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Top 10 Silver Age Comic Value Increases of 2020
Happy New Year to everyone, and welcome to our first blog. This is our list of the Top 10 Silver Age key issues from 2020. To be clear, these are not necessarily the most valuable Silver Age comics, but instead the ones that saw the biggest gains from 2019 to 2020. This list is strictly based on eBay sales of CGC graded copies in 2020. Also, we only included sales from grades that were sold in both 2019 and 2020. This is really the best way to make a comparison. Doesn't make sense to compare a sale of a 9.6 in 2020 if the previous sale of a 9.6 was all the way back in 2013 (as an example). It's also important to note that we mostly just considered major key issues, and didn't look at every single Silver Age book. I'm sure there are some smaller keys that had a great 2020. In terms of sources, we used the help of eBay, GPAnalysis (which is a fantastic tool if you're looking to buy a "big boy" book and want to know how much you should spend), and even some media stars from the comic book community, like Comic Tom (his weekly Top 10 lists are fun to watch, and insightful). Needless to say, I think we all know how key issue comic book prices have sky-rocketed in the past 12 months. The infamous COVID "shut downs", which are still happening in large parts of the world, seemed to create a situation where comics, and collectibles in general, saw significant gains in the last 9 months of 2020. Maybe this was due to people spending more time at home and not spending money on other things (vacations, dining out, etc.). Maybe those stimulus checks are being used by comic collectors to improve their collections. Maybe all of this would have happened regardless, but I think it's safe to say that we may not see another year like 2020, where so many major key issues saw big spikes in sales AND prices. Even modern comics released in the past few years saw ridiculous increases - Ultimate Fallout #4 (1st Miles Morales), Venom #3 (1st Knull), etc.
So, without further ado, here we go....
10. Tales of Suspense #39
The first issue to grace our "Marvel"-ous list is Tales of Suspense #39. Published in March of 1963, this is the Origin and 1st Appearance of Iron Man. Almost 13 years after the first Iron Man movie was released in theatres, this blue chip continues to slowly increase in value. In 2020, it saw a modest 3% increase over 2019. Most of that came in the mid and lower grades. The highest graded copy that sold in 2020 was a 9.0 for $47K, which was actually slightly lower than the 9.0 in 2019 that sold for $49K. Regardless, this is a classic book that we can all expect to continue growing in value over time.
9. Showcase #4
Showcase #4 is the only one of two DC comics to make our list. This is the 1st Silver Age appearance of the Flash as well as the Origin and 1st Appearance of Barry Allen as the Flash. This book also is the 1st Appearance of Iris West. When looking at all the data, this issue had a nice increase of 7% from 2019. Highest grade sold on ebay in 2020 was an 8.0 at $75K, although there were no sales of an 8.0 in 2019 to make a comparison. Other grades that saw an increase from 2019 to 2020 were 7.0, 3.0, 1.5, and 1.0. We did see some value decrease in 5.0 and 2.5 grades.
8. Amazing Spider-Man #3
Amazing Spider-Man #3, published in July of 1963, boasts the Origin and 1st Appearance of the infamous Doctor Octopus, and is the only Spider-Man book to make our list (What!!!.....no AF15???). 2020 saw a respectable 7% increase over 2019. In terms of the big screen, rumors are swirling about Alfred Molina reprising his role as the six-armed menace in the third installment of the latest Spider-Man trilogy. The biggest sale in 2020 was a 9.2 for $15K, which is actually reduced from the only sale of the same grade in 2019 at $16K. Regardless, many increases in mid and lower grades helped this one make the list. In general, you can't lose when investing in Silver Age Spider-Man books. They may not all get a bump each year, but with Spider-Man being the face of Marvel, and endless opportunities for movies, your investment will surely pay off over time.
7. Avengers #1
Avengers #1 (published September 1962) has been tailing off since the conclusion of the Avengers Infinity War/End Game saga in Theatres back in early 2019, but it still remains strong and has seen overall increase in value in 2020, albeit a smaller one at 8%. This issue boasts the 1st Appearance of the Avengers, which originally included Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and Ant-Man. All of these characters had multiple big screen appearances in their own movies, as well as cross-overs into other movies, leading up to the Avengers "finale". Don't expect to see the same group together in theatres again any time soon. In fact, we have a better chance of seeing a Young Avengers team hit the big screen first. Regardless, this comic will probably continue to tail off in the short term, as the Avengers moves further into everyone's memory banks, but like any blue chip key, it will continue to gain value as the years go by.
6. Fantastic Four #5
The Origin and 1st Appearance of Doctor Doom occurred in this spectacular issue. Fantastic Four #5 was published in July of 1962, and 2020 showed a steady 13% increase over 2019. Doom has been a favorite of collectors for decades, and his sale prices show it, with a high sale of $65K for a 9.2 in 2020. As the world waits for a Fantastic Four movie in the MCU (more on this later), the anticipation keeps growing, and so do this prices of this book!
5. Batman #181
Here we have the second...and last... DC comic to grace the Top 10. Batman #181 was published in June of 1966 and features the 1st Appearance of Poison Ivy, also known as Pamela Lillian Isley. With the way Harley Quinn's popularity has exploded over the past few years, it was only a matter of time before collectors started catching on to Ivy. This issue is the lowest on the list in terms of overall value with the biggest sale of 2020 at only $10,500 for a 9.4. While this pales in comparison to the other grails in this article, it's noteworthy considering a growth of 16% from the previous year. Congrats to DC for getting two onto the list, but clearly the Silver Age was dominated by Marvel in 2020.
4. Fantastic Four #1
This book has seen some pretty significant gains over the past couple years. 2020 was no exception, with a 17% average increase across all grades. Almost every single grade saw an increase from last year, including the highest graded sale of a 7.5 for $69K, compared to $48K a year earlier. Fantastic Four #1 is the Origin and 1st Appearance of the Fantastic Four and was Stan Lee's first Marvel Super-Hero team creation, published in November 1961. Marvel's "First Family"...which includes Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Girl, The Human Torch, and The Thing...are always battling the likes of Dr. Doom and the Sub-Mariner. Soon, the Fab 4 will be entering the MCU, but no release date or casting information has been provided. Watch this book absolutely explode when that first trailer drops!!!
3. X-Men #1
With the announcement of Disney purchasing the rights to X-Men from Fox in March of 2019, everyone knew this key issue would take off eventually...and that's exactly what it did. With an increase of almost 20%, and a top sale of $134K in a 9.2, this was the third best performing Silver Age book of 2020. Published in September 1963, this is the Origin and 1st Appearance of the original X-Men ~ Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Ice Man, Angel, and Marvel Girl. It also is the first appearance of their most sinister foe, Magneto! There are still no announced plans for the X-Men's first appearance in the MCU, but we do know one thing....the mutant world is extremely large, giving Disney almost unlimited potential for movies and TV shows. The future is bright for X-Men comics!!!
2. Journey Into Mystery #83
Journey Into Mystery #83 is becoming more and more of a mega grail each year. Published in August 1962, this introduces us to Thor, the God of Thunder......also known as Doctor Don Blake (I bet most of you didn't know that). In 2020, the sales price of each CGC graded copy increased by an average of a whopping 26%, with the largest increases happening in the higher grades. The highest graded copy was a 9.4 and sold for a staggering $210K. It's rare to see an issue increase so much without an actual movie or TV show being released in the same year. Speculation is slowly building around the buzz for Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth entry in the Thor movie lineup. The funny thing is that as of the writing of this blog, filming has not even begun. It's been rumored that Natalie Portman will be reprising her role as Jane Foster, and could even pick up Mjolnir at some point. In addition, the Loki TV show, scheduled to air on Disney+ this May, is adding to the hype. Better to get this book now before if goes up even more.
And our winner is.......Daredevil #1
Maybe a little bit of a surprise here, but our #1 Silver Age comic value increase in 2020 is Daredevil #1, coming in at a staggering increase of 27%. It still doesn't compare to the likes of AF15 or FF1 in terms of top dollar comics, but the increase in value since 2019 is second to none. Top sale for 2020 was a 9.4 at $33K, compared to $27K in 2019. Daredevil #1 has been somewhat of a sleeper for years. Even with his own TV show from 2015 to 2018, it just wasn't enough to propel this Silver Age Super-Hero into stardom. This is the Origin and 1st Appearance of Matt Murdock as Daredevil. His superpower is an uncanny heightened sense of hearing, touch, taste, and smell...all due to being blind. Nothing really "super" about any of that, but nonetheless, still a pretty cool character that one day will most likely find his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Like every other key issue in the world, Daredevil #1 also started to see increases in value towards the end of 2020. Because it was playing catchup with the rest of the keys, it grew a little bit more than many of the others. Keep your eye on Daredevil, as it has more room to grow.
Before we conclude, I want to highlight a few surprise mega key issues that didn't make the Top 10....some of them even trending down this past year.
Amazing Spider-Man #1
Another famous 1963 release from Stan Lee and the gang at Marvel...this is the 2nd appearance of Spider-Man (stay tuned for his 1st appearance). There aren't many second appearances that command such value. This is one of the exceptions. Very small 1% increase over 2019
Amazing Fantasy #15
Considered to be the Holy Grail of all Marvel Silver Age key issues, published in August 1962, this is the Origin and 1st Appearance of Peter Parker as Spider-Man. A little bit of a surprising down year for this book, as it averaged a decrease of 5%, but I think this could have something to do with the fact that it grew so much over the past couple years that it was due to level off a little. I'm predicting a strong 2021 for Spidey!!!
Incredible Hulk #1
Another Mega Key Issue, published in May of 1962, this is the Origin and 1st Appearance of the Incredible Hulk. Similar to AF15, this book had pretty ridiculous growth in 2018 and 2019, so a somber decrease of 8% isn't a total shock. This book seems to be more rare than the others, and much harder to find in high grade. Look for this blue chip to continue rising in value in 2021.
That wraps up our list of the Top 10 most valuable Silver Age key issue comics from 2020. It turns out that this blogging thing is really hard work, but we'll do our best to add content as often as possible (I'm gonna need some help). If you have any thoughts on our list, or think we may have missed something, feel free to leave a comment, or just contact us directly. We'd love to hear from you! Check back for our next topic, where we will move forward into the beloved Bronze Age of comic books. I have a sneaking suspicion that the X-Men could make another appearance...or two!!!
NOTE: Find all of our great Silver Age comic books for sale by visiting our ebay store, or clicking HERE.