The Silver Age is like the S&P 500 Index. Everyone owns some of it, everyone makes a little money each year and more importantly everyone feels safe buying it. The top characters are Black Panther, Silver Surfer, and Iron Man; these three titans of the Silver Age dominate the top three most popular Silver Age comics for the month of September. Each one of these books in mint condition would be a down payment on a house, with the cheapest still expensive at $20,000 FMV for a mint copy. Of these three main characters who is your favorite? Is it the master engineer, or perhaps the Prince of Wakanda, or maybe just plain old Norrin Radd from the planet Zenn-La? These three dominate the Silver Age. If you ever read the Silver Surfer in the Seventies you would be a fan. But his origin story is actually in the Sixties. This surfer is the epitome of the hero; he could win over the stone cold heart of a DC Comics fan. The Silver Surfer is popular as a super-hero. Are his returns galactic in size as well?
The technological warrior Iron Man has defended the Earth from Alien Skrulls and AIM (no they are do not make computer chips that is AMD), Melters and Mandarins, Shockwaves and Sunturions, even a Whiplash. Tony Stark’s first appearance in his own series was in Iron Man #1 (1968) by Archie Goodwin (script) and Gene Colan (art). The current value of this late Silver Age beauty is $20,000 in fair market value for grade (9.8) mint. If this is too high the grade (6.5) fine plus is obtainable for about $500, current FMV $450. There are many Iron Man #1’s out there; current inventory in the CGC Census is 5035 that is a ton for a Silver Age book. Iron Man #1 was very popular back in the day. Almost every friend that had comics in the house was into Iron Man. Just an oh-so-popular character, and when Robert Downey gets on the big screen look out that is magical. This issues current stellar growth is phenomenal with (9.8) mint returning positive +131.5% ROI on the GoCollect database. Iron Man #1 has repulsed his way to third place in September.
My first reading of the Silver Surfer was in the Seventies and they had him take on Mephisto, Marvel’s version of the devil. Even against insurmountable odds, this character refused to quit I was hooked and a Silver Surfer fan going forward. Fantastic Four #48 is the first appearance of Silver Surfer ever. This issue was created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist) in 1966. If you have $45,000 (FMV) for a down-payment on a house then buy Fantastic Four #48 instead and really impress your significant other. (Dare Ya!) Like it’s later Silver Age counterpart above, this book has returned positive +122.1% ROI in mint condition. But the real whopper is the VF to NM (9.0) with a positive +244.7% return. The Fantastic Four #48 comic is going to stay on top for some time, now in second place in the Silver Age.
What can I say, royalty is hard to beat. Fantastic Four #52 is the first appearance of the Black Panther and was making money as a key before any of the recent Marvel movies were made. The current FMV for a mint grade is $98,000 but I wouldn’t pay a penny over $51,700 for this cunning cat (the last eBay sale price). The current CGC Census inventory is 3252 but that probably represents most of what is available. This book is one of those few rare keys that have taken off on its own without movies, hype, and or, any pretense. It has already run far, I suspect it will lag from here, right up until the next Black Panther movie. The best return on this comic book has been long-term in grade (2.5) at positive +33.3% ROI. The Fantastic Four #52 is King of the Silver Age for September, numero uno. This is a long-term buy and hold, hopefully, you can find a copy; “May my panther ancestors guide you” to profits.