Modern Age Covers Destined To Become Classics

by Robert D'Ottavi

090821B-300x157 Modern Age Covers Destined To Become ClassicsEverybody loves a good cover. Whether it be for a DVD, a vinyl record, a novel, or a comic book. In some cases, people just buy the product based on the cover alone, thus the adage. In the comic book investment market, however… Covers have never really been a huge sell, until now. Today, I wanna look at a handful of comics from the Modern Age that for some reason or another are becoming classics.

What Makes a Modern Age Classic?

Before writing this article, I was asking myself the same question. I mean, why invest good money in a book that doesn’t feature any iconic first appearances or isn’t old enough to be worth something based on age? Why purchase a comic book solely for the cover art? From my research, I think I have gathered a good response: Because you can kinda make some money off of this.

Nowadays, every single comic book released has about sixteen variant covers. It is exhausting trying to understand why this is a fact, other than that Marvel/DC want you to drop $128 on new comics, instead of $8.

The covers we are going to be looking at today are not variants. They are the real deal. The OGs. This statement leads me back to my original question…

Why Buy Modern Age Covers?hulk-195x300 Modern Age Covers Destined To Become Classics

Well, in the 80s and 90s, a lot of up-and-coming artists who are now legends of the industry got their start working on covers and the like. Look at a book like Incredible Hulk #340. That book, in theory, should not be worth a penny. It is from the late 1980s, it’s a modern book, it features no first appearances… It should be worth $30$40, at most. 

However, Incredible Hulk #340 featured the first mainstream appearance of Todd McFarlene’s cover art. For this reason alone, a 9.8 grade of the book recently sold for $2,150 (USD). Not bad for a comic that, in theory, shouldn’t be worth all that much, huh?

There are a handful of other comics just like this one, and I’m going to chat a little bit about them below. 

Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_301-195x300 Modern Age Covers Destined To Become Classics

The Amazing Spider-Man #301

Whilst on the topic of Todd McFarlane, I would be remiss to not mention The Amazing Spider-Man #301. Concluding the original Venom storyline, this Spider-Man comic book features one of the most iconic covers in Spidey’s long and storied history.

It’s slick, simple but fully representative of everything fans came to love about McFarlane’s art. 

A 9.8 grade of this book recently sold for $2,050 (USD)

Detective_Comics_Vol_1_880-195x300 Modern Age Covers Destined To Become ClassicsDetective Comics #880

The Joker has yielded himself some truly breathtaking and iconic comic book covers over the character’s 80-year history. A more recent example of this can be found in 2011’s Detective Comics #880, written by Scott Snyder with cover art by Mark Jock Simpson. In what is one of the most iconic DC covers since the turn of the century, this book has gone gangbusters recently. 

Over the last three months alone, a 9.6 and 9.8 grade sold for $325 (USD) and $625 (USD), respectively.

Uncanny X-Men #268Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_268-195x300 Modern Age Covers Destined To Become Classics

Much like Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee was one of the 90’s comic book bad boys. He set the example for what makes an iconic and badass comic book cover art. In September of 1990, Lee delivered one of the most iconic X-Men covers of the Modern Age with his work on Uncanny X-Men #268. A beautiful piece that features Wolverine alongside Captain America and Black Widow, a team-up that folks hadn’t seen for quite some time!

Just last month, a 9.8 grade sold for $270 (USD).

5368599-203x300 Modern Age Covers Destined To Become ClassicsBatman #423

Let’s return to the guy who started it all: Todd McFarlane. Just after McFarlane’s work on Incredible Hulk #340, DC snapped up the young artist for the iconic cover art of Batman #423. McFarlane loved this piece so much, that he later did a homage to it with his own comic book, Spawn #230 – which itself goes for a pretty penny, as a 9.8 just sold for $625 (USD). This iconic Batman cover is on the list of any comic investor, as it is blowing up on the market. 

Back in June of this year, a 9.8 grade of the book sold for as high as $1,650! An absolutely smashing deal.

Now look, I could list off any and all iconic covers of the Modern Age that are selling for quite a lot, but then I wouldn’t have material for a follow-up, part two-piece. Let me know if there are any iconic covers that you think are worth being considered as a Modern Classic!

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dave stevens September 9, 2021 - 12:08 pm

Most of the covers you selected are not moderns and Amazing Spider-Man 301 is not iconic, it is a swipe of 300.

Robert D'Ottavi September 10, 2021 - 9:33 pm

The modern era began in 1986 and all the books selected are from 1988 onwards.

Dave Stevens September 12, 2021 - 3:13 pm

GoCollect is literally the only one who thinks this. Just read what you said again. The modern is 35 years and counting?!? C’mon.

ABaer September 9, 2021 - 5:38 pm

I guess ASM 700 and 55 come immediately to mind

Gary September 11, 2021 - 12:33 am

McFarlane, nudge, nudge. 😉

Kenloi September 12, 2021 - 10:48 am

I suspect what people forget is a modern comic today will someday be ‘vintage’. Ok perhaps when we’re old or passed down to family. Many modern comics are passed on because of a few unpressable ticks or pressable spine rolls, dents etc. Just buy any moderns in a reasonable condition cheaply you consider keys and hold. It seems many people are only buying a possible 9.8 candidate to immediately sell. Build a collection and a few ticks on a comic won’t matter when these comics will be hard to come by in the future.

Kenloi September 14, 2021 - 5:14 am

Ms marvel 17 2nd print,, Ultimate fallout 4 Djurdjevic, Supergirl 23 Adam Hughes, X23 1 Djurdjevic. Plenty of Bermejo, Adam Hughes. .All Alex Ross covers. Spider man 1 hip hop, Batgirl 23 Middleton, Danger Girl 2 smoking gun, Deadpools Secret Wars 2 Gwenpool variant, Howard the duck 4 Shirahama, Ms marvel 2 Molina, X23 Target x 1, Wonder woman Frisson, Invincible Iron man 1 Dekal, Spidermen 1 vol 2 Todesco, Spiderman 36 Black cover vol2. Red Hulk 2 Djurdjevic.

SpideyAZ September 16, 2021 - 11:51 pm

The modern market is all about covers. I nominate Punisher #1 from the mini-series. It’s classic Mike Zeck.

Kenloi September 18, 2021 - 8:37 am

Covers are important. Always have been.It is the first thing you see when displayed. Like it or not they sell the book Hopefully the content inside is as good……

Kenloi September 18, 2021 - 8:41 am

Sorry Captain Marvel 17 2nd print not Ms Marvel.


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