Undervalued Spotlight #194

Journey into Mystery #85, Marvel Comics, October 1962. Last Saturday evening my kid decides we should all watch Thor 2; I wanted to watch the Habs/Senators game. So Thor 2 starts and I kind of like it, I actually thought it was better than the first one. Near the end of the movie my kid mumbles something like “I really like Loki, he’s smart and crafty”. Woah!

jim 85Journey into Mystery #85, Marvel Comics, October 1962

Last Saturday evening my kid decides we should all watch Thor 2; I wanted to watch the Habs/Senators game.

So Thor 2 starts and I kind of like it, I actually thought it was better than the first one. Near the end of the movie my kid mumbles something like “I really like Loki, he’s smart and crafty”. Woah!

His admiration for Loki took me by surprise. My Loki, the one that I knew and grew up with never got the same respect from me that Doctor Doom, Green Goblin or Galactus did. It’s like I never took him that seriously as a villain. Maybe it was just me, not being the biggest Thor fan.

Or maybe it wasn’t just me. I can’t tell you how many copies of Journey into Mystery (JIM) #85 I’ve had over the years but I can tell you that each successive one seemed to get harder and harder to sell.

Whenever I landed a JIM #83 (1st appearance of Thor) the thing would be sold within days. Whenever I landed a JIM #85 and it seemed I’d get ten for every one JIM 83, they’d hang around for months if not years. I think at one point I actually had four of them in inventory.

My kid’s like for Loki, I realized, had nothing to do with my Loki, the one found on the pages of Thor comics. My kid’s like for Loki came from the Avengers and Thor movies. Actor Tom Hiddleston does a wonderful job in the role by the way.

This of course got me to thinking about JIM #85.

I took a closer look at JIM #85 and found that the book has slowly been coming to life in the collecting community. For some reason I don’t recall that the book featured the 1st Asgard appearance or the 1st brief mention of Odin or the 1st Heimdall appearance. Had I paid more attention and known these things back in the day I would have added the comments onto the backing board to help sell the damn things.

Heimdall got me to thinking about the controversy that surrounded news that black actor Idris Elba would be cast as the character in the Thor films. Elba was wonderful in the role in both films.

Heimdall in the movies sure is a much bigger deal than Heimdall in the old comics.

In a moment of cleverness I deduced that perhaps all these new fans of these old characters that are being generated from a medium different than the medium the characters were originally introduced in might start affecting demand for the comic.

Turns out I was right. The GPA website shows some slow steady growth across most grades. Two years ago CGC 6.0s were getting just below guide, now they are getting a 30% premium. CGC 8.0s are getting a 30% premium as well. Like I said across most of the grades I’m seeing increasing prices for JIM #85.

Based on the massive new fan base that characters and concepts introduced in this book are getting I’ll say this book has higher heights to climb.

The best part is I think you can still snag solid raw copies from old time dealers at or below guide. OK so you have to have access to old time dealers but that’s what cons are for right?

The 43rd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $1,370/$3,085/$4,800 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price split.

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

  • 1st appearance Loki
  • 1st appearance Heimdall
  • 1st appearance Odin (albeit 1 panel)
  • 1st appearance Asgard
  • 1962 Marvel hero comic, still very early

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1600

7 Comments

  1. Solid! Loki is a key villain in the MU and a key villain in the MU movie line. My only issue would be that it is already a pricey comic, but there’s room – there’s always room.

  2. or you could be an old fogey like me who bought high grade copies in the early 70’s for $6.75 Canadian , lol !

  3. Nice. I say – start selling ’em! In the mid eighties I was in my teens – bought multiples of Thor 126, Cap 100, Iron Man 1, Tales of Suspense 57, 63, all Amazing Spidey under issue 100, FF under 100, and I loaded up on early Bronze Age – I didn’t think of it as investments – I just loved them. Everyone was buying X-Men and Wolverine stuff, but I never cared for that.

  4. I find the vast majority of your picks to be out-of-the box, prescient and I never would have thought of them myself.

    With this one, it makes me think you have been out fishing for the past 3 years. And any dealer with guide prices on this was probably out fishing with you.

    Just ribbing – love the column

  5. Good choice Walt. This one still has room to run. Also has a great Kirby cover. One of the best Silver Age Marvel covers, IMO.

    But this one is tough to find nowadays. Haven’t seen a copy in the last few shows I attended. And I bet that old time dealers won’t be selling it for below guide.

  6. Heimdull may be right Peter, I’m a bit late with this one. It’s just that the book was so hard to sell for such a long time that I kind of forgot about it. Also, the prices have not exploded on this book, they have steadily and slowly increased over the last 2 years, GPA can attest to that.

    I disagree on the old dealers though, there are raw copies out there that can still be picked up below guide. My mission this con season it to pick such a copy up. I hope to brag about the pick up here!

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