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10 Most Expensive Marvel Comics From The 20th Century, Ranked – CBR – Comic Book Resources

With DC comics going for millions of dollars at auction, the interest in selling some of Marvel’s back catalog for big profit has never been higher.
With an ever-growing slate of movies, television shows, and video games pouring forth with the financial backing of Disney it may come as no surprise that classic Marvel titles have had a boom in popularity and worth over the last two decades. With DC comics going for millions of dollars at auction, the interest in selling some of Marvel’s back catalog for big profit has never been higher.
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However, as longtime fans are well aware, that kind of mentality can lead to some pretty dire financial decisions. To avoid that scenario, the following list has been compiled for easy reference so while prospective collectors are out and about in their local comic shops they will know exactly what ten issues are most vital to grab whenever they are seen out in the wild. Thanks to the data from Key Collector Comics, keeping track of the myriad of issues has never been easier.
Released in 1963, this landmark issue would serve not only as Marvel’s first cross-company team title but also as the basis for 2012’s The Avengers and the MCU that followed. Valued at $39K by Key Collector ComicsAvengers #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby saw the Invincible Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Astonishing Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the Mighty Thor team up to defeat the nefarious Loki, god of mischief and fangirls. While the basic plot resembles the film of the same name, many of the elements, such as Hulk in clown makeup, are exclusive to the original story.
The original X-Men title ran for 93 issues, though it stopped printing original stories at issue #66 and continued with reprints of earlier adventures. While it would eventually return as Uncanny X-Men the original team never hit the popularity its successor would. Priced at $48.5K by Key Collector Comics, the original issue of X-Men stars the core original team facing off against their most classic foe, Magneto. While the classic civil rights parallels would be more strongly reinforced in Chris Claremont‘s epic run, the original stories by Lee and Kirby are well worth a read for any X-Fan.
Bill Everett, famed Daredevil co-creator, wrote and illustrated this 1940 issue where the robotic Golden Age Human Torch battles Namor the Sub-Mariner, who himself is also an Everett creation. This is the second time the pair came to blows and also the second time Namor would appear on a comic book cover. Key Collector Comics values Marvel Mystery Comics #9 at $64K, which is a solid sum that sets it up with several of its DC peers in terms of price. Outside of the top ten, even the most valuable comics tend to sit at around the $50K mark.
Another Lee/Kirby classic, the Mighty Thor’s premier issue also serves as the introduction of the Kronans who most general audiences will recognize as Korg’s race from Thor: Ragnarok. At $81K according to Key Collector Comics, it serves as a substantial jump up from Marvel Mystery Comics #9. Thor handily defeats his adversaries in this issue and Donald Blake is set to deal with decades more extraterrestrial threats from both outer space as well as Asgard. With Thor’s newfound movie fame, it’s no wonder his first issue is this valuable.
Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15, but it wouldn’t be long before he starred in his own ongoing title. Starting with a crossover with the Fantastic Four, the beginning of Lee and Steve Ditko‘s seminal run would feature the first introduction of the Chameleon and Spidey’s classic archnemesis, J. Jonah Jameson.
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Just barely beating out Thor with a value of $82K according to Key Collector Comics, Spidey won’t quite be done collecting big bucks from comic book collectors as his original appearance goes for an even larger sum.
The big green, or rather grey, goliath first started in his own ongoing title by Lee and Kirby in 1962. Netting $110K according to Key Collector Comics, the everloving Hulk was introduced with a large supporting cast including General Thunderbolt Ross and his daughter Betty as well as the young Rick Jones. While at this point Banner’s transformations were caused by the Moon, it wouldn’t be too long before anger became the key to the classic Jekyll and Hyde dynamic. Any self-respecting Hulk fan owes it to themselves to keep an eye out for this initial issue.
Marvel’s first family coincidentally lands the #4 spot on the list of high-value Marvel mags, and for good reason. Not only did this series launch the Fab Four of New York City, but it also initiated a legendary run of creations from Lee, Kirby, Ditko, and Everett that would later be referred to as the Marvel Age of comics. Marvel, of course, existed well before as Timely Comics, but it was this smattering of hits that brought America some of its most lasting and enduring icons. $120K may seem like a quite bit, but this piece of historical Americana is truly priceless and whatever Key Collector Comics lists it as is a steal.
The very first Marvel comic ever published, fittingly titled Marvel Comics, is valued by Key Collector Comics at $285K. That alone would earn this issue a place in collectors’ libraries, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Human Torch, Ka-Zar, Angel, Masked Raider, and many more characters make their first appearances in these pages. Much like Action Comics #1 before it, this issue sold out immediately. Even with 800K reprinted copies, the book burning and rationing that marked this era makes Marvel Comics #1 extremely rare.
The Star-Spangled Man made quite a splash in March of 1941 when he was shown punching Adolf Hitler square on the jaw on his front cover months before America entered the war. At that crucial moment in history, the nation was still divided over the right course of action to take when confronted by the Third Reich and its horrendous genocide.
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Created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Steve Rogers was a clear American power fantasy for the two Jewish creators who were reading about the oppression their people faced back in Europe. Key Collector Comics lists this title at $400K. A lot of money, but its standing as a comic that stood up to history’s greatest villain well before it had its country at its back makes it well worth it.
Key Collector Comics lists Amazing Fantasy #15 at $335K, which is notably less than the previous entry. However, what changes Spidey’s listing would be the historic sale of a 9.6 graded copy in September of this year for $3.6 million. Not only is that clearly more than any other Marvel comic has sold for, but it’s also higher than any comic in history, surpassing the previously unmatched Action Comics #1. Steve Ditko likely would not care less about this kind of financial landmark, but this moment still stands as an example of just how far this nerdy kid from Queens has come since he first debuted in 1962.
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Born in Little Rock and raised in Texarkana, Billie Sparkle has only just begun writing professionally within the last few months. She’s a graduate of Texas A&M – Texarkana with a bachelor’s degree in history and holds a fascination for the behind-the-scenes stories of her favorite media. A fan of all things comics, kaiju, and fighting games, she hopes to provide an enthusiastic and peppy vibe to her work. Billie Sparkle can be emailed at billiesparkle.public@gmail.com She can also be followed on Twitter through @Billiardigan

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