Comics to Avoid: The Fatal Five

by Norman Robinson III

amazing-spider-man-798-198x300 Comics to Avoid: The Fatal FiveLooking at potential comics to avoid is not the most popular thing to write about. However, with a market-wide uptick in collectibles, it is perhaps important to “check ourselves before we wreck ourselves!” This latest headlong rush into collectibles, namely comics; is it sustainable? Further, what are some of the comics we should ignore?

These comics are familiar to me as I have sold many copies. Some are even in my collection. Unfortunately, a fatal few have decreased in value. They are across the spectrum (minus the Golden Age) every age is represented. I used the last known sale by’s data analysis. Many of these comics were popular recently, not so much now. There is a solid distribution between Silver Age, Bronze Age, Modern Age, and  (funny thing) recent comics. What are the losses and how bad has it gotten for these fatal five?

Recent Returns: Bronze Age, Silver Age, and recent comic books


Title Grade Last Sale Return
Amazing Spider-man #798 9.8 $25 (was $100 a year ago) -75%
Captain America #100 5.0 $280 (Flat) 2%
Doc Savage #1 8.0 $30(Trailing rest of BA) +57%
Doomsday Clock #1 9.8 $44 (was $90 two years ago) -65%
Inhumans #2 9.6 $24 (was $95 in Feb) -50%

doomsday-clock-1-lenticular-variant-cover-198x300 Comics to Avoid: The Fatal FiveRecent Doldrum

The two recent books are Amazing Spider-man #798 and Doomsday Clock #1 with both really decreasing in value to the point of a total loss if you add in CGC costs, taxes, transportation, etc. There is simply no way to say this without offending many of the recent comic investors and speculators, the recent books look like very “weak sauce” to my “lying eyes.” I could be wrong and time will perhaps tell a different story, but those two books are headed nowhere but straight down. In fact, they have fallen so far if you can buy them now at a steal it might, I say “might” be worth a shot.  The bottom line; it looks like they lose value within 3 to 6 months after printing. I believe this is the power of marketing media tricks and group hysteria purchases. Everyone has got to have the latest popular hit book. Once you remove the marketing the books slide straight down the crapper.


doc-savage-1-197x300 Comics to Avoid: The Fatal FiveBronze Beauties

The power of marketing has its limits and apparently, the older books are immune to the effect. At least in the long-term that seems apparent. In the short-term, these two Bronze Age books seem to have taken a “header” right off the cliff. Doc Savage #1 is one such minor Bronze Age key that really has gone down for the count. Will it rise again? Perhaps the bronze man can, but to date, he has shown a relatively small monetary gain. Sure the +57% is a good sign but that only represents about $12-15 in value. Certainly no reflection of greatness in this Bronze Age character. “Be a peach” and stay clear of this forgotten superhero.



Captain America #100 is having a bad couple of years. “Please say it is not so!” Yep, Cap has seen better days at least his Silver Age comics have. They are increasing in value over the last 365 days. This is a good thing. But go out further and some of the lower grades have actually declined. Based on the grade 5.0 that I own, several years ago it was going for $280. Today, guess what? Yep, $280! The weakness in the lower grades is cause for concern. However, the upper grades and mid-range are still plugging away like the rest of the Silver Age.  This is the best pick of the bunch. As a speculator, we have to turn over every rock to find treasure. Once in a while, you find economic debris, even detritus; at least now we can avoid these fatal five.

FOOTER_Comic3-scaled Comics to Avoid: The Fatal Five

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