The Weird Horror of the Last Issue of Whiz Comics, Up for Auction

Whiz Comics #155 is the beginning of the end of an important chapter in American comic book history.  The Fawcett Publications title had launched one of the most important and successful characters of the Golden Age 13 years earlier with the debut of Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics #2, and its end presaged the closure of the entire Fawcett comic book line.  But the title did not end with a whimper — the Captain Marvel story in Whiz Comics #155 is a fascinatingly weird horror tale.  The end of a historically important comic book title which is not easy to get, there's an affordable Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953) CGC GD- 1.8 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in Monday's 2022 January 9-10 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122202 from Heritage Auctions.

Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953).
Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953).

Although Whiz Comics was certainly not the first major, long-running superhero title to end during the twilight of the Golden Age, Fawcett had more specific reasons for ending the title at this time.  In 1953, Fawcett would settle with DC Comics for $400,000 and agreed to stop publishing Captain Marvel & Co. after lengthy legal battles over the character's similarities to Superman.  The end of this title with Whiz Comics #155 was likely the first result of that agreement taking effect.

Captain Marvel Adventures and Marvel Family would continue on for a few more months, but Fawcett would soon end their entire comic book line. Two months after Whiz Comics #155 hit the newsstand, publishing trade magazines would be reporting that Fawcett was exiting the comic book, with Author and Journalist elaborating by year-end that "Fawcett Publications, Inc., are dropping comics from their program and have sold all their comic book titles except the Marvels to Charlton Comics, Inc., Derby, Conn.  Stories and art work will be produced by the Al Fago Studios, 1472 Broadway, New York."  As Roscoe Fawcett told the Fawcett Collectors of America fanzine in 1997, "Losing Captain Marvel kind of took the heart out of the whole thing."  The company did reenter the field to publish Dennis the Menace comic books in the 1960s.

1953 was near the peak of the horror comics boom of that era, and the final few issues of Whiz Comics reflected that trend as well.  The monstrous Kraken that Captain Marvel faces in this issue dominates the cover, and even the insets for the back-up stories — the supernatural Dr. Death and a Korean War story — dominate the cover more than Captain Marvel himself does.  The murderous giant bats in the Captain Marvel story complete the picture for this horror-tinged story.  A symbol of the end of a comic book era, there's an affordable Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953) CGC GD- 1.8 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in Monday's 2022 January 9-10 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122202 from Heritage Auctions.

Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953)
Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953)

Whiz Comics #155 (Fawcett Publications, 1953) CGC GD- 1.8 Cream to off-white pages. The last issue of the title. Captain Marvel cover and story. Second appearance of Dr. Death. Gerber lists it as a "7" ("scarce") in the Photo-Journal Guide to Comics' Scarcity Index; Overstreet also lists it as "scarce". Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $55. CGC census 1/22: 1 in 1.8, 20 higher.

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 158464001 and purchase grader's notes if available.

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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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