Do You Have Comic Gold?
Growing up with a learning disability made early reading and writing a major struggle for me. I think due to this, I gravitated towards drawing and comics. One of my favorite things to do was try and recreate the awesome artwork in comic books. This is how I was “reading” the story. I was reading through a combination of visuals and words.
The artwork sparked great joy in me to create my own art. I began drawing and painting, and still do to this day.
So later on I began collecting comics. I enjoyed the art, mythology and collecting aspects. Each year as a kid I would go down to the Comic Convention where I could briefly meet my favorite artists and have them sign a book or poster. I still collect a bit but not as much as before. I have a lot of grown up stuff to do.
But the point of this article is to showcase a few comic books from the early modern era (1984-1990’s) that are now worth quite a bit of money.
You might want to check mom’s attic or basement for those old comic books you forgot about. Many of what are called “modern age” comics are really beginning to skyrocket in value. Especially with the popularity of the super hero movies. These are typically comics that came from 1985 to the mid 1990’s. So if you are in your late 30’s to early 50’s, you may have some of these books stashed away somewhere. You could either find them and enjoy them again or sell them for a small fortune.
A quick note about value. Obviously the better the condition, the more the comic is worth. Same holds true for any collectible. If I hold onto a collectible I have a couple of criteria:
- I only hold onto collectibles that I enjoy. In other words, they need to have some instrinsic value to me beyond monetary value. Otherwise the object is just taking up space and is clutter. If I do not truly enjoy it, then I typically sell it.
- It is important to take care of the collectible. If it is damaged by elements or mishandled, then the value plummets. There may come a time when you are ready to sell the object and if it is damaged then you will receive far less.
- For comics, it may be worth it to have them professionally sealed and graded. This practice is most commonly performed for a fee by the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC). You will see many comics with the CGC logo and a number 0-10. 0 being completed trashed and damaged, 10 being in perfect mint condition. I have never seen a perfect 10 mint condition grade on an old book. But there are some very high grades from the modern era. And the high grade and archiving of the book can make it sell for far more.
- There is a cost to CGC processing and grading, so best reserved for the very high value books. A person must become a member of CGC to gain direct submission privileges.
- Keep in mind the high end values listed below represent when a book has CGC high grade.
- Here are a few high value books that may rise in value even more over time:
Batman Adventures #12
First Appearance Harley Quinn: Up to $1,100
Each year thousands of people dress up like the Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn is actually a relatively new character in the DC universe. Her first comic appearance was in Batman Adventures #12. Due to the first appearance, this book has become very valuable. In general, first appearance books can become very valuable if the character gains popularity.
The former Dr Harleen Quinzel began life as the Joker’s girlfriend is now a pop culture icon in her own right, again to the point that she gets a starring role on the big screen in the likes of Suicide Squad and the upcoming Birds of Prey.
The Infinity Gauntlet #1: up to $350
If you have seen the popular Avengers movies, then you know Thanos seeks to destroy the universe by harnessing the power of the Infinity Guantlet and powerful stones.
Infinity War was a popular 2018 superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios.
Due to all this popularity, this book in good condition has blasted into space in value. It is it’s own infinity stone of any modern comic book collection.
The Incredible Hulk #340: up to $400
As a kid I drew this cover art because it is so cool. In the reflection of Wolverine’s claws you can see the enraged Hulk. Beast vs beast at battle until death! which came out in 1988. For starters, there’s the fact that it features a fight between the Hulk and Wolverine, two of the most popular and iconic characters in Marvel. But there’s also the fact that it’s drawn by Todd McFarlane, with a classic cover to boot. If you happen to have a copy in mint condition, you could get as much as $400 for it.
Spawn #1: up to $375
Anyone who collected comics in the late 80’s and 90’s typically knows about the iconic artwork of Todd McFarlane. He really took comic book art to a new level with amazingly drafted anatomy and attention to detail. McFarlane created Spawn after breaking away from Marvel back in the early 90s, both writing and drawing the series. The popularity of the character led to one unsuccessful film, although a reboot is expected in the next couple of years starring Jamie Foxx in the title role. This could increase the value of the comic and the Spawn universe. This first issue could sell for as much as $375 in top-quality condition.
Wonder Woman #72: up to $800
This retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin is an awesome comic from the early 90’s, not just for the story itself, but also because of the spectacular front cover art by British artist Brian Bolland. Interest in Wonder Woman heightened recently thanks to the success of the film starring Gal Gadot.
Uncanny X-Men #266: up to $500
As mentioned, first appearance books usually go up in value for popular characters. First appearance of Gambit is no exception. Gambit boasts the ability to mentally create, control and manipulate pure kinetic energy. He comes from a thieves’ guild in the New Orleans region. This is another character that there is discussion of solo movie.
Have fun & collect
The main thing here is to have fun and perhaps find something that you enjoy collecting. There is an inherent joy in collecting things. Humans collect almost anything and in a strange way I see it as a part of our success as a species and an economy. We like collecting things and seeing how they can enhance our survival and lives. Sometimes these collections can turn out to be quite valuable.