Undervalued Spotlight #139

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Amazing Spider-Mam #583 Obama Variant 1st Print, Marvel Comics, March 2009

I’m posting this Undervalued Spotlight early on November 6th 2012, Election Day in the United States.

Regardless of who wins the White House I’m arguing that the Amazing Spider-Man #583, 1st print variant is an undervalued comic book.

If I’m not mistaken Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) #583 is the top selling monthly comic of the new millennium with something like 360,000 copies sold. Most of these were subsequent reprints of the Obama variant cover (there were 4 of these reprints). The 1st print of ASM #583 was published with a 50/50 cover split, the regular double “Cougars” and the Obama variant cover.

I could not find exact print run numbers for the 1st print but am assuming they are higher than the 70,000 or so that ASM was selling monthly before this issue. I’m making an assumption that 60,000 of the Obama 1st print variants were published, please correct me if you know the actual figure.

The story of how Obama got on the cover is well known, word got out that then president-elect Obama collected Spider-Man and Conan (the 2 titles I collected when I was younger – just saying). Marvel, being a smart comic company every now and then decided to put Obama on the variant cover for ASM #583 for the “Spidey Meets the President” story written by Mark Waid.

The Obama print run is low by popular comic book standards while its demand is obviously high. This book’s collectability hits on many levels, it lies in the ASM run which is by far the most collected run in comic books, it is a special issue and as I’ve said before collecting special issues is a growth area in comic collecting and this book has massive appeal and interest from outside the comic community. If we look to this non comic community the book will boast many special interest groups that would want a copy, African American’s, Presidential buffs, history buffs and even international collectors want this book.

Yes it would have been nice to pick up a copy for $4 from your local comic book shop on day of release but that ship has sailed and though the speculative fever of those initial moments have long faded it may surprise many that the back issue prices for the book have not collapsed. Sure you can’t get $300 for a CGC 9.8 any more but you can still get $125 and that’s impressive when you consider there are close to 800 universally graded CGC 9.8 copies of this book out there. The book has legs and it’s holding value, in fact it’s even appreciated over the last year by a healthy 15% (at the CGC 9.8 grade).

I do feel the book will have long term value but I’d advise against going the CGC 9.8 route. Try to pick up a CGC 9.6 copy for less than $60 or a really nice raw copy for even cheaper though if you don’t have confidence in your grading then you should pay the extra few bucks for the CGC graded copy.

This book will have legs and the good thing is that there will be a large market for this book outside the traditional comic collecting community; I’m convinced the marginal (if any) increase in grade of a CGC 9.8 over a CGC 9.6 will matter little to future buyers. They’ll want a beautiful copy and your CGC 9.6, or even 9.4 for that matter, will fit the bill just nicely.

Quick get rich tip – sooner or later President Obama will no longer be president and sooner or later former President Obama will go on a book signing tour. I think you are getting the picture.

The 42nd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $30 as the 9.2 price.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long-term investment are:

  • Noted special issue and highly collected
  • Embedded in the highly collected Amazing Spider-Man run
  • President Obama on the cover
Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1688


  1. Walter, nice to see you alive and kicking. It’s been several years since i’ve been to the store in Hamilton. I’ve definitely have to come by for a visit. I’ve just stumbled onto this site just a few weeks ago, and i love it. You’re doing some great work. Regards, Nestor (Toronto)

  2. I don’t know about the new stuff Walter. What’s going to happen to the value of this book down the road, First Black American President? I’m sure there’s some value there. Especially if someone is a huge Obama supporter, and can get the book signed.

    But, I look at things on sort of a risk/reward basis, or, in this case, I’ve got $30 to spend on a book. Would I buy this book or say, the first app. of Machine Man, you spotlighted a little while ago. If I had to make the choice, between the two, I’d buy the older book, hands down. But that’s just me.

  3. Walter – This is the only Spotlight I can remember not feeling onboard with. You may be right, but here are my thoughts. Looking today at ComicLink and also eBay prices and completed sales verses what did’t sell, makes me feel a bit uncertain about Spider-Mam #583 Obama Variant 1st Print. Okay, this week doesn’t establish a trend. True. But four years ago there was a feeling of euphoria about Obama the Messiah. What we are seeing today with Obama may be the equivalent the Avengers 2 movie falling short of expectations. Will this diminish the value? We shall see.

  4. Here you go Walt


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