Why Hercules’s first appearance and key issues are undervalued

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We are know that Hercules is very likely to star in the 2020 Marvel movie, the Eternals.

Hercules’ first appearance in comics is Journey into Mystery Annual #1. He appeared earlier in Avengers #10 but that has been reconned to be an imposter. His second appearance is in Journey into Mystery #124 and has his own solo in Marvel Premiere #26.

In this article, we will use price bench marking to see why Journey into Mystery Annual #1 and other Hercules key issues are so undervalued.

 

Journey into Mystery Annual #1

journey into mystery annual 1Click here to see Ebay listings

For bench marking Journey into Mystery Annual #1, I am using Tales of Suspense #52 and #57, containing the first appearance of Black Widow and Hawkeye respectively.

The reasons for using them are:

  • Similar years of publication (1964 vs 1965)
  • Similar tier of characters before movie hype i.e. non are first tier characters
  • No long running series in the 60-80s
  • Solid first appearance covers

These 2 books, due to their different popularity, will form a nice floor and ceiling for Hercules’s first appearance.

 

Issue Prices (4.0)
(CGC)
Prices (6.0)
(CGC)
Prices (8.0)
(CGC)
Journey into Mystery Annual #1 (1965) USD100
(24)
USD200
(22)
USD700
(41)
Tales of Suspense #52 (1964) USD800
(88)
USD1,400
(88)
USD2,800
(56)
Tales of Suspense #57 (1964) USD300
(114)
USD650
(88)
USD1,100
(81)

 

From the table, it is obvious Black Widow’s first appearance is so much more valuable than Hawkeye’s. That is because she has more exposure in the media as well as about to get her own movie in 2020. Hawkeye, in comparison, has been getting less screen time and is not considered to be the main lead.

Hercules, from the rumor mill, seems to be a leading character in Eternals so I am betting his first appearance value will be closer to Black Widow than Hawkeye.

Comparing to Hawkeye

However, even if Hercules turns out to be another Hawkeye, there are still massive gains waiting to happen. In the lowest and mid grade range, there is a 3X returns potential. In the high grade range, the returns is about 60%. So, in percentage wise, you will get better returns by investing in the low and mid grades.

Comparing to Black Widow

In the event that Hercule achieves Black Widow kind of fame, the returns will be astonishing! We are talking about 7-8X in low and mid grades and 4X in high grades. This kind of returns don’t exist often for Silver age book so when opportunities like this happen, I am pretty excited.

One thing that might make the returns even more attractive is the supply. Journey into Mystery Annual #1 is a square bound book so it is much harder to find them in mid to high grade copies. This might push the prices higher than the ceiling for these grades than what the table suggests.

 

Journey into Mystery #124

journey into mystery annual 124Click here Ebay listings here

Unknown to many, Journey into Mystery #124 is the second appearance of Hercules. Again, I am comparing this issue against the second appearance of Hawkeye and Black Widow.

For their second appearances, I used raw prices as CGC graded prices are not common.

Issue Prices (4.0)
Prices (6.0)
Prices (8.0)
Journey into Mystery #124 (1965) USD15 USD30 USD70
Tales of Suspense #53 (1964) USD60 USD180 USD250
Tales of Suspense #60 (1965) USD35 USD90 USD130

The results look very similar to first table. Black Widow’s 2nd appearance is still the most expensive by at least 100%.

Similarly, the good news is that the 2nd appearance of Hercules is still undervalued, even comparing to just Hawkeye. In low and high grades, it is about 2X returns potential while for mid grades, the returns potential is 3X.

If we compare to Black Widow, the potential returns for low, mid and high grades are 4X, 6X and 4X respectively!

In this case, the mid grade seems to produce the best ROI in percentage terms.

Side note: I feel the cover to Journey into Mystery #124 is much better than Tales of Suspense #53 and #60.  This might increase its attractiveness to collectors and push prices up.

 

Marvel Premiere #26

marvel premiere 26Click here to see Ebay listings

Hercules first solo is in Marvel Premiere #26. No bench marking is needed because this is a super cheap to pick up. Some of you might even find it in the dollar bins!

If you need some sense of where this book can go, we can look at Amazing Adventures #1, which is the first solo for Black Widow. A high grade copy of this book will set up back around $50.

That is the kind of price ceiling you can potentially see from this Marvel Premiere #26 if Hercules take off.

 

Tales to Astonish #79: Classic cover

tales to astonish 79Click here for Ebay listings

For those who like classic cover, Tales to Astonish #79 is a nice one to pick up. It features the full battle between Hulk and Hercules and lets the readers know how strong is Hercules.

Prices for this book are surprising affordable.

How far will this go in terms of price appreciation. Currently, there is very little data to base on. I would say buy this for the art, rather than for investment

 

Conclusion

Silver age book that are good investments are getting harder and harder to come by. Hercules looks to be a good candidate to invest in, especially if the movie Eternals really featured this character as one of the leads.

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