This week’s Overvalued spotlight shines on one of my favourite characters in the marvel universe the Silver Surfer. I had originally planned to include him in a combination post with Iron Man #1 last month because both of the books shared some similar characteristics. I am glad that I didn’t as the Iron Man post seemed to take on a life of its own, and this Silver Surfer #1 issue deserves to be discussed on it’s own merits and shortcomings.
It is not a secret that Silver Surfer #1 is a disappointing and overvalued book in my eyes. I discussed this at length in Arcs & Runs – Why did the Silver Surfer fail? There was some lively debate on the subject and CBD writer Dennis De Pues did soften me up a bit on merits of Silver Surfer #5 and #6. My opinion on the rest of the books pretty much remained the same.
In the Iron Man #1 post I mentioned I could only find four books valued higher than Iron Man #1 that were printed after that book. Our overvalued pick today Silver Surfer #1 is one of them. In fact it is #2 on the list, only being surpassed by the Incredible Hulk #181. Let’s take a look at what is driving the price of this book to these heights.
- Let’s get the Iron Man #1 parallels out of the way first. Like Iron Man #1 it has a fabulous cover, this time by big John Buscema. It is really first rate and worthy of a #1 issue.
- It is a number 1. The difference here is this is the first issue of the Silver Surfer and the launch of a new series a plus for the book.
- The book is a giant size square bound book, another plus and it also makes this book a tougher find in grade.
- It is an origin story. Now normally this would be a big plus for me, but not this book. In my opinion it is a failed origin story and sets the tone for a failed comic book series. It is a run of the mill story that makes Norrin Radd seem like an ordinary bloke, who does what most people would do if they were threatened by Galactus in order to save his planet. This book starts a downhill slide that despite superb books like issues #3 and #4 can only slow down but not stop the slide. Stan Lee wears the blame for this.
- Like Iron Man #1 this book started out in Overstreet as one the highest valued books of the 1968 launches. In fact it is the highest and still is. Why? I understand why it started out that way. The built up – pent up demand for this comic book was huge. I was one of the many that waited eagerly for this book to arrive on the scene, only to be met with disappointment. I wasn’t alone in that regard as this book only lasted eighteen issues before cancellation. A certified commercial failure. Why does this book maintain such high esteem at Overstreet?
The book has maintained its number #1 status amongst the new launches forever. Again Why? Where is the demand coming from? Some mysterious Silver Surfer cult? There is no Robert Downey Jr. driving this bus. There is no movie buzz surrounding the character. The only movie appearance of the Silver Surfer was a bust in the second Fantastic Four movie, and Disney does not own his future movie rights (yet). The only new book printed to catch up to the Silver Surfer #1 in the past 38 years is the Incredible Hulk #181. Does that sound right to you?
I would strongly argue that their is a much better book within the Silver Surfer’s own short-lived title. Silver Surfer #4 (Thor/ Silver Surfer battle issue) is a vastly superior book to issue #1 and in my opinion deserves to be the highest valued book in the short Surfer run. Overstreet however, doesn’t like to do that, #1’s must be the most valuable book in the run unless it is an exceptional case. A storyline for another day.
For many of the reasons cited in the Iron Man #1 post, although I believe that Silver Surfer #1 is overvalued it is probably a safe bet to maintain close to it’s present value in the slabbed collecting world, in particular the highest graded copies. I see only issues #3 and #4 of the Silver Surfer’s initial run as safe bets going forward. Issues #2, #5-18 are all over due a 30-40% reduction in Overstreet judging by the prices I see realized at auction.
The Silver Surfer remains one of the coolest characters ever created and is still one of my favourites. He is quite obviously a favourite of the Overstreet price guide family as well.
Listed below are the 11th & 45th Overstreet price guide info for Silver Surfer #1 that tied in to the Iron Man #1 post. The Silver Surfer was expensive right from the get-go and still is today.
Silver Surfer #1
11th Overstreet Price Guide: Good $18 / Fine $36 / Near Mint $54
45th Overstreet Price Guide: 6.0 $156 / 8.0 $416 / 9.0 $933 / 9.2 $1450