An avid comic collector and fan for nearly 20 years, Vic started collecting comics around eight years old. Comic investing since the 2000s.
If you're wondering what the most valuable Marvel Bronze Age comics are, this article will detail the top. Most of these are compared from sales of CGC 9.8s. There are a few comics that do have third-party graded 9.9 and 10 sales that are not featured here as well and are considered Bronze Age Comics.
Remember, this is as it stands at the time of this writing in December 2021. The secondary comic market is always moving and updating with comic sales. The most recent prices are also those that I could find. If there are more recent sales for any of the particular comics at 9.8, please comment and let me know. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and please share this if you're a comic collector or investor. Let's get to it!
Marvel Spotlight #5
The 1st appearance of Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider is contained in Marvel Spotlight #5. This is the 2nd Ghost Rider for Marvel. However, the first Ghost Rider was part of the western genre and isn't considered a superhero. Johnny Blaze is Marvel's first published Spirit of Vengeance and is one of the many horror/supernatural characters that Marvel produced during the Bronze Age horror revival when the Comics Code Authority relaxed some of their bans on the horror genre.
Highest and most recent sale of a CGC 9.8 of Marvel Spotlight #5 was at a whopping $264,000 that sold at Heritage Auctions in 2021. The only other sale I could find for this comic was back in 2013, and it sold at Heritage Auctions for $13,145!
I am surprised and thought that the 1st appearance of Wolverine would've taken the number #1 spot. However, there are only a measly 4 recorded 9.8s in the CGC census currently. These are Universal copies, and there are zero Signature Series for the grade. Also, the CBCS census has zero entries for 9.8s of this comic. Pretty rare for Marvel Spotlight #5s at 9.8 grades!
Incredible Hulk #181
As an X-Men fan, no doubt that Wolverine is one of my favorite characters of all time. A very popular character, indeed, and I am a bit surprised that Incredible Hulk #181 was beaten by Ghost Rider's debut in Marvel Spotlight #5 for CGC 9.8s. However, after looking at the CGC Census, it did make more sense.
Okay, to clarify, Incredible Hulk #181 is considered the 1st full appearance of Wolverine. The comic also boasts the 1st Wolverine cover, and the 1st classic Hulk vs. Wolverine battle in comics. It definitely has a lot going for it, and Wolverine's gruff, violent but loyal nature has caught on with many comic fans. I grew up with the character in the late 80s and 90s.
Highest and most recent known sale of an Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 9.8 was for $84,000 at Heritage Auctions. It sold in September of 2021. Despite being one of the most sought out Bronze Age key comics amongst collectors, quite a few are arguing that the 1st cameo of Wolverine in the prior issue of Incredible Hulk #180 should be the more sought-out and valuable between the two.
Giant-Size X-Men #1
I am definitely surprised that this is not higher on the list and more valuable. The large amount of copes that have been graded may be one of the reasons why. 9.8s currently stand in the CGC Census at 207 Universal copies with ten Signature Series and 1 Restored copy. The total for 9.8s of Giant-Size X-Men #1 in the CGC Census is 218. In reality, that isn't a super amount of copies at that grade, even with the extra 7 Blue Label 9.8s that CBCS has graded.
This comic is definitely loaded with a lot of key comic goodness. It has four debuts, and not just debuts of some minor or semi-popular characters. Three debuts are of extremely popular X-Men characters and the three being Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler. While Thunderbird debuted, he was killed off quite quick. However, the character or spin-offs of the character did make a slight comeback with the character of Warpath. However, who doesn't know Storm amongst Marvel Comics fans? Also, what X-Men fan doesn't know Colossus and Nightcrawler? The characters that debuted here became linchpins for the team during the '70s, '80s, '90s and even to this day.
On top of the important debuts, Wolverine joins the X-Men in this issue, and there's no doubt that his popularity helped to make the 2nd incarnation of the X-Men a success. Oh, fun fact here: The original X-Men wasn't a hit with fans and was almost cancelled if you can believe that. Giant-Size X-Men #1 is still considered the 2nd full appearance of Wolverine as well, but that can be argued. The comic does first see his famous mask redesigned from his previous look in Incredible Hulk #180, #181 and #182 (this comic some are arguing is the real 2nd appearance of Wolverine and not simply a cameo). Anyway and seriously, look at Wolvie's mask on the cover of this issue compared to the cover of Incredible Hulk #181. See it? Cool!
Highest known CGC 9.8 sale for this comic sold for $72,000 at Heritage Auctions in July of 2021. Most recent known sale of a Giant-Size X-Men #1 CGC 9.8 was for $45,000 and sold at Comic Connect in September of 2021. Once again, when them X-Men finally hit the silver screen under the MCU, it will interesting to see how excitement hits this book at all grades. You know, many of the characters that debuted in this comic will eventually be introduced in the MCU X-Men franchise! I'm excited. Can't wait!
Werewolf By Night #32
The first appearance of Moon Knight has been in demand and sought-out for a good while, but I do remember a time when this comic was under the radar. I bought my copy for $35 bucks back in the day, and it graded a CGC 7.0 without a press and clean. In fact, when I got my copy graded, pressing and cleaning wasn't as popular as it is right now.
With speculation about a Moon Knight anything live-action happening, this book really heated with the recent news of Disney Plus's Moon Knight streaming show coming out super soon.
Last known prior CGC 9.8 sale of Werewolf by Night #32 CGC 9.8 was $32,100 at Heritage Auctions back in March 2020. Highest known CGC 9.8 sale was $50,000 at Comic Link back in February of 2019.
3/31/2022 UPDATE: March 19th, 2022 saw a CGC 9.8 sell at ComicConnect for a whopping $75,500 bucks. This makes it move up a spot ahead of X-Men #94.
3/31/2022 UPDATE: A CGC 9.8 copy of this comic sold on eBay for $72,111.00 bucks on December 18, 2021 at ComicConnect.
Prior recent and highest known sale of an X-Men #94 CGC 9.8 was for $63,000 in April of 2021. Another Heritage Auctions sale and in 2021 nonetheless. Chris Claremont begins here and that should be enough to make this sought-out by fans. However, the comic restarts the new X-Men in the titled series, and has the 2nd appearances of Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird.
Third full appearance of Wolverine, and his first in an X-Men title.
Tomb of Dracula #10
Recently a Tomb of Dracula #10 CGC 9.8 sold for $48,000 in September of 2021. Jeez, 2021 was a good year for these high-grade Bronze Age keys. The previous sale of a ToD #10 CGC 9.8 was also at Heritage Auctions and sold for $28,800 in June of 2021. In February of 2021, a 9.8 copy sold for $12,000 but on eBay.
I am surprised that the first appearance of Blade has beat out the 1st appearance of the Punisher at 9.8 grades, but it appears it has. Also, the highest known grade of this comic, a CGC 9.9, sold in February of 2021, for a whopping $106,350 at ComicLink. 1st Blade is still hot!
Star Wars #1 35 Cent Price Variant
Did you know this comic came out before this classic and iconic sci-fi movie even hit theaters? It's true. Star Wars #1 has the cover date of July, 1977, but hit newsstands April 12 of 1977.The movie Star Wars: A New Hope was released in theaters May 25th of 1977.
So, pretty important comic, considering the mega success of the franchise, no? However, this is not the regular Star Wars #1. It's actually the 35 Cent Price Variant, as the regularly distributed version was 30 cents. Thing was that Marvel did a test run to see how readers would take to a price increase. Therefore, they selected a few certain regions to test this out, and it just wasn't with this particular Star Wars comic. A few titles were involved as well. In this case, the regions tested were
- Tuscaloosa area in Alabama
- Wilmington area in North Carolina
- Toledo area in Ohio
- Memphis area in Tennessee
- Texas: San Antonio area (suspected but not confirmed).
Because of the selected area of distribution, these 35 Cent Price variant comics are more rare than the regular 30 Cent versions that were distributed. The grail of these 35 Price Variants are the Star Wars #1 comics and have been for a good while. Here are the most recent sales of the highest graded copies, CGC 9.4s:
September 12, 2021:
September 3, 2021:
August 31, 2018:
Amazing Spider-Man #129
During the pandemic, the Punisher became my favorite character. It was Wolverine prior, and I'm not gonna say why the Punisher slid into first place during this time. I don't wanna help incriminate myself in the future. Just kidding. Sort of.
The first appearance of the Punisher in Amazing Spider-Man #129 is absolutely one of my most prized comics in my personal comic collection. I've had it for almost a decade so far and wish I got or could get more copies. Not that impressed with the Netflix version and was hoping they recast Frank Castle for the MCU.
UPDATE: Heritage auctions just sold a CGC 9.8 for $38,400.00 on January 13, 2022 and for less than copies sold below:
Heritage Auctions sold A CGC 9.8 of Amazing Spider-Man #129 for $43,200 back in September of 2021. It's the most recent and highest known sale that I could find at the time of this writing and publication. Anyway, we'll see how Disney approaches this character. I am not too confident.
As it stands so far:
January 13, 2022: $38,400.00
September 2021: $43,200.00
As of 1/17/2022 this comic lost it's space to Star Wars #1 35 Cent Variant.
Incredible Hulk #180
Whether you think Incredible Hulk #180 should or shouldn't more valuable than Incredible Hulk #181, the first cameo appearance of Wolverine is absolutely gaining a lot of momentum in demand among comic collectors and comic investors. Yes, comic investing is still a thing despite all the backlash. Anyway, the one panel teaser of the popular Marvel mutant at the end of this story has seen monumental gains in the last two years a lone for CGC 9.8s:
June 19th 2021
March 19th 2021
May 3rd 2020
Wowza! $40k already and more than a 15k increase in just a few mere months of each other. With the MCU gearing up to introduce their mighty mutants in their cinematic realm, it will be interesting to see how much Incredible Hulk #180 heats up compared to Incredible Hulk #181.
Whether or not you're in the 1st cameo or 1st full appearance camp for this muttie runt, it's still clear that Wolverine remains one of the most popular and well-known superhero characters to come out of the Bronze Age. How far up the rankings will this book go when Marvel/Disney finally casts Logan? We'll have to see, but I bet it will definitely be quite a bit.
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1
The Luke Cage Netflix show was not that bad, not like Iron Fist. Iron Fist was hugely disappointing, but I liked the Luke Cage show starring Michael Colter. I wouldn't be upset if Colter's version of Luke was carried over into the Disney/MCU stuff. I wouldn't be upset if they recast as well.
Well, the first Black superhero was Black Panther, but the first Black superhero to star in his own headlining comic title was Luke Cage. Just like comics wanted to capitalize on the martial arts craze of the 70s, the comic industry also tried to ride the blaxploitation films of the era as well. Anyhow, a move towards diversity was definitely in play during the Bronze Age of Comics.
Although the most recent sale of a CGC 9.8 was back on Feb 21, 2016 and sold for a whopping $24,000.00, we should see how recent sales of CGC 9.6 grades are at. Damn, I'm surprised there hasn't been any recent sales of 9.8s.
- Feb 10, 2021: $9,950.00 (eBay)
- Mar 8, 2020: 3,360.00 (eBay)
Definitely not surprised to see the 1st appearance and origin of Luke Cage on here, and when the MCU brings the character into the fold, I'm sure this Bronze Age key comic may move up in the rankings. We shall see.
Amazing Spider-Man #101
Are you excited for the Morbius movie that Sony is soon to release? Apparently someone is and really wanted to snag and push up the price of his 1st appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #101.
$22,200 was the price the most recent CGC 9.8 Amazing Spider-Man #101 copy sold for in September of 2021. Damn, once again, the venue it sold at was Heritage Auctions. Did an extremely rich person decide to shop at Heritage for a bunch of high grade Bronze Age key comics in September of this year or something? Pretty crazy.
What's even more startling to me is that this comic came out in 1971 but has quite a bit more copies in the CGC Census for 9.8s than Marvel Spotlight #5. Currently, there are 35 Universal 9.8 copies and 1 Signature Series recorded over at CGC, making it a total of only 36 copies. Over at CBCS, there are currently zero 9.8 copies recorded in their census.
The 1st appearance and 1st cover appearance of Morbius is definitely a classic Marvel Bronze Age comic. It does mark Marvel's revival into the horror genre with a nice twist on the classic vampire horror character. Instead of being the undead, Michael Morbius is the living dead and was created due to science rather than supernatural evil.
If the movie is a hit, I expect demand for this to continue to rise. Don't get me wrong. Demand may rise but the value may not. As you can already see, 2021 was a crazy year for record-breaking comic sales. Maybe it will continue in 2022, and maybe it won't.
Sep. 12, 2021 saw a $8,400.00 sale of a CGC 9.6 via Heritage Auctions. This is why I am putting it below Luke, Cage Hero for Hire #1 for now.
Special Marvel Edition #15
The Shang-Chi flick starring Simu Liu and Tony Leung was definitely a success in 2021, and as an Asian American, I'm glad it was. Hopefully, it garnered more excitement for Asian superheroes in the comic medium.
Despite that fact. The comic book the movie was based on wasn't just low key racist, it was pretty racist. Fu Manchu is undeniably a racist Yellow Peril stereotype, and the comic creators may have milked it as good as the racist creator of the character, Sax Rohmer, could have. We're talking about a guy who knew little to nothing about Chinese culture and felt apt to write about it in a way that absolutely portrayed it as morally and culturally inferior. There is even an attempt to water down the sinophobia that Fu Manchu personified, and even most fans of the comic (non-Asians) don't see the racism in the comic because Anti-Asian sentiment of the west is so normalized.
Shang-Chi is an original character and first appears in Special Marvel Edition #15, but Fu Manchu is a character that Marvel bought the rights to and first appeared in the novel, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu. While this comic may have seemed like a step up since the main protagonist is Chinese and a hero of the book, it was more like a back-handed compliment. Shang-Chi is actually half-Chinese and his mother white.
Of course, his father is an evil mastermind that seeks to threaten the world (low key the western world), and Shang discovers his father is evil and ends up joining Sir Denis Nayland Smith, a British character from Sax Rohmer's novels, as an ally to MI-6 (foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom) in fighting against his father and mostly Asian baddies. White is right and West is good/East is bad typical rhetoric that is still pervasive today. A Chinese hero against the oppressive Opium Wars, Unequal Treaties, and colonization of China against British powers would've been more historically truthful and accurate.
Anyway, most recent sales of CGC 9.8s are as follows. The September sales were at Heritage Auctions and the June sale was from eBay.
- June 17, 2021: $15,700.00
- September 6, 2021: $18,000.00
- September 12, 2021: $13,800.00
Most recent CGC 9.6s sold at eBay for:
- Dec 9, 2021: $3,200.00
- Nov 15, 2021: $3,500.00
Tomb of Dracula #1
Once again, we are back with some Marvel Bronze Age Horror goodness. Relaxing of the Comic Code Authority and we get back some good ole classic horror characters like Dracula in the mighty world of Marvel.
I'm actually a bit surprised this is on here, but, then, after thinking about the connection this character has to Blade, I'm not really that surprised. Was a quick initial shock. We may see Frank Drake appear in the Disney Plus Blade series, and if so, his first appearance in comics is in this issue of Tomb of Dracula #1.
CGC 9.8 sold for $16,800 in Sept 2021, and three days prior (Sept 9th) for $7,999.99. Someone with money buying up comic investments, me thinks.
Iron Fist #14 35 Cent Price Variant
Highly anticipated character to hit the MCU on the mutant side of things is no doubt Wolverine. He's been a Marvel cash-cow since the 70s and the most popular Marvel character of the 80s and 90s. Well, if you're gonna have a great hero representing mutant kind, you gotta have the hero's arch nemesis or most popular villain. Enter Sabretooth. Most Wolvie fans have always liked the match up between Wolverine and Sabretooth. I remember loving to hate on the villain and constantly rooting against him whenever the two went toe-to-toe.
I have little doubt that Disney and the MCU will overlook this character, but I am a bit nervous as to who they cast and which direction they'll take. Sabretooth needs to be ruthless and savage yet cunning. With his similar healing factor that slows down his aging, Sabretooth (Victor Creed) should be an interesting villain that can be linked to several periods of time with Logan.
Anyway, his first appearance is actually in this comic, and he was meant to be an Iron Fist foil. I think he was also non-powered before creator Chris Claremont decided to make him a mutant baddie and stick him in the X-Men comics. Soon after, he became a prime antagonist for everyone's favorite mutie runt and the rest his history.
As mentioned prior in the Star Wars #1 listing in this article, this issue is not the regular 30 Cent Price edition but the more limited and rare 35 Cent Price Variant. The highest grade of this particular comic are CGC 9.4s, and there have only been two recorded sales that I could find as of this writing:
- September 13, 2017: $8,201.00
- November 17, 2016: $8,365.00
These prices were back in 2016 and 2017, so remember that. I could not find more recent prices, but there's a good chance that these could sell for way more. Also a very likely chance that this comic should be higher on this list. However, until another one of these Iron Fist #14 35 Cent Price Variant CGC 9.4s sell in the near future, it will stay here on this list. Then again, if I owned the 3 known copies in existence, I'd be very reluctant to let my go unless I really needed the money.
To end this, A CGC 9.0, which is the next grade lower, had one sale on Oct 20, 2014 or $4,000.00. Venue was over at eBay. Remember, this is a 2014 sale. Because the sale of the next lower grade beat the most recent sale of a CGC 9.6 Marvel Premiere #15, I put it higher on the list than that comic.
Marvel Premiere #15
The highest sale of a CGC 9.8 of Marvel Premiere #15 sold on Aug 9, 2021 for $11,400.00 at Heritage Auctions. A little over a month later on September 10th, another copy sold for $11,000 at eBay.
Ebay saw a CGC 9.6 copy recently sold for $2,400.00 on October 19, 2021. This is why it is lower on the list than the Iron Fist #14 35 Cent Price Variant. Plus the sales dates for the Iron Fist #14 are much older.
Iron Man #55
To be honest, I am a bit surprised this comic is not up there a long side Marvel Spotlight #5 at this grade. This comic has quite a bit of important firsts, including Thanos and Drax the Destroyer. Both characters have graced the MCU, and I think it will be hard for future MCU villains to out-do Thanos. Also, Drax the Destroyer has been a prominent character in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
So, the first appearance of Thanos, a well-known baddie in the Marvel Universe of comics and the main baddie of the fan-favorite classic event series The Infinity Gauntlet that inspired the Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game. Iron Man #55 also has the debut of Drax the Destroyer, who has a personal vendetta against Thanos, The Mad Titan.
A CGC 9.8 of Iron Man #55 sold for $9,600.00 Sep 12, 2021 over at Heritage Auctions. Another one sold on Dec 4, 2020 for $8,000.00 on eBay, and December 17, 2020 saw a $5,050.00 over at Comic Connect.
The 1st appearance of Phoenix in X-Men #101 is a classic Bronze Age X-Men debut. The Phoenix saga and even Dark Phoenix saga are classic fan-favorite stories. Phoenix has become an extremely iconic X-Men character in Marvel Comics without a doubt.
Aug 17, 2021 saw a sale of a CGC 9.8 for $9,000.00 and an Aug 31, 2021 sale of $7,500.00 smack-a-roos.
A $7,200 sale of a CGC 9.8 of X-Men #101 dropped back in September of this year, 2021. I am actually a bit surprised it hasn't hit the $10k mark just yet.
Savage Tales #1
Almost forgot Savage Tales #1 and it should probably be on here. The last recorded sale of a 9.8 on GoCollect is back in 2016 and for only $1,800.00 bucks. That doesn't mean interest in this comic has been stale though. The most recent sale I could find was on eBay and for $8,979.99 on the date of Jul 28, 2021.
Going down a grade to CGC 9.6, the most recent sale of that was $5,760 on Aug 23, 2021. A few months prior on Mar 13, 2021, a 9.6 copy sold for $3,200.00 on eBay.
It has the first appearance and origin of Man-Thing. It's also the first Conan Marvel magazine, and Savage Tales is the 1st magazine that marks Marvel's 2nd attempt to enter the magazine industry. This time was to go around the Comics Code and publish more mature-themed stories. You can see that clearly on the cover by John Buscema.
Okay, over-all the Bronze Age Comics listed below aren't on the high-end scale like those above. However, they do have very high grades like 9.9s or 10s that are extremely valuable. I debated pretty hard about even mentioning these, but here they are: