Then and now

[reposted from the old site- originally posted May 1, 2003]

I picked up an old OS guide recently. Volume 21. It sports a pretty cool Invaders cover by Alex Schomburg.

Looking through it I saw the obvious stuff like the huge increases some books have made over the past decade plus (Action 1 and Detective 27 were worth less then than Amazing Fantasy 15 and Showcase 4 are worth now, etc.) I also noticed how much weight John Verzyl from Comic Heaven has lost (he has to have halved his body weight- good for him.) That's not the really interesting stuff however.

The thing that absolutely blew my mind was the outrageous prices that Punisher appearances garnered. I know that the character was hot back then, I was a part-time convention dealer and a Superhero Universe III employee at the time, so I was knee deep in Punisher hype, but it's still sobering to see it spelled out in black and white:

Book Value in Vol 21
of the OS Guide
Value in Vol 33

Captain America 241 55 15
Punisher Ltd. Series #1 45 16
Punisher 1 22 8
Punisher 10 20 9
Punisher War Journal 1 15 5
Amazing Spider-Man 129 275 260
Marvel Preview 2 165 90
Marvel Tales 106 (rp ASM 129) 9 4

What's most remarkable, beyond the hits that some of the more common books have taken is the fact that ASM 129 has actually lost Guide value over the past 12 years. Compared to the movement of other bronze keys like Hulk 181 ($260 to $1150) Giant Size X-Men 1 ($105 to $1125), House of Secrets 92 ($65 to $725), X-Men 94 ($140 to $950) and All Star Western 10 ($18 to $500) , that sort of sideways movement is basically stunning.

By the way, if a Punisher movie actually happens, Punisher Limited Series #1 is a book I'm going to bet some money on. I don't have my Standard Catalog of Comic Books with me, but I remember the print run being relatively small, especially in comparison with the later, regular series #1. I seem to remember it being in the 50k range. Add to that the nostalgia that children of the 80s feel for the book (a trophy book of our youth) I think there's some room for it to move in the speculator-friendly, pre-movie hype days. Just make sure to sell before the movie comes out…

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