Strange Tales Comic Book Values

Value of Strange Tales Comic Books

In the early 1950s, the comic superhero genre was dead, with only Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman surviving the purge.

Comic publishers instead turned to sci-fi and horror comics to keep up their readership. With their gruesome covers and bizarre stories, the 1950s sci-fi / horror is niche is becoming insanely popular.

One of Marvel’s earliest series was Strange Tales, which followed in the vein of EC Comics.

From 1951 until 1954, when the Comic Code Authority’s strict requirements were imposed, Marvel published some of their best horror comic books.

In 1959, Strange Tales was revamped when Jack Kirby began illustrating the comic. By issue #101 (1962), Strange Tales officially became a superhero comic, responsible for launching Doctor Strange and Nick Fury, amongst others.

Strange Tales Comic #1-34: Pre-Code Horror and Suspense Issues, Hotly Collected

The first 34 issues include some classic skull and grave covers, witches, the undead and other horror comic mainstays of the era.

These seldom turn up in better condition than VG. The comics with black covers are especially tough to find in nice shape.

If you have some of these early issues, then we will happily appraise them for you. Click here to get your free appraisal.

Strange Tales #1
First in series

Record sale: $3,300
Minimum value: $300

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ST #2

Record sale: $750
Minimum value: $50

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Strange Tales  #3: click for value

ST #3

Record sale: $1,500
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales  #4: click for value

ST #4

Record sale: $950
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales #5 click for value

ST #5

Record sale: $1,000
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales #6. Click for value

ST #6

Record sale: $1,200
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 7. Click for value

ST #7

Record sale: $900
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales 8. Click for value

ST #8

Record sale: $1,500
Minimum value: $20

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Tales to Astonish #9. Click for market prices

ST #9

Record sale: $300
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 10. Click for value

ST #10

Record sale: $350
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 11. Click for prices

Strange Tales #11

Record sale: $330
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 12. Click to see value

ST #12

Record sale: $650
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales #15, Headless Man Cover

Strange Tales #15: headless cover. Click for values

ST #15
Headless Cover

Record sale: $325
Minimum value: $20

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Pre-code horror books are hotly collected when they feature decapitation or other extreme covers, and ST #15 is considered a classic cover image.

Strange Tales #16. Click for value

ST #16

Record sale: $2,850
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales #17. Click for value

ST #17

Record sale: $400
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales #18. Click for values

ST #18

Record sale: $4,000
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 19. Click for value

ST #19

Record sale: $1,650
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 20. Click for values

ST #20

Record sale: $800
Minimum value: $40

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Strange Tales 21. Click for value

ST #21

Record sale: $2,700
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 22. Click for value

ST #22

Record sale: $325
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 23. Click for value

ST #23

Record sale: $1,400
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales 24. Click for value

ST #24

Record sale: $4,600
Minimum value: $40

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Strange Tales 25. Click for value

ST #25

Record sale: $450
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales 26. Click for value

ST #26

Record sale: $2,650
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales 27, classic pre-hero comic. Click for values

ST #27

Record sale: $500
Minimum value: $20

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CLASSIC COVER! Strange Tales #28, Skeleton Cover

ST #28
Classic cover

Record sale: $2,600
Minimum value: $30

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Pre-code horror comic books are always popular when they feature gory or explicit covers, and ST #28 definitely is one of the hotter numbers from these early issues.

Strange Tales 29. Click for value

ST #29

Record sale: $1,500
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 30. Click for values

ST #30

Record sale: $800
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 31. Click for values

ST #31

Record sale: $475
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 32. Click for value

ST #32

Record sale: $1,000
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 33. Click for value

ST #33

Record sale: $575
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales 34: last precode horror issue. Click for value

ST #34

Record sale: $750
Minimum value: $30

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The Comics Code Authority spoiled the party for titles like Strange Tales. From then on, all kinds of language and artistic content were banned from comic books.

"Soft horror" and suspense replaced them, but rapidly these toned-down titles lost reader support. The series meandered on until the pre-hero monster comics period.


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Kirby and Ditko Begin "Tryout" Issues in the Silver Age

The next notable issues appear in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with the irrepressible Kirby and Ditko called upon to create 'monster attack' style suspense stories.

Several later heroes and villains got tryout issues in this period.

Strange Tales 67: Quicksilver prototype issue. Click for value

ST #67
Quicksilver Prototype

Record sale: $1,350
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 69: Professor X Prototype issue. Click for value

ST #69
Professor X Prototype

Record sale: $250
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 70: Giant-Man prototype. Click for value

ST #70
Giant Man Prototype

Record sale: $1,500
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 73: Ant-Man tryout. Click for value

ST #73
Ant-Man Comics Prototype

Record sale: $1,200
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 75: Iron Man tryout. Click for value

ST #75
Iron Man Prototype

Record sale: $830
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 76: Human Torch prototype. Click for value

ST #76
Human Torch Prototype

Record sale: $270
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 78: another Ant-Man prototype issue. Click for value

ST #78
Ant-Man Tryout

Record sale: $1,500
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 79: Dr Strange tryout issue. Click for value

ST #79
Doctor Strange Tryout

Record sale: $1,200
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 92: Ancient One and another Ant-Man prototype. Click for value

ST #92
Ant-Man and Ancient One Tryouts

Record sale: $600
Minimum value: $20

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KEY ISSUE! Strange Tales #89, First Appearance of Fin Fang Foom

ST #89
First Appearance of Fin Fang Foom

Record sale: $9,500
Minimum value: $40

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A monster in the classic stylings of Godzilla, Fin Fang Foom is a giant lizard, enslaved by Doctor Vault to fight the Living Colossus.

The Iron Man movie of 2008 shows Fin Fang Foom in a post-credits sequence, leading to strong rumor that the monster will make a "real" movie appearance in the future. Possibly in the 4th Iron Man movie.

Strange Tales Annual #1 (1962)

ST Annual #1: Reprints from earlier issues, Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense. Click for values

ST Annual #1
Reprints from earlier issues, Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense

Record sale: $25,000
Minimum value: $10

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True to most Marvel series of the era, there were annuals published to cash in on the Christmas market. The first was a series of reprints of earlier issues, and is not especially vaulable, but see below for the second, which is an early Spider-Man appearance.

KEY ISSUE! Strange Tales #97, First Appearance of Uncle Ben and Aunt May (Spider-Man's Relatives)

ST #97
First Appearance of Aunt May and Uncle Ben

Record sale: $7,200
Minimum value: $50

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Perhaps an unlikely first appearance issue, but ST #97 sees the relatives of Peter Parker appear for the first time.

A few issues later, the series would become a superhero comic book for the rest of its run, with the iconic (and under-valued) ST #101.

KEY ISSUE! Strange Tales #101, First Solo Human Torch Story Since 1956

ST #101
First solo Human Torch story since the 50s

Record sale: $9,500
Minimum value: $50

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When Fantastic Four #1 was first published in 1961, it changed the course of the superhero genre forever.

Becoming Marvel’s biggest hit, they sought to capitalize on their creation by creating a spinoff for fan favorite character Johnny Storm (AKA Human Torch).

Using Strange Tales #101 as a launch pad for Human Torch’s adventures, this issue is now one of the most valuable in the series.

Strange Tales 102. Click for value

ST #102

Record sale: $6,000
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 103. Click for value

ST #103

Record sale: $4,200
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales #104: First Appearance of Paste-Pot Pete

Strange Tales 104. Click for value

ST #104
First appearance of Paste-Pot Pete

Record sale: $5,600
Minimum value: $20

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Paste-Pot Pete is an obscure (and ridiculous) 1960s Marvel supervillain who uses his super sticky glue to commit crimes.

Later, Paste-Pot Pete changes his name to Trapster in Fantastic Four #38.

Paste-Pot / Trapster makes several appearances throughout the Marvel Universe, but the first appearance of this fashion-impaired villain really drives ST #104’s value up.

Strange Tales 105. Click for values

ST #105

Record sale: $4,800
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales #106: first appearance of the Acrobat. Click for values

ST #106
First appearance of the Acrobat

Record sale: $6,000
Minimum value: $20

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This issue is interesting for a few reasons – firstly, it loosely follows the events of Fantastic Four #4 in which Johnny quits.

Secondly, it’s the first appearance of Acrobat, who later impersonates Captain America in Strange Tales #114.

This impersonation leads to the real Captain America’s revival… so in some ways, you have to thank the Acrobat.

Strange Tales 107. Click for values

ST #107

Record sale: $5,500
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 108. Click for values

ST #108

Record sale: $4,000
Minimum value: $20

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Strange Tales 109. Click for values

ST #109

Record sale: $4,800
Minimum value: $20

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KEY ISSUE! Strange Tales #110, First Appearance of Doctor Strange

ST #110

Record sale: $60,000
Minimum value: $200

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This is the big one, folks – the first appearance of Doctor Strange!

Given only a five page story, Doctor Stephen Strange’s ST #110 introduction is what comic legends are made of.

The Marvel movie and his appearances in Avengers: Infinity War have cemented Dr. Stephen Strange into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the hearts of comic buyers everywhere.

A CGC 9.6 copy of this comic sold for an amazing $60,000 in 2016 (after the movie was announced). Even in taped up, stained, “Tommy Smith” written on the cover condition, ST #110 is worth hundreds of dollars and is an investment at any grade.


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Strange Tales 111. Click for value

ST #111

Record sale: $20,000
Minimum value: $30

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Strange Tales 112. Click for value

ST #112

Record sale: $2,600
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales #113: Origin of Dr Strange. Click for value

ST #113
Origin of Doctor Strange; first appearance of Plantman and Doris Evans

Record sale: $5,200
Minimum value: $20

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ST #113 features the first appearance of both Plantman and Johnny Storm’s girlfriend Doris Evans.

This issue begins the long running gag of Johnny suddenly flying off for adventure while Doris is left behind.

More importantly, it also features the origin story of the Master of the Mystic Arts.

Strange Tales #114: Captain Marvel 'returns' (The Acrobat imitates him). Click for values

ST #114
Captain America Returns

Record sale: $10,000
Minimum value: $20

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ST #114 is one of the most important Marvel comics of all time, re-introducing the world to Captain America.

While he seems to be the legit Captain at first, by the end of the story, it is revealed Acrobat was impersonating the Golden Age hero.

The real Captain American makes his real return in Avengers #4.

Doc Strange returns for a third appearance in ST #114, becoming a permanent fixture of the comic.

Strange Tales 115. Click for value

ST #115

Record sale: $16,000
Minimum value: $35

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Spider-Man and Human Torch have a playful rivalry, starting back in Amazing Spider-Man #1. In ST #115, Spider-Man makes an appearance, watching Human Torch take on Sandman.

This early Spider-Man appearance, coupled with Doctor Strange’s origin story, makes ST #115 a valuable issue in the series.

Strange Tales Annual #2: Early Spider-Man Appearance

Strange Tales Annual #2: Early Spider-Man Appearance. Click for values

ST Annual #2
4th Spider-Man appearance and first crossover

Record sale: $25,000
Minimum value: $10

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Spider-Man collectors can't complete their run without a copy of this annual. Published in 1963, it is the 4th ever appearance of Peter Parker.

Strange Tales 116. Click for value

ST #116

Record sale: $5,800
Minimum value: $15

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Strange Tales 117. Click for value

ST #117

Record sale: $3,100
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 118. Click for value

ST #118

Record sale: $6,000
Minimum value: $10

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In the little strip along the bottom of the front is the first cover appearance of Dr Strange.

Strange Tales 119. Click for value

ST #119

Record sale: $3,000
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 120. Click for value

ST #120
X-Men Crossover Issue

Record sale: $6,600
Minimum value: $10

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Making a rare cameo outside of their own comic is the Uncanny X-Men! In a pairing that seems like fate, Human Torch and Iceman battle Captain Barracuda.

Because of the X-Men appearance, which happens only a few months after their debut in X-Men #1 (September 1963), ST #120 is quite valuable and a worthwhile investment.

Strange Tales 121. Click for value

ST #121

Record sale: $2,400
Minimum value: $10

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Strange Tales 122. Click for value

ST #122

Record sale: $4,100
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 123. Click for value

ST #123

Record sale: $2,600
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 124. Click for value

ST #124

Record sale: $3,800
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 125. Click for value

ST #125

Record sale: $3,000
Minimum value: $5

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Tales to Astonish 65. Click for value

ST #126
First Appearance of Dormammu and Clea

Record sale: $5,300
Minimum value: $5

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After several months of dry spells, ST #126 introduces us to two important Doctor Strange characters – Dormammu and Clea.

Dormammu is Doctor Strange’s arch enemy, while Clea becomes his longtime romantic interest.

Strange Tales 127. CLick for value

ST #127

Record sale: $2,000
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 128. Click for value

ST #128

Record sale: $3,100
Minimum value: $5

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The second X-Men crossover occurs in ST #128, this time with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver battling Torch and Thing.

This issue also contains the highly coveted Doctor Strange pin-up. Make sure it's present when you buy a copy.

Strange Tales 129. Click for value

ST #129

Record sale: $950
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 130. Click for value

ST #130

Record sale: $1,300
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 131. Click for values

ST #131

Record sale: $3,300
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 132. Click for values

ST #132

Record sale: $1,150
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 133. Click for values

ST #133

Record sale: $2,200
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales #134: first appearance of The Watcher. Click for values

ST #134
First Appearance of The Watcher

Record sale: $3,800
Minimum value: $15

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KEY ISSUE! Strange Tales #135, Origin and First Appearance of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

ST #135
First Nick Fury

Record sale: $17,000
Minimum value: $25

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Nick Fury made his first appearance in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1 (1963), detailing his adventures as a courageous soldier during WWII. After being discharged, Fury joins the S.H.I.E.L.D., which is where Strange Tales #135 picks up.

See our War Comics price guide for more appearances.

ST #135 is a highly sought after late Silver Age comic.

Strange Tales 138. Click for values

ST #138

Record sale: $925
Minimum value: $5

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ST #138 is the first appearance of Eternity, who is the leader of the Cosmic Powers.

Eternity is an important figure in Doctor Strange and the Marvel Universe, often guiding the actions of mystical beings.

Strange Tales 146. Click for values

ST #146

Record sale: $1,700
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 148. Click for values

ST #148
Origin of the Ancient One; First appearance of Kaluu

Record sale: $900
Minimum value: $5

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Most of these later Strange Tales issues are important for the continuing development of Doctor Strange.

In ST #148, we learn the origins of The Ancient One, who gave Strange his powers.

The evil mystic Kaluu, a contemporary of the Ancient One, makes his first appearance, beginning a new story arc.

Strange Tales 150. Click for values

ST #150
First appearance of Umar

Record sale: $950
Minimum value: $5

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Dormammu is regarded as Doctor Strange’s archenemy – and he has an equally evil sister, Umar!

Umar makes many appearances throughout the Marvel Universe, especially in the 1970s Defenders series.

Also, take note that Doctor Strange’s name finally appears on the cover of this issue, next to Nick Fury’s.

Strange Tales 154. Click for value

ST #154

Record sale: $1,000
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 157. Click for values

ST #157

Record sale: $1,200
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 159. Click for values

ST #159

Record sale: $3,100
Minimum value: $5

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Strange Tales 168. Click for value

ST #168

Record sale: $1,500
Minimum value: $1

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ST #168 is the last issue featuring Nick Fury and Doctor Strange, both getting their own solo series. 

Nick Fury and Doctor Strange sharing a comic never really made much sense from a genre standpoint.

While Fury is embroiled in espionage and action, Strange focuses on the sci-fi / supernatural aspects of Marvel.

KEY ISSUE! Strange Tales #169, First Appearance of Brother Voodoo

ST #169
First Appearance of Brother Voodoo

Record sale: $900
Minimum value: $15

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With Doctor Strange and Nicky Fury gone, Brother Voodoo (BV) steps in as a poor substitute. This first appearance of BV drives the value up for hardcore collectors.

Strange Tales 173. Click for value

ST #173

Record sale: $225
Minimum value: $1

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Strange Tales #178: First Adam Warlock story. Click for values

ST #178
First Adam Warlock story

Record sale: $1,400
Minimum value: $15

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Like Doctor Strange, Adam Warlock holds a very important role in the balance of the Marvel Universe, but doesn’t get the attention he deserves.

Adam Warlock made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #66.

A few years later, Warlock was revived by Jim Starlin for Strange Tales #178, starting the Magus storyline.

Because of Adam Warlock’s eventual portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this issue is gaining in value and a great investment.

Strange Tales #180: First appearance of Gamora. Click for values

Strange Tales #180
First Appearance of Gamora

Record sale: $1,000
Minimum value: $15

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Before the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, ST #180 wasn’t worth much at all. Now that Gamora is an important part of the MCU, the value of the comic has appreciated in value.

Strange Tales 181. Click for value

ST #181

Record sale: $280
Minimum value: $1

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In some ways, you could call ST #181 the last issue of the series, because after this, it’s just reprinted Doctor Strange stories.

This last issue features Adam Warlock, whose story continues in Warlock #9.

Strange Tales 188. Click for value

ST #188

Record sale: $55
Minimum value: $1

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The last issue of Strange Tales!

Unfortunately, it’s just another reprint of old Doctor Strange stories and it really isn’t worth anything.


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