Fantastic Four #52 is CGC’s Featured Comic of the Month for January

Posted on 1/3/2018

With “Black Panther" about to hit the theaters, learn more about the groundbreaking comic that inspired it

A Fantastic Four #52 graded CGC 9.8, left, and a UK variant signed by Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott
Click images to enlarge. (Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

Name of comic: Fantastic Four #52

Comic publisher: Marvel

Date: July 1966

Variants: "United Kingdom"

What makes it special? The story by Stan Lee features the first appearance of the Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, king of Wakanda. The debut of the first black superhero came in the same year that television audiences were introduced to another pioneering black character, Nichelle Nichols’ Lt. Uhura on “Star Trek,” and a year after Bill Cosby’s similarly groundbreaking role on “I Spy.”

Why is it interesting now? The “Black Panther” movie will be in theaters in February, starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. “Captain America: Civil War” introduced the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016, and Boseman will also portray him in “Avengers: Infinity War,” to be released in May and almost certain to be one of the top-grossing movies of 2018.

Did you know? The comic book character appeared several months before the founding of the Black Panther Party, a black nationalist organization founded in an era of racial strife in the United States. The comic book character’s name was briefly changed to the Black Leopard in 1972 in Fantastic Four #119.

Total graded by CGC: CGC has graded 2,618 copies of this book (including 20 of its UK variants), as of Dec. 26, 2017. Fourteen percent of them have Signature Series labels.

CGC median grade: The median grade for these books is Fine + -6.5

CGC highest graded: CGC hasn't graded any copies of this book or its variants in Mint condition (10.0 or 9.9). CGC has graded five at the 9.8 level.

Sales highlights: A 9.8 by CGC was sold by Heritage Auctions in February 2016 for $83,650. A book with the median grade of FN+ 6.5 sold for $597.50 at a Heritage auction in September 2016 for $597.50.

CGC Comics Registry Champion: A set named “A Set in Progress” by wallstreetrebel is the undisputed champion of the Fantastic Four Lee-Kirby #1-#102 Registry Set. The "Set in Progress" set, which has all the books in the set — and all of them at least a 9.0 — has won Best in Set Type for 2016 and 2017. See this and other collections in the CGC Comics Registry.

Related link
Star Wars #1 is CGC's Featured Comic of the Month for December

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