Collectors were digging deep into their pockets for Bronze Age X-Men grails in this week’s Chartbusters.
The market is always moving, and the recent wave of MCU speculation has kept those Marvel Comics holy grails climbing ever higher. The biggest influencer has been Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a movie that is challenging Spider-Man: No Way Home for the most gossip for a single film. With so many characters that could debut in MOM, it is causing a seismic wave throughout the marketplace. The result has been record-breaking figures for these major keys.
Silver Age collectors love their Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. Those titles consistently find themselves at the top of the charts for the early days of Marvel Comics, and they are the icons of the era. When it comes to the Bronze Age, the X-Men rule the roost. With all the talk about Professor X introducing the team into Multiverse of Madness, it’s putting an even bigger target on those X-keys.
There’s one X-Men comic that stands head and shoulders above the competition, and that’s Giant-Size X-Men #1. On February 1, a 9.6 sold for an eye-popping $18,000 at Heritage Auctions, giving it the single biggest sale for a ‘70s comic in the past month.
What is truly impressive is that the $18k figure is actually low compared to the prices achieved in the past year. Prior to that sale, two 9.6 sales netted $20k+ each. In fact, the February 1 auction is the third time that particular has earned less than $19k in a full year.
The collecting status of Hulk #181 has reached mythical proportions. Over the decades since Wolverine first appeared in Hulk #180, he has become arguably the most popular Marvel character of them all. He would make his first cover and full first appearance an issue later, and that remains the holy grail of Wolverine keys.
Since Disney acquired the Fox properties, mainstream audiences are more than ready to see Logan pop his claws in the MCU, and it has inflated those prices even further. This month, eBay saw a record-breaking 8.0 trade hands on the famed auction site.
What makes this specific copy all the more special are the signatures. Witnessed and graded under CGC’s Signature Series, this 8.0 Hulk #181 was signed by Stan Lee as well as Wolverine co-creators Len Wein and Herb Trimpe, who also added a sketch remark. The sale netted $13,500. For comparison, a CGC universal grade for an unsigned 8.0 last sold for $7,374.
Heritage Auctions typically corners the market when it comes to holy grails reaching unbelievable prices. Although eBay may have solidified the second position this month, a 9.2 Marvel Spotlight #5 gave Heritage two of the top-three Bronze Chartbusters. Outside those X-Men/Wolverine firsts, the field is wide open for the rest of the Bronze Age grails.
With Marvel Studios mining the 1970s for its movies, those Bronze titles are looking more and more tempting, especially with the rising costs of Silver Age firsts. In this case, Marvel Spotlight #5 featured the debut of the modern, motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider.
Always a popular character, the rumors of a new Ghost Rider coming to the MCU has pushed this issue ahead of the competition. On February 1, that 9.2 sold on HA for $13,200 and narrowly missed catching up with that CGC SS Hulk #181.