What’s Causing the Copper Age Cool Down?

by Norman Robinson III

062722K-1024x536 What's Causing the Copper Age Cool Down?Why has the Copper Age, among all ages, seen a decrease in value over the last 6 months? Furthermore, what are the key books that we might use to identify this sudden downturn? Finally, should you be worried about future prices?

The Copper Age has been pretty hot for several years. Now, it seems to be resting in the batter’s box, letting other ages surge ahead. The Copper Age runs from 1984 until 1992. Unfortunately, over the last 6 months, this era has slowed to a price increase crawl. Perhaps it has given up a small percentage of gains in that time frame.

Top Five Copper Age Keys (1 year)

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The top book is Spawn #1, which was published by Image Comics in 1992. This is the first appearance of Spawn. He was the ultimate anti-hero character in independent publishing at the time. It also set the tone for an upstart, Image Comics. They are still going strong today! 

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The runner-up is no surprise, the Amazing Spider-Man #361. This comic is the first appearance of Venom’s villain Carnage. He has appeared in two movies over the last several years.  In one, he was the primary villain. This is a very popular book and ubiquitous throughout any comic book shop even today and was created in 1992.

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The comic book Venom: Lethal Protector #1 is the first Venom in his own titled series.  It seems everyone owns a copy of this book. It appears even more ubiquitous than ASM #361, and that’s not easy to do. This book was created just outside of the Copper Age in 1993 and might even be considered a Modern Age book at that point.

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This comic is in fourth place in the Copper Age over the last year. The Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars #8 is the first appearance of Spidey with the Symbiote suit considered the origin of the alien symbiote. This book was created at the beginning of the Copper Age.

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Amazing Spider-Man #300 is quite simply the most popular Copper Age book in existence – the first full appearance of Venom. This book defies the laws of economics and continues to go higher, (usually). This is despite the overwhelming number of copies of this book on the market. I consider it the top key of the Copper Age. This is not from rarity, nor because of price, but simply from desirability and fanatical appeal.

Comic Grade Price Current Trend Return (1 year)
Spawn #1 9.8 $190 -26% decline
Amazing Spider-Man #300 9.8 $4950 -30% deline


The price declines are really just a response to the run-up over the previous year to six months. That pace of price increase was unsustainable and primarily due to coming out of the pandemic.  it’ll probably take a year to retrace to the 2021 or 2022 early highs.

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In baseball, you have something called the “7th inning stretch”. Basically, people get out of their seats at the baseball stadium. Then they stretch, get something to eat, use the facilities or even order a beer and relax.  After that, they go right back to watching the game and enjoying the contest. The Copper Age is only in the “7th inning stretch.” Don’t leave early and miss out on further price increases.

Want more Copper Spec?

000080221A_Posters_2-Footer What's Causing the Copper Age Cool Down?*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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T La Ross July 2, 2022 - 1:28 am

I think it would help if you look at cgcdata.com and see the census growth of these books or any book for that matter when trying to figure out price movement. With bronze and especially silver age books, the high grade growth rate is nothing compared to copper and modern age books which is why you don’t see ultra high grade drops like this as frequently with silver and early bronze.
From June of last year to last month, Spawn #1 9.8 universal census has increased by over 2,200 copies from 7,234 to 9,500. Venom Lethal Protector from 5,142 to 7,258. ASM #300 increased by over 10% from 1,131 to 1,275. This is why a lot of moderns and copper age books don’t really have value lower than 9.8 as well. The growth in lower grades is even greater and can usually more than meet any incease in demand. While some books may “cool off”, a lot of the time the census numbers just explode and there’s always multiple copies available sitting on Ebay which surpresses price increases.
Is there any reason to believe demand for Spawn #1 in 9.8 would outpace census growth like that? I think the problem with a lot of these books we see dipping, even a lot of bronze age keys, is there’s just too many out there for the prices to keep climbing or even maintain their highs.
Even Giant Size X-Men #1 has had some pretty big census increases. It’s hard to expect 9.8 sales prices to keep going up when another 9.8 is added to the census every month (has averaged 1.25 more 9.8s per month for the last two years now. 8.0 increase is 4.8 per month or 117 more 8.0s on the census in the last two years).
This is something I think more people should consider before dumping big money into books that suddenly become hot.

Lou LaRocca July 2, 2022 - 3:55 pm

Ridiculously high supply even at the very top of the grading scale … what could go wrong?

Nicholas Fenner July 3, 2022 - 3:21 am

Interesting points about the supply side. I also wonder if the fact that movies have jumped from using the Silver Age to the Modern Age as source material has been a factor. Copper stories may just be left in the dark.

Sean July 3, 2022 - 7:31 pm

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, please stop misleading the public. Secret Wars #8 is NOT the first appeaarance of Spidey’s alien symbiote costume. It came out EIGHT MONTHS after Amazing Spider-Man #252 and is just an origin story. So many people mistakenly think SW #8 is the first appearance, but it’s not.


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