100 Hot Comics #11:
Tales of Suspense 39, 1st Iron Man
UP 26 PLACES FROM LAST YEAR!

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Why Tales of Suspense #39 is a Hot Comic

2022 MARKET UPDATE: IRON MAN'S FIRST APPEARANCE FLIRTS WITH THE TOP 10

Pretty much every grade of TOS #39 is up from last year. There are some eye-catching sales in the VF range, notably $99K for an 8.5.

It seems that the fuss surrounding Ironheart has bled into the original (and best) Iron Man character's big key.

Rather like Daredevil #1, TOS #39 had been lagging behind other Marvel Silver keys. Not any more! If you held this book for the past few years, then that's finally starting to look like a great decision.

If you can afford it, a 6.5 for less than half the price of a 7.0 looks great value for money.

Recent sales:

  • 9.2 $144,000
  • 8.5 $99,000
  • 8.0 $89,475
  • 7.0 $49,970
  • 6.5 $22,200
  • 6.0 $14,900
  • 5.5 $19,500
  • 5.0 $16,800
  • 4.5 $17,240
  • 4.0 $14,500
  • 3.5 $10,900
  • 3.0 $11,875
  • 2.0 $10,100
  • 1.8 $10,000
  • 1.5 $5,300
  • 1.0 $4,560
  • 0.5 $4,700

2021 MARKET UPDATE: 

Lower to mid-grade copies of TOS#39 are doing well this year. Other books have seen huge surges, while Iron Man fans have to be content with steady gains.

The entry level price for a CGC 0.5 is now over $2,600.

Recent sales:

  • 9.4 $99,000
  • 9.0 $46,800
  • 8.5 $33,600
  • 8.0 $26,600
  • 7.0 $20,400
  • 6.5 $13,200
  • 6.0 $14,000
  • 5.5 $11,850
  • 5.0 $8,950
  • 4.5 $9,500
  • 4.0 $7,100
  • 3.5 $6,000
  • 3.0 $7,200(!!)
  • 2.5 $5,160
  • 2.0 $4,530
  • 1.8 $3,990
  • 1.5 $4,000
  • 1.0 $3,500
  • 0.5 $2,675

IF YOU BOUGHT MY RECOMMENDED GRADE LAST YEAR:

Here's the bottom line.

  • CGC 4.0 2020 $6,672
  • LAST SALE $7,100
  • PERCENT CHANGE +6%

2020 MARKET UPDATE: ENTRY LEVEL BUMPING AGAINST THE $2K CEILING

Tales of Suspense 39 has been a hot comic for a while, but this year saw bargain hunters chase lower grades up in value.

My chosen grade of 4.0 is static this year unfortunately.

The sale which really caught my eye was CGC 0.5 for $1,900.

That is an entry level ragged copy which shows just how scarce this mega Marvel Silver Age key issue is compared to X-Men 1, Avengers 1 and the like.

Here are recent sales:

  • 9.0 $46,522
  • 8.5 $29,200
  • 8.0 $21,600
  • 7.5 $19,920
  • 7.0 $15,250
  • 6.5 $12,100
  • 6.0 $11,322
  • 5.5 $9,950
  • 5.0 $7,900
  • 4.5 $6,000
  • 4.0 $6,339(!)
  • 3.5 $4,080
  • 3.0 $4,350(!)
  • 2.5 $3,999
  • 2.0 $2,520
  • 1.8 $3,000(!!)
  • 1.5 $3,350(!!!!)
  • 1.0 $1,980
  • 0.5 $1,900

2019 MARKET UPDATE: THROUGH THE IRON CURTAIN, AGAIN

This book had dropped last year, but it's rebounded in style in "Stark" contrast to the results of 2018.

Some huge record sales have been recorded this year. Let's dig a little deeper.

A rising tide lifts all boats (as long as the boats have Marvel written on their sides), and it seems that this mega-key issue is no exception.

I expect this book to continue trending up. Iron Man is not going away anytime soon.

Lower grades have lagged compared to the gains seen above 3.0.

  • CGC 8.5 $38,100
  • CGC 8.0 $32,500
  • CGC 6.5 $12,535
  • CGC 6.0 $10,500
  • CGC 5.0 $7,500
  • CGC 4.0 $6,600
  • CGC 3.5 $4,650
  • CGC 2.5 $3,750
  • CGC 1.8 $2,600
  • CGC 0.5 $1,625

2018 MARKET UPDATE: THE STARK TRUTH IS, IT'S ABOUT TO JUMP BACK UP

Some books will never truly go out of style. First big Silver Age appearances will always find new homes when they come to market.

That said, TOS #39 has been struggling in recent years. There are just some signs of regrouping, with uptick in prices on various grades.

Recent sales have shown improvement, and it will probably move back up the list next year. One to hold if you have not sold off yours yet.

  • CGC 8.5 $30,500
  • CGC 8.0 $24,000
  • CGC 7.0 $10,400
  • CGC 6.5 $12,300 (!!)
  • CGC 6.0 $6,900
  • CGC 5.0 $5,300
  • CGC 4.0 $4,500
  • CGC 3.5 $4,250
  • CGC 2.5 $3,000
  • CGC 1.8 $2,500
  • CGC 0.5 $1,350

2017 MARKET UPDATE:

This book has been in a bit of a slump in the last couple of years, but it's begun to heat up again. Not quite enough to move it up the list at all, but it's worth keeping an eye on this book. It might be about to break out of its holding pattern.

It's one of the more common Marvel mega-key issues of the 1960s, but seldom turns up in nicer shape than VG.

  • CGC 8.5: $25,000
  • CGC 8.0 $17,000
  • CGC 7.0 $11,100
  • CGC 6.5 $9,000
  • CGC 6.0 $6,300
  • CGC 4.0 $3,950
  • CGC 3.5 $3,550
  • CGC 2.5 $2,310
  • CGC 2.0 $2,650
  • CGC 0.5 INCOMPETE RESTORED $1,400 (!!!!)

As 1960s Marvel Key issues go, ToS #39 is right up there with the best of them.

Not as common as Avengers #1 but not as scarce as Journey into Mystery #83, the huge success of the movie franchise starring Robert Downey, Jr. has made Iron Man a household name, and kept prices buoyant.

Don't cheap out with a 0.5 or 1.0 ragged copy of this book. Save up for a VG with a nice-looking front cover. Note that the sea green color is prone to fading; try to get an example with the green as pure as possible.

See more about Tales of Suspense #39 here.

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