Even if you have the strongest Pokemon in your lineup, there is still that strange itch when you see a blank spot in your Pokedex. Likewise, even if you have a Star Wars or MCU movie that you hate, what is a collection without every single one?
Here we will begin an initial exploration of the market for a few important comic books that derive value from not containing major 1st appearances, but rather do help in the completion of a series’ collection. The specific collection examined here is the first Amazing Spider-Man series, with a focus on its front end: the low numbered and minor/non-keys.
LOW NUMBERED AND MINOR/NON-KEY
Might as well dive right in with the popular first Amazing Spider-Man series, which does present a few challenges that will be addressed. For initial purposes, ideally, the low numbering will stay in the low single digits #1-9, but not completely ruling out #10 as round numbers are appealing. Next, for Amazing Spider-Man, we cross out the 1st appearances of major villains: such as ASM #2* (Vulture)(*corrected from previous typo), ASM #3 (Doc Ock), etc. This leaves us with the remaining candidates of ASM #5, ASM #7, ASM #8, and ASM #10. To narrow down the field a bit further, we look at each one in more detail:
- ASM #5 does contain the first Dr. Doom outside of Fantastic Four series, but with the issue perfectly wedged between two books containing the 1st appearances of major villains, Sandman and Lizard, makes the book an excellent candidate that captures the aspect being examined here.
- ASM #7, 2nd appearance of Vulture.
- ASM #8 and #10 contain the 1st appearances of the Living Brain and Big Man/Enforcers, respectively.
The sales data for each book includes similar grades, weighted for the census representation. ASM #5: CGC 5.0/7.0 (the top 52.6/22.4%), ASM #7: CGC 5.5/7.5 (top 54.2/21.2%), and ASM #10: CGC 5.0/7.5(top 72.2/31.6%).
Overall, each of the three books has been trending upwards since 2016. Outside of that, there are a few anomalies worth noting. Amazing Spider-Man #5 experienced a sudden spike in sales prices in late 2018; furthermore, it did retreat a little but remains at a higher level than the three years prior. The price movements for ASM #5 are worth keeping a close eye on moving forward. Another interesting event is the sudden downturn in sales prices of Amazing Spider-Man #7 in early 2019; this only occurred in the lower 5.5 grade while the higher 7.5 graded. With the diverging sentiments, extending the overall data range of ASM #7 for examination could possibly present an opportunity here.
Again, the category of books examined here, low numbered and minor/non-keys, presents a few aspects that are difficult to isolate; especially the ones here being from the Amazing Spider-Man series. Although they generally have a lower FMV than the surrounding key books, interestingly they do possess a growth rate that is very comparable if not better than many major characters’ 1st appearance keys. This appears to be true, at least for ASM #5, #7, and #10. With both the lower FMV and attractive growth rates, they present a unique opportunity for lower initial capital cost but a similar benefit to the major 1st appearance keys. It could be advantageous to extend this further to a few other Silver Age series/characters and identify similar situations.
“Like I always say, With great power comes great indebtedness.” – Spider-Man
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