With the huge number of comic books printed through the years, it can be hard to know which ones are truly valuable. How do you know if the one you’re holding is even worth anything? When you have tons of publishers, series and versions of each original, the whole idea just becomes more intimidating.
The good news is there are indicators you can specifically check to help you make a sensible judgment. Note, however, that the market can be very fickle, with comic book values soaring and crashing any minute without warning. Though this is more typical for newer comic books, it can be true as well for older ones.
To get a picture of a comic book’s value, consider the following indicators:
Date of Publication
First off, look at the date of publication. Comic books that came out in the 70s or earlier are most probably high-value. Age alone can cause the item’s value to rise.
Though not an absolute rule, comics with a lower issue number have greater value than the others. Number 1s are usually the most valuable, except in some cases. Amazing Fantasy #15, for instance, where Spiderman was introduced, sold for more than $1 million. But be careful with relaunches aimed at getting new interest, like when DC Comics completely rebooted their franchise with The New 52, The Action Comics from that launch is less in value compared to the Action Comics #1, which first came out in 1938.
The condition of a comic book is represented by the grade. it receives from the Comic Book Certification Service. Comic books in better condition are given higher grades, although there can still be exceptions. For instance, even if an Action Comics#1 copy gets a low grade, its value can still range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Popularity of Characters
Worldwide phenomena such as Superman, Spiderman and Batman are obviously worth the big time. There is a difference of a little more than a million dollars between the prices of Detective Comics #26 and #27. Simply put, the popularity of the characters in a comic book have a tremendous effect on its price.
A comic book where a character, whether hero or villain, was first introduced, is usually priced very high. Of course, the popularity of that character is directly proportional to the value of the comic book.
To sum up, a comic book’s value depends on its current condition, rarity and its characters. There’s a misconception that an old item is automatically worth something. As you can see, many other factors are involved, and all of them must be considered so that a realistic estimate of the comic book’s value can be made.