Bronze Age: Hidden Gems

by Norman Robinson III

122575_897aebde4ea33659ad9fc0ecc41633835594efba-199x300 Bronze Age: Hidden GemsThere are many hidden gems in the world of comic book collecting. Early cameos, and price variants all blow up the value of a particular comic book. As the popularity of comic book speculation grows, the nuance of hidden gems of the Silver and Bronze Age are being mined. One little known jewel is Sub-Mariner #35. This early team-up of the Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer is a precursor to the creation of the Defenders. This book hints at a possible future team-up, and these characters become the beginning roster of the Defenders. Essentially this is the first inkling of the Defenders as a team and a fun book to own in high grade. Can the combined might of three of Marvel’s most powerful beings produce Hulk green profits?






122575_897aebde4ea33659ad9fc0ecc41633835594efba-199x300 Bronze Age: Hidden GemsSub-Mariner #35

This book was created in March 1971 with Roy Thomas (script) and Sal Buscema, Jim Mooney (pencils and inks). Sal has done some great work and definitely lives up to his brother’s fame as an artist in his own right. Sub-Mariner #35 was a precursor to Defenders and happens well before their first appearance in Marvel Feature #1 in December of 1971. The cover simply rocks and every Marvel fan knows that before superheroes can work together; they usually end up fighting and then become friends. Kind of like kids on the schoolyard but with superpowers. What long-term value does this book hold?






  • Grade 9.6 $1800 FMV returns positive +23.3%
  • Grade 9.2 $200 FMV returns positive +53.7%
  • Grade 8.0 $100 FMV returns positive +57.7%
  • Grade 6.5 $55 FMV returns positive +168.3%

The returns are solid for this early precursor. A solid indicator is that the lower grades are also participating in these fantastic returns. How about the short-term, are there any differences in the short/long-term with Sub-Mariner #35?


iron-man-v-namor-2018-e1527885259462-300x279 Bronze Age: Hidden GemsShort-Term

  • Grade 9.6 $1800 returns negative -37.8%
  • Grade 9.0 $170 returns positive +11.7%
  • Grade 8.5 $110 returns positive +55.4%
  • Grade 7.5 $100 returns positive +307.8%


Other than the grade of 9.6 which took a pounding, the high to mid grades seem to be fairing quite well. Especially grade 7.5 at a return of +307.8% which is like a haymaker from the Hulk, devastatingly good! Another aspect of this book is the limited number of copies in the CGC Census which has only 219. Sub-Mariner #35 is truly a hidden gem of value and a precursor to profit.



172663_89a911fb2ba7f080576a616752f70f4596c8582f-198x300 Bronze Age: Hidden GemsGhost Rider #28

This is the first team appearance of The Nine (Midnight Sons) also the first appearance of Caretaker, the first appearance of Lilith, and the first appearance of the Meat-market offspring of Lilith. Apparently, this group will appear in the Helstrom series and has been loosely confirmed. While we are waiting for absolute confirmation lets see if this book is even worth it.


  • Grade 9.8 has had one sale in 2019
  • Grade 9.6 two sales: 2019- $124 and $124
  • Grade 9.4 one sale $49.99 in 2019



8f386264d8fa6858e807167a4f39e6e9 Bronze Age: Hidden GemsRecommendation:

Highlighted primarily as the first cameo appearance of Lilith Ghost Rider #28 was created in 1992 by Howard Mackie (script) with Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert (inks and pencils). This issue launches the “Marvel’s Midnight Son’s imprint of hero/horror related books; continued in Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #1” (GoCollect). If Marvel truly pursues the horror theme everyone attributes to this particular series; then we could see Ghost Rider #28  ripping up the side of a proverbial profit skyscraper while giving competitors the bird. This Modern Age key is a diamond in the rough.




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Jerry November 7, 2019 - 12:06 pm

Talking about variants. Have you done or though about an article on the Whitman bagged comics from the early 80’s.

Norman Robinson III November 7, 2019 - 3:00 pm

yeah, I have done that in the past. I think they were part of a blog. What’s interesting about the Whitmans for you, Jerry?


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