Ka-Zar and Doctor Doom: Two for One

by Blaise Tassone

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Many are betting high stakes on the future appearance of Doctor Doom in the MCU. The Disney purchase of Fox has made it a question of not ‘if’ but ‘when’ Victor Von Doom will appear. At the same time, we know that the Marvel Mutants are scheduled for an MCU appearance as well. The rebooted X-Men may very well try to tap into storylines that were ignored by Fox (and there are many). Among those storylines could be the Savage Land and its protector/denizen Ka-Zar.

However, if you wanted to invest in Doom and Ka-Zar simultaneously where would you look?

There’s one Marvel Bronze Age title you need: the 1970-1976 anthology title Astonishing Tales.

 

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Over its six-year run, the Astonishing Tales anthology title boasted an impressive number of key issues and first appearances. The first appearance of Bobbi Morse (later Mockingbird) can be found in this series, as well as villain Joshua Link (aka Gemini); and the debut of Luther Manning (aka Deathlok, in issue #25). But in this post, I want to focus on the Ka-Zar and Doctor Doom stories.

Astonishing Tales #1 (August 1970) – First issue of series; Ka-Zar (by Kirby) & Dr. Doom double feature begins; Kraven the Hunter cover and story; Nixon cameo

From its inception, AT served as a platform to develop the adventures of the jungle lord Ka-Zar (first introduced into Marvel continuity in X-Men #10). As a bonus feature, AT included a 10 page Doctor Doom story written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by the great Wally Wood. Both begin in the debut issue. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby deliver the Ka-Zar story. This is already a very pricey (FMV $980.00) comic in austere 9.8 grade (of which there are a total of only 5 graded that high on the CGC census). In the last three months, only an 8.0 sale is on record. This sold on eBay for a mere $39.50 (12/20/2019). Raw copies, even in high grades, are still very affordable.

 

 

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Astonishing Tales # 6 (June 1971) – First Appearance of Bobbi Morse and Black Panther Appearance

Will the second Black Panther movie feature Doctor Doom? Or will it be Namor’s turn to take to the screen? If the former is the case, you’ll want this book in your collection. Although this book is a key for being the first appearance of Bobbi Morse, it also features a Black Panther appearance. In this comic, he faces off versus Doctor Doom. Nuff’ Said! There are currently only 138 copies of AT #6 on the CGC census. Long term returns are mixed but the last 9.2 sold on eBay for $147.50 (11/29/2019 Auction), giving that grade a healthy +28.1% return over the last 10 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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Astonishing Tales #8 (October 1971) – First Appearance of Cynthia Von Doom

Doctor Doom’s mother appears in issue #8. If the MCU ever decides to introduce Doom’s backstory and she makes an appearance, this will be a book you’ll be glad to own. Only 66 copies on the CGC census. Currently, a certified and graded 9.8 copy has an FMV of only $200.00, but it has sold in that grade for as high as $373.75 in the past (Heritage Auction 05/20/2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Astonishing Tales #12 (June 1972) – Second appearance of Man-Thing; by Neal Adams

The Doctor Doom stories eventually ended after issue #8. Ka-Zar stories would continue, in extended form, until issue #20 released in 1973. After the Ka-Zar features ended, the title went on to briefly introduce It! The Living Colossus, before premiering the more straight forward adventure stories of Deathlok. Insofar as the later Ka-Zar stories, issue #12 is the one to get. It features the second (first color) appearance of Man-Thing. Only 46 copies on the CGC census. The last sale was an 8.0 for only $69.99. 9.6 grades of this issue have sold for as high as $385.00 (last recorded sale: ComicConnect 12/02/2010).

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