Undervalued and Overlooked Comics is back! This is where we identify comics that are either currently lower in value than they could be, aren’t as well known in the collector market, or both. So, let’s get started with a few oddities from DC in the Silver Age.

Captain Action

Never heard of Captain Action before? That’s OK. Despite 233 copies of Captain Action #1 in the CGC census, it’s not one you see floating around at comic shops or shows every day. DC obtained the comic book rights to publish stories about the mid-1960s action figure in 1968. Of course, they had to radically overhaul the character for the comics. You see, the Captain Action action figure came with a big wardrobe of face masks and costumes that allowed him to become a bunch of different figures - from DC and Marvel favorites - to longer running characters like Buck Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and the Green Hornet. Knowing that would be an impossibility, Captain Action’s power in the comics were based on magical coins that gave him powers from a pantheon of mythical Roman, Norse, and Greek Gods. Captain Action #1 featured cover art by Wally Wood and the story was written by a young Jim Shooter.

The two most recent sales include a CBCS 4.0 signed by Jim Shooter going for $50 and a CGC 7.0 selling for just $29. Even in the 9.2 grade, one of the most plentiful grades with 24 graded copies, there was a sale in December for $135. If you’re looking for an obscure comic with a cover from a classic artist and scripted by none other than Jim Shooter near the start of his career, you can’t do much better than Captain Action #1.

Beware the Creeper

It doesn’t get much weirder than Steve Ditko’s creations for DC in the late 1960s. Besides the ever-present philosophizing in his scripts, his creations covered the gamut from strange to bizarre. Regarding the artwork, Ditko was still at the top of his game, which is one of the things that made a comic like Beware the Creeper #1 so much fun. While not the character’s first appearance – that was in Showcase #73Beware the Creeper #1 is the first issue in his own series, as short lived as it may have been.

There are 449 graded copies of this 1968 comic in the CGC census, not a particularly low number but not exactly high either for a first issue. The most commonly found grade is an 8.5 with 59 copies. A copy in that grade sold in an August 2023 Heritage auction for $122. However, even in the peak year of 2021, 8.5 copies were often selling below $100. I certainly wouldn’t say that the Creeper is a lock to show up in the DCU, but I wouldn’t put it past James Gunn to find a way to squeeze this insane character into an upcoming film.

Falling in Love with Ric Estrada

You’re forgiven if you have little knowledge of DC’s romance offerings of the 1960s. Falling in Love was a typical DC romance comic, with nothing much to speak of in terms of key issues. Of the 138 issues published between 1955 and 1973, only one could be considered a key. Falling in Love #99 features what has to be considered one of the covers most emblematic of the psychedelic sixties. The cover was drawn by Ric Estrada, a Cuban artist best known for his work on the EC title Two-Fisted Tales, a number of DC’s war comics, and many of DC’s mid-1970s super-hero comics. But it’s that cover of Falling in Love #99 that’s the one most coveted by those who collect his work.

This one is much harder to find, with only 30 graded copies. While it’s overlooked by many, the rarity of graded copies has driven up the price, so we definitely can’t consider this to be one that falls in the undervalued category. The most recent sale was a 3.5 going for $300 in a March 27 eBay sale. The top price paid was $2,400 for a 9.4 graded copy in a February 2023 Heritage auction. There is a 9.8 graded copy somewhere out there that has never sold. It would be very interesting to see what kind of price it could fetch in an auction.

Do you think Captain Action #1, Beware the Creeper #1, and Falling in Love #99 are undervalued, overlooked, or both?  Let us know below.