A Movie Bump for Avengers #1?

First debuting in 1963, it has taken nearly 50 years for Earth’s Mightiest Super-Heroes to reach the big screen.  By all accounts, it has been worth the wait. The  movie is a smash hit, receiving rave reviews and setting box office records. This weekend it achieved over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales, just the twelfth movie to do so. Hopefully excited fans will want to explore more Avengers stories at their local comic book store.

As expected, collectors (or, perhaps more accurately, speculators) are trying to capitalize on the buzz generated by the movie by listing their copies of Avengers #1 on the major auction sites. I have noticed that the number of Avengers #1 listings have increased over the last few months leading up to the movie’s release date.  It’s common to see descriptions such as AVENGERS MOVIE BUY IT NOW ~HOT~!!! and Movie out, collector’s dream, buy now! on eBay listings. Somewhat amusingly, sellers have even tried to infuse their non-Avengers listings with a bit of movie excitement; AVENGERS MOVIE SOON was recently seen next to an X-Men #94 listing.

But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Hype aside, has the movie translated to higher prices for Avengers #1? To answer this question, I averaged the results from pre-movie auctions  for each grade and compared them to the completed auctions that have occurred after the international release date of April 29th.

 

 

With the exception of the 7.5 grade, every grade has experienced a bump. The average increase for all the grades is an impressive 22%. The 91% increase for the 4.5 grade seems to be an outlier. However, even after excluding this grade, the average increase is 11%.

So the key question: will values fade back or can an argument be made that the record-setting results from the movie justify these somewhat higher values? Even if one believes that these values reflect only fleeting enthusiasm, it’s clear that the hype train is just leaving the station. Avengers #2 and Avengers #3 are already guaranteed to release over the next few years, not to mention a new Hulk movie, Iron Man #3, Thor #2, and Captain America #2. It’s clear that the momentum is just starting.

I’m going to closely monitor the auction results over the next few months. It’s going to be interesting to see whether or not these values hold!

R.J. Steinhoff Written by:

RJ Steinhoff is a lifelong comic book fan and when he’s not working for a living he runs the comictrend.com website.

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10 Comments

  1. Eric
    May 14, 2012

    I stocked up on some nice Avengers comics a while back, most are late silver or bronze age keys. I expect that the vale of first appearance books will rise by a greater percentage. I would like to see a comparison of Tales of Suspense #52 and #57 sale prices.

  2. May 14, 2012

    Has anybody read Avengers #1 in a while? I read it last night. It is kind of garbage, and not in a kitschy, we love the start of the Marvel U kind of way, but in a this plot and story are nonsensical and contrived. And the Hulk joins the circus as a clown. The idea was great and has let to some great stories, but the execution is lacking.

  3. May 14, 2012

    There are 5 Avengers #1s up on the current ComicLink auction, all end next week. There’s a CGC 9.4 copy of Iron Man #55 up as well. I’m staying away from all of these!

  4. Frank Chang
    May 16, 2012

    On the other hand I have tried to do no reserve auctions on a few silver/bronze age cgc 9.8 copies of Avengers and prices realized on ebay are 30-50% below last GPA and demand was dismal despite my efforts to use the movie as hype. I was also shocked to have to sell my sgt fury 1 cgc 4.5 for $500 which is a small loss on my investment. Aside from Iron Man 55, the Avengers books have not gone up in value for me.

  5. Frank Chang
    May 16, 2012

    On the other hand I have tried to do no reserve auctions on a few silver/bronze age cgc 9.8 copies of Avengers and prices realized on ebay are 30-50% below last GPA and demand was dismal despite my efforts to use the movie as hype. I was also shocked to have to sell my sgt fury 1 cgc 4.5 for $500 which is a small loss on my investment. Aside from Iron Man 55, the Avengers books have not gone up in value for me.

  6. Frank Chang
    May 16, 2012

    Where was the $2395 sale of Avengers 1 cgc 4.5? The seller advantage was enormous as I couldn’t sell these for $1300 3 months ago!

  7. Peter Karavas
    June 5, 2012

    Here is an interesting development. The popularity of the Avengers movie has spilled over to the Christian world. Take a look at this popular national American Radio program that aired on June 3. “Christian Questions” devoted a two hour program to the Avengers movie here. http://www.christianquestions.net/

    Also notice this Christian website advertised that same radio program and had their own article discussing the movie. http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2012/05/28/avengers-movie-where-have-all-our-heroes-gone-real-super-heroes-will-save-us-soon/

    It seems like everyone loves the Avengers movie!

  8. Peter Karavas
    June 5, 2012

    I am more optimistic in the possibility of a major future increase in comic book prices than most. I think the economy is a big obstacle, but if it improves, and more people find jobs, there will be more disposable income available to invest in comics. As you mentioned R.J., “the momentum is just starting.” The enormous success of the Avengers will encourage quality in future movies. As long as Hollywood doesn’t screw up, with this momentum, we are growing a new generation of fans, that have are not even comic book readers, but who are caught up in the excitement and energy of the toys, cartoons, movies, etc. As you know better than anyone R.J., this pop culture phenomenon is gigantic. As people’s faith has been shaken in the stock market, Silver Age Marvel and even DC may become a popular alternative. One of the great things about investing in comic books, is that it is fun and exciting. The pitfalls of insider knowledge and trading in the stock market does not seems like it would be a great risk in the comic book market. Other collectables don’t carry of the pop culture excitement and energy of comic books. Call me a crazy and naïve optimist. I am putting my money on comic books!

  9. Gilbert ulloa jr
    July 2, 2012

    Hi. Could you keep me posted for changes of value grade prices for the avengers 1?

  10. March 10, 2013

    Interesting points, Peter. I plan to write about this in the future.

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