So much of comic book collecting and investing nowadays is dominated by modern books. With the endless variants, store exclusives, and first appearances of ultimately insignificant characters, many investors, especially those who prefer older books, often feel ignored and left out of the conversation. Fortunately, we here at GoCollect are here to help!! Every week, I am going to provide speculation recommendations for silver, bronze, and copper age books for a chosen topic. This week, we are going to talk about the the Spirit of Vengeance, the one and only Ghost Rider!
Ghost Rider #1
Before Johnny Blaze became the Spirit of Vengeance, another comic book character went by the name Ghost Rider – Carter Slade. Slade made his first appearance in this book which, unlike subsequent Ghost Rider series, was based in the western genre rather than horror. Though Slade is not a spirit of vengeance, he is still technically a Ghost Rider.
Graded Analysis: This book is up all-time in most grades, in the majority of cases by more than 100%. One of the things that really helps this book, especially in lower grades, is the dearth of high grade copies. Only 10% of the census population is graded at 9.0 or above and there has never been a submission graded higher than 9.6.
This, combined with Marvel’s concerted effort in recent years to more explicitely tie the Phantom Rider to the Ghost Rider mythology, have helped significantly raise the profile of the character and book.
Marvel Premiere #28
This book features the very first appearance of the Legion of Monsters, composed of Morbius, Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night, and Ghost Rider. In recent years, the Legion has recieved a lot of renewed attention, especially from investors who see the group’s incredible cinematic potential. Furthermore, the legion has always been a fan favorite team, meaning this book has a strong floor that should protect investors from worrisome losses.
Graded Analysis: For a bronze age book starring very few high-profile characters, Marvel Premiere #28 has a surprisingly high number of high grade copies. In fact, almost 50% of the census population is graded at 9.0 or higher! The book is still up all time in almost every grade, but those looking to sell the book more quickly will almost certainly need to invest in higher grade copies. The tremendous availability of books graded VF or better serves to significantly reduce the demand for lesser copies. Not eliminate it, but reduce it.
Ghost Rider #28 Newsstand
Ghost Rider #28 contains the very first appearance of the Midnight Sons, a group of heroes often described as Marvel’s supernatural Avengers. That perception, valid or otherwise, has driven tremendous interest in this book, especially from MCU investors. This theory makes a lot of sense, especially when one considers the extremely positive reception of the Werewolf By Night special and the fact that MANY of the team’s members have already been introduced.
Graded Analysis: A graded analysis of Ghost Rider #28 Newsstand edition is not the easiest task. First of all, CGC did not even officially recognize newsstand editions as a distinct variant until fairly recently. Second, the comic community did not really care about the newsstand / direct edition distinction until relatively recently. As a result, market data points are few and far between, at least compare to the direct edition. That being said, the newsstand edition is definitely the version to own. At the time this comic first hit shop shelves, newsstand distribution accounted for ~10% of comic book sales. That means the newsstand edition is 9x rarer than the direct edition!!
That’s all for this week folks! I hope you enjoyed this article about Ghost Rider! Let me know what you thought and if you have any suggestions for this article or future topics. Next week, we tackle the masked monarch, the Fantastic Four’s greatest enemy, the one and only Dr. Doom!!
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.
I had two interesting Ghost Riders from the initial ’70s run. Both comics featured a cover of the Hulk battling Johnny Blaze (I forget the #s). The first book had a reprint, with the explanation that they missed the deadline and had to resort to printing a previous tale. The next month, a second Hulk cover appeared, this time containing the originally intended story. Funny thing, is that Ghost Rider beat the Hulk! This did not sit well with Herb Trimpe, and he illustrated his displeasure on the Hulk’s letter page the following month. Fun stuff.
Johnny Blaze vs Johnny Storm…hell fire vs cosmic ray fire! Just a thought…