A year ago I decided to challenge myself with finding and purchasing 3 "modernish" Stan Lee CGC SS 9.8s to invest in. I didn't give this idea TOO much thought but figured purchasing verifiably limited books would not only be a good investment but also make for a great Moron Or Genius video once I had made the purchases.
It turns out I hate making videos so I never got around to doing that part of this "challenge". I did make the purchases though which you can see above. Now that it's a year later I figured I'd revisit them especially since I think there's some solid info I have to share and possible continued investment potential for books related to the third book in the image above.
Book #1 - Squadron Supreme #13. Alex Sanchez 1:25 incentive variant. $316 shipped. This book has a pretty cool Namor cover and only has 31 total 9.8s on the census with a universal label copy selling earlier this year for $450.
With only 1 SS in any grade on the census, the 9.8 I purchased will be the only Stan Lee CGC SS book that will ever exist. That coupled with the fact that Namor will most likely be arriving in the MCU made me think this purchase was a no-brainer.
Obviously Namor has yet to show up in the MCU so the verdict is still out on this book.
Book #2 - New Mutants #100. Second printing. $614 shipped.
This is by far the riskiest purchase of the 3 IMO. I own two other CGC 9.8 non-SS second prints because I really like this book. This purchase is obviously based off the idea that X-Force will arrive in the MCU at some point in the future.
The first print has 1,348 universal 9.8s compared to just 64 of the second print (gold) and 114 of the third print (silver). The first print had a massive print run so I'm sure there are still thousands of first print 9.8 candidates out there. With only 12 CGC SS second print 9.8s on the census, I felt this was a solid pick up.
Obviously Deadpool hasn't arrived in the MCU yet and X-Force would be even further off so I likely won't know how this book will pan out for another 3-8 years.
Book #3 - True Believers: Fantastic Four #48. $565 shiped.
With the Fantastic Four's upcoming arrival in the MCU, the significance and value of FF #48 and the low CGC SS 9.8 numbers of this reprint, I thought this was a great pick up.
While looking at True Believers signed 9.8s, I noticed some have a fairly high 9.8 SS census total like the Amazing Fantasy #15 reprint while others had a relatively low number on the census like this Fantastic Four #48 reprint.
At the time I purchased this, there were quite a few of these 9.8s available on Ebay for most of the books I listed in the image below. Unfortunately I let this high availability convince me not to purchase any others besides this #48 because they have now dried up quite a bit.
Now I did a pretty deep dive with the image below but it lead to me purchasing another True Believers SS 9.8 which has yet to arrive. I figured I'd share the info if you wanted to consider purchasing a Stan Lee SS 9.8. The books I've included below are only a small sample of the number of True Believers reprints out there. Maybe with a bit of effort you can find a good one to buy on your own. And obviously low number Stan Lee SS moderns aren't limited to only these True Believers books.
Here are some things I've come to believe/realize in regards to these True Believers CGC SS 9.8s.
1) Most of these books are based on key issues that have risen pretty significantly in price over the last couple years. In general, I believe that as original first print key issues continue to rise in value, cheaper high grade reprints will become an increasingly desirable alternative. Sticking to Stan Lee CGC SS books dramatically lowers the numbers of available copies and his signature alone gives these books an inherent value universal 9.8s do not have. Finding True Believers reprints for MCU projects that have yet to be announced might be a good idea.
2) Unlike other moderns, there can never be a dump to the census in any grades for these books obviously because Stan Lee has passed and there are little to no lower grade copies to try and crack and press to improve the grade of.
3) These are fairly hard to find now and the issues currently on Ebay only have a copy or two listed. This was not the case a year ago. There was a time when there was 20+ 9.8 SS copies of the AF #15 reprint on Ebay for under $600. Those days are long gone.
In regards to the two images below, the 2nd image is obviously just the data I collected to use in the first image but in spreadsheet form.
The images should be self-explanatory. "Lowest BIN Ebay" means the lowest priced copy currently on Ebay. N/A obviously means not applicable as in there wasn't a sale that year or there are no copies currently listed on Ebay.
Just remember that this is only a small portion of the True Believers reprints out there and like I said above, the scarcity of modern (or any era for that mattter) Stan Lee CGC SS 9.8 books is not only limited to True Believers issues.
The following infomation may not be 100% accurate when it comes to sold amounts and listed copies. The Ebay listing titles for these books vary quite a bit so some may have slipped through that I didn't see in the searches I did.
Prices were taken from GPA which everyone should know by now may not be 100% accurate.