With Silver Age ( 1956 - 1969 ) comic books demanding such high prices, one way of making a shrewd investment is to look for books that fall within the next age of comic books the Bronze Age ( 1970- 1980 ). There were some important books released during this period with some important characters making their debuts and also the subject matter of comics was allowed to become a bit darker during this time, with some of these books now being over 40 years old they are becoming harder and harder to find in decent condition and thus their value is increasing all the time.
So what are the most valuable books of the Bronze Age of comics?
In no particular order i am going to list ten of the most important books of the Bronze Age of comics, value will depend on what condition they are in with Near Mint copies obviously demanding a premium compared to lesser grade copies.
NUMBER 10: Cerebus # 1 A self published comic written by Canadian artist Dave Sim, early issues were a parody of the Sword and Sorcery genre. A very difficult to find and expensive comic book. Trying to find a decent copy of this issue is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, not sure how many were originally produced and how many have survived in good condition but it cannot be many.
NUMBER 9 : AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 129 The popular character The Punisher makes his debut in this issue, has a great very recognizable cover by artist Gil Kane, with Spider-mans popularity always on the rise this one makes a superb investment and just keeps gaining in value.
NUMBER 8: HOUSE OF SECRETS # 92 This comic book features the debut appearance of Swamp Thing, not too difficult to get hold of at a conservative price in average condition, cover is by Bernie Wrightson one of the most respected artists within the horror genre.
NUMBER 7: THE INCREDIBLE HULK # 181 Wolverine makes his second appearance in this issue, he first appears in this series previous issue #180 however that was only a cameo appearance on the inside rear cover, so far this is the only comic from the 1970s to reach a price of over $100,000 with a copy graded 9.9 Mint selling for $150,000 in March 2011!
NUMBER 6 : DC 100 PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR ROMANCE ISSUE. Also known as DC-5 this book had a very small print as being a romance issue DC did not expect to sell this in great numbers, classed by many as the rarest of the Bronze Age comics.
NUMBER 5: IRON FIST # 14. A comic book series that was never particularly popular although number 1 is quite collectable and this issue 14 introduces us to a rather nasty piece of work, Sabretooth. Sabretooth would go on to become a major player in the Marvel Universe as an enemy of the X-Men and the chief nemesis of Wolverine. One of the more affordable key issues of the 1970s.
NUMBER 4 : GIANT SIZE X-MEN # 1 The importance of this issue cannot be understated, it marks the first appearance of the new X-Men team , all who go on to be major characters in the comic book world, features Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler and Wolverine making only his fourth appearance and first as an X-Man.
NUMBER 3: UNCANNY X-MEN # 94 Marks the first time the new X-Men appear in the long running series. Usually sells for slightly less than Giant Size X-Men #1 but still can reach some formidable prices.
NUMBER 2: GREEN LANTERN # 76. Classed by many as the comic that heralds in the Bronze Age of comic books as it has a darker more realistic storyline compared to what readers were used to seeing, features artwork by the great Neal Adams and story by Denny O'neil who start their celebrated run on this book. This one doesn't come cheap in any grade.
NUMBER 1: STAR WARS # 1 35 CENT VARIANT COPY. Originally sold just prior to the release of the film, copies of Star Wars # 1 are pretty easy to get hold of however only 1500 were sold that have a 35 cents price tag and it is these issues that demand a high price, interesting to look at the cover today and see Darth Vader incorrectly colored green and the red light sabres, a real collectable piece of ephemera even with the 30 cents cover.
Pence versus Cents
A common misconception particularly to American comic book collectors is that copies that have British price stamps are reprints and so are of less value, British copies of comics were printed as part of the same print run as their American counterparts, being that the market place for these comics was smaller the price stamp on the printer would be changed towards the end of the run to a pence price, usually only 5% of the run would be made for the British market so in some ways this makes these issue rare variants, in Britain some collectors prefer British priced copies others prefer cents copies, personally i prefer the American versions as i am a lover of Americana but it should not really make any difference to the value however there does seem to be a small difference for prices achieved between the two with the American copies usually achieving a higher price.
Thanks for reading.
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