7 Most Collectible Comic Books from the 70s You Need to See

The 1970s were a golden era for comic books, with many characters and storylines from that time remaining popular today.

As you flip through pages from this decade, you’ll find some of the most important and collectible comics ever published.

These stories not only entertained readers but also introduced iconic heroes and villains.

If you’re a comic book enthusiast, discovering which 70s comics are the most collectible can be a thrilling journey. Many of these issues have become prized possessions for collectors, with their value continuing to soar.

In this article, you’ll explore seven of the most collectible comics from this influential era.

Enjoy delving into these timeless treasures!

1) The Amazing Spider-Man #129

The Amazing Spider-Man #129 was released by Marvel Comics in 1974.

This issue is famous because it introduced the Punisher, a character who would go on to become a major figure in the Marvel Universe.

In this issue, the Punisher is initially an enemy of Spider-Man.

Fans love this comic for its action-packed story and the start of a legendary character.

Collectors seek out this comic because of its historical significance.

A high-grade copy of this comic can fetch a hefty price.

The current market price for a near-mint condition can be over $20,000.

If you’re serious about comic collecting, this one is a must-have.

2) The Incredible Hulk #181

The Incredible Hulk #181 is one of the most iconic comics from the 1970s.

This issue is famous for the first full appearance of Wolverine.

If you’re into Marvel comics, you know how big of a deal Wolverine is.

This comic came out in November 1974.

Over the years, it has gained massive popularity among collectors.

A near-mint copy can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

The cover art is also pretty eye-catching.

It shows Hulk and Wolverine in an intense battle.

This makes it a must-have piece for any comic book collection.

If you find a copy in good condition, you’re in luck.

The value of The Incredible Hulk #181 keeps climbing, making it a smart investment for comic lovers.

3) Giant-Size X-Men #1

Giant-Size X-Men #1, published in 1975, is a key issue for any serious comic book collector.

This comic marks the first appearance of the new X-Men team, featuring iconic characters like Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus.

The story in this issue, titled “Second Genesis,” reinvigorated the X-Men series after it had been in reprints for a while.

The introduction of these new characters breathed new life into the franchise, making this comic a vital piece of Marvel history.

Collectors highly seek out this issue not just for its importance but also for its potential value.

In top condition, it can fetch thousands of dollars.

If you have a well-preserved copy, it’s worth getting it graded to maximize its value.

Owning Giant-Size X-Men #1 is like holding a piece of comic book history.

Whether you’re a fan of the X-Men or a serious collector, this issue is a must-have for your collection.

4) Iron Fist #14

Iron Fist #14 was published in August 1977.

This comic is highly collectible because it marks the first appearance of Sabretooth, a major Marvel villain.

A key issue, Iron Fist #14 can fetch impressive sums.

A perfect NM/M 9.8 condition copy has sold for as much as $2,500.

Even lower graded copies are valuable.

There are also rare variants, like the 35-cent price variant, which can boost the comic’s value even more.

Collectors treasure this issue for its unique features and significance in Marvel history.

If you are a fan of Iron Fist or Sabretooth, this comic is a must-have for your collection.

Even a well-loved copy can be a prized possession.

5) Marvel Spotlight #5

Marvel Spotlight #5 from 1972 is a key issue in comic book history.

This comic introduced Ghost Rider, also known as Johnny Blaze.

If you’re lucky enough to own this comic, you might be sitting on a treasure.

High-grade copies can fetch huge amounts.

It’s one of the most valuable comics from the 70s.

This comic has a unique cover that stands out.

Collectors love the early appearances and unique artwork.

If you ever come across one in good condition, it’s definitely worth picking up.

Marvel Spotlight #5 also has a special 35-cent variant cover.

This variant is even rarer and can be worth more.

Its value just keeps going up as Ghost Rider remains popular.

6) The New Teen Titans #1

You can’t talk about collectible comics from the 1980s without mentioning The New Teen Titans #1.

This comic debuted in November 1980 and quickly became a hit.

Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, it introduced a new lineup for the Teen Titans, including fan favorites like Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire.

The story is enjoyable and the artwork stands out.

George Pérez’s detailed illustrations bring the characters to life, making every page a treat to look at.

You get to see the team battle powerful enemies and deal with personal challenges, which adds depth to the story.

This issue is especially prized among collectors.

It’s not just because of the new team members, but also because it’s the start of a series that would become a defining part of the 1980s comic scene.

Whether you’re new to collecting or have been at it for years, this comic is a valuable addition.

First editions in good condition can command high prices, especially if graded by CGC.

It’s a key piece that holds its value well, making it a great investment for any comic book fan.

7) Howard the Duck #1

Howard the Duck #1, published in January 1976, is a quirky gem from Marvel Comics.

Created by Steve Gerber and artist Val Mayerik, Howard is an unlikely hero—a talking, anthropomorphic duck from another planet.

This comic stood out in the 70s because of its satirical take on politics and society.

You might find this issue graded at CGC 7.0 or higher, and it can fetch a decent price among collectors.

Howard the Duck isn’t just a comic book; it’s a piece of comic history.

Historical Context

In the 1970s, the comic book market was transforming, with new genres emerging and the rivalry between Marvel and DC intensifying.

These changes impacted which comics became the most sought-after collectibles from that era.

The Comic Book Market in the 1970s

During the 1970s, comic books began venturing into new territory.

Moving away from the superhero dominance of the 1960s, the industry introduced horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres.

Publishers experimented with stories that were darker and more complex.

This period, known as the Bronze Age of Comics, produced many memorable and valuable issues.

As print runs increased and distribution widened, some books became less rare, but those in mint condition remained highly prized.

Marvel vs. DC Rivalry

The competition between Marvel and DC drove innovation and creativity.

Each company aimed to outperform the other with unique characters and storylines.

Marvel captured readers’ imaginations with the introduction of characters like Wolverine in “Incredible Hulk #181” and supernatural themes like Ghost Rider in “Marvel Spotlight #5”.

DC, on the other hand, pushed ahead with stories involving complex villains like Darkseid and teams such as the Justice League.

This rivalry fueled the creation of some of the most iconic comic books of the 1970s, making them highly collectible today.

Key Artists and Writers

This section delves into the contributions of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as well as Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart, who played significant roles in shaping 1970s comic books.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were pivotal in the creation of some of the most iconic comic book characters.

Stan Lee, as the writer, and Jack Kirby, as the artist, collaborated on classic titles like The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and The Incredible Hulk.

Their work redefined the superhero genre, bringing more complex characters and intricate storylines.

Lee’s knack for relatable yet extraordinary heroes, combined with Kirby’s dynamic and groundbreaking art style, resulted in stories that were both visually stunning and emotionally compelling.

This duo’s influence extended beyond the 1970s but their collaboration during that decade laid the groundwork for many beloved modern superhero tales.

Their ability to mix personal drama with epic battles made their comics stand out then and continue to resonate even today.

Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart

Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart are other crucial figures from the 1970s.

Jim Starlin is best known for creating cosmic characters like Thanos and Drax the Destroyer.

His work on titles like Captain Marvel and Warlock introduced readers to deep, philosophical themes and intergalactic adventures, blending psychedelia with superhero action.

Steve Englehart brought a unique touch to his stories with strong character development and complex plots.

He wrote for series such as Doctor Strange, The Avengers, and Captain America.

Englehart was known for tackling social issues within a superhero framework, making his stories both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Together, Starlin and Englehart pushed the boundaries of conventional storytelling in comics, creating richer and more immersive narratives that still hold significance.

Their contributions made the 1970s a transformative period in comic book history.

Investment Potential

Collecting comic books from the 70s can be a great investment.

Understanding why these comics are valuable and how to store them properly is crucial.

Why 70s Comics Are Valuable

The 1970s were a transformative time for comics, often referred to as the Bronze Age.

Here are some reasons why comics from this era hold significant value:

  • First Appearances: Many iconic characters made their debut in the 70s. Incredible Hulk #181, for example, features the first appearance of Wolverine, making it highly sought after.

  • Limited Print Runs: Comics in the 70s often had smaller print runs compared to earlier decades, making them rarer.

  • Cultural Impact: Stories from this decade often tackled social issues, adding historical value. For instance, Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics explored topics like drug addiction.

How to Properly Store Comics

Proper storage is key to maintaining the value of your comic books.

Here are some important tips:

  • Use Mylar Bags: These bags are more durable than regular plastic sleeves and help protect your comics from air and moisture.

  • Backing Boards: Place a backing board inside the Mylar bag to prevent the comic from bending.

  • Climate Control: Store your comics in a cool, dry place. Climate control prevents damage from humidity and extreme temperatures.

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Exposure to sunlight can cause colors to fade. Store your comics in a dark or low-light area.

By focusing on these storage techniques, you can ensure that your valuable 70s comics remain in excellent condition for years to come.

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