Tips and Tricks to Find Undervalued Comics

by Joseph Overaitis

100522B-1024x536 Tips and Tricks to Find Undervalued ComicsI want to pick the brains of our GoCollect universe.  In order to elicit your input, I want to offer everyone a chance to win a variant comic. One free Superman 78 #1 Variant edition will be given away to one lucky reader who leaves a comic recommendation on point of this article.   I will even cover the shipping cost of the book for the winner. The reason I am offering this prize is that I enjoy reading the GoCollect readers’ comments and experiences.  Those comments help the whole comic book community grow.  So, onto the topic of this article… Tricks to finding undervalued comics.

Comic Book Steals Do Exist!

The GoCollect writing team spends hours researching the data to uncover undervalued books.  Articles are then produced to reveal what the data indicated. Sometimes these are not “hot” books that the masses are searching for in the market.  These books are, for the most part, ignored by the community because their sights are set elsewhere.

The problem is that these books will only stay off the radar for so long.  Once they become known, it might be too late. Collectors will then overpay on a target book and investors will not see as good a return on investment. There are tricks hobbyists use to stay ahead of the market.

I will review two of mine right now.

Trick #1… Read more than just comic book articles

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Many of the GoCollect articles are not specifically written on comics.  This has resulted in a more expansive scope of articles. This means writers have increased their bases of research.  Entertainment trades are a great way to help collectors and investors target books BEFORE THEY ARE ANNOUNCED. Targeting Scarlet Witch and Vision keys after Wandavision was announced is a day too late.

Once any announcements are made, everyone has the inside scoop.  As a result, most of the keys that are of any significance will be on people’s radars.  This will drive up the prices of those keys.  Most comic book sites then will recommend ancillary minor keys in hopes of benefiting from the news.  This is the wrong approach.   The key is to see patterns that others ignore.

Example

Blade was announced a while back.  This meant a horror element was coming to the MCU.  Most people were hitting on all Blade keys.  The entertainment trades also revealed that the MCU was looking to be more inclusive in their roles. Fans took all that information and still flocked to Blade. In contrast, I saw that Elsa Bloodstone’s first appearance should be on everyone’s target list.

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A female monster hunter might appeal to the MCU brass to be more diverse in their roles.  She was the starting point that then made me research where I should go next with other target books. As a result, I then recommended Marvel Presents #1, which had the first appearance of her father.  The hypothesis was that he could play a key part in her origin story.  Well, apparently both characters will be appearing in the MCU’s Werewolf by Night.

Bloodstone #1 was undervalued, but Marvel Presents #1 was really undervalued because a 9.8 copy  could be picked up for $250 at that time.  The 30-day average for that book on October 2 is now $1000. The signs were there if one only looked for them.

Future Target

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I love Star Wars:  Tag & Bink are Dead #1.  This issue contains the first appearances of Tag and Bink. On October 2, the 90-day average for a 9.8 copy is $72.  If one subtracts the price for grading it can be seen that this book is very inexpensive.  Raw copies could be still found for pennies on the dollar.   A cheap first appearance of any Star Wars character is always a nice purchase.  Then you read Christian Bale’s comments in the Hollywood Reporter and it makes you wonder if now is the right time to get that book.

Read the  Christian Bale interview and you will find out he wanted to play the Stormtrooper who hit his head on the beam in Star Wars.  He truly understands the Star Wars universe and expressed interest in playing an unconventional character. He also mentions he knows the person who is running the Star Wars universe. Connections like that could lead him into the role of one of the bumbling Star Wars characters who have had a hand in many iconic scenes and events.

This would also allow Christian Bale to show his comedic chops in a way rarely allowed in his previous films. That makes me like Star Wars: Tag & Bink are Dead #1.  These books are very cheap, but if these characters appear on any screen they will not be so for very long.

Trick #2… See patterns in media projects

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The MCU was created in phases.  Movies and Television shows were released in such a way as to telegraph where the stories were going.  Each film released had a key Avengers character in it.  That was easy.  Lately though, we have seen a similar pattern in the Disney+ releases and announcements.

Marvel is using characters with more of a street-based feel.  Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Echo, and even the Thunderbolts announcement all had characters that lacked the gravitas of the Avengers’ power hitters. A pattern exists if you look for it and those announcements made one see where the MCU was going with its projects.

The problem is that many people want to see the tree and not the whole forest.  Film and TV announcements cause a specific hero/villain to rise in value.  Again, that is too late to prevent collectors and investors from paying a premium like everyone else.  The best trick is to step back and extrapolate the data to see the tapestry that is being created.  Seeing the bigger picture then will let people possibly fill in some of the gaps not yet announced.

Example

Marvel properties that were being announced revealed stories that required lower-level villains. These villains still had to be formidable to cause the heroes problems.  The Kingpin’s first appearance and other major keys are beyond the reach of many collectors and investors.  He was also already used in some shows so the MCU needed to expand its bullpen. One character that seemed to be involved in many major comic book storylines as a second-tier criminal mastermind with powers was the Hood.

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I saw very few CGC copies graded at very affordable prices two years ago.  As a result, I recommended investors and collectors buy The Hood #1 two years ago in an article. It was a book I saw could fit into the tapestry of where the MCU’s Disney+ properties were headed. The patterns were there for all to see, but not many took advantage of that opportunity. The Hood is now rumored to appear in the Ironheart project. He is a character that can cause the heroine problems but still not break the bank in production costs.

Future Target

Clea was introduced recently to further bolster the magical corner of the MCU. Most people see powerful magicians coming into the MCU in the future.  This presence along with a family member appearance led to Brother Voodoo keys heating up.  He is, in fact, a Sorcerer Supreme in the Marvel Comics universe. There is also the aforementioned horror element coming in the MCU.  Magic and horror seem the new focus of the MCU. That is why I like the first appearance of Devil Slayer in Marvel Spotlight #33.

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The character apparently may have already appeared on television on the BYU-TV network. Regardless, the existence of a character in one project may not preclude him from appearing in more mainstream MCU properties like Daredevil and Kingpin. Devil Slayer also has a reputation to blur the line between hero and villain that plays well in cinema.  The factor is that he again is a formidable character that can be shown in their full glory while keeping post-production costs low.

This issue also marks the last of the Marvel Spotlight series that introduced such characters as Red Wolf, Werewolf by Night, Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman, and the first solo Moon Knight story.  A 9.6 copy of Marvel Spotlight #33 will cost less than $200 as this article is written.  The first appearance in a comic book that is 45 years old and the last issue of a historic title run should not be this low.  Finally, you add the MCU potential to truly create an undervalued book to target while the cost is down.

Let the games Begin…..or the contest requirements

Some secrets and picks were revealed.  Now, it is your turn.  In order to be eligible for the prize all you have to do is submit a comic book that you believe is undervalued and the reason why, here in the GoCollect comment section. No lengthy explanation is required.  Three weeks after the article is published, all the names of people who submitted a recommendation will be placed into a hat and the winner chosen.  I will then contact the winner so that I can mail them the prize. It is that simple.  I look forward to seeing what other books people are targeting as undervalued and the reason why. Good luck everyone!

Want more insight from Joe?

Upgrade2_Footer Tips and Tricks to Find Undervalued Comics*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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39 comments

pencilfart October 9, 2022 - 7:55 pm

I picked up a copy of Bloodstone #1 from the dollar bin a year ago. At the time I was collecting #1 from the Bronze age. Lucky me. I believe collect what you like and have fun.

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Joseph Overaitis October 9, 2022 - 9:58 pm

Books like that should never ever be in dollar bin.. Dont let others know where you found your deal LOL.

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John October 10, 2022 - 3:56 pm

There are many independent books that are criminally undervalued
Death Rattle #8 from Kitchen Sink Comix is the first appearance of Xenozoic Tales (or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs as it’s also known)
Starslayer #2 from Pacific Comics is the first appearance of Rocketeer and can still be had cheap
Also some movie, tv and cartoon properties got there start in independent books. Everyone knows of Aliens and Predator but how about
Terminator #1 from Now Comics
Also not independent but I think a lot of the comics from Marvels Star Comics are undervalued…..
Just my two cents 😊

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Joseph Overaitis October 11, 2022 - 10:19 am

John

That was more than two cents worth.. and I will count it LOL. Do me a favor though.. leave Starslayer #2 alone.. i mean sure disney is going to reboot it and sure it is cheap but really really…why would anyone cough cough..want it ….LOL A lot of blue sea books worth looking at while others focus on the MCU red sea books.

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Tony Brown October 13, 2022 - 7:26 pm

Loved the article! I would recommend Marvel Fanfare Vol 1 #1. First appearance of Vertigo! (and others)
Daredevil back cover by Frank Miller
Spider-Man and Silver Surfer inside cover poster by John Byrne and Terry Austin

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Joseph Overaitis October 14, 2022 - 10:42 am

Tony

Welcome to the boards. Fanfare in my opinion is forgotten series. There was a lot of great art and stories and if only the characters in there are mined further will the true value of this series be appreciated. The Bronze Age is full of these type of series that were forgotten until recently so getting some of these first appearances in the copper age might be a good strategy.

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Sean November 5, 2022 - 1:25 am

Marvel Fanfare #1 is cover dated March 1982. Bronze, not Copper.

Joseph Overaitis November 6, 2022 - 7:23 pm

Sean you are right. I thought the book was a little later after the TMNT #1. My bad LOL

Alain Le October 10, 2022 - 12:18 am

Look outside Marvel comics, there are other superheroes as well. My recommendation would be DC’s Green Lantern John Stewart. With inclusion being a Hollywood priority, I can’t imagine the next GL movie on the big screen not to star John Stewart. All signs point to Green Lantern #87 being highly undervalued.

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Joseph Overaitis October 10, 2022 - 9:55 am

Alain Le

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….keep that book to yourself LOL…. Seriously they are so undervalued and then you add Adams…wow..sold pick

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Kenloi October 10, 2022 - 5:23 am

The undervalued comics are endless in all eras…..Captain Britain weekly 1 (uk) with or without free gift, Marvel team up 65 – 1st USA Cap Britain, Red Hulk 15 – 1st full red she hulk, Sentry 1, Marvel Spotlight 6 – 1st USA Star-Lord (found in dollar bins), Detective 647 – Stephanie Brown, Marvel Super Heroes 12 – Captain Marvel ( for such a powerful character and age of comic still found cheapish), 2000ad uk comic. This world has still not been explored fully on the big screen despite brilliant writers and artists for decades. 2000ad 2 – Judge Dredd (2 reasonable movies so far), 2000ad 69 -Tweak (from the sublime Cursed Earth storyline), New Mutants Annual 2 – Psylocke….A local shop had a modern variant collection in recently which they had just put out when i arrived. I assume no-one had properly checked them. Raw Ult fallout 4 (Djurdjević), x23 1 dellotto, Vengeance 1 1in15 variant for cover price each. I was sweating like crazy at the till. All 9.8 candidates. They checked them and sold them. In the comic racks Vengeance was sticking out from the rest at an angle as if someone had looked at it before me, thought no, and couldn’t be bothered to put it back in correctly. You get great days sometimes..On the way home couldn’t stop smiling…I suspect the undervalued winner will be a Silver or Golden age comic because of the difficulty of finding in great condition..If lucky enough to win (which i won’t be) please donate to a nurses fund….

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Joseph Overaitis October 10, 2022 - 9:54 am

Love your comments as always…and if you are the winner…i will make sure it goes to someone you believe is worthy of the donation. So many nurses funds…Great picks though especially the NM Annual….PS Shhh on the captain britains…I am still looking for more LOL

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Broke Comic Fan October 10, 2022 - 8:11 am

Couple of cheap X Men books with decent MCU possibility:

Uncanny X Men 317 – 1st Blink
Uncanny X Men 345 – 1st Maggot

Blink is a great character who could help bring the X men to the MCU universe. Maggot is weird which also fits right into the MCU!!

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Joseph Overaitis October 10, 2022 - 9:52 am

Welcome to the boards Broke Comic Fan. I love the name…Great picks….truly undervalued Blink in there!!

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David Alexander October 10, 2022 - 12:24 pm

I think that Andor has proven that star wars has a great deal of potential outside of the skywalker saga. I think there is a wealth of undervalued comics in the Dark Horse run of star wars; so many 1st appearances from the expanded universe.

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Joseph Overaitis October 10, 2022 - 2:22 pm

David

Welcome to the boards. Many 1st appearances…many chances to take a flyer out on some books.

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Jeff Gunther October 10, 2022 - 3:03 pm

Marvel Super Heroes 11. The first printing of what was supposed to be Rogue’s 1st appearance inMs Marvel 25, but the title was canceled before it could be printed. An important piece of Rogue’s origin story.

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Daniel Camp October 10, 2022 - 4:30 pm

Okay, here is my contest entry. A book that I believe is grossly undervalued is Spidey Super Stories #1. Although it is non-canonical, this is the second Spider-man solo title first issue, debuting ahead of Spectacular Spider-man by a full two years (Marvel Team-Up came before SSS, but it is not a Spidey solo book). Add to that, since this book was produced for little kids, it was vastly overlooked and far fewer copies have survived in high grade. And, the series as a whole has some of the best guest appearances from Avengers to X-men to Fantastic Four and just about everybody in between, as well as unique first appearances like the black Spider-Woman (Valerie) and Web-Man (the negative Spider-man). It also has some awesome homage covers (#16 and #31 anyone?).

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Joseph Overaitis October 11, 2022 - 10:17 am

Daniel

First post and you really brought a great one to the game. Many have ignored that title and yet you are correct..try to find it in high grade LOL. I think soon more people will get in on it but it might be too late.. Great pick!!

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David Dour October 10, 2022 - 6:33 pm

Daredevil #150 1st appearance of Paladin is the sleeper pick for me–a street level character with a shrouded past makes him a good pick to show up in a Disney + series or MCU.

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Joseph Overaitis October 11, 2022 - 10:15 am

David

Welcome to the boards. I love the character and he could be used like you said. Very little special effects yet character driven to make him compelling. The price too for many Daredevil keys are so undervalued. Nice selection.

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Jeff Booth October 10, 2022 - 11:59 pm

With Mr. Sinister at the top of the X-men villains list, he is bound to show up in the MCU once the mutants are fully introduced. With others focusing on UXM 221, I like the lower cost option of his first cover in UXM 239. Also, I always like his origin story in the Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix mini-series. It might be hard to adapt some of the plot to the big screen, but since these books can be found in $1 bins, you won’t break the bank specking on these issues.

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Joseph Overaitis October 11, 2022 - 10:14 am

Jeff

Welcome to the boards. Mr. Sinister would be a great new villain to face the x-Men. I always loved though the idea that he may come out earlier to show that he is a great villain instead of a great mutant villain. First covers are always a good choice, especially with so low a price!!

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Sean Bolen October 11, 2022 - 3:17 pm

I see two undervalued books as versions of Spider-Man 1 from McFarlane’s run in 1990.

First, the Silver Poly version (with no price) is grossly undervalued by looking at the census. There are an (amazing) amount of silver editions on the census, 14,953 in fact, with the standard silver edition (9.8 grade) having a fair market value of $100. The Silver Poly edition, in the same grade, has a FMV of $130… which sounds fine until you look at the numbers. The Silver Poly edition is only 12% of the silver editions out there, so logic would tell us that it should be worth more than a $30 premium. Look at it this way, there are 7 ½ times more standard silver editions out there… there should be a market correction for this book which will always remain a hot seller.

The second book would be the newsstand version of Spider-Man 1. According to an article published by Go Collect a few weeks ago newsstand editions of books published in 1990 had only a 2% chance of surviving, much less in a high grade. Though it’s impossible to tell how many newsstand versions there are since CGC has just recently started tracking them, if we use Go Collect’s data we can assume that only 2% of the books have the UPC code. The standard green cover has a FMV of $95, and the newsstand copy is $195 (a nice jump); but again that doesn’t coincide with the data. Out of 50 copies of the green cover only one… just ONE… is a newsstand. That would lead me to believe that it is remarkably undervalued.

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Jason82 October 11, 2022 - 8:35 pm

Swordmaster 1. First appearance of Lin Lie the latest Iron Fist. think Iron Fist will appear in the MCU but it will be Lin Lie rather than Danny Rand. Lin Lie is Chinese and Marvel/Disney wants to make in roads into that massive/lucrative market.

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Joseph Overaitis October 11, 2022 - 10:53 pm

very under the radar pick, but solid in theory

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Yoosh October 11, 2022 - 9:28 pm

I’ve decided to focus on keys. Instead of buying 10 random books and waiting for one to pop, buy 1 solid key. Because with key books you don’t have to worry about a crash after a movie or show. And even if the market dips, as is currently happening, keys often bounce back where as who knows if the random books will ever make it back. I’m thinking of say a hulk 181 vs an eternals 1.

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Joseph Overaitis October 11, 2022 - 10:53 pm

always a smart choice

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Jay Bugg October 11, 2022 - 11:37 pm

Depending on the future success of MCU Young Avengers I still think Vision and Scarlet Witch #12 with the first appearance of twins Tommy and Billy will continue to rise in value. Go for copies with a nice white cover as many aren’t anymore. Piggybacking that Mephisto keys seem a good prospect. He’s been mucking up the 616 for decades, is incredibly powerful with ties to nearly every hero from street level to cosmic to supernatural much like Thanos’ reach did, is a rival to Dr. Doom imprisoning the soul of Doom’s mother in Hell, and puts a checkmark off the horror box.

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Joseph Overaitis October 12, 2022 - 9:44 am

Jay

Welcome to the boards. I agree with mephisto keys. he does check a lot of boxes and his keys are not that expensive.

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Nick Begin October 12, 2022 - 8:05 pm

Longshot #1 (1st appearance of Longshot). If they ever do anything with that character in future books or if they can get him onscreen, that book will explode. Getting him into the MCU would be challenging to say the least.

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Joseph Overaitis October 13, 2022 - 10:56 am

Nick

I have to agree on both topics. Longshot is a great character with ties to the X-Men and yet his first appearance languishes in an undervalued void. Bronze Age characters like that were mined long time ago and yet Modern Age books like this still are ignored. In a few years these books will be in demand. Get them while you can now!!!

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Mason Osborne October 14, 2022 - 8:17 am

I agree on the star wars call- tag and bink #2 is my call (1st Darth plagieus) I think he will show up in the acolyte show!!

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Joseph Overaitis October 14, 2022 - 10:40 am

Mason

I would welcome you to the boards but my god…SHHHHHHH. tag and bink’s first appearance of Darth Plagieus is a forgotten book to many. I seen someone put it in as a throw in for a purchase because it gets very little publicity. That is a great pick. Keep bringing them with more frequent posts. That was a great first one though.

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Justin October 15, 2022 - 7:42 pm

Tales From the Crypt #33 isn’t cheap, but I think it is undervalued. Nostalgia is probably going to bring the Crypt Keeper back in some form and most people won’t be able to afford his first appearance so they’ll pick up his origin story.

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Joseph Overaitis October 15, 2022 - 8:51 pm

Justin

Not only is that book undervalued..it is hard to find in good condition. I know from experience.

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Mike Burch October 16, 2022 - 8:23 am

I bought a 9.6 ASM #195 recently for $170. Seemed like a good deal for the 2nd Appearance and Origin of Black Cat.

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Joseph Overaitis October 16, 2022 - 7:01 pm

Mike

Welcome to the boards. I agree and I love the covers. Good pick

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Sean November 5, 2022 - 1:35 am

(Pssst…don’t tell anyone, but Warlock #9 is the first full appearance of the Magus. The character only made cameo appearances in Strange Tales #178 and #181). Don’t know why everyone keeps saying ST #178 is the first app. Warlock #9 is the true key.

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