of Super Hero Aces
Publications is one of those small but significant firms
that no fan of Golden Age comics should ignore.
Ace's output of a few dozen issues of costume hero interest
bursts with generic patriotic energy —- nothing
really creative, but still typical of the period and
generally written and drawn a cut above better known
companies of the era. It took collectors a long time
to discover the Ace heroes because most of them were
gone well before the end of World War II.
became much better known for its pulps (1930s and 40s)
and paperbacks (beginning with the classic Ace Double
Novels in 1952). Yet the company was a significant second-tier
comic book outfit from 1940-56, especially in the romance
field from 1949-56.
Here, though, we'll be covering the heroic titles: Sure
Fire/Lightning (14 issues in 1940-42), Super
Mystery (34 issues with heroes from 1940-47), Banner/Captain
Courageous (4 issues in 1941-42), Our Flag
(5 issues in 1941-42) and Four Favorites (32
issues in 1941-47, but no costume heroes after the first
Ace's numbering system confused collectors for many
years, so it has to be explained.
Sure Fire ran four issues in 1940, with two
#3 issues. The title became Lightning Comics,
with one of the coolest logos of the Golden Age, with
#4 (actually the fifth issue), dated Dec. 1940. After
#6, the numbering ran Vol. 2 #1-6, then Vol. 3 #1 for
the last issue (June 1942).
The lead hero was called Flash Lightning through Vol.
2 #1, then was called Lash Lightning. In his last appearance,
Lightning Girl made her only appearance in this title.
These stories usually ran 13 to 15 pages. Several
of the covers represented some of the earliest art by
Jim Mooney, who did numerous stories in Super Mystery.
Other than an obscure super hero known as The Raven,
who appeared in every issue, there were no other super
heroes until The Sword appeared in a 12-page story in
the last issue. Several covers of Lightning,
all featuring the title hero, are among the most colorful
of the era. No Golden Age collection is complete without
at least one issue of Lightning.
Mystery, which featured early work by both Mooney
and Harvey Kurtzman (on The Sword), was also
a sweet title, especially in the early issues. Each
volume contained six issues through Vol. 8 #6 in 1949,
but the last heroic appearance was the Magno and Davey
story in Vol. 6 #4 (Feb. 1947). Davey, one of the many
kid companions, debuted in #4 (Nov. 1940). Mooney did
pretty work on this feature. There were lesser heroes,
as usual in a Golden Age anthology: Vulcan through Vol.
3 #2 (14 appearances), The Black Spider from #3 through
Vol. 2 #6 (10 appearances), Buckskin in Vol. 2 #1 through
Vol. 3 #5 except for Vol. 2 #5 (10 appearances) and
The Sword in Vol. 3 #3 through Vol. 5 #3 (13 appearances).
The Lancer (natch) appeared as the kid aide in every
story except the first. You can't get all the heroes
in any one issue since The Sword replaced Vulcan.
For some reason, Four Favorites was numbered
consecutively for 32 issues. Although the covers are
generally not as cool as Lightning, this is
your best bet if you want to get all the major Ace heroes
in one book. Magno ran through #26; Lash Lightning through
#22 (with Lightning Girl in #19-22); The Unknown Soldier
in #4-20; The Raven through #4; Vulcan through #3; Captain
Courageous in costume in #5-21 except #6; and The Flag
in #6. The best issues are the first 18, since you get
four full-length super hero stories in every issue of
10 to 16 pages. These 18 issues of Four Favorites
are prime Golden Age examples of patriotic heroes.
Now we'll finish with nine highly cool patriotic issues
of the 1941-42 era, all tough to find even in "good"
for less than $50 to $100 apiece. For that matter, it's
almost impossible to find early issues of the previously
covered titles for less than that, either. They're just
darn colorful comics!
Banner Comics, for some reason, started with
#3 (Sept. 1941) and ran through #5 before changing its
title to the scarce one-shot Captain Courageous
#6, March 1942. Captain Courageous stories plus The
Lone Warrior (with kid partner Dickey) appeared in long
epics in all four issues; The Sword's origin also was
detailed in Captain Courageous #6. The Lone
Warrior and Dickey is a classic Captain America and
Bucky knockoff, debuting one-half year after Cap.
Our Flag #1-5 (Aug. 1941 – April 1942)
were wonderful examples of Golden Age patriotism, with
a great title and logo. The Flag appeared in a pair
of 16 and 17-page stories in #2-4 and in one 17-page
story in #5. The Unknown Soldier, a nifty patriotic
hero, ran 15 to 17 pages in all five issues, and there
was a 16-page Captain Victory story in #1 before that
obscure hero was replaced by The Flag.
Heritage Wraps Up 2004, Looks
ahead to 2005
Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) held its final sale of
2004 on Monday, November 8, in Dallas, Texas, featuring
many CGC certified comics. Over 84% of the lots offered
were sold, for a total of $636,859.88 not counting After-Auction
purchases. 1,199 total bidders competed for 1,190 lots,
252 of them successfully.
"This was a unique sale," said John Petty,
Director of Auctions for HCA, "which focused more
on art than on comics. There was a considerable assortment
of art from children's publications, rarely seen in
the collector's market, to which bidders responded enthusiastically."
"2004 has been very good to us," continued
Petty, "with over $9.79 million realized in our
six Signature auctions and our special Platinum Night
sale. We've sold 8,013 lots this year to 2,543 successful
bidders, and we look forward to topping those numbers
Jerry Weist and eBay Present
Comics Auction Highlighting a Complete Marvel Comics
Silver Age Collection, Many CGC’d, December 2nd
Through December 11th.
Our good friend Jerry Weist, who has authored the EC
Fanzine SQUA TRONT, two Editions of the COMIC ART PRICE
GUIDE, consulted for SOTHEBY'S Live Auctions from 1990
through 2001 and recently authored (with James Steranko's
introduction) THE 100 GREATEST COMICS (from Whitman
Press), has been on eBay for the past three years with
his innovative EVENT AUCTIONS.
What is an Event Auction?
An Event Auction is a "large" selection of
comic books and comic art mounted all at one time, on
Like a live auction, Jerry's eBay auctions have featured
everything from original EC artwork, to the Joe Shuster
SUPERMAN 1934 Daily (selling for $115,000 on eBay two
years ago), to SUPERMAN No. 1, to rare Silver Age Comics
This December 2nd, Weist will feature The Hidden Valley
Collection, which consists of a "complete" Marvel Silver
Age Collection, with all keys present. This collection
is modest in grades. However, it is highlighted by 1950s
Atlas comics and many of the pre-hero titles, and it
contains all of the #1 issues. CGC will be grading and
containing 100% of all the Key #1 issues, and many of
the higher grade copies of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN,
and many other titles.
Weist's auctions are noted for the following:
No GAMES on reserves! The starting price (stated)
is the reserve. Once you bid on this price, the comic
is being sold!
35 years of professional experience go into each comic
grade and description.
Weist controls and directly handles every aspect of
his auctions, from grading, to cataloguing, to scans
for illustrations, to the final shipping. If you call
or e-mail with a problem, he will solve it (especially
in the case of his own error!) because there is no
"chain of command" to worry about. ONE STOP SHOPPING
comes with ONE PERSON SERVICE.
- Weist ships within 24 to 48 hours of payment, and
his shipping is excellent. Just browse his 400+ 100%
positive feedbacks on his eBay listing.
This collection will also feature many other rare collectible
The most exciting will be JACK DAVIS’ original
artwork to the entire story entitled BLACK FERRIS, from
THE HAUNT OF FEAR #18, the classic Ray Bradbury EC Adapted
story. Starting bid $20,000.
The original artwork for JOE KUBERT's THE BRAVE AND
THE BOLD #43, from September of 1962, featuring one
of the early introduction HAWKMAN covers from this classic
DC Silver Age title. Kubert illustrated this very character
for Julie Schwartz in the Golden Age of comics, and
his BRAVE AND THE BOLD covers have never before surfaced
for public auction. This is probably the most important,
exciting and RARE Silver Age cover to surface in 2004.
The artwork is in FINE condition with all its original
logos (missing just the B&B flag logo) intact. Starting
Search for jerryweist seller on eBay to find the art and the many CGC comic books being offered.
REMEMBER THE DATES
December 2nd through December 11th, 2004.
Or you can call Jerry at (978)-283-1419, or write to
him at [email protected].