For the last half of 2020, I am going to try and put several blog pieces together that look back at popular speculative books with the full benefit of hindsight. In doing so, I will try my best to consider books from typically the same time frame and typically the same level of “key” status. this week I’m comparing Tales of Suspense #52 – the first appearance of Black Widow, and Tales of Suspense #57– the first appearance of Hawkeye.

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

20/20 Speculation: Tales of Suspense #52 vs. Tales of Suspense #57

Black Widow and Hawkeye were introduced just five months apart in 1964. They have become, through comic storylines and marvel Cinematic universe pairings, a duo inextricably linked together for decades. They have shared Avengers membership in print and on screen. and both have become so popular through their recent MCU appearances that they will each have their own film and TV series, respectively. With how much we have seen them paired over the years, it only makes sense that we compare their relative value in comics.

With GoCollect’s massive database of sales data, we can know precisely what would have happened if we had purchased book X instead of book Y at Z grade numerous years ago. Does that information help us going forward? Does it introduce bias? What new information can we use if we are dropping our hard-earned dollars on these books today?

Hopefully, the data and knowledge of the general popularity of a book can help guide our decisions going forward. Remember, this is not a total dollars and cents analysis, but rather the return on each book’s respective investment over time.

Let’s jump best in.

Tales of Suspense #52

About a year after the debut of Iron man in Tales of Suspense #39 in March 1963, Tony Stark was already a mega-hit and was battling villains from all over the globe. After the perils of the Cuban missile crisis and at the height of the cold War, marvel chose to introduce a whole series of Russian interventionists to the Iron man story: Anton Vanko, Nikita Khrushchev, Boris, and Madame Natasha Romanova – better known as Black Widow

In the years to follow, she would defect from her Russian agency and join various marvel teams, many notably the Avengers. She developed a credibility as one of the much more empowering and strong female heroes in the larger marvel universe. Her first appearance inside Tales of Suspense #52 in April 1964 has become a important piece of any Silver Age collection. especially as her time in the MCU comes close to an end.

About 50% of the CGC graded copies of this book exist in the 4.0-7.0 range (with only about 15% at grades 8.5 and above), according to the GoCollect sales database. There are no known 9.8 copies in existence. The only 9.6 copy has sold in the past eight years. So it’s best for us to focus our analysis in that mid-range. If you have $10,000 to drop on a 9.0 graded copy, by all implies proceed.

Consistent GoCollect data for a CGC 7.0 copy of this book goes back to only about 2012 when copies sold for only about $300. Today, FMV on that grade is consistently over $2,000, with a copy selling for $2,100 in August of this year. This represents about a 700% return over a little much more than 8 years of growth. looking back just 5 years, CGC 7.0 issues sold for best at $600 for many of the year. According to our data, investors from five years ago could easily triple their money if they held because 2015.

Going down to a less expensive CGC 5.0, data only exists back to 2013. Copies in this grade sold for as low as $173(!!!) that year (but averaged around $250). In 2020, this grade is routinely selling for about $800 in auctions and even reached $900 this past summer. even in a short investment period, that looks like much more than a 300% increase to me if you purchased in low seven years ago.

Despite the upcoming stand-alone film having its premiere pushed back over a year and several trailers already available, this book continues to hold strong value and see growth in many grades in 2020.  As we inch closer to a (hopeful) release date, much more news will likely spike this book up one final time.

Tales of Suspense #57

Similar to Black Widow’s first appearance, the majority of Hawkeye’s debut in Tales of Suspense #57 end in up in the mid-range. about 60% of graded CGC copies live within the window from 4.0-7.5. There are about 35 copies somewhere out there at grades 9.4-9.8, including a CGC 9.6 that sold earlier this year for $12,000. the most recent 9.8 copy sold five years ago for practically $48,000, so I can’t even imagine what that price would be today.

GoCollect has data all the way back to sales in 2008 on CGC 7.0 copies. the most consistent sales start around 2012 where FMV landed at $550. Today, the fair market value on a CGC 7.0 copy is around $900. the most recent sanull