Last week I sold a guy some early 1980s Marvel Tales reprints. I got $20 for a nice crisp copy of Marvel Tales #152 from June 1983; the book features the reprint of Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) #14 which famously features the first appearance of the Green Goblin.
Buddy was happy as can be, he basically said that he could never afford a nice copy of the original and having this high-grade old reprint (he was a young guy) was fine with him. I mentioned that the book was reprinted even earlier in the same Marvel Tales title: I looked it up and it was in Marvel Tales #9 from July 1967 which was only three short years after the original ASM #14 came out in July 1964. He didn’t seem interested. I think the Copper Age was a sweet spot for a guy his age, he was familiar with the size, thickness, feel, and look of books from this era.
After my Goblin fan left I got curious and checked out GPA on Marvel Tales #9 and #152: a CGC 9.2 copy of #9 sold for $48 earlier this year while a CGC 9.2 of #152 sold for $60 a couple of months before that. I know they are tiny samples of one for each but it’s been an active market, I thought something was off.
We’re in a market where prices are moving up so rapidly on some books that at any given time it may seem like there are other books that are absolute bargains. We talked about Marvel books being so hot that many see some DCs are being undervalued relatively. I’ve even had guys compare realized Bronze Age prices to Golden Age prices and ask “how can this be”, it can obviously be because the market says it is to be.
I was thinking about the stuff I typed just above while mulling over all those 1960s Marvel reprint titles. Focusing mainly on Marvel Tales for this piece I won’t even mention #1 as it reprints Amazing Fantasy #15 and Hulk #1, the first issue of Marvel Tales #1 has always been worth big money. Over my comic book selling career, Marvel Tales started clogging up my bins around #5 and up, I could not get #10 for these ever, if I threw them in the $5 bins they’d go.
I think back a decade and books like ASM #14, 15, 50, 129 etc were all relatively affordable and plentiful, we never really needed an excuse to justify that an early reprint could be seen as justifiable and thus valuable substitute for the real thing, until now. We’ve seen this happening over the years with beat-up 0.5 copies of keys, then incomplete copies of keys, then individual pages from keys, perhaps next is early and contemporary reprints of keys?
Is it possible that we’ll start seeing a trend of specific issues of Marvel Tales, Marvel’s Collectors Item Classics, Marvel’s Greatest Comics etc start making some value gains?
Back to my Marvel Tales #9: ever notice how they re-drew the Tales to Astonish cover to have Wasp busting out of the original cover? They did that on a few including #6, 7 and 8, it adds something a little new.
Somehow this post about the 1960s reprint titles turned into a quasi Undervalued Spotlight for Marvel Tales #9! So be it.
Speaking of X-Men, check out this nice copy that sold last night on our weekly internationalcollectiblesexchange eBay auction. CBCS graded this beauty tight and with its White Pages designation, it’s an easy call, Advantage Buyer!