Top Three Most Popular Bronze Age Comics

Norman G. Robinson III Mar 24, 2018
The Amazing Spider-Man #129

The top three most popular Bronze Age comics are Amazing Spider-Man #129, Secret Wars #8, and Black Panther #1. These three characters all have one thing in common; each has had their self-titled series or movie debut in 2017-18. These superheroes are incredibly popular all with huge fan bases: The Punisher, Venom, and Black Panther have become icons of the modern Marvel world.

The Amazing Spider-Man #129

The Punisher is a diehard anti-hero warrior from the 1970's. The very first appearance of the Punisher is Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1974). This is the current gold standard for Bronze Age comics. It has been a money maker for at least the last ten years, maybe longer. This book is written by Gerry Conway with art by Gil Kane and Ross Andru. I steadfastly believe this is one, if not, the best of the Bronze Age keys to own.

As an investment, this key has returned 71.8% over the last eight years in a grade of near mint (9.6). The most recent sale on eBay (9.6) went for $4300 which was a universal grade with off-white pages (GoCollect). The ROI on this puppy is substantial in almost any grade. Amazing Spider-Man #129 is a book of firsts: first real anti-hero to appear in Marvel, as well as the first appearance of Punisher. This is an early enough key we don't have to worry that there might be a 100,000 copies waiting in some dudes forgotten storage locker. Bottom line, this key is a consistent earner.

The Punisher is our modern version of Dirty Harry with more tactical training and greater bloodlust. Over the past twenty years, we have seen every possible attempt to destroy this character with some truly awful writing. He is still popular today, even after they turned him into a Frankenstein Monster at one point. Yes, folks, they turned him into an electrode implanted, steel shoe wearing, square jawed re-animated corpse. The only thing missing from that hokey story was Frank Castle moaning, "Booooo!" To sum that storyline up, disgraceful. It says something for the staying power of The Punisher that no matter how subsequent writers try to destroy the character he keeps coming back like the kick-ass Terminator that he is!  Yes, I am a big fan of The Punisher.

Regardless, of the long-term return on ASM #129; it will certainly make money in the next few years.  Short-term speculators take head this book has at least four seasons of the Punisher Netflix series and maybe one or two movies ahead. That is a lot of upside for this book. Buy one in any grade and hold onto it! This book is the pinnacle of Bronze Age resilience, tenacity and return on investment. As an investment or speculation, it is tough as the Punisher's Kevlar body armor and places third most popular Bronze Age comic (GoCollect).

Secret Wars #8

The comic book Secret Wars #8 has a script by Jim Shooter and art by the incomparable Mike Zeck. It is a massive key for Millenials. This was the first Spider-Man in the black symbiote costume. Mike Zeck always creates larger than life characters just check out his Punisher #1 (Limited Series 1986 Zeck). Amazing Spider-Man got very interesting after obtaining the symbiote-black costume which would later turn out to be Venom.

This book SW#8 already has quite a following as an investment. It has averaged a 28% return in near mint minus (9.2) over the last eight years. It shows steady growth but is still within everyone's price range. You can even buy a fine minus for about $25 currently on eBay. Venom is probably the favorite Millennial anti-hero. Secret Wars #8 is the first appearance of the Venom-like suit and second most popular comic of the Bronze Age (GoCollect). Buy one in any grade before the Venom movie splatters a screen near you.

Black Panther #1

The reception that Black Panther (the movie) has received translated into price increases for the Black Panther #1 the comic book (both art and story by Jack Kirby). This book is shooting straight up; it has already moved up 12 spots to rank #1 Most Popular Bronze Age Comic (GoCollect). This issue Black Panther #1 by Kirby is on the prowl.

In addition, the Black Panther movie is getting Star Wars level hype and buzz. I just saw it last night; my review: a very hip three stars minus the slightly corny parts (like the group shrugging dance move in Black Panther ceremony, ahem.) But the main character is beyond reproach. Chad Boseman knocks the cover off the ball in this movie, just like his portrayal of Jackie Robinson. Black Panther is here to stay, and I would give him three more films and maybe a TV show to boot.

Bottom line this comic has returned 57.89%, over the last 24 months in near mint (9.8) grade. In the lower grades, it returned even more with (8.0) very fine grade obtaining 68.1% ROI. These returns are catnip for all investors out there. Black Panther is here to stay, and this book is still cheap; a very fine (8.0) sold for $160, about 13 days ago (GoCollect). Hunt down a copy while the scent is fresh and the book is reasonable. Join the Black Panther in a victory celebration over the Bronze Age, or in the words of King T'Challa, "We thank the panther spirit for this victory."

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