Seeing Green: The Green Mask Comics on Auction

by Blaise Tassone

Green-Mask-217x300 Seeing Green: The Green Mask Comics on AuctionNot to be confused with the Green Hornet, in the Golden Age Fox Feature Syndicate Publications (the publisher of comics such as Fantastic Comics, Mystery Men Comics, and Blue Beetle), gave us no less than two versions of a hero called Green Mask. This post focuses on comics featuring the second Green Mask aka Johnny Green. However, since Green was supposed to be the son of the first Green Mask, we can start by saying something about him.

Michael Selby or Shelby was the first Green Mask. He was originally portrayed as carrying a gun and fighting crime with occasional help from a side-kick named News Blake, a reporter for the Daily Globe. Later it was revealed that Shelby obtained his powers through exposure to “vita-rays”.

Playing on the mean-green theme, Walter or Johnny Green takes up the mantel of the Green Mask in:

 

 

 

 

Green Mask v2 #1 (March 1945) – First appearance of the Second Green Mask

Chronologically, this is the twelfth issue of the Green Mask comics published by Fox, but retconned and transformed into a new hero. The new Green Mask is now a teenager who gains super strength and transforms into an adult when he gets angry. An early influence on Marvel’s Incredible Hulk? Probably not, unless Stan Lee originally wanted to make Rick Jones the Hulk, of which we have no evidence. Currently, the first five issues of the second Green Mask are up for auction at Heritage. Volume two lasted only six issues. These are hard to find and currently, there is one sole copy of the Green Mask v2 #1 listed on the CGC census. This seems to be the copy for sale. A 9.0 grade which Overstreet 2019 (49th edition) lists as valued at $252. Again, keep in mind that Overstreet regularly undervalues Golden Age books. For example, on June 14, 2018, the same 9.0 sold for $585 on ComicConnect. It will be interesting to see how the current sale at Heritage goes.

 

Green-Mask-vs-210x300 Seeing Green: The Green Mask Comics on AuctionGreen Mask v2 #4 (December 1945) – Most regularly exchanged issue of the later series

Issue number 4, with its realistic cover of the hero, is the most regularly sold copy of the second series (chronologically, this is issue #15 of the Fox run). Overstreet has this comic in 9.2 grade as valued at $285. There is a very fine condition 8.0 up for auction right now at Heritage and I think it will fetch far above the recommended Overstreet price of $126. The last 7.5 was sold on August 12, 2018, on Heritage for $144. There are a total of only 35 copies of Green Mask v2 #4 on the CGC census.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the two Green Mask comics listed above also on auction at Heritage are Green Mask V2 #5, Green Mask V2 #3, and Green Mask V2 #2.

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