Marvel’s Mr. Snuffleupagus: Fin Fang Foom

by Blaise Tassone

Character.snuffy-200x300 Marvel’s Mr. Snuffleupagus: Fin Fang Foom1187567-fullstature-163x300 Marvel’s Mr. Snuffleupagus: Fin Fang Foom

Aloysius Snuffleupagus, or Snuffy for short, was a character on Sesame Street. He was comic relief, for the most part, the joke being Big Bird would constantly mention him but no one else ever saw him. Eventually, everyone assumed Snuffy was imaginary.

In the MCU, Fin Fang Foom is their Mr. Snuffleupagus. He gets mentioned and we hear rumors that he will appear but he never shows up.

Will that change in the near future?

It’s quite possible that our favorite Maklulan shape-shifting dragon will appear in the ‘Shang-Chi’ movie set to be released on February 12th, 2021.

According to rumors, (see here), the alien Marvel monster may appear in a flashback or even possibly interact with Shang-Chi in the present (Foom is immortal).

“He Whose Limbs Shatter Mountains and Whose Back Scrapes the Sun” has, of course, been teased for a long time. There were constant mentions on the (overall poorly received) ‘Iron Fist’ Netflix show about dragons.

There Danny kept repeating how he had fought ‘a dragon’ in order to become the Immortal Iron Fist. The ongoing joke was that no one believed he had fought a ‘real’ dragon. The inside fan service was that we all hoped he had fought a dragon and that Fin Fang Foom would appear in some form. Of course Danny’s dragon turned out to be Shou-Lao the Undying. Later a relative of his returns (as a rock encased skeleton), in the ‘Defenders’ series.

But hopes were still high for Foom to appear. We know the Marvel Universe has dragons, what’s the hold up on Foom!

Foom is, of course, more than a dragon.

An alien being from the world of Kakaranathara (also known as ‘Maklu IV’), Fin Fang Foom originally came to Earth from the Maklu star-system located in the Greater Magellanic Cloud. Arriving with several companions all armed with the intent of conquering our planet, the Makulan’s landed in ancient China.

Foom’s comrades then assumed human form and placed him in hibernation inside a cave using a Chinese herb (!), you know, just in case their plans were derailed.

In the 8th century, Foom was awakened for the first time, leading the area where his cave was located to be renamed ‘Valley of the Sleeping Dragons’ by the surrounding population.

At some point in the 1960s, the boy Chen Liuchow managed to wake Foom in order to obtain his help in fighting the communists.

Then, Foom was captured by the Collector.

Since these earlier adventures, Foom has been a regular in Marvel comics. Foom has been associated most closely with Iron Man and also has a connection to the Mandarin and his rings (hence the Shang-Chi rumors). Foom was even featured in the Marvel/DC crossover event JLA/Avengers #1 (August 2003), where he fought the Justice League of America. If Foom appears in Shang-Chi, the impact on the value of his comics could be huge.

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Strange Tales #89 (September 1961) – First appearance of Fin Fang Foom

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, FFF first appears in this issue of Strange Tales cover dated September 1961. Here we meet Chen Liuchow and Fin Fang Foom for the first time. With a total of only 322 total copies on the CGC census, this Silver Age comic is hard to find in high grade. Of the available and known graded copies there is a single copy certified above 9.0. FMV for higher grades subsequently break down as follows:

8.0 = $8,250.00
8.5 = $8,500.00
9.0 = $13,000.00
9.2 = [Hypothetical value] $18,500.00
9.4 = [Hypothetical value] $25,000.00

This goes up to a hypothetical value of just under $50, 000.00 for any prospective 9.8 copy out in the wild. The above are strong prices, even for a Silver Age first appearance. Returns have also stayed strong with long term numbers almost all positive (especially on mid-grade copies) 6.0 and 8.0 being the big winners over the last decade. Short term: three month returns on blue label graded copies have been slow (only five sales) but with a strong +45.4% positive roi on 3.0 graded copies. The last three eBay sales on 3.0 returned: $428.00 (06/17/2019), $595.00 (08/11/2019), and $650.00 (08/14/2019). A 3.5 sold on 08/11/2019 for $729.00 and a 4.0 for $811.00 on 07/29/2019. Current FMV for 3.0 = $500.00, 3.5 = $675.00 and 4.0 = $825.00. But unless you’re currently willing to spend at least $190.00 for a ragged and tattered 0.5 copy, this is an expensive comic.

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Astonishing Tales #23 (April 1974) – Second appearance of Fin Fang Foom

What’s the alternative? Fin Fang Foom’s lesser known second appearance can be found in this Bronze Age comic. Astonishing Tales #23 is much more affordable and can allow you to get in on some FFF action without putting out a second mortgage on your house. Currently AT #23 sells for under $200.00 in pristine 9.8 grade. Furthermore, there are only 38 total copies on the CGC census. What do returns look like? Long term data shows a mixed/positive outcome. Best growth over the last ten years has been on 9.4 and especially 9.6 (2.1 % and 18.7% respectively) with negative returns on lower grades. Short term (3 month) data is not available. Ebay sales however, have been picking up and currently you can still get a high grade copy for around $30.00. I recommend 9.4 and up. If FFF appears in ‘Shang-Chi’ sales and prices on this Bronze Age comic could seriously spike.

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