The Rise of the Bronze Age Anti-Hero

by Norman Robinson III

719535_despicable-deadpool-287-espin-lh-variant-leg-195x300 The Rise of the Bronze Age Anti-Hero

The Punisher first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #129, script by Jerry Conway and art by Gil Kane and Ross Andru. This is my top pick for a Bronze Age comic to own in 2018. The first appearance has more green profit in dollars then Punisher has bullets. Since the 1970’s, The Punisher has filled the void in our collective national psyche for justice and a no-nonsense anti-hero. Perhaps he replaces Dirty Harry in the public conscience. During that time period, American society had significant problems grappling with crime.

A growing sense of injustice brings the anti-hero to life; because crime was on the rise in 1974 we needed an answer. Criminals seemed unstoppable back then, we all watched helplessly as they began to feed on the population. Our leaders betrayed us; violence and petty crime overran our cities, but Marvel solves the problem. In the midst of chaos, one hero stands above all the rest: Frank Castle  (a.k.a. The Punisher). He would meet out comic book justice and ushers in the age of the anti-hero.

The anti-hero is the person who will bend the rules or even break them to see justice done. Frank Castle starts as a simple, yet capable soldier from the Vietnam conflict. Vietnam had enormous lessons for Castle, essentially the bitterness of losing because of restraint. He comes home, and after a brief respite begins to punish every single sociopath, criminal organization, and super-villain he can find. Bravo Zulu Frank!

Almost every grade for the last 2,161 sales for seven years, has shown excellent profit margins (GoCollect). In particular, an issue graded 7.5 or higher should run you around $500 (eBay). This is a substantial investment in your future. This comic is to be purchased and held as this key is big time. To quote the proprietor of my local comic shop, “ASM #129 is always in demand, and I can’t keep them in stock.” This issue also has a catalyst (for you short time speculators) the second season of Netflix comes out this year to binge.

The Bronze Age needed this hero to create a level playing field with the criminal element, and fill the fanbase with exaltation. Don’t punish your wallet buy the first appearance of The Punisher in the Bronze Age in ASM #129.

Punisher #5 (Limited Series)

The Punisher #5 (Limited Series) is a great wrap to a fantastic limited run; written by Steven Grant with larger than life art of Mike Zeck. This issue has returned an acceptable profit over six years. Like its prequel (issue four) the ongoing price appreciation and returns are encouraging.

The Punisher #5 has returned 36% for a 9.8 grade over the previous six years.  A mid-grade 8.5 is higher at a 63% return during the same time frame (GoCollect)! Keep your sight lines clear and hunt for a CGC copy of 9.8 online.

Warning: stay above a grade 9.6 with Punisher #5 (Limited Series). This is the last in the limited series run and shows a small amount of weakness in the near mint minus range. With many Punisher Netflix seasons to follow; this comic has all of Punisher’s armaments blazing, snatch a copy today. Don’t forget to pay, or you just might feel the wrath of The Punisher.

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