Market Reaction – Namor Keys

by Douglas Ohlandt

080322B-1024x536 Market Reaction - Namor KeysWelcome to a special edition of Market Reaction! No big news dropped to elicit this piece. However, we have a lot to report on since the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer dropped at San Diego Comic-Con and revealed Namor and the Atlanteans would be appearing in the film. There are so many Namor keys it can be difficult to even know where to begin. Well, GoCollect is here to help you sort it all out and see which books have been moving in the market.

Namor in the Golden Age

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Namor, the Sub-Mariner, created by Bill Everett, was one of the first super-heroes, debuting in Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 way back in April 1939. Most of Namor’s early Golden Age appearances are out of reach for your average collector or investor; they won’t sell based on a trailer drop. These are books that sell in six or seven figures – or even more – for high grades, and often in five figures for low grades.

However, should you have the means, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the following keys: Marvel Comics #1 – the first fully produced appearance of Namor, Marvel Mystery Comics #2 – Namor’s third appearance, Marvel Mystery Comics #4 – first Namor cover, Marvel Mystery Comics #8 – first Namor vs. the Human Torch, Sub-Mariner Comics #1 – Namor’s first solo title, and All Winners Comics #19, the first appearance of the All-Winners Squad, a precursor of the Invaders.

Namor’s First Silver Age Appearance

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After going on a long hiatus during the 1950s, Namor made his first appearance in the Silver Age in Fantastic Four #4. This is a highly sought-after issue by collectors, both for its early Fantastic Four appearance and Namor’s revival.

There are 1,670 graded copies in the CGC census, with the majority in the 5.5 to 2.5 grades. Five copies have sold since July 23. The highest was a 5.5 graded copy selling in an eBay auction on July 27 for $9,999. This was the second-highest price paid for this grade, the highest occurring in a June 2021 eBay best offer sale for a slashed $14,999.

The lowest price paid since the trailer dropped was a 0.5 graded copy selling for $1,560 in a Heritage auction on August 2. This is the record price in this grade, besting the previous high of a slashed $1,500 by 15.5%.

First Team-Up with Doctor Doom

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Namor’s second Silver Age appearance in Fantastic Four #6 also just happens to be the second appearance of Doctor Doom, making this one of the most desirable Silver Age keys. There are 1,418 graded copies in the CGC census. Similar to Fantastic Four #4, the most common grades are between 6.0 and 2.5.

Seven copies have sold since Kevin Feige showed the trailer in Hall H. The highest price paid was $3,488 for a 6.0 in an eBay auction on July 23. This also wins the silver medal for the second highest price paid in this grade, losing out to a $4,578 record winner in a Hake’s auction on May 3.

The lowest price paid since July 23 is $533 for a 1.8 graded copy in a Hake’s auction on July 27, nowhere near the record holder of a slashed $980 sale from December 2021.

Namor’s a Mutant?

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Namor was revealed to be a mutant for the first time in X-Men #6. This issue also marks the third appearance of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, including the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. There are 1,562 copies in the CGC census, with the most common grades occurring between 8.0 and 4.5.

An 8.0 graded copy sold in a July 27 Hake’s auction for $1,122, down enough to place it third on the list in this grade. Interestingly, the four highest sales for X-Men #6 in an 8.0 grade have all taken place this year, with prices ranging from $1,110 to $1,260, proof that even in a supposedly down year some books are still rising.

The low price paid was $400 for a 2.5 graded copy in a July 31 fixed-priced eBay sale, the new record holder in this grade.

First Appearance of Attuma

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We caught our first glimpse of Attuma in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer, a character who made his comic debut in Fantastic Four #33. There are 819 graded copies in the CGC census, a markedly lower number than our three previously discussed books.

The most common grades in the census are between 9.0 and 4.0. Therefore, it’s not completely surprising that a 9.2 graded copy sold for a record-setting $3,000 in a fixed-price eBay sale on July 30. That bests the previous record high sale in this grade of $1,299 by 131%. It also beats the record holder before that – a March 2019 sale for $746 – by over 300%! That is an almost unheard-of gain in three years’ time.

The lowest price paid since July 23 was in a slashed $100 sale on July 24, tying the previous record from March 23. Sales prior to that March date were in the $25 to $35 range, making for a tidy 185% price increase. If you doubt the power of the MCU to sway prices for even minor characters, this comic’s increases over the past few years should at least convince you that this power is very real.

Not a Team-Up Book

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When Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense ended their runs back in 1968, Marvel launched a slew of solo series. However, they had two half-issue-length tales – one each for Iron Man and Namor – that they still had to publish. Thus was born Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, a comic to bridge the gap between Tales of Suspense #99 and Iron Man #1, and Tales to Astonish #101 and Sub-Mariner #1.

There are a whopping 3,393 copies of this book in the CGC census. 25% are graded 9.0 or higher. Another 50% are graded between 8.5 and 6.0. Eight copies have sold since July 23. Despite the fact that it’s clearly not a rare comic, a 9.0 graded copy sold for $1,100 in a fixed-price eBay sale on July 25. While nowhere near a record price – $2,124 in a Hake’s auction in June 2021 – it still set a new 30-day average high; it bested the 90-day average of $793 as well as the 1-year average of $847.

The low was $295 for a 5.5 graded copy in a fixed price eBay sale on July 24, not enough to even make the top 10 in sales in this grade.

Wait! That’s it? Don’t worry, we’ll be back tomorrow with more Namor keys. Until then, Imperius Rex!

Want more Namor spec?

Tell us about some other pre-1968 Sub-Mariner/Namor keys you think collectors should focus on.

00080221C_Green-Footer Market Reaction - Namor Keys*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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1 comment

kevinmonkey6 August 6, 2022 - 1:56 pm

I’m not certain who this article was written for.
Most of these books are far outside the reach of the majority of collectors or investors even in lower grades.


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