Which character is dominating the Silver, and Bronze Age comics in April? This principal character from Marvel is as strong as Captain America, as wealthy as Tony Stark, and as tech savvy as Batman (Hint: Who is this masked Avenger?).
The Black Panther is the King of the comic book rankings on GoCollect for April. T’Challa is the leading man with two comics that are currently ranked number one for both the Silver and Bronze Age. In addition, his second book in the self-titled series is a high inertia book, with lots of value. Look out, this panther is out of the cage of obscurity.
The Black Panther movie is the third highest grossing film of all time. Unreal, and unexpected, this movie has a lockjaw on comic book rankings. The first appearance of the Black Panther was in Fantastic Four #52 (1966) with Stan Lee (script) and Jack Kirby (pencils). This book actually has two firsts: the Black Panther’s first appearance and the first negative zone in a comic. Two for one, not a bad deal.
From the Fantastic Four he became such a big hit, he appeared in his own book in Black Panther #1 (1977). This book was entirely a Kirby creation; he did editing, the script, and of course pencils. Kirby was up to bat again in Black Panther #2, and once again did most of the work. BP #2 has formidable inertia clawing its way quickly up the rankings. These three books: FF #52, BP #1, and BP #2 are all essential Black Panther books. However, everyone of them have one thing in common, Kirby art.
This issue FF #52 is the first appearance of Black Panther in Marvel. It is one of the biggest Fantastic Four keys and currently resides as the top ranked Silver Age comic book on GoCollect. This is a gigantic Kirby key. As far back as GoCollect records go this book shows nothing less than profitability. There is not one grade that is a negative return. This issue is the cat’s meow for speculators and investors alike. Across the board, this panther is climbing up the ranking tree with gains of 117.2% in (9.4), 60.6% in (5.5) and a stunning 99.8% in grade (1.8). Yes, folks a grade of good minus returned a shocking 100%! King T’Challa’s reign is supreme in the Silver Age with these kind of numbers.
This is the first self-titled story of T’Challa in Black Panther #1 (1977). Again, like its forefather FF #52 this Black Panther #1 comic is no joke. It is dominated by, and the best example of, Kirby creativity in this heartfelt saga from the late 70’s. The Seventies were a great time: the first video game console was released Atari 2600 (remember Pitfall), we lost Elvis Presley, Sadat visited Israel for peace, and the biggest movie of my generation Star Wars premiered. Early in 1977 Kirby creates this wonderful comic which produces joy and contentment for investors even today. Black Panther #1 has consistent gains in a grade of (9.8) returning 77.8%, (7.0) had a 69% return and even little (3.5) received 12.5% ROI (GoCollect). This book is currently number one top Bronze Age comic GoCollect, “Nuff said.”
One of the critical elements to investing in exceptional comics is inertia, or the speed of the increase in the price and popularity of a comic. Looking through the rankings in the Bronze Age, I noticed one book at rank 140 had jumped 1745 spots (GoCollect). Yep, Black Panther #2 will not be caged. Dodging energy blasts and irrelevancy of the dreaded, unwanted second issue; this baby has plenty of inertia, and no doubt more profit to come. Currently, the returns on this book are not kitty litter. A grade (9.6) returned 63% over the past five years. You can still pick one up online for a reasonable price. With success, Marvel will be pursuing sequels until the cat food runs out. The inevitable pile-on of additional movies to this franchise will boost comic sales old and new; hear this panther roar many years into the future.
Divining the Panther
The Black Panther is one of the greatest heroes Marvel created. He is right up there with Cap and the Avengers. T’Challa is the current King of the Silver and Bronze Age. From his humble beginnings in Fantastic Four #52, to the eventual success of Black Panther #1 and #2; this character is a speculators dream. Ten years ago you could buy these books for next to nothing; now you pay a king's ransom. Please enjoy reading the new adventures, check out the movies, but most importantly get a piece of one of these vintage panther books while they are still affordable, before the cat is out of the bag.
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