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This comic book store owner at FanX owns a legendary $1,600 issue

The Nerd Store’s table has boxes full of comics, each veiled with a thin protective plastic — anything from ‘Harley Quinn’ to ‘Ghostbusters’

SHARE This comic book store owner at FanX owns a legendary $1,600 issue
Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

Marvel

Salt Lake City is currently swarmed by FanX-goers dressed up in costumes, looking picture-perfect for photo-ops with their favorite celebrities and ready to hand over the big bucks to hundreds of vendors selling art, merchandise and food.

Deseret News reporters made their way through huge crowds and landed at comic book store owners Charles and Roger Prows’ booth, The Nerd Store.

The Nerd Store’s table has boxes full of comics, each veiled with a thin protective plastic — anything from “Harley Quinn” to “Ghostbusters.”

The most valuable ones are displayed behind them — with “Uncanny X-Men”  No. 4 (1964) the costliest, going for $1,699. That comic, in particular, carries a lot of history.

The origin of the Scarlet Witch

After all, it is where Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, was first created. Played by Elizabeth Olsen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this character first graced the big screen in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), going on to star in four other Marvel movies and a TV miniseries, “WandaVision.”

But this powerful being has been around for over five decades, starting with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s creation. Now the iconic comic is in the hands of the Utah store owners.

The cover features a group of villains, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who want to take down the X-Men. Here, Wanda’s costume is green.

“X-Men! The most unusual teen-agers of all time!!” it says on the bottom.

On the pages, the costume reverts back to the red color scheme — except she’s wearing a frame-shaping mask with auburn red hair peaking out from the top. She also wears the iconic pastel pink tights and a cape.

The edition weaves in her origin story of being an outsider among humans and wielding immense power. She is accompanied by her brother Pietro Maximoff, alias Quicksilver. Later in the series, they try to join the Avengers by writing them a letter and leaving X-Men behind.

What’s the most expensive comic book ever sold?

Prows has a few other prized possessions including another comic book created by legendary writer and artist duo Lee and Kirby. This one is 1966’s “Fantastic Four” No. 52 and it is the first appearance of the crowd favorite Black Panther, going for $1,499.

It begs one to wonder: What’s the most expensive comic book ever sold? Well, the $3.6 million “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 from 1962. It’s in near-mint condition.

Although Prows’ collection doesn’t have anything that expensive, they have a huge variety of other special edition comics.

“Most of these are all individual collections,” Roger Prows said, explaining that individual owners sometimes trade in, or retire from the hobby entirely.

The Nerd Store is also the largest importer of international comic books, he added.

“So, we have gone to comic books from Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Italy,” Prows said. “(We) have 10 different countries represented currently here and probably another 20 or 30 in store.”

Advice for new comic book reads and collectors

He’s been in the business for nine years and has attended every single FanX event since 2015. His ultimate advice for those trying to embrace comic books as a hobby is not to get swayed by whether it is Marvel or DC to play catch up with the movies. Instead, lean into what you really like.

“Don’t go in knowing what you want. Go in, tell us what kind of things you enjoy,” said Prows. “And we will make a recommendation to maybe Marvel, it may be DC, maybe something entirely different. I think you’ll end up finding something that you like better that way.”

That’s his recommendation to just about anybody.

The Nerd Store is located in West Valley and Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection, their second and newer purchase, is in Millcreek.