The Peak Artistry of Fox Features' Mystery Men Comics, Up for Auction

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Lou Fine is one of the most important and influential artists of the Golden Age of comics.  A creator who made his mark on characters ranging from Black Condor and the Ray to Uncle Sam and the Spirit, Fine was an artist that others of his generation admired.  Fellow Golden Age legend Joe Simon called him his favorite artist, and noted, "He was also Jack Kirby's favorite artist. I know that Jack was a fan of and greatly influenced by Fine's work".  Comics featuring Fine's covers are highly sought after on that basis alone, and virtually all the comics he worked on have historical importance for many other reasons as well.  Mystery Men Comics #3 features one of the most sought after Lou Fine covers, and there's a copy of Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Off-white pages along with several other spectacular issues of Mystery Men Comics up for auction in this week's 2021 August 1-2 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122131 from Heritage Auctions.

Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939)
Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939)

In 2017, legendary collector and historian Jon Berk told Bleeding Cool about his love of Fox Features comics like Mystery Men Comics #3 and others, as well as the difficulty in obtaining some of them:

My favorite cover is Mystery Men Comics #3. From there it triggered my interest in obtaining other Fox books, especially those by Lou Fine. I obtained most of the runs. ("Runs" are a dwindling commodity) However, I was able to put together the Fox runs. Some Church Fox books do not exist.) Slowly, with the help from some of the larger personas in the hobby, I was able to go beyond the runs, and collect the smaller runs like Science Comics. If I could not find the Church copy I would focus on the Larson copies. It took a while to put the Wonderworlds together (but I did).

Storing the books was done with mylites, acid free boards and "shurlocks". I kept everything in a room with a dehumidifier. "The Comic Room". The Fox books are special and were the ones I focused on. These books even beat out my Centaur and "pre-Centaurs" addiction. Blame it on the Fox cover artists.

A spectacular and important run of comics featuring Blue Beetle and other historic material along with covers by Lou Fine and a stand-out group of artists, there's a copy of Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Off-white pages along with several other great issues of Mystery Men Comics up for auction in this week's 2021 August 1-2 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122131 from Heritage Auctions.

Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939)
Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939)

Mystery Men Comics #3 (Fox, 1939) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Off-white pages. Blue Beetle and Rex Dexter of Mars stories. Classic Green Mask/bondage cover by Lou Fine. Art by Klaus Nordling, Arthur Peddy, George Tuska, and Dick Briefer. CGC notes, "Spine completely split & re-attached with tape. Cover detached." Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $811. CGC census 7/21: 1 in 1.5, 27 higher.

Mystery Men Comics #4 (Fox, 1939) CGC GD 2.0 Cream to off-white pages. Captain Savage begins. Lou Fine human sacrifice cover. Bob Powell, George Tuska, and Dick Briefer art. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $360. CGC census 7/21: 2 in 2.0, 12 higher.

Mystery Men Comics #5 (Fox, 1939) CGC GD/VG 3.0 Light tan to off-white pages. Green Mask cover by Lou Fine. Dick Briefer, Klaus Nordling, George Tuska, and Bob Powell art. Text story by Will Eisner. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $360; VG 4.0 value = $720. CGC census 7/21: 2 in 3.0, 16 higher.

Mystery Men Comics #6 (Fox, 1940) CGC GD/VG 3.0 Off-white pages. George Tuska cover and art. Bob Powell, Dick Briefer, and Klaus Nordling art. CGC notes, "Very small amount of dried glue on spine of cover." Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $303; VG 4.0 value = $606. CGC census 7/21: 1 in 3.0, 19 higher.

Mystery Men Comics #9 (Fox, 1940) CBCS Conserved VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages. First appearance of the Moth. Lou Fine Rex Dexter cover. The Green Mask and the Blue Beetle appear. Bob Powell, Dick Briefer, Jim Mooney, George Tuska, and Klaus Nordling art. CBCS notes, "Amateur Conservation Includes: Spine splits sealed with glue. Moderate amount of tape on interior cover." and "From the Collection of Frank Brunner." Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $245; VG 4.0 value = $490.

Mystery Men Comics #12 (Fox, 1940) CGC GD- 1.8 Brittle pages. Joe Simon Blue Beetle cover. Bob Powell, Dick Briefer, and George Tuska art. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $245. CGC census 7/21: 2 in 1.8, 12 higher.

Mystery Men Comics #16 (Fox, 1940) CBCS GD+ 2.5 Cream to off-white pages. George Tuska art. Hypodermic needle/Blue Beetle cover. The Green Mask appearance. Dick Briefer story and art. George Tuska, Bob Powell, and Klaus Nordling art. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $161.

 

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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