Avengers #223, Marvel Comics, September 1982
I was pricing up a stack of Avengers recently and like always I basically stopped at issue #200. Anything over #201 in the Avengers run has always gone straight to the bargain bins. Now I’ve been around long enough that I knew to pull #214 (Ghost Rider) and #263 (Jean Grey), these tend to be able to realize a bit more.
All the books were nice, tight and crisp so I had fun reminiscing as I casually perused through the pile. Avengers #223 almost knocked me of my seat!
Perhaps it’s where we are in comic book culture today or more correctly perhaps it’s where Ant Man and Hawkeye are in comic book culture today that made this cover such a dramatic revelation.
The fact is I’ve always loved this cover but through habit I just robotically threw it in with the rest of the bargain bin books.
Is it me or is the general population’s interest in Hawkeye and Ant Man influencing core comic collectors. Remember most Hawkeye fans couldn’t care less about Hawkeye comics, but surely some have come over looking for cool collectible tidbits from the medium that spawned the character. Even then that might not be enough to explain the increase in demand for comics important to these characters. Yes, the popularity of these characters at large is influencing collecting patterns of already established comic collectors.
Somebody say bandwagon? That of course is not fair. Greater interest leads to more projects leads to better stories leads to earned interest. These are great characters that have earned the demand.
Hawkeye covers have always been among the best in the whole Avengers run, I love #189 and #109 is one of my favorites. For me though #223 is the best of the lot. Ant Man waiting to be launched on the end of one of Hawkeye’s arrows strikes a dramatic pose.
So hats off to Ed Hannigan who drew and to Klaus Janson who inked this cover that I consider a classic.
Looking ahead I can only see bigger and better things for both characters, owning a nice tight copy of perhaps their most memorable cover only makes sense as a comic book fan and at the prices you’ll be able to pick them up for at the moment it also makes sense as a comic investor.
Start digging, you should be able to find high grade copies in the $3 range.
The 43rd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $4.50 as the 9.2 price.
Strengths that make this comic book a good long-term investment are:
- Classic Cover featuring 2 heroes with very bright futures
- Embedded in the highly collectible Avengers flagship title
- Too cheap!
I have always loved this cover! Back when the Marvel Legends action figure line was out, the Hawkeye figure came with a bunch of arrows and on one of them was a little Antman – great fan service! Anyway, I’m always on the look out for this cover but it’s surprisingly hard to find. Might be because it’s so eye catching.
I always loved this cover. I had stopped collecting comics after a few years in high school after Avengers 181 but came back with this issue when I was in college. I then collected for 30 years straight before finally giving up in 2012. FYI–I believe Avengers 263 is significant because it is the return of Jean Grey from the dead (the first time), not because of Alpha Flight. This story lead into FF 286 (?) and then X-Factor 1. J
It’s one of those covers you can’t say no to. Hey Dan, post a picture of that Ant Man arrow if you still have one.
Here you are Walter, hopefully this link works!
I gave your image a little HTML help.
I had a brain fart Rick, yes of course it was Jean Grey in #263 and not Alpha Flight. – I’ve edited the text in the post.
Haha, thanks mate – still learning how this internet thing works!
The Avengers run from the late 1960’s through the late 1980’s seems to be peppered with undervalued comics. The fact that you have recently featured both #263 and #223 reinforces that theory. I am consistently surprised at how low the final prices on eBay and other outlets are for some of the classic Avengers books, including pretty much all of the semi-key issues, especially in middle grades. I could probably come up with a list of 10-12 that appear to be undervalued. And the run certainly features quite a few great covers drawn by great artists. Given the huge popularity of the first Avengers movie, I don’t understand why Avengers comics haven’t fared better in the past year or so. Like the Sub-Mariner title, these comics are too good to stay this cheap for very long (in theory…).
Great selection! And, yes, Avengers’ Silver & Bronze are undervalued.
Then again, they sell at the price which demand indicates.