Perhaps you can help me with a mystery I am trying to solve. I can not for the life of me figure out why the first appearance of Matt Murdock, the Man Without Fear, in Daredevil #1 languishes so far behind other Marvel first appearances not only in price but in popularity.
Review of Daredevil
It’s true that Daredevil came out in early 1964, missing the incomparable two year run of Marvel introductions from late 1961 to late 1963. But Daredevil is still a solid early Silver Age first appearance. Perhaps it’s because he hasn’t made his way to the big screen interrelated to any MCU film. But he did recently have a mega-popular series on Netflix. Maybe his roster of villains lags behind other heroes. To me, that doesn’t hold water as Kingpin, Bullseye, The Hand, and other foes have proven their worth over the years. Plus, he has the whole anti-hero thing going on with The Punisher. What if it’s because Ben Affleck once played him in a movie once upon a time? Actually, we may have found the reason there.
Whatever the reason is, it is baffling to me why his first appearance is so much more affordable than his Silver Age counterparts. For example, a CGC 7.0 copy of Avengers #1 didn’t sell for less than $6,500 in 2019-2020, with most selling between $7,000 and $9,000. A first Ant-Man in Tales to Astonish #27 sold between $5,000 and $8,000 in the past year and a half at that grade. A CGC 7.0 Tales of Suspense #39, the first Iron Man, sells for five figures easily in that grade. Hulk and Spider-Man? Fuggetaboutit.
A CGC 7.0 copy of Daredevil #1 will run you between $3,300 and $4,500 based on the past year of sales data from GoCollect. This represents a negative 1.2% drop in market value since the beginning of 2019 – essentially flat when factoring in inflation.
For comparison, this is about the same price you would expect to pay for a CGC 7.0-7.5 Hulk #181, the first (full) appearance of Wolverine, and it came out 11 years after Daredevil. You could argue the relative popularity of Wolverine versus Daredevil, but you can’t argue the fact that there are more than 12,000 graded Hulk 181’s in the CGC census while only about 4,000 Daredevil #1 are present.
In fact, there is roughly the same number of graded Daredevil #1 as there are X-Men #1 and Avengers #1 floating around in the world, so there must be other factors at play.
Whatever it is, now seems to be the time to buy. I recently purchased a CGC 3.5 copy, thinking I had a killer deal, and one month later I am seeing prices even lower. I recently had a conversation with an eBay seller who sold a Daredevil #1 CGC 2.5 signed by Stan Lee for just $1,075. Just 18 months ago, UNSIGNED 2.5 copies sold between $1,000 and $1,200. He had no explanation for why it wouldn’t sell for more. In fact, the only offers he received for it were for under $1,000.
Since the beginning of 2019, 10 of the 20 CGC grades with at least three registered sales reflected a negative return on market value. Show or no show on Netflix, this just seems backward and represents a strong buying opportunity for this book before it begins shooting back up, as it is assuredly will.
So if you have been on the fence lately, it’s time to make Matt, Foggy, Karen, and the gang part of your permanent collection.