When I was a kid, collecting comics in the 80's and 90's, I was thrilled each week to see the comics that I picked up at the local Stop n' Go convenience store. The colors and the art work were what got me, and then the stories came later. What I didn't know at the time was they were being produced by the millions! So these books were doomed from the get go from ever being "collectable" as they could be found years later in just about any comic shop's quarter or fifty cent bins. Eventually with the lack of sales these store owners moved them out with the rest of the non selling product and they either went into storage or in many cases they were donated to the local Goodwill or given to the schools for alternate reading. I even recall stories of some getting thrown out with the garbage as they just didn't sell.
At one of the earliest comic cons I attended when I was 12 years old I remember seeing comics like Batman #1, Superman #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, or even Marvel Mystery #1.
I was amazed at the artwork, and even the stories I would hear others talking about that could be found inside. I thought this is really where it all started. Fast forward to 2021 and now these books in most cases can be as hard to find at the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Just a distant memory of what once was in this hobby.
So now what do people collect that would be equivalent to these Golden Age Treasures....
With the arrival of superheroes on the big screen, comes the rebirth of some of the characters that were mass produced in the 80's and 90's. So much that issues that just six months ago could be found in dollar bins that contained the first appearances of some of these characters are now selling for hundreds of dollars!
One of the issues to take the biggest jump over the last few months was that of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, the book that introduces Monica Rambeau as the New Captain Marvel! Why is this book flying high you ask? Well thanks to WandaVision on the new streaming service, Disney+ you can see Monica in action along with Scarlet Witch and Vision. It was clear at the end of that series Monica has become an important character moving forward for the MCU.
This issue was merely $25 just six months ago, now an ungraded copy sells for as much as $250, and a graded copy can bring as much as $750-1000!
Another issue that has seen some momentum is that of Captain America #354, the first appearance of the US Agent. This book prior to the Disney+ series, Falcon/Winter Soldier was a mere $10. Now an ungraded copy can bring as much as $50, and a graded copy can get as much as $250-300!
Most recently with the release of the new Suicide Squad movie several characters that had little impact in the DC Universe were reprised in this movie creating a mad dash back to the back issue bins in hot pursuit of first appearances of such characters as King Shark, Rat Catcher, Polk a Dot Man, Peacemaker*, and Bloodsport. All of these are currently selling for around $100 each except for the Peacemaker and Polk a Dot Man issue as they are Silver and Golden Age books that have taken a much larger jump. However the rest are much like Superman Vol. 2 #4, which includes the 1st appearance of Bloodsport, who is played by non other than Idris Elba. This book was valued at $3 just six months ago, now you will be hard pressed to find them for less than $100!
In regards to Silver Age books, many of these are starting to vanish from availability since it's nearly impossible to find a nice Golden Age book for less than $500-1000. Books like random issues of titles such as Batman, Spider-Man, Avengers, Silver Surfer, and the list goes on and on are now becoming the new Golden Age. I recently spoke to a prominent local KC dealer that said "It kind of makes him sick to sell these books at the current market value, because we all know they are going to be even higher a year from now!" In fact he won't even barter on price when it comes to issues such as Silver Surfer #4, X-Men #94, Fantastic Four #48, Fantastic Four #52, and Amazing Spider-Man #50 just to name a few because of just that. While books such as Amazing Fantasy #15 which is considered by many to be the most important issue of the Silver Age has now reached valuations equal to a modest home or very nice car, the next projected "retirement" issue isn't even Silver Age at all, but rather one that was printed in 1962. Incredible Hulk #181, or recognized as the issue that brought us Wolverine is now on a trajectory to hit $10,000 in the next few years if not sooner, and that is the ungraded price! A graded copy that gets a 8.0 or higher is already in that range!
The bottom line is, comics are back and they are here to stay for a long while. Get yours NOW while the getting is good! It won't be much longer before sites like eBay dry up due to their new rules regarding issuing a 1099 to sellers for total sales. The only place to find these gems will be at good ol' comic book expos like SuperWorld Comic Book Expo!