It’s time once more for Undervalued and Overlooked Comics! This time we’ll be looking at the Silver Age. Take a look and see what comics you just might be missing out on.
Debut of a Little Guy
Sometimes when looking for undervalued and overlooked comics, it’s less about the issue itself and more about the grade. Examples abound of key issues in high grades going for record amounts in big auctions. However, by dipping down to more affordable grades – the grades most collectors can afford, at least as an initial entry point – you can find real value.
Showcase #34 is a perfect example. Cover dated September 1961, this comic features the first appearance of the Silver Age Atom.
There are 860 graded copies in the CGC census and one of the most common grades (and one where we have a recent sale) is 5.0. That recent sale is from September 18 when a copy in this grade sold for $405 in an eBay auction. That’s down from a $463 sale in a Hake’s auction on July 27 and even more from a $504 sale in a Heritage auction on April 26.
Compare that to the 9.0 copy that sold in a Heritage auction on September 12 for $10,800, a record for this book in any grade and the highest price paid since 2007.
Showcase #34 in a 5.0 grade is just another example of the undervaluation of DC keys that collectors should be taking advantage of.
First Meeting of Two Huge Teams
With all of the MCU hype surrounding the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, you would think that their first team-up in Fantastic Four #28 would be fetching huge dollars. Fortunately, if you’re a buyer that’s not the case. Again, if you’re looking at high grades – like the 9.8 that sold for a record $27,600 in a September 12 Heritage auction – there’s never been a better time to be a seller.
But looking at the most common grade of 6.5, we see a comic that has dropped considerably in value. On both July 26 and April 19, 6.5 graded copies of Fantastic Four #28 sold in Heritage auctions for $456. Just a few days prior to the first of the two sales, on April 16, a 6.5 copy sold for a slashed $690, and a copy sold on January 29 for $599.
So, this book is down in value at least 24% since the beginning of the year, to the point where you can likely get a copy for less than $500. Paying less than $500 for a nice mid-grade copy of the first meeting of these two teams could look like a huge bargain in another few months.
Beep Beep – An Overlooked Cartoon Gem
With first comic appearances of cartoon characters like Scooby-Doo or The Flintstones going for record prices over the past year, it’s easy to think that the biggest and the best have been identified and are being sought out by collectors. However, two of the most popular cartoon characters of the 1960s and 1970s have their first appearance in a comic that is totally overlooked by collectors. I’m talking about Four Color #918, the comic debut of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.
These two characters didn’t just dominate Saturday morning cartoons for two decades but could also be found in syndicated shows nearly every weekday afternoon. While you won’t see these on commercial television very often anymore due to the high level of violence in the cartoons, make no mistake – these are two of the most well-known cartoon characters ever.
Cover dated September 1958, there are only 11 graded copies of Four Color #918 in the CGC census. Of those, we know that at least one is a 7.0 graded file copy – one of the copies reserved by the publisher for their own archives, and a pedigree collector’s item. Even this copy has never sold for more than $850, which it did on September 24 in an eBay auction.
The highest a high-grade non-pedigree copy has sold for is $299, and that was way back in 2005. The last mid-grade copy to sell was in 2018 when a 6.0 went for $33. This is a remarkably overlooked comic from the early Silver Age.
It’s hard to say whether or not it’s undervalued, as too few copies ever come up for sale.
Next Week: Copper 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 Copper Age comics.