Undervalued Spotlight #92

Avengers #110, Marvel Comics, April 1973

For Marvel Comics the X-Men were THE comic story of the second half of the 1970s. The new team that launched in X-Men #94 (8/75) slowly but surely began taking over the comic book world. At one point years later Marvel’s ‘X titles’ owned the sales charts!

It seems odd to note that the last original issue of X-Men comics before #94 was #66 published way back in March 1970 (X-Men #67 – 93 were all reprint issues). Wow, that’s almost 5 years without X-Men!

There are a lot of X-Men fans out there and many are becoming more and more interested in these ‘lost years’. Fans are trying to track down and collect new original X-Men stories that were published during this time.

I did not find a complete list of X-Men appearances during these ‘lost years’ but I do remember notable X-Men appearances in Amazing Adventures #11 and 12 (3/72 and 5/72), Marvel Team-Up #4 (9/72), Incredible Hulk #172 (2/74), Captain America #172 – 175 (4/74 to 7/74) and of course our pick Avengers #110 (4/73). I have to include Avengers #111 (5/73) since this was a 2 part story.

I’d love a more complete list of X-Men cameos and guest appearances during these ‘lost years’ so please note any issues you remember in the comments field below.

In Avengers #110 you not only get the X-Men but you also get their main villain Magneto. By the way, the awesome Gil Kane cover which features Magneto, the X-Men, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man adds even more appeal to this comic book. I read the issue again and it was a great, fun refreshing read. Steve Englehart gets writing credit while Don Heck gets credit for the pencils.

Surprisingly this book has been underperforming on the market. The supply is solid with 88 copies available at grades 9.2 or better. The demand seems soft though, the last recorded CGC 9.2 graded copy sold for $74 while the last CGC graded 9.4 copy sold for $86, heck CGC 9.6s are not even getting $150.

I see good potential for this comic. The Avengers as a title is on a rise that will only accelerate as we draw closer to next year’s movie. I have to remind you that Captain America, Thor and Iron Man are Avengers in this issue! These X-Men ‘lost years’ are a very interesting period for the team and more X-Men collectors should be drawn to the team’s guest appearances in other titles during this time, especially when articles like this one help spread the word.

The 41st edition of the Overstreet Price Guide shows $39/$62/$85 as the splits at the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grades.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long-term investment are:

  • Avengers is a highly collected title, in this era especially
  • Rare X-Men story during the team’s ‘lost years’
  • Star power galore on Gil Kane’s great cover
  • Weak market performance right now makes it a great time to grab one
Walter Durajlija Written by:

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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3 Comments

  1. Charlie
    August 5, 2011

     

    Hey Walt, welcome back. Mr. Falcone kept things moving along with his riveting and insightful postings.
     
    The X-Men “lost years”… what a great topic! I’ve never actually thought about it much from your perspective but gathering up all their appearances during these years sure would make a great collection. Aside from being a challenge, it would be interesting to piece together their activity during this time. Marvel should consider it as part of the Omnibus series.
     
    I know that Byrne tried to fill this gap in 1999 with X-Men: The Hidden Years and fans were excited at the prospect of him returning to the X-Men… but the art was not as good as his original run and I was basically out of comics by then and thus never read the series. I believe it lasted 22 issues before Joe Quesada put the kai-bosh on the series. Perhaps I’ll try and pick up a cheap set while the markets in a slump…

  2. August 5, 2011

    Good to be back Charlie. I know people are looking for a spot to park their TSX and DOW cash so my new pick posted just in time.

    The Byrne Hidden Years came up a lot while I was searching for a complete list. I didn’t read it either.

    You are right on the Omnibus idea, it would be great. Often just one of the old X-Men would cameo in another title during this time and I hope the Omnibus would cover these too.

Make It Good.