Considering the number of comic books that have been printed over the years, it can be difficult to determine which are of value. How can you tell whether the one in your hands even has value? 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 specific things you can look into, to help you make a reasonable judgment. But remember that the market can be quite fickle, and there are times when comic book values soar in value and then suddenly drop. Though this is more typical for newer comic books, it can be true as well for older ones.
Here are indicators that can help you decide whether a comic book is valuable or no more than everyday stuff:
Date of Publication
First of all, check the date of publication. If the comic book came out in the 70s or earlier, there’s a good chance it’s valuable. Age alone can usually drive up the value of an item.
While this is not an absolute rule, lower issue number comics are usually more valuable than the rest. Number 1s are usually the most valuable, except in some cases. 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 lower in value than the Action Comics #1, which was published 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.
Worldwide phenomena such as Superman, Spiderman and Batman are obviously worth the big time. The prices of Detective Comics #26 and Detective Comics #27 differ by a little over $1 million. 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 more popular that character is, the higher the comics’ value.
In summary, the value of a comic book is determined by its current condition, its rarity and the popularity of its characters. There’s a misconception that an old item is automatically worth something. By now, you should know that there are several other factors that need to be considered if you want to come up with a real estimate of the comic book’s value.