Top Five Comics: Bronze Age

by Norman Robinson III

The top five Bronze Age comics for the month of June are both symbiotic black suit appearances (early Venom precursors), the first appearance of Wolverine, the Eternals, and the coming of Beta Ray Bill. All five have a catalyst of some kind, in order to be the top-ranked comics in the Bronze Age. The symbiote suit is old hat for Bronze Age top picks. We have seen them many times in the last two years. The Eternals have a movie in production. For Wolvie, it is more nuanced; everyone wants to be in on the next Wolverine. When they finally replace Hugh Jackman sparks will fly on all things Wolvie. Someone saw a prop in Thor Ragnorak representing Beta Ray Bill and now everyone thinks Beta Ray will appear in the next Guardians of the Galaxy or some such. These five characters are the most popular last month, but are they profitable?

126054_5fb2044b1fb9495fac66f7c0122bd2c8c9afdf27-201x300 Top Five Comics: Bronze AgeThe Incredible Hulk #181

This is the first appearance of Wolverine. It has been and probably always will be the preeminent key of the Bronze Age. Created by Len Wein (script) and Herb Trimpe on pencils they breathed life into Wolvie in  The Incredible Hulk #181 on November 10, 1974. The following are the short-term returns for owning this “blue chip” investment.





Last Six Months

  • Grade 9.8 $38,000 FMV returns negative -20%
  • Grade 6.5 $2800 FMV returns negative -3%
  • Grade 2.0 $1350 FMV returns positive +12.5%
  • Grade 0.5 $775 FMV returns positive +11.3%

Looks like Wolverine’s first appearance has some room to run in the lower grades. Recommendation: Buy (lower grades only)


128104_6acef3bb970bf449331377a0a579ef870ad57f39-194x300 Top Five Comics: Bronze AgeThe Eternals #1 is basically the Ancient Astronaut Theory in comic book format. If you think we came from other worlds and have been transplanted here, like some space-age house Fern then you are an internal Eternal. The returns have been, dare I say, “stellar.”

Last Six Months 

  • Grade 9.8 $1150 FMV returns positive +1.1%
  • Grade 7.5 $100 FMV returns positive +8.1%
  • Grade 6.5 $85 FMV returns positive +123.2%

The Eternals #1 have some solid numbers in the mid-grade to lower grade. Recommendation: Buy



136817_8e3ff5aa88ccd7039e17801a025f68ea08e9c08b-196x300 Top Five Comics: Bronze AgeAmazing Spider-Man #252

This is the first black Spider-Man suit in a regular series and was created on May 10, 1984. The script was penned by Roger Stern and Tom DeFalco, with the talent of Ron Frenz on pencils. Additionally, this cover is an homage to the cover of Amazing Fantasy #15 (first Spidey). It has a fantastic homage cover and is quite possibly the true first appearance of the early Venom, but are the Amazing Spider-Man #252 returns up to snuff?






Last Six Months

  • Grade 9.8 $500 FMV returns negative -4.4%
  • Grade 7.5 $65 FMV returns negative -4%
  • Grade 5.0 $44 FMV returns positive +11.1%

Amazing Spider-Man #252 has seen a decline in returns for the higher end grades, stick with lower grades only. Recommendation: Buy (lower grades)


136142_f7be946cc90714f754d755d67756aeea558dda80-195x300 Top Five Comics: Bronze AgeThor #337

The God of Thunder has had several simulacrums over the years, but none greater than Beta Ray Bill. This Walt Simonson creation was an instant fan favorite, tough to get the penciling right. But when they do; a frenetic Beta Ray Bill as drawn by Walt Simonson is hard to beat. Can this new upstart continue to fly toward Valhalla and victory?

Last Six Months

  • Grade 9.8 $575 FMV returns positive +21.9%
  • Grade 7.5 $100 FMV returns positive +138.9%
  • Grade 6.0 $60 FMV returns positive +74.2%

This wielder of Stormbringer packs a wallop. The power of the profitable return is definitely Beta Ray Bill’s, especially over the last six months. This is a great omen. The gods favor thee… Recommendation: Buy


169123_94522eeacb8699bb21e4438c18ecd8fc5df95273-1-201x300 Top Five Comics: Bronze Age Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8

This is the first Spider-Man symbiote black costume. Yep, I know that reads an awful lot like ASM #252 above. Yet, Secret Wars #8 keeps moving to the front of the pack month after month. This time Secret Wars #8 was again top dog, and the number one Bronze Age comic of the previous month’s purchases. Are the returns as promising as the popularity of this Copper Age book?

Last Six Months

  • Grade 9.8 $270 FMV returns positive +9.4%
  • Grade 8.0 $85 FMV returns positive +12%
  • Grade 6.5 $50 FMV returns negative -5.4%


Thor #337 has the percentage gains over the last six months and is a hammer above the rest of the competition. Running a close second is The Eternals #1. The returns for the comic book The Eternals #1 was +132% (grade-6.5). While Thor #337 has an even higher return with +138.9% (grade-7.0). With these kinds of thunderous returns, it is an easy choice. Do you want to make money or have the most popular book? They are not always the same thing. Bet on Beta Ray Bill for his phenomenal return.

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