The Best Made Plans…

I planned on posting last night but that all fell apart when I got home late and tired after spending most of the day cleaning out a storage locker of comic books and toys and then dumping them into my newly opened and nicely organized warehouse. I also planned on having a nicely organized warehouse to work out of but that all fell apart when I dumped a storage locker full of comics and toys into my newly opened and nicely organized warehouse. This warehousing business is tough! So, my weekly posts on processing the stuff in the warehouse will have to wait another week. The comic collection out of the storage locker did have a few nice tidbits: there was an Amazing Spider-Man #300, a New Mutants #98 and I was almost able to put a Fall of the Mutants set, I just need to find a copy of New Mutants #59!

This week’s “going to eBay auction” pile got us back into the regular flow after that little Canadiana insert auction. My ad of the week had me revisiting a familiar scene. I’m infatuated with the seedy underbelly of 20th century American hucksterism; I’ve often posted those novelty pages comic book ads selling glasses that will help you see through girls’ tops and instructions that will enable you to hypnotize girls. It’s all so scammy and shady but hey, there’s a sucker born every minute. I felt a glimmer of hope when I saw this Dell Trading Post ad in 1961’s Lone Ranger #142. These ads looked reputable, wholesome even, look at the items. It’s all practical stuff you can use, probably all from quality manufacturers… like I said, one born every minute.

Our cover of the week is identifiable from a mile away. Us old timers are a bit elitist when it comes to what constitutes an iconic, or even a classic, cover. We like spouting out books like Spidey #50, Surfer #4, Black Cat #50 and so on. I’m opening my mind up to the possibility that more modern books can have classic covers, have a look at Thor #337 by Walt Simonson, this has become one of the iconic covers of the modern age. Let’s try to think of other iconic covers of the modern age… ASM #300, Hulk #340… come in and help me out with a few of your suggestions down in the comments field.

We’ve talked before about how original art values are based on the content of that particular page. With that in mind I can see some of the lame, standing around talking page getting only a fraction of a page only two flips away. Case in point this two-page sequence by John Romita out of Amazing Spider-Man #68: that is one incredible battle sequence, we get ten panels of Spidey and Kingpin fighting and as a bonus one of the panels has a four-image sequence of the fight! These would fetch a pretty penny.

We knocked that Canadiana eBay auction out of the park! Last might ICE Collectibles 4th Canadiana auction ended on eBay and there were some really strong results. I like this Canadian Edition of Marvel Tales #100; it had a strong CGC 6.0 grade and it went for $470 USD. The last American edition CGC 6.0 sold for $280 back in 2020.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

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Spider
Spider
6 months ago

Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle aka #128 and I’d also add that Iron Man #118 with Tony Stark plummeting from the SHIELD carrier is quite iconic too for newer era books.

Avengers #196 with taskmaster – that green background and Perez art is a powerful combo

Secret Wars #8 also falls in with your Hulk#340 era and is a popular cover

Chris Meli
Chris Meli
6 months ago

In the Canadiana auction I had my eye on that Triumph (a.k.a. Triumph-Adventure-Comics) #6, but it became clear to me that there is a rabid and educated group of collectors that I would not stand a chance against. With a 0.5 of #1 selling for $2k, I had no idea what that book would sell for, and the final $1.8k is certainly a high risk/return bet.

That Dell ad is the worst of both worlds – boring cheap junk. Exciting cheap junk at least has value until it arrives and disappoints.

Before we talk iconic, we should talk time period definition. I think you are saying modern = copper + modern. If that’s the time period, so be it. Interesting that “ages” are all 10-15 years in span, except “modern”, which is thirty years and continuing.

Assuming above, I think “iconic” sets the bar high, so high that Thor #337 is questionable. I have not thought more than a few minutes about it, but if imitation is flattery, Hulk #340 is the winner. Then ASM #300. I don’t buy any of Spider’s picks except possibly Secret Wars #8. The only iconic cover that I was able to come up with in the few minutes of research I did (top bids in this time period on eBay) was Batman Adventures #12, which I would say beats everything except Hulk #340 and ASM #300.

Chris Meli
Chris Meli
6 months ago

I don’t like McFarlane in general, but I stick with that cover as most “iconic”.

Alan Barnard
Alan Barnard
6 months ago

When it comes to iconic covers after the bronze age, how about Dark Knight Returns #1? Has there been another post-1985 cover that’s been the source of more lazy homages?

Chris Meli
Chris Meli
6 months ago

That’s what I like Walt, true iconoclasm. (Rarely do you get to use this word both figuratively and literally simultaneously.)

However I think Alan picked up the one that I missed. I would call it neck and neck with Hulk #340. I suspect part of the reason Walt doesn’t like it is its ubiquity. That of course is why it is most iconic.

I was still interested in this question, and knowing that DKR #1 original cover sold for a very high price, I thought searching Heritage’s original modern cover sales by price would yield something. DKR #1 is way out in front at $2.5 million. I went down to sales of around $40k and didn’t identify anything we haven’t already mentioned. (In the course of this I saw that the Silver Surfer #1 cover sold for $40k in 2001, and now is offered at $2.5 million.)

So I tried modern comics by price. TMNT #1 out in front, but hardly an iconic cover. I went through a few pages and didn’t find anything that competes for the top, but here are a few more proposals:

ASM #238
DD #168
NYX #3
Walking Dead #1
X-Men #141

I think these fit “iconic” as “instantly recognizable”, but that only holds for collectors. So at this point I have to give the crown to ASM #300, tie DKR #1 and Hulk #340, then BA #12, then… I guess I have to go with Walking Dead #1.