Tales to Astonish #63, Marvel Comics, January 1965.

Someone pointed out that I have not visited the Silver Age in a while. That same someone just picked up a CGC 8.5 Tales to Astonish #62 and was adamant that he got it for a steal, that the book was way undervalued. I gave him the time of day because I like talking comics and said I’d look into it.

Well, I looked into it and can now announce that this week’s Undervalued Spotlight shines on Tales to Astonish #63.

Tales to Astonish #63 features the first full appearance of the Leader. My pal Christian’s nice tight Tales To Astonish #62 has the first appearance of the Leader but it is literally one panel at the beginning, where the Leader instructs the issue’s main villain the Chameleon, on what to do. The Leader also appears on the last panel as a set up to the next issue, in both panels, his face is concealed.

Luckily I had a copy of each book lying around and I must say that Tales to Astonish #63 is THE book to have here, you get a fantastic splash page of the leader and the full story including origin.

One thing Christian and I both agreed on is that the Leader is one of the main Hulk villains, we both pegged him at Hulk’s second main villain behind the Abomination. I jumped on Ranker and they had Red Hulk ahead of the Leader but I disagree, the Leader has been a thorn in Hulk’s side for almost 55 years, the villain has made over 450 comic book appearances. The Leader is the real deal.

So why the lack of love for the Leader? I mean you take Spidey’s second best villain or Batman’s second-best villain or a whole slew of other second-best villains and they overperform compared to our fearless leader. All I can think of is that everybody is wrong! I’m thinking the market will react Warren Buffet style and slowly come around to realizing the weight and importance of the comic book that contains the first full appearance of the Leader (special shout out to all my Belit fans who were so right when they pointed to Conan #58 is the big Belit book vis a vis the Giant Sized Conan).

You know what else Tales to Astonish #63 brings us? An amazing Kirby cover, have a good look at this thing, talk about motion!

I noticed in the Ant-Man story that there is a character villain called the Wrecker, now this is not the same Wrecker as was introduced in Thor #148 but we can call it the first appearance of the first Wrecker.

The attention still goes to Tales to Astonish #62 but #63 has started to heat up. Don’t look for it on auctions, head out to a con and dive into the Silver Age bins of good Vintage dealers, you’ll be able to find nice tight, clean copies of Tales to Astonish #63 as very reasonable prices, just make sure she’s full of gloss with a good register.

The 48th Overstreet price break for this book is $100/$220/$340 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment:

  • 1st full appearance the Leader
  • Stan Lee, Steve Ditko creative team
  • 1st appearance 1st Wrecker
  • Fantastic Kirby cover