Undervalued Spotlight #240

Giant-Size X-Men #1, Marvel Comics, Summer 1975. I’m told I have a gift for exaggeration though I don’t believe I’m exaggerating at all when I declare this week’s Undervalued Spotlight pick, Giant Size X-Men #1, to be the 3rd most important super-hero comic ever published!

giant size x men 1Giant-Size X-Men #1, Marvel Comics, Summer 1975

I’m told I have a gift for exaggeration though I don’t believe I’m exaggerating at all when I declare this week’s Undervalued Spotlight pick, Giant Size X-Men #1, to be the 3rd most important super-hero comic ever published!

Action Comics #1 gave birth to the genre, Fantastic Four #1 gave the genre a new approach and started the second superhero revolution. Giant-Size X-Men #1 rescued a stale, fading genre and ushered it into the 3rd great superhero revolution.

Strong words I know but when you think about it this new approach to the X-Men really did revolutionize the industry. Within a few short years X-Men and all the other X title spin offs, like early arrivals New Mutants Alpha Flight, dominated comic sale. It was the success of the X-Men that pushed DC to create the New Teen Titans. The net is full of sites that can describe those years better than I can here but in the few short lines that I have I can tell you that fledgling comic shops were carried by the X-Men in the 1980s. There even used to be an index back in the day basing all other title’s sales to the X-Men, the X-Men being the benchmark of 100.

Let’s not forget this comic represents the 2nd full appearance of Wolverine. The book also features the 1st Nightcrawler, Storm and Colossus appearances. So it’s a Bronze Age heavyweight on character content alone. Giant-Size X-Men #1 segues into X-Men #94 where the new team take over the X-Men title that was relegated to reprints since 1970. The rest as they say is history.

Though Len Wein and Dave Cockrum are the credited creative team on this book we have to note that Chris Claremont is the uncredited assistant co-plotter. Claremont would stay on as writer on almost all X-Men books for the next 16 years including the legendary Dark Phoenix Saga arc and the God Loves Man Kills graphic novel.

I’m not going to speculate on how Wolverine would have turned out without the X-Men as his vehicle, of course we could argue that the X-Men would have turned out different too. I’ll stop at saying the X-Men would not have been the same without Wolverine and that Wolverine would not have been the same without the X-Men.

It sure is fun to think of the whole new world the success of the new X-Men opened up. This Mutant premise was like a birthing nebula for new stars, Sabretooth, Dazzler, Rogue, Longshot were some of the earlier fresh new characters introduced. More would come. We were on to something good.

The market has been flat on this book for so long. A CGC 9.2 can be bought for guide, while 9.4 copies for just over guide x 1.25. Over the past few months these prices have been inching up so you better act fast.

This comic is one of those markers on the road, a pivotal moment in comic history, a harbinger of change, it is an important comic and one that is needed in your collection.

The 44th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $600/$975/$1350 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price splits.

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

  • First appearance New X-Men
  • First Storm
  • First Nightcrawler
  • 2nd full Wolverine

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1796
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

I always look forward to these articles! I have certainly purchased several of your suggestions on the cheap, but Giant Size X-Men will be a stretch. Keep up the great work!

9 years ago

You’re completely off the rails! Maybe Hulk 181 can be up next!

Charlie Kim
8 years ago

I think that the market has been movie crazy for a while that they’ve all but forgotten about some tried and true key books. The GSX#1 has always been a personal favourite that’s bound to rebound eventually.

However, the X movie franchise is in full swing so not a lot of surprises with this particular group of characters. Yes, the New Mutants announcement made the MGN#4 pop on eBay but we’ll see how long that will last considering the New Mutants will be several years away. I suspect it will follow in the foot steps of books like Epic#3… back down to about $20-30, but will probably rise again closer to show time.

I would have gone with the ASM#129, or perhaps something a bit older like the FF#48. Although both books have been rising steadily, I think it’s a matter of time that the Punisher and the Surfer get a proper movie treatment which will really make these bad boys pop. Even if there is no movie, these books should continue to rise, while hype related books zig and zag, so you really can’t go wrong with these.

The recent success of DD really opens the door for the Punisher in particular. Tom Hardy has said he’s interested so not sure what the studios are waiting for…

Scott VanderPloeg
8 years ago

There seems to be a lingering confusion over the nature of this column. It’s “undervalued” spotlight, not “cheap as chips” spotlight. Books of any price can still be undervalued, be it $100 or $10,000.