The DCEU isn’t dead yet. After suffering through major box office flops, DC looks to be regaining its footing with what should be another hit: Shazam. But if you want the golden age hero’s debut, the smart choice is to aim for the bronze age.
With the bona fide hits Wonder Woman and Aquaman, Warner Brothers and DC proved they’re still capable of producing crowd pleasers.
After flunking out with the likes of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (on a side note, I didn’t think this a bad movie; flawed, sure, but not bad) and Suicide Squad (which was truly horrendous), it looked like the end had come in the form of the Justice League. That movie was so irredeemable that values for early Justice League keys are still falling, and it’s been going on two years since it was in theaters. Then came Wonder Woman and more recently Aquaman, which gave the franchise a much-needed boost.
Considering the awful reception for Suicide Squad and Justice League, the collecting community has been understandably skeptical of any DC film, but the early word is that Shazam is a delight. Sure, it’s mostly a kid’s movie, but the original Captain Marvel was – and has always been – a character intended for younger fans. Remember the 1988 Tom Hanks’ movie, Big? We’re basically getting Big in superhero form, and it’s shaping up to be a blockbuster.
As with most any comic-related movie, the closer we get to a premiere date, the more excited collectors get about that enticing first appearance. In the case of DC’s Captain Marvel, though, it’s his first bronze age appearance that’s getting all the interest, which makes sense considering that his debut was in 1940’s Whiz Comics #2. Unless you happen to have an extra $6,000 for a graded 1.5 lying around, that one is out of reach. For the rest of us, there’s Shazam! #1 from 1973.
For the past year, Shazam! #1 has ranked ninth among the best selling bronze age comics. For the past month, it’s been the fifth best-seller after selling 53 graded copies on eBay. What’s great about this issue is that it’s so much more affordable than his golden age keys. However, nearly every grade has been rising since last year, and if the movie is a major hit, those values will only keep escalating.
The 9.8 is where you see the biggest spike. In 2017, it averaged $547, but over the past 90 days, it’s nearly hit four figures with a $964 average. It’s already sold for $1,300 this year, and it hasn’t brought less than $744 in 2019. The 9.6 takes a significant drop as it has a 90-day fair market value of $294, but that’s still over $100 more than it averaged in 2017.
Although most grades are on the way up, the prices aren’t out of reach for Captain Marvel/Shazam’s first appearance in a DC comic. If you are on a budget, an 8.5 is currently averaging $102. If you drop the grade down to a 6.0, it won’t take a bank loan to secure the $70 its averaged over the past 12 months.