Over 57 years ago now, Marvel reintroduced its most popular Golden Age character to a new audience in issue #4 of its recently-launched team book, and kicked the Silver Age Marvel Universe into high gear. Cover-dated March 1964, Avengers #4 by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and inked by George Roussos helped cement the Avengers as one of Marvel's strongest franchises and confirmed the enduring popularity of the patriotic character who has since become one of comics' icons. A perenially in-demand and important key comic book, there's an Avengers #4 (Marvel, 1964) CGC FN+ 6.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in this week's 2021 August 1-2 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122131 from Heritage Auctions.
Stan's blurbs on the title page of this issue note that this issue is, "Destined to become a magnificent milestone in the Marvel Age of comics, bringing you the great superhero which your wonderful avalanche of fan mail demanded," and tells readers that, "We sincerely suggest you save this issue, we feel you will treasure it in times to come."
The hype was born out in the case of Avengers #4, as it's been considered one of the most popular and important Marvel Silver Age keys for decades. The immediate reaction was equally enthusiastic, according to the letter column response to the debut from two issues later. Buddy Saunders, now a well-known retailer and a fan in 1964, wrote, "Avengers #4 was great! I could say it was marvelous, super, terrific, etc., but no words could convey my feelings on this issue so I'll simply say it was great. I was a bit leery about the return of Captain America but his return in the Avengers dispelled any fear that you might not give him the greatness due him. The scenes where the Avengers discover Captain America, those where he tells of the death of Bucky, and those where he rediscovers the world will always be among my very favorite — and I'm sure that I'll remember them a long time after I've forgotten other greats."
Saunders was not wrong in that initial reaction. Those scenes in Avengers #4 have become one of the most memorable cornstones of the Marvel Universe across all media. A key that has been in demand ever since, there's an Avengers #4 (Marvel, 1964) CGC FN+ 6.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in this week's 2021 August 1-2 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122131 from Heritage Auctions.
The Avengers #4 (Marvel, 1964) CGC FN+ 6.5 Cream to off-white pages. First Silver Age appearance of Captain America, who joins the Avengers. Sub-Mariner, Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, and Wasp appearances. Currently tied at #44 on Overstreet's Top 50 Silver Age Comics list. Jack Kirby cover and art. Bears a QES sticker. (QES provides a secondary certification to highlight the strongest attributes of a book, ones which would score a higher grade on their own.) Overstreet 2021 FN 6.0 value = $861; VF 8.0 value = $2,440. CGC census 7/21: 232 in 6.5, 817 higher.