In the world of comic book speculation, the release of a new superhero movie is big news. It’s a given in this market: when interest in a superhero increases, related comic book values do, too.
“The recent release of the Black Panther movie has comic book collectors and investors watching closely,” says Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of Metropolis Collectibles, the world’s largest vintage comic book dealership, and ComicConnect.com, its online auction site.
Black Panther drew $242 million on its opening weekend in the U.S., the second-highest opening ever. The movie features Marvel’s Black Panther, arguably the most popular black superhero of all time. It focuses on African and African-American characters. Beyond its cultural significance, it offers investment opportunities, too.
Tracking Black Panther Comic Book Values
The creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Black Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. Comic book issues that feature a character’s first appearance are nearly always the most valuable in a series.
According to the story, the character was born as T’Challa, the prince of Wakanda, a mythical, technologically-advanced country. Adding to his appeal is an array of superhuman powers (super strength, speed, reflexes, etc.) and high-tech weapons.
In 2012, a 9.4 graded copy of Fantastic Four #52 sold for $4200. In 2016, it sold for $6,888. Most recently it sold for $12,422.
“Comic book values are appreciating over all,” says Zurzolo. “But for a comic’s value to triple in five years is extraordinary. Where will it go from here?”
More Black Superheroes to Watch
Beyond Black Panther, the focus on black superheroes is a growing trend. Regional black comic cons—centered around black comic book characters and industry creatives—have been increasing in popularity for the better part of a decade, and it’s echoed in comic book values.
Take Luke Cage, a favorite character of actor Nicholas Cage, who famously adopted his surname. This black superhero, who first appeared in Marvel’s Hero for Hire #1 in 1972, boasts superhuman strength and unbreakable skin.
In 2011, a 9.8 graded copy of Hero for Hire #1 sold for $2,766. In 2014, one sold for $6,100. But recently, a similarly graded copy sold for $24,000, a noteworthy increase.
Another series to watch: Milestone Comics, a DC Comics imprint created by African-American artists and writers. The multicultural series ran from 1993-1996 and inspired a short-lived animated TV show. This spring, DC Comics is launching a family of all new comic titles based on the original series—and Zurzolo predicts that interest in the original series will rise as well.
“If you’re interested in comic book speculation, keeping an eye on pop culture trends will give you an edge,” says Zurzolo. “Collect what you love—but keep an eye on what’s down the road.”
Contact: Lekas & Levine PR, [email protected]