Driven by the pandemic and stimulus checks, like the stock market, the comic book market is red hot. Many mega-keys such as X-Men #1, Giant-Size X-Men #1, and Incredible Hulk #181 have become unaffordable for everyday collectors. Fortunately, 1st costume appearances of iconic outfits worn by our favorite characters are still generally pretty affordable and present good value. We’ll discuss two issues below from the Silver Age.
In my opinion, Fantastic Four #3 has one of the best covers of the Silver Age. After all, it is on this cover where we see, for the very first time, Marvel’s first family wearing their iconic navy blue costumes. The team would go on to wear these very same costumes for decades. In addition to the first appearance of Fantastic Four’s classic costumes, this issue also contains the first appearance of the Fantasti-Car, the first appearance of Fantasti-Copter, and the first appearance Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four’s headquarters. In other words, this book essentially establishes the Fantastic Four’s brand.
Surprisingly, even though Kevin Feige recently announced that Marvel would release a Fantastic Four movie during Phase 4, this book’s value hasn’t risen all that much. In fact, over the past two years, the value of CGC 7.0 copies of this book has actually decreased by 22%. Specifically, two years ago, a CGC 7.0 copy sold for $3,500; and then, just four months ago, another 7.0 sold for $2,160. Compare that to a CGC 7.0 copy of Fantastic Four #1 which recently sold on December 17, 2020, for $56,000.00. I don’t know about you, but that’s almost the down payment on my house. Considering that Marvel will release a Fantastic Four movie in a couple of years and that this is a classic Silver Age key, I personally think this book presents good value.
Amazing Spider-Man #86
When Black Widow first appeared in 1964, she would’ve been unrecognizable to most people. She wore a hat with a veil, a mink shawl, and a black cocktail dress. In other words, she looked more like a Bond girl from the 1960s (a “leader of the jet-set” as Natasha says in ASM #86) and not like the lethal assassin that we all know and love from the MCU.
In ASM #86, Natasha says that in order to “erase” her past, she must “design a new costume for [her]self!” Later in the issue, Black Widow appears in the iconic all-black, form-fitting costume that we’ve seen many times in the movies. Considering that this is an important Silver Age key for the Black Widow and that Marvel will finally release her first solo movie soon, it surprises me that this book’s value hasn’t risen more in recent years. In some CGC grades (7.0 and 7.5), the book has substantially risen in value, but in others, it has actually gone down. All in all, not a bad blue-chip comic to invest in for the long-term, especially if you can’t afford Black Widow’s first appearance in Tales of Suspense #52.
What are some other iconic costume first appearances that present good value? Please let us know in the comments below!