'Avengers' Excitement Fuels Vintage Comic Prices

by David Weiner 3:47 PM PDT, May 02, 2012
Photo: Marvel Entertainment

Marvel's The Avengers explodes into theaters everywhere on Friday, and excitement surrounding the superhero saga is driving up the value of vintage Avengers comics to record prices.

Heat Vision reports that the first-appearance issues featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers have doubled in value since last year.

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According to the blog, Iron Man's first appearance in a 1963 Tales of Suspense just sold for a record $375,000, up from $147,500 for a slightly lower-quality copy set in 2011. A copy of the first Avengers appearance in 1963 sold for a record $250,000 in November, crushing the previous record of $100,000. The first appearance of Thor in a 1962 Journey into Mystery sold for $222,200 in February, more than doubling the previous high price. And a copy of Captain America Comics No. 1 from 1941 was snatched up for a record $343,000 in August 2011. Mint-condition copies of The Incredible Hulk No. 1 (which debuted in 1962) are just as hard to come by, and the last record sale occurred in 2009 for $125,000.

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Of course, Superman, Batman and Spider-Man still rank at the top of the superhero collector's scale, with Supe's first appearance in a 1938 Action Comics fetching $1 million back in 2010, and Batman's first appearance in a 1939 Detective Comics capturing $1,075,500 the same year. Spider-Man's first appearance in a 1962 Amazing Fantasy sold for $1.1 million in 2011.

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Start saving your pennies, kiddies – and save those first-appearance editions of new superheroes. You never know what they'll fetch 50 years from now…