Marvel Team-Up #22, Marvel Comics, June 1974
Spider-Man and Hawkeye team-up to take on Quasimodo! OK, I admit it’s not the kind of line up that would have had the kids running to the local variety store but other forces are at work in this book.
First let’s look at Byrrah. He is a prince of Atlantis and is cousin to Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Byrrah first appeared in Marvel Mystery Comics #83 (May/47) then made his Silver Age debut in Tales to Astonish #90 (April/67). How does he factor into Marvel Team-Up #22 being undervalued? Read on.
Second let’s talk a bit about the Marvel Value Stamp Series A program that ran 100 stamps through a whole slew of titles from March 1974 to December 1975. These stamps could be clipped from the letters pages and then put into a 16-page Stamp Book which Marvel sold through the mail. They became very collectible and a complete stamp book fetches a pretty penny at auction today. Of course cutting them out made the comic they came from almost worthless. Shanna the She-Devil (stamp #54) is probably the most infamous of these stamps since it was often clipped out of Incredible Hulk #181 (1st appearance of Wolverine).
Marvel Stamp collectors realized early that some stamps were harder to get than others. For instance Ghost Rider (stamp #80) appeared in 6 different comics over this time period and even a super popular characters like Spider-Man appeared in 3 different comics (Thor #221, Power Man #20, Captain Marvel #35).
One lone character appeared in only one comic. Marvel Team-Up #22 was the only comic to feature the Byrrah value stamp (stamp #92).
There were some pretty lame characters in Series A, The Plunderer (#62), Dragon Man (#83) and The Red Ghost (#61) all give Byrrah a run for the money for the lamest crown but none were scarcer and harder to find than Byrrah.
The Overstreet Price Guide shows $8/$10/$12 as the splits at the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grades.
Strengths that make this comic book a good long term investment are:
– Value Stamp collectors were hard core complete-ists making Marvel Team-Up #22 the only comic they all needed!
– There are collectors today that are trying to make a run of the 100 Series A stamps (albeit with the rest of the book attached), again, all will need Byrrah!
– Being in a Spider-Man title helps collectability even more
– Only $12 for a high grade copy
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada