Undervalued Spotlight #277

space western 40Space Western #40, Charlton Comics, October 1952

It was a real toss-up. This week’s Spotlight pick, Space Western #40 narrowly beat out issues #44 and #45 of this exquisitely collectible 6 issue run.

How did I not pick issue #44, not many books can deliver Cowboys fighting Nazis on Mars like #44 can. How could it not be #45 with its “Valley That Time Forgot” story that was an obvious inspiration for Turok.

To tell you the truth this whole six issue run of Space Western (#40-#45) is undervalued. Flying Saucer covers, Atom Bomb explosion covers, Spurs Jackson and his Space Vigilantes, just take your pick.

It came down to the cover, how can you not love this fantastic cover. It’s 1952, America is still firmly rooted in its Cowboy roots yet the lure of rockets and the future calls. Tie it all together with a universal theme of a damsel in distress and a hero to the rescue  and you have magic. This is one great comic book cover.

I actually owned this comic once, a long time ago. I had it and issue #44 and I remember they sat and sat in my bins. Funny but I don’t remember ever selling them. Maybe someone with good taste pinched them. Maybe they are still in the bins.

Space Western #40 features the introduction of Spurs Jackson and His Space Vigilantes. The story was written by Walter Gibson, legendary writer if the pulp character The Shadow.

Spurs Jackson was a rancher who along with his pal Hank Roper, Strong Bow the Indian and the other hired hands made up the Alien butt-kicking Space Vigilantes. Don’t ask any more questions, it’s better that way.

Speaking of frontiers, the Golden Age of comics still remains a vast unexplored place loaded with undervalued comics. Most books have genuine scarcity, there are first appearances galore, there are works by some of the giants of the industry and there are some visually stunning covers, all just languishing in obscurity. You can check mark all the above point for Space Western #40.

One copy, a CGC 7.5 sold over 10 years ago for about Guide. As of this post there are only three on the CGC census but I poked around the net and I found some raw Space Westerns on eBay and ComicConnect so they are out there people. Hunt down a strong copy of Space Western #40 and you’ll be able to ask your price, probably from me.

The 45th Overstreet price breaks for this book are $290/$488/$685 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

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

  • Intro Spurs Jackson and his Space Vigilantes
  • Launch of one of the coolest of all comic runs
  • Great cover!
  • Dirt cheap in the Guide

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1712


  1. Good one Walt! By the way “spurs jackson ” aka T. Cruz will us e his Dominium Hordes to save us all from the rest of humanity! Sigh….No really Walt good one. also that archie pick a few months ago on a football field with the confederate flag should satisfy the racist collector! And here comes mr. bloomberg to save us from big sister Hilary………Where are you Bill Gaines when we need ya.

  2. Hi Walt,

    I thought you had gotten the jump on me with Overvalued Overstreet on this one but see I was mistaken.

    To me this is the type of Golden age book that isn’t waiting to be discovered, it is a book waiting (and waiting) to be crushed by the Overstreet price guide.

    The books are very rare I’ll give you that. Where is the demand? Where will the demand come from going forward on these obscure Golden Age comics? You said it yourself the books languished in the bins forever. Who are the Golden Age comic collectors of tomorrow?

    I see Golden Age super hero titles with ties to the present and horror titles as your best bet going forward in terms of an investment for the Golden Age. The rest is suspect at best.

  3. Overvalued Overstreet, now that would make a great column Mike.

    Space Western #40 does not belong there though, it belongs here in this column!

    Scarcity, cover appeal, character introduction, famous creative team, the coolest of cool premise. Other books have become classics and sought after for much less.

    I say this book needs exposure, as do so many hidden gems of the Golden Age.

  4. Mike, please take the time,( like 50 years ) to read the massive amount of data and general and specific range of fanzine, magazine and books published covering the “30s-thru the ‘5os of comic book history and analysis . The world was bombarded by massive amounts of product, hype —beginning in the late “80s !! I loved Marvel but ended up hating it!!

  5. I mean I lost my respect for Marvel In fact i feel the same for Donald,Mickey, as i do about the endless vomiting out of Spidey and the hulk! Talk about over exposure!

  6. Stephan, I actually have spent some time reading about Golden Age comic creators, artists and publishers such as Lou Fine, Curt Swan, Jacob Kurtzberg, Matt Baker, Joe Kubert, Charles Biro, Joe Maneely and others from this era but have just scratched the surface in terms of the volume of info available. Heck I even read some books, Timely’s, Batman, The Black Terror, and few westerns and horror stories. I think the art will be the most wanted feature of this era. I find the stories a bit dated, but to be fair many of them were written for a different audience and purpose (flag-waving war-time moral boosters). Still lots to like and explore.

    I like Walt’s spotlight posts because I know he spends a lot of time and effort seeking out little known books to shine the Spotlight on.

    None of this however answers my question concerning future demand for Golden Age books in general and more to the point this obscure strain of comic.

    The target age group for readers of Space Western #40 (say 10-14 years old) in 1952 are now 74=78 years old or dead. Additional Collectors of these books add say 20 years are 54-58 now. Is this the comic demographic for these books?. Does this seem like a good place to put your money to you? Walt who buys Golden Age at your store? What percentage do they make of your collecting community?

    I found Charlie’s always interesting post in Nutshell “Have comics peaked” a great read, that generated a lot of discussion (money always does). What’s Hot and What’s not ,exit strategies. And not a one word of it was about Golden Age Comics. Is it that insignificant? .

  7. well of course GA comics were written for a different time and era—so are SA and any “Age”! One judges, makes decisions concerning various criteria of contribution , a method of distilling of a piece of art and history. But all done understanding the context of an era . With the internet , even with less interest in saving paper comic books, there will always be serious collectors. One needs only to note coin ,paper currency market. The rarest ,the older items continue to get the highest amounts , generally speaking.

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