As I write my first blog for GoCollect, I am nervous that this venture might go about as well as Deadpool’s first meeting with Juggernaut! I’ve been thinking a lot about under the radar comics with historical significance (I’ll call them HSKeys). An HSKey is a Historically Significant comic that does not fall into any of the “traditional” key categories, and there are three undervalued HSKeys worth researching.
A 2 in 1 HSKey Featuring Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko
The first HSKey is Captain 3-D #1 published in December of 1953. The comic is a mega-HSKey because it features iconic artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. The Comic Journal notes in a Steve Ditko remembrance piece that Captain 3-D #1 is the second Kirby/Ditko collaboration, but it is the FIRST published collaboration. Black Magic Vol 4 #3, issue #27 overall in the series, is the first issue Kirby and Ditko did together, but it wasn’t published until February of 1954. A CGC 8.5 of Black Magic sold in 2012 for nearly $500. There are 67 copies in the CGC census of Captain 3-D #1. A CGC 9.0 sold on Comiclink for $160 in September. No typo! A CGC 9.0 for $160.
Halloween Themed HSKeys
Halloween is just around the corner. So, why not speculate on some Halloween-themed, historically significant, comics by looking at the Horror Genre. What about going after one of the early horror comics ever published? While Erie, published by Avon Comics in 1947, is generally considered the first Horror Comic with original content, you have to several years further back in comic book history to find the first horror comics ever published.
Picking HSKeys By Their Covers
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Classic Comics #13, is the first horror comic produced. GoCollect reports indicate a CGC Mid-grade on the first printing of this comic ranges in the $400-700 range, but a second or third printing in higher grade condition, published in the same year, can be had for half the price.
Personally, I LOVE Classic Comics #26, Frankenstein, better. Technically, it is the second horror comic, but the cover is soooo much better! Again, second or third printings of this issue can be purchased for under $250 in higher grade condition.
Out of the Golden Age and Into the Bronze Age with Byrne & Austin!
Finally, one last historically significant comic to research is Super-Villain Team-Up #14. This is the first collaboration between Terry Austin and John Byrne. This issue came out two months before their now-famous debut on Uncanny X-Men #108. There are only 10 sales of Super-Villain Team-Up #14 on the GoCollect analysis page. A CGC 9.6 of this comic sold in June for $100.
Which One(s) Should You Get?
There are so many amazing, historically important, and under the radar comics or artists that can be inserted here. What is so great about digging through and finding those under-appreciated, historically important comics, is that they can be tailored to your individual interests and tastes. There are plenty of HSKeys out there for everyone to enjoy, make adjustments along the way when adding to a personal collection, or to pick up and save for when they rise in value. Personally, I like the Kirby/Ditko and Classic Comics #26, but after a Pandemic lockdown binge-watch of Riverdale, I’m thinking of picking up some historically significant Archie Series comics! Now, which issue is the one where Betty and Veronica kiss?