Overvalued Overstreet | Tales Of Suspense 49

Today’s Overvalued Overstreet spotlight features one of my favourite comics of all time: Tales of Suspense #49. I still own a beautiful copy of the book, and it will probably be one of those books that goes to the people who I leave behind when I am resting in an urn on somebody’s mantle. They of course will probably sell it – before the dust settles 😊. I am only telling you this to illustrate just how much this book means to me. Growing up this was one tough book for me to find. When I finally did get one it was a dog-eared beat-up copy from a used book store. With the advent of the internet more copies became available and I upgraded a couple of times before getting an in-grade copy. It was a hot book and pretty well always went over guide.

At some point over the past 3-4 years the bloom fell off the rose with this book. I don’t know if the market need for the book became satisfied, or if Overstreet finally over-shot the perceived market value of Tales of Suspense #49, but books are not being sold at current guide prices. I still track the book pretty closely (bargain hunting) and this book can be had for 10-20% below guide for grades from 4.0-9.2. A quick look at the current “for sale “section at ComicLink shows more of the same. A nice 8.0 that someone is trying to sell for $600 (10% below guide), a 6.5 that sold well below guide (30% plus) and five other books with no bids. Not very inspiring.

Tales Of Suspense issue 49 page 2 by Steve Ditko and Paul Reinman. Source.

Tales of Suspense #49 is still a solid book with many fine attributes and connections to key books in the early days of Marvel’s super-hero renaissance. I covered this book and those-tie-ins in Undervalued Spotlight #209. I love those early super-hero books with Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko art.

As a collector, I still like this book and so does Overstreet. Maybe we both like it a bit too much. We know that Overstreet will likely not adjust prices downward on this book, but hold prices and wait for a catch-up. If you are an investor the book looks like a bargain in Overstreet right now, but it might be “dead money” for awhile if the current market for the book continues or worsens.

Tales Of Suspense issue 49 page 16 by Steve Ditko and Paul Reinman. Source.

I hate picking on this book, but as Darren Graham once commented here, “You have to call a spade a spade”.

46th Overstreet Price guide values for this book are as follows 6.0 $246/8.0 $656/9.0 $1478/9.2 $2300.

Mike Huddleston
Mike Huddleston

Mike was born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario. He has read and collected comics for over 40 years. A Marvel Zombie specializing in the Silver, bronze and early copper age of comics.

Articles: 101
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

I have a VG copy of this book and I’ve always liked it as well but it’s been a dead book in the market for while.
If they ever cross the X-Men over with the Avengers in a movie that will give this comic the boost it needs. Not sure I ever see that happening though, but you never know.

Steve V.
Steve V.
6 years ago

MIKE SAYS. I hate picking on this book, but as Darren Graham once commented here, “You have to call a spade a spade”. 46th Overstreet Price guide values for this book are as follows 6.0 $246/8.0 $656/9.0 $1478/9.2 $2300.

I do not think you are picking on the book, because you simply point out it is overvalued price-wise and you state how much you love the book. I love it too!

But- please realize only 300 copies of this book were ever CGC graded. Thats roughly 15% of the number of Tales of Supense #39s. Of the CGCed copies, 3 are in 9.8, 5 in 9.6, 14 in 9.4 and 8 copies in 9.2. The fact there are three 9.8s shows just how strikingly stunning that the cover is in highest grade!

The most plentifyl grade of TOS #49 is in CGC is 7.0. Still a beautiful book! But- I feel that because the most plentiful grade falls midway betwwn the guide of $246 for 6.0 and $656 for 8.0, there is lots of room for negotiation, that would not exist if the most plentiful grade was a full gade of say 6.0.

I love the book too. The pink colored cover from atomic explosion always caught my eye. The Ditko art is awsome. I love Ironman’s new armor, shown just for the 2nd time with pointy ear coverings. I like this 4th X-men appearance. The angel is a favorite charactor of mine as portrayed in this issue as a good-bad-guy, due to affects of nuclear rays.

The Watcher was, and is, the most powerful marvel charactor. The back-up Watcher prelude and prototype story is the first Tales of The Watcher ever! It leads to a the Watcher origin in TOS #53, a few issues later. Remember too, TOS #49 became a fan favorites at the time, after the first appeance in Fantastic Four #13, so was granted his own title firstly in TOS #49. 2nd Watcher appearance ever!

The Steve Ditko / Paul Reinman art is superlative! Ditko at his best! Never had Iron man flown so high. It is reminicent of high flying Spider-man scenes.

TOS #49 forms a triad of three great Ditko Iron man issues in TOS # 47, 48 and #49. Ditko created the melter in issue # 47. But Ironman’s armor melted. In issue #48 Ditko had Tony Stark make new armor to battle Mr.Doll/ originally named Mr.Pain but, rejected by the comis code. Too sadistic! Issue #49 was the culmination of the trilogy, and prelude to the X-men/Avengers full battle in Fantastic Four #26, three months later.

Synopsis:The Angel is affected by an atomic test done at one of Stark’s weapons plants. His personality is altered and now he wants to join the Evil Mutants. The X-Men call the Avengers for help but only Iron Man is available.

This book was reprinted very often:
GB in Mystic (L. Miller & Son, 1960 series) #49 (1964)
GB in Fantastic! (IPC, 1967 series) #11 (29 April 1967) [Black and white.]
NO in Fakkelen og jernmannen (Serieforlaget / Se-Bladene / Stabenfeldt, 1968 series) #3/1968 (1968)
US in Giant-Size Iron Man (Marvel, 1975 series) #1 (October 1975) [-3 pages]
US in Marvel Masterworks (Marvel, 1987 series) #20 ([October] 1992)
US in Essential Iron Man (Marvel, 2000 series) #1 (November 2000) [black and white]
US in Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man (Marvel, 2003 series) #1 [Regular Edition] ([November] 2003)
US in The Invincible Iron Man Omnibus (Marvel, 2008 series) #1 (2008), #1 (2008)
US in Iron Man Epic Collection (Marvel, 2013 series) #1 – The Golden Avenger (November 2014)
DE in Der Eiserne (BSV – Williams, 1975 series) #11
US in Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man (Marvel, 2010 series) #1

So is it over- valued? IMO yes in low grade, no in 9.2 and above. The cover of this book makes it the best seller of the run. However it was well distributed and copies abound everywhere. You can find a copy at any comics show, and have your choice of 100 copies on-line. There are likely 6,000 copies of this book out there existing. But many collectors are satisfied with reprints.

But is it over-valued you ask? This book’s cover looks so beautiful in higher grades, collectors do trade-up on this one. High grade copies in 9.2 and above are not so uncommon with a full 30 copies of TOS #49 in 9.2 or higher listed in guide at the $2,300 top price. Considering many 9.8 and 9.6 are pedigree copies, it is not suprizing to see a record price of $16,730 for the TOS #49 Pacific Coast copy in 9.8 at auction.

Other notable sales were the Twin Cities 9.4 copy for $4,500, the Don & Maggie Thompson copy for $4780.

TOS #49 is an absolute killer cover. It is my favorite too!

I feel that the top 5 absolute best Tales of Suspense covers are:

1.TOS # 49 Angel – pink cover
2.TOS # 42. Red Barbarian – brown cover
3.TOS # 50. First Mandarin -black cover
4.TOS # 58. Iron man vs.Captain America
5.TOS # 40. Gargantus – grey dot cover

Right now, every one of these covers are 30% overvalued in 9.0 or less. The best covers are most abbundent, most saved and treasured. Yet, these are not so eazy to get in 9.2 or higher because people keep these beauties as long as possible! When 9.2 and above auction bidding starts, people drop out at their budget maximun.

I also feel the top absolute most significant TOS stories of importance are:

1..TOS # 59. First Captain America
2.TOS # 48. First new armor
3.TOS # 63. Origin of Captain America
4.TOS # 50 Mandarin ( on my cover list too)
5.TOS # 39 (you know that one)!

These issues are presently 30% under-valued because they are considered minor quasi-keys or 2nd tier keys.

Would we rather have an over-valued beautiful cover, or an undervalued but historically imporrant book, that can become more historicaly key, with the next movie?

I will take the better cover! Of them TOS #49 is IMO the best to look at and enjoy!


Steve V.
Steve V.
6 years ago

And did i mention first appearance in TOS #49, in his own series – Tales of The Watcher, (after Fantastic Four #13) of marvels most powerful charactor: The Watcher.?!?! Watch this book !