PEP COMICS (1940-87) #22
CBCS VG/F: 5.0
While the superhero craze was booming across newsstands, up and coming publishers were looking for ways to stand out from the pack by creating new twists on existing tropes. In the case of MLJ, pay dirt had already been struck with Wilbur, the original comic-book teen craze, leading Bob Montana to pitch his idea for an awkward, girl-crazy teen based on his own experiences and sketches from his teenage years in small-town Massachusetts. As with his predecessor, the character's first appearance was an instant hit with readers, but unlike the rather cartoonish and limited Wilbur, Archie's personality and social circle were completely relatable to contemporary American youth and proved to be not only resilient but arguably the most commercially successful comic book creation of all time after Superman. One of the scarcest of major Golden Age keys, this first appearance of Archie Andrews has attained iconic status in recent years, as collectors have cottoned to its importance, value, and scarcity.
The cover on this copy is sturdy, and despite slight staining, is in admirable condition. Given the rarity and value of Pep #22, a mid-grade copy such as this one is a real find as no true high-grade copies exist. Very few of these ever come to market so this example should draw intense interest from investment collectors at auction.
Overstreet Guide 2018 VG/F (5.0) value = $67,500.
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