Originally published by Nedor Publications, Exciting Comics was a Golden Age superhero anthology title that gave us such memorable heroes as The Mask, the American Eagle, the Space Rovers, and the Black Terror. Lasting 69 issues (from April 1940 – September 1949), Exciting Comics can still excite collectors of Golden Age comics. This month, three copies of Exciting Comics are up for auction at Heritage Exciting Comics #5, Exciting Comics #20, and Exciting Comics #59.
Exciting Comics #1 (April 1940) – Origin & First appearance of The Mask, Jim Hatfield, Sgt Bill King, Dan Williams begin
Published with an April 1940 cover date, the adventure angle was obvious. Since this was at the height of the Golden Age superhero craze, it was only fitting that the series was launched as a superhero anthology. The first hero the book introduces readers to is the Mask. The Mask was the superhero name of District Attorney Tony Colby who fought crime behind, yep – you guessed it, a mask. The first 20 issues of Exciting Comics featured his adventures. On March 21st of 2018, an 8.0 copy of his first appearance sold on ComicConnect auction for $3,300. On July 23rd of 2018, a 3.0 certified copy sold for $1,280.
Exciting Comics #9 (May 1941) – Origin of The Black Terror; First appearance of The Black Terror & sidekick Tim, beginning series
Think of the Black Terror (the hero name of pharmacist Bob Benton) as a more popular Golden Age version of the Punisher. At least, he looks like the Punisher, his powers, however, are akin to Spider-man’s since he gains super-strength from an “elixir” deriving from the blood of red ants. In the Golden Age, he was the ‘Nemesis of Crime’ and the character was such a hit that he went on to dominate the content of Exciting Comics appearing in over 60 issues. His appeal was so strong, moreover, that his adventures were continued in 27 issues of his own self-titled series as well as in issues #1-31 of America’s Best Comics. Exciting Comics #9, his first appearance, has only 32 copies listed on the CGC census. On January 19, 2019, a 4.0 graded copy sold for $5,000 on eBay.
Finally, the Space Rovers, were another hero group this time introducing a superhero-sci-fi theme into the adventures. Exciting Comics #5, “Adventure on an Asteroid” is currently up for auction at Heritage. It features the Space Rovers ready for action, with ray guns blaring. This 9.0 copy of Exciting Comics #5, with its painted Max Plaisted cover featuring a unique green-clawed purple alien sci-fi creature, is one of the only two listed on the CGC census in that high a grade. Overall, Exciting Comics #5 has a total of only 11 copies on the CGC census. Overstreet has its current (2019) value in 9.2 at $2,850. The most recent sale of a 2.0 at a ComicLink auction (September 28, 2018) ended at $231
Keep your eye on the Heritage Auction for the three issues of Exciting Comics to see what they will sell for this month!