The easiest way to tell if a comic has reached the elite collecting status is when single, detached pages are sought after. Take a closer look at the market for single pages from three elite Marvel keys.
When it comes to collecting those single pages, DC Comics is king. Of course, when you create the costumed superhero genre, you have a lot of “holy grails.” Since the Marvel Age didn’t truly kick off until 1961, those Silver Age comics are not as rare. Certainly, they still carry hefty prices, but they’re more in abundance compared to those landmark Golden Age DC titles.
Still, that doesn’t mean those Marvel superheroes don’t have their comics that are valuable even in a single page.
There’s no denying the influence that Captain America has had for generations. He’s clearly a take on the Superman model for a superhero, but he takes “truth, justice, and the American way” to a whole new level. How much more patriotic can you be than dressing in an American flag and punching Adolf Hitler on the cover of your debut issue?
Originating in the World War II era, Cap started with Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics. In fact, Stan Lee’s first writing credit was in the third issue of Captain America Comics. Here we are 79 years after Cap’s first appearance, and he’s still arguably the most popular Avenger.
So far this year, eight individual pages have sold online. The priciest of those was a slabbed page 23, which brought an astounding $2,125 on April 13. That’s a stark contrast to last year’s only sale for the twenty-third page when it sold for $475 in June.
Next to that, the highest-priced was the eighth page. In March, it sold for $2,025, well above last year’s high of $597.
Another single page that reached four digits was page four, which brought $1,530 on April 13. A year ago, it sold for just under $700.
I argue that Amazing Fantasy #15 is the single most coveted comic of the Silver Age. With all due respect to Fantastic Four #1, which laid the foundation for all things, Marvel, to this day, Spider-Man is the face of Marvel and was a revolutionary character who never loses his relevance. Therefore, his first appearance is the holy grail of Silver Age holy grails. It makes sense that A.F. #15 is so hard to get that collectors will spend big money on even the smallest piece of this historic issue.
If you want a complete copy, even a lowly 1.0 is inching towards five figures. In fact, one sold for $9,106 on April 13. What about those individual pages? Last year, the first page from A.F. #15 was purchased for $695. Also in 2019, page two went for $1,200. This past August, page eight brought $2,500 after only selling for $235 in 2018.
There’s no argument that F.F. #1 is a major key. They were Marvel’s first cash cow and took the publisher to new heights throughout the Silver Age. Without the F.F., Marvel Comics wouldn’t have succeeded. Any grade of F.F. #1 is expensive, certainly, but what takes a major key and puts it in truly elite status is when those single pages are costly.
Here’s where we see the difference in collecting between F.F. #1 and A.F. #15. With A.F. #15, any single page from that comic is worth a minimum of $300 based on sales over the past 12 months. In the past two years, there has been only one recorded sale of a single interior page from F.F. #1, and that was page 10, which sold for $230 last June. However, the front cover is carrying a higher value. A slabbed copy of the iconic cover alone sold for $1,251 in 2019.