Often ignored by collectors, Marvel magazines represent some of the most unique offerings by the publisher in the Bronze Age. They were also the proving ground for many up-and-coming artists who would grow to become fan favorites. Here’s a look at ten Marvel magazines you’ll want as part of your collection.

Savage Tales #1

In 1971, Marvel launched an all-new magazine line featuring comic stories that would fall outside the jurisdiction of the Comics Code Authority. Unfortunately, publisher Martin Goodman wasn’t a fan, and the line was canceled after that first issue – Savage Tales #1.

Featuring Conan, this issue is better known to collectors today as the first appearance of the Man-Thing.

There are 861 graded copies of Savage Tales #1 in the CGC census, making this one of the top Marvel magazines sought by collectors. In the 9.8 grade, prices have dropped precipitously, falling from a high of $37,200 in November 2021 to the most recent sale on June 23 for $11,400.

In the 6.0 grade, the 30-day average stands at $430.

The Savage Sword of Conan #1

By 1972, Goodman was gone, and Marvel began publishing magazines in earnest. Their earliest ventures included many monster magazines, ones focused on the new kung fu craze, and – of course – Conan the Barbarian.

The longest-lived of Marvel’s magazines – lasting until 1995 – began with The Savage Sword of Conan #1, published in July 1974.

Although there are 1,112 graded copies of The Savage Sword of Conan #1, and there has been a recent uptick in price, long term the value hasn’t really budged in the 9.8 grade. The most recent sale on July 20 was for $995. Compare that to the peak price of $1,150 set all the way back in a 2005 Heritage auction, and it’s pretty clear that the trajectory over the past twenty years is fairly flat.

This is definitely one you’ll want to consider buying during one of its many dips if you’re ever looking to sell it down the road.

Marvel Preview #2

One of Marvel’s most popular and enduring Bronze Age creations was the Punisher. In comic books, he was bound by the strictures of the Comics Code but in Marvel’s magazines, he could revel in all his bloody glory.

Marvel Preview #2 featured the Punisher’s origin. Part of a revamp of the magazine line by the publisher, this was one of many magazines focused less on monsters and more on superheroes, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Published in November 1974, there are 756 graded copies, and if you want a 9.8, you’re going to pay a pretty penny. The last recorded sale was for a slashed $3,800 on April 21, down quite a bit from its 2021 peak of $5,640. In the 6.0 grade, even though it's at its peak, you’re looking at a $185 90-day average.

The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19

Marvel’s kung fu magazine standard bearer was The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Featuring stories of Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, and others, it was also the first that 1975 readers saw of the White Tiger as drawn by a young George Perez in the pages of The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19.

There are 238 graded copies and only 12 in the 9.8 grade. One last sold in May 2022 for $3,420, the first sale in more than four years and a nearly five-fold increase over the previous sale. The 6.5 grade holds a current 30-day average of $152.

Now if someone would sell that lone 9.9 graded copy, we’d have an idea of the true value of this magazine.

Marvel Preview #4

Published simultaneously with The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19, Star-Lord made his first appearance in Marvel Preview #4. Nearly forgotten until Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning brought him together with other characters to form a new Guardians of the Galaxy in 2008, the character has gone on to great cinematic fame and is well known to the general public.

Prior to that, however, the character was best known for his appearances in Marvel Preview, some of which were produced by the Claremont/Byrne team that would go on to greatness in the pages of Uncanny X-Men.

There are 1,543 graded copies of Marvel Preview #4, a testament to the character’s popularity, although it’s not hard to imagine a number at least three times that had this first appearance been in the pages of a comic book.

Current values for high-grade copies are on the upswing, with the 90-day average for a 9.8 at $3,335 – up from the one-year average of $2,733.

However, in the mid-grades, values are down: the 30-day average for the 6.5 grade is $154 compared to the one-year average of $214.

Marvel Preview #7

Just a few issues later another future Guardian made his first appearance in the pages of Marvel Preview #7. First dubbed Rocky Raccoon, he would go on to fame as Rocket Raccoon.

While there are fewer graded copies compared to Star-Lord’s first appearance – 838 to be precise – values are much higher. The current one-year average for a 9.8 is $5,990. Of course, that’s what happens when there are only six copies in the grade and only two recorded sales.

In the mid-grades, it’s much more affordable, with a 30-day average for a 6.5 standing at $225.

Marvel Comics Super Special #1

The magazine that proudly proclaimed it was “Printed with real KISS blood,” Marvel Comics Super Special #1 is one of the more unique of Marvel’s Bronze Age offerings and is definitely as much a historical artifact as it is a collectible.

There are 985 graded copies and in the 9.8 grade the last sale occurred in December 2021 for $2,500. It’s likely value has dropped since, and GoCollect has a current FMV of $1,950. In the mid-grades, you’re looking at prices in the $250 range.

Hulk #13

While not the first of the Moon Knight backup features in this series, Hulk #13 is the first issue with the Moench/Sienkiewicz team that would go on to solidify the character as a Marvel mainstay. It is also the first published comic artwork by Sienkiewicz.

There are a scant 112 graded copies with few recent sales. A 9.8 sold in the August 1 Heritage auction for $660, down considerably from the $2,000 paid in April 2022. In the 8.0 grade, the 90-day average is just $76.

Epic Illustrated #1

The last of Marvel’s major magazine series, featuring scifi, fantasy, and horror stories, Epic Illustrated would eventually morph into Marvel’s first creator-owned line of comics. Perhaps best known for the start of Jim Starlin’s Metamorphosis Odyssey, Epic Illustrated #1, published in 1980, is widely regarded as the start of Marvel’s best magazine.

Though its run was relatively short – 34 issues in total - the series would showcase some of the best writers and artists in the field.

There are 262 graded copies of Epic Illustrated #1 in the CGC census. The last sale of a 9.8 was in 2019 for just $90, so we’ve had an entire boom cycle in which no sales occurred, making it difficult to ascertain value in that grade.

In the 9.6 grade, the current 30-day average stands at $250, while prices drop markedly in the 9.4 grade to a 90-day average of only $35.

Marvel Comics Super Special #16

Back in the Bronze Age, when Marvel messed up it was sometimes epic. Take Marvel Comics Super Special #16. This magazine told the entire story of The Empire Strikes Back. Pretty cool to have it all in one magazine, huh? Except Marvel released it before the movie was in theaters, giving away the “Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father” secret.

Needless to say, Lucasfilm was less than pleased.

There are 805 graded copies in the CGC census, a surprisingly lower number than expected considering the prominence of Star Wars in comic collecting. The last sale of a 9.8 was the record high price of $4,449 paid in September 2022. In the 7.5 grade, the 90-day average is just $53.

Honorable Mentions

If you’re looking to expand your collection of Marvel magazines further, here are some others to consider: Vampire Tales #1, Vampire Tales #2, Vampire Tales #8, Tales of the Zombie #1, Planet of the Apes #1, and Epic Illustrated #26.

Do you collect Marvel magazines? What are some of your favorites? Let us know below.

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.