Desperately struggling to keep Atlas Comics (formerly Timely) afloat, a young and scrappy Stan Lee feverishly banged out endless variations on ghost stories, twist endings, campfire tales, and macabre parlor tricks. The stories were carefully crafted to adhere to the comics code, to remain below the six-page mark, and to pay as little as possible for the lurid artwork demanded by a readership still giddy from pre-code horror mania. Somehow, during all of this, Lee and company managed to keep Atlas alive long enough to become the juggernaut of pop culture that would soon be known as Marvel Comics.     

Mystery Tales is likely the rarest of these anthologies and a complete run is now offered by ComicConnect. The comic stands as a cult classic full of nightmare visions, dark imagery, and sweaty manias, providing a blueprint for what would become the Marvel house style. The title soon became a testing ground for the talent that would take comics by storm.

“Originally turned onto the series thanks to the cult TV show Lost, the curator of the Second City Collection fell madly in love with this wicked, moody mini-masterpiece of weirdness and tried to snap up copies of these extremely rare treasures whenever and wherever possible, making this the single most exhaustive and definitive collection of Atlas horror comics we’ve ever encountered,” shared Vincent Zurzolo, COO of ComicConnect. “We’re very happy to share this wonderful collection with the collecting community, and are proud to give this unsung, historically significant series its well-deserved due.”

The auction end-dates are as follows:

Session 1 (Action Comics #1 - Avengers) June 11, 2018
Session 2 (Avengers) June 12
Session 3 (Avengers - Fantastic Four) June 13
Session 4 (Fantastic Four - Sgt. Fury) June 14
Session 5 (Shadow - Yellow Claw) June 15

ComicConnect is currently accepting consignments for their next major auction. Space is reserved on a first come, first served basis. They can be contacted toll free (888) 779-7377 or email their staff at support@comicconnect.com. Cash advances up to $5 million are available.

Visit ComicConnect to view the entire auction.