The Uncanny X-Men #212: To be a Key or Not a Key

by Don Y

Screen-Shot-2021-01-08-at-8.21.00-PM-197x300 The Uncanny X-Men #212: To be a Key or Not a KeyI recently purchased several raw copies of The Uncanny X-Men #212 (UXM #212) on eBay. There are two reasons why I invested in this undervalued comic book. First, and foremost, this is the first time Wolverine fights Sabretooth, his nemesis and archenemy. Wolverine and Sabretooth measure themselves against one another, and, as we learn in Wolverine #10, Sabretooth longs to be the person who kills Wolverine. In many ways, the two men are two different sides of the same coin with Sabretooth reminding Wolverine what he could become if he succumbs to his worst instincts. Their battles are epic — like the Thing vs. the Hulk, Spider-Man vs. Venom, or Colossus vs. the Juggernaut. The two would go on to fight one another at least another couple dozen times across the pages of X-Men and Wolverine comic books and twice on the big screen.

MCU Speculation

Second, UXM #212 is the very first time Mr. Sinister is mentioned by name. Although he doesn’t make his first full appearance until The Uncanny X-Men #221 (along with his first cameo appearance in The Uncanny X-Men #213), it is here in UXM #212 that we first learn that Mr. Sinister is the puppet master working behind the scenes to orchestrate the mutant massacre. Importantly, rumors are rampant that Kevin Feige will cast Jon Hamm as Mr. Sinister in the MCU. Although nothing has been confirmed, these rumors are based on sound logic. We’ve already seen two different incarnations of Magneto and Dark Phoenix on the big screen, and Apocalypse once. Betting on a new recurring X-Men villain — such as Mr. Sinister — in the MCU is a smart bet. This speculation should be adding additional value to UXM #212

Only that it isn’t. On eBay, a high-grade raw copy of this book recently sold for $7.00, and a CGC 9.6 sold for $44.00 on December 7th. Furthermore, as of December 28th, UXM #212 isn’t even on GoCollect’s top 1000 Modern Age comics in terms of volume sold and GoCollect hasn’t identified UXM #212 as a key issue. Clearly, few are paying attention to this book.

Comparable to Amazing Spider-Man #316

Screen-Shot-2021-01-08-at-8.56.01-PM-203x300 The Uncanny X-Men #212: To be a Key or Not a Key

Let’s review recent sales for a comic book that is reasonably comparable: Amazing Spider-Man #316 (ASM #316). Like UXM #212, ASM #316: (1) was published in the mid-to-late-1980s, (2) features the only Marvel character that is as popular as Wolverine, and (3) presents an early appearance of a major villain- Venom. Although the two comics are not perfectly comparable (i.e., ASM #316 was drawn by Todd McFarlane, was not the first time Venom and Spider-Man fought one another, etc.), they are reasonably so. 

Nonetheless, ASM #316 is worth far more than UXM #212. For example, on December 27th, a high-grade CGC 9.6 copy sold for $315.00 on eBay, nearly eight times the amount that a similar copy of UXM #212 sold for. Clearly, the market has determined that ASM #316 is the more valuable comic book; however, I don’t think it’s worth eight times as much as UXM #212. As the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett, advises, we should “buy low and sell high.” If we apply this simple rule to the two comics before us, the masses are buying ASM #316 at high prices when maybe they should be considering investing in UXM #212 at low prices instead.

Closing Thoughts

If Mr. Sinister and/or the Mutant Massacre storyline appears in the MCU, the market will finally provide this comic with the attention (and value) that it deserves. I’m betting that it will.

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Joe January 22, 2021 - 3:48 pm

I agree with your assessment, it’s a great book. That being said, I would suggest getting the highest grade Iron Fist #14 (first Sabretooth) for the same money. Iron Fist #14 is way under valued and a major book in the Wolverine mythos. Thank your for a great post.


Don Y January 22, 2021 - 5:56 pm

Thanks for reading, Joe! I’m checking out prices for Iron Fist #15 on eBay now 🙂 Do you have thoughts about investing in villains vs. heroes?

Joe January 22, 2021 - 8:14 pm

Anti Hero/Villains are a great choice, characters like Venom (Amazing Spider-man #300) and Punisher (Amazing-Spider-man #129) are Anti Heroes that command big money. These characters start off as Villains and morph into hero like persona. I think Sabretooth (Iron-Fist #14) is in this class. There are Lesser Known Anti-Heroes tied into Weapon X program Like Wild Child (Alpha Flight #11), which also sports an all black cover. A pure villain play on a lesser known note would be Bushwacker (Daredevil #248) who is a mutant slaying Former CIA agent with transforming gun arm (enemy of all mutants (Wolverine) and also the Punisher.
The Mutants are coming, invest accordingly.

rinova2013 January 22, 2021 - 10:23 pm

Just saw this Hulk 181 for sale, if your still looking.

Don Y January 22, 2021 - 10:52 pm

Thank you!

joey January 23, 2021 - 2:10 am

I prefer UXM #213 over UXM #212 anytime/anyday, just for $30 difference for CGC 9.8, and here is why. Even though the (Wolverine vs Sabertooth) battle is mentioned on the cover of UXM #212, it’s just a cameo fight at best, but the real full on fight is really UXM #213, which also includes the savage battle cover by Paul Neary. Please flip through the digital print of these 2 books and you’ll see what I mean. Also, UXM #213 is also their first real battle in print. Wolverine #10 is often created with as their first battle, but that is a flash back fight, since UXM #213 came out long before Wolverine #10. I appreciate you mentioning also UXM #213 is the first cameo appearance of Mr. Sinister, which I didn’t realize. This would also add to the fact that UXM #213 should be worth a lot more than UXM #212 that only mentions his name.

Don Y January 23, 2021 - 10:52 am

Joey, thank you for reading! You make some really good points about UXM #213. You’re right — UXM #213 is a real cage match that lasts several pages whereas UXM #212 is more of a teaser. Sabretooth points that out too — that Wolverine “rabbits” at the end of UXM #212. The whole “Mutant Massacre” crossover was just a great storyline and I hope it appears in the MCU!

joey January 23, 2021 - 2:26 am

Also, i forgot to mention UXM #213 is also the first Psylocke! In additional to all the other attributes I mentioned earlier about UXM #212 vs #213, which makes what I believe UXM #213 is truely special and under appreciated.

Don Y January 23, 2021 - 10:01 am

Joey, such a great point about Psylocke! So you think UXM #213 and not New Mutants Annual #2 should be considered the first appearance of Psylocke? I’ve never actually read NM Annual #2 so I’m curious as to what your opinion is!

Joe January 23, 2021 - 10:51 am

New Mutants Annual #2 is the first Psylocke, X-Men #213 is when she joins the X-men. X-Men #213 also has a Cameo first appearance of Mr. Sinister. I like Wolverine #10, it’s a very important book in the Wolverine mythos. It’s not the first time in comics that Wolverine and Sabretooth meet, but it is the oldest as far as storyline goes and is also the first appearance of Silver Fox. Try to get the Newsstands of any of these books.

Joe January 23, 2021 - 10:59 am

Interesting note Captain Britain #8 (1976) is the first appearance of Elizibeth Braddock, who later becomes psylocke.

Doug January 23, 2021 - 8:26 pm

Power Pack #27 is also the 1st shared cover of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Leads up to their fight in Xmen..

Joe January 23, 2021 - 9:20 pm

Lots of cool Wolverine vs Sabretooth action, good call Doug, not many know about that Power Pack issue, it takes place during the Mutant Massacre. Another little known issue is Classic X-men #10, it has a cool back up story that is original.

Pugilisticphilosopher January 28, 2021 - 2:30 am

Good observations all around. XMen 213 was a comic I remember being very excited about as a teenager because we as readers knew that Wolverine v Sabretooth was a classic rivalry in the making.

Pugilisticphilosopher January 28, 2021 - 2:32 am

Good observations all around. XMen 212was a comic I remember being very excited about as a teenager because we as readers knew that Wolverine v Sabretooth was a classic rivalry in the making.


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