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My very first undervalued bronze age comics was about Bronze age #1 issues. That was in 2013. After 7 years, it is time to revisit this investment strategy and to identify if they are still undervalued or if there are other #1 issues to consider.
In this guide, I avoid #1 issues that happen to have a first appearance because that will not yield clean results. Hence #1 issues such as Shazam #1, Night Nurse #1, Nova #1, Eternals #1, Ms Marvel #1 etc will be left out.
I also exclude issues that I think are not the right time to invest because their first appearance have not even heated up. These include the likes of Red Wolf #1, Kull the conqueror #1.
The table below is divided between books that have went through the media hype vs those that have not fully experienced it or has cooled down significantly.
The point is to see if there are any undervalued #1 issues we can grab before they are heavily promoted.
|Issues|| Price Value (9.4)|
|Price Value (9.6)|
|Swamp Thing #1 (1972)||USD 500|
|Werewolf by Night #1 (1972)||USD 600|
|Ghost Rider #1 (1973)||USD 1000|
|Son of Satan 1 (1975)||USD 120|
|Iron Fist #1 (1975)||USD 240|
|Black Panther #1 (1977)||USD 180|
|Not Hyped or Cooled|
|Defenders #1 (1972)||USD 450|
|Warlock #1 (1972)||USD 350|
|Man Thing #1 (1974)||USD 220|
|Ka-Zar #1 (1974)||USD 80 |
|Howard the Duck #1 (1976)||USD 150|
Pre 1975 #1 issues
Lets first look at #1 issues that are before 1975. The books published in this era tend to be less well cared for and high grade copies are harder to come by.
3 books (Swamp Thing #1, Werewolf by Night #1 and Ghost Rider #1) have went through the hype cycle, which are good ceilings to measure other books against. However, Ghost Rider #1 contains a small cameo of Son of Satan so that might inflate its price.
If we compare Defenders #1, Warlock #1, Man-Thing #1 and Kazar #1 with the above 3 books, all are pretty undervalued in the 9.6 grade.
Warlock #1, in particular seems more scarce than others so it might make a better investment than the others. This is especially so when we know he is coming in GOTG #3. However, there is Marvel Premiere #1 as a competing book so that might reduce the demand for Warlock #1.
In 9.4 grade, only Warlock #1 and Man-Thing #1 have some room to move. If we compared to the conservative Swamp Thing #1 prices, then there is around 80-100% returns potential in these books.
Man-Thing in particular has received less media hype than the other 2. If you want to bet on this character, this is not a bad book to add to your investment portfolio.
However, the most undervalued of the bunch has to be Kazar #1
Date of Publication: 1974
Sale number: No Information
Key strengths of this book
1. #1 issue for Ka-zar
There hasn’t been a lot of sales of this book in high grade. However, the few that happened are pretty low priced, relatively to what other #1 issues are commanding.
Kazar has been speculated on in recent years, resulting in the rise of his first appearance in X-Men #10. However, most have not pick up on this #1 issue yet. So, if you want in on the Kazar spec but do not want to spend the kind of money needed for a X-Men #10, this will be a good issue to bet on.
Post 1974 #1 issues
For this era, the benchmark books we are looking at are Iron Fist #1, Son of Satan #1 and Black Panther #1.
The first thing to take away is that when it comes to movie speculation, it is MCU or nothing. While Son of Satan is now having his own show, it is not affecting his #1 issue that much, especially if you compare against Iron Fist #1 and Black Panther #1. The main reason is probably because it is on Hulu, rather than Disney+.
The second thing to take away is that books published in 1975 and after has much more high grade copies, which depressed the prices of these books. You can see that by comparing Iron Fist #1 with Defenders #1. The latter has no movie rumors but is already selling much higher than the former, which has its own TV show.
The final take away is that the ceiling on these post 1974 books is pretty low. Unless you get in really really cheap, the most you can get for them is around USD250+.
Given the above, many #1 issues post 1974 offer very little rewards. I used one book, Howard the Duck #1, as an example. While it is selling below the likes of Iron Fist #1, the difference is not much. This applies to other #1 issues such as Invaders #1, Spider-Woman #1, Machine Man #1 etc.
I think you capital will be better employed if invested in pre 1975 books.
Investing in #1 issue has also been a viable strategy. It is a cheaper way to ride on the growth of a particular character’s popularity if you didn’t manage to get his or her first appearance early.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some baseline to make comparisons on how much profits to expect and how much to invest for these #1 issues.