Riding with the Surfer

by Matt Tuck

SS-4-202x300 Riding with the SurferWith the rumors that the Silver Surfer will enter the MCU as part of Phase 4, the character’s early silver age appearances have been setting the market ablaze. Here’s three keys you’ll want to grab before they get out of reach.

For the purposes of this article, I’m shying away from Fantastic Four #48 and #49. Instead, I’ll be focusing on three other important but more affordable keys. If you’d like more info on FF #48, check out my post from last month, “FF 48: Hulk 181 Potential.” 


While not the first appearance of the Surfer, this is a monumental key in his comic history. After his popularity following his Fantastic Four appearances, he was given his own series in 1968. In this first issue, readers were treated to his full origin and the first appearance of Shalla-Bal and Zenn-La.

This is a very hot comic, and it has been among the top silver age comics this year. Practically every grade sold in the past 12 months has seen a boost over the fair market values from 2016 and 2017. The 7.5 and the 4.5 have been the best sellers in that span. Over the course of last year, the 7.5 averaged $491, but it is has commanded an FMV of $695 since last October. The 4.5’s FMV tells a similar story. Last year, it averaged $207 and now it has risen to $258. While that in itself is not overly impressive, consider this: on October 1, it reached a new record high of $405 and the following sale was for $315, so this grade is ready to move into the $300+ FMV.


SS #4 has always been a solid investment, but it’s kicking in the afterburners lately. What makes it so great? Not only do you have the first meeting of two of Marvel’s most popular characters, but you have one of the most iconic Jack Kirby covers he ever drew. To make it even more collectible, SS #4 had a relatively low print run, making higher grades harder to find. Of course, it doesn’t matter what grade you have, they’re all climbing.

For going on three years now, SS #4 has been steadily rising in value across the board. Instead of focusing on the near-mint grades, the real indicator for how fast this comic is moving is in the lower grades. A 3.0, which had been averaging $139 just last year, had never sold for more than $150 in a single sale. That figure was doubled in August when one brought an even $300.

While we’re not necessarily seeing record highs for all grades, what is happening is that most grades that have sold in 2018 are at least approaching those high sales figures. When we finally get an onscreen meeting between Thor and Silver Surfer, expect this comic to go supernova.


For those of us who want a piece of the Surfer’s history but can’t part with the funds it would take for FF #48, there’s this one. Featuring the third appearances of the Surfer and Galactus, this is the issue where Galactus, in all his giant-purple-helmet glory, exiles the Surfer to Earth, placing a barrier so that he can’t leave.

Like all these early Surfer appearances, all grades of FF #50 are on the way up. On the plus side, it’s still in the affordable range, particularly for the lower grades. Whereas the most popular grade over the past 12 months, the 8.5, has not sold for less than $1,000 in the last four consecutive sales, you can opt for a 3.5 or lower and get out for closer to $100 or less. However, you will want to act fast. The 90-day averages for FF #50 are skyrocketing compared to their 2017 FMVs.

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