Captain America Annual #8, Marvel Comics, September 1986.

The Copper Age is full of books that are still easily accessible, that can still deliver great value and that still have strong potential. It’s been a while since we did a Copper Age book so I wanted to go there this week and where I ended up was choosing Captain America Annual #8 as this week’s Undervalued Spotlight pick.

Captain America Annual #8 features the first appearances of both the Overrider and the T.E.S.S. One robot. The Overrider was Richard Rennsalaer, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who in a desperate effort to help his son’s debilitating fear of Nuclear war stole the T.E.S.S. One robot (Total Elimination of Super Soldiers), which was built to control the Super Soldier program should it deviate from its government mandate. Using T.E.S.S. One the Overrider tries to rid America of its Nuclear arsenal. Enter Captain America and Wolverine as they team up to stop the Overrider and the robot.

I remember reading this back when it came out, it’s a nice beefy 40-page epic rooted in the old Cold War with the Soviet Union. The book was a hit the day it came out in large part due to the spectacular Mike Zeck cover (John Beatty inks).

Captain America Annual #8 delivers one of the best covers of the era, it is fantastic. The cover features two of Marvel’s leading men engaged in battle, it’s a battle cover, it’s a Wolverine fighting Cap cover and the principles are huge and take up most of the cover. Lots of bang for your buck with this cover.

Has anyone noticed the recent explosion in values of cool covers from the Golden Age? I have. With this Spotlight pick, I wanted to project that trend forward through the Silver Age and the Bronze Age and land deep into the Copper Age. I’m marking Captain America Annual #8 as one of the best covers of the era and I’m projecting the market’s love of great covers to influence its demand and value sooner rather than later. They will come and they will want and they will hunt down the best of the best covers and Captain America Annual #8 will be one of them.

There are a lot of Wolverine fans out there so the book has a strong built-in demand base, Cap’s stock has actually grown in the world of popular culture since this book’s release thanks to the millions of new fans and the gazillions of dollars the character has helped garner through the Marvel cinematic universe.

Actually poor demand back in the day adds a bit of relative scarcity, as of this post there were only 165  CGC 9.8s about the same amount as Giant-Size X-Men #1. I’m not comparing the two books but they both have Wolverine in them, but I’m not by any means comparing the two books.

At post time CGC 9.8s were fetching about $185 while CGC 9.6s were getting $75 with both grades trending slightly down.

This book delivers a lot, two first appearances, a stunning cover, a top-shelf crossover, a battle cover and some relative scarcity. It can still be picked up on the cheap at cons or online. If you are buying graded go after a White Page 9.8 and if you are buying raw make sure it’s tight, crisp, with good register and square to the corners.

The 48th Overstreet price break for this book is $19/$30/$40 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment:

  • What should be a classic cover
  • 1st appearance Overrider
  • 1st appearance T.E.S.S. One
  • Cheap at the moment