Want an ASM #129? Be Patient

by Matt Tuck

ASM-129-201x300 Want an ASM #129? Be PatientIf you don’t already have a Punisher first appearance, it’s time to be patient. Although the market for Amazing Spider-Man #129 is solid as usual, the data suggests a dip could be on the horizon. 

The Netflix cancellations have undoubtedly impacted the market.

The first appearances of Iron Fist, which was on life support after the second season bombed, and Luke Cage both dropped significantly after their respective series were axed. (Want to know more about those issues? Check out “The Declining State of the Iron Fist Keys” and “It’s a Buyer’s Market for Hero for Hire #1.”) Then the critically-acclaimed Daredevil was cancelled, and the Internet wept. Now the Punisher and Jessica Jones are the last ones standing, and it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that neither will see a new season.

ASM-129-panel-247x300 Want an ASM #129? Be PatientAssuming that Netflix does cancel both shows, how will that impact the market? Jessica Jones’ first appearance will take the bigger hit, but don’t assume that Amazing Spider-Man #129 won’t catch some fallout. Given that ASM #129 is among the holy grails of keys, a cancelled show isn’t enough to cause prices to necessarily plummet, but it will bring doubt to the character’s live-action future, which will impact the values. The thing is, we’re already seeing changes in the market, albeit minor changes, but it could be a warning sign.

Upon first glance, it would seem that all is well with ASM #129. It remains an immensely popular bronze age key with a high volume of graded sales each month. Unless the Punisher gets the X-Men treatment in the comics (remember when Marvel tried to replace them with the Inhumans?), it will retain its status as a perennial favorite among collectors. As far as fair market value, virtually every grade saw an increase in 2018. Last month, most of the recent sales were above their 12-month averages, but the keyword there is most. Four mid and higher grades have begun selling for below their 2018 FMVs – the 9.6, 9.0, 7.5, and 6.5.

Four grades being sold at lower prices is nothing to cause a panic, but when one of those is a 9.6, it warrants an investigation. First of all, the 12-month average stands at $5,012 with the 90-day FMV slightly higher at $5,190. The concerning part is that the January sales are showing a clear decline, and it coincides with the season two January 18 release date.

ASM-129-kick-300x292 Want an ASM #129? Be PatientOn January 1, a 9.6 sold for $5,695. Three weeks later, the same grade brought an even $5,000. Most recently one sold for $4,607, which is nearly $400 below the 2018 average of $4,983. Likewise, the 9.0 began the year with an impressive $1,993 price tag, but the last sale was for $1,702, and the 90-day average of $1,892 has now dipped below the 2018 FMV of $1,913.

Another grade of concern is the 7.5. Last year, it averaged $1,024. To start the year, it stayed above average with a January 7 sale of $1,125, but in the past week, it’s steadily declined. On January 25, a 7.5 went for $1,100, and another dropped to an even $1k the next day. It has continued to lose value and sold for $919 on January 31.

Fall back a grade, and you’ll see that the 6.5 follows a similar pattern. When 2019 kicked off, it was bringing between $800 and $888 a year removed from a record-high of $1,040, but the last sale on January 29 was for $725, which is nearly $100 below its 2018 FMV.

All that being said, the lower grades are doing quite well at the moment, but if more mid and upper grades begin to transgress, those low grades will experience the trickle down effect.

ASM-129-Jackal-300x273 Want an ASM #129? Be PatientBy no means am I suggesting all sellers dump their ASM #129s. Although not as lauded as Daredevil, fans were generally entertained by Netflix’s Punisher, so it’s no Iron Fist or Inhumans situation. As I previously stated, a cancellation will have minimal impact on the mega key. What I am suggesting is this: buyers, be patient and wait for prices to plateau. 

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