Undervalued Spotlight #329

Fantastic Four #113, Marvel Comics, August 1971

A few days ago I sorted all my Undervalued Spotlights alphabetically. I did this exercise to help me see if there were areas I was not adequately representing, the Spotlight mantra being all eras/all genres/all price points.

I noticed I had an issue with the Fantastic Four. There have been seven FF’s represented on the Spotlight but none of them were above issue #48. That actually shocked me when I saw it. Did the Fantastic Four stop being relevant in 1966? Are there FFs above #100 worth buying, worth investing in with value appreciation in mind?

I’d just posted FF #12 a couple of weeks ago but I had to strike at this while the fire was hot. My mission was obvious and it couldn’t wait.

This week the Undervalued Spotlight shines on Fantastic Four #113.

Fantastic Four #113 is actually wedged inbetween two collectible FF issues, #112 with that classic Hulk/Thing cover and #116 the FF offering to the November 1971 Marvel collecting strain.

Fantastic Four #113 also contains the 1st appearance of Over-Mind. Over-Mind is an Eternal from the planet Eyung (not the same concept as the 1976 Eternals). Over-Mind possesses the pooled minds of his kind, hundreds of millions of minds assimilated into one, his. All these minds acting as one give him great psychic powers, he can scan the thoughts of others and take over their minds by projecting his thoughts into their minds. He’s a very formidable foe besting the likes of the Stranger and Doctor Doom.

His battle against the Fantastic Four lasted 4 issues, ending in the above mentioned FF #16 giant sized issue.

Over-Mind is as cosmic as they come. As a warlord of the planet Eyung he reigned as a champion of their Gladiatorial arenas. I of course immediately thought of Planet Hulk and how cool it would be to feature Over-Mind in one of Hulk’s battles.

The Hulk battle anytime soon may be a stretch but I like Over-Mind’s solid rooting in the Fantastic Four. For me the Fantastic Four is a massive revival just waiting to happen and unique characters like Over-Mind are like ripe fruit ready to be picked and squashed into sweet jam.

The dozen or so FF’s past issue #112 are actually a bit ahead of the 30 or so issues before it collect-ability wise . Being in close proximity to the likes of #112, #116 and the Panther issues #119 and #120 at least give this book a pulse. I also don’t think the book is getting the respect it deserves as the start of the story arc that ends at #116.

Fantastic Four #113 may not be one of the title’s big key issues but it does a great job of adding the FF canon. The book features appearances by the Watcher and the Hulk, it also features a prominent Over-Mind cover. There is no downside to this book.

The 46th Overstreet price break for this book is $30/$50/$70 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment.

  • 1st appearance of Over-Mind
  • Cheap, Cheap, Cheap
  • Prominent Over-Mind cover
  • Nestled in a nice little run of FF



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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: 1578

7 Comments

  1. This was the period right after Kirby left and John Romita did the 4 issue fill in followed by a half and half Kirby/Buscema book.Being a big Buscema fan I was eager to enjoy his take over of the book , and I did, but I found it a little lost for about 30 or so issues as well.It did however have another interesting period where Rich Buckler came on the scene with his Kirby homage(and in many cases an absolute swipe) and mixed with Sinnott’s inking had some pretty fine story arcs.
    Number 116 was eagerly anticipated because the Surfer was once again going to be drawn by Buscema and is an undervalued book in that part of the run.25 center and square bound book.Great cover by Buscema/Sinnott!

  2. Hey Dennis
    Absolutely! Any Buscema rendering of the Silver Surfer should be at the top of the list for F.F. fans.
    For Romita and Buckler’s take on the period, check out the special features on that so-so Fantastic Four movie (I actually, F.F. fan for life, tossed the movie and kept the features disc just for the documentary on Jack Kirby). It also has a lovely travelogue through our favourite heroes’ history with the likes of Stan Lee, John Romia, Rich Buckler, Steve Rude, Len Wien, Marv Wolfman, Jim Lee, Joe Quesada and many more. A real treat.

    P.S. Rich would probably be the first person to acknowledge his debt to the King.

  3. Yeah that #116 is one tough book to find in NM, as are most of the 25 centers.

    I mentioned that this book belongs in a small string of FF issues from the era that are still sought after. They include #121-#123 where Buscema did Surfer covers! Sal is credited with the cover to #123.

  4. I love all those FF eras too, but 113 is a run book in a strong run, to me. I can see the 116 as a better pick. But in general, I agree FF is undervalued for all the current sad reasons and hope it comes roaring back to popularity in the right hands one day. For all the broad-based recognition and fanhood the Marvel universe has, people love Spidey as the icon and the Avengers (loooong overdue) as the nexus, but the FF’ss role as the foundation has slipped from general awareness. I do believe this will be back with a vengeance one day; it may only be reflected someday in the price of FF#1, but a good re-intro of the franchise will pop various keys in the run, I’d think.

  5. Valid critique Gene. I really wanted to find a gem in these lost issues and while #112 and #116 enjoy established respect I still say #113 has enough there to make it the next in the era to pop. I like the Over-Mind concept and I like the length of the arc. But alas I may be the only one, you are right about FF #1 being the 1st to benefit from a resurgence, and there are a couple of dozen issues in front of this issue that would be next in line. But even if the flood levels off to a trickle I think it can reach FF #113!

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