Undervalued Spotlight #389

Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #2, Marvel Comics, July 1968.

Remember the old comic book axiom to always sell off your movie related comics before the movie hits. Well Fantastic Four #52 is proving this wrong with strong after film sales results. The strength of the film tells only part of the story, another part is the weight of the Panther character himself. I’m sure values would not be as high if we all loved the movie but were indifferent to the book’s/character’s contribution to today’s diverse comic book landscape.

This diverse landscape has created lots of unique collecting strains with one of the most obvious being key issues for black characters since Fantastic Four #52 (Since 1965’s Lobo #1 really). Hot sellers at cons for me over the past couple of years have been books like Luke Cage #1, Power Man #24, Captain America #117 and obviously Fantastic Four #52. Gah! I has a CGC 8.0 Fantastic Four #52 and thought I was smart letting it go for a grand a few months before the movie hit, it’s almost double that now!

This week I’d like to shine the Spotlight on a book that belongs near the top of the heap for this relatively new but very healthy collecting strain of key comics featuring African American characters and that book is Nick Fury #2.

Nick Fury #2 features the 1st appearance of Centurius (AKA Nobel Prize winning Dr. Noah Black). Centurius has the distinction of being the 1st African American villain in Marvel Comics. These are early years for black characters in Marvel and in comics in general, Nick Fury #2 predates Captain America #117 (1st Falcon) by over a year.

I will grant you that Centurius is not a major character but he’s still around, he was recruited by Luke Cage into the Thunderbolts alongside the likes of Boomerang and the Shocker. The books importance lies in it introducing Marvel’s 1st black villain and it’s that fact that should see it added to books needed for key issues in this strain of collecting.

Nick Fury #2 does add more, the issue was written and gorgeously drawn by Jim Steranko one of the giants of the industry and although the cover is not a classic Steranko cover it is very strong and dynamic with our principal character all huge and dominating the cover.

The markets are indifferent at best to this book, recently a CGC 9.4 sold for $95 while a CGC 9.2 sold for $55 last summer. Nick Fury #2 was nothing for so long, it will take some time and some awareness for this book to catch on but I think it will.

The 47th Overstreet price break for this book is $51/$96/$140 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment:

  • First Appearance of Centurius, 1st African American villain in Marvel Comics
  • Written and drawn by Jim Steranko
  • Strong Steranko cover with Centurius dominating the cover



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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: 1565

6 Comments

  1. Walt I always thought of this book as the weakest entry in the Steranko Nick Fury #1-5 run. You’ve given me a glimmer of hope for the book with this post.

    Nick Fury #1 & #2 lead the league in mis-wrapped $0.02 covers, especially #2. Your cover example today illustrates this perfectly. Hold out for a high grade copy with a nicely centered cover. It is harder to do than you would think.

  2. Mike, I actually saw one today; flat, bright, clean well-centered. I didn’t look closely, but the ask was $68. ($85 with a 20% sale). Through the bag and showcase, it looked at least 8.0 at a couple feet, but of course it could be worse, or better. Walt, Mike — at what grade or better do we think $68 is a good price for this book? I’m not entirely sold, but $68 for a silver age flyer on a premise I could see (1st black Marvel villain) won’t kill me.

  3. Coming to these books in recent years it wouldn’t have occurred to me that #2 is a ‘dud’ cover – it’s great. In fact I just bought a nice copy for the cover alone.

  4. Readcomix – I purchased a slabbed 8.5 White pages of Nick Fury #2 for $52 last fall if that helps. I am a bit of a nut for properly centered books, I know it doesn’t play too much or at all into current grading or price..

    Simon – My comment that issue #2 was the weakest of issue #1-5 was just my own taste. They are all great covers 1,3-5 I like better than #2. Steranko did the covers for issue #6 & 7 as well before leaving the book. I own all of them and highly recommend them.

  5. Readcomix – I’m not sure a deal like Mike got is available these days. I’d say $68 for a tight well centered 8.0 is fair because I think the book has some upside.

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