Marvel Comics Presents #72, Marvel Comics, March 1991.
I was talking comics with a pal of mine and somehow we got on the topic of books the market is ignoring. We’re both opinionated which can sometimes make for difficult conversation. Luckily comics aren’t quite politics and the passions they inflame have a hard time spreading across a convention floor.
We poked holes in each others early salvos but came across our first full consensus when he came out with this week’s Undervalued Spotlight, Marvel Comics Presents #72.
Barry Windsor-Smith was an absolute tour de force on this book getting credit for the pencils, inks and colors on that fantastic cover. Windsor-Smith also went all out on the 8 page Weapon X story claiming credit for the script, pencils, inks, colors and even co-credits as letterer.
Marvel Comics Presents #72 introduces Carol Hines, Abraham Cornelius and Professor Thorton, all part of the Weapon X project. These weren’t bit players discarded after this story art, between the 3 of them they appeared in over 300 comics!
The main driver of value for this book comes from it being the start of one of the most important arcs in Marvel’s history, at least on the Mutant side of the MU. There’s too much to tell with this arc and with all the retcons it triggered, look it up if you aren’t already an expert.
This book is dead as far as the markets are concerned, a CGC 9.8 sold in May this year for $65 while the last CGC 9.6 only got $26 in April this year. Tough sell.
My pal Chris and I tried to figure out why this book is doing so poorly, we both thought it might be an awareness issue. The book is buried in an extremely ignored title and perhaps new people coming into the market just aren’t aware of the book. Chris was successfully buying the book up cheap and selling it for a lot more, his trick to success? He’s tell his buyers about the book, often the response was “really? – I’ll grab one”
I found a couple of 9.8s online starting at $75. I say you hunt down a bunch of raw copies, just make sure they are tight, crisp and square to the corners!
The 46th Overstreet price break for this book is $9/$12/$15 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.
Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment.
- Prologue to classic Weapon X story arc (Marvel Comics Presents #72-84)
- Barry Windsor-Smith showcase including a fantastic cover
- Way too cheap as of this post
Good choice Walt, although I’ve always wondered if this has remained so low because, after all, there’s only eight pages of BWS art in each issue. If it had been released as a two or three issue mini-series I think it would be doing much better price-wise.
I agree with the above comment, along with Print Run being high as another factor. As a kid, the 4 story format was the main reason why I didn’t like this book. Years later, I do agree it is an overlooked classic and I definitely want one in CGC 9.8! Great topic, I’d love to know what other key books you feel are under appreciated due to lack of awareness.
It’s hard to imagine another artist handling this story, absolutely the only choice. Uncanny X-men 205 was proving ground for Weapon X, just look at the cover. 205 has one of my all-time favorite fights in the title, Lady Deathstrike and Wolverine. BWS really nails the “biomechanical” look, very H.R. Giger-esque.
Perhaps being nestled at the tail end of the copper age keeps it this under radar. I’m sure the crappy Wolverine origins movie didn’t help either. I agree the anthology title works against it too, esp since the TPB collects the story so well. It boggles my mind why definitive origin stories are not deemed as valuable as they used to be. It’s really all about the first appearances now. I wonder if the market will make a shift once many of these speculative picks don’t pan out.
Great pick, Walt!
Thanks Wally…for opening my eyes to a newly discovered book!
The short 6 page Archie story (no cover appearance) in Pep #22 doesn’t stop it from being worth a ton and the billion CGC 9.8 New Mutant #98s seem to worth a lot.
Then again my examples above are 1st appearances, you are right Darren, the origin books were much more sought after not too long ago.
I’ve wondered this myself, but I always settle back on agreeing that its ok to disregard this book because there really is a bajillion of them as Brian said (still easy to find) and also because latter-day origins matter a lot less for good reason — the rampant rebooting and retconning leaves little as truly meaningful canon; everything is effectively a “What If?” story these days, as writers today ignore or steamroll over what has come before, rather than weave their new concepts into a continuum by working with what has come before.
As a result, we’re left with the first 8 pages of a well-regarded story by a great creator who wasn’t particularly well-known to the newest readers of the late Copper Age, having established himself in the late silver/early bronze era, with little and sporadic comics work in between.
Is it under-appreciated? Probably yes. But I’m not very confident that its much of a bet to get a big boost anytime soon.
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