||The Original Daredevil Comics
One of the most consistently under-rated comic books
of the Golden Age is Daredevil Comics, which
gradually developed into one of the most readable and
literate titles of the era.
Daredevil is often considered Lev Gleason’s
best title. The first three issues were published
by Your Guide Publications and #4-7 by New Friday Publications,
followed by the Gleason publisher Comic House for #8-23
and other Gleason connections through #134 (September
1956), which is the last issue produced by the company.
The first issue, entitled Daredevil Battles Hitler (July
1941), is legendary among Golden Age enthusiasts but
is well out of the price range of most collectors,
considering that it goes for well over $1,000 even
in “good" condition. Daredevil
Battles Hitler is noteworthy for its crossover
appearances, plus of the first comic book biographies
of Hitler, a seven-pager called The Man of Hate. Daredevil battled
the Nazi dictator along with Silver Streak, the villain, The
Claw (TheClaw Doublecrosses Hitler,
an innovative seven-page classic), Lance Hale, Dickie
Dean, Cloud Curtis and the Pirate Prince.
The Claw’s gory World War II adventures ran
through #31 (July 1945) – when the villain died – but Daredevil otherwise
emerged as a full-fledged costume hero anthology title
for a couple of years. Every Golden Age collector
interested in such comics should try to get at least
one copy of Daredevil #2-11 (Aug. 1941-June
1942). In addition to 13-page Daredevil feature
stories and The Claw, all 10 issues contain
minor league costume heroes London, Pat Patriot (one
of the first costume heroines) and Real American #1
(aka the unusual Indian hero The Bronze Terror). Daredevil comics
featured two other costume hero strips, Nightro (#2-8)
and 13 and Jinx (#3-17, with the kid costumed aide
Jinx debuting in #5).
Early Daredevils can be pricey, but they’re
worth it – if you are a Golden Age fan with bucks. Basil
Wolverton’s 4-page Scoop Scuttle strips are a
bonus in #12-20 and #22. But if you are on a
tighter collecting budget, you can still find plenty
of pleasure in latter issues.
The Little Wise Guys, the gang of mostly
high school-age pranksters so long affiliated with Daredevil,
debuted in #13 (October 1942) and never left. By
1951, they took over the entire book. Daredevil’s stories
actually improved considerably with the introduction
of the Wise Guys. More often than not, the featured
Daredevil/Wise Guys story ran 16 pages or more, and
a second story appeared in #35 (March 1946) through
#69 (December 1950). The only exception was #50
(September 1948), which featured a 35-page novel – one
of the longest non-chapter stories to appear in comics
up to that point.
Daredevil was, without a doubt, one of the
bloodiest and grimmest of all Golden Age heroic comics,
though the Wise Guys also consistently added
unusual elements of humor, pathos and human interest. Daredevil stories, noted for especially bloodthirsty and often
bizarre villains, were just about the wordiest in comics. In
many panels, the word elements – captions and
balloons – crowded the art in ways that never
would have been allowed by most publishers. But
it made for many wonderful, thoughtful stories, with
far meatier plot and characterization than in any other
heroic type comics.
Although The Little Wise Guys sometimes appeared
on the covers without Daredevil, the hero
with the unique boomerang always appeared inside through
#69 (December 1950). Off on a mission explained
at the end of #69, Daredevil returned about
a year later in #79 and #80, then disappeared forever.
Charles Biro wrote most of the Daredevil stories
and business partner Bob Wood was the primary artist. With
the success of Crime Does Not Pay (which Gleason
debuted in 1942 as the first of its type), many critics
have long considered Daredevil more of a crime
title than a costumed hero title. Yet Daredevil,
though he did not have any super powers, was still
very much a costumed hero in the grand tradition.
Biro even experimented taking Daredevil out
of costume in #42-44 (May-Sept. 1947) before bringing
the full-fledged Daredevil back.
I’ve always loved the title so much that I collected
a complete run of the 1945-50 issues #28-69 because many
of them contained such terrific stories. But most Daredevil stories
can stand alone; you don’t need to be a completist
to enjoy them. Your best bet is to examine closely
any issue from #13-69 to see whether the story will seem
to appeal to you. If you give Daredevil a
chance, my guess is that you’ll like many of them.
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The CGC Collector: Glenn Malloy
The CGC Collector, a new addition to the CGC newsletter, will spotlight a different CGC Registry Set and its owner. If you are interested in being spotlighted as The CGC Collector, please send a link to your Registry Set and a small write up with its contents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My history with comics is probably a lot like many of you reading this. Sure,
I read Richie Rich, Hot Stuff and Archie when I was a kid. Problem is I have
almost no specific recollection of any of that.
Then everything changed. In 1968 I broke my leg and I had to go to the hospital
for physical therapy. My Mom walked me into the newsstand area while
we waited. Spider-Man 63, with the two vultures flying in the spotlight,
seized my attention. I was hooked. I bought every issue thereafter until
about # 160 or so when comics went to 30 cents and I decided I could no longer
afford to keep up with the rate hikes. I left the hobby for 24 years.
The advent of eBay and CGC grading created a whole new platform for serious
collectors. In July of 2000, I decided to “reclaim” my collection.
After 20 years of working I also had more disposable income and so I began.
Anybody can see what I have done in the Collectors; Society under the Amazing
Spider-Man section. It’s the “4Gemworks” collections.
The irony is that the very price increase that occurred at the time I quit
collecting comics, would become the pathway for my next big collecting endeavor:
Marvel 1976 30 cent price variants. Like many collectors I had seen the
variants in Overstreet and just shrugged. Who knew what they were
talking about anyway? Well one day I went into a comic shop not far from where
I lived in Fremont, California. When I got to issue #155 I noticed these strange
30 cent issues. He had them all. Moreover as I began to look around I saw that
the store was loaded with them. I bought the ASM issues at 20% off guide and
did a little research. I came back and basically stripped the store of nearly
every 30 cent issue they had. All at 20% off the Overstreet Guide.
A brief history of the Marvel price variants:
In 1976 Marvel developed a very secret marketing plan to test the effect of price
increases on sales. Marvel selected a handful of cities, some have said as
few as five or six. These included such places as San Jose and Baltimore, among
others. Naturally Marvel would not want kids in these towns to know that they
were paying 30 cents while nearly everybody else was still paying only 25 cents.
Most of the 25 cent copies are identified with the starburst saying “still
only 25 cents”, though not all are of this nature. The 30 cent variants
have a simple 30 cent imprint in the same starburst area. In September of 1976,
after an apparently successful marketing test, Marvel raised prices nationwide
to 30 cents per copy. Every Marvel comic published between April 1976 and August
1976 had the “normal” 25 cent cover as well as a much rarer variant
somewhere. Some speculate that less than 2-3% of all print runs were of the
In June of 1977, less than a year later, Marvel chose another 5-6 cities and
did it again. This time Marvel raised prices from 30 to 35 cents. They must
have learned a lot the previous year as the number of 35 cent copies appears
to be materially lower than those published in the 30 cent variety. In
November of 1977 all Marvel comics were raised to 35 cents. Despite the apparent
success of their marketing, to my knowledge, this type of price variant was
never used again.
Back to my story...
Within weeks I began a feverish search among all the stores near San Jose
for price variants. Before I was done I had picked up nearly 150 copies. Many
of these original issues I had found were pristine and ultimately a number
9.4’s and 9.6’s emerged out of the group.
I quickly learned the relative scarcity of the various issues. As those who
collect well know, the western and horror issues are tough, with the westerns
being, by far, the toughest. Kid Colt in particular seems to be the
bane of most collectors' collections with many missing one or two of the possible
5 Kid Colts.
I became an “expert” at discovering “hidden” variants
on eBay. A risky gamble in a deal with a seller in Texas resulted in my receiving
a box of high grade bronze age Marvels with nearly every horror and western
copy in the 30 cent run. Another, less risky gamble resulted in my getting
a box full of mid grade comics from a military vet ( some military bases
were an outlet for the 30 cent variants) that contained single copies of nearly
all the western 30 cent issues, thus giving me numerous duplicates.
Despite having nearly 300 duplicates in all, Kid Colt #207 still
evaded me. After months of proactively seeking a collector on the message boards,
BigGuy, referred me to a collector that he had sold a copy to years ago. After
much back and forth and after trading well to the other collector’s advantage
I landed the final link in my collection. Almost two years passed from the
first ASM variant to the Kid Colt #207. While many copies had sold
on eBay at very high prices, my goal had been to get these on the cheap. While
I bought a lot of stuff I didn’t need in order to get the stuff I did
need, I paid on average about $5.00 a copy for many of the 180 or so 30 cent
Unlike buying a collection such as Spider-Man, where money is the
principal obstacle, with price variants, scarcity is a very real problem. I
would guess that only about four or five collectors have the entire run.
I next turned my attention to the 35 cent variants of 1977. These are FAR
scarcer than the 30 centers. I immediately determined that I would “buy” my
way into this market. Within six months I had unearthed two collections of
nearly 100 books each and paying a pretty penny for each. Again, the westerns
have proved the toughest. There are two oddballs however: Scooby Doo #1
and The Flintstones #1, both published with variant price copies.
These are extremely rare and I personally am aware of only two copies of each.
On a combined basis of 30 and 35 cent variants, I probably own the most complete
collection is existent, needing only about eight 35 centers to complete the
run. While my 30 cent collection is pretty high grade, it is probably second
to that of DarthDiesel. On the other hand my 35 cent collection is probably
second to none, consisting of many 9.4 and 9.6 issues including an X-Men #107
n CGC 9.4. In particular I am missing Kid Colt #218, 219 and #220. I am also missing Rawhide Kid #140 and both the Scooby Doo and The
Flintstone issues. Fortunately I own both copies of the INCREDIBLY
SCARCE Sgt. Fury 35 cent variants (and also own one duplicate).
You can view many of the comics in my collections by going to the CGC registry
and looking under “Marvel 30 and 35 cent Price Variants”.
I came to believe that my Spider-Man collection would not be complete
until I owned these scarce variants. I hope sharing my story with you will
give you some incentive to “complete” whatever Marvel collection
you happen to be working on.
Click here to see Glenn Malloy's CGC Registry sets.
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CGC Mint Analysis from Greg Holland
The relentless pursuit of perfection.
The mint comic book.
CGC grades of 9.9 and 10 (or 10.0, depending on the age of the label) represent
comics judged to be in mint condition. Overall, mint comics represent 0.7%
of all CGC Universal grades to date (about 1-in-135 submissions), but that
number doesn't tell the whole story.
For instance, a comic which clearly isn't up to at least the standards of
near mint won't be graded 9.9 or 10. Additionally, older comics aren't
deemed to be in mint condition nearly as often as comics which were printed
in the past few years. Prior to 1965, there are only 13 comics which
have been graded CGC 9.9 or 10 out of nearly 100,000 universal submissions. The
graphic accompanying this article profiles universal submissions from 1965
to 2004, illustrating the percentage of mint comics (CGC 9.9 and 10) amongst near mint submissions of
the most popular submissions, all near mint submissions, and all submissions
of any grade.
It should be noted that pre-screening practices may significantly increase
the apparent identification rate for mint condition, primarily in newer comics. The
specific impact is unclear because the CGC census only includes comics which
were eventually graded and encapsulated and not those books which failed to
meet pre-screening minimums.
Across the Pond Studios Offers CGC Variant Comics
Our friends at Across the Pond Studios have released
two more new CGC Hologram Variant Covers for sale to
the public. The books, Iron Ghost #1 (limited
to only 30), and ATP's second issue of the sold-out Armor
X series, Armor X #2 (limited to 30),
are now available for sale at www.AcrossThePondStudios.com,
offering fans and collectors a chance to own a high
grade copy of their favorite title.
All comics are available in CGC 9.8, and each one
comes numbered, having come from a limited run. Every
comic is accompanied by a reader's copy. Also
still available is Armor X #1 (limited to
30, but very few remaining), the sold-out issue that
started it all, available in CGC 9.8. Make sure
to get your copy now, before they're all gone!
Go straight to Across the Pond's online shop by clicking here.
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Golden Age CGC Gems on COMICLINK.COM
Recently listed on ComicLink.com are a number of noteworthy
CGC Graded Golden Age books. More Fun #52, More
Fun #53 (Spectre 1st appearance and Origins issues), Detective
Comics #38 (1st Robin), All Star Comics #8
(1st Wonder Woman), and a slew of difficult
to find Golden AgeBatman issues below
issue #100 (many scarce issues included). All of the
books are free from any restoration.
Aside from the Mile High copy, the More
Fun #52 is the best known copy – it is
a CGC 7.5 and it is the second highest graded copy.
The More Fun #53 is one of only five on
the CGC census but the availability is somewhat skewed.
There are two ultra-high grades on the census (the Mile
High and Rockford 9.6’s) and
one GD-1.8, leaving only two nice looking yet affordable
copies available for purchase – an 8.0 and
this 5.5. According to ComicLink, the More Fun #53 "looks
MUCH better than a typical 5.5. In fact, it looks
like an 8.0 structurally, and also has striking,
vibrant colors. CGC downgraded the book because it
has two tears at the bottom left of the cover - not
always a bad thing from a collector standpoint as
these two tears translate into a price discount from
the 8.0 of approximately $10K! In any case, in our
opinion, this is just about as attractive as it gets
for any 5.5 and considering the great void in the
CGC census for More Fun #53, this listing
represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own
a very attractive copy of this great cover for an
The Detective #38 and All Star #8
are solid copies in CGC 4.5 and CGC 3.5, respectively.
Many of the Batman issues under #100 are the
highest or close to the highest graded copies and many
have White or Near White Pages. The late 40s/early
50s time period was a tough one for DC, and many of
the books that are in what is commonly called "mid-grade" can
be considered high-grade here. The Batman #71
in CGC 7.0, for example, is the highest graded copy.
To see ComicLink’s current CGC listings, go to www.comiclink.com.
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