The Comic Speculator Back Issue Roundup – A Look at Golden-Age Pre-Code Horror

The Comic Speculator is a blog written by WorthPoint Comic Book “Worthologist” Matt Baum that takes a look at each week’s hot new comics and back issues and the comic market place in general. Prices discussed here are taken from the Overstreet Guide to Comics (OVST), Comicspriceguide.com (CPG) and current online auction sales. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of ICV2.com. Lists of new comics are courtesy of Previews World and Comics List. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. The codes under the prices of new titles discussed are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed. If you want to hear what this nerd sounds like you can catch him on his podcast, the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, where he and his friend Joe discuss the latest comic news, review some new comics, and answer your questions.

The Back Issue Roundup

Once again, we’re bouncing around the net, highlighting the hottest back issue comics on the market. This week we’re checking out some EC titles from the ’50s and then we’ll talk about some of this week’s new instant collectibles.

Vault of Horror #35 (EC, 1954)

Weird Fantasy #18 (EC, 1953)

Gold and Silver Oldies:

It’s almost Halloween, so it’s time to stock up on some Golden-Age pre-comics-code horror. This week’s Sunday Internet Comics Auction over at Heritage Auctions.com features some fantastic EC Comics from the early 1950s featuring cover art from masters like the amazingly underrated Wally Wood. Heritage has a group of very impressive EC comics up for auction, some affordable, some a little out of our reach most of, but all of them are very cool.

This lot represents several of the horror, crime and sci-fi titles that lead to congressional hearings in 1954 that resulted in the Comic Code Authority that all but neutered horror comics for years. Of course, it wasn’t just the blood and gore that offended Congress. One of the offending titles was a copy of Weird Fantasy #18, which featured a main character who happened to be black. After the hearings, parents destroyed their kids’ collections and very few copies of any of the old EC titles in high-grade condition are in circulation today. If you love old EC comics, be prepared to shell out some cash for them.

Bronze Age and Beyond:

Captain America #12

Who is Doctor Mindbubble? As of yet, I’m not sure myself. But Captain America readers everywhere will get a good look at him in this week’s issue of Captain America #12. A few weeks ago, Marvel released several Marvel Now wave two teasers: we know he’s a villain; we know he’s a super-soldier from the 1960s; we know he’s a major part of the next story arc; and we know this is his first appearance. That’s about it: Cap #12 is still in stock at Diamond but I’m betting after the announcements at this weekend’s NYCC, re-orders will push this into a sellout very quickly.

Walking Dead #115

Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comic from Image hits its 10-year publication anniversary this week. To celebrate, Image offered comic shops a chance to host a midnight release party for this week’s issue #115 (there was also 12 variants for the issue… sheesh!). Those shops that signed up for the party qualified to order a special midnight-release variant and received one black-and-white cover per store. As you’ve probably already guessed, the B&W variants are already hitting insane prices selling anywhere from $180-$200. I wouldn’t expect those prices to fall anytime soon.

Peter Panzerfaust #15

Peter Panzerfaust #15 hit the stands this week and along, with it, another mysterious Ghost Variant. This one features the amazing art of Geoff Darrow. Most authorized Ghost-retailers are asking $8-$10 and there are none on eBay as of 10 a.m. CST on Oct. 10. It’s also worth mentioning that the regular cover of issue #15 is sold out and features the first appearance of Croc. I’ve gotta see how writer Weibe pulls this one off.


Matt Baum is WorthPoint’s comic book Worthologist. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact Matt or post your question below in the Comic Book Forum in the WorthPoint Forums, located in the Community tab. You can also reply to this article in the “leave a reply” box below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!

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