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Marvel Top 50 Heroes

A categorical listing of Marvel Top 50 Heroes curated by Key Collector Comics.

Low $4.5k
Mid $14k
High $33k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Namor the Sub-Mariner
  • 1st appearance of American Ace
  • *scarce - only nine copies are known to exist
  • *the comic was intended to be a giveaway at movie theaters but it never went into full production
Low $25k
Mid $75k
High $285k
  • 1st appearance of the Human Torch (Jim Hammond).
  • 1st appearance and origin of the Sub-Mariner (reprinted from Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1).
  • 1st appearance of Ka-Zar, Angel and Jungle Terror, the Masked Raider and Dorma (Namor's first wife).
  • 1st comic book published by Timely, later becomes Marvel.
  • Retitled Marvel Mystery Comics after this issue.
  • The granddaddy of all Marvel comics and the rarest mega key in collecting with just 30 universal graded copies reported on the CGC census (compared to 41 for Action Comics #1 and 32 for Detective Comics #27).
  • Any time this book comes to market it's an event. The last sale was in November of 2019 when the Windy City pedigree CGC 9.4 copy broke records when it ended at a staggering 1.26 million.
  • August 2020 was no exception as the, perhaps more famous, Nic Cage CGC 6.0 copy ended at $280,500 (last sold in 2011 for $70k).
  • Note that both these copies are November copies in which the "October 1939" cover date is blacked out and "November 1939" is printed next to it.
  • October copies are harder to find (though with only 30 copies ever graded that may be splitting hairs) and considered the true first print.
  • October copies had a print run of approx. 80,000 copies and were understood to be a limited test printing that was distributed on the East Coast. This run sold out within 1 week of its August 31st release.
  • The book was sent back to the presses a second time with a print run of 800,000 now (to match sales at that time of Superman). Changing the cover date allowed the book to have a longer on sale period at newsstands.
Low $35k
Mid $110k
High $390k
  • 1st appearance & origin of Captain America
  • 1st appearance of James Buchanan Barnes aka Bucky (later becomes the Winter Soldier)
  • 1st appearance of the Red Skull (George Maxon), an agent of the true Red Skull
  • 1st appearance of Hurricane, (later becomes Makkari) and Tuk the Cave Boy (first offspring of the Inhumans)
  • A CGC 2.0 copy sold at the Heritage Platinum Session Signature Auction (Sept 2020) for $90k.
  • A 2.5 copy had previously sold in June of 2019 for $90k.
  • The last 2.0 sale was in 2012 for $24k representing approx. a 275% increase.
  • Captain America Comics #1 is one of the absolutely most sought after comics in history and is often designated the vaunted mega key status.
  • Very few copies remain in existence. The CGC census has tracked approx. 90 copies ever given a universal grade with another 80 given the less desirable restored grade.
  • While incredibly small these numbers are still larger than than those for the big 3 of collecting: Action Comics #1 (41 universal grade copies exist), Detective Comics #27 (32 universal grade copies exist) and Marvel Comics #1 (just 30 universal grade copies exist).
Low $3.9k
Mid $19k
High $110k
  • 1st team appearance and origin of the Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, The Thing
  • 1st appearance of Mole Man
  • 1st appearance of Tricephalous
  • [August 2020 - Disney recently registered a production company named 'Solve Everything' which is a reference to Reed Richards. Although nothing is confirmed, it is possible Marvel Studios is actively developing a Fantastic Four film]
Low $700
Mid $3.7k
High $42k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Hank Pym, later becomes Ant-Man, Goliath, Giant-Man and Yellowjacket
Low $3.6k
Mid $13k
High $100k
  • 1st appearance and origin of the Hulk
  • 1st appearance of Betty Ross
  • 1st appearance of Rick Jones
  • 1st appearance of General "Thunderbolt" Ross
  • [February 2020 - Rick Jones rumored to join the MCU]
Low $2.6k
Mid $9.2k
High $81k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Thor
  • Introduction of Thor's hammer, Mjolnir
  • 1st team appearance of the Kronans, a race of rock-like aliens
  • 1st appearance of Donald Blake, the human host of Thor
Low $11.3k
Mid $49k
High $355k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Spider-Man
  • 1st appearance and death of Uncle Ben
  • 1st appearance of Aunt May and Flash Thompson
Low $2.4k
Mid $4.5k
High $24k
  • 1st appearance of Iron Man
  • Debut of Iron Man's 'Model 1' armor
  • 1st appearance of Wong-Chu, a Viet Cong warlord and Iron Man's first enemy
Low $650
Mid $2.2k
High $17k
  • 1st appearance of Doctor Strange
  • 1st appearance of the Ancient One, former Sorcerer Supreme
  • 1st appearance of Wong, Doctor Strange's assistant
  • 1st appearance of Nightmare, in shadows
  • [December 2019 - Doctor Strange is rumored to make an appearance in the WandaVision TV series]
Low $3.1k
Mid $9.2k
High $38.5k
  • 1st team appearance of the X-Men
  • 1st appearance of Cyclops
  • 1st appearance of Jean Grey, Marvel Girl, later becomes Phoenix
  • 1st appearance of Iceman
  • 1st appearance of Angel
  • 1st appearance of Beast
  • 1st appearance of Professor X
  • 1st appearance of Magneto
Low $600
Mid $1.7k
High $10k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Daredevil
  • 1st appearance of Foggy Nelson and Karen Page.
  • Making its first appearance on the new Hot 10 but very likely not it's last is perhaps the most undervalued book in Silver Age comics.
  • Last weeks @x tip was to keep an eye on this book as it was due a correction.
  • This week we have a new high sale in grade for a 9.0 at $18,000 (up from a previous high of $13,200).
  • A new all-time high in grade for an 8.0 at $6,900 (up from $6,600. The $9k sale at GPA is an error).
  •  A big jump for a 4.0 to $2,150 (up from $1,900).
  •  A new high in grade for a 3.0 of $1,700 followed quickly by a sale at $1,680.
  •  Meanwhile, a 2.5 matched the high for that grade of $1,250 set in 2018 and raws are now trading at $4,000.
  • Daredevil has been out of the public eye on the media front since his hit tv show was canceled at Netflix so that they could focus on content they owned wholly.
  • Most collectors are unaware that Marvel does not yet have the rights back and assume that because there is no news on the MCU side that Daredevil is not of interest to Kevin Feige.
  • In truth, Daredevil returns to Marvel and is available for the MCU in 2021 (in just over 3 months).
  • Daredevil was created during the period known as the Birth of the Marvel Universe. A period that gave us the majority of the major Marvel characters (and collectible first appearance) e.g. Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, X-Men, FF etc.
  • His depth of characterization and breath of storytelling rival and often surpass those greats with all time runs from Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Waid and Kevin Smith just to name a few.
  • There is a long held belief that Daredevil is a more readily available than the first appearances of the other major marvel characters because there is more supply. The CGC Census. however, places Daredevil lower than both the X-Men and Avengers first issues.
  • The book represents a big opportunity in its highest grades if a correction continues.
  • Even with the big correction on the 9.0 grade, the book lags significantly behind the other birth of the Marvel Universe era books.
  •  In the same grade, Amazing Fantasy 15 is a $450-500k book, FF1 is $160k, Hulk 1 is $215k, Journey Into Mystery 83 is $43k, Tales of Suspense 39 is $47k, X-Men 1 is 70k, even Avengers 1 which features no 1st apps is $50k.
  • Daredevil is also benefiting from a return to blue chip books by collectors.
Low $265
Mid $1.2k
High $4.9k
  • 1st appearance of the Black Widow, Natasha Romanova
  • Death of the 1st Crimson Dynamo
  • 1st appearance and death of the 2nd Crimson Dynamo
Low $185
Mid $350
High $2.8k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Hawkeye
  • 3rd appearance of Black Widow
Low $30
Mid $95
High $520
  • 1st appearance and origin of Purple Man
Low $150
Mid $300
High $1.6k
  • 1st team appearance of the Inhumans, a race created by the Kree: Triton, Karnak, Lockjaw, Gorgon, Medusa, Crystal and Black Bolt
  • 1st cameo appearance of Black Bolt
  • 1st appearance of Crystal, 1st appearance of Karnak
  • 1st appearance of Triton
Low $460
Mid $1.6k
High $5.7k
  • 1st appearance of Silver Surfer.
  • 1st cameo appearance of Galactus.
  • Rounding out the list this week at number 10 is another blue chip book with MCU anticipation fueling it.
  • Like Giant Size X-Men #1 and Hulk #181, Collectors expect Marvel Studios to introduce the first family into their cinematic universe now that the rights (held by Fox) are under Disney control.
  • Collectors are racing to pick up copies before major news is announced causing prices to soar.
  • This week, a 9.6 White Page copy (I'm sensing a trend with these White Page books) sold in the Heritage Platinum Session Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction for a other wordly $21,000 obliterating the previous record of $18,000.
  • Raws are selling consistently as well and are now at the $1k mark for mid grades.
  • This is after a CGC 9.8 white pager set an all-time record two weeks ago of $42,500 at the ComicLink Summer Featured Auction and a copy of Fantastic Four 5 CGC 9.4 (1st Dr. Doom) hit $84k on Comic Connect the same week (up from $66k).
  • Collectors are also moving to major blue chip keys after spending the first half of 2020 firmly focused on moderns.
Low $260
Mid $480
High $2.3k
  • 1st full appearance of Galactus
  • 2nd appearance and 1st cover appearance of the Silver Surfer
  • 1st appearance of the Punisher, a cyborg servant of Galactus
Low $270
Mid $850
High $3.8k
  • 1st appearance of the Black Panther
  • T'Challa king of Wakanda
  • Black Panther is the world's first mainstream black superhero introduced in comic books
  • 📈 +355% copies sold current two weeks versus the previous two weeks
Low $55
Mid $170
High $1.8k
  • 1st appearance of Carol Danvers
  • 2nd appearance of Captain Marvel
Low $50
Mid $145
High $480
  • 1st appearance of Vision
  • 2nd appearance of Ultron
Low $12
Mid $50
High $155
  • 1st appearance and origin of Alex Summers, later becomes Havok
  • 1st appearance of the Living Pharaoh, later becomes the Living Monolith
  • Origin of Angel
Low $55
Mid $215
High $535
  • 1st appearance and origin of the Falcon, the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics
  • 1st appearance of Redwing, Falcon's falcon
Low $20
Mid $140
High $380
  • 1st appearance of Conan the Barbarian
  • 1st cameo appearance of King Kull
Low $20
Mid $65
High $185
  • 1st appearance of Valkyrie (Enchantress in disguise)
  • 1st team appearance of the Lady Liberators
  • Debut of the Rutland Halloween Parade, a real parade held in Vermont annually that has been depicted in both Marvel and DC comics nearly 20 times with parade attendees wearing superhero costumes from both publishers in each book
Low $65
Mid $200
High $850
  • 1st appearance and origin of Luke Cage, the first black superhero to headline a series in mainstream comics
  • 1st appearance of Diamondback, Comanche and Shades
Low $210
Mid $575
High $2.3k
  • 1st appearance and origin of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze
  • [March 2020 - Ghost Rider rumored to be a Disney+ series or a character featured in a series]
Low $200
Mid $600
High $2.2k
  • 1st appearance of Blade
  • *a new Blade film coming from Marvel announced at SDCC 2019
Low $300
Mid $900
High $3.2k
  • 1st appearance of the Punisher
  • 1st appearance of the Jackal
  • Classic cover art by John Romita Sr.
Low $55
Mid $150
High $265
  • 1st appearance and origin of Iron Fist and Yu-Ti
  • 1st team appearance of the Dragon Kings