Speculating at $50/$500/$5,000: January 2020

by Ryan Kirksey

At the first of the year, GoCollect solicited feedback from you, our readers, over on Facebook and we were overwhelmed with the responses. You told us things you would like to see related to technology, benefits, content, and more. One of the content ideas of a regular blog piece came from Michael Blatherwick, who suggested we look at strong investments at various price points for collectors. What a great idea! This new monthly piece will take a look at strong speculative comic buys for collectors with all levels of financial resources.

No two comic collectors or speculators are ever the same. We all have different preferences, resources, time constraints, and interests – not to mention different ways of thinking about what the market will do with the books in our collections. Where should you invest your hard-earned American (or Canadian) dollars? Here are a few ideas for this month – one Modern, one Bronze, and one Silver.

Venom3-197x300 Speculating at $50/$500/$5,000: January 2020$50 – Venom #3 (2018): NM raw First Print

It’s the symbiote’s world right now, and we’re just living in it. Unless you have been living under a rock over the past year and a half, you know the greater Marvel comic universe has increasingly featured symbiote storylines in Venom, the Absolute Carnage series, Carnage tie-ins, etc. Venom #3 features the first full appearance of Knull, the alien god and creator of the symbiotes. (BONUS: If you’re looking for the first cameo of Knull, search out Thor: God of Thunder #6 from March 2013)

These parasitic creatures trace their roots back to 1984 when they simultaneously appeared in Spider-Man’s black suit in Amazing Spider-Man #252, Spectacular Spider-Man #90, and Marvel Team-Up #141 before its origins were explained in Secret Wars #8.

With the Venom 2 movie officially a go for later this year and the Cletus Kasady/Carnage character confirmed to appear, the symbiote craze shows no signs of slowing down. There are four printings of this particular book and countless variant covers to seek out, but the original first run is maintaining solid returns in a CGC 9.8 (23 of the last 25 have sold for more than $100). Buy a raw NM copy from eBay or another trusted source, send it off to CGC, and then watch the value soar as we get Venom 2 news and more symbiote sightings.

GLantern-87-1-202x300 Speculating at $50/$500/$5,000: January 2020$500 – Green Lantern #87 (1971): CGC 9.0-9.2

An iconic comic book character who can be seen in comics as far back as All American Comics #16 in 1940 (as well as 1959’s first Silver Age appearance), the green-ringed hero will be getting a modern reboot in a new HBO Max series sometime in the next two years or so. There are almost zero details available on this show other than it will be a cosmic adventure as opposed to the earth-bound Green Lantern we saw in the 2011 movie, so any guesses as to which Lantern we will get are pure speculation. Assuming DC and HBO want to go in a new direction than what has been done in the past, however, Green Lantern #87 might be the best-educated guess we can make.

The movie last decade featured Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds), who surely is the most recognizable Lantern name, but the creators may want to go in a different direction from a movie that was a critical flop. The OG Green Lantern – Alan Scott – had a ring powered by magic as opposed to the cosmic abilities in future iterations, so his story is likely off the table. That leaves Guy Gardner and John Stewart as the most likely candidates.

Green Lantern #87 holds the impressive distinction of being the first appearance of John Stewart’s Lantern and the second appearance of Gardner’s Lantern (having first appeared in 1968). It kills two birds with one stone in that regard. This issue also carries the strong social distinction of Stewart being DC’s first black superhero in its pages, something the creators may value as they look back on what has already been done with the character.

Introducing the Green Lantern Corps will likely give us exposure to a number of characters who have worn the ring, but Gardner and Stewart seem like strong bets today.

FF4-203x300 Speculating at $50/$500/$5,000: January 2020$5,000 – Fantastic Four #4 (1962): CGC 6.0-6.5

In terms of the speculation checklist, this one marks all the boxes. Silver Age? Absolutely; one of the oldest from Marvel’s history. Sustainable and popular characters? I would say the First Family of superheroes certainly qualifies. First appearances? This is Namor/Sub-Mariner’s first appearance in the Silver Age. Solid investment track record? CGC 6.0 copies have an 11.5% increase in value over the short term. You can’t really go wrong with early Silver Age Marvel comics.

But recent MCU rumors are what really push this book to the front of the line at this point in time. There has been so much smoke about Namor appearing in the MCU over the past year and a half, but now we may have the first flicker of a flame with the rumors that Namor may, in fact, be the mysterious unnamed character that will appear in the Dr. Strange sequel. Should we ever get confirmation of his appearance, classic Sub-Mariner books like this are going to shoot into the stratosphere. Invest now if you can – the two most recent copies sold in this range on eBay both went for under $5,000.

Surely you have different thoughts on where to invest right now. What books would you target in these price ranges? Let me know in the comments.

(Special thanks to my guys voodoomaestro, oakcliff_comics, matcocomics, and citylimitscomics for their sourcing on this piece)



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Oliver January 13, 2020 - 5:36 pm

Great article! I hope to see more in the future of this “Speculating: $50/$500/$5,000” series.

My choice would be:

$50:Vampire Tales#1 (VF). I think it is still possible to get a Very Fine copy!

$500: Amazing Spider-Man#101.(CGC 6.5-7.0) Not an unpopular choice these days, but I think Morbius is here to stay. Probably the first Marvel/ Sony Crossover and probably a new member of the Sinister Six after the first teaser.

$5000: Fantastic Four 5 (whatever grade you get for this money). You better hurry up! It´s Dr. freakin Doom. Nuff said!

Ryan Kirksey January 13, 2020 - 5:42 pm

Great choices! I bet those first two go up in price after today. Vampire Tales #1 is a great selection for an underrated book.

Nick Tolman January 13, 2020 - 6:23 pm

Great article!! Thank you


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