If only the physicists would crank up their research and get us a time machine.
The 41st Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is out and as usual it is chock full of the obvious: prices, of course, but also commentary for dealers and collectors, year in review articles, the guy who says he paid $30,000 to advertise on the back cover, and inside, more ads than you could ever read. As price guides go you can actually spend a lot of time learning about the history of various books and characters, and see new books you may not have noticed otherwise.
If you shuffle through it all, the Overstreet Guide provides some great information. What stood out to me first in this year’s guide is the showcase of the great swing in prices today for rare, key comic issues compared to when the Guide was first published back in 1970.
Here are some great examples:
- Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, could be bought for $300 in Mint condition back in 1970. Today’s guide price? $1.4 million. Talk about an investment!
- Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, could be bought for $275 in Mint condition in 1970. Today? $1.2 million.
- Superman #1 could be bought for $250 in 1970 in Mint condition. Today’s price is $560,000. As much as I am hoping for good things from the new DC #1 issues in September, it’s pretty unlikely any will fetch $500,000 in 2052. But maybe $250?
- Marvel Comics #1, the first appearance of the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner, could be bought for $250 in 1970 in Mint condition. Today its guide price tag is $460,000.
- All-American Comics #16, the first appearance of Green Lantern, could be bought for a mere $50 in 1970 in Mint condition. Today that same book would sell for $400,000.
Of course, back in 1970 most people would have thought your screw was loose for buying a comic for $300 or even $50.
Books that haven’t had 70 years to appreciate–Silver Age comic books from the 1960s also have some substantial increases over the past 41 years.
- Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man, could be bought for $16 back in 1970 in Mint condition. Today that comic book sells for $125,000.
- The Incredible Hulk #1 sold for $14 in Mint condition in 1970. Today, you might find one for $75,000.
- Fantastic Four #1 sold for only $12 in Mint condition in 1970. Today? $80,000. Not bad at all!
It is interesting to see the steep lowered tier of values when you compare Golden Age DC Comics titles to their Silver Age Marvel Comics counterparts. Yet the Silver Age DC Comics characters also drop off significantly compared to their Marvel Comics counterparts.
Check out the new Overstreet guide for even more comparisons. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 41 SC (Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide) is available at Amazon.com as well as comic books stores, or add it to your pull list at Comixology.