When we flagged Marvel Super-Heroes #18 for your attention in the Vintage Paper section of Bleeding Cool Magazine #1 in fall 2012, the top sale of any copy was $1800. What a difference 18 months of movie hype makes.
The highest graded copy of Marvel Super-Heroes #18, graded CGC 9.8, has just sold at Pedigree Comics auction for $19,000. The January 1969 cover-dated comic by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan is the first appearance of the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
There was widespread discussion shortly after the film was announced as to whether this book would become the focus of collector attention, or whether they would instead target first appearances related to the team featured in the film. That team features a different cast of characters which was brought together in the 2008 Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Guardians of the Galaxy series, which includes Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, Drax, and Star-Lord
But while early appearances of all of those characters have commanded serious attention from collectors as well, it would appear that the brand name alone is also important. Copies of Marvel Super-Heroes #18 have been brisk sellers in most grades in recent months, with a CGC 9.6 copy going for $2600 in late 2013 and a CGC 9.4 copy going for $2374 in March 2014, and taking a major jump for the sole top-census CGC 9.8 copy at $19,000.
The race will now be on to see if another CGC 9.8 copy can be turned up. Never say never, but with that notorious vintage squarebound format to consider, pristine copies are even more difficult to come by than they otherwise might be.