Created by Joe Simon in 1940, Blue Bolt was an American superhero title initially published in Philadelphia by the Novelty Press. The original Blue Bolt Comics would last until August 1951 (publishing over 100 issues). However this character and comic are significant more for their creators than for heroic adventures. Two copies of Blue Bolt are currently up for auction with Heritage this month.
Blue Bolt was co-written and drawn by none other than Jack Kirby. In that sense, the original Blue Bolt Comics might be viewed as a try-out for what would later become the Marvel brand of superhero comic.
Simon and Kirby, of course, would go on to create Captain America almost immediately after their collaboration on Blue Bolt. Given that Bill Everett (creator of the Sub-Mariner) was also contributing to Blue Bolt Comics in the Golden Age, this series really does start to resemble a Marvel tryout experiment.
They say lightning never strikes twice. Well, whoever said that, didn’t know Fred Parish. A football player who was struck by lighting, Parish went on to board a plane only to be struck by lighting yet again! Normally one lightning strike will severely injure or kill the average person; apparently getting struck twice and exposed to radium after a plane crash gives you superpowers. That, in a nutshell, is the incredible origin of the Golden Age hero, Blue Bolt. With only twelve copies on the CGC census, this comic can rightly be called rare. As mentioned, it is also historically significant since it’s the first collaboration between Joe Simon and Jack ‘the King’ Kirby.
In a 9.2 Near Mint Minus grade, Blue Bolt Comics #2 has a listed value of $4,300 according to the latest edition of Overstreet. The last two sales of certified 9.6 copies sold on Heritage for $6,900 (on 8-4-02) and $5,975 (on 5-15-14). The current copy is a 4.0 which is valued by Overstreet at $554. Check it out on auction at Heritage.
With a classic cover from L.B. Cole and inside art by Jack Kirby, Larry Antonette, and Basil Wolverton, this is another issue of Blue Bolt worth picking up. Actually, this is the Blue Bolt Adventures. You see, a strange thing happens to Blue Bolt at the end of the 1940s. With the popularity of superheroes on the wane, the editors decided to make Blue Bolt less of a super-powered hero and more of a non-powered plain clothes fighter. In the meantime, his adventures had been written for years not by Simon but by other scribes (including notables like Dan Barry, Tom Gill, and even Mickey Spillane). These later Blue Bolt comics are still highly collectible but even here Blue Bolt takes second stage to heroes like Basil Wolverton’s Spacehawk (pictured on the cover). At least Simon and Kirby are back. The copy of Blue Bolt #106 up for sale at Heritage right now is in a 5.5 grade. A 6.0 is valued at $291 by Overstreet but this comic has sold for far above that price even in lower grades. For example, a 3.5 graded copy sold for $346 on eBay on 6-17-18. Keep your eye out on the Heritage auction to see what these Blue Bolt comics go for.