Undervalued & Overlooked Comics 7/3 – Bronze Age

by Douglas Ohlandt

062822B-1024x536 Undervalued & Overlooked Comics 7/3 - Bronze AgeHello, and welcome back to our weekly column where we take a look at a few undervalued or overlooked comics from one of each of four comic book eras – Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Copper Age – all in an attempt to find value for you, the comic book investor and collector.  Whether you’re a high roller or a bargain shopper, there will be something in here for everyone.  This week, it’s the Bronze Age.  Let’s get started.

First Issue of DC’s Top Bronze Age Series

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Sandwiched between DC Comics Presents #26 and The New Teen Titans #2 lies The New Teen Titans #1.  Whereas the first two contain major first appearances – Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire in DC Comics Presents #26 and Deathstroke in The New Teen Titans #2 – The New Teen Titans #1 is nothing more than the first issue of arguably the only series DC was producing at the time that had any impact on the collecting community.

new-teen-titans-01-splash-202x300 Undervalued & Overlooked Comics 7/3 - Bronze AgeLike many collectible comics, The New Teen Titans #1 peaked in value in 2021, with 9.8 eBay sales on May 18 and December 14 of that year going for a slashed $650.  The latest 9.8 sale has the current price at $400 in a May 7 fixed price sale on eBay.  2021, however, was the second of two spikes for this book.

On June 19, 2019, driven likely in part by the rising popularity of the Titans TV series, a 9.8 sale occurred that spiked the price to $450.  The price quickly crashed before undergoing another surge in 2021.  Outside of these spikes, this book can often be found on the cheap. This makes it an undervalued, though rarely overlooked, comic.

First Appearance of a Major Mutant Team

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It’s rare to find the first appearance of a major Marvel mutant team in the overlooked and undervalued categories.  Marvel Graphic Novel #4 is one of those rarities.  Sporting the first appearances of Psyche, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, and Sunspot, Marvel Graphic Novel #4 introduced the first team of mutants to the Marvel Universe since the founding of the X-Men:  the New Mutants.

You would think this would be a huge favorite among collectors.  The big problem this book has? Comic collectors tend to shy away from comics that are outside the traditional range in size.  The Marvel Graphic Novels produced in the 1980s were roughly the same size as a magazine, and for many, that’s outside the range of collectible comics they want.

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There are 1,516 copies of Marvel Graphic Novel #4 in the CGC census, a low number for an early 1980s first appearance from Marvel.  The most recent sale of this book was a 9.8 copy going for $900 in a Heritage auction.  The peak occurred in July 2021 with a slashed $1,299 sale on eBay.

There are a number of excellent reads in the Marvel Graphic Novel series that are overlooked by collectors and undervalued as well, particularly early in the run.  If you don’t mind some oversized books in your collection, these are definitely worth seeking out, especially Marvel Graphic Novel #4.

First Issue of a Future (Hopeful) Cartoon Favorite

Groo1Pac-195x300 Undervalued & Overlooked Comics 7/3 - Bronze AgeIn November 1981, Eclipse Comics published the first issue of Destroyer Duck #1, within the pages of which appeared for the first time Sergio Aragones’ creation, the buffoonish barbarian known as Groo.  It would be a full year before the character showed up in his own series when Pacific Comics published Groo the Wanderer #1 in November 1982.

The character would go on to have series at Marvel, Image, and Dark Horse; it is one of the most successful comedic comics ever published.  Groo the Wanderer #1 is a remarkably undervalued and overlooked comic.

groo_the_wanderer-300x141 Undervalued & Overlooked Comics 7/3 - Bronze Age

In November 2021, the Hollywood Reporter announced that a Groo animated TV series was in development.  Prices began rising for Groo the Wanderer #1, with a peak sale reached on February 19, 2022 of $440 for a 9.8 graded copy.  However, by May 5, the most recent sale of a 9.8, the price had dropped to $301 in an eBay auction.

What if someone told you that you could have the first issue of an incredibly successful comic book series? One that has lasted, in one iteration or another, for 40 years. Oh, and there’s a TV series in development for that character. What would you do?  Then, consider that there are only 513 graded copies in the CGC census.  So, while not rare, it’s not exactly a common find either.  You could have that book right now for $300.  Looks like a steal to me.

Next Week: Silver Age Undervalued & Overlooked

Well, that’s all we have time for this week.  Join us next week as we take a look at some undervalued and overlooked Silver Age comics.

Want more Undervalued and Overlooked coverage?

Are there any Bronze Age comics you think are undervalued and deserve more attention?  Let us know below.

000080221A_Posters_2-Footer Undervalued & Overlooked Comics 7/3 - Bronze Age*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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9 comments

GFish July 3, 2022 - 8:00 pm

Very rarely do I agree with all of the picks. Today is the day. Would add Power Pack #1, Web of Spider-Man series and several more as well

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Douglas Ohlandt July 4, 2022 - 2:38 pm

Thanks, GFish. Because of its date of release I actually included Power Pack #1 in an undervalued & overlooked copper age piece. You can find it here: Undervalue & Overlooked Comics – Copper Age. I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with all my picks. That would be boring. But I love it when people offer up books to look into. I will likely be including Web of Spider-Man issues in upcoming blogs. That is definitely a series people should be paying more attention to, as is Spectacular Spider-Man.

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kevinmonkey6 July 4, 2022 - 12:41 pm

Miconauts #1 and Rom #1 are each just a movie or TV show away from being hot comics.
Both series are excellent and undervalued. You can pick up high grade raw issues for less than $20 each.

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Douglas Ohlandt July 4, 2022 - 2:42 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, kevinmonkey 6. Definitely agree on both. Especially Micronauts – the Michael Golden artwork in the first dozen or so issues is very underrated. Also, because of licensing issues, neither Micronauts or Rom are reprinted anywhere, making the originals potentially even more valuable.

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Chris July 5, 2022 - 8:17 am

One other reason people shy away from graphic novels IMO is because of the printing numbers not always being clear. Not a great feeling to find out your first printing is a third or fourth.

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Douglas Ohlandt July 5, 2022 - 8:40 pm

You make a great point, Chris. Collectors should be very careful when purchasing Marvel Graphic Novels to always check the indicia (the fine print with the copyright notice, etc.) on the inside to ensure the printing. Unfortunately, Marvel wasn’t at that point noting their subsequent printings after the first with different covers in any way. Many of the early Marvel Graphic Novels, particularly The Death of Captain Marvel, The New Mutants, and X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills went through multiple printings and the only place it’s marked is in the indicia.

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Alan July 8, 2022 - 7:59 pm

The “6th” printing of the New Mutants Graphic Novel has a killer cover by Adam Hughes!

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Dave Stevens July 7, 2022 - 2:47 pm

These are generally considered copper age books. Furthermore, they all “feel” copper and decidedly not bronze. There are differing opinions as to when the copper age starts, but for many the introduction of the new teen titans is it. 1982 seems like the tail-end if not already well into copper. Usual descriptions I have seen might say 15 cent covers to about the end of the 35 cent cover. As an example, She-Hulk is an end-of-bronze type book.

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Douglas Ohlandt July 17, 2022 - 4:11 pm

Dave – There are definitely varying opinions as to when the Copper Age begins and the Bronze Age ends. I tend to look at 1984 as the start of the Copper Age. That’s when TMNT #1 and Secret Wars #1 first came out, and both seem to mark a turning point in comics, just as the advent of the code and DC beginning to publish super-hero books again marks the end of the Golden Age and the beginning of the Silver Age. That being said, there are definitely arguments for and against particular books belonging to a certain age based on a date if they “feel” like they belong in a certain age. Many Atlas books from the late 50s feel Golden Age to me even though their date of publication tells me they should be Silver Age.

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