Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will Robinson

by Patrick Bain

010622D-1024x536 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will Robinson“Lost in SPACE and I don’t know much.  I was thinking aloud and fell out of touch.”  Paraphrasing Graham Russell of the 80s soft rock band Air Supply–he described me well.  I think my childhood love for Lost In Space blinded me to the real place of Irwin Allen’s characters in the hearts of investors.  Oh, the pain, Doctor Smith.  But I’m afraid it’s “Lost In Space: Danger Will Robinson!” for collectors of Robinsons’ comics. 

For the Love of Sixties Robots

Lost-In-Space-Danger-Will-Robinson-robot-300x219 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonInitially, producers posed Lost In Space as a serious family adventure in the vein of the original Swiss Family Robinson.  Later, more of the episodes resembled the camp and colors of Batman ’66.  Zachary Smith, Will, Penny, and the Robot played the pivotal roles when Season Two debuted in color.  Shows lost the gravitas of competitor Star Trek, as stories targeted a younger audience.  That was all good for me since I was young when I first saw episodes.  However, I wonder if the friendly robot and fun aliens have impacted the collectability and enduring interest in the series.  Certainly, Lost In Space is no Star Trek.

Space Family Robinson

Space-Family-Robinson-1-214x300 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonThe Gold Key Comic Space Family Robinson deserves some credit for inspiring Irwin Allen’s series.   Space Family Robinson #1 predated me, debuting in 1962.  I’m embarrassed to say I always assumed the TV show came first.  With issue #15, the comic book title changed to emphasize “Lost In Space”.  But what Gold Key failed to change was the cast of characters featured in the comic.

I wonder how investors may have valued Space Family Robinson: Lost In Space #15 if the television cast made their first comic appearances in that issue from 1966?  Presently, high grade copies of issue 1 and issue 15 enjoy decent demand compared to other comics in the series.   Issue 1 is described as “low distribution”.  Both issues suffer from low sales volume and very low counts of graded comics.  Sales are almost as rare as inhabitable planets in the vastness of space.

Star-Trek-7-199x300 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonLet’s compare and contrast Star Trek #1 with Space Family Robinson #1.

Star Trek #1: photo cover, close association with TV show, 1967, almost 1,000 CGC graded copies, GoCollect FMV $86,000 for 9.8, last 9.8 sale in 2015 for $40,500. (note: Star Trek 7 pictured for variety.)

Space Family Robinson 1: painted cover, not affiliated with TV show, 1962, about 100 CGC graded copies, GoCollect FMV $9,000 for 9.8 (but highest graded is 9.0, most recent high-grade sale $598 for CGC 8.5 in 2017.

One might say it is unfair to compare Lost In Space to Star Trek.  But, CBS passed on Star Trek to broadcast Lost In Space.  So, isn’t it ironic that all these years later CBS is the home of Star Trek but apparently not Lost In Space based on my search of Paramount+.  Again, I wonder if Lost In Space could have enjoyed similar success to Star Trek if handled differently.

Lost In Space with the Original Will Robinson

Lost-In-Space-1-from-Innovation-196x300 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonThough I believe Space Family Robinson failed to launch by not fully embracing the TV show, Innovation blasted off with its television character-based series in 1991.  Lost In Space #1 featured John, Maureen, Don, Judy, Will, Penny, and special guest star Zachary Smith.   Throw in the Robot for good measure but include reminiscences by Bill Mumy as an excellent way to fully tribute the old series.  Later issues featured stories scripted by Mumy!

This series marks first comic appearances for the Robinson clan.  About 25 years late, I’d say.  A collector paid $200 in December for one of three CGC 9.8s.  I suspect this comic would be readily available in high grade and a good candidate for signatures from the remaining living cast members.  And note from the cover, it’s easy to see the artists went for a more mature, sensationalized version of the Lost In Space girls.  Despite that, raw copies of all issues are readily available at eBay and probably discount bins everywhere.

Lost Adventures

Lost-In-Space-Lost-Adventures-Variant-photo-cover-198x300 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonWe all have TV shows where we wish there was just one more season.  Though Lost In Space ended too early for some, American Gothic Press created comics from “lost” episodes.  Lost In Space: The Lost Adventures featured a couple unproduced TV scripts by the show writers.  The series debuted in 2016 with a bonus.  As best I can tell, this is the first series to have Lost In Space photo covers.  True fans of the Robinsons need to get those variant covers.  Based on the sparse number of CGC graded comics, I don’t think collector demand is there.  One CGC 9.8 copy of Lost In Space: The Lost Adventures #1 photo variant sold for $99 in December.

Lost In Space: Danger Will Robinson Wrap Up

Lost-In-Space-Danger-Will-Robinson-costume-114x300 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonJust like the Jupiter 1 veering off-course, the trajectory of Lost In Space comics for investment speculation may take you far from your destination.  Unlike Star Trek where decades of new content and collectibles have been generated, Irwin Allen’s characters seem forgotten in the vast collector universe.

That doesn’t mean there’s no cool comics, memorabilia, or art related to the series.  A slew of authentic costumes from the TV show sold for thousands last November.  Will Robinson’s outfit fetched 93 grand–don’t send your kid to Junior High School wearing these clothes, but they would look good in a Sixties Museum.

George-Wilson-Space-Family-Robinson-5-cover-e1641419924480-226x300 Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will RobinsonMy most studious readers will recall my article Star Trekker Fitness Program.  Legendary Gold Key painter George Wilson produced numerous Star Trek comic covers.  But his art also graced the covers of Space Family Robinson.  Wilson cover paintings for issues 3 and 8 sold in September 2021 for just over $5,000 each.  The cover for issue 5 shown here is auctioning in mid-January.

While I’m not that confident in the prospects for Lost In Space-related comics as investments, I will be watching Netflix over the next few weeks.  Their Lost In Space series has been out for a few years.  I’m finally taking time to watch seasons two and three.  This just goes to show that a new movie or tv show doesn’t guarantee extravagant speculator demand.

Read about Batman covers featuring deadly death traps in Holy Death Traps Batman! Covers Worthy of Houdini.  That article was inspired by fond recollections of the 1966 Batman series.

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Upgrade2_Footer Lost In Space Comics: Danger Will Robinson*Any perceived investment advice contained within this blog is that of the freelance author and does not reflect recommendations from GoCollect

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