Julian’s Thoughts: Very Expensive Comic Books That are also Controversial

When you go to your local comic book store, you want to check out the newest comic book on sale, or the rarest on the shelves that you know you might afford it or not. It happens every week across the world no matter how old you are. Because of this, you are passionate for comic books and what stories they bring to us in a monthly or bi-monthly basis. With all of that said, there are also very controversial comic books that were either a low print run, called back to reprint them, taken off sale, etc. The reasons to why these comic books faced those situations were due to backlash from readers, fans, or even congress itself. These are the controversial comic books that are now very expensive. If you put the controversy aside of these twelve issues, it is very sought after and if you have one of these copies, the stories you can tell of why it is controversial will have curious people talking.

12. Lois Lane #106 (Estimated Value:$100) (1970)

The cover alone is a dead giveaway to why this book is controversial. From the imagery, to the sub title “I Am Curious (BLACK)!” everything about this cover makes you think “what they were thinking at the time”. It is a racially insenstitive story where Lois Lane utilizes technology that changes her race so that she can experience life as a black woman and to go undercover. At the time this comic was released, the civil rights movement of the 1960’s were still in effect and to read through the pages for the reader to see Lois Lane change her race just so she can experience what everyone else was going through is jaw dropping. The issue tackles those issues such as prejudice, racism, and bigitory and Robert Kanigher did not pull any punches at all to exploit that.

11. Rise of the Black Panther #1 and Mighty Thor #700 Variant Covers (Estimated Value: $300-$1000) (2018)

When something is signed in blood, you know for sure it is serious. The controversy here is that the ink that was on the signature for both of these variant covers contained Stan Lee’s blood. It was also issued a numbered hologram sticker with the words “Hands of Respect” on the cover as well. Things got worse in April 2018 when news broke that a former business associate of the comic book icon Stan Lee allegedly presented forged documents to his personal nurse that gave permission to draw blood from Stan Lee. It does not get as cold blooded as that.

10. Avengers: Custom Edition #1 (Estiated Value: $250) (2017)

The cover of this issue is innocent at a first glance, until you botice that the Northrop Grumman logo is on he bottom of the cover. It was announced in 2017 that these two companies will have a partnership starting with the release of this issue at New York Comic Con and next thing you know, the Twitter feed blew up and even protests were about to begin. The reason for this, is because Northrop is a weapons manufatcure for war. Marvel then announced that the partnership has ended a few days later and pulled the comic from various retailers. So far, only one known copy has sold for $250.

9. Action Comics #869 (Estimated Value: $90) (2008)

The first print of the cover shows Superman holding a beer after that, many issues were pulled and recalled. After that, the second print reedited the beer to make it look like a soda bottle. Nothing more to say here as the first print was a low print run and it is hard to find on various auction sites.

8. July 1990 Issue of Heavy Metal (Estimated Value: $150)

This issue did not get that much attention until during the 2016 presendential election. This issue unintentionally predicted the plans for Donald Trump to build a wall on the Mexican border and it is on full display on many pages of this issue. It is one of those “The Simpsons predicted it” moments in comic books that nobody seen coming and now we are in 2019 and it is still talked about to this day.

7. Weird Fantasy #18 (Estimated Value: $140-$1700) (1953)

Looking at this book now, it actually ages well. But in 1953, there was a huge uproar due to the fact that nobody knew until the end of the issue that the leader of the “Judgment Day” mission was an Africian-American man. They thought that the idea of an Africian American man being the lead of a story at that time was ridiculous. I am glad to see that today many leaders of comic book stories are more diverse than ever before.

6. Tomb of Terror #15 (Estimated Value: $2000) (1954)

This comic book is one of the nine books banned by Congress. Yup, that is right, banned by the United States Congress as the cover for its time was very graphic. Of course, this is a famous horror series so there would be covers at times that have voilence at times. But many people felty that it was way too much since it is one of the examples of an eye injury that was similar to recurring taboos at the time such as Nazis and bondage.

5. The Spirit #1 (Estimated Value: $1400) (1944)

The first issue of this series grew controversy due to the use of blackface on the character. It gets worse as the character is literally near the tombstone. That right there is not visually appealing and it again shows the dirty past of how Africian Americans were precieved.

4. Quantum and Woody #1 2nd Print (Estimated Value: $1600+)

This comic is more rare than controversial, but I decided to add it on this list due to the fact that they simply rushed it to third printing as soon as it was announced that the second print will only be one copy. It was auctioned off to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and I highly doubt we will ever see another second print of this ever again.

3. Action Comics #58 (Estimated Value: $3,300-$5000) (1943)

If you notice a trend here, is that there are more controversial Superman related comics that are in the high price than there are Batman related comics. Here on the cover and inside the issue is racist World War II propaganda and from the first page until the final page is full of it. Looking at the right of the cover where those posters are being printed is something you cannot unsee when you look at the cover. There has not been a sale on this issue for many years and it is another highly sought after issue.

2.Fight Comics #31 (Estimated Value: $5500-$6000) (1944)

On this cover, you can see a soldier decapitated the enemy soldier in gruesome fashion. There has been war comics dating back to the late 30’s, but none of them actually showed soldiers beimng killed on the cover.

1.All Negro Comics #1 (Estimated Value: $12,600-$18,000) (1947)

This is the first comic book that was produced by black creators that includes writers, artists, and the publisher itself. Also, inside the back cover has an ad for the second issue but it was never released due to many vendors and stores refusing to have this comic book on stands. The book was since reprinted years later and in 2019, a new listing emerged with a high price was set. If you have the cash for this piece of history, buy it now!

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