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    Mystery Men Comics #1 Carson City pedigree (Fox, 1939) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages. Among Overstreet's Top 100 Golden Age books, this is one of the toughest to find, and this is the only copy graded above 6.5 by CGC to date (and one of just six unrestored copies the service has certified).
    This would be a major key for the Blue Beetle's first appearance alone -- he became Fox's most popular character, and still appears in comics today under the DC banner. But the issue also has the debut of the Green Mask, who also soon got his own series. Not to forget Rex Dexter of Mars, who starred in a very collectable 1940 one-shot.
    Confusingly enough, the blue-masked character on the cover is not the Blue Beetle but the Green Mask, who starred on most of the early covers (the Beetle only got a four-pager). The art on this memorable bondage cover is by the great and much-collected Lou Fine, with the interior art coming from his fellow Eisner-Iger studio hands.
    This was just the second Fox comic series after Wonder Comics, the book that prompted a lawsuit by the publishers of Superman and was thus quickly renamed Wonderworld Comics. Here the fledgling publisher took no chances -- as Mike Benton noted, "To avoid another lawsuit, similarities to Superman were played down... the Blue Beetle didn't wear a costume in his first appearance." Moreover, as Robert Jennings noted, "The Green Mask wasn't much of a mystery man since he had no secret identity, no background, and no unusual powers. He did wear a pretty bizarre costume, but he relied more on a blazing automatic pistol than super strength to solve his problems."
    You almost never see Fox books with colors that really pop -- even higher-grade copies often have a dull, "blah" look about them. So this copy was a real revelation, and we expect strong interest from Fox and Fine fans. Overstreet 2008 VF/NM 9.0 value = $12,250; NM- 9.2 value = $17,500. CGC census 9/08: 1 in 9.0, none higher.

    View the certification for CGC Certification ID 0806250008 and purchase grader's notes if available.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    13th-15th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,142

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