Looking back on 2022, it was a brutal year for comic book investors. For much of 2020 and 2021, we saw a boom in comic book values that we may never see again. Not surprisingly, those values crashed in 2022. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as this crash may have created buying opportunities. One opportunity to consider is Amazing Spider-Man #361, which contains the first full appearance of Carnage.
Before the comic boom, this book’s ROI was 20% annually.
For a ten-year period, a CGC 9.8 copy of Amazing Spider-Man #361 steadily climbed in value. Specifically, back in early 2009, a CGC 9.8 copy sold for $56. Ten years later, in late 2019, this same book sold for $347. In other words, this book increased by roughly 20% annually for ten years. That is an impressive ROI and would beat the average annual return of the S&P500 (roughly 10% historically).
Then, of course, the comic boom happened. In April of 2021, this same book sold for an all-time high of $1,375. The value was being driven up, in part, by anticipation of the release of Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage trailer, which was released in May of 2021.
As we all know, since that peak and the release of the movie in October 2021, this book has dropped like a rock. In early December, this book sold for $354 during an auction on eBay, an approximate 75% drop from its all-time high set just 20 months before. I think we can all agree that this modern key had no business selling for $1k+. With a whopping 5,499 9.8s on the CGC Census, supply is way outstripping demand at certain price points. And it certainly didn’t help that the movie was poorly reviewed and that Carnage was killed at the end.
CGC 9.8s are now selling at prices that are lower than sales in 2019.
On the other hand, it’s worth asking if this book has overcorrected? This sale is also considerably lower than what this same book was selling for in 2019. Back then, it was selling for around $400. If the comic boom hadn’t happened, and this book continued producing a 20% annual return just as it had for the previous ten years, this book should be worth close to $700 today. When you consider this book is now underperforming its historical ROI, then I think a strong argument could be made that it has overcorrected.
Personally, I think this is a good time to buy, especially if you can purchase this book at a value that is lower than its 2019 prices (i.e., under $400). No one can know for sure, but I think once the economy and the comic book market have settled down, this book will readjust again, according to its historical trend lines.