Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Secrets of Haunted House #31 (1980)

A late Bronze Age book I want to spotlight today is Secrets of Haunted House #31, for the simple reason it is a cheap book featuring a cover-featured first appearance of a 35-year old DC character with much potential.

Quick history: Mister E was the star of standard vampire-hunting stories in Secrets of Haunted House #31-41, then 10 years later was used by Neil Gaiman in Books of Magic as one of the "Trenchcoat Brigade," an informal "team" who taught Timothy Hunter about magic.  He's in pretty good company there, as Dr. Occult is a Seigel & Shuster creation predating Superman, Phantom Stranger's first appearance from 1952 is a thousand-dollar book in CGC 4.0, and Constantine's first appearance in CGC 9.8 peaked at close to $700 due to anticipation of his TV show (before coming down to around $425 currently).

Mister E was in a couple of Vertigo mini-series, then after being absent for 10 years was reintroduced in the New 52 with an altered appearance and a different explanation for his blindness.  His bibliography totals only around 50 appearances in the four decades he's been around (compared to 300 for Madame Xanadu).  I really have no idea why he has not been used more.  It is just a matter of time before a writer or film producer taps this character for bigger and better things, but for now his first appearance is very affordable.

The Overstreet guide lists this at $16 in NM-, $2 above surrounding issues.  Currently there are zero 9.8s of the mere 7 that have been graded) which is kind of odd, and it would make a fun quest to find the first certified 9.8.  I have found a few nice 9.0 - 9.4 range copies discounted from guide, in the $10-$12 range.  This is definitely a book to memorize and try to find high-grade copies at your LCS or at shows.

Mister E in the "Trenchcoat Brigade":

Mister E's debut in the SOHH #31 backup story:

SOHH # 35 sports an eye-catching Mister E/Frankenstein monster cover by Rich Buckler:


  1. Really enjoyed the post will there be new posts coming soon? Thnx

    1. Hopefully soon! Thanks for the comment

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