The Bronze Age was a time of crime waves, fallen leaders and political turmoil; giving rise to anti-heroes in popular culture. The person who would do what is right regardless of the consequences, even if it was sociopathic. The month of December is the season of giving and in that vein, Marvel has given us two classic anti-heroes: Wolverine and the Symbiote. Yep, the Symbiote is definitely part of the anti-hero movement. From the Symbiote comes Venom, this creature is so far to the right of anti-hero he almost tips the scale to villain. I mean killing is one thing but biting heads off, whew! During December we had the Symbiote dominating the comic book scene with not one but two top books. Furthermore, the biggest key in Marvel has moved into the top three with Wolverine’s first full appearance being grabbed up.
This book is the biggest key of the Bronze Age. Wolverine’s first appearance is the apex of any Bronze Age collection. Recently, this book has begun to move in staggering amounts of sales. By my count reviewing GoCollect’s Sales History Analyzer, it has yielded well over 150 sales over the last three months. This is the most expensive book of the Bronze Age. Though the turnover has been ferocious it is isolated to the range of (5.0)-(9.2), the middle of the pack, price wise. Still these are some pretty hefty prices: (9.2) at $6250 FMV, (8.0) at $4000 FMV, (6.5) at $2500 FMV, and (5.0) at $2100. These are large sales and have disrupted some of the returns with the mid-high range of grades showing on average a rough negative price reduction of -5% and -10% ROI. There are many collections turning over The Incredible Hulk #181 in fact so many are selling books that buyers are getting a slight discount off the price.
This makes sense due to the Wolverine movie where he died, and Hugh Jackman confirmed that is his last Wolvie. I think this is a temporary setback as many buyers stepped into the breach to own a copy of The Incredible Hulk #181 the top Bronze Age book of all time. Now is apparently a good time to buy, a 10% reduction in price would more than pay for sales tax. Extend your claws and hack and slash your mattress to get the money out to buy a copy. Because it is only a matter of time before they announce another Wolvie actor.
This book is truly the first time we see the black Spider-Man costume in a regular series. Also, it happens about 8 months before Secret Wars #8 the first Symbiote. This early rendition was barely even a blip on the horizon back in the day. But now years later, as the earliest black suit appearance and fans agree it is collectible. This month the black suit takes second place as the most popular comic book of the Bronze Age. Amazing Spider-Man #252 has shown remarkable resilience as an early front-runner for Venom. I know the black suit is not the same as Venom. But it is an early precursor to the Venom saga and fans gotta have it. The current cost of mint condition (9.8) is $600 FMV. The truly good news is this book is still obtainable. The average returns on this book have been stunning, almost in Silver key range. Mint condition grade (9.8) has returned positive +76.4%. At near mint minus (9.2) the average price is $130 FMV. Something almost any working class person can afford on a budget.
This book is the topped rank Bronze Age comic for the month of December. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 was created by Jim Shooter (script) and Michael Zeck (pencils). This is the first appearance of the Symbiote with the black Spider-Man costume. I can remember reading this when it came out and thinking how cool, Spidey is even more powerful now. I had no idea that this comic would be the beginning of the Modern Age’s most popular superhero Venom. Currently, grade (9.8) mint condition costs $250 FMV, and just like its sister comic above you can still pick up a near mint minus on the cheap ($100 FMV). Again, similar to its sister comic ASM #252 this book has some very solid returns, given the overproduction of this comic in the 1980s these numbers seem a little daunting. But remember, Venom didn’t exist yet. The creation of that character has accumulated multiple generations of fans, increasing demand beyond initial supply. Besides who doesn’t want to own a Mike Zeck cover?