Most Valuable Comic Books of the 1960s
Some of the most valuable comic books of the 1960s inspired the billion-dollar comic book movies that we all love now. This was the Silver Age of comic books. Comic books like Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers were first launched during this era. The Black Panther comic book character, the billion-dollar film sensation of 2018 (Rest in Power, Chadwick Boseman) first appeared in comic books in 1966.
Part of being a shrewd comic book investor is understanding the cultural context of when a valuable comic book was published.
The Silver Age of comic books occurred between 1956 to 1970. Comic books published during this era were heavily censored by the Comics Code Authority
Superhero comics almost faded away as a business prior to the dawn of the Silver Age. But the Silver Age established the superhero comic as a bankable genre on its own.
It was also during this time that comic books began to creatively mirror the social and political issues of the time.
Most modern comic book fans have never read a comic book – but they flock to billion-dollar grossing movies based on them.
The most valuable comic books of the 1960s seeded the explosion of the comic book culture we enjoy today. That’s worthwhile to know as a comic book investor.
If you are interested in investing in comic books, these are the Silver Age comic books you should be looking at.
The Most Valuable Comic Books of the 1960s
As you read this guide, it’s important to understand what “CGC” means.
The Certified Guaranty Comic, also known as CGC, is a third-party value verification company.
The CGC appraises comic books on a 10-point scale so buyers and sellers can be assured of what they are buying.
The higher the CGC score, then the more valuable the comic book.
With that out of the way, here is a listing of the most valuable comic books of the 1960s.
Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966) Marvel Comics
The Black Panther and the Negative Zone made their first appearances in Fantastic Four #52.
An issue of this comic with a CGC grade of 9.8, a near-perfect comic, sold for $90,000 recently.
Avengers #1 (September 1963) Marvel Comics
The Avengers first appeared in comic books in 1963.
This comic features the first appearance of the Avengers team which consisted of Iron Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Thor, and the Hulk.
A copy of Avengers #1 with a CGC grade of 9.6 sold for $275,000 in July 2012.
There are probably only three copies of this comic with a CGC grade of 9.6 or higher in existence.
Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962) Marvel Comics
The Incredible Hulk character was created during the height of the Cold War, fears of atomic annihilation, and WWIII.
Additionally, the creation of the Hulk was inspired by the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as the Golem, a Jewish mythical character.
The Hulk is colored grey in this issue. However, in later issues, coloring errors made the Hulk look green and the editors decided to keep the greener hue.
This comic features the first appearance of Bruce Banner, Betty Ross, General Ross, and Rick Jones.
A copy of this comic CGC graded 9.2 sold at auction for $375,000 in September 2016.
There is probably only a handful of Incredible Hulk #1 copies with CGC grades over 9 in existence.
Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961) Marvel Comics
Which comic book featured the first Marvel Comics superteam?
No, it wasn’t the X-Men or the Avengers. It was the Fantastic Four.
Fantastic Four #1 was published at a time when America was still dreaming of going to the moon. The team gained their powers after being bombarded by cosmic rays during a rocket launch.
This issue features the first appearance of Mister Fantastic, the Thing, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Mole Man.
This copy sold for $450,000 in May 2011 at auction. The issue had a CGC grade of 9.6 and was believed to be only one of four 9.4 grade comics in existence.
X-Men #1 (September 1963) Marvel Comics
The X-Men were also created as an allegory to philosophically reflect the volatile political world of 1963.
Public angst about the atomic war and the Civil Rights movement was at its peak when this comic was published. The X-Men were characters who strove to save a world that feared and hated them.
X-Men #1, published in August 1963, features the first appearances of the characters Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Beast, and Iceman. This comic is the first appearance of the X-Men.
This comic has a CGC grade of 9.8 and sold for $493,000 in July 2012. It was basically a Near Mint comic, or, one in perfect aesthetic condition and appearance.
There are probably only two X-Men #1 comics with a 9.8 grade in existence.
Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) Marvel Comics
Created by Geek Gods Stan Lee and Steve Ditko during the peak of the Silver Age, Spider-Man made his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 in August 1962.
Amazing Fantasy, an anthology comic at the time, was soon heading for cancellation. So, the editors gave the creators free creative reign for a potential final issue.
The character of Peter Parker/Spider-Man was created and a legend was born.
A CGC copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 graded 9.6 sold for $1.1 million in March 2011.
It Pays to Know
It’s important to know the context in which a comic book was created if you are a collector.
They are more than just collector’s items.
Some comic books are witnesses to particular epochs in pop culture history, which adds to their value.
Confer with collectors of rare comic books before you begin investing.
Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.