07/06/22 Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!

With the impending arrival of Hercules in the MCU, here's 5 books that I've been buying and/or feel are still undervalued. While there are obviously more significant Hercules books out there than these, I feel like buying first appearances after a character has arrived in the MCU is a bad idea in regards to speculation and investment. As a quick example of why I think this is a bad thing to do, look at the amount of JIM Annual #1s in the 6.0-6.5 range sitting stagnant on Ebay right now. With mid-grade stagnation like this, there's really no incentive for people to send in lower grade copies to get graded. So if these copies get cleared out and lower grade values start to rise, you can definitely count on the census numbers below this grade increasing significantly over the next couple years which is what makes scrambling to pick up graded copies in mid and lower grades risky when it comes to the arrival of and/or confirmation of a character in the MCU.

If you're late on the Hercules train or want to continue picking his books up, I think books like the ones below are a better alternative then just buying whatever copies you can afford of the most significant book.

Something I always remind myself and have gotten better with over time too is thinking that there will always be another book to buy or character to spec on tomorrow. If you missed Hercules and don't like the books below or any others related to him, then don't sweat it. Just move on and wait for the next one.

These are in order from what I think are the least to most undervalued/least to best current pick ups.

Also, I won't be posting pictures of raw books I own because I'm too lazy to pull them out for photos. I scan all my graded books when they arrive so it's a lot easier to include pictures of those in posts.

5 - Avengers #163.

There were several books I was considering for this number 5 spot and finally just settled on this one. This bronze age comic has a George Perez battle scene cover of Iron Man vs. Hercules (or Avengers vs. Champions depending on how you want to look at it). This is on my list simply due to it's age, how overlooked/ignored it has been and availability. Probably not a book that'll make you rich but one you could likely eventually turn for a decent profit if you come across a raw high grade copy in the wild.

There are multiple versions of this book including a 35 cent price variant and Mark Jewelers. The direct edition is SIGNIFICANTLY harder to find in high grade than the newsstand edition and I've included a picture of both below.

I have several high grade raws and finally broke down and purchased this graded copy below about a week ago.

4 – Journey Into Mystery #124.

Of the five books on this list, this one is by far my favorite and the one I've spent the most money on. It's number #4 on the list though because it's had some decent gains in the last year and all the current higher graded copies on Ebay are priced very optimistically in favor of the seller. That being said, I feel like there's probably some underpriced copies out there in the wild waiting to be picked up. I've found a few myself (at least I thnk they were underpriced) in the last week.

This book is the 2nd contemporary appearance of Hercules and has a very bold depiction of him on the cover by the great Jack Kirby. What's not to like about it?

Currently on Ebay the highest graded copy listed is a 9.2 at $1,200. The last 9.2 sale in June on GPA was for $550 which is basically what I paid for these 9.4s. I also purchased this 9.4 last year so this will put me at 4 9.4s assuming I get the 3 I ordered last week....

3 – Champions #1.

This is the first team appearance and origin of the Champions and obviously has Herc front and center on the cover. While I don't see any reason to believe this iteration of the Champions will appear in the MCU, I feel this book will definitely get some attention when Herc arrives in the MCU assuming he is well received.

I actually bought my first copy of this yesterday. I won a 9.8 in a non-Ebay auction for $547.95 shipped. $547.95 shipped I say! Here's a picture of it from the auction....

I don't see a copy currently on Ebay to compare the price but MyComicShop has a CBCS 9.8 listed at $2,000 (lol) and the last 3 recorded 9.8 sales on GPA are $1,150, $840 and $1,086. Again....$547.95!

2 – Tales To Astonish #79.

This book and the next one I feel have basically been ignored over the years. It's a silver age book with a great Hulk vs. Hercules battle scene on the cover and isn't super easy to find in high grade. That being said, who doesn't love a Hulk battle cover?? There aren't a ton of under the radar Hulk silver age battle covers out there and without a recorded sale on GPA in 2022 between grades 9.0-9.4 or a sale above 6.5 since April, I think it's safe to say this book is still being slept on.

I currently have one at CGC that I should get the results back on ANY FK'ING DAY NOW CGC (currently 4 days past stated TAT) and 4 more raw copies. I think a couple are 8.0-8.5 at best. Not super impressive.

1 – Marvel Premiere #26.

This is the first title starring Hercules and has a nice Jack Kirby cover.

People seem to hate this book since there are a ton out there available to buy and only 36 total copies on the census. 36 seems incredibly low to me.

This should be a relatively easy high grade raw pick up. It's hard to argue against this book when one looks at the recent sales of the Wonder Man headlining Marvel Premiere #55 from 1980.

It will be interesting to see where the census goes with this one. There's currently only 7 9.8s on the census with one listed on Ebay at $1,302.26. I wouldn't pay any where near that and think raw copies are the way to go with this one. It is interesting though that with so little value and so few copies on the census that the grade with the highest number on the census is 9.4. That's fairly strange for a book with such little value and sales history. I don't know the difference in print run between the two books but MP #55 doesn't look like an easy 9.8 due to the black cover but it's got twice as many as MP #26 with 9.8 having the highest grade count on the census which makes sense for a book that hasn't traditionally seen much demand.

So I do like MP #26 more than a book like Hercules #1 from 1982 which is already very well known and has had some significant ups and downs in 9.8 prices in the last 1-2 years.

I actually don't actually own any MP #26s. If nothing else, you can't accuse me of pump and dumping this one. I never considered picking it up until recently since it was always so cheap and I was buying JIM Annual #1s and bigger books. But that doesn't mean that I don't think it's a good pick up now. I didn't see any online that I liked and I'm too lazy to go driving around looking for some but that shouldn't stop you from doing so. I still think this a good cheap pick up and definitely a good alternative to some of the pricier Hercules keys.

Well that's it for this post. I wonder if Hercules will show up soon....could be any day now....maybe in an end credits scene or something.....who knows?

Even if you hated this list or Hercules in general, hopefully you've learned that shopping on sites other than Ebay can pay off. $547.95!