Speculative Frenzy: Giant-Size X-Men #1

by Norman Robinson III

Xmen-300x157 Speculative Frenzy: Giant-Size X-Men #1The comic book market is hot as ever. One of the prized books in our comic book speculative frenzy is Giant-Size X-Men #1. This book sold on eBay for $22,500! It is the first appearance of the new improved modern X-Men.  A book that is so popular the LCS in my town had one copy and sold it inside of one afternoon, it had only been at the store a few hours.

Truly people are looking for these Bronze Age keys and will pay big “quatloos” for them.  The X-Men titles had been overlooked for years. It is a tad bit shocking to see them go for the price of a low-grade Amazing Fantasy #15. What has inspired the increase in price for Giant-Size X-Men #1? Has this happened across the spectrum of comics? Why is the comic book market so hot right now?

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This comic book is the first appearance of the all-new X-Men. These characters are quite possibly the most popular team of superheroes of the 80s and 90s.  The number of first appearances is one of the largest for Marvel in any one book. It has “the first appearance of Colossus, the first appearance of Storm, the first appearance of Nightcrawler, the first appearance of Thunderbird, the first appearance of new X-Men, and the second appearance of Wolverine.” The X-Men, finally get, none other than Wolverine on their team.

Chris Claremont

Who created this mass of new superheroes? The capable writer Chris Claremont created the X-Men, but he wasn’t alone. He worked with Len Wein, and Roy Thomas, to name a few. In addition to the prolific writing, the comic art was done by the team of Gil Kane, Dave Cockrum, and Werner Rother. Yep, this comic book from 1974 was a good vintage to be sure. The superhero world would never be the same. The Modern X-Men had arrived!

gettyimages-1250802426 Speculative Frenzy: Giant-Size X-Men #1Current Events

The last year has been huge for comics. Business is booming, and speculators are absolutely on fire. Prices, well prices have never been higher. After almost a year of unbridled passion for comics both buying and selling, well, it should be coming to a slowdown at some point. That is, however, not the case.

illustration-of-hand-holding-bomb-fanatic-studio-science-photo-library-300x233 Speculative Frenzy: Giant-Size X-Men #1Speculative Fuse 

In my opinion, the latest round of stimulus checks has lit the fuse for the speculation bomb that is our comic book market. Be careful you’re not holding one of those pricey books when the market explodes. After all, that kind of speculation could blow off digits like an M-80 in your hand during July Fourth! What are the return trends in Giant-Size X-Men #1?  Furthermore, how does it compare to a Silver Age key like Silver Surfer #1?

Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return
Giant-Size X-Men #1 9.6 $11,000 395 +20%/ +132%
9.8 22,500!!! 201
Silver Age Silver Surfer #1 9.6 $13,200 43 N/A
9.0 $6400 232 +54.4%

Silver Surfer vs. Giant-Size X-Men

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImI1OTkzNDlkLTdjOTEtNDc5ZS1hODBiLTU3NGVlNzYxMGIwYy5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119 Speculative Frenzy: Giant-Size X-Men #1It is tempting to simply say that Silver Surfer is victorious and leave it at that. But honestly, 9.6 for Silver Surfer #1 reached as high as $13,200 in 2020. But, now the dominant book is Giant-Size X-Men #1. It has sold on eBay at $22,500 and at a return trend of positive +145%! Further, if you want truly sick numbers check out the lower grades for this book. The prices have climbed +632% over the past four sales from 2015 thru to 12/2020.

Conclusion

Our current comic book market is one of the hottest markets I have ever seen. Many knowledgeable people in the industry are comparing it to the crazy 90s comic book boom and bust. During that time, comic book speculation became an off-the-hook gambling mentality. People chased books with no clue as to the value. Speculators were storing Modern Age books of no value in storage lockers. Books like the X-Men #1 (1991) were simply hunted to the point of delirium. The result was a comic book market collapse and many retail establishments going out of business.

Now, we have a market on stimulation steroids fueled with crazed online buying due to the pandemic.  The key factor for this burst of buying is the added stimulus checks. How will this end? Who knows? I definitely believe history will not repeat itself as speculators are a tad savvier than they used to be. That said, I predict within a year everything will be relatively back to normal (God willing). Hopefully, we should see this level of speculation subside. Either that, or books like Giant-Size X-Men #1 will be approaching the $100K barrier. At this point, nothing would shock me in comic book speculation except the level of denial for people that think it can go on forever.

Behind-the-Blog-Footer Speculative Frenzy: Giant-Size X-Men #1

 

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6 comments

Dave April 17, 2021 - 8:20 pm

I’m quite sure this is just price correction now that people with real money are moving into the tangable investing market. Combine that with spill over from cards (magic/sports) and the movies coming back after a long break and I do not believe prices settle much. in fact I would encourage you to buy those silver surfers. Once these dipshits realize census matters those prices will catch up.

I advise anyone who has been doing this a long time, don’t be so jaded I saw this coming for years. Use your knowledge of the books to make money on the “new money”. There are plenty of great low priced books ready to pop. Lots of undervalued stuff.

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Joe April 17, 2021 - 8:39 pm

Since the introduction of the X-Men are still a few years off in the MCU, do you think that their keys will continue to rise until their debut, while the rest of the market slows?

Also, what about long term, say 20 years down the road. Do you think the X-Men keys will plateau after they are introduced into the MCU or drop, then rise at a normal rate?

I know, that’s a lot to take in and talking wayyy into the future, but let’s just say, I have a vested interest in the X-men, lol.

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Paul D Holloway April 18, 2021 - 1:41 pm

You haven’t checked the numbers lately, that $22,500 sale was in January, there’s since been a sale of a 9.8 for $67,900.

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Stephen April 19, 2021 - 8:12 am

All I know is a couple of months back I sold my X-Men #94 CGC 9.0 for $1200 and now I’m pulling my hair out!!! Like seriously, wtf!!! This is crazy!!!

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climbryder April 22, 2021 - 2:28 pm

I think while there is some validity to the SS1 and GSX1 comparison that it is not really ideal. While census numbers matter the overall popularity and influence of a character matters far greater and the X-Men have been and likely will be the premiere team in the marvel universe. While I agree that current prices may be inflated for some books, in particular high grade modern and current books with thousands of 9.8s and the potential for many more, there likely aren’t too many additional high grade issues of early bronze age or silver age likely to hit the market. That is not to say there won’t be any but doubling is unlikely. Thus looking into the future while there may be a “correction” with the recent ~$70k sale of a 9.8 GSX1, even with a 50% fall, which is highly unlikely, the book will be worth significantly more than even several months ago. I think key silver and bronze age books will likely stay stable with an upwards trend over the next 10 years as the MCU continues to expand. If DC could get its s**t together some of the DC silver age books will similarly increase.

The real question is how long does it take for the PLOD to start being less of an issue, especially for A-1 type books, or conserved books. With high grade books out of reach for many I believe these will start to increase in value as well. Just my $0.02.

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Joshua S Wyatt June 15, 2022 - 1:55 pm

A little over a year later and we can see in fact that this book has dropped quite a lot, along with many other key books. With respect to the 1-year and 30-day average, a 9.6 dropped 15%, a 9.4 24%, and 8.5 is down 42%! I am amazed at how many people in the comments expected these values to continue to trend upwards, history always shows us that when any commodity inflates rapidly, it always deflates. Even Amazing Fantasy 15 is dropping in value and I feel genuinely sorry for the people who bought in during the last two years!

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