Zombies! With Halloween just a few weeks away, here we showcase a few zombie-themed comic books. The Walking Dead usually gets all the zombie attention, and examination of their issues can easily encompass entire articles on their own; so the focus here will be turned towards the Marvel and DC zombies.
The oldest and most storied Marvel Comics zombie is perhaps “The Zombie” Simon Garth, who first appeared in Menace #5 (1953); technically Atlas Comics at the time. In the issue, the Zombie is controlled by the villainous Gyps to gather up money from the citizens of New Orleans. Unfortunately, the appearance of the Zombie blends right in with the aesthetics of New Orleans; this prevents anyone from actually fearing the Zombie. Gyps makes a second attempt to use the Zombie for his own benefit, by having the Zombie attack a girl, so that Gyps can jump in and save her. In a final twist, it turns out that the girl is Donna Garth, the Zombie’s own daughter; which causes the Zombie to turn on Gyps.
The latest sale of note for the Golden Age comic Menace #5 was a CGC 5.0 graded copy that sold for $1,560 in mid-Sept 2019. If the price of the Zombie’s 1st appearance comic is too steep, perhaps his reintroduction in the Bronze Age comic Tales of the Zombie #1 (1973) might be more suitable.
Appearing almost a decade before Marvel’s the Zombie, was their competitor DC Comics’ zombie Solomon Grundy (formerly Cyrus Gold) who first appeared in All-American Comics #61 (1944). Interestingly, Solomon Grundy was named after a real English nursery rhyme about a man named Solomon Grundy who was born and then died within a week. In All-American Comics #61, a series of robberies committed by Solomon Grundy catches the attention of the Green Lantern. Solomon Grundy’s super strength proves difficult to deal with, as he is able to overpower the Green Lantern multiple times before the Green Lantern ultimately succeeds in pushing him in front of a moving train. On a side note, it would be interesting to see where Solomon Grundy’s strength stacks up against the other superheroes on a similar tier as Green Lantern.
Like the other Golden Age comic mentioned above, the sales for All-American Comics #61 are rare. The latest sale of note is a CGC 5.0 graded copy that sold for $11,350 in Feb 2019. Solomon Grundy’s first Silver Age appearance in Showcase #55 (1965), which is cheaper than the aforementioned book, but a CGC 9.0 copy (the top 19.5% of the census) had two copies go for around the $900 level in August 2019.
If collecting individual characters isn’t your thing, then perhaps the Marvel Zombies series can satisfy your zombie appetite. Before the self-titled series, the story arc began in Ultimate Fantastic Four #21 (2005), in which Reed Richards accidentally teleports himself to a universe in which the Hunger Virus has spread amongst the planets superheroes and villains. Later on, when the remaining Fantastic Four members teleport Reed Richards back to their universe, they accidentally teleport back their zombie counterparts. At the moment, the FMV for a CGC 9.8 copy of Ultimate Fantastic Four #21, with its key aspects of containing the 1st appearances of the Fantastic Four Zombies and the Hunger Virus, sits at $140.
Back to the overall Marvel Zombies series, the two issues that stand out with respect to sales price and volume are the Marvel Zombies #1 (2006) main cover and the Marvel Zombies #1 (Variant Edition). The FMV of CGC 9.8 graded copies are currently $140 and $110, respectively. The long-term financial outlook for the books are bleak, but the zombie stories within are definitely worth checking out for the holiday.
Not to be left out of the zombie game, DC Comics released its own limited six-issue zombie series DCeased. When Darkseid tried to combine the two halves of the Anti-Life Equation, he used the Black Racer to keep Cyborg alive; this process, unfortunately, corrupted the resultant equation by taking “a piece of death.” Cyborg is sent back to Earth, where the corrupted equation begins infecting the planet and turning people into zombies.
As a recently released 2019 series, raw copies of the entire run can be found for under the $20 level. Within the series, the highest-priced sale of note is a CGC 9.8 copy of DCeased #2 (Comic Hero U Edition) that sold for $380 in Sept 2019.
“Remember; no matter how desperate the situation seems, time spent thinking clearly is never time wasted.” – Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide
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