Top Comics 2020: The Bronze Age

by Norman Robinson III

evel-toy Top Comics 2020: The Bronze AgeThe Bronze Age was a time of great events, both geopolitical and artistic.

The 70s was an age at the beginning of vast changes for society with technology. This changing age was good for the comic book market creatively and financially. The Bronze Age has recently inflated in price across the board, but this is good for collectors. Honestly, its value has never been higher. What are the top books for the Bronze Age closing out this melancholy year of 2020?

Comic books directly benefitted from this era. During the 1970s and beyond the Cold War was raging throughout the world and forever in our fears. Life-long heroes like Evel Knievel jumped the Snake River and real heroes like the American combat troops in Vietnam crossed the Pacific Ocean and came home from the Vietnam War. Economically OPEC helped spur on inflation in 1975 with disastrous results.

The videotape was becoming popular and Betamax videotapes were a thing. The first blockbuster movie (Jaws) appeared and devoured audiences everywhere; while the actor Roy Scheider realized, “We need a bigger boat!”  An early arcade game appeared in pizza parlors everywhere called Pong, and for Christmas (1975) Mister Potato Head was a popular toy for American kids.

Let’s talk about some of the top books for the Bronze Age at the end of this unique year.

Lone-wolf-mando-header-300x169 Top Comics 2020: The Bronze AgeMando and Star Wars

The Mandalorian has saved the Star Wars franchise beyond a shadow of a doubt. The simple story of a gruff mercenary and mysterious alien child is reminiscent of “Lone Wolf and Cub.” But not once along the path of “Mando” did storytelling suffer. We saw him bounced around by Jawas, ride the Mythosaur, battle countless Stormtroopers, even go toe to toe with a Jedi Knight! It was nothing short of everything a Star Wars fan wanted to see. The storytelling was closer to a Spaghetti Western than the cold “Army noodles and ketchup” of recent ‘Wars’ movies. Then to cap it off they bring back Luke Skywalker, THANK GOD! After a double season of great storytelling, the Star Wars franchise is not only alive and well; it is thriving!

star-wars-1-195x300 Top Comics 2020: The Bronze AgeStar Wars #1

This comic was created in 1977 by Roy Thomas with the pencils of Howard Chaykin. Though the 35-cent variant is the most expensive we are going to examine the standard 30-cent issue. Star Wars #1 has been helped out by the Mandolorian, see reference above. What does this mean for the future value of this space saga?

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8 and Amazing Spider-Man #252 fill the ranks of #2 and #3 by GoCollect standards. This is because there is no designation for the Copper Age, yet. Therefore, I have taken creative license and skipped them in my review as they are both Copper books.

eternals-one-194x300 Top Comics 2020: The Bronze AgeEternals #1

The first appearance of the Eternals is in Eternals #1created by Jack Kirby both pencils and script. Eventually, the movie will either appear online or in the theaters. My guess is next Summer is going to be a blockbuster summer for the movie studios. At the end of a tumultuous year, the Eternals come in at number two for the Bronze Age. What kind of returns and how long should we hold this book?

she-hulk-196x300 Top Comics 2020: The Bronze AgeSavage She-Hulk #1

Ahead of us in 2021 awaits that big, green, sexy-machine She-Hulk. They chose a good actress and it is going to be a ton of fun watching her throw would-be suitors around the room. In addition, she will bring a much needed female balance to the Marvel Universe. Look, Marvel Comics is great, which is why I have read Marvel since I was a kid. But honestly, more strong female characters are needed and She-Hulk definitely fills in the roster. Marvel represents the heroes in all of us, and few will win hearts and minds like our She-Hulk. Wait and see, she is my sleeper pick for 2021. How expensive could her first appearance in Savage She-Hulk #1 become?

 

Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return (1-Year)
Star Wars #1 9.6 $753 1971 +75.6%
Eternals #1 9.6 $384 1273 +4.8%
Savage She-Hulk #1 9.6 $383 2422 +60.8%

rogue-one-scene-300x169 Top Comics 2020: The Bronze AgeConclusion

It should be noted that She-Hulk performed “incredibly” well in this match up. She has had very little hype, especially when compared to Star Wars and Eternals; despite this, she managed a positive +60% return!

Star Wars has reached epic numbers and I don’t think there is any limit to how far that book can go over the next five years. The same guy that brought us the first Iron Man movie is now rocking the Cantina scene in “Wars.” Jon Favreau understands what the fans want to see; why is that? Well, he is one. Put simply you have to be a fan to do justice to the Star Wars Universe and franchise. Bottom line as long as he is running the show Star Wars #1 will continue to rise in value like an X-Wing from the Swamp World of Dagobah.

she-hulk-jennifer-walters-marvel-1200x620-1-300x155 Top Comics 2020: The Bronze Age Buy the strength of the lady with green ‘quads’ or the power of the Force both of these franchises are spurring the creation of new shows into the near future.

The comic books of the Bronze Age are full of possibilities. The strength of the creativity unleashed in the 70s is still with us today. In fact, this probably calls for a search of key characters throughout the Star Wars and She-Hulk genre. “May the Force be with you” on this key quest and during the holidays!

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2 comments

octoberland January 8, 2021 - 1:38 pm

The only addendum I’d make to this is the the Eternals were already pretty hot coming into this 2020, so some of the ‘boom’ had already happened. SW is boosted by current D+ goodness (also, well, Star Wars) and She Hulk was brought to light coming into the year. I think that for all books Eternals is showing the best returns given it cam from relative obscurity to most people not already Kirby fans. Even She Hulk 1 raw was more expensive than Eternals 1 before any news on either property.

If you have already been in on Eternals I think you are doing well. But looking at the numbers, there are far fewer Eternals 1 9.6 copies on census which could mean nice jumps once the news cycle ramps back up on the movie. This might be a buying time during the lull?

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Norman Robinson III January 11, 2021 - 9:47 pm

I have been selling Eternals as I owned so many. I don’t see a huge uptick, but you never know maybe preview night?

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