How many Stan Lee signed comics do you have in your collection? If you don’t have one, there are plenty for sale, but with so many in circulation, do they still hold their values?
It’s been over a year since Stan Lee’s death, and anything with his name emblazoned on the cover is climbing in value.
When a celebrity dies, it’s big news. Fans and investors clamor for any collectible they can get their hands on, and sellers mark up the prices. It’s going on right now with Kobe Bryant. The sports world is still in mourning after the NBA legend was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26. Because of that shock, anything with Bryant’s name and face is in high demand as sellers look to make a profit.
It was the same case when Stan Lee died in November 2018 with sellers flipping anything with his signature.
At the end of that year, I predicted the market for Stan Lee’s signatures wouldn’t get too much of a boost once the initial shock of his death passed since there are literally thousands of his signed items in circulation.
For the most part, that theory is proving true. Many comics signed by Lee spiked in 2018 and have since dropped. However, the cost of his signature, which was about $150-$200 in his final signings, is proving well worth every penny. Even though the fair market values have fallen off that 2018 spike, Stan’s autograph is still adding plenty of value to any comic.
CASE IN POINT: FANTASTIC FOUR #48
If you were going to stand in line for hours to meet Stan Lee, there was a good chance you brought a “holy grail” level comic or at least something classic Marvel for him to sign. In the case of F.F. #48, his autograph adds significant value. Obviously, the higher grades will benefit the most from his “John Hancock,” but the lower grades benefit, too. Take the low-grade 2.0. An unsigned, graded copy averaged for $584. With the signature, that figure jumped to $885.
For a more dramatic increase, check out the 6.0. Under the standard blue universal label, it averaged $1,639 last year. Add Stan’s witnessed signature to that same 6.0, and it suddenly raises the FMV to $2,987.
WHAT ABOUT CHARACTERS HE DIDN’T CREATE?
As I’ve pointed out before, Stan Lee signed anything and everything. Personally, I limited my Stan autographs to only things he either directly contributed to or at least was part of the creative process. Other collectors felt differently, and his signature adds value to even titles and characters he had no part in conceiving, like New Mutants #98.
At a 9.8, the standard blue label has averaged about $700 over the past 90 days. With the Stan Lee autograph, that same 9.8 has sold for over $1,500.
HOW ABOUT ALTERNATE VERSIONS OF HIS CHARACTERS?
It’s a similar case with Ghost-Spider/Spider-Gwen.
Sure, Stan created the original version of the character, but he had no part in the alternate-universe Gwen. Still, his signature adds hundreds of dollars to her first appearance. Earlier this year, a Stan Lee-signed Edge of Spider-Verse #2 graded at a 9.6 sold for $700. Without his autograph, that same grade is closer to a $250 comic.
There’s no question, having Stan’s legendary autograph on any comic adds value, and that isn’t going to change. If you have a Stan slab, treasure it.