I have been thinking more about the Thor data I posted a while back and wanted to try an experiment. Thor 132 has a cover date of September, 1966. Do any other Marvel issues from that same month exhibit the same spike in graded copies?
I started by looking at Fantastic Four…and to be frank, I got led down a rabbit hole that left my original question partially unanswered! Fantastic Four 54 has the same cover date as Thor 132. According to Overstreet, Thor 132 contains the first appearance of Ego, while Fantastic Four 54 has an Inhumans cameo in it. Neither of these factors seems to play much into the pricing assigned by Overstreet, with Thor 132 listing at $165 and Fantastic Four 54 listing at $240 in NM- 9.2. Taking a look at the data below though, there is no dramatic spike in the number of graded copies for Fantastic Four 54, so my original theory seems to be disproven (at least for this title).
What else can we observe in this data? Quite a bit actually! For starters, one expects the spike for issue 48. This is a key book (the first Silver Surfer) and it guides for $1500 in NM- 9.2. Oddly though…the trend does not continue through the Silver Surfer story arc (issues 49 and 50). Notice that there has never been a CGC 9.8 grade assigned to a copy of Fantastic Four 49.
Issue 51 on the other hand, which Overstreet calls out as having a classic Lee/Kirby story, “This Man…This Monster”, also has no 9.8 graded copies, and only 60 copies at 9.0 or higher. This book guides at $425 in 9.2, so if there are high grade copies out there, it would make sense that they would be submitted.
Moving along to issue 59, which is nothing particularly special according to Overstreet, we see another spike to over 350 above 9.0, even though the 9.2 guide price is just $200. Could it be that this spike somehow relates to the Thor 132 spike?? I doubt it, but it is a possibility.
So…what does it all mean? Clearly, if you are trying to put a high grade run (9.6 or better) together for Fantastic Four…you will have a tough road to hoe. Just looking at this set of 14 issues makes that clear. And regardless of your intentions…the data makes it clear that if you come across an issue of Fantastic Four 59 in CGC 9.8, for example, you should expect to pay less for that issue than for issues 58 or 60. It’s simply supply and demand. (For what it is worth, GPAnalysis data does support this conclusion to some extent).
I will continue to expand on this data and see what other things we can conclude. I hope you are enjoying these posts. They are actually a lot of fun to research and to write!
Until next time…
P.S. Looking for Silver Age Fantastic Four comics graded CGC 9.0 or higher?