Certain covers really capture the imagination better than any movie, play, or TV show. They inspire and intrigue hinting at some groundbreaking story or plot twist for our favorite heroes inside those hallowed pages. Some of these covers are so beloved that we honor them as treasured collectibles. Artists ever eager to draw the reader in will create homage covers of our favorites from the Modern, Bronze, Silver, and Golden Age.
Two interesting Modern Age homage covers highlight key events for comics in the Golden and Silver Age. The first is Action Comics #1 the story of Superman. The second is the rise of Kingpin in Amazing Spider-Man #50. The first is a national treasure and the second is a collector’s favorite and both go for a good amount of “Quatloo.” Can an homage cover of a previous generation inspire and more importantly be a solid investment in the Modern Age of comics?
This is the first appearance of King Pin. He is a major component of both Spider-Man’s saga as well as Daredevil’s. He was the primary villain in the first two seasons of Daredevil on Netflix. This comic book was created by Stan Lee and John Romita in 1967. In the 60s it was a time of protest and “the man” was always to blame. It could certainly follow that a villain would be created who was a manipulator and puppetmaster. Basically, King Pin was fermented in the juice of the 60s youthful rebellion.
Rolling out this major villain was a fantastic red cover probably one of the most iconic Amazing Spider-Man covers from the first volume. Later in the series, Amazing Spider-Man #392 does a solid job of paying homage to this Silver Age King. But is it a solid investment going forward?
|Title||Grade||Last Sale||CGC Census||Return|
|Amazing Spider-Man #50||9.4||$7200||60||+72%|
|Amazing Spider-Man #392||9.8||$66||84||-0.9%|
|Amazing Spider-Man #306||9.8||$114||368||-9.6 %|
|Action Comics #1||9.0||$3,207,852 !!!||3||+48.4%|
In this matchup of the homage and original the homage comes up a little short. This is to be expected for Amazing Spider-Man #392. However, this homage after deducting $30 for CGC the profit of $36 is still a nice profit when these still sell all day long for $8 in your LCS back issue bins. Think of this investment more as an avenue for new investors just getting into the comic book collecting world. The market for homage covers exists and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy into. Further, compared to the raw purchase it is very little risk and the cost is well worth it. This is a good place to start for a new collector. Perhaps someone attracted to all the buzz about comic book values and wondering if they can even make money investing or is it too late for comic books?
Action Comics is a big book in comic book fandom and a fun homage to venerate. I like the Man of Steel homage cover on Amazing Spider-Man #306. Created in 1988 this is Todd McFarlane’s tribute to Joe Shuster’s auspicious beginning of the superhero as a franchise. This was the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1 on June 10, 1938, shockingly pre-WWII (U.S. entry). Now obviously the homage is not even in the same ballpark with the original. But, consider Amazing Spider-Man #306 is worth $114 per its last sale. Additionally, even the lower price on Amazing Spider-Man #392 is still profitable. Though prices have fluctuated I think both homage sale prices prove that homage covers are a good investment, as long as you don’t overpay initially for the raw copy.
My suggestion is to obtain these homage covers based on whatever your favorite original cover is. I am a huge Mike Zeck and Todd McFarlane fan and always pick up anything that even remotely reminds me of their work. This is a great starting point for a newbie investor. For the experienced comic book investors remember these things do not have zero value, they are great fillers for a collection. Further, most retailers would overlook these things in the right situation. You don’t need X-Ray vision to see that these homage covers hold some value.