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Comic Book Cash, Issue #012 -- Focus on Amazing Spider-Man #129
November 29, 2014

Comic Book Cash #12

Focus on Amazing Spider-Man #129 as an Investment

With the notable exception of the legendary Incredible Hulk #181 (first full Wolverine appearance), Amazing Spider-Man #129 is THE book of the Bronze Age of comic books.

Yes, there are many other keys; some of which have broken out recently due to movie announcements:

You can also make a case for Amazing Spider-Man #121 and #122 (death of Gwen Stacy and death of Green Goblin) and #194 (first Black Cat).

However, ASM #129 is THE book that everybody wants. First appearance of The Punisher (you'll need to pick up a copy of the Curtis magazine Marvel Preview #2 to get his origin, itself approaching $1K in CGC 9.8 shape). ASM #129 is missing from collections far more often than #121 or #122.

The classic cover – monkey puke yellow, with old web-head in the cross-sights of the enigmatic assassin – is unmistakable, and shows any wear or spine stress quite nicely.

Amazing Spider-Man #129 as an Investment Opportunity

Rather like Hulk #181, there are lots of grades where it makes no sense to get a book graded by CGC. This is a book which wants to be read, and collectors will often pay the same price, or even a little more, for a reading copy.

Once you get above the FN level, prices start to get higher for graded examples. eBay prices for raw books are also misleading at this level, because the chances are they are being bought to be slabbed for a profit.

If your 'from eBay grading' is spot on, you can make decent returns doing this. Collectors are leery of buying this book uncertified in the upper grades:

Grade Raw on eBay CGC 2014 average Number in CGC census
7.0 $348 $431 405
8.0 $485 $565 516
9.0 $654 $779 627
9.2 $596 $1,005 477
9.4 $737 $1,325 440
9.6 $1,027 $2,119 238
9.8 none $5,932 79

More than one industry contact has revealed to me that Incredible Hulk #181 turns up for sale way more often than Amazing Spider-Man #129 in CGC 9.8 grade.

This book is pretty scarce at 9.8, and while the crazy Bronze Age prices of the market peak have not been seen – yet – prices on 9.8s are strong and moving in the right direction.

The Downside of This Book

Unless Marvel knows something that we don't, the Punisher is not going to spring many surprises on unsuspecting speculators.

His movie bow was many years ago now; could he be overdue for a reboot, or at least an appearance in a Spider-Man movie?

Because Marvel doesn't own the movie rights for the Spider-Man franchise, control over which bad guys (or neutral guys, if you think of him like that) will show up is out of their hands.

So far, the Amazing Spider-Man movie reboots have stuck to the classic Silver Age Spider-Man villains:

  • Lizard
  • Electro
  • Rhino
  • hints in trailers of the Vulture or Doc Oc, too

No sign yet of the Sandman or Green Goblin, but they were done very well in the Tobey McGuire series. The Hobgoblin, or Carnage, seem just as likely, if not more so, than the Punisher.

Because he's part of the Spidey series, there is no chance at all of a crossover into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And yet...

The Upside of This Book

It's a must-have Bronze Age book in the world's most collected series. And who knows?

The Rhino was a bit of a surprise cameo (which also didn't do much for prices of his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #41), and we may yet see the Punisher play a similar minor role in the Amazing Spider-Man movie series. If so, expect prices to jump fast.

If you're building a portfolio rather than a collection, then you can think of ASM #129 as a blue-chip stock. It's recovering from the crazy inflation period nicely, and especially in the high nine grades, shows annual returns:

Grade 2012 average 2013 average 2014 average Last sale
9.4 $1,092 $1,179 $1,325 $1,500
9.6 $1,808 $1,885 $2,119 $2,700
9.8 $4,647 $5,610 $5,932 $4,750

Choosing Your Grade Based on Budget

If we're talking about investment grade, then the copy of ASM #129 you should buy needs to be at least 8.0.

There are simply too many of these books around to let your standards slip. If you miss one, then rest assured that there will be another along in a day, or a few hours!

Target price is for five years, or less. This book should be seen as a slower growth, solid blue-chip investment. Aim to achieve 40 percent. When you do, sell.

Amazing Spider-Man #129 is a tough book in CGC 9.8

CGC Grade Aim to pay Target selling price
8.0 $600 $850
9.0 $825 $1,200
9.2 $1,100 $1,550
9.4 $1,450 $2,000
9.6 $2,200 $3,000
9.8 $6,000 $8,500

Insist on well-centered examples with white pages when you make your investment.

As usual, buy what you can afford and enjoy, and you can't lose.

If you have any questions about this article, or want us to find you the right investment copy of this book on your behalf, then please get in touch.

Check Out Our Comic Book Store!

Have you seen our online comic book store?

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Prices are lower than you'd have to pay us on eBay, because we can avoid the seller fees. Shipping is FREE on all orders over $100.

We only have one of each book, so when they're gone, they're gone. Click here to see what's hot!


Ashley Cotter-Cairns Editor, Sell My Comic Books

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