Undervalued Spotlight #288

Amazing Spider-Man 72Amazing Spider-Man #72, Marvel Comics, May 1969

It’s crazy times in the collectible comic book market. Prices are hitting records on multiple fronts, in multiple genres and in multiple eras. You pretty well need a loan to buy any comic of note these days and it’s predominantly first appearances that all the money has been rushing into.

There’s nothing wrong with valuing first appearances as that’s where most of the value should come from, in my opinion, but other factors should temper these crazy prices we are seeing. For example scarcity of grade (or maybe better put – plenitude of grade) should be considered and weighed way more than it is.

This week I thought I’d take a reprieve from the madness and try to offer up a book with good fundamentals, good value and good prospects for the future.

This week I’m choosing to shine the Undervalued Spotlight on Amazing Spider-Man #72.

“Rocked by the Shocker” features a fantastic John Romita cover, for me one of the better covers of Romita’s run. This issue sets up the “Secret of the Petrified Tablet” arc that ends in issue #75.

Yes, character introduction is the main driver of value but it’s not the only one. Covers sell comics and covers create demand for collectible comics, there are many examples great demand for outstanding covers. Amazing Spider-Man #72 delivers a dynamic and great looking black cover, black covers give high grade copies great eye appeal, black covers also make high grade copies harder to find.

Amazing Spider-Man #72 is also embedded in what is probably the most collected run in comics, Amazing Spider-Man #1-129. Of all the titles in comics this is the title most of the collectors I deal with still collect. Amazing Spider-Man #72 came out in May 1969 making it a 60s Marvel, another collecting strain still active.

Market prices for high grade copies of this book haven’t really moved in a decade, I don’t have the data in front of me but I’d guess they have actually lost ground. GPA shows CGC 9.2 copies getting 10% below Guide. So you are getting a black cover, Amazing Spider-Man from the 1960s with a great Shocker cover for less than Guide and less than $200.

I think there will be a reawakening of comics like this; you can throw in issues like Amazing Spider-Man #62 and #66 as well. When comparing what $200 can buy elsewhere I predict it won’t be long before books like this find favor again.

The 45th Overstreet price breaks for this book is $66/$138/$210 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

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

  • Great cover, black cover, great villain, great title, great era

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

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  1. OK Walt, now this is getting scary… First you admit that Mysterio was/is one of your very favorite Spidey villains. (Same here.) And now you post my #1 “secret” underrated comic. Based on the demand, I thought maybe I was the only one who was strangely drawn to ASM 72. I certainly never imagined it would be featured in this column.

    Mysterio and the Shocker are both underrated in my book. Throw Meteor Man in there too. Three great costumes there.

    This classic Romita cover may be too simple for some, yet it is a striking image. He really knew how to capture the action/emotion in a concise, creative way.

    The black cover absolutely guarantees scarcity in high grade. I have seen CGC 9.4 and above sell for solid prices, and they should absolutely continue to do so.

    Two other points to note for the collector – minor points for now but since we are speculating on future appeal:
    – This is the second appearance of the Shocker
    – This is a 12-cent ASM (#74 was the last 12-center); the price of a Spider-Man comic had never increased at this point.

  2. I love this and I love this book. It’s my *second favorite* Spidey cover. But where is the love for #46?! The first appearance! Very similar high grade census numbers. 3/19/44 for #46 in 9.8/9.6/9.4 and for #72, 6/18/40. I’m guessing that is owing to #46 is the first appearance and #72 is a black cover, but really, isn’t #46 just a bit more desirable and undervalued? Regardless Walter, it is a great book and a great call out!

  3. “Shocked” you picked this one but none the less, I recently purchased this so I feel a little better that it has potential.

  4. Thanks for chiming in fellas.

    I’m telling you my spider sense is tingling on books like this. These are great collectibles with title power, cover power, villain power, era power (12 center – thanks Eric), etc.

    Yes I could have picked #46 David but the pick of #72 was, while deserving on its own, symbolic of a larger swath of comics that should see some appreciation in the coming years as they become ‘rediscovered’ so to speak.

  5. oops, sorry Walt… I just realized that it was actually Mike Huddleston who mentioned that he ranks Mysterio as a favorite villain. Sorry for the mix-up. 🙂

    Thanks again for another great post!

  6. You have to love villains with fish bowls and quilted pin cushions as part of their costume . I am a fan of the Shocker too.
    I am also a fan of this book – great pick Walt. This is very tough to find in high grade.
    This particular book brings back a painful memory of me buying books via mail order many years ago. I ordered “mint” copies of Amazing Spider-Man #70-72 from a dealer in Montreal.. The books arrived and #70 & # 71 were OK but would be about an 8.5 today. #72 looked spectacular – glossy black cover, no creases of any kind on the front, it looked like it had never seen the light of day. It turns out maybe it hadn’t – the back had four different “rings” where someone had been using the book as a coaster for his or her drinks. It was a long while before I tried mail order again.

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