The Comic Book Market in 2022: Age by Age

by Norman Robinson III

040122A-1024x536 The Comic Book Market in 2022: Age by AgeWhat is the state of the comic book market in 2022? After 90-days, are comic book sales slowing down? Further, are we all collectively losing money in the process?

Dear readers, we have run the gauntlet of the pandemic, political upheaval, and even a return of the Cold War (with a dash of nuclear annihilation saber-rattling thrown in for good merit). Are people still buying comics or simply using them as supplemental toilet paper for their bomb shelters? This year was going great until the war in Europe appeared out of nowhere a month ago.

Now 90-days into 2022; how have things shaped up for the comic collectibles market? Further, what is the status of the Silver, Bronze, Copper, and Modern Age of comics? Everyone knows we have slowed down from the whirlwind pace of Summer 2021, but how bad has it actually gotten? Hopefully, we can answer the question; Are the collectibles (comics) we all know and love better off in 2022?

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TMNT: The Last Ronin #1 jumps out at me as a comic book with increasing value over time, though not during 2022 as of yet. With the odd-sized printing and relatively limited print run; this Last Ronin tells the sad story of the last of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Anybody that enjoyed the turtles over the years will pick up a copy. Especially a comic created by one of the original creators, not to mention the iconic covers. Turtles are back, “Cowabunga!”

They were cool, irreverent, and fresh, that is exactly how I remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of the 80s. It was just before they got their own lunch boxes and we’re in every animation show in the early 90s.

Is this return to yesteryear profitable? How has The Last Ronin #1 fared over the last 90 days? In grade 9.8, this book has fallen about $11 in value with a daily average of $161 and, over the last 90 days, $171. The latest sale in March ($164) is indeed a loss up until this point for the current year’s Modern Age pick.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImJlNjU0NmQ2LTM3NGQtNDQxNi1iMWEyLWI5MWNjNjY4YzA0Ni5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6eyJyZXNpemUiOnsid2lkdGgiOjYwMH19fQ== The Comic Book Market in 2022: Age by AgeCopper Age

The obvious bellwether for the Copper Age is none other than the most popular book of that age, Amazing Spider-Man #300. This book defied the odds and once again has risen to be the cream of the crop. Its current ranking is #5 out of the Top 20 Copper Age books for the last 90 days. Not bad, Venom!

I used grade 6.5 as the standard issue to review, middle of the pack.  Amazing Spider-Man #300 shows a gradual increase in price starting at $489 in January 2022 escalating up to $649 in March 2022.

Could it be that this book is starting to be hard to find? Don’t get me wrong it, was once common but many people love this book and hoard it. Yes, HOARD IT!

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImE5N2Q4Y2VlLTkzOTItNGM3ZC1iYzA1LWYwYzFkNGY4YTU4ZS5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6eyJyZXNpemUiOnsid2lkdGgiOjYwMH19fQ== The Comic Book Market in 2022: Age by AgeBronze Age

The beast of the Bronze Age is Amazing Spider-Man #129.  This first appearance of the Punisher is one of the primary keys of the Bronze Age.

I used this as a reference point because nothing is immediately happening with this franchise. So, it has taken kind of a breather and is a good representative of the keys of the Bronze Age.

ASM #129 in grade 6.5 has reached a price of $2,118 in December of 2021. Then as recent as March 2022, it has seen a small bump in the price of $2,279. That represents a $161 gain, small but visible for mid-grade books in the  6.5-grade range.

It should be noted that grade 9.8 in this book reached a high of $57,000! This represents a roughly $19,000 increase from January. The Bronze Age is in solid shape maybe even teetering on Beast Mode?

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The Avengers #1 stands out as kind of a forgotten key that really hasn’t been the center of attention for quite a while going back to probably the second Avengers movie Age of Ultron. That being said, this book has a fantastic cover and has gone up in value substantially.

Currently, this Avengers primary key in grade 4.5 is worth $7,106 as of March 2022. The last sale, in December 2021, was $5,368. Therefore, the owner of this book made a $1,800 profit.

Think of it, by holding onto Avengers #1 after the New Year for a couple of months someone made enough money for a house payment! Now that’s a reason to throw confetti into the air for New Year’s to be sure! 

Comic Grade Price Current Return 90 Days
Avengers #1 4.5 $7106 +32%
Amazing Spider-Man #129 6.5 $2118 +7%
Amazing Spider-Man #300 6.5 $649 +32%
TMNT: The Last Ronin #1 9.8 $164 -6% decline

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I stayed away from the big movies, or the big TV shows. For instance, She-Hulk the series, or the Morbius movie, and especially anything Moon Knight. (By the way, I’m going to be doing a six-part series on each of the Moon Knight episodes matching the key comics for each episode, and prognosticating on what characters keys I feel are important for speculation and investment. If you are a Moon Knight speculator, please catch my Moon droppings in early April.)

According to the numbers above, the Silver and Bronze Ages are running pretty standard with between a +7% to +32% return on average. The Copper Age runs in crests and crashes, almost like waves on an ocean. Generally, not as consistent as the Silver and Bronze, the book chosen from that age has nonetheless a +32% return as well. Then we get to Modern Age books which are slow and ponderous in price appreciation due to quantity and the fickle nature of that market, maybe not as good, but no major declines.

Conclusion

no.toilet-paper The Comic Book Market in 2022: Age by AgeWe aren’t going to see the huge swings we had in the summer of 2021.  But that is not a bad thing, as the pace probably could not continue anyways. Don’t start rolling up your favorite ephemera into toilet paper for your backyard bomb shelter just yet.

In my final analysis, we have more of the same, a consistent market of value, with increasing profitability and rising popularity. In a nutshell, the comic book market seems to be humming along, gaining price, and popularity by the month.

Check out more of Norman’s work!

AAA-Norman-Robinson-footer The Comic Book Market in 2022: Age by Age*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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2 comments

Paste Pot Pete April 4, 2022 - 1:05 pm

Rule of thumb: once a collectible class is considered an “investment” (Copper and older in this case), new items in that class do not tend to appreciate like “pre-investment” items. Yes I know there are exceptions to the rule.

Reply
Dave Stevens April 4, 2022 - 3:14 pm

Comics have been “collectible” on the cover since the silver age.

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