With countless comic books being printed through the years, knowing the valuable can be a tough task. How do you know if the one you’re holding is even worth anything? When you have tons of publishers, series and versions of each original, the whole idea just becomes more intimidating.
The good news is, there are specific things you can look into, to help you make a reasonable judgment. Note, however, that the market can be very fickle, with comic book values soaring and crashing any minute without warning. This is true for newer comic books in most cases, but older ones aren’t exactly exempt.
Here are indicators that can help you decide whether a comic book is valuable or no more than everyday stuff:
Date of Publication
First off, look at the date of publication. If the comic book is from the 70s or earlier, it is more likely valuable.. Age alone can usually drive up the value of an item.
Though not an absolute rule, comics with a lower issue number have greater value than the others. First issues are the most valuable in general, with exceptions. Amazing Fantasy #15, for instance, where Spiderman was introduced, sold for more than $1 million. However, be careful of publishers relaunching an item to get new interest, like DC Comics did in The New 52, which was meant to reboot their franchise. The Action Comics from that launch is lower in value than the Action Comics #1, which was published in 1938.
A comic book’s grade, given by the Comic Book Certification Service, is a reflection of its condition. The better the condition of a comic book, the higher its grade, though some exceptions still apply. For instance, even if an Action Comics#1 copy gets a low grade, its value can still range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Worldwide phenomena such as Superman, Spiderman and Batman are obviously worth the big time. The difference in the prices of Detective Comics #26 and #27 is a little more than $1 million. In simple terms, the more popular the characters in a comic book are, the higher its value in most cases.
A comic book where a character, whether hero or villain, was first introduced, is usually priced very high. Of course, the popularity of that character is directly proportional to the value of the comic book.
To summarize, the value of a comic book is mainly dependent on its present condition, its characters and its rarity. Many people believe that an old item’s age instantly gives it value. As you can see, many other parameters come into play, and you have to consider them all to come up with a realistic estimate of the comic book’s worth.