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Friday, January 06, 2023 

A page from the original Secret Wars sells for millions

Even single page drafts from older comics continue to be coveted by speculators, and according to The Value, a page from Secret Wars' 8th issue is the latest to be considered such a big deal. It's the point in the story where Spider-Man's black symbiote costume came about:
Mike Zeck and Others | Marvel Secret Wars Issue 8, Page 25
Created in 1984
Auction House: Heritage Auctions
Auction Date: 13 January 2022
Sold: US$3,360,000

Bidding for the comic book page started at US$330,000. After more than 10 minutes of intense bidding, it was sold at US$3.3 million – more than 10 times the starting price and became the most expensive page of comic art.

This illustration originates from Page 25 of the 1984 Marvel Comics Secret Wars Issue 8. Entitled Invasion, it is part of Marvel's Super Heroes Secret Wars 12-issue comic book series. The story was written by Jim Shooter, with the artwork by Mike Zeck and inks by John Beaty, Jack Abel and Mike Esporito.

[...] The red and blue suit worn by Spider-Man was damaged during the battle. In a laboratory on an alien world, he discovered a machine that can be used to repair battle suits. Unexpectedly, an alien symbiote in the shape of a black ball emerged from the machine. After the machine was activated, the symbiote was attached to Spider-Man's suit, changing it from red and blue to black and white.
Once again, speculators make a joke out of the medium through buying even a single page, and not focusing on the reading value of a story in question. Considering this is one of the first company wide crossovers ever published, Secret Wars is lucky to have some, mainly because it wasn't written as cheap sensationalism like many later crossovers. But even that's not being seen as a big deal to investors who'll doubtless soon be selling off this single page for extra profit.

What this does suggest though, is that stuff from the 1980s, the age of consumerism, is now beginning to be viewed for dollar signs and makes big money on the speculator market, because now, much of that stuff from those years that I'd read in childhood is now 40-50 years old, and who knows? Some stuff from the 90s doubtless is getting there too, even though that decade has stuff that should never be considered a good investment, like the stories written by the awful Gerard Jones, who's currently still in prison for his criminal offenses. Let's hope no speculators and auctioneers overlook that.

Just how much more of this do we have to witness before anybody argues the speculator market's not doing any good? And when will anybody have what it takes to argue the time's come to replace sales of pamphlets and variant covers with paintings to hung on the walls of homes and galleries for a change?

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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