Who is the Fastest Man Alive?

by Norman Robinson III

119826_0b404585be7cc8a7945bc4b5ef50f1106cd08b08-202x300 Who is the Fastest Man Alive?

In August of 1967, DC had the first showdown between Flash and Superman in a foot race. This race appeared in Superman #199 and ever since has been a considerable Silver Age key; with a cover by Ross Andru and script by Jack Harris. There is also a brief appearance of Justice League in this comic. Not to mention the thrill of settling who is faster, once and for all between these two icons!

What is the good, the bad, and the ugly of this comic speculation? On the positive side, the CGC census currently states there are only 439 of these comics encapsulated, the majority well below near mint. The  bad of this purchase is this comic is not the most popular Silver Age book, ranking only 228th (GoCollect.). Finally, the ugly truth of this issue, you have to buy another two comics to complete the trifecta story tie in and find out who wins the race.

There are two catalysts for this comic: Flash and Superman just appeared in the Justice League movie and had a race, up the cool factor. Secondarily, the Flash is a top-rated series on Netflix and will most likely go on for some time. This will drive prices up in any Flash related key. Regardless of the movie tanking, the WB need to finish the storyline. We will see both Superman and Flash again soon.

Financially, it makes sense to purchase a copy (per Overstreet guide 47th edition) this comic has sold in Fine minus condition for about $108. That price is within $30-40 below current sales (GoCollect). What does this mean?  Ultimately, “the book” (Overstreet guide) is usually well below the current price on a key like this. Since it is so close in value, currently this dramatically reduces your risk, as you are paying for and receiving book value for Superman #199.

This key will always be collectible and is a pillar of the DC universe. Currently, it sells for $225 at 6.5 grade (eBay) not bad for a Silver Age key that has passed the 50-year mark. Given the fact the census shows so few have been encapsulated. This would seem to suggest this comic has limited supply. Additionally, this issue has seen some price inflation over the past three months, always a positive sign. In the final analysis, Superman #199 has staying power and is a safe bet for speculator and collector alike. You might be the fastest speculator alive if you snatch up a copy in time!

The Multi-key

Some comic books have multiple appearances and even 2nd, 3rd, or 4th appearances of a character. A comic book issue may also be a key due to the death of a superhero character. X-men #95 contains all of these qualities along with a fantastic cover by Gil Kane and the heroic story by Chris Claremont.

If you are sympathetic to Thunderbird and his death, this issue is for you. Perhaps you just want to own an early appearance of the new X-men again this comic fits that bill. Or maybe, you collect 3rd and 4th appearances, say the fourth appearance of Wolverine; this Multi-key has it all for collector and speculator alike.

With four minor appearances and the death of a Marvel hero, this is an excellent key to own as a collector. The speculators might want to pick up some high-grade issues that have fallen in price by 32%, over the last two years (GoCollect). When the next movie comes out this would be a good time to sell X-Men #95, as a speculation. I discussed the film as a catalyst in an earlier blog called X-men Xmas, and it certainly presents an impetus for this comic as well.

Everyone loves to speculate; however there are some purchases you hold for longer than one or two years like your 401K it is more of an investment. Now that Disney will own all the rights to X-Men; there are going to be some genuinely creative forces unleashed in the MCU. This book is an inexpensive way to own early appearances of primary X-Men characters without paying the price of a first appearance. For instance, just seven days ago a 9.0 very fine to near mint, sold for $160 for X-Men #95. In perspective, Giant-Size X-Men #1 (First appearance new X-men) traded in a grade of 9.0 for $1044 two months ago (GoCollect). Another title for this column might have been: X-Men keys on the cheap.  However, I think the best approach for speculator and collector alike is purchasing a 9.4, or above while you can of X-Men #95. Additionally, the price is starting to rise as more media hype about the X-men movie due out next year percolates. Collector or speculator can use this Multi-key to augment their portfolios.

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