The story of Iron Man is one of the most distinctive in Marvel. Not because of his Iron Man suit, micro missiles, targeting computer, repulsor rays, or the powerful Arc Reactor inches from his heart. Those are all trey-cool but are nowhere near as interesting as the villains Iron Man constantly has to fight. They range from power-mad Soviets (Titanium Man), jealous corporate executives (Stane), spies and saboteurs (Spymaster), alien dragons (Fin Fang Foom), and one of Iron Man’s greatest foes The Mandarin. Iron Man’s conquest of supervillains covers the entire alphabet from the Blizzard to Whiplash. Iron Man has never lost a step and is never short on enemies. He has even taken on the Hulk occasionally.
Now every once in a Blue Moon Iron Man runs up against someone who is stronger, faster, and more brutal, like the Titanium Man. He was a fallen Russian KGB agent who uses his armor to defeat Iron Man and therefore humiliate the Western Democracies publicly. During the Cold War this made for a gripping contemporary action story. The Titanium Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense #69. Which begs the question, is this a good book to own; or just another dusty ephemera on the shelf? Should we be on the lookout for the Titanium man and his possible appearance in the MCU? Further, does Tales of Suspense #69 hold up in value over the long haul? How about the short-term? Finally, would this be savvy speculation or merely another Silver Age investment?
This late Silver Age classic tale of East vs. West puts Iron Man technology to the test. The script was written by Stan Lee, with pencils from the team of Jack Kirby, Don Heck, and Dick Ayers in the summer of 1965. Making the Soviets the bad guy was a natural outgrowth of the time.
In 1965 we (the U.S.) joined the ground war in Vietnam. We sent 3,500 combat Marines to battle Communism. Why? At the time the spread of Communism into Southeast Asia was greatly feared in the West. But there is nothing Communist about comic book investing, that is pure capitalism. Will we see a movie? Probably not, but I could definitely see this character on a Marvel TV series. Let’s look at the long and short of this investment. Do these returns pack a punch like the Titanium Man’s armored gauntlets?
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The first appearance of the Titanium Man is a good Iron Man key to own. It has great returns for the short-term one year and the long-term over 20 years. I did find a shocking piece of data. Yep, an incredibly low CGC Census number at 148 outstanding. This is always a good sign. There are only 25 outstanding in Tales of Suspense #69 grades 9.2 to 9.6. There is no grade for 9.8 in this comic book at least with CGC. Now it should be noted that these numbers are only until December 2019. This could skew the results slightly as it does not include the recent economic turmoil that our fine country is going through.
The first appearance of the Titanium Man has a strong uptick of trend returns at positive +83%. This is nothing to shoot your repulsors at! It should also be noted that grade 9.0 over the last five months has increased in value positive +5.7%. This is a solid Silver Age key that is an investment, not speculation. These investment return trends are not as interesting as the playboy life of Tony Stark, but they are profitable.
Note to Readers: I just finished my 500th article for GoCollect! I want to thank all my readers over the last 3 years for their interest in comic book speculation. You folks keep me going with level headed criticism, support, and kudos. I love to read comments from anyone that takes the time to read my humble opinions. I thought a brief moment of gratitude was necessary. I am grateful for your support. I will do my best to make the next 500 speculation articles equally fun. Thanks for reading.
Norman G. Robinson III