Undervalued Spotlight #162

fantastic four 45 inhumansFantastic Four #45, Marvel Comics (December 1965)

The Fantastic Four is easily the most important of the original slew of Marvel titles. Most of the time we focus on the importance of FF#1 and how it changed everything. While Fantastic Four #1 started the process of change it was the subsequent issues that continually laid the new ground that helped change comics for the better.

Yes Amazing Spider-Man is the most collected of all the Marvel titles but today that fact speaks more to the continuing popularity of the title character. These days even the X-Men rival the FF as a collected title but at the end of the day no title can match FF’s importance.

Where do I start, #4 with the re-into of the Sub-Mariner, #5 the 1st Doc Doom, #12 the 1st Marvel x-over, #13 the 1st Watcher, #25 the 1st Thing/Hulk battle and 2nd appearance of the Silver Age Captain America, #48-50 Silver Surfer and Galactus, #52 1st Black Panther and  #67 1st Warlock and so on. Did you know that Doc Strange, Sgt. Fury and Ant Man all had their 1st x-overs in the Fantastic Four? Many of the biggest moments in Marvel happened on the pages of the Fantastic Four, #6 feature the 1st Marvel Villain team up with Subby and Doc Doom joining forces,

To the stellar list above I’d like to add my Undervalued Spotlight pick of the week Fantastic Four #45.

This fantastic (sorry Stan) issue features the 1st appearance of The Inhumans, a very very cool team of superheroes created by the greatest creative team ever in comics, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.

The Inhumans is a great concept, basically these guys are our old ancestors after a bit of tinkering by the space faring Kree civilization. Abandoned by the Kree The Inhumans developed their own civilization away from humanity’s prying eyes, that’s until the FF happened upon then of course.

The Inhumans consist of Black Bolt, Medusa, Lockjaw (my favorite), Gorgon, Karnak, Triton and Crystal (she marries the Avenger’s Quicksilver).

The Inhumans headlined the first 10 issues of 1970’s Amazing Adventures title, then the starred in their own title in 1975, it lasted 12 issues. The Inhumans are everywhere these days, they are present in every major Marvel storyline tied to their Cosmic Universe. Considering how much focus Marvel is putting on all things Cosmic you can bet the Imhumans will continue to play a prominent role.

There is even talk of an Inhumans movie but we’ll wait and see on that, personally I’d love a cameo in the next Avengers movie.

I’m not the only guy in comic collecting that likes to project and think ahead and it’s for this reason that Fantastic Four #45 has been heating up in the market these past 12 months.

The 12 month average price for a CGC 9.2 copy was $653 but the last sale got a whopping $865. I see a CGC 9.2 copy breaking $1000 easy.

It’s a pretty tough book in high grade, of the 330 graded by CGC only 42 are 9.2 or better.

Personally I like the 8.0 on this book, the guide have it at an insulting $175 and though the 2012 average was $182 the last 8.0 got $275. If you can snag one for below $250 do it!

The 42nd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $175/$375/$575 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price splits.

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

  • 1st appearance The Inhumans
  • Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
  • Embedded in the early FF run, very important run!
  • This book still has a lot of room
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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Tom Berry
Tom Berry
11 years ago

Bingo Walter, Got the whole run on this one from F+ to VF. Should top out at a lot more than it does. The FF’s not what it used to be, but this book and the following issues is a classic no collector should be without.

11 years ago
Reply to  Tom Berry

This to me, has always been the start of the best 50 issue run in comics!Not only for the non stop introduction of new and exciting concepts issue after issue, but only the second consecutive issue inked by Joe Sinnott. Nobody made Jack Kirby look better. A legendary artistic team indeed!

11 years ago

I’m happy to support you on this pick Walt. I’ve always viewed the FF as the backbone of Marvel. Cap, Torch and Namor may have been created earlier but it was the FF that gave birth to the Marvel universe. These days, the Avengers are seen as the direct competitor to JL but it’s the FF that was Marvels original response, which ended up surpassing the JLA in terms of sales and popularity. So much so that the original X-Men were fashioned from the FF, hoping to strike lightning again.

A legendary long run by Stan and Kirby, followed by the likes of Buscema, Perez and Byrne. I consider Perez’s work on the FF to be his best ever and Byrne also did an nice job during his tenure (although I really think he should have kept up his relationship with Austin) but the series just hasn’t been the same since.

The first 50 books are tough to collect in hi grade but I’m chipping away at it, replacing my VGs with nicer copies if I can find them reasonably priced. If anyone is interested in this particular issue… I say go for broke and collect all 3, from #45-47 for the complete saga which also includes first Black Bolt.

11 years ago

Welcome Back Walt !

Mel Taylor
Mel Taylor
10 years ago

Well, I can’t disagree that this is one undervalued comic, but first Inhumans? Most people would probably mark that milestone as F.F. #36 when Medusa joins the Frightful Four. She is, after all, the first Inhuman we encounter in the series.