Undervalued Spotlight #315

strange-tales-118Strange Tales #118, Marvel Comics, March 1964

I’m actually very excited about the Doc Strange movie that’s about to open up in North American theatres this coming weekend. I’ve seen the clips and I’ve read the reviews, now to see the movie. Can’t wait!

I thought it would be topical and fun to whet everybody’s whistle, to get everyone stoked for the big event. Not that spotlighting a comic with Doc Strange in it that I think is undervalued should make everyone run to the nearest Cineplex… Anyway it seemed a good idea when I started so I’ll see this through.

This week I shine the Undervalued Spotlight on Strange Tales #118.

Strange Tales #118 delivers some solid foundations for us to build future value on. The issue represents the 7th appearance of Doc Strange if I read my chronology correctly. Very early appearances of major heroes are always in demand. These are early days of Doc Strange and of Marvel itself.

Our issue represents the 1st Doc Strange cover, though only an inset on the bottom there is no denying that Ditko rendition of the Doc. Fantastic Four #27 from June 1964, I believe is the first full Doc Strange cover. Covers matter, they represent an important ingredient in the value recipe and a major character’s 1st cover appearance is something both collectors and investors want.

Strange Tales #118 has the 1st appearance of the Orb of Agamotto. The Orb is a crystal sphere used by Doc Strange to detect other magic. It showed up in one of the Thor films I think. To understand the importance of the Orb we must visit Agamotto himself. Agamotto along with Oshtur and Hoggoth make up the Vishanti, a group of superior mystical entities summoned by sorcerers. It is said that Agamotto was the 1st Sorcerer Supreme. From Agamotto came the Eye of Agamotto and the Orb of Agamotto. I’ve always like these artifacts in the Marvel U and I’ve covered the Wand of Watoomb and the Cosmic Cube in past Spotlights.

My position on Doc Strange is this, either he becomes a big deal in the Marvel U or he doesn’t. As of right now he belongs more to the old Marvel crowd than he does to the general pop culture crowd. I’m betting the movie changes all that. I’m betting that Strange becomes cool and I’m betting key issues from the early days become more sought after.

Recent sales include a CGC 9.0 that went for $218 and an 8.5 that went for $144, both prices under Guide. The book is truly being overlooked. I’m thinking now’s a time to pounce on a nice tight copy and wait for the Market to come to their senses.

The 46th Overstreet price breaks for this book is $103/$227/$350 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment.

  • First Doc Strange cover appearance
  • 1st Orb of Agamotto
  • Early Doc Strange appearance
  • The book is being ignored right now

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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7 years ago

Seems reasonable enough; you seem to like a lot of the early hero-era Strange Tales. I tend to agree, considering the price escalation of the “dirty dozen” Marvel silver keys, and the top secondary ones as well, more and more of us are looking for the overlooked before they are no longer a bargain. (I’ve been a broken record on here about Amazing Adventures #1 and to a lesser degree the more common but important Strange Tales #135).
I certainly agree with your premise that IF the movie ignites Dr Strange interest, others from this run will emerge as the most sought after besides the #110.
You’ve flagged #118 now and #115 in the past; two I’ve grabbed recently are #114 and #130.
#114 is hardly cheap, but its price has been mostly attributed to the faux Cap return over the years. I like it as its the third Dr Strange and first Victoria Bentley. She was key to the first Baron Mordo story, and she and Clea were his Betty and Veronica in the early days, so I’m taking a shot that she might make it into the film.
I like #130 because its the first Dr Strange-dominated cover in this run (later than FF #27 though), first Kaecillus (Mordo minion who is a villain in the movie), and of course has the Thing and Torch meet the Beatles story in the other half (which by the way is drawn by Bob Powell).
No sure things, but if one is fishing for Dr Strange Strange Tales that might emerge if interest is truly piqued by the film, for my 2 cents these two also belong in the discussion.

Charlie Kim
7 years ago

I for one am stoked!

7 years ago

Stoked for?

The movie? 118? 115? 114? 130? All of it?!?!

Couldn’t resist, Charlie!

Charlie Kim
7 years ago

As Walter stated… the “big event”!

Here’s what I’m looking forward to in the coming days:
1. Doctor Strange
2. The election
3. Arrival

Can’t believe that another Christmas is less than 2 months away… “like sands through an hour glass… so are the day of our lives”.


Dennis De Pues
7 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Kim

Thanks for the heads up Charlie!And Walt I am thinking the same thing about the new crowd.Hard to believe but yes we are the old guard!