Bronze Age Comics To Invest In 2020 (FTL Approach)

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In my article on how to invest in low grade mega keys, I mention about market ebbs and flows.

What might be correctly valued years ago can become undervalued if the overall market moves up even further

If you want to make money off blue chip keys (rather than speculative issues), then you need to watch out for when such flows happen.

I used this approach in my article on examining the value of Tomb of Dracula #10. I have reproduced the same table below for your convenience. These prices are from 2016.

IssueCCG Copies
(9.0 and above)
Prices
(For 9.0)
Prices
(For 9.2)
Marvel Spotlight #5 (1972)382USD 800USD 1100
Hero for Hire #1 (1972)316USD 950USD 1300
Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973)486USD 450USD 570
Marvel Premiere #15 (1974)793USD 450USD 550
Werewolf by Night #32 (1975)463USD 1100USD 1400

From the table, it was clear then that the top horror books like Marvel Spotlight #5 and Werewolf by Night #32 have already moved the market forward. Tomb of Dracula #10, unfortunately has not keep up and hence created an opportunity to invest. This was what I did and we all know how much TOD #10 is worth now.

I am going to repeat this exercise in 2020 again to show the power of using this approach and to identify a few more undervalued blue chip supernatural books from Marvel.

For the ease of naming, I am calling this the FTL (Follow The Leader) approach

This time, TOD #10 is part of the benchmark books we will be using to tell us where the market is right now.

IssueCCG Copies (8.0) Prices (8.0)CCG Copies (8.5)Prices (8.5)
Marvel Spotlight #5 (1972)360USD 1300326USD 2200
Amazing Spider-Man #101 (1971)324USD 800321USD 1000
Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973)281USD 1000323USD 1300
Werewolf by Night #32 (1975)325USD 1300388USD 1700
Links above are to Ebay. If you buy something, I will get a commission from Ebay as part of its affiliate program. If you want to support my research, using my links to buy from Ebay will be the best way.

This benchmark portfolio is telling us the following:

  • Market prices for very fine condition books can cross $1k easily. In fact, in 8.5, you can even go to $1,300 and more
  • The number of very fine grades on the CGC census for these books is surprising uniform. Most have around 300 copies each. This means you do not need extreme scarcity for these books to beat the $1k price point.

Using the above, we can then compare against other bronze age books that have not reach these prices levels. Some of them can become the next TOD #10.

These 8.0 comics can get you $1k

Before looking at the data, let me share a story with you.

When I presented the TOD #10 article a few years, most disagreed with what I said.

“Blade will never be the next Moon Knight”

“His book is more common than MS #5 so they can’t be compared”

And many more

The bottom line is they do not believed that a book like TOD#10 can reach what Marvel Spotlight #5 or Werewolf by Night #32 have achieved. This is because a lot of their personal biases came into play.

However, the market doesn’t care about your personal beliefs about a character. It moves to where it can support, which is usually below the top runners when news happen.

Bear this mind when you are making investment decisions. Do not let your personal preference about a character blind you to what the market is saying.

IssueCCG Copies (8.0) Prices (8.0)CCG Copies (8.5)Prices (8.5)
Marvel Spotlight #5 (1972)360USD 1300326USD 2200
Amazing Spider-Man #101 (1971)324USD 800321USD 1000
Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973)281USD 1000323USD 1300
Werewolf by Night #32 (1975)325USD 1300388USD 1700
Candidates
Marvel Spotlight #2 (1972)130USD400150USD500
Savage Tales #1 (1971)51USD40047USD450
Non Supernatural
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (1972)346USD350298USD500
Links above are to Ebay. If you buy something, I will get a commission from Ebay as part of its affiliate program. If you want to support my research, using my links to buy from Ebay will be the best way.

The two books I want to focus on are the horror or supernatural comics from Marvel. I put a non supernatural book for some fun analysis later on.

Both Savage Tales #1 and Marvel Spotlight #2 fit into the supernatural world of the MCU very well. Both will likely to receive some media hype eventually.

At current prices, there is quite some room to profit if the news really happen. At the optimistic side, we are looking at potential 3X returns. Even conservatively, there is a 2X returns potential.

These 2 books are also in the Overstreet Top 50 bronze age books. This means they are unlikely to go down too much if things do not pan out.

With a good upside and limited downside, I would consider these 2 books solid investment for the Bronze Age for 2020. Do consider these 2 comics if you want to buy more blue chip and less speculative characters like Shanna the She Devil or Lilith.

One other thing to note is how small their CGC numbers are, especially Savage Tales #1. These 2 books are well known for being hard to find in solid grades and the census is reflecting that.

I am sure the numbers will increase if these books heat up. However, it is uncertain if they will ever be as high as those 4 benchmark books.

Hence, even if these characters are less popular than the likes of Ghost Rider, Moon Knight etc, the smaller supply will help to buffer that difference and keep the prices high.

What other non supernatural Marvel bronze age?

The 2 books I picked are riding on the supernatural wave that MCU will be unleashing. As such, relative to the top books in the same genre, they can be said to be undervalued.

How about Marvel bronze age first issues that are not supernatural in nature? An example I picked is Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1.

As the table shows, its current pricing is almost identical to Marvel Spotlight #2 and Savage Tales #1. It is as if the TV show did nothing to permanently increase its value, in contrast to books Marvel Preview #4 which had a permanent increase.

So the key question is whether we can use the supernatural top runners to predict where Hero for Hire #1 can be if the character returns to the MCU

That is something I hope that readers can comment on.

Conclusion

Undervalued comics do not always mean comics you never heard of.

It can be books you already know but viewing them with new data or perspective can change the way you think about them.

Hopefully this article has inspired you to do so.

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