Super Bargain Books to Add… A General, a Masterpiece, and a Cat

by Joseph Overaitis

121222G-1024x536 Super Bargain Books to Add... A General, a Masterpiece, and a CatEveryone is looking for comic book bargains.  Investors want to find them to make a good profit. Collectors want them to save money for future targets.  The problem is that many of these bargains are not sexy picks.  Rarely do these bargains deal with the MCU, X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, or Batman.  Bargain books are never on anyone’s “hot list” but they do offer a great bargain.  I have been reviewing the GoCollect sales data for certain characters to find these bargain books.  Today, I want to focus on Superman-related bargains.

Silver and Small Screen Veteran

Fool’s Gold

A character who is announced to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will see their first appearance skyrocket in value.  Avengers #43 has the first appearance of the Red Guardian.  He has appeared in one MCU film with another on the way. A 7.0 copy of this 1967 comic book has an FMV (in early December, ’22) of $200.  That is for a minor character in the grand scheme of Marvel Comics.

Hidden Gold

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Major characters rarely have affordable  Silver Age first appearances.  There is one character that still is within reach.  This villain has been in four feature films, numerous live-action television show story arcs, and numerous animated appearances.

His 7.0 first appearance copies may have an FMV of $1,100 but these books are selling for well less than that when they come to the market.  The character is General Zod and his first appearance is in Adventure Comics #283.  There is 376 total copies in the CGC census compared to 969 for Red Guardian’s first appearance.

Reason for Buying

General Zod is always a great villain for a story.  He can serve many purposes in a well-drafted plot. As a result, General Zod still has the potential to appear in future DC films or tv projects.  That is one reason to buy this book. The other reason is that the Phantom Zone is introduced in this issue.  Multiple first appearances are sought after by collectors and investors.  While not a character, the Phantom Zone is a very significant place in DC Comics mythology.  Villains that originate from there can be introduced while the treatment and legacy of such a prison can be a great plot device.

Trick

Very few graded editions may exist.  That does not mean there are not a lot of raw copies out there. This is a book that is quite common raw.  Buyers may find deals on these books, but do not overpay.  Another copy may be right around the corner.

Ignored Cover

Everyone has seen it

Legendary artists create unforgettable covers. Neal Adams is one of the standard bearers of that rule.  One of the first Batman covers that comes to mind for many hobbyists is Batman #251.  Joker truly appears sinister on that cover.  Another memorable cover is Green Lantern #76. These covers are top targets of Neal Adams and key comic collectors. There is one additional comic that is known by sight and yet gets very little attention when compared to these other books.

An Affordable Masterpiece

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Superman #233 is a comic book that many fans see available.  The reason this comic book comes up for sale so frequently is that it involves Superman.  The character is not desired by many collectors or investors who seek the “hot” book.  That means depressed prices because this book is still a sought-after key book.

Red Sea/ Blue Ocean

Neal Adams’ work is highly sought after by comic collectors and investors.  An 8.5 copy of Green Lantern #76 has an FMV of $1,000 but the same grade for Superman#233 has an FMV of $500.  Both of these books have iconic covers but one is far more affordable.  Even with the Blue Ocean full of ignored DC Comic keys, compared to MCU hot books, there are still even more ignored comics.  As a result, even Green Lantern draws more interest than Superman keys. The inexpensive price is one reason to buy this book.

Trick

There are very few graded Superman comics compared to other books published around the same time as this issue.  That means that there are quite a few raw books out there that can be obtained for a song.  This book is in the pantheon of famous Neal Adams covers and yet it is ignored by many collectors and investors.  Hold out for the highest raw book possible and then have it graded.  This book is a long-term hold.

But it is a Girl’s Comic

Making Comic Keys Affordable

Batman Golden Age keys are priced well beyond the reach of most collectors. The first problem is that Batman is always hot.  Factor that in with the premiums one pays for his Golden Age books if they ever come to market and then couple that with a first appearance.  That means Batman Golden Age first appearances will cost many buyers real gold.  The high cost of those books is one reason that Batman villain’s first appearances in the Silver Age sell for a premium.  There is one mega villain’s Silver Age first appearance that always seems to sell well below its perceived value, and that is because it has the stench of something even worst than Superman on it.

Worst than Superman

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Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #70 has the first Silver Age appearance of Catwoman. In any other book, a Catwoman first Silver Age appearance that has her on the cover would be priced very high.  The problem is that this book is about  Superman’s girlfriend.  Comic book readers at that time did not want to be seen reading books about Lois Lane.  Many times, Lois Lane issues were victims of a young boy’s wrath.  Why destroy a good book when Lois Lane comics were available?

Rather You Give me the Bird

The first Silver Age appearance of the Penguin is a nice comparison to determine if Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #70 is a bargain. Penguin’s first Silver Age appearance is in Batman #155.  If you had $800 to spend, you could target a 5.5 copy of  Batman #155 based on the FMV (at the time I am writing this article).  That same $800 could allow you to try and target an 8.0 copy of Lois Lane #70 with an FMV of $825.  That is a big difference in grades. The stench of the boy scout and his girlfriend are all over this book.  Even a catfight on the cover is not enough to get rid of that smell.

Trick

This is a book that is easy to find raw.  The problem is that most of those books will have to be highly scrutinized. The issue’s nice white background on the cover makes finding this book in high grade very difficult. The Lois Lane abuse factor may make buying the highest-graded copy available the best course of action. Otherwise, you will spend numerous hours going through copies with all kinds of defects to find a good copy.

He is Never Hot

No matter what they do to Superman, he will never be the hot character.  He is a quiet and steady character that has been around since 1938.  Many characters have come and gone and yet he remains largely intact and unchanged. That says a lot about the character.  It should also say a lot about his keys.

Many of the Superman keys have depreciated values because they involve the Man of Steel. This should not be the case. These books offer great long-term potential with room to grow. Two of the books mentioned feature villains that have appeared in more television and movies than most of their MCU counterparts combined.  The other is a classic cover from one of the most talented artists of his generation.

The sad thing is that these items do not receive respect when it comes to their FMV because fans’ tastes are never fair.  These books are, in fact, great bargains because of these reasons and should be added before others realize that Superman may never be the sexy pick, but sometimes sexy is not what you need to invest in.  Safe can be sexy too, in the long run. Remember that only a few months ago, celebrities were telling investors in ads that everyone should get into FTX. That was the sexy investment pick and now where is it?

Upgrade2_Footer Super Bargain Books to Add... A General, a Masterpiece, and a Cat*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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3 comments

Mikee440 December 14, 2022 - 9:14 pm

I am not a Superman collector, but am a fan of Neal. I did not know it was his art. The problem is it was ahead of the game. I assumed the book was from the 1980’s (never looking at the issue number)

Reply
Joseph Overaitis December 15, 2022 - 10:11 am

That book is so well known and so many have swiped it. It is again an iconic cover and yet a very affordable Neal Adams piece. He was a master at his craft. That book is SO UNDERVALUED and with comics down overall now is a great time to buy it and add it to a collection or investment portfolio.

Reply
Stone Culdesac December 16, 2022 - 4:04 pm

Push that Superman 23 up, might make my two copies worth grading lol

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