The Golden Age represents the birth of the superhero into our collective conscious. Superpowers and super personalities would spring to life in fiction during this time. The good guys would always win, the bad guys would lose, and then be taught a lesson on morality. The Golden Age was from the 1930’s to 1950 circa (Wiki). Many huge heroes would arise from the Golden Age Superman, Batman, even a friendly Martian, and Melvin. (Who the heck is Melvin?)
In April, three books have gained prominence and the pinnacle of performance based on GoCollects rankings and eBay’s sales records. These golden goodies are MAD #1, the newcomer to the top ranks Detective Comics #225, and Superman #100. We laugh, we cry, we giggle the emotional range of these works of art is interesting by comparison. Each of these treasures represents Golden Age collectibility at its finest.
This is the first titled series with Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Bill Elder and John Severin (art) and Harvey Kurtzman, and William Gaines (script). I have never written a book of comedy stories before; it must have been daunting. I couldn’t imagine coming up with something funny every month to fill an entire book, but Kurtzman and Gaines did just that. In this issue, Melvin is killed, and a character named Textron is hunting his killer and kills every suspect (My Comic Shop). I would suspect his killing the suspects is probably by accident making this dark and funny at the same time.
This book has had a return of 20.1% over the last six months in grade (4.0). The previous price paid was $975 and the highest price paid for this comic was $2500 about 172 days ago (GoCollect). Not bad for a book that caused such a stir back in the 1950’s. Eventually, the publisher changed MAD into a magazine to avoid censorship. MAD #1 is currently ranked third most popular Golden Age comic GoCollect (eBay Sales). But who the heck killed Melvin?
The first appearance of Martian Manhunter was in Detective Comics #225. The Manhunter has Superman’s strength and the ability to shapeshift, yikes look out Changeling. Hamilton, Schiff, Miller, Boltinoff, and Samachson (script) created this comic. Furthermore, an equally large team did art Mortimer, Moldoff, Moreira, Boltinoff, and Certa (pencils). This book has sold as high as $7500 and priced as low as $659 for a poor copy (eBay). Though expensive it is still reachable as an investment.
The only catalyst for the Martian Manhunter has been as part of the Supergirl TV series at least season one. I don’t think two years later this catalyst would impact his first appearance. That is probably unlikely, but knowing they have portrayed Manhunter on film makes the purchase as easy as lifting a 300-pound rock on Mars. This book is the second most popular Golden Age comic GoCollect (eBay sales). Morph to your nearest shop and purchase this off-world Superman while the price is still affordable.
Currently, Superman’s Centennial issue is the number one Golden Age comic GoCollect (eBay). Superman #100 was created by the writing team of Woolfolk, Miller, Finger, and Boltinoff. Along with a platoon of pencilers; Mortimer, Shuster, Boring, Plastino, Perry, and again, Boltinoff. This Golden Age oldie has mixed returns at best. Currently, a (6.5) has declined 8.5% while a (6.0) has increased 31.6% go figure. Truly consistent numbers are in the three-month time frame; a grade (3.0) has returned 55% over the last three months. Not a bad ROI for a guy in tights and a cape.
The cover also sports four original Superman stories: his origin and beginning in Superman #1, Superman #25 where he is a super-substitute teacher (good luck Superman), issue Superman #50 has him taming the lions, and the comic book Superman #75 has him bending steel, hence the Man of Steel monicker. This comic sports it all, good short-term speculation, and you get his origin story as a bonus. I have watched this comic bubble up to the top consistently over the last several months. Think of this purchase as buying four comics but only paying for one.
Bottom line you can pick up a copy online, CGC low grade for about $300; this appears to be a big up and comer in the future. The further and further away we get from the Twentieth Century; the more valuable these old Golden Age keys become. Besides how else are you going to own the origin story, very few of us can afford an original Action Comics #1 at $3,200,000 million with an increase from 2016 to 2017 of 14% in price (Overstreet guide 47th Edition). Perhaps the Centennial does have a certain charm.