A Tale of Two Comics

by Blaise Tassone

Peter_Parker_Earth-616_from_Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_50_0001 A Tale of Two Comics

Spider-man’s comics top the charts in terms of the movers and shakers of the collectible comic world. Right now, Spidey has the second most popular Silver Age (Amazing Spider-man #50) and the second most popular Bronze Age title (Amazing Spider-man #252).

Let’s take a look at how these books stack up. Maybe, in doing that, we can also learn something about the relationship between Bronze and Silver Age key comics more generally.








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The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967) – First appearance of the King Pin

We can start with this Silver Age classic. Wilson Fisk’s first appearance can be found here, making it a key, but that’s just the beginning of the Silver Age Spider-man goodness you’ll find in this comic. The classic Romita cover, and the classic story inside about Peter abandoning his Spider-man identity (the scene where he throws his Spider-suit into a trashcan actually made it into the second Sam Rami ‘Spider-man’ film) all make this a must have. Currently there are 3,666 units of this comic represented on the CGC census and only 6 of them are in 9.8 grade. That would explain the impressive fair market value of 9.8 certified copies of this book which currently stand at $56,000.00. 9.6 grades (of which there are only 14 on the census) command less than half that price, at $20,000.00. Then we get into prices that are far more affordable with 9.4 currently commanding $8000.00 and the lowest known grade, a 0.5 is a very affordable $90.00 to own.





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The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984) – First black Spider-Man suit in regular series

Jump ahead two hundred and two issues later and we find another key in a series filled with them. But, like Spider-man #50 this comic is highly sought because of its connections to later stories and the introduction of yet another classic and complex Spidey villain: Venom. This issue is the first black suit in the regular title and so is a desirable addition to everyone’s Spider-man collection. Another classic cover (this time a homage of Amazing Fantasy #15 by Klaus Janson and Ron Frenz) is the cherry on top. As expected, moreover, this Bronze Age key has a lot more copies floating around, with many in better condition, than its Silver Age counter-part. Currently 9,570 units of ASM #252 are recorded on the CGC census. Overall this is only a little over one third of the number of AMS #59 but of those 9,570 units a whopping 1,246 are 9.8 and we even get eight 9.9 grades represented. Here’s a major reason why Bronze Age comics currently trail their Silver Age counter-parts in value. Abundant supply: remember these are only the CGC’d copies that are being taken into account. In general you’re much more likely to run into an AMS #252 than an AMS #50 in the wild. And prices reflect this accordingly: so, in one of the many certified 9.8 copies out there, AMS #252 sells for $575.00 (to put this into perspective, that’s exactly the price it would cost you to get an AMS #50 in 6.0 grade). For just over $200.00 you can get a 9.6 of AMS #252, but in general the Silver Age keys are the better investments since supplies are so much lower.

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