With the huge number of comic books printed through the years, it can be hard to know which ones are truly valuable. How can you tell whether the one in your hands even has value? With so many comic book makers, so many series and so many versions of each of them, the whole idea only becomes more daunting.
The good news is you can look at specific criteria to help you come up with reasonable judgment. Note, however, that the market can be very fickle, with comic book values soaring and crashing any minute without warning. Though this is more typical for newer comic books, it can be true as well for older ones.
To know whether a comic book is of considerable value or just everyday stuff, look into the following:
Date of Publication
First of all, check the date of publication. If the comic book came out in the 70s or earlier, there’s a good chance it’s valuable. Age alone can cause the item’s value to rise.
While not a hard and fast rule, comics that come with a lower issue number are often bigger in value than their higher issue number counterparts. Number 1s are usually the most valuable, except in some cases. For example, Amazing Fantasy #15, where Spiderman first appeared, sold for above a million dollars. But be careful with relaunches aimed at getting new interest, like when DC Comics completely rebooted their franchise with The New 52, The Action Comics from that launch is less in value compared to the Action Comics #1, which first came out in 1938.
A comic book’s grade, given by the Comic Book Certification Service, is a reflection of its condition. A comic book in better condition than another will have a higher grade, but still, there are exceptions. For example, a very low-graded Action Comics #1 copy can still be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Obviously, phenomenal characters in the likes of Superman, Batman and Spiderman are worth huge. The prices of Detective Comics #26 and Detective Comics #27 differ by a little over $1 million. In simple terms, the popularity of characters in a comic book affects its price in a big way.
A comic book where a character (hero or villain) first appeared usually has a skyrocketing value. Of course, the more popular that character is, the higher the comics’ value.
To sum up, a comic book’s value depends on its current condition, rarity and its characters. Many people believe that an old item’s age instantly gives it value. As you can see, many other factors are involved, and all of them must be considered so that a realistic estimate of the comic book’s value can be made.