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Comic Book Cash, Issue #006 -- Focus on Avengers Comics as Investments
September 29, 2014

Comic Book Cash #6 -- Focus on Avengers Comics as Investments

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Here is our mightiest ever roundup of potential picks for future return...

Avengers Comic Book Investment Picks

Earth's mightiest super-heroes offer plenty of mighty money-making opportunities! But you can't simply throw money at the series and hope for the best. Amongst all the hot issues are 'dead spots' in the run, with books that struggle to sell in any grade.

This article will help you to identify some solid places to put your cash. We'll tell you whether a book is a decent long-term hold, or a short-term wave to be ridden, before taking the profit and moving on to the next big thing.

Avengers #1: One of the Marvel Mega-Keys

You can count them on all your fingers (and maybe a couple of toes), the books which will never go out of style:

  • Avengers 1
  • Avengers 4
  • Incredible Hulk 1
  • Incredible Hulk 181
  • Amazing Fantasy 15
  • Amazing Spider-Man 1
  • Amazing Spider-Man 14
  • Amazing Spider-Man 129
  • Tales of Suspense 39
  • Tales to Astonish 27
  • Journey into Mystery 83
  • Fantastic Four 1
  • X-Men 1

Avengers #1 will sell, and sell fast, in any grade. Surprisingly, copies turn up quite often in Silver Age collections. It seems to be one of the books that collectors never sell or trade away until they are done with comic book collecting.

The movie (and a sequel in the works) certainly didn't hurt the demand for one of the iconic Marvel issues of the 1960s. The bright red cover promises thrills, and is surprisingly kind to moderate wear.

Avengers #1 will never go out of style
Avengers #1 will never go out of style

Definitely not a short-term gain type of book, unless you happen to find one for sale far too cheap. In which case you might still hang onto it. If you're looking for a good investment and have four figures to spend, then aim for fine condition or better, and buy in a CGC holder to avoid the risk of a restored copy.


Price Comparison for CGC 4.0

2012 Price: $1,350

2014 Price: $1,800


Avengers #4: Captain America Returns

Freezing a World War II super-soldier in ice, then reviving him (apparently as aresult of fan letter demand) in the 1960s, is genius writing. Cap has gone on to star in two solo movies in the MCU, plus the Avengers movie and its sequel. Perhaps flying a bit too close to the straight and narrow to be a fun hero, he is nonetheless a Marvel character you can't imagine being put on ice for 20 years anytime in the future.

As easy to sell as Avengers #1 and probably a bit scarcer in great shape, we like the prospects for this book.

Avengers #4 is actually harder to find in nice shape than #1
Avengers #4 is actually harder to find in nice shape than #1

In addition, check out another early Silver Age appearance in Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #13, plus the first Silver Age origin in Tales of Suspense #63. Both are good picks for future gain in high grade. Sgt Fury #13 is pretty tough to find over VF.

Sgt Fury #13 is the first Captain America crossover in the Silver Age, and 2nd SA appearance
Sgt Fury #13 is the first Captain America crossover in the Silver Age, and 2nd SA appearance. Very hard to find in higher grade


Tales of Suspense #63 is the first full Cap origin in the Silver Age
Tales of Suspense #63 is the first full Cap origin in the Silver Age

Avengers #4 is definitely a long-term hold book.


Price Comparison for CGC 4.0

2012 Price: $560

2014 Price: $670


Avengers #8: First Appearance of Kang the Conqueror

Oh, Kang! While some of the early Avengers stories are cooler (Hulk turning into Sulk and fighting the Avengers as a short-lived ally of the Sub-Mariner, for example), Kang has the potential to be big in the MCU.

It seems that Marvel is taking a strong vision of science fiction as the future for big plots surrounding the Avengers, Thor and (if they do it properly at long last...) the Fantastic Four, so characters like Kang have the chance to break it big in a future movie.

Kang appears for the first time in Avengers #8. Possible bad guy in a future movie?
Kang appears for the first time in Avengers #8. Possible bad guy in a future movie?

See what happened to Thanos in Iron Man #55 for inspiration. Buy and hold this book in as high grade as you can afford.


Price Comparison for CGC 8.0

2012 Price: $240

2014 Price: $360


Avengers #9: First Appearance of Wonder-Man

Subject to a lawsuit from DC (in the days when people cared about what the competition was publishing), who proved in court that Wonder Woman 'earned' the "Wonder" title, this would be the only appearance of Wonder-Man for quite some time.

Avengers #9 sees the first appearance of Wonder Man
Avengers #9 sees the first appearance of Wonder Man

Has gained a lot of traction in recent months; one you could buy and flip, if your grading skills are good. Also a reasonable long-term bet.


Price Comparison for CGC 8.0

2012 Price: $315

2014 Price: $375


Avengers 28: First Appearance of The Collector

If Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit, not to mention a surprise all-round, it has perhaps been the one Marvel super-hero movie that has done the most to promote weird first sppearances, and elevate Dollar bin specials into hot investment comic books.

Off the top of my head, I can think of:

  • Marvel Preview Magazine #4 (first Star-Lord)
  • Strange Tales #180 (first Gamora)
  • Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (first Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Tales to Astonish #13 (first Groot)
  • Incredible Hulk #271 (first Rocket Raccoon in comics)

The Avengers has been relatively calm in the face of GOTG fever. However, one minor key has come out of this fuss, and it's The Collector's debut in Avengers #28.

Whether the excitement will carry this book forward for years to come remains to be seen, but it's a welcome shot in the arm for a dead run of fairly lifeless Silver Age issues from #19 (first Swordsman) to #46 (Ant- Man returns) and #48 (first Black Knight).

Avengers issues in the mid-#20s to late-#30s have nowhere near as much traction as, say, Amazing Spider-Man from the same era.

GOTG fever has helped the price of Avengers #28 to spike
GOTG fever has helped the price of Avengers #28 to spike

I hesitate to recommend this as a long-term pick. Ride the wave, and have no regrets if you wipe out by cashing in too soon, only to see this one become a new #55.


Price Comparison for CGC 8.0

2012 Price: $100

2014 Price: $300


Avengers #55: First Full Appearance of Ultron

There is no rumor with both Avengers #54 (first cameo) and #55 books; Ultron-5 is confirmed as the villain in the Avengers 2 movie. But is the ride over for #54 and #55?

Certainly prices have softened as hundreds of high mid-grade to very high grade copies flooded the market. For a while, there was money to be made buying a copy with good eye appeal above CGC 8.5, holding it for a few weeks, then reselling, but those days are long over.

We prefer to recommend #57 and #58 as books which have come a long way, but still have the potential to continue appreciating.

Ultron-5 is going to be the bad guy in the next Avengers movie. #55 is the one to have
Ultron-5 is going to be the bad guy in the next Avengers movie. #55 is the one to have

If you're holding #55 in the hopes of a big jump during the movie run-in, it's a tricky call. Keep a close eye on completed eBay sales, and make your move when you feel comfortable.


Price Comparison for CGC 8.0

2012 Price: $55

2014 Price: $330


Avengers #57: First Silver Age Vision

Perhaps one of the coolest covers in this late Silver Age era, the deep reddish maroon color shows any wear, making high-grade copies of Avengers #57 relatively tough to track down. I've probably handled five or six copies recently, and only just this week has a nice copy in VF/NM come my way.

You might conclude from the explosive growth that this issue has run its course. But I see no signs of it slowing down. There must be many ex-owners of Iron Man #55 who talked themselves into selling because "It can't possibly go any higher." Thanos bucked the trend by continuing to appreciate, and I think The Vision might have that potential too.

Avengers #57 is the first Silver Age Vision, and red hot right now
Avengers #57 is the first Silver Age Vision, and red hot right now

Get it in VF/NM or higher, if you can afford it.


Price Comparison for CGC 8.0

2012 Price: $180

2014 Price: $500


Later Key Issues of the Avengers Comic Book

Not so long ago, you could write off most of the Bronze Age issues of this series. But recently, speculation, links to Thanos or other MCU characters or plotlines, and just renewed interest in collecting these books has seen values for certain issues spike up.

For some, it may be too late to get in on the action, but if you can find well-priced examples of the following books, you could still profit. Always insist on very high grade.

Avengers #125: Thanos appearance

Another of the books which has been lifted by the fresh interest in Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet and related storylines.

Thanos

fever has driven up the price of Avengers #125
Thanos fever has driven up the price of Avengers #125

Price Comparison for CGC 9.6

2012 Price: $180

2014 Price: $740


Avengers #144: First Hellcat

It seems that no Bronze Age first appearances are safe from speculation these days. Hellcat is on the rise.

Hellcat appears in Avengers #144. Will the character be a future hit?
Hellcat appears in Avengers #144. Will the character be a future hit?

Price Comparison for CGC 9.6

2012 Price: $110

2014 Price: $130


Avengers #158: First Gravitron

Dr. Franklin Hall becomes Gravitron in this issue, which has jumped far ahead of Overstreet guide prices.

Gravitron is moving up in value, get yours now!
Gravitron is moving up in value, get yours now!

Price Comparison for CGC 9.8

2012 Price: $120

2014 Price: $240


Avengers #181: Scott Lang Ant-Man debut

Along with Marvel Premiere #47 and #48, this is a red-hot book due to the Ant-Man movie (despite its on-off relationship with the rumor mongers). You need to find it in super-high grade though. There are plenty of these around.

Ant-Man is a mighty force in comic books right now, and Avengers #181 is a hot issue
Ant-Man is a mighty force in comic books right now, and Avengers #181 is a hot issue

Price Comparison for CGC 9.8

2012 Price: $85

2014 Price: $400


Avengers #183: Ms Marvel joins the team

Collectors and speculators are paying WAY over guide for high-grade copies of this book, as everything Ms Marvel is red-hot right now -- movie speculation is rife on this character. High grade only on this book, and be prepared to sell in the run-in to her eventual movie appearances.

Ms Marvel joins the super-team, and prices on her key issues are shooting up
Ms Marvel joins the super-team; prices on her key issues are shooting up

Avengers #196: first appearance of Taskmaster

Yet another common first appearance issue which has nonetheless spiked up in price. Until fairly recently, high grade copies were a few dollars. Not anymore. This one continues to make rapid progress.

Taskmaster... Who?! Yep, another Bronze first appearance catches fire
Taskmaster... Who?! Yep, another Bronze first appearance catches fire

Price Comparison for CGC 9.8

2012 Price: $250

2014 Price: $330


More on Avengers Comic Books

Check out the main article about Avengers comic book values here.



Want to Save Money on eBay Purchases?

As usual, buy what you can afford and enjoy, and you can't lose. Don't overlook the key issues -- obvious is not always a bad thing in investing -- but these have a chance to spring a few surprises in the years to come.

If you'd like to explore ways to save money every month on your eBay purchases, then please Contact Us to discuss. We've done this for several collector/investors, and more are joining us every month. NO COST TO YOU. Get in touch to find out more.


Cheers

Ashley Cotter-Cairns Editor, Sell My Comic Books

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