Undervalued Spotlight #208

man thing 1Man-Thing #1, Marvel Comics, January 1974

The success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie has reignited some of the key comics associated with the team. Marvel Superheroes #18, Hulk #271, Marvel Preview #7 and Guardians Vol 2 #1 have all spiked from what already seemed like lofty heights.

We can thank a good fun story and a very positive public response to the movie and its characters and with the 2nd movie already announced we can safely say the Guardians have moved up at least one pop culture tier.

Everyone stays to the end during these movies waiting for that little clip they show in the credits. Remember how Iron Man #55 (1st Thanos) exploded in value after Thanos appeared at the end of one of those Marvel movies (I forget which one).

The Guardians flick gave us all a good laugh when Howard the Duck showed up during the credits and it sent everyone running to their collection trying to fish out a copy of Fear #19, Howard’s 1st appearance.

Fear #19 was the 10th book in the run featuring the Man-Thing. Man-Thing took over the title with issue #10; it was his 4th appearance (the 1st being in Savage Tales #1, the 2nd and 3rd coming in Astonishing Tales #12 and 13).

There is one thing I’d like to clear up about Man-Thing and that is that he predated DC’s Swamp Thing. Most comic collectors I grew up with assumed Swamp Thing was 1st because House of Secrets #92 (Swamp Thing’s 1st appearance), published June/July 1971, was a 15 center and all the Man-Thing comics most of us know are 20 centers (Astonishing Tales #12 June/72, Fear #10 October/72).

It’s easy to forget that Man-Thing 1st appeared in Savage Tales Magazine #1 (May 1971) and I think this is at least partly because most of us associate Savage Tales #1 to Conan.

Sorry, back to Howard.

Let me look through the crystal ball a bit. I’m calling any future Howard the Duck developments, be they cameos or features to also include Man-Thing. Howard the Duck 1st appears in Fear #19, a Man-Thing comic, and the character was developed and expanded within the Man-Thing continuity. Howard the Duck has strong ties to the Man-Thing character; he even got his 1st solo story in an issue of Giant-Sized Man-Thing.

Man-Thing #1 continues the story from Fear #19 and it contains Howard the Duck’s 2nd appearance (and we all know the value of 2nd appearances).

So while all the money is out chasing Fear #19 and Howard the Duck #1 grab some nice copies of Man-Thing #1while nobody’s looking.

The 44th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $38/$69/$100 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price splits.

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

  • 2nd appearance Howard the Duck, story continued from 1st appearance Fear #19
  • Man-Thing title launch
  • Often neglected Bronze Age comic

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1688


  1. Z Z Z z z z….hey there Walt , how’s that Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision case we discussed over the phone. Waiting for some feedback on any ripple effects on/in our field! Oh, and make mine The Heap and Unca’ Donald!! Luv ya!

  2. Man-Thing is great, yes but I would add Marvel Preview #11. It features the first appearance of J’son of Sparta, father of Peter Quill, who’s hinted at in the GOTG movie, and the second appearance of Star-Lord. It’s also the first teaming of Claremont, Byrne, and Austin prior to X-Men, and it’s the first appearance of Kip Holm, sometime sidekick to Star-Lord, who might also be in a future film. Also, this issue was withdrawn because of the Robert Heinlein tagline on the cover, so there are two versions, which makes it interesting because it has a ‘first and second print’ issue. And at the moment, compared to Marvel Preview #4, it’s super-cheap!

  3. Glad you liked this week’s pick Stephen!

    “The Heap and Uncle Donald” brilliant. The thing is Marvel has a way of making properties “the Marvel Way” and they more often than not turn out to be the most popular comic manifestation of those properties ala Thor, Dracula etc.

  4. so, the 4th appearance of Manthing goes for $100,
    3rd appearance for $42 and
    2nd appearance for $65

    seems to me, i’d rather buy the earlier cheaper appearances.
    as for howard the duck, … no idea what effect the trailer will have, or
    his movie appearances on the comics.

  5. I’m guessing Howard will be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy – they put him in the movie for fun, but it will reignite interest in the character and maybe there will be a new comic, but I can’t see this becoming a new movie – surely too risky? There are too many other great characters to get through first (Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Warlock, Eternals, Inhumans… etc).

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