Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!

by Alan Harper

120321B-1024x536 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!The Bronze Age of comics stretches through the 1970s and into the mid-1980s.  If you came into collecting in these years you probably have a stack of Avengers comics (and Fantastic Four and X-men). There are a few obvious winners and some books in this era that I believe are worth either pulling out of a dusty long box or finding at your Local Comic Store.

This run of Avengers spans a lot of characters – heroes and villains – and just as many random storylines.  This shifting line-up is part of what makes the Avengers interesting but it makes finding value here difficult at times. Avengers-83-Valkyrie-199x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!

A Clear Winner – Valkyrie

Avengers #83, the first appearance of Valkyrie, is best of breed for Bronze Age Avengers.  The cover is excellent and Valkyrie not only has a current, well-inked, and interesting story, but she also has played a key role in the popular King In Black adventures.

A November 2021 sale of a 9.0 graded book topped $400.  While this may be the big dog in this kennel, it is still not crazy expensive when compared to many other key books, particularly first appearances.  This is a book that I feel is worth buying today.

Other Books Worth Your Dollars

Avengers-196-Taskmaster-194x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble! Avengers-186-Scarlet-witch-197x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!Avengers #196, the first appearance of Taskmaster, shows that even a 1980 book can hold some value.  The current GoCollect value for this book in a 9.0 grade is right around $300.

The cover art is solid and it is a book that has held value nicely over the past several years.

One other dynamic Bronze Age book is Avengers #186, which has a fantastic cover featuring the Scarlet Witch.  GoCollect sales records show this book to be just above $200 for a 9.0-grade book.

It is clear both from the WandaVision show and Scarlet Witch as a central feature in the current Trail of Magneto series; she is a character who is interesting, unique, and not going away anytime soon.

Avengres-87-Black-panther-origin-200x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!Another fantastic cover and origin story is Avengers #87, the origins of Black Panther.  Often, the Avenger covers are a mash-up of too much happening and too many characters splashed about.

It is no surprise that the strongest investments have the most focused, dynamic cover art.  This 1971 book has about the same value, at the same grade, as Avengers #196 but Marvel has made it clear (and so have the box office viewers) that Black Panther is a character with massive appeal.

For almost the same investment, I would search out Avengers #87.

Overpriced Avengers

Avengers-85-squadron-200x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!If there is one book to sell high, it has to be Avengers #85, the first appearance of Squadron Supreme (appearing as Squadron Sinister).  This book had gotten a speculative pop in value from rumors that this group could be appearing in the Loki series on Disney+.

Squadron Supreme is an homage to DC’s Justice League, with new Marvel characters matching the famous JLA characters we all know. Why would Marvel open themselves to the criticism of copying DC when they have an amazing stable of characters to explore?

I don’t expect this group to play a significant role in the MCU.  Maybe Marvel can figure out how to leverage the rest of the X-men franchise first; wouldn’t that be nice?

Avengers-129-Kang-198x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!Take a Flier

Where can we find some value if not with the Squadron Supreme?  Avengers #129 has a great cover featuring Kang the Conqueror, a character that has been well documented as coming to the MCU soon.

The time continuum, of which Kang rules, seems to be featuring prominently in Marvel storylines from Dr. Strange to the Avengers movies.

This era of Avengers also brings us Mantis.

Avengers-189-Hawkeye-194x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!This is the same character who appears in the Guardians franchise, although the Mantis character in Avengers #112 and #123 is very different than the bug-eyed, comedy relief bantering woman opposite Drax the Destroyer.  The current rumor is that Mantis will be playing a bigger role in next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy 3 movie.  Assuming this is true, these books could see a new level of attention and valuation.

Lastly, the next character coming to Disney+ is Hawkeye.  A new series streaming late 2021 has had great early reviews and sports a wonderful cast of actors.  Avengers #109 and #189 both are books that center on Hawkeye and have solid cover art.

Avengers-123-Mantis-206x300 Bronze Age Avengers, Assemble!The best thing is that these books are priced about the same as a large pumpkin-spice latte.  These are books that might be found raw in any LCS stacks and could see a quick bump in value if everything Hawkeye turns to gold.

Conclusion

The Bronze Age of the mighty Avengers requires careful curation. There are key books that are worth chasing and there are certainly still bargains to be found.  Don’t be distracted by the crazy covers, but instead focus on a few key character appearances.

Do you have a candidate for the top Bronze Age Avengers?

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance author and does not represent investment or collecting advice from Gocollect.

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