’70s X: Five Best-Selling Bronze Age X-Men Comics

by Matt Tuck

For the longtime X-Men fans, the series may have originated in the silver age, but it wasn’t until the bronze age that the team was truly born. These keys from the 1970s are the backbone of any solid X-Men collection, and they’re only going to be more popular when the mutants crash the MCU party.

Before we venture into the X-Men bronze age, I feel the need to preface by saying this isn’t a Wolverine list. That will be in a later post. Today, this is purely on the best-selling X-Men (and Uncanny X-Men) titles from the bronze age over the past month. In case you missed it, check out Five Best-Selling Silver Age X-Men Keys.

Giant-Size-X-Men-195x300 '70s X: Five Best-Selling Bronze Age X-Men Comics1. GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1

I’m glad that the debut of the “new” X-Men got its own #1. Considering the title was floundering up to this point (Marvel had debated cancelling the series altogether multiple times because sales were low), GSX #1 is what I see as the true first appearance of the X-Men. This is the team that fans adored, and it’s what spawned a movie franchise and made their inclusion in the MCU such a momentous occasion. Stan Lee laid the groundwork, certainly, but if it wasn’t for GSX #1, the X-Men franchise would have died in the silver age. In fact, it was essentially on life support before Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, and Nightcrawler were added to the team.

The most popular grades among collectors have been the 8.5, 8.0, and the 7.5, all of which have sold 50 or more times and have averaged over $1,100 each in the past 12 months. Speaking of the 8.5, it hasn’t sold for less than $1,900 since the end of February and cracked a new record sale of $2,799 on March 5. The low grades are skyrocketing as well; nothing below a graded 3.0 has sold this year, but it brought $550 earlier this month.

New-Mutants-1-195x300 '70s X: Five Best-Selling Bronze Age X-Men Comics2. NEW MUTANTS #1

Didn’t I say this list was exclusively for X-Men titles? While this series may bear the name “The New Mutants,” any X-fan knows this is the story of the next generation of X-Men, many of whom are still part of the modern continuity.

It’s been selling very well due in large part to the New Mutants movie that I assume is still going to be released despite the Disney buyout. At this point, nothing conclusive has been said aside from its release date being changed around. At any rate, the speculation is driving sales, though if Disney were to cancel the project, that would make for a drastic change. Personally, I doubt that will happen simply because there’s too much money already invested in the project, and neither Disney nor Marvel Studios will want to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. For more on the status of New Mutants, here’s an interesting read from ScreenRant.

Popular though it may be, the grim future for the New Mutants movie has dropped values. At the moment, a 9.8 has a 90-day average of $96 whereas it had a 2018 fair market value of $121.

Uncanny-X-Men-164-197x300 '70s X: Five Best-Selling Bronze Age X-Men Comics3. UNCANNY X-MEN #164

UXM #164 is not so much popular for its X-Men ties as it is a Carol Danvers key issue. During this time period, Rogue used her mutant abilities to steal Ms. Marvel’s powers, thus rendering her normal. In this issue, Danvers was transformed into Binary, giving her a new skillset.

As the Captain Marvel hysteria dies down, sales for this issue will taper off, and we’re already starting to see that. Many grades have lost value in the 90-day averages despite the high volume of sales. Still, the 9.8’s $312 price tag seems vastly inflated.

 

 

 

X-Men-101-198x300 '70s X: Five Best-Selling Bronze Age X-Men Comics4. X-MEN #101

I still say the Dark Phoenix movie is going to be terrible and will flop at the box office. Regardless of my prognosis, X-Men #101 remains a popular issue. This is the debut of the Phoenix, and it is one of the more iconic X-Men covers from the bronze age. However, I believe that Dark Phoenix will be so bad it will hurt the fair market values for X-Men #101, so if you are looking to buy a copy, wait until after the movie.

Most grades are up at the moment, and its a tell-tale sign when a 3.0 is averaging $150 in 2019. I stand beside my prediction, and I see these figures dropping significantly in the months following the movie’s release. It will only hurt values more that the word around the campfire is that Marvel Studios will reboot the entire franchise, thus leaving Dark Phoenix and New Mutants as “lame ducks.”

 

X-Men-94-197x300 '70s X: Five Best-Selling Bronze Age X-Men Comics5. X-MEN #94

When you talk historical impact of a comic on the X-Men franchise that will forever reverberate with the title, it’s X-Men #94. That’s because this is the first issue of the legendary Chris Claremont run that lasted from 1975-1991.

How can Marvel Studios include the X-Men into the MCU and not pull from Claremont’s impressive tenure on the title? Simply put, they can’t. That’s why this issue will gain value as Claremont’s stories are given the MCU treatment and brought back into the mainstream.

Now would be a good time to pick up a copy as most grades have lost value in the past 90 days. That being said, it’s still an expensive comic, and like X-Men #101, even a 3.0 is averaging $150 this year.

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