The Stock Exchange – Prime Time

Action Comics 1 (CGC 9.0)As we did last week, it’s time for another look back at the big-ticket items of the past week, so here are the sales of note for the week of November 7 through November 13, 2011.

The biggest news of the week is a book that just barely went up for auction, rather than having already sold, and that’s an Action Comics #1 in CGC 9.0 condition, making it the highest-graded copy to ever go up for sale. ComicConnect.com, the high-end online auction house for New York’s Metropolis Comics, has bidding open for two more weeks as of this writing, with the price already at $1.3 million off of 22 bids. With a CGC 8.5 copy selling for $1.5 million last year, my opinion is that this one will go for far more than that, with $2 million not out of the question considering where bidding already is.

While it lasted just six issues, Primer (sometimes referred to as Comico Primer) left a lasting, significant impact on the comic industry. The second issue gave us Matt Wagner and Grendel (Primer #2), Sam Keith and the Maxx (Primer #5), and Chuck Dixon and his creation, Evangeline (Primer #6). Both #2 and #5 have been hot Copper Age keys for a while now, and we have a few sales for each to report. None of the sales were graded by CGC, so we’re going to have to trust the sellers on grade, which sometimes can be a risky proposition. That said, the high approval ratings for the sellers involved have usPrimer 2 taking their word for it. For Primer #2, we have a VF/NM copy selling for $160 and another in similar grade for $90. Two more, listed as simply VF, went for $60 and $90. As for the Maxx’ first, we have two very fine condition copies that sold this past week for $50 and for $60.

Last week, I was talking about the price for Incredible Hulk #181 rebounding, with a CGC 9.6 copy selling for $4,400, but that rebound did not last long at all, as a similarly-graded one sold this past week for $3,900. Of the 20 copies in this grade that have sold in 2011, 11 of them have been for $4,000 or less, and the average price in this grade is $1,000 less than it was at in 2009.

Sticking with the Bronze Age, we have a beautiful 9.4 copy of the Amazing Spider-Man #121 selling for $550. Once again, we have another Bronze Age key whose bubble is starting to burst. Through 15 sales in this condition in 2009, the average price was $664, and the average price in nine sales in 2010 was $636. The price has dropped again this year, with the average price in 21 sales being $585. Sure, it’s not as big of a price hit as the one Incredible Hulk #181 has been taking, but it’s still a 12% drop from two years ago.

Continuing the theme here, this week a 9.8 copy of the Amazing Spider-Man #100 sold for just $1,416. That’s the second one in 90 days to sell around this price, with the other being a sale on September 25 for $1,440. That was a drop from the $1,673 sale in August and $1,699 sale in June, and huge drop from the $2,050 sale back in April. In looking at all CGC 9.8 sales of ASM #100 over the past decade, the sale last week and the one in September are the two lowest prices for this comic in the history of CGC grading.

While the Bronze Age might be taking a beating, the Silver Age definitely isn’t, such as this copy of Justice League of America #9, which sold for $1,364 in CGC 9.2. After hitting a high of $1,725 in 2005, this book in this condition would not sell for another three years, at a significantly lower price, with the price ranging from $837 to $1,150 in four sales between 2008 and 2010. The classic Justice League of America #21, the first part of the very first “Crisis,” also shot up nicely this week, with a 9.2 condition copy selling for $1,530, $500 more than the previous high in this condition, which came three years ago.
Superman, Vol. I, #34 (CGC 9.0)

Another key from the Silver Age, Green Lantern #10, featuring the origin of Hal Jordan’s oath, sold in CGC 9.2 this past week for $1,150. This is just the second copy in 9.2 to sell, the previous one in 2004 for $1,062. High grade Marvels from the Silver Age continue to pop up, but that’s not the case for DC.

Lastly, a Golden Age sale to wrap things up with, and that’s this copy of Superman #34, selling for $1408.03 in CGC 9.0. This is a beautiful looking cover, both in terms of the condition and the artwork, and it is just the third copy to sell at this grade. The price has steadily increased with each sale, with the previous two being for $1,064 in 2002 and $1,225 in 2008. Considering how few high-grade copies of this issue have been recorded – only one graded higher, at 9.2, has sold, and only three more above an 8.0 – this price still seems rather low to me.