It’s not uncommon to see some of the most treasured Silver Age keys have periods of spikes in value; it’s the nature of the market in our favorite hobby. In the past several weeks, however, we have seen one particular Silver Age book undergo a meteoric rise in value, and it has sent collectors and investors scrambling to grab a copy… and that’s Daredevil #1.
But what’s so confounding about this book is typically some event or piece of news leads to a spike of this magnitude. It’s a simple A+B+C equation: character/issue news + supply of affordable copies available = strong market movement. It may not be that simple in this case study, and we need to figure out why to determine if this is a time to buy, sell, or hold.
It’s once again time to investigate Daredevil #1.
Major Market Movement for Daredevil
I have written about Daredevil #1 before, and how – for a major Marvel Silver Age first appearance – it always seemed to be relatively cheap. Right before that post (April 2020), I did pull the trigger and finally acquire a copy of my favorite character’s inaugural issue. My personal copy of Daredevil #1 (before shipping) set me back $1,250 for a CGC 3.5. More on that later.
At the time of that post, I implored you to buy. Hopefully you did.
Fast forward to mid-December and prices have started to soar. Using the GoCollect sales database, and filtering just for the last eight months, almost all grades are up significantly in value. Some highlights (all CGC graded):
These types of number for a key like Daredevil #1 just don’t happen over an eight-month span very often. For example, Tales of Suspense #39, the first appearance of Iron Man, shows growth between 9%-20% across most of its grades, and even those are aggressive numbers. To see value increase by a third this fast is quite shocking.
What are some potential reasons? Let’s dig in.
Daredevil Character Rights
The beginning of December was a major turning point in the screen future of the Daredevil character. For years, Netflix owned the rights to Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page and friends and produced a wildly successful three-season series led by Charlie Cox.
On November 29, those rights were officially transferred back to Marvel, allowing the group to join (or is it rejoin?) the MCU whenever Kevin Feige and company are ready. This presents a major shift in how MCU vans will likely view the Man Without Fear and are likely playing the speculation game with his first appearance.
The prices on his first appearance were trending way up prior to November 29, but that may be due to a massively successful #SaveDaredevil campaign which had more than 420,000 signatures on it by first weekend in December. Daredevil never really left the conscious of serious collectors and investors, and probably began to see a groundswell of first appearance sales leading up to the transfer.
Key Collector Influence
Love him or hate him, Nick Coglianese at the Key Collector app has a tremendous market influence on books like these.
Recently, under Key Collector’s entry for Daredevil #1, he posted a bullet-pointed manifesto by someone named Agent X, who outlines in simple yet detailed terms how this issue is the most undervalued book in all of comics.
Agent X cites recent prices compared to other Marvel first appearance Silver Age keys, supply of the book relative to demand, famous artists who have worked in the volume, and potential MCU possibilities.
When a site like Key Collector, who is estimated to have thousands of paid subscribers and has more than 25,000 social media followers on Twitter and Instagram, posts something that substantial about a major key, they are inevitably going to move the market. Sometimes this will be with small rumbles, but this time it appears to be a magnitude 8.0 seismic shift for the book.
It Was Affordable, Dummy
If you’re like me, you are simply priced out of a lot of the Marvel Silver Age mega-keys. I won’t be grabbing an Amazing Fantasy #15, Tales of Suspense #39, Fantastic Four #1, or X-Men #1 anytime soon. Even the get-in price for an X-Men #1 right now is around $2,500 for a CGC 0.5. Fantastic Four #1 at a 0.5 crossed $4,000 for the first time this year.
I’m just not someone who typically desires a grade that low, which means I certainly won’t be searching out my preferred 3.5 grade in either of these books, as both are close to a five-figure price tag.
While Daredevil may never be Spider-Man or the X-Men in popularity, this IS a character introduced in the massively popular Stan Lee-Jack Kirby-Steve Ditko run (all of them contributed to this book). The fact that you could get a CGC 2.0 copy one year ago for $730 should have told us a market correction was coming.
Truthfully, we all should have seen a three-figure price tag on some of those books and known this was coming.
How To React
At the end of the day, each of these factors combined to form a perfect storm that caused prices to spike. As an owner of this issue, I am extremely curious what is going to happen next.
That brings us back to my CGC 3.5 copy that cost $1,250. The most recent recorded sale in our database roughly in that grade happened on December 13 when a CGC 4.0 sold on eBay for $3,155. I am, of course, very torn on what to do here. He is my favorite character so I have no desire to sell it, but the prospect of doubling my money in eight months is better than any other investment I’ve ever had.
In the end, it’s the knowledge of how much it would cost to get another copy of this back in my possession that is leading me to hold. I desperately want one to own and pass down to my son (his favorite skin in Fortnite is Daredevil, so we’re getting there). But for those who own a copy and may not have the emotional attachment to the book that I do, it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.
If you have a Daredevil #1, what are you doing with it? Let me know in the comments!