Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 Overcorrected?

by Don

121222B-1024x536 Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 Overcorrected?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).

Screen-Shot-2022-12-10-at-6.46.27-PM-199x300 Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 Overcorrected?

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.

Screenshot-2022-12-11-220356 Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 Overcorrected?

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.

What do you think? Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 overcorrected? Is this a good time to purchase a copy? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Upgrade2_Footer Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 Overcorrected?*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Corbitt December 12, 2022 - 9:43 pm

What do you think? Has Amazing Spider-Man #361 overcorrected? Is this a good time to purchase a copy? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Hope you “print” this as you did invite comments 🙂

Had the boom not occurred 361 likely would have leveled. During the boom copious amounts ofcollectors/sellers/flipper sent their copies off to CGC. As a result the Census population of 361 is always growing. The numbers in high grades (9.6 and 9.8) increase by 20-40 copies every census update. Also important to remember is this book came out in heart of the 1990’s glut. It was hyped from day one and went into Mylars from the moment it was purchased. Seemingly an endless supply.

Huge high population census books require huge constant demand just to maintain a price level. So very many people got burned by this book. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me applies. I predict the book will never have even 1/4 of it’s peek boom demand ever again and that the high grade supply will continue to grow and grow.

IMHO as law of of supply and demand dictates the book is still over-valued and the CGC 9.8 floor for 361 is probably $200-$250.

Steven Moore December 13, 2022 - 7:49 am

Prior to the comics bubble of 2021, I had observed that most Marvel comics from 1992 and earlier that had no MCU tie-in were appreciating somewhere around 7% a year. If we applied that figure instead of 20% to the 2009 price, current values would be around $150. So that’s the absolute floor. Given how important the symbiote story has become (Carnage may be dead in the Sony Venomverse but is part of a bigger story), I could be persuaded that $300 is a reasonable floor. But not much higher than that. To me, current prices seem about right and are not yet in overcorrection territory. For overcorrection, you might to look toward All New Marvel NOW! Point One or Savage She Hulk 1 or Young Avengers 1 or Amazing Spiderman 546 or even Ultimate Fallout 4 (or many others..!)

algonwolf December 13, 2022 - 12:37 pm

The MCU is slowing down. The books that had little to no value before the MCU will have marginally higher value once the MCU has finished. Once the speculators leave, the speculation will be done. The MCU has not created a glut of collectors, nor has the current crop of comic writers/artists. Collectors will determine the long-term value, and collectors did not value the 90s, nor will they in the future, there were just too many produced. Modern print runs are not indicative of the number of collectors or readers. Once the MCU dies, which it will, the future of the hobby is will be dubious at best as there are very few young collectors to take up the torch.

Steven Moore December 13, 2022 - 3:23 pm

Agree on the facts, but disagree on the interpretation. So, I agree that the speculators are leaving the market due to the 1-2 punch of the collapse of crypto and disappointment with MCU Phase 4. I also agree that collectors will determine future values–there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. And I definitely agree that the lack of younger readers could be a problem. But I don’t think these facts necessarily add up to a decline in the hobby.

Regarding MCU speculation, I think the story of Iron Man 55 is instructive. It had a sharp drop in values after the release of Avengers Endgame. But then values crept back upwards because collectors snapped up copies. Iron Man 55 is a really cool comic with major historical significance to collectors, so there was bound to be some recovery in the market.

As for the lack of youth collectors, well, Ferraris are expensive and (believe or not) collectible. Their high resale values are attained despite a lack of childhood Ferrari buying; there’s no Ferrari-of-my-youth nostalgia underpinning sales. Instead, the collectors come to the Ferraris late in life, when they have acquired real wealth, and are looking for something interesting to spend their money on. My opinion–and it is only an opinion–is that the future of the hobby may be something like this, with a few collectors who spend really big bucks, driving modest to moderate price growth over time.

I think technological changes could also drive the market higher. For myself, I know the increased transparency and security (relative to mail order) resulting from the rise of eBay and CGC have led me to purchase more than I otherwise would. With eBay locker on the horizon (which could mitigate shipping and labor costs associated with sales), I could see myself buying to sell (right now, I collect only). Securitization of comics (i.e. making fractional purchases of key issues possible on a “share” basis) could also expand the market and is something I would consider buying into.

Obviously, as Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”. But I think there’s a pretty reasonable chance that the comic collecting hobby emerges from this bubble surprisingly unscathed.

Corbitt December 14, 2022 - 12:08 pm

Comparing Iron Man 55 /Thanos to Spidey 361 / Carnage –

Census pops with autographed copies included:

Iron Man #55 : 85 in 9.8, 168 in 9.6, 290 in 9.4

Spider-Man #361: 4 in 9.9, 6346! in 9.8, 9748! in 9.6, 5162! in 9.4

The difference in the populations is staggering.

Nearly 10 years of films hinted at or built up to Thanos. Thanos pretty much now has the “grandmother factor” which is, chances are most grandmothers in the USA have heard the name and possibly even know more. Carnage has none of that with a single possible one-and-done live action appearance in a rather lame film.

Iron Man 55 in high grade will lose only small amounts of ground during these bad times and then slowly build on that when things get better. Amazing 361 is sinking faster than an anchor and is weighed down buy a glut era high grade supply that will prevent anything more than small dead-cat bounces for easily the next 1-2 decades

Bottom line Amazing Spider-Man 361, especially the direct sale, has it’s day every 30 years when all comics are booming and then low or very low interest when a bubble does not exist!

P.S. Above paragraph can also be applied to X-Men 1991, X-Force 1991, Spawn 1992. As well as any glut years comics with CGC census populations of 4000-15000 in High Grade. Only glutton for punishment invests in glut year comics 🙂

Steven Moore December 15, 2022 - 8:49 am

Fair enough. I was addressing Algonwolf’s comments about the hobby in general, which I think will be fine. But ASM 361–that might be a different story. I don’t know how many ASM run collectors there are, but I could believe 10k+ (I am one of them). That might give this issue some ballast to hold value.

Jack Kornblatt December 14, 2022 - 8:16 am

Hey Don, great article. I am also justnow reading through your profile and I actually go to Fat Jacks all the time!!! Are you still in the Philly area?


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