Collecting The Most Valuable Comic Books Of The '80s and '90s
10. Vampirella #113: The most controversial entry on this list, critics will disagree because a copy of Vampirella in CGC 9.4 would easily sell for only $300 to $400. However, this is a magazine-sized comic, and as of yet these books do not have the same collectability as standard-size comic book issues. Released in 1988, this issue is the last of the long-standing series. Most copies were left unsold and returned to the distributor. If this book ever gets the attention it deserves, prices will start to reflect that.
9. New Mutants #87: Published in 1990 by Marvel Comics and featuring the first appearance of Cable, this comic had two printings, and you want the red cover version, which is the first print. Cable was a Marvel Comics character who at the time wasnt as important as viewed today. As a result, this book is worth close to $150 ungraded in near-mint condition and $500 when graded by CGC (Comics Guaranty Corporation) in 9.8.
8. Wolverine Limited Series #1: Published by Marvel Comics in 1982 and featuring art by acclaimed comic artist and writer Frank Miller, in near-mint condition this book is worth between $50 to $75, which isnt bad given how many were hoarded and kept unread. However, when CGC graded in 9.8, the value shoots up to $250 to $350, and it is highly liquid on the secondary market.
7. New Mutants #98: Published by Marvel Comics in 1991 and featuring the first full appearance of Deadpool, one of the most controversial superheroes of all time. Back in 1991, no one thought the character would ever transition to the silver screen, but Marvel created a true masterpiece in 2016 when Deadpool hit theaters to massive commercial success. A near-mint copy of New Mutants #98 can be sold today for $200 all day long on eBay, with CGC-graded 9.8 copies selling for $800, but be warned, during the pre-movie hype in 2015, CGC-graded 9.8 copies were selling for over $1,200 each.
6. Amazing Spider-Man #238: Published in 1983 and featuring the first appearance of the Hobgoblin, this book almost slipped through the cracks back when it was released, but due to a fairly high print run, speculators started hoarding the book in the early 1990s. Today, a near-mint ungraded copy goes for around $100 or more, and a CGC-graded book in 9.8 can easily sell for $600 or more. This is another comic of this era that would be considered highly liquid.
5. Amazing Spider-Man # 252: Marvel Comics introduced Spider-Mans black costume in 1984 via this issue, but why was the costume black and what secrets was it hiding? The answer turned this into a key issue comic book almost overnight. Prices for near-mint copies are now topping $100, while a CGC-graded book in 9.8 can net $500.
4. Amazing Spider-Man #300: By far the most sought after Spider-Man comic to be published in the 1990s, Spider-Man #300 features the first appearance of Venom. Even though most longtime comic dealers have dozens of these books in stock, it is in high demand since Marvel recently announced the release of an upcoming Venom solo film. Ungraded in near-mint, the book commands a minimum of $300 on eBay, with graded CGC 9.8 copies soaring to an unbelievable price of $1,700 to $2,000. Hint, collectors should probably not buy this book at this time. The market will settle by as much as 25 percent or more following the films release.
3. Albedo #2: Now we get to the ultra rare books. Albedo was created by independent publisher Thoughts and Ideas in 1984, and the book would have went nowhere except for the fact that the strange character introduced in this issue (Usagi Yojimbo) made a major appearance in the Teenage Mutant Ninja series. As a result of that feat alone, this book has a lot of value, but it should be noted that the chances of anyone having a legitimate original printing are quite slim. Still, if a CGC-graded comic would surface (and there are a few) in 9.8, it would be worth close to $10,000. Even ungraded and in near-mint-minus condition, this book is easily worth low four figures.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (first printing): The very first printing of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic was done in black and white and featured everyones favorite heroes in half shells armed with guns. This is one reason why the first printing is sought after. Major changes were made to bring the comic to children audiences. The chances of finding an authentic first printing of this book in near-mint condition are scarce-to-none; however, it would be worth several thousand dollars ungraded, with graded copies being sold for $5,000 to $9,000 depending on the coveted CGC grade. Definitely one of the most investment-grade comics to ever come out of the 1980s, if you can find one, it is well worth the money, but forgeries do exist.
1. Gobbledygook #1: Created by Eastman and Laird, who are well known for their creation of Teenage Mutant Ninjas, Gobbledygook had an estimated print run of between 150 to 500 copies, making it one of the rarest comic books ever. It was also controversial due to violent themes and content. Forgeries are quite common, so buy only a CGC-graded copy, and expect to pay close to $10,000 for one in very fine to near-mint condition.
So, the next time someone tells you that 1980s and 1990s comics are worthless, show them this list.
Shawn Surmick has been an avid collector since the age of 12. He started his first eBay business, known as electrogames, at the age of 19, catering to vintage video game collectors and enthusiasts. He currently resides in his hometown of Boyertown, Pa., and is a passionate collector of antiques and collectibles. His articles focus on various topics affecting the marketplace.
Shawn Surmick has been an avid collector since the age of 12. He started his first eBay business known as electrogames at the age of 19 that catered to vintage video game collectors and enthusiasts. He currently resides in his hometown of Boyertown, Pa., and is a passionate collector of antiques and collectibles. His articles focus on various topics affecting the marketplace.