The Bronze Age hailed the return of true artistic freedom in comics. It was an age when the undead rose from the grave, warriors crushed the earth under sandaled feet, avatars of all types came to life: wendigos, wolverines, and every manner of beast. They became superbeings extraordinaire, some heroes, many villains, and all at the heart of great stories.
New teams came to supplant or at least rival the older Silver Age superheroes. Finally, with censorship greatly reduced the greatest power in comic books was unleashed, the writer. This led to some surreal, and surprising storylines. For instance, the first confrontation with Thanos, cancer numbing diagnosis, and later death of the once-great Captain Marvel, and the beginning of the Dark Phoenix Saga to name a few.
The Bronze Age was a magnificent achievement in freedom of artistic vision. What are some of the top key comic book pics of this time period? How does their growth rate compare to their Silver Age counterparts?
I have chosen five of the top keys from the Bronze Age for review against what can arguably be called the top Marvel Spider-Man title barring first appearances. Yep, I am writing about Amazing Spider-Man #1.
The most popular anti-heroes of the Bronze Age stacked against the favorite Marvel superhero of all time. The results of this compare and contrast of the best from one era against arguably one of the top Marvel books is an interesting test, to say the least. The two highest-ranking returns were, however, not a surprise that Amazing Spider-Man #129 and The Giant-Sized X-Men #1 dominated the field. The first has returned a stunning positive +15.2% in a high grade near mint minus over the last year and that is with zero catalysts. The highest returning book was The Giant-Sized X-Men #1 with positive +28%. Simply put, one-third of the value of this book was added within the last year alone. Bravo Zulu, X-Men!
|Top Bronze Age (1970- 1984)|
|Title||Grade||Last Sale||CGC Census||Return (1-year)|
|Marvel Spotlight #5||9.2||$5290||170 in grade||+6.4%|
|Amazing Spider-Man #129||9.2||$2880||929 in grade||+15.2%|
|The Incredible Hulk #181||9.2||$7200||749 in grade||+6.1%|
|The Giant-Sized X-Men #1||9.2||$4500||530 in grade||+28%|
|Werewolf by Night #32||9.2||$2500||262 in grade||
The highest prices paid for grade 9.2 in the past year are for Marvel Spotlight #5 and The Incredible Hulk #181. At over $5000 and $7000 respectively these two books, dominate this grade range category. In the future, I could see Werewolf by Night #32 easily overtake them in overall price should the Moon Knight phenomenon truly take hold. In fact, it appears that big money has made some sizable bets on this particular book as recently as late May 2020.
|Top Silver Age (1956-1970)|
|Title||Grade||Last Sale||CGC Census||Return|
|Amazing Spider-Man #1||8.5||$46,800||39 in grade||+6.4%|
In comparison to the Amazing Spider-Man #1 which has grown at a positive +6% the Bronze Age keys seem cheap by comparison as the returns are much higher. However, over the last year, Amazing Spider-Man #1 has sold as high as $46,800 in grade 8.5 certainly blowing the entire Bronze Age away by pure price tag alone.
In my humble pie opinion, the Bronze Age is a buy as they have double the returns and at only a tenth of the cost. That is plenty of reason to bet on this age of freedom of expression in comics, an age that sprouted monsters and mayhem, antiheroes and adventurers, and more importantly speculative opportunity. The Bronze Age is the low hanging fruit of the comic book investing community. It is a hidden treasure right out in the open still waiting to be plundered by hordes of rapacious sandaled speculators.