It’s time for more Undervalued and Overlooked Comics, where we identify a few issues each week that could be overlooked, undervalued, or both and may be worth considering for your collection. This week, we’re looking at a few key Marvel comics from the Copper Age.  Let’s get started.

First Jim Lee Work at Marvel

In 1987, a young Jim Lee was just getting started in the comics industry. Showing his portfolio to Marvel editor Archie Goodwin at a comic convention, Lee was brought to the publisher and given his first assignment: Alpha Flight #51. Little did fans know at the time that this would be the start of a career that would rise as high as current Publisher and Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics.

There are 418 graded copies of Alpha Flight #51 in the CGC census, 55% of which are in the 9.8 and 9.6 grades. There have been many times, even those preceding the recent comic boom, when it was difficult to find 9.8 graded copies under $200. Now, however, average sale prices have dropped down to the $165-$170 range.

That’s a low price for the first major work by easily one of the most popular artists to break into comics in the past 35 years. Definitely consider adding this one to your collection.

V for Vendetta

Other than Watchmen and his early work on Swamp Thing, collectors tend to ignore the work of Alan Moore. As one of the most influential writers in comics in his day, collectors should be paying attention to his work, particularly those that have been the basis for properties in other media.

The film, V for Vendetta, based on Moore’s work on the comic book series and starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, was released in 2005 and achieved great commercial and critical success. The comic book series, however, has fallen on hard times where collectors are concerned.

There are 1,065 graded copies of V for Vendetta #1 in the CGC census. It’s a number that speaks more to the comic’s popularity a decade ago than it does now. The 30-day average currently stands at $179, down significantly from the 1-year average of $230 and lower than peaks not just in early 2022, but also in 2019, 2017, and 2014.

Now is an excellent time to pick up a copy of this book; you never know when WB Discovery will decide to capitalize on this property by creating a TV series, as was rumored a few years back.

The All Pinup Comic

Marvel Fanfare was always an odd series. Consisting primarily of completed stories that never made it into long-running series but printed in a glossier format (and set at a higher price) that didn’t always befit the level of the content, the series offered comics that ran the gamut from incredible to truly awful.

In 1989, Marvel offered their oddest issue of the series – Marvel Fanfare #45 – that consisted of nothing but pinups. Even a short list of the artists whose work was included is staggering: Art Adams, John Byrne, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walt Simonson, Jim Lee, Charles Vess, Marshall Rogers, Michael Golden, and so many more. So, it’s somewhat surprising that there are only 21 graded copies in the CGC census and that there have only been two recorded sales – a 9.8 selling in 2019 for $30 and one selling in 2022 for $66.

Even more surprising is that there are no recorded sales of CBCS-graded copies, a company that verifies signatures. You see, there are collectors out there who are determined to get as many of these pinup pages signed by the artists as possible. It could be a reason why the census count is so low. In any event, whether you’re picking up a graded for your collection or a raw copy to be signed, this will most assuredly be a conversation piece for your collection.

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

Do you think Alpha Flight #51, V for Vendetta #1, and Marvel Fanfare #45 are undervalued, overlooked, or both?  Let us know below.

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.