Alive and Kicking: Special Marvel Edition #15

by Blaise Tassone

scn_00131-204x300 Alive and Kicking: Special Marvel Edition #15

Prices on Special Marvel Edition #15 are surging with no end in sight. The other day, a low grade (3.5 at best judging from the photos) raw copy sold for over $200.00 on eBay. Returns are strong on every single grade.

Do you have a copy yet? If not, should you buy at this point?

A little over a year ago, writing in July of 2018 (see The Rising and Advancing of Special Marvel Edition #15), I had a strong hunch this book would appreciate in value in 2019. Not only has its actual growth since then surprised me, but it’s advances in price from then till now have been impressive.

So is it time to buy or sell this comic right now?

That’s the topic of the current blog post.

First, let me very clearly and unequivocally say that I would not buy this comic at the moment unless I could get a very good deal on a decent grade.

While it’s hard to say how much higher the book can rise, right now, you might instead consider selling, if – that is – you took my advice and picked up copies before the strong sales spikes now unfolding.

Sometimes it’s good to strike when the poker is hot. In the words of Shang-Chi: “It is over now … the first result of my decision to leave passiveness for a path of direct action … it has been worth it … but the decision, and its path, still leaves much … to be desired

Make no mistakes, this book is red hot, but how much higher can it go?

At this point, you might think the risk of spending $200.00 on a tattered 1.0 copy is worth it. The reason why buying now is a bad idea, in short, is because the Marvel hype machine may be blinding people to the actual quantities and amount of supply available for this book.

This is a Bronze Age comic, not a Golden or Silver Age book. Also, to be blunt, Shang-Chi is more of a Danny Rand than a Wolverine…


125152_807fb3927abb4e554456f9ac95036f19932f506e-200x300 Alive and Kicking: Special Marvel Edition #15Special Marvel Edition #15 (December 1973) – Master of Kung Fu begins; Starlin art; Origin of Nayland Smith & Dr. Petrie; First appearance of Nayland Smith & Dr. Petrie

In July of 2001 there were a total of 20 CGC blue label slabs of this book with an average grade between them of 9.09. Today that number has jumped to 1, 553 and an average grade of 8.54 and 1, 659 total submissions. More and more people submitted this book to CGC over the last few months and in lower and restored grades. When a book is heavily submitted in all grade tiers this is because sellers are acting on the demand. And the demand right now is certainly strong.

However, as a rule, Bronze Age comics are available in much larger numbers and for the most part in better condition than earlier era books. Moreover, we’ve seen this scenario of hype pushing prices quickly with a Bronze Age comic before: anybody remember:




161709_7b007a1d3817060cee324fd4ea34ce42d988f834-199x300 Alive and Kicking: Special Marvel Edition #15

Marvel Premiere #15 (May 1974) – First appearance of Iron Fist

Yes, the debut of Iron Fist went through similar patterns. It took a while to peak, but today it can be had for much less than back in February of 2017 (when a 9.8 copy sold on eBay for $4, 575.00 – from a best offer on 02/24/2017).

Today the first Iron Fist in pristine certified 9.8 condition has a FMV of $2, 600.00 and it’s trending down in almost all grades. The two books (MP #15 and SME #15) are worth comparing, since the main difference between them is that MP #15 had a Netflix show to sell it, while SME #15 has an MCU movie.

Still, the pattern behind the price movements is similar.

The more hype a book gets from an MCU live action property, the higher the prices go, and all the data tells us that the best time to sell is just after the first trailer or teaser footage from the film is released. Is it possible that the lag time between trailer and high price point on sales of books is slackening? In other words, are high prices for books peaking earlier? This seems to be the case for SME #15, but more data and time will be needed to confirm if the pattern is actually changing or not.

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