Thor #165 was one my earliest picks when I first wrote about undervalued silver age comics in 2013. A very fine copy then will only cost $50. You can imagine I went a bit overboard to buy these cheap comics up.
Bear in mind though. While $50 is considered cheap now, it was the market price back then. However, I do not mind paying market prices when I spotted an undervalued gem like this book. You can then easily accumulate a hoard, which will grow so much to make your purchase price seem ‘cheap’ in hindsight.
I have since sold 3-4 copies to recover my cost and cash in some profits but I still have a couple extra lying around.
Due to my $50 entry price, I find it hard to recommend this book now. However, one Mewe community member bought up this question so I thought it will be interesting to see if Thor #165 is still worth investing at 2020 prices.
Selecting the right benchmarks
Bench marking is the best way to determine if a comic book has room to grow. However, selecting the right bench marks is often an under appreciated skill. A wrong selection can lead you to wrong conclusions and distort your investment decisions.
I will illustrate the challenges of selecting the right benchmarks with Thor #165.
I choose 3 separate type of books to illustrate the different possibilities
- Fantastic Four #52 – This is the most optimistic case. A lead character with his own sole and becoming a global smash hit. In addition, the collecting community has taken well to Black Panther thus leading to increased demand for his first appearance.
- Marvel Super-heroes #13 – This is an example of a character who found box office success but not much love within the collecting community. Hence, even with low census data, the book cannot surpass Fantastic Four #52
- Avengers #57 – This is the worse case scenario whereby a character is just playing a supporting role and has plenty of copies on census
Below are the 4 books’ prices and census data information.
|Issue||CCG Copies (8.0)||Prices (8.0)||CCG Copies (9.0)||Prices (8.5)|
|Thor #165 (1969)||186||USD 600||132||USD 1300|
|Fantastic Four #52 (1966)||274||USD 2700||118||USD 5000|
|Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (1968)||123||USD 800||50||USD 1800|
|Avengers #57 (1968)||386||USD 500||259||USD 900|
3 of the 4 books cluster around the USD1000-2000 range in CGC 9.0 grade. Only Fantastic Four #52 broke through to achieve a much higher price level. This is because of the Black Panther’s success in both box office and collecting community that I mentioned earlier.
Hence, the key question you have to ask is whether Adam Warlock is closer to Black Panther or the other 2 characters?
That is not a simple question to answer because Adam Warlock has characteristic of both Black Panther and the other 2.
- Like Black Panther, Adam Warlock is probably more well liked among the collecting community than Captain Marvel or Vision. There is no objective evidence for this statement as it is just my own views. However, Black Panther is definitely a class above Adam Warlock as the former has been listed in both Wizard’s Top 200 comic characters as well as IGN’s top 100 comic characters.
- However, it is unlikely Adam Warlock can have his own solo movie so he is likely to play a supporting role like what Vision has been doing. However, Thor #165 is more scarce than Avengers #57 in high grades so it should be priced higher even if both characters play supporting roles.
- Also, while Adam Warlock might be more popular than Captain Marvel, she has her own movie which creates more hype for her books than just an appearance in a team movie. In other words, movie hype might overcome a character’s likeability during price run ups so it is not necessary that Thor #165 must be higher than Marvel Super-Heroes #13. In addition, the scarcity of the latter helps to support a higher price level.
Looking all through these, it is not necessary obvious that Thor #165 is an undervalued comic. There might be still room to grow but the question is how much. The answer will depend on which scenario you take.
If you are an optimist and think that Thor #165 can be closer to Fantastic Four #52, then there is a 100-200% growth opportunity if the book rises to $3500-4000
If you are conservative, then the growth is probably in the 2 digit area if the book rises to $2000-$2500 area
Like what I mentioned earlier, Thor #165 is not a book I will recommend because of my own entry prices.
My view is that a 9.8 copper newsstand investment might yield the same or even higher returns than Thor #165 but with a much lower entry price. I gave the example of Ghost Rider Vol 3, #28 yesterday.