More Fun Comics #17, DC Comics, January 1937
Happy New Year everyone.
I wanted to start off 2016 by being topical, by righting a wrong and by fulfilling the mission of the Spotlight, all in one book.
I couldn’t get more topical that picking a comic that celebrates the New Year, I wish health, happiness and prosperity to all Spotlight readers, go out there and get it done people.
The wrong I’d like to right is the lack of pre superhero comics on the Undervalued Spotlight, I think this is only my 4th with Spotlights #127, #47 and #29 being the only others. This is a neglected era whose time has come: many gems will be mined from this era in the coming years. More on the pre-Superman Golden Age later.
The mission of course is to pick a comic that stands on its own and merits an argument for it being undervalued.
Thus this New Year’s Spotlight justly shines on More Fun Comics #17.
More Fun is a monster of a title, it’s the DC Golden Age heavyweight. The title lasted 127 issues ending in 1947. More Fun transcends genres, eras and even formats. The title brought us very important comics including #9 the 1st comic of standard size with original material, #52 the 1st Spectre, #55 the 1st Dr. Fate, #73 the 1st Green Arrow and Aquaman and #101 the 1st Superboy. This is a very tough run to amass.
More Fun Comics #17 boasts a Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster Dr. Occult story. Dr. Occult 1st appeared in New Fun Comics #6 (changed to More Fun with #7) and his stories ran through issue #32. Dr. Occult is a big deal in comic book history: he is considered Siegel and Shuster’s prototype for Superman. In his defining story arc Dr. Occult was given a costume by the Mystics known as the Seven, when he wore it into battle against the villain called Koth he became the 1st costumed hero. This prototype arc actually started over in Comics Magazine #1 by Centaur (where he appeared as Dr. Mystic) then jumped back to More Fun in issue #14.
I mentioned above that I’d get back to the pre superhero era of comics, those Comics that started with Funnies on Parade in 1933 and ended with all the issues from May 1938, the month before Action Comics #1.
In this era there are many great books and many undervalued books, The very early and important milestone ones like Famous Funnies #1 are great and much sought after but its books like our More Fun #17 that currently aren’t getting any play and deserve a second look. The content is original and with a character like Dr. Occult the content is strong.
There are only 8 CGC graded copies of this book, 3 copies have actually sold over the past 5 years, all for just below guide.
The 45th Overstreet price breaks for this book are $788/$1576/$2364/$6300 in the 2.0/4.0/6.0/8.0 grade splits.
Strengths that make this comic a good long-term investment are:
- Pre-Superhero Golden Age is rare, amount of material is limited and many comics from this era are undervalued
- Dr. Occult appearance
Hi Walt, totally agree. But the 1st super hero in comic books is the Phantom Magician , appeared in Famous Funnies in the mid 30′”s. ( my research for OPG in the late 80’s or early 90’s produced its notation). Otherwise, one of the Legendary toughest runs those MFs.
Not to sink too deep into the rabbit hole but the Phantom Magician was a character from a newspaper strip reprint, The Adventures Of Patsy, as was most of the Famous Funnies material.
Walt’s a bit ambiguous above by saying 1st costumed hero, and you say 1st super hero in comic books. I believe Walt means 1st appearance of a super hero in a comic book of original material.
Hey Scott and Walt- I’d love to be aboard with you guys, and the rest of the gang as part of a crew to Mars perhaps—-we would never be bored! And now the flood gates of super beings from China are about to descend—hold on, it”s going to be a very busy time for us comic book scholars! More Fun indeed!
I can find two of these for sale online: the above eBay auction and this listing from ComicConnect:
Hey Scott, that’s the same comic. Metropolis puts it up on their site and then lists it on ebay for 10% more to cover their ebay costs in case it sells through ebay. Mycomicshop does the same with their stuff.
I was thinking of getting that copy as I was writing but decided to wait and see. Maybe today?
Walt, ya can’t miss with books like that! Go for it! Ditto for those Famous Funnies issues with the Phantom Magician sequence which runs from #32-approx. to #40 something.
Hi Walt and all. I was wondering with pre hero undervalued comics would ‘Star’ comic no 10 be a contender? First Centaur comic. An early motorcycle appearance on cover, possibly the first in comics? Biro art on cover. Only a couple graded. Just a thought.
What a wonderful find Terrence. Only 2 copies graded Universal to date makes it next to impossible to get.
Is it the 1st Centaur?
Yes Walt their first. I have not seen any more for sale recently, Heritage have sold a couple a while back. Had to pay up for it though, as you do!
Did you pick one of them up?
Yes last year not Heritage but an auction house with online bidding. Myself and one other bidding for it! I paid six hundred dollars, yes I know! But as you and some others have mentioned a few times on here when your in the auction zone you can get carried away only to reflect afterwards! I have no regrets though it is a great addition to my motorcycle comic collection. Thanks for the replies.
Forgot to mention it is graded at 5.5.
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