I posted earlier about why I think Marvel Spotlight #5 is one of the undervalued top 10 bronze age keys. In that article, I used Iron Man #55 as the benchmark to establish there is still room for this issue to experience a 100% growth rate. Since then, I notice many other top bronze age books going up in prices and I think I have found an even better benchmark: ASM #129.
Why ASM #129? There are many similarities but let me recap a few of them here
- Both are heroes
- Both are hot during the 90s. The best evidence is their title print run during the 90s. The Ghost Rider Vol 2 had an average print run of over 400k copies in 1993 while the Punisher 2099 had around 300k print run. I don’t have the number of the actual Punisher main series but I believe it should be higher than its 2099 counterpart and be in the 400k region as well.
- Both had suffered through bad movies and a lost of collector interest.
- Both were always top 10 Bronze age books in the Overstreet guide.
As you can see, there is a lot of similarity between Marvel Spotlight #5 and Spider Man #129. Best of all, the Punisher has recently gotten renewed interest in the collector community due to his involvement in the upcoming Daredevil season 2. This will gives us a good idea of how media news can affect Marvel Spotlight #5 as well if Ghost Rider is announced in either a TV show or a movie.
Let’s look at the table below.
|Spider Man #129
|Marvel Spotlight #5
Looking at the table, you can see the prices of ASM #129 have been driven sharply up by the TV show news. This is exactly what I was talking about in my previous Marvel Spotlight #5 article. When established but forgotten characters such as the Punisher gets the limelight, the run in prices will be faster and crazier than a new first appearance that wasn’t that well collected before, like Man Thing for example.
The same thing will happen to MS #5 if Ghost Rider suddenly becomes part of the MCU and I believe he will. It is just a matter of waiting, which means right now is the best time to stock up before any official news drop on us.
Some might argue that the Punisher is more popular than Ghost Rider. That may be true although their print run numbers suggest that they are actually equal in popularity during the 90s. Nevertheless, let’s assume that the Punisher is more popular than Ghost Rider. Does it mean MS #5 can’t match the current ASM #129 prices? Nope.
The reason is the supply. Let’s look at the table again and review the census information.
In the 3 grades I have reviewed, we are talking about 2.5 to 3 times difference in ASM #129’s availability, relative to MS #5. This is easy to understand since Spider Man has always been a popular comic that has a larger print run than Marvel Spotlight and is also well collected by fans. As a result, the higher grade copies are more available for the Punisher’s first appearance.
So, even if Punisher is more popular than Ghost Rider, is he 2.5 to 3 times more popular? I don’t think so. Hence, I suspect the prices of MS #5 might spike beyond the ASM #129 current pricing when there is any media news on Ghost Rider.
The result of this comparision is very similar to the one I did for Iron Man #55. Marvel Spotlight #5 is just a undervalued book that is waiting for the right conditions to regain its rightful place in the Top 10 Bronze age keys. It represents a good investment opportunity if you get in now rather than waiting for the news to drop.
However, I must advise that this investment will require patience as we might not hear anything in the next 2 years. If you can afford to wait out 2-4 years, I strongly recommend you picking this up if your budget allows you to.