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The Basics of Collecting Marvel Comics

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Marvel has hundreds of different characters and thousands of different titles, giving you plenty of different series to choose from. Here’s a guide to some some of the biggest characters and the titles you should keep an eye out for when going between comic shops, garage sales, or cleaning out your basement/attic. While key issues are listed, other issues of these series might also be good to collect.

Spider-Man

The top dog for Marvel collectors. Amazing Fantasy No. 15, with the first appearance of Spider-Man, is the most expensive Marvel comic ever sold. You should also keep an eye out for the Amazing Spider-Man series, especially issues #1-129, 238, and 282-328. The Spectacular Spider-Man magazine #1 & 2 from 1968 are good finds, as well as the Spectacular Spider-Man comic, especially issues #1, 2, 27, and 28.

X-Men

Whether it’s the success of the movies or the versatility of the world, key issues from the many X-Men series are sought after by collectors around the world. From The X-Men, look for issues #1-20, 35, 94, 100, and 141. Giant-Size X-Men is another good series, especially #1 & 2, as well as Uncanny X-Men, especially #142, 143, and 266.

Also for X-men fans, keep an eye out for The Incredible Hulk numbers #180, 181, and 182. These are the first appearances of Wolverine, who was originally a Hulk villain.

The Avengers

Outside of the Avengers, each of the heroes has their own comics, and, for the most part, these are the more collectible and valuable issues. These have seen large surges of late, probably due to the recent movie successes.

For Iron Man, look for Tales of Suspense (39, 40, 41, and 48), Iron Man and Sub-Mariner (1), Iron Man (1-10, 55), and The Avengers (1-20, 57, and 100).

Captain America has been around since the 1940s, and recently became a lot more popular. Anything with a 10¢ cover price is good to grab, including: Captain America Comics (Any), All-Select Comics (1-10), All-Winners Comics (1-10), and Marvel Mystery Comics (80-92). Other good finds have 12¢ covers, including Captain America (1-10, 55), The Avengers (4), and Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos (13).

If you’re collecting Thor, look for: Journey into Mystery (83-100, 109, and 112), Thor (especially 126), and The Avengers 12¢ edition (1-20, 57).

For the Hulk, look for these titles: The Incredible Hulk (1-6, 102, and 180-182), The Avengers 12¢ edition (1-3, 5), Fantastic Four (12, 25, 26, and 112), Amazing Spider-Man (14, 119, and 120), and Tales to Astonish (59-101).

The Fantastic Four

While they’re not the most popular group right now, the Fantastic Four are still Marvel heavy-hitters, and have been for decades. Early issues of these long-standing favorites are especially prized. Keep your eyes out for: Fantastic Four (1-30, 48-50, 55-60, 72, 100, 112, and the first 3 Annuals), Amazing Spider-Man (1,5, and 8), and The Avengers first issue.

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