Dave Cockrum may not have achieved the celebrity status of Stan Lee, but he was a superstar among X-Men fans, which makes his autograph a prized possession.
Cockrum was one of the architects for the X-Men’s rebirth in the 1970s, setting the stage for what would become Marvel’s flagship team.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the X-Men were Marvel’s banner carriers. It was that success that helped carry Marvel into the 2000s and the company’s publishing dominance.
It’s hard to imagine Marvel without their “merry mutants.” If it wasn’t for Giant-Size X-Men #1 introducing a new team, the X-Men franchise would be a Silver Age relic. The old Stan Lee/Jack Kirby lineup didn’t appeal to fans, and the title was on the chopping block when Len Wein and Cockrum brought the new team to life.
Wein handed writing duties to Claremont beginning with X-Men #94, and Cockrum provided the pencils. During his run on the title, Cockrum’s cinematic artwork perfectly captured the more serious tone of Claremont’s writing, which starkly contrasted that from the Stan Lee era. John Byrne would later take the art to new heights that began with Cockrum.
Cockrum passed away in 2006, so you won’t find his name in either a CGC or CBCS Signature Series slab. Those yellow labels are reserved for witnessed signatures, and Cockrum’s time autographing predates that. However, like the old Jack Kirby autograph, you can sometimes find Cockrum’s name written in pen at the bottom of the first page. Although it won’t receive the yellow label, you can submit it to CBCS under their verified signature program that comes with a red label.
Looking for a Cockrum autograph? Here’s how much you can expect to pay.
During his time, he signed plenty of comics, and virtually every grade has a listing for a Cockrum autograph on the first page. However, they don’t sell very often.
The highest grade is a 9.6 GSX #1 with Cockrum’s signature notated, and it was purchased in 2012 for $1,775. However, that’s still less than the unsigned 9.6, which didn’t sell for under $1,826 that year.
In 2013, a 9.4 that Cockrum had signed on the first page sold for $1,402, while a signed 9.2 brought $1,075 that same year. More recently, a 9.2 signed by both Cockrum and Wein sold for $3,275 in 2019. Skipping to the lower grades, a 3.0 signed by Cockrum went for $692 last year.
When it comes to X-Men #94, it’s much the same story. There are many slabbed copies with Cockrum’s signature on the market, and that is one likely reason the prices don’t get a huge boost from his autograph. In 2018, two Cockrum-signed 8.0s averaged $591, which is $100 over the unsigned 8.0s’ average value that same year. This is the case for most of the comics autographed by Cockrum.
Cockrum’s name doesn’t hold the same weight as Stan Lee or Jack Kirby’s, and that means his signature isn’t nearly as valuable. However, Cockrum is an X-Men legend, and die-hard X-fans will want an autographed comic in their collections. The good thing is that they aren’t hard to come by nor are they too expensive.