Overvalued Overstreet X-Men #67-93

This weeks arcs & runs features one of the strangest runs of comics to take place in the Marvel universe. Perhaps I should say “Uncanny” run, as it is the famous X-Men reprint run, issues #67-93. It is today, in my opinion the most overvalued run of comics in Marvel’s Bronze Age of comics. Maybe any age. Before I go all Howard Beale lets take a quick look at this runs history and the books themselves.

In 1970 a number of Marvel titles with lagging sales were cancelled. The Silver Surfer, Nick Fury Agent of Shield, Doctor Strange, and the X-Men titles were cancelled. The original X-Men run ended with the publication of issue #66 March 1970.

There was an up roar amongst X-Men fans, so much so that in Dec.1970 Marvel resurrected the title with issue #67 as a double sized reprint featuring issues #12 & 13 from the original run. The title continued publishing bi-monthly in the same double sized format through issue #70, went to a single $0.15 cent issue in issue #71, back to a double size $0.25 issue for #72, and then changed to singles issues at #73 for the balance of the run. Whew! The entire 27 issue run of reprints lasts a little over 4 years ending at issue #93 published April 1975. The books reprinted in this run were issues #12 -45, half of the original run.

In May 1975 Giant Size X-Men #1 was published to the delight of all X-Men fans and in August 1975 the New X-Men #94 began and the rest we know is history.

The 45th Overstreet values for our run today are:

6.0 8.0 9.0 9.2
X-Men #67-70 $27 $59 $117 $175
X-Men #71-93 $24 $51 $96 $140

It is these price valuations given by Overstreet for these books that I wanted to focus on and discuss today.

Before I start I want let everyone know that this drooling vegetable has bought this run of books not once but twice in the past. I also understand that the Overstreet guide is just a guide, and that a book is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

I am a huge proponent of buying reprint books. I love Bronze Age Marvel Tales, Marvel Greatest Comics, Marvel Super-Heroes, and Marvel Triple Action. Those Horror titles like Fear, Creatures on the Loose, Where Creatures Roam, Where Monsters Dwell you name it I love them all. They are fun to read and collect. They are an affordable way to collect some of the great old classics in comic form. I don’t see them as comics to buy for an investment. These reprints cost a small percentage of the original books.

X-Men 28

This is not the case with X-Men #67-93. In some cases within this run of reprints, the cost of the reprint is over 60% of the value of the original book. An example would be issue X-Men #31 9.2 costs $225 and it’s reprint X-Men #79 9.2 costs $140. There other cases that are the same or similar within this run. They don’t make any sense.

Who is driving the market for these books? Where is the demand for these reprint books coming from? Let’s look at the reasons I purchased this collection twice and see if we can find any answers.

  • I was a completist. I had to have all of the books in the title I was collecting. The first time I bought the run was in the early eighties. The second time was late eighties and early nineties upgrading the condition of the books. That was 25 years ago when the X-Men were still pretty hot and around issue #285. Are there still that many completist’s out there today? I can tell you that when I turned in these books to dealers to sell they were gobbled up right away, so demand was there then.
  • Nerd Alert! I love 25 cent double sized comics, picture covers, cool new art, 20 cent covers, and there is lots of that in this run. Stop laughing others do too!
  • There was a perception at the time that these books were rare or at least hard to obtain. There could be a measure of truth in this. The books were reprints of books that didn’t sell all that well as originals. The print runs couldn’t have been too large. Maybe there is a novelty angle at play here.

X-Men 76

I was going to list a litany of reasons why I think these books are over priced but I’ll leave it at just a few examples as they should suffice.

  • In the 1971-1974 timeframe when these books were published I could only come up with a two optimal runs of 27 Marvel comics that were more expensive than our X-Men comics. The rest of the Marvel titles were all cheaper. The X-Men run of #67-93 is worth $3920 in a 9.2 grade. The Incredible Hulk #156-182 is worth $4077 in a 9.2 grade the 3 Wolverine issues make up $3250 of this amount. The Amazing Spider-Man #96 -122 is worth $5065 in the 9.2 grade. If I removed the two key issues #121-122 from the end of the Spider-Man runs it would be virtually the same value as the X issues $3915, only you would still have the Spidey drug issues #96-98, the Morbius first appearance & Story #100-102, and the Hulk in #119-120 and 17 other books. Or you could have those reprints of X-Men # 12-45. Really!
  • The cost of single X-Men books is $140-175 in the 9.2 grade. They are amongst the highest for the time period. Only bronze keys and minor keys eclipse these books. This would include all original Bronze Age run books in the Avengers to Thor titles and everyone in between. Madness!
  • I had done a recent post on Arcs & Runs that featured the Fantastic Four in Kirby’s heyday. Marvels Greatest Comics issues #35-37 (FF 48-50 first Silver Surfer & Galactus) were in the stack, along with reprints of first appearances of the Inhumans and the Black Panther. These books guide for $15 in 9.2 in Overstreet vs. our nowhere near equivalent X books at $140. What gives?
  • A really nice run or group of 27 Marvel reprints in 9.2 conditions and with a $0.20 cover shouldn’t cost you more than $400-540. Our X-Men run guides for $3920. That is just way out of sync. Maybe it is the fabulous Werner Roth art in the X-Men that does it. My sarcasm gland is really throbbing now so I will leave it here.
X-Men issue 76 cover by Gil Kane and Joe Sinnott.  Source.
X-Men issue 76 cover by Gil Kane and Joe Sinnott. Source.

I will not be holding my breath waiting for Overstreet to reduce the prices on these books. It practically takes an Act of Congress for them to do that.

It would be interesting to understand their thinking on this. I am certain that the fact these books are within the regular numbering of the main title and not in a separate reprint title has a lot to do with the higher price. Even given that, the prices should be cut by considerably more than half in my opinion.

In the end only Overstreet knows why they price the books the way they do. They try to reflect the market the best they can. I will have to sift through the new guide and find some positive things to write about down the road.

Until next time – Good Luck filling the holes in your want lists!

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Mike Huddleston
Mike was born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario. He has read and collected comics for over 40 years. A Marvel Zombie specializing in the Silver, bronze and early copper age of comics.
Articles: 101

8 Comments

  1. Ha! I love it. Great insight Mike. I do wish the value of these books would be cut in half so that I could rationally pick them up. When I was building my X-Men run, I just couldn’t justify buying #67-93 even though, as a completionist I wanted to fill this gap. For what they are worth, I’d rather buy duplicates copies of the original.

    An “Overvalued Spotlight” may seem counter productive to what we want to achieve but there’s plenty out there and it would be a lot of fun to read. I look forward to your next overvalued pick ^_^

  2. Love the Overvalued Overstreet. I think it will be good for the market, especially considering how Undervalued Spotlight can affect books.

  3. Well Charlie I am glad you were clever enough not to purchase them. I still love that issue #76 and have a soft spot for others in the run as well. For the record #67, 76, 77, 81, 83, 87 & 92 are my fav’s and it must be a combo of the covers and the original books that draw me to them.

    I do see Overvalued Overstreet as the flip side of the same coin as the Undervalued Spotlight. It is a lot more fun finding hidden gems for the UV spotlight than highlighting an Overvalued books, however I don’t think it hurts to point out a miss by Overstreet on the high side of a price either.

    Tim, Walt’s Undervalued Spotlight does influence comic buyers more than he realizes. With nearly 250 posts under his belt I had thought he might consider doing a UV Spotlight Revisited Column sometime to highlight some of the winners and losers (very few ^-^).

  4. as an older collector , I remember trying to find high grade copies back in the mid 70’s , which were very hard to do ! we all wanted them to fill in holes , but , in my case I really liked the BA picture frames Marvel sported in the early 70’s . it also didn’t hurt that issues 72 to 78 , iirc , had brand new art for the covers . even back then , they were more expensive than their other ilk of reprints that Marvel put out . like you said , only Bob would know , and he’s probably not talking ! another great article , Mike !

  5. Hey Chris I knew there had to be another picture frame cover nut out there like me. Your spot on about the price of the books – higher from almost day one. I think I will do some sort of article on picture frame covers someday, they have been around along time and are still being used today to great effect. See Ed Brubaker’s
    Fatale which sported white picture covers through the whole run. Good hearing from you Chris.

  6. Nice post but I disagree. I think you actually bring up the two reasons why in your article. The issues you highlighted have less than a fifth of the reprint copies as they do the originals in the cgc census. Rarity pushes up cost, especially when collectors tend to be completists so the comparison to other reprint titles isn’t overly relevant. (Full disclosure I have a super high grade run so I hope your wrong!)

  7. Hey John all good points. I have had a lot of off-line conversations with dealers and collectors about these books. Many of them side with you on the completist angle. They know it makes no rational sense to buy these books now, but when is a completist rational (believe me I know)? Most of the collectors felt the last issues of the run (when a lot of the new cover artwork disappeared) are by far the rarest of this group and are tough to find. I found two collectors who would take the X-Men run over a Incredible Hulk #181 9.2 and $700 cash, so John I know you won’t have any trouble selling your books!

    I did take note that the run stayed flat in this years Overstreet (when almost nothing else did) over last year so maybe there is hope for my point yet.

  8. One last add to this post. Comiclink’s July auction wrapped up on a number of fronts last night. There were a smattering of books (8) from this run. They were not real high grade books but landed in my collector wheelhouse of 7.5-9.2 grades and were at the high end of the Overstreet guide. Let’s take a look at the results.

    X-Men #67 8.0 $31 53% of guide
    #72 8.5 $62 79%
    #74 7.5 $22 50%
    #75 8.5 $66 84%
    #76 9.0 $175 182% I now know at least 2 more people that love this book too!
    #28 8.5 $175 79% This is the original book. Half a grade less and not as well loved as the reprint
    #77 8.5 $56 77%
    #80 9.2 $112 80%
    #86 9.0 $59 61% Maybe the bargain of the bunch

    Including the crazy #76 this small group of books got about 87% of guide. If you took out the low #74 and high #76 it dropped to 73% of guide. A small sample to be certain. I’m still chuckling at that #76/28 result!

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