Undervalued Spotlight #327

Fantastic Four #12, Marvel Comics, March 1963

I was talking to a comic collector recently about the allure of those round 12 cent Marvels. We counted them up and came up with 45 super-hero Marvel comics that have them, remembering that Fantastic Four #1, #2 and Tales To Astonish #27 were 10 centers. These round 12 cent books have become quite a collecting strain, this guy wasn’t the 1st to be collecting these things as I’ve met many collectors over the years with a fondness for the mighty round 12 cents.

It was time for me to pick a Spotlight book so I challenged myself to see if there were any candidates in this small field (that I didn’t already pick). So without further ado I give you the fruit of my thought process and present this week’s Undervalued Spotlight as Fantastic Four #12.

I thought this one through hard and while it may not be a glamorous pick I’ll argue that it is undervalued at this time.

Fantastic Four #12 has always been an early Marvel heavyweight, for as long as I remember. Early FF’s are still highly collectible, especially #1-#13. The great Kirby cover featuring Hulk and the FF has always helped the book as has the fact that it is Marvel’s 1st cross over. The Overstreet Guide has it tied with Amazing Spider-Man #1 (also March 1963) as the 1st cross over but according to the CRMO site FF #12 hit first.

We can’t understate how much cross overs helped Marvel spread its revolution. Fantastic Four #12’s status as the start of all that adds an important hook to its collectability.

Fantastic Four #12 is also a very early Hulk, again according to the CRMO site it hit the streets before Hulk #6 making it Hulk’s 6th appearance. Mike Huddleston covered the early Hulks in one of his Arcs and Runs and he touched on how Marvel had a hard time figuring out just exactly how to flush out Hulk as a lead character pointing to the fact that the 6th issue was the last of the series.

With Fantastic Four #12 we see Hulk used a guest star, and later with the Avengers as a team member. We have to wait a year and a half, until Tales to Astonish #60 (October 1964) before we see Hulk take over a book (partially). The odd thing with the Hulk is that this same trajectory has followed him to today. The Hulk films were OK but by no means received the way movies like Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man were received. Hulk truly started lighting up the internet as a supporting character in the Avengers movies where the cry was “More Hulk!”.

Well we’re about to get more Hulk in the form of his coming appearance in the Thor Ragnarok film. There is tremendous buzz around this movie especially around the Hulk and the news that the film will visit Planet Hulk (a 2006 storyline that is one of the most popular Hulk story arcs).

What I’m saying is that Hulk is hot again and if and when they get this movie right and give us just enough Hulk it will help his brand immensely.

Not that Hulk #1, the big key Hulk comic, needs any help. It has now secured a very solid footing as Marvel’s #2 key to have behind Amazing Fantasy #15. But all the recent developments bode well for other key Hulk comics, and for me this is the Hulk character’s second biggest key issue behind Hulk #1.

The reason I wanted to feature Fantastic Four #12 this week is that I think the book has bottomed out and is set for some value appreciation.

Fantastic Four #12 has been stagnant on the markets for the last 5 years, and that is following a sharp drop in value from its peak 2008/2009 levels.

CGC 9.2, 8 copies have traded in a tight $9,289 to $12,600 range since 2010 with the $9,289 sale coming last year.

CGC 8.0, 18 copies have traded in a tight $2,700 to $3,450 range since 2011 with the $2,700 coming last year. Though a recent sale topped $3,400.

CGC 6.0, 17 copies have traded in an $811 to $1,320 range since 2011 with the $811 coming last year.

The above results are all below Guide and all seem to be near a what I think is a trough level. I see this book appreciating, especially in the 8.0 and above grades.

The 46th Overstreet price break for this book is $1,020/$3,100/$7,800/$12,500 in the 6.0/8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment.

  • 1st Marvel crossover (tied)
  • Round 12 Cent issues are very early Marvel’s and collected as such
  • Hulk’s second biggest key issue
  • Early Hulk appearance



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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1584

18 Comments

  1. I agree mostly that it has much potential if the Hulk actually heats up; but second biggest Hulk key? I think I like Hulk #2 better, but this isn’t too far down the list.
    However, if your theory is correct and Ragnarok ignites Hulkamania, some books may appreciate more on a percentage basis than this blue chip, albeit they may not hold onto their gains as well over the long haul: I’m thinking seminal Hulk/Thor battles: JIM 112 and Defenders 10 are top of mind, but if your theory plays out there will be some brief period of people paying $20 for the likes of Hulk 255, etc.
    Maybe this also adds the heat to another of your Undervalued calls, Avengers #3, since JIM 112 is supposed to be the “untold story” within that story?

  2. Interesting pick Walt, especially for that one reason you start with: the round twelve-cent prices. I have also run into the odd collector who specializes in those covers that say Marvel Pop Art Productions in the top, left corner. Another guy I know is into double covers (he’s trying to get my Walt Disney Comics and Stories #112 for his collection, but, needless to say, I’m not parting with it). These are rather uncommon in this day and age, but happened it seems principally in the ’50s and ’60s from what I’ve gleaned. This also reminds me of that trend towards collecting Marvel’s “picture-frame” covers. I think, as the possibility of completing older runs becomes more difficult, people will definitely look to specialized collections such as this. Cool post!

    cheers, mel

  3. Nice pick, Walt. I was browsing copies of this book two weeks ago, thinking that it has been under-appreciated as a Marvel key given how many other early key issues have increased greatly. A lot of the older FF issues have been pretty stagnant in recent years, but that can’t last forever this major title. I feel that the cover appeal of #12 is tremendous, as you indicated, and is the icing on the cake along with the other items you bullet-pointed.

    Scott asked my question already — what is the “CRMO” site?

  4. As I knew you would. Sorry for injecting a touch of humour. I shall refrain from doing so in future, I can assure you.

  5. I think we all got it, Mel. Scott was just responding to the previous question. Personally I prefer humor over the correct answer any day!! Unfortunately you just couldn’t see us all CMROFL (crying, merrily rolling on the floor laughing)…

    Thanks Scott – cool site!

  6. Thanks Eric. My sense of humour sometimes falls flat with people like Scott who have obviously had their gruntles removed (that is to say: disgruntled). I was also hoping Walt might jump in and actually add a word or two in reply to people’s comments. I also would have thought an editor might catch the omission BEFORE it went to print. That has been my experience as a journalist.

  7. How about advising him to follow up on people’s comments once he’s started the ball rolling? Just a thought.

  8. Hey Mel, how about letting a guy do an honest day’s work first… I feel like I’m turning into the monkey that flicks a switch when Mel prods me with a stick.

    Scott is right, it is the Complete Marvel Reading Order which is a cool site. My bad for not posting the link.

    Hey Gene, you have a good point with Hulk #2 but somehow I’ve always found the FF #12 the more glamorous book – somehow.

  9. Not to be a stickler, but some say that Strange Tales #101 was the 1st Marvel crossover. The Thing stopped over for a page in the Human Torch’s story.

    I’m not underscoring the importance of the FF #12 crossover. I’m just saying that ST #101 came first.

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