Vintage comic book collecting can sometimes be considered as a sort of futures market for the success of a given character or property. This is most apparent when it comes to the run-up towards a new film. The higher the anticipation, the higher that prices go. If the film is then successful upon release, prices might hold steady or even continue to climb. If a film is panned upon release, the prices of related comics can drop substantially in the aftermath. We just saw collectors make their first big bet on the success of the Black Panther film. I doubt it’ll be the last. A Fantastic Four #52 CGC 9.4 sold for $12,422.00 at the Jon Berk Collection Auction Session 3 at Comic Connect last night. That’s a new record for this comic book in CGC 9.4. The July 1966 cover-dated comic (you can see this copy has an April 5, 1966 arrival date-stamp on the cover) contains the first appearance of the Black Panther by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott.
Fantastic Four #52 CGC 9.4 Data
I’m going to elaborate on that a little and then take a look at how prices vary across the condition spectrum. As of this writing, there are 2356 copies of Fantastic Four #52 on the CGC census. 1871 of those are CGC Universal (not Restored or Qualified, not Signature Series). I’ve charted those below to give you a sense of how fast the numbers drop at the very highest grades.
Now we combine that knowledge with a very quick look at recent sales from a few weeks before the Black Panther trailer dropped, and the one week since. This is a long, long ways from comprehensive (we’ll get into it more another time), but we are starting to see price movement in the higher grades, most notably in the difference between the May Comic Connect sale of a CGC 9.4 copy for $6888.00, and the sale from last night of a copy in the same grade for $12,422.00. Quite a jump over 6 weeks.
In the interest of completeness, we should also note the all-time record in any grade of the Fantastic Four #52 CGC 9.8 “Curator” copy for $90,000.00, during the run-up to the character’s appearance in the film Captain America: Civil War, which Bleeding Cool told you about last year. Census-topping copies are also driven by market forces which are somewhat separate from ordinary considerations. Some collectors simply have to know that they’ve got the best copy out there, and will pay accordingly.
Other Jon Berk Auction Highlights from Session 3
Now here’s a look at the best of the rest of last night’s action:
- All Star Comics #8 CGC 9.4 First Wonder Woman Sells For Record $936,223.00
- Thor: Ragnarok And Black Panther On San Diego Comic-Con Street Signs For 2017
- Fans Campaign For Google To Honour Jack Kirby
- Danai Gurira Of 'Black Panther' Confirmed For 'Avengers: Infinity War'
- Excavating A Hidden History For The 1950's Marvel Universe With The Black Panther
- Throwback Review: Black Panther Vol. 1 – It's Black Panther, It's Jack Kirby, 'Nuff Said
- Marvel Publishes Black Panther: World Of Wakanda Collection This Week - Just No More For Now
- Let's Go To Wakanda: First Trailer For Black Panther
- Comic Book Auction Liveblog: Comic Connect Session 3 – It Begins with Action Comics - December 12, 2018
- Planet Comics Mile High Run - December 10, 2018
- The Silent Night Dies Hard: Hans Gruber and Franz Gruber - December 3, 2018
- Boris Karloff’s Guide to Holiday Shopping - December 3, 2018
- Turkey Vigilantes, Dead Rabbits, and the Greatest Thanksgiving Story of All Time - November 22, 2018