I’m happy to be back again bringing you the latest quarterly installment of Undervalued Comics in 2021. Books that, in this high-priced and news-sensitive market, actually seem to hold strong future value potential. If you missed any of the previous iterations of this piece, you can find them here.
There is so much smoke around the Kingpin rumors in the MCU and so many tweets from Vincent D’Onofrio, it would be a major disappointment if he does not show up in some near-future project. There are HEAVY rumors he shows up in the upcoming Hawkeye series on Disney+, and we will know the answer to that in a few short weeks.
And while his first two appearances in Amazing Spider-Man #50 and Amazing Spider-Man #51 have been discussed on this blog and elsewhere ad nauseum, there are still some underrated Kingpin options. That’s where Daredevil #170 comes in.
The Kingpin/Spider combo may not have much traction, seeing as how Spider-Man is about to go multi-versal with Dr. Strange. Kingpin has always been a street-level boss, so his appearance in a grounded show like Hawkeye makes much more sense. If that’s the case? The door would be wide open for a Daredevil-Kingpin reunion whenever we see the red-horned devil introduced. DD #170 is the first appearance of Kingpin in Daredevil comics and his first cover appearance as well.
There aren’t many of these graded in the world. The CGC 9.8 copies that do exist have held pretty steadily under $300 for the past year and a half. Any plateau like that means the book is ripe for an explosion with any relevant news. This book seems like a cheap investment into a story so many are clamoring to see. It’s worth a spot on this undervalued comics list.
Batman #655 is a much more modern book (September 2006) but is holding its value at about the same price as a 9.8 DD#170. There are more than 800 copies of this book in a 9.8. They have most recently sold in the $200-$250 range. DC and Batman fans are seeking to collect the first cameo appearance of Damian Wayne.
Damian Wayne, for those unfamiliar, is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. Unfortunately for investors, we have a Hulk #180/Hulk #181 situation playing out here, albeit on a much smaller scale. Many collectors consider #655 as a cameo appearance since we just see Damian’s eyes in one panel. Issue #656 is the full reveal in the last panel.
Why is the son of Batman so important? Earlier in 2021, Damian Wayne as Robin left the Teen Titans and ventured out on a solo mission. He was given his own story arc and is featured in the ongoing Robin series by DC.
The backstory of Damian Wayne was that he was genetically engineered by the al Ghul family as a means to end Batman’s life. He was initially hidden from Batman until his appearance in #655. Considering the prominent role Damian Wayne plays as a solo character for DC, it is only a matter of time before these family dynamics come back together and Robin is again paired or pitted against Batman.
Fantastic Four #164 and #244
Frankie Raye, who would later become Nova, Herald of Galactus, was first introduced in Fantastic Four #164. She more recently had a resurgent moment in the sun as Phase 4 of the MCU was getting ready to kick off. Case in point: Every copy of Fantastic Four #244 in a CGC 9.8 sold between $255 and $399 between early 2020 and February 2021. Then, on rumors of the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie, these same copies shot up to around $900 and have stayed there ever since.
What could be causing this buying frenzy and what makes investors so sure that the Frankie Raye version of Nova will show up in the MCU? What makes this one of our undervalued comics? A couple things, actually.
First, we have seen the NOVA corps appear in GOTG movies already. Their existence has been proven. We just have not, as of yet, been introduced to a Richard Rider, Frankie Raye, or Sam Alexander character. When there was no confirmation of Fantastic Four in the MCU, assumptions were the Nova we finally see would be themed around a GOTG storyline. This makes Rider or Alexander more reasonable assumptions.
But with the First Family confirmed to be coming soon, there could easily be a spot for Johnny Storm’s comic girlfriend, Frankie Raye. She would eventually take up the mantle of Nova, Herald of Galactus in one of the more iconic FF4 covers to date. GOTG will seemingly pivot towards Adam Warlock with their third installment, leaving Nova free for the FF4 to explore.
As mentioned above, FF #244 is going to run you about $900 in a 9.8 but can be had much more reasonably in a CGC 9.6 at about $300, presently. Raye’s first appearance in FF #164 is much harder to find in a high-grade copy.
There only seem to be about 200 total copies on the CGC census. There’ve been just four recorded sales of a 9.8 in the past 12 years. The most recent was in March 2020 when a CGC 9.8 went at auction for $1,080.
The most populous grade is 9.6 and there have been several sold this year, ranging from $500 to $950. I would be happy with a 9.4 grade, which have all sold for under $200 in the past year.