Silver Age Keys: Are We in a Buyer’s Market?

by Don

122922B-1024x536 Silver Age Keys: Are We in a Buyer's Market?You may hear a lot of comic book investors saying we’re in a “buyer’s market.” Personally, I think most major Silver Age keys still have further to fall.

For example, in most grades, issues such as Amazing Spider-Man #129 and Marvel Spotlight #5 are still selling for more than twice as much as they did in most grades before the comic boom. I’ve heard some speculators say that a “new floor” has been established for comics like these, but I see no evidence of a sideways drift. If you do purchase them, you might be catching a falling knife. Personally, assuming you even had the capital to buy these comics, I’d steer clear from them right now.

On the other hand, I see some indicators that some second-tier Silver Age key issues may have overcorrected. They are not major key issues, but I know of many collectors who would want to hold these in their personal collections. Here are two examples below.

A CGC 6.5 Avengers #48 Sold for $216 on December 20th

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This was a great purchase on Heritage Auctions on December 20th. In fact, in general, as I look through recent sales, I’m seeing better deals on Heritage than on eBay recently. While Avengers #48 is a second-tier key issue from the Silver Age, I believe recent sales data is indicating this book is now over-correcting.

Before the comic boom occurred, a CGC 6.5 copy of this book was selling for around $300 in late 2019. During the comic boom, this same book exploded, reaching an all-time high of $1,105 in 2021. Since then, this book’s value has plummeted – even falling below what it sold for in 2019.

If you look at this book’s historical return over the longer-term (roughly 18%), this book should be worth around $550 in 2023. In addition, we’ll still haven’t seen the Black Knight in the MCU. Once we do, this book could receive a shot in the arm.

Considering the above, if you can get this book for around $300, I personally think you’re getting a great deal.

Captain America #117 CGC 4.0 Sold for $168 on December 26th.

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Whoever purchased this CGC 4.0 copy of Captain America #117 on eBay also got a great deal, in my opinion. Like Avengers #48, I believe recent sales data is indicating this book has also over-corrected.

Before the comic boom occurred, a CGC 4.0 copy of this book was selling for around $150 to $175 in 2019. During the comic boom, this same book exploded, reaching an all-time high of $595 in 2021. The buyer of this book essentially purchased it at 2019 prices. If you look at this book’s historical return over the longer-term (about 14%), this book should be worth around $275 in 2023.

As you know, Sam Wilson is receiving his own Captain America film in 2024, so this character will continue to be embedded in pop culture. Personally, if you can purchase a copy for below $175, my educated guess is that you’re buying at or near the bottom of the market.

Have you seen evidence of other Silver Age keys that may have over-corrected? Please let us know about them in the comments section below!

00080221C_Green-Footer Silver Age Keys: Are We in a Buyer's Market?*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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5 comments

Adam H. December 30, 2022 - 2:58 pm

I picked up an Avengers 57 CGC 4.5 off white pages for $231 this week and another 5.5 white pages for $419 last week.

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Mike December 31, 2022 - 10:17 am

Problem is , many people just have no interest in Sam Wilson as “captain America” and don’t believe that movie will be successful.

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Randy W DeBower December 31, 2022 - 12:54 pm

There are lots more examples of books like these that are worth taking chances on! –But if you are a PURE SPECULATOR it probably won’t happen. Those of us that are COLLECTOR/ SPECULATORS will take advantage just as we did in the last economic slowdown. I know that I’ve been getting some books that will turn a nice profit in the near future. How do I have this crystal ball, you ask? I don’t! I’ll just be selling NOW, the books I purchased MORE than 2 years ago, at a decent profit, while buying some bargains too. Market recovery is an inevitability –Although this is more of a long term approach than MOST can accept. Short term will be a little tougher but it can be accomplished too when you find the “doom & gloom” investors that claim the ENTIRE market is in an endless freefall who will bailout wholesale inventory out of disgust for this bear market! Their loss is your gain!! When the big money people start buying back into the high census books again the entire market will take off!!

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GQGuyforComics January 2, 2023 - 10:11 pm

randy , i do believe the opportunity is vast and right now timing and luck is the essence , some of those doom and gloom could include those who are still aggressive at the end of the comic boom and also those who unfortunately received their graded books after the comic boom. my hunch that buyers now are mostly collectors , who really want to get a good deal, there is more activity on ebay auction than buy it now and even those auction sites you dont see those crazy prices anymore. proven books are movers and rarity like signed by stan lee etc, you get me right.its hard to say how many of them out there but there are still speculators who hopes to get a quick turn but im sure they are more busy turning their inventory or just get a break on a bear market. unless they did it on borrowed money. lastly i may be wrong, but the comic boom is such a special phenomenon since there are outisde forces that contributed to the market , which i doubt it will repeat itself anytime soon. what we are seeing right now could be getting back to the norm and im not saying prices will continue to drop , that i dont know all im saying is as i said before , for a market to continue to grow it needs influx of money. the idea of continuous growth be it manipulated or natural flow just serves to poke mostly each one greed. cheers and happy collecting

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Steve M January 2, 2023 - 5:38 am

Marvel super heroes 13 is another candidate

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