Comic Books I am Thankful For: Alpha Flight, Batman, Golden Age

by Joseph Overaitis

Thanksgiving is a time of the year to give thanks for all the good things in your life. The following are some books that I give thanks for the comic book investing lessons they have taught me, from Alpha Flight all the way back to the Golden Age.

Comic book collectors and investors share one of the greatest hobbies on the planet.   These books contain tales of heroic characters and powerful villains pitted in battles where the fate of the world lies in the balance. Reading and collecting these books teaches us lessons that can impact us for the rest of our lives.

The Wrong Lesson I learned from Alpha Flight #106

alpha-194x300 Comic Books I am Thankful For: Alpha Flight, Batman, Golden AgeHistory of Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight #106 was a landmark issue in comic book history.  An Alpha Flight team member came out as gay under editor Christian “Chris” Cooper.  The release of this issue was a major event, according to media reports. Marvel was the top comic book company and yet they took a major risk by having one of their characters openly state that they were gay.   I learned a major lesson from this book that has remained with me to this day…. do not buy the hype!!!

Alpha Flight #106 was culturally important and investors gravitated to this book.  The problem was that the only thing going for this issue was Northstar’s announcement.  The title’s other storylines were not that memorable, nor did any hot artists work on the series.  Retailers priced this raw book at $100 and more the week after the book was released.  Local comic book stores based their prices upon the media coverage the issue was getting.  The problem was that the character’s announcement was only seen by fans as an attempt to sell comic books.

Why I Give thanks for Alpha Flight #106

Alpha Flight #106 made me recognize the difference between hype and quality.  Comic book hype is when someone tells you the reason you should buy this book is because you have to buy the book.  No valid reasons existed.  FOMO on steroids. Later, the hype disappears and so does the investment potential for the book. A story can be culturally significant and investment-worthy, but only if the story is well done.  Green Lantern #87 was carefully crafted and produced.  This issue has stood the test of time both as culturally important as well as investment-worthy.  Do not buy the hype.  Look for the quality.

The Batman Family Born in Fire

bane-196x300 Comic Books I am Thankful For: Alpha Flight, Batman, Golden AgeHistory

The Batman family has no official first appearance.  Batman added characters to serve as his allies in his fight for justice for decades.  Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman, Ace, and others have long been a part of the Batman universe.  They were all soldiers in his fight.  I argue that their relationship changed with the introduction of one character.  That character was Bane.

Bane was introduced in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1.  Bane is part strongman and part evil genius.  Ironically, I considered him to be Batman on steroids.  He was the one character that literally broke Batman.  As a result of the breaking of Batman, a new Bruce Wayne was born.  The argument was always made that Batman was born and became dominant the moment Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed.  As a result, Bruce Wayne was the masked alter ego that he used to hide his true dominant persona of Batman.

The breaking of Batman put the focus on Bruce Wayne.  Bruce Wayne relied upon his soldiers, but they morphed into more powerful because they became a family. The personal dynamics of these characters changed to the point that Bruce Wayne would one day marry Selina Kyle. The Batman family was forged in a steel cauldron we know as the villain called Bane.

Why I give thanks for this book

Bane caused problems for Batman that shook him to his very core.  Bruce Wayne emerged stronger because he realized he had a true family to help him.  The Batman Family has now many members, each with a different personality that mirrors our own families.  Families are a source of strength and it is good to be reminded of this in our daily lives. This issue is also important investment-wise.

Batman: The Vengeance of Bane #1 is a book that can be purchased at the time I am writing this article in the highest grades for less than $300!  Bane is a character that has already appeared on television and in movies. This is a Batman key that has a history and yet still is affordable to most investors.  Many Batman keys are priced beyond the reach of most collectors in high grade.  This issue is the exception. That is the reason you should give thanks for Batman: The Vengeance of Bane #1 .

Captain Marvel: Golden Age Affordability

capjr-212x300 Comic Books I am Thankful For: Alpha Flight, Batman, Golden AgeHistory

The last comic book that I give thanks for during this time of year is more than one issue.  It is the entire run of Captain Marvel, Whiz Comics, and other titles from Fawcett Comics.  Fawcett Comics started to publish comic books in 1939 and continued to do so until 1980.

The reason this company stopped publishing comics was because of the financial destruction that resulted from a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them by the company now known as DC Comics.  The lawsuit was over the similarity between Captain Marvel (Shazam), Superman and their stories.

Fawcett Comics eventually settled the lawsuit, but the damage was done.  Fawcett Comics was devastated to the point that they would eventually sell the intellectual property rights of their characters to DC Comics.

whiz-215x300 Comic Books I am Thankful For: Alpha Flight, Batman, Golden AgeWhy I give thanks for these books

Quality Golden Age books are beyond the reach of most collectors and investors.  Golden Age Captain America, Batman, and even Superman comics sales prices are very high because of the importance of these characters as well as their multimedia appearances. Fawcett Comics are the exception.  Investors can find these books at great prices for even high-grade raw books. These books are very old and yet ignored because they do not have the Marvel or DC Comics logo affixed to their covers.  DC Comics and Marvel bias make these books very affordable.

Fawcett Comics have WWII and other war covers prized among collectors. Fawcett Comics also have covers that are unique because of humor rarely displayed in superhero comics.   These and other Fawcett books come to market much more frequently than any other Golden Age titles.  Finally, when these books do come to market they are often ignored by bidders at auctions.  Shazam #1 and Shazam #28 garner much more interest in rooms than some very high-grade Fawcett Comics Golden Age war covers.  Golden Age comics possess great investment appeal.  As a result, it is rare to find undervalued Golden Age books.  Fawcett Comics are the exception.  Readers should purchase these books at these low prices before buyers realize this fact and the market corrects itself.

Finally

I want to thank everyone for reading.  The intense discussions on the comment boards make me give thanks that I get to share my insight on my favorite hobby with others.  We were once forced to talk in small back rooms of comic book stores but now we can talk with each other across the world.  Remember though, that there is more to life than just our comic books.   I want each and every one of you to have the best holiday season you can by enjoying it with family, friends, and loved ones. Happy Holidays from the GoCollect team to you and your family.

Upgrade2_Footer Comic Books I am Thankful For: Alpha Flight, Batman, Golden Age

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