The Amazing Spider-Man is the first and only series I suggest for new collectors, investors and or speculators that are just entering comic collecting. The bizarre almost unlimited choices of the comic book collecting universe are so diverse it must look impossible to choose where to start buying. The average comic book fan buys what he or she likes. Then they turn around one day and realize these comics have value and suddenly become very serious collectors or even speculators. That is the common course from fan to a collector to a speculator. But many people today are interested in collecting for nuance, nostalgia, and investment purpose. Several have talked to me over the years, and recently even my relatives have acquired an interest in collecting. Their first question to me; what should we collect?
Now the comic book stores typically answer: collect what you like, and it can never be wrong. Honestly, that is a pretty vacuous statement given the fact that most of them collect and use their positions and discounts to get the best deal they can. The truth is really simply based on cold hard cash. For my relatives I asked them; how much do you want to spend? What comic book publisher? Finally, what era? Most of these questions they shot back at me like a kind of mirror effect. Well, nephew what do you like? Realizing that they needed a strong start to their comic investing, I suggested humbly that Bronze Age and Silver Age Amazing Spider-Man is universally a good bet.
Let’s use the book in the featured image above as a great example of an average Silver Age Amazing Spider-Man comic to invest in. Amazing Spider-Man #23 is not a big collectible book. Other than being in the first 100 issues of Spidey it is not significant as a key. But the great thing about Spider-Man is these books slowly move up over time regardless. In fact, the non-keys even today going into the second movie for Spidey and many creations of movies, animations, comics, and toys are still relatively cheap to purchase. But are solid investments nonetheless. Why?
First, the Silver Age is becoming more and more rare to find in good shape and at reasonable prices. In the Silver Age, the biggest character to ever be created was Spider-Man. Let’s be honest, his alter ego Peter Parker was also a brilliant creation that helped sell this character to millions of fans. Spider-Man has been considered the headliner for Marvel much like Superman is for DC Comics. Therefore, the character is a centerpiece of the entire Marvel Universe. This means, crossovers, continued storytelling, new comics, new covers, and on and on… Spidey will always be a seller because of mass popularity across all generations. Even my uncle watched the recent Spider-Man movie, and he is a Baby Boomer. The breadth of the Spider-Man saga is massive, and you could spend your life collecting it. But in a nutshell Amazing Spider-Man issues #1-400 are collectible gold. If you see a Spidey and don’t know what else to buy that is the book. Few characters have as deep a bench of collecting as Spidey. This means you can still buy relatively modern books up to issue #400 and probably make money over time on this investment.
Check out the numbers for our Amazing Spider-Man #23 that support my hypothesis that Spidey is very collectible and profitable from the Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages of comics. ASM #23 has strong FMV values for all grades: (9.6) at $12,000, (9.4) at $1900, (8.0) at $350, (6.0) at $170, and (2.0) at $55. All of these values are for a $.12 cent comic from 1965. This book is not a key, has Steve Ditko as penciler and Stan Lee as a writer, but that is where the magic stops.
The Amazing Spider-Man #23 has huge returns to go with its fantastic FMV values. Over the last twenty years, every copy of this book has sold and is profitable. Check out these returns Spidey-Fans in grades: (9.6) positive +91.9%, grade (9.0) positive +51.5%, grade (5.5) has returned a whopping 76.9%! The combination of returns, FMV values, Silver Age collectibility, rarity, headliner status, and the deep bench of 400 issues to choose from of reasonable price entry points; makes this series a must own for all collectors. Not to mention a great starting point for new collectors. Do you remember his Spidey theme song? “Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Does whatever a spider can! Spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies!”(source: YouTube: Spider-Man theme song 1960’s) He doesn’t only catch thieves; he also catches amazing returns for new investors, old investors, and spurious Spidey speculators.