The Phantom #74, Charlton Comics, Jan. 1977

The Phantom #74 is the last Charlton issue of series. Final issues are very collectible. Usually the print run is very low just before the plug is pulled. Later, when someone tries to collect the run they usually find that the last issue is harder to find and has more value than the issues before it. Just look at Conan #275, Amazing Spider-Man #441, Star Wars #107 or even Flash Comics #104 from 1949.

Painted Covers are very collectible in their own right. Charlton was producing some fantastic painted covers in the mid 1970s. Artists like Joe Staton, Tom Sutton and Don Newton were producing stellar work.

Classic flag cover have always been sought after. Superman’s Golden Age flag covers all command a premium, especially Fred Ray’s classic Superman #14. Jim Steranko’s Strange Tales #167 is another example of a sought after flag cover. The Phantom #74 has a beautiful painted flag cover.

Don Newton is an artist that has worked for both Marvel and D.C. doing stints on titles like Avengers and Batman. His work is highly valued by collectors and his Charlton painted covers always get singles out in the Overstreet Price Guide.

The Phantom is huge worldwide   Lee Falk’s creation first appeared in newspaper strips in 1936. The Phantom predates Batman and Superman!

The Overstreet Price Guide shows $16/$23/$30 as the splits at the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grades.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long term investment are:

– Don Newton painted cover!

– Last issue!

– Classic flag cover

– Only $30 for a high grade copy

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada