Undervalued Spotlight #188

amazing adventures 1Amazing Adventures V2 #1, Marvel Comics, August 1970

My kids and I watched the Avengers again recently and I found myself really enjoying the Black Widow character played by Scarlet Johansson. I think she’s one of the stronger characters in the movie.

Being a comic guy I immediately started thinking about all the great Black Widow comics. I’ll admit I specifically hunted down and now have a nice copy of Tales of Suspense #52 and 53, these are the issues that introduced the character.

My other Black Widow comics are all by accident, Amazing Spider-Man #86, where she dons her now classic black outfit is there because I’m a Spidey fan, DD #81 is there because I’m trying to collect all the November 1971 Marvel issues.

I started thinking what other books best represent Black Widow, what books are flying below the radar right now, what Black Widow books are being overlooked?

It didn’t take me long to zero in on Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 #1. This Aug 1970 book represents the Black Widow’s 1st solos story and the beginning of her own 1st series albeit shared with the Inhumans.

Oh yeah! This book also features the first comic headlined by the Inhumans. The Inhumans are a great team and I’ve featured them on the Spotlight before. Sure they ran as a backup story in a few Thor issues before this but Amazing Adventures marks the emergence of the team as headliners with their own (shared) title.

The Inhumans half of the book was written and drawn by the team’s creator Jack Kirby. The Inhumans run lasted to #10. A few short years later in October 1975 the Inhumans got their own title proper.

OK back to Black Widow. The Black Widow 1st appeared in Tales of Suspense #52, itself a worthy past Spotlight. The character appeared regularly in the Avengers title until finally landing a title (shared) of her own in Amazing Adventures.

The Black Widow lasted through issue #8 after which she jumped over to Daredevil #81 and began a fantastic 40 plus issue run with the Man Without Fear.  She was part of that fantastic Gene Colan Daredevil run. Black Widow actually gets co’billing on the cover from issue #92 through #107. In Daredevil #124 she parts ways with Daredevil and next appears as a founding member of the Champions (Oct/75).

In retrospect the Black Widow had quite a strong presence in the Marvel Universe from her introduction in 1964 right through the late 1970s. It’s almost as if the rise of the X-Men titles kind of stole her momentum. She started in Tales of Suspense, did well as a reoccurring character in the Avengers, held her own spot during her Amazing Adventures run, had a great ride in the Daredevil title and then became a founding member of a very popular 1970s Marvel super hero team. That’s a nice body of work for her first 15 years of existence.

I feel this book simply does not get the respect it deserves. I’ve had more high grade copies of this book rotting at my convention booth over the years than perhaps any other book from this era. A look online shows Amazing Adventures #1 fetches less that 70% Guide at CGC 9.2, you can pick up a crisp CGC 9.6 for $150.

What do collectors have against this book? Do most people assume it’s a reprint?

Surely the book delivers? Black Widow’s 1st solo story and 1st title run, Inhumans’ 1st title run. It’s a #1 Marvel from the very early Bronze Age and it features the art of legends like Jack Kirby, John Buscema and John Romita.

Looking ahead I see good things for the Black Widow and good things for the Inhumans. Black Widow is already at the forefront of pop culture thanks to the characters successful appearance in films like the Avengers while the Inhumans are surely on deck for bigger and better things.

Initial hype always helps out a characters 1st appearance right away while later issues of note may take a bit longer. I think this is one such issue of note. I think this comic will enjoy a steady increase in demand over the next few years.

The 43rd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $40/$73/$105 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price splits.

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

  • 1st solo Black Widow
  • Early Bronze Ave Marvel #1 featuring 1st time Inhumans and Black Widow held titles
  • Kirby, Romita, J Buscema!

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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10 years ago

Great points here. I really appreciate these Spotlights you do.

I just watched Iron Man 2, and I can’t believe I forgot all about that scene with Black Widow kicking ass! http://cobyscomics.blogspot.com/2014/01/iron-man-2.html

Have you read the new Black Widow comics? They’re AMAZING

10 years ago

Hey Walt, in light of the recent state of the union, I’m thinking we should have one from you regarding the collector market. :


With many books having bounced back from their 2009 lows, many still are breaking record sales. Movies have huge momentum right now and Marvel has never been more popular. The US economy has been steadily recovering with USD having reach $1.12 this past week… bad for buyers but great for sellers. Also great for local retailers such as yourself because now, collectors should be more inclined to source books locally. The stock market has been hot but many are predicting a correction in 2014… but who knows.

From your vantage point, as an Overstreet adviser, retailer and someone in the trenches of the back issue market… what does this all mean moving forward? What are some of the macro trends you see and how best can we navigate the market?

10 years ago

couldn’t agree more… seems most collectors are interested in the main runs, and these other issues get forgotten… the DD/Black widow run might also see an uptick once the new Netflix DD series comes out

10 years ago

This is such an emblematic work of the Bronze Age. Absolutely love the Widow, the Inhumans and treasure this comic.

10 years ago
Reply to  philosopherfan

Yes! I believe the San Francisco/Widow run of the early 70s is an absolute treasure.

Jason Damato
9 years ago

Still undervalued and can be found for a little less than guide. That says alot considering most movie hype books are asking %200 percent of guide (Jungle Action 6 1st Blacl panther solo ongoing). Amazing adventures is gonna go crazy when they cast Vin Diesel as Black Bolt!!!