x300 Atlas Monster Comics - Part 2Groot has to be the best monster name in Tales to Astonish. How could you give it to anyone else? But, since everyone knows Groot, we’ll give the awards to Gorgilla (Tales to Astonish #12), Vandoom (Tales to Astonish #17), and Moomba (Tales to Astonish #23). Honorable mention goes to The Creature from Krogarr in Tales to Astonish #25 just because of the opportunity for supermarket jokes that would result if anyone outside the collecting public heard of him.

Do you collect Atlas monster comics? Do you have a favorite Atlas monster? Let us know below.

000052721D-1-Footer Atlas Monster Comics - Part 2*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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1 comment

Sean January 7, 2023 - 7:06 pm

Some of my sentimental favorites are A Monster at my Window, The Living Shadow, Gorgolla the Living Gargoyle, The Thing in the Black Box, The Molten Man-Thing, and Sserpo the Creature Who Crushed the World. Not the greatest names, but i had the reprint versions of comics featuring those monsters when I was a kid.


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