With the huge number of comic books printed through the years, it can be hard to know which ones are truly valuable. How can you tell whether the one in your hands even has value? With the large number of comic book publishers, series and versions out there, the whole idea just seems overwhelming.
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. This is true for newer comic books in most cases, but older ones aren’t exactly exempt.
To get a picture of a comic book’s value, consider the following indicators:
Date of Publication
First and foremost, determine the date of publication. If the comic book is from the 70s or earlier, it is more likely valuable.. Age alone can usually drive up the value of an item.
Though not an absolute rule, comics with a lower issue number have greater value than the others. First issues are the most valuable in general, with exceptions. For example, Amazing Fantasy #15, where Spiderman first appeared, sold for above a million dollars. However, be careful with relaunches that aim to capture new interest, such as DC Comics’ The New 52, where they totally rebooted their franchise. The Action Comics from that launch is less valuable than 1938’s Action Comics #1.
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.
Obviously, phenomenal characters in the likes of Superman, Batman and Spiderman are worth huge. The difference in the prices of Detective Comics #26 and #27 is a little more than $1 million. In simple terms, the more popular the characters in a comic book are, the higher its value in most cases.
The value of a comic book with the first appearance of a character, protagonist or antagonist, can skyrocket. Of course, the popularity of that character is directly proportional to the value of the comic book.
To summarize, the value of a comic book is mainly dependent on its present condition, its characters and its rarity. Some people think that just because an item is old, it is automatically high value. As you can see, many other parameters come into play, and you have to consider them all to come up with a realistic estimate of the comic book’s worth.