Top Comics: Silver Age

by Norman Robinson III

sub-mariner-1-198x300 Top Comics: Silver AgeAccording to most of the Wall Street analysts, precious metals are the investment for our times. Everyone is buying gold like we are going to be thrown back to the Stone Age.  Even Warren Buffet has given up his bank stocks for the precious metal. I prefer silver. Why? It is cheaper than gold and probably less of a risk. The same could be said for the Silver Age of comic books. The Silver Age started with Showcase #4 in 1956 and lasted until the “free love” 60s turned into the “Disco” 70s. It has been going strong ever since. Best of all it is cheaper than the Golden Age books by far.

Over the last month, Fantastic Four has dominated the top spots with Sub-Mariner #1 taking the princely position of the top comic for the Silver Age. What does Namor the fish dude, the Gerber baby Watcher, and the Inhumans have in common? They are the top comic books in popularity of the Silver Age last month. Further, are these Silver Age picks going up in price, and by what percentage over the last 60 days? Finally, what book will be the top Silver Age pick this year? Is it even in the top ten books currently?


sub-mariner-1-198x300 Top Comics: Silver AgeSub-Mariner #1

Subby has always been an interesting character and in fact, is one of the earliest superheroes created. Perhaps humanity cannot separate itself from our oceanic early beginnings, or maybe we just like dudes with wings on their ankles. Whatever the case, Sub-Mariner rarely disappoints. This comic is his “second self-titled comics series; the first issue to first Silver Age comics series and first Silver Age Namor origin story.” It was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1968, though the character has his beginnings in the late 1930s. This Silver Age key is a good bet and given the popularity of this book a taste of things to come with Subby.



ff48-200x300 Top Comics: Silver AgeFantastic Four #48

The Gerber baby has been lighting up the top key lists for quite a while now. It has the first appearance of Silver Surfer and a cameo by Galactus. It was written by Stan Lee in 1966 it was drawn by Jack Kirby with Joe Sinnott inks. This book has been ranked by GoCollect as the second most popular comic from last month.






ff45-197x300 Top Comics: Silver AgeFantastic Four #45

This superhero team might be dubbed the “Fantastic Flop” as the TV series was nothing short of awful. It is the first appearance of the Inhumans and Medusa is revealed to be Crystal’s sister. I could not figure out why this comic book has gone up in value; except perhaps this team will be used as throwaways to show how powerful the Silver Surfer truly is. I know that is a little harsh, but they do take him on in Silver Surfer #18. Also, what a great way to try to reinvigorate interest in that team. This book was ranked as the third most popular Silver Age comic last month.


Top Silver Age (1956-1970)
Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return
Sub-Mariner #1 9.8 $8,000 71 +33%
Fantastic Four #48 9.6 $18,000 105 +38%
Fantastic Four #45 9.0 $1,999 114 +10.8%


These matchups are each solid keys from the Silver Age of comics. I think you go with the royal prerogative on this investment. Sub-Mariner #1 is the one to invest in this bunch. It has a ton of room to run still, is available in higher grades, and is still relatively cheap. The grade 8.0 runs about $600 or so. A Silver Age key in very fine condition for only $600 is a steal in my book and the silver bullet for a tough year of investing.


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Dave Stevens August 27, 2020 - 12:54 pm

Your metals analogy doesn’t correlate to comics at all. Golden Age, across the board, is a much better investment than Silver Age. I take it you are probably primarily a silver age collector but if you do get into gold, you will see there is so much more untapped greatness and rarity that nothing in the overprinted silver age can compare to. And precode anything? Incredible. It’s not even close. With how easy it is to obtain silver age books (all you need is money), prices are dependable and don’t change much without external forces (like movies) except for inflationary corrections. There are literally newly publicized discoveries in gold all the time and comics that had been overlooked for decades soaring into the stratosphere. Check it out sometime.

Norman Robinson III September 3, 2020 - 2:57 pm

My article was about Top Comics: The Silver Age and the gold analogy though a little clunky I thought worked. In my article, I was not attacking the Golden Age. Instead, I was merely stating the obvious that because the Golden Age was so pricey it could be a value trap. Think of the last 30 years of decline in Wester Comics at the end of the 20th Century. Those were rare, pricey and now they can’t find a buyer. Though I think the Golden Age is a good investment, there are pitfalls to be wary of. Thanks for your comments, and I will look into the “newly publicized discoveries.”
Best Wishes, Nam

Sal August 28, 2020 - 2:05 am

Nice. I was able to pick up a ~3.0 grade SM#1 through a European auction for $50 a few months ago.

Norman Robinson III September 3, 2020 - 2:59 pm

Sweet! Nicely done Sal, it feels so good to take down big game like SM #1. For $50? What a steal! Thanks for reading. Nam


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