The Comic Speculator Back Issue Report – Guardians of the Galaxy Going Gonzo

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), (CPG) and current online auction sales. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of 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 Report

Iron Man 3” has come and gone and already Marvel-movie-nerds are looking forward to the next block buster Marvel Super Hero movie. Not “Thor: The Dark World,” which is technically next and yes we’re all excited for that one too, but the “Guardians of the Galaxy” looks to be Marvel’s next big hit. And, as always, comic book movie news brings out the speculators.

Prices on Guardians comics have been steadily climbing with every casting announcement as collectors and speculators both take their aim on Bronze-age comics I never guessed would be selling for more than $10. So let’s take a look at some must-have Guardians back issues, shall we?

Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (Marvel Comics) written by Arnold Drake, art by Gene Colan (under the pseudonym “Adam Austin”). Shipped: January, 1969

Marvel Super-Heroes #18
Marvel Comics
Written By Arnold Drake
Art by Gene Colan (under the pseudonym “Adam Austin”)
Shipped: January, 1969

Why it’s hot: Drake and Colan created the Guardians for Marvel Super-Heroes, which was mostly a reprint comic at the time. This was the first appearance of the original team, which, as you can see, has almost no connection to the modern team. Regardless, if you’re collecting Guardians comics, this is where you start.

How Much? Two years ago, this issue was selling for $12-$20 in Very Fine (9.0) condition or better. On May 19, a copy in the same condition sold on eBay for $435 with 20 bids. More recently on ebay a copy in much lower condition sold for $65. This issue is just going to get hotter as the movie approaches.

Tales to Astonish #13 (Atlas Comics) written by Stan Lee, art by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers. Shipped: November, 1960

Tales to Astonish #13
Atlas Comics
Written by Stan Lee
Art by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers
Shipped: November, 1960

Why it’s hot: You might not recognize him there, but that’s Groot, the giant-tree-alien and best friend of Rocket Raccoon. Lee, Kirby and Ayers created the character for this issue as an alien invader who came to Earth to experiment on humans. He was later revamped by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning as a hero and member of the Guardians.

How much: Any pre-Marvel-Atlas comic from the early ’60s and before is going to be hard to find in better than Very-Good/Fine condition (5.0), but just two years ago this issue was selling for around $40-$50 at that condition. On March 23, a copy in CGC 7.0 condition sold on eBay for a “Buy it Now” price of $1,700. Last week, an unslabbed copy in similar condition sold on eBay for $803 with 26 bids.

Marvel Preview Presents #4 (Marvel Comics) written by Steve Englehart, art by Steve Gan. Shipped: January, 1976

Marvel Preview Presents #4
Marvel Comics
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by Steve Gan
Shipped: January, 1976

Why it’s hot: Marvel Preview was a black-and-white magazine published by Marvel in the early 1970s and issue #4 was the first appearance of Star Lord, the present leader of the Guardians. Peter Quill, Star Lord, is the son of a human mother and alien father of royal descent.

How much? I found a sale for this issue in Very Fine/Near Mint (9.0) condition back in October of 2011 that went for a whopping $10. On April 7 of this year, a copy in similar condition sold on eBay for $510 with 29 bids. Again, that’s a huge jump in price and it looks to be going up. On May 10 another copy in similar condition sold for $549. This is another issue that’s going to see even more ridiculous prices very soon.

Marvel Preview Presents #7 (Marvel Comics) written by Bill Mantlo, art by Keith Giffen. Shipped: June, 1976

Marvel Preview Presents #7
Marvel Comics
Written by Bill Mantlo
Art by Keith Giffen
Shipped: June, 1976

Why it’s hot: Just a few months after Star Lord’s debut another, fuzzier, Guardian would make his debut in Marvel Preview: Rocket Raccoon. Rocket was admittedly inspired by the Beatles song “Rocky Raccoon” and was created as an anthropomorphic raccoon and all around bad-ass. Rocket would later be revived by Abnett and Lanning as a member of the Guardians and best friend of Groot during the 2005 Annihilation story line.

How Much: Rocket Raccoon’s first appearance is still heating up so now is the time to buy. Currently copies in Very-Good/Fine (5.0) condition are selling for $50-$60 and copies in Very-Fine/Near Mint (9.0) are selling for a little more than $100. Sexy Satanna is on the cover of this one but Rocket is the real star here, and I’d expect this issue to start catching up to Star Lord’s first appearance very soon.

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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