Undervalued Spotlight #402

Fantastic Four #3, Marvel Comics, March 1962.

There are very few titles hotter than Fantastic Four at the moment, the 1st issue is officially out of reach for the most of us while issues #4 (Sub-Mariner re-into) and #5 (Doctor Doom intro) are among the most speculated books in the hobby, even #2 with it’s into of the Skrulls is scorching hot with a CGC 8.0 copy recently selling for close to 3x Guide. I’ve deservedly featured all of the above in past spotlights and today I’m closing out the first 5 issues of Fantastic Four by selecting Fantastic Four #3 as this week’s Undervalued Spotlight.

This is not a ‘fill in the blank’ pick, there are no initial title runs that compare to the 1st five issues of Fantastic Four.  These early issues bring so much weight and carry such diversity in content that one could argue that the Fantastic Four banner is the only thing knitting these books together. Of course that’s not the case but Fantastic Four #3 does have this singularity to it, the book is a neglected monster if you ask me.

Fantastic Four #3 is Marvel’s 1st costumed hero comic, it’s the template for all after it. In March 1962 there was no Marvel in any sense of the word, there were just the two Fantastic Four issues that came before it. Hulk was a couple of months away while Thor and Spider-Man were even farther out. Hank Pym as Ant-Man was just some sci-fi story told in an anthology series.

With Fantastic Four #3 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby defined the road forward, costumed heroes done the Marvel way. They knew they had it, boldly proclaiming Fantastic Four “The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World” – changed in the next issue to the now famous “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” banner.

Like I alluded to above, all the early Fantastic Four issues are selling for multiples of Guide in the mid/high grades but Fantastic Four #3 is actually selling for well below Guide. Recent sales of CGC 7.0, 7.5 and 8.5 copies all earned well below their Guide values though a recent CGC 8.0 did get about 20% above Guide. Scarcity is about the same as Fantastic Four #2, there are 74 copies of Fantastic Four #3 graded ar CGC 8.0 or better out of a total Universally graded Blue label population of 699 as of this post.

The Disney/Fox deal has obviously ignited much of the Fantastic Four run and I have a strong feeling Fantastic Four #3 fever is coming soon.

The 47th Overstreet price break for this book is $1050/$3100/$8050/$13000 in the 6.0/8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment:

  • Fantastic Four don costumes and get headquarters
  • Brief Origin
  • 1st appearance Miracle Man (villain)

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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: 1600

4 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more Walter,it’s on my immediate buy list.It’s certainly nice to see the FF getting some well deserved attention!

  2. Completely agree, Walt! Not to mention first appearance of the Fantasti-car, to boot! (First in a long line of Reed’s amazing gadgetry).

    If anything, I think the throwaway line about Hank Pym as Ant-Man being “just a sci-fi story in an anthology” should be cast differently, as the Marvel hero output to that point, taken together, underscores your point. Until FF3, the model Stan and Jack seemed to be using was Kirby’s first effort to do heroes in the post-code ’50s, the Challengers. Your Marvel hero output to this point was two issues of FF (non-costumed heroes), TTA 27 (non-costumed; fantastic powers) and a handful of Dr Droom shorts over in Amazing Adventures (again, no costume but powers.) Its with #3 that the FF broke this still-forming mold and launched the true Marvel superheroes flavor. Great pick!

    I’ll remind others here that Dr Droom (later Dr Druid) pre-dates the FF by six months in Amazing Adventures #1, a long-ago Undervalued Spotlight and another of my Walt favorites!

  3. An important early FF issue that just gets caught up in the gauntlet of mega keys surrounding it.

  4. Good point Nathan and a nice breakdown Readcomix – thanks for the insights. I think this book goes high on the next auction Dennis, eBay or Conventions might still work.

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