Making Cents of Spidey

Today at noon, “The Amazing Spider-Man #129” ("ASM #129") is set to IPO on Otis. The financials:

  • • Market Cap: $13,000
  • • Number Of Shares: 520
  • • Price Per Share: $25.00

The Amazing Spider-Man #129

The Background

Where Metallica Meets Marvel... you'll find Frank Castle, aka "The Punisher". Published in February, 1974, ASM #129 contains the first appearance of The Punisher. We covered the investment significance of a first appearance last week. Over the years, The Punisher found his way into plot-lines with the likes of Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America, Ghost Rider, The Hulk, Wolverine, and more... the guy got around.

Netflix and Kill... The popularity of big budget superhero/anti-hero films rekindles the affection for a character amongst their existing fan base while promoting recognition to a new audience. This in turn bolsters the demand for a character's first appearance comic book. The same can be said to a lesser extent for TV shows. After initially starring in Netflix's Daredevil Season 2 (2016), Jon Bernthal's Punisher received a spinoff, "Marvel's The Punisher", that was met with notable fanfare. It had a two season stint on Netflix from 2017-2019. Hopes for a third season were dashed when Disney pulled the plug on any further Marvel original content on Netflix in anticipation of Disney+. What we do know is that Spider-Man isn't leaving the MCU, and is slated for another feature film in 2021. It's "The Amazing SPIDER-MAN", after all.

Big Screen Bombs... There have been two attempts to bring Punisher films to the big screen, first in 2004 and again in 2008. The first film brought a 90's action movie nostalgia to it that made it a box office success. The second bombed and looks terrible. Both films received a 29% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. There is no current feature film plan or confirmed MCU involvement for The Punisher that has been revealed publicly, only rumors. It remains to be seen if Frank will be back... with a vengeance... again... to drive the value of his first appearance higher.

Jackal'd Up... ASM #129 also marks the first appearance of a main Spider-Man villain, Miles Warren as The Jackal. If you're a comic book fan, you'll remember and appreciate The Jackal as responsible for the Clone Saga. For the more casual fans: no, The Jackal has not yet made his big screen debut. That's probably because he spliced his genes with the genes of a jackal and his costume looks ridiculous. In ASM #129, The Jackal hires The Punisher to kill Spider-Man. Spoiler: it doesn't happen.

Bronzer… As mentioned last week, the Bronze Age of comic books was a period that lasted from 1970-1985 and introduced darker plots that incorporated more mature themes. 1974’s ASM #129 is widely considered a top 10 Bronze Age comic book.

The Takeaway

Bid/Ask Check… Asking prices for ASM #129 in the same 9.8 grade mint condition range from $15,000 to $25,000 on eBay. The average asking price across the 4 9.8 grade listings is $18,625, 30% above the IPO market cap on Otis. The all-time high sale is $16,730 from April 2018.

Otis bought for $14,000... in 2019. The offering has a market cap of $13,000. In the "Historical Sales" section of the Investment Memo, two sales in March 2020 average to $12,250 (March 3rd: $13,100; March 5th: $11,400). The value appears to be at or slightly below the IPO listing right now.

Punished Since Last Year... Sales of ASM #129 reached a 2019 high of $15,201 in June 2019, with a 2019 average of $13,260. The Investment Memo notes the 1-year average sale price is down 7.6% (from $13,260 down to $12,250).  However, value is up 81.5% when we look at the average 5 years ago ($6,750 across 9 sales in 2015), or 12.7% annualized. Consider this is a long term buy and hold, not an investment you'll look to trade later this year on Otis's upcoming secondary market.

Impact of Last Week... 48 investors bought 500 shares of "Giant Size X-Men #1", which also IPO'd at $25.00/share. It's an average of 10.42 shares per investor. The offering sold out in 1 minute. While this offering may not sell out in 1 minute, you'll need to be prepared to purchase shares on the app at 12 PM EST if you want in. It's the second week in a row that a Bronze Age comic book with first appearances will IPO on Otis, but we don't anticipate that having an impact given the recent rapid sell outs of low market cap assets industry wide and interest in investing in rare comic books.

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