Undervalued Spotlight #214

aquaman 11Aquaman #11, DC Comics, September 1963

Recently I was lucky enough to pick up a nice run of 1960s Aquaman, there were strong copies of #1, #3, #4, #5, #8, #10 and #13.

As I was pricing out the issues I noticed the Mera issue, #11, was missing. I remembered a while back having a nice copy of Aquaman #18, the issue where Mera and Aquaman get married. That issue flew as soon as I got it which the cynic in me took as me grossly under pricing it. It seemed to me that I let Mera slipped through my hands once and now, looking up the prices of early Aquaman I see she’d given me the slip once again.

My interest now peaked I poked around and found out a few things about Mera.

Turns out she is quite an interesting character, I’d say quite unconventional for DC of the day. My impromptu research on ’the one that got away’ has led me to confidently declare Aquaman #11 as this week’s Undervalued Spotlight.

Surprisingly my last Silver Age super hero nod for the Spotlight was way back in March (Spotlight #194). Mike Huddleston recently visited the Silver Age with his great Avengers #3 post but as of late I seem to have avoided this era of eras.

It’s actually been close to a year since I last featured a DC hero comic from the Silver Age. Shame on me because there are so many DC Silver Age comics currently undervalued.

Back to my pick. Aquaman #11 features the 1st appearance of Mera.

Mera came upon us escaping Dimension Aqua while fleeing the villain Leron. Dimension Aqua is an ancient penal colony established for a group long banished from Atlantis. Mera was Queen of Dimension Aqua and as I’ve just alluded to above the residents of Dimension Aqua are no friends of Atlantis.

Mera is saved by Aquaman and falls in love with him, they get married, which makes Mera Queen of Atlantis, and they go on to have a son. Their child is later abducted and dies in captivity. Their son’s death strains the marriage and pushes Mera to the brink sanity. In her grief she blames Aquaman for their son’s death. She eventually leaves Atlantis returning to Dimension Aqua.

Mera is a strong and interesting character, I love her power, did you know she could increase the density of water and form it into anything she wants, meaning she can hit you with a water hammer. Her love for Aquaman but inherent hatred of Atlantis lends to great stories. The death of her son’s affect on her mental state adds more layers to this complex character.

People are starting to catch on to Mera, recent CGC sales show a 50% premium above Guide, while Aquaman #10 for example trades at 40% below guide.

Luckily for most of us the book remains affordable and attainable though by no means is it common, in fact only 13 have been graded to date. I have confidence you’ll be able to find a copy here and there in back issue bins and on back issue walls.

As an investment I can see no downside to this book. The book is relatively cheap for a September 1963 hero comic, there is obvious scarcity, the Aquaman property is now heavily speculated with a lot of attention going to More Fun #73, Adventure Comics #260 and Aquaman #1.

Aquaman #11 is an inexpensive fun way to play the Aquaman sweepstakes so if you ever come across Mera don’t let her slip away.

The 44th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $76/$163/$250 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price splits.

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

  • 1st appearance of Mera
  • Embedded in the desirable early Aquaman run
  • DC’s from this era are highly collected
  • Speculation will benefit this comic

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
9 years ago

Got a VF of this one. Had it since 1987. I’m a diver and a US Navy vet. Love Sea Devils, Submariner and Aquaman.

Brock Green
Brock Green
9 years ago

Walt, the hardest Aquaman of them all has to be 35 with Black Manta’s first appearance, right? I would buy one every week in high grade if I could, but I never see them anywhere.

9 years ago

You spelled “piqued’ incorrectly!
“I wasn’t going to look at the beautiful mountain, but the peak, piqued a peek”

The Dakoit
9 years ago

Walter, I also once commented on the potential of this book. Extremely difficult to get in high grade because of the glaring flaws it shows due to its jet black cover. Add in lack of desirability of Aquaman books for the last 40 years (hence most books in shoddy shape) and lastly of course, Mera’s first app.,—is truly a gem of a book. I had acquired one in my own collection 2 years ago in mid to high grade, the only one I could find. Lastly, I just have to say, that you were one of my biggest inspirationns to start my own writing and blogging, thank you for your wonderful insights Walter…

Anthony O'Neill
Anthony O'Neill
9 years ago

I just picked up a “reader” of this book today. I also bought a copy of #5 also a reader. I buy my books to read and enjoy, I’m not huge on condition, basically because I can’t afford to by high grades. I’m finding any Aquaman first series books are getting tough to find in any condition. I think any early Aquaman is worth picking up, I feel it’s a series getting ready to explode.