CGC Average Market Capitalization (CGCAMC): 2020 – 2015 – 2010

This is the second article on the topic of CGC Average Market Capitalization (CGCAMC). The introductory article was published in November 2020 at this link. < >

As a brief review, the CGCAMC is the calculation of a total dollar amount for the number of CGC graded copies for a comic book multiplied by the average price for the average CGC grade of that comic book. It does not represent the total value of all copies of a comic book, but it does provide a result that allows comparison between comic books which may be very different values with very different numbers of copies graded.

There are three comic books considered by many to be the “Big Three” for the comic book market for their first appearances of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. The CGCAMC calculation for the “Big Three” books provides a way to compare these books directly to each other, despite the vast differences in the individual sale prices and the differences in the number of CGC graded copies.

CGCAMC (N x P) calculations for the “Big Three” comics, as of mid-2020:

Action Comics #1 (1938) – 72 copies multiplied by $590,000 (CGC 4.10 average) = $42,480,000

Detective Comics #27 (1939) – 69 copies multiplied by $555,000 (CGC 4.86 average) = $38,295,000

Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) – 3,340 copies multiplied by $18,400 (CGC 3.52 average) = $61,456,000

Each sale of average copies of Action Comics #1 or Detective Comics #27 draws attention with prices above $500,000. Much less attention (if any) is given for the sale of an average copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 at a price of $20,300. However, the number of CGC graded copies of Amazing Fantasy #15 multiplied by the price of an average graded copy exceeds the same CGCAMC calculation for both Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27.

The application of the CGCAMC calculation as of mid-2020 produced a “Top 25 CGCAMC List” as shown below. The Top 25 CGCAMC values span fifty years from 1938 to 1988, showing that the Golden Age may always dominate individual sale prices, but any era has the potential to reach the “biggest books” list when it comes to the CGCAMC calculation.

The total dollars represented by the Top 25 CGCAMC books for mid-2020: $498,942,550

Historical CGCAMC Calculations

Looking back five years, the averages prices and the CGC Census numbers were lower. Amazing Fantasy #15 was the third-highest CGCAMC calculation at the time, at $27,310,500, which is less than half of the mid-2020 CGCAMC total of $61,456,000. Both Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 increased since mid-2015, but not at the same rate at Amazing Fantasy #15.

The total dollars represented by the Top 25 CGCAMC books for mid-2015: $240,200,200

Included among the Top 25 CGCAMC in mid-2015 are Detective Comics #31, Action Comics #7, Avengers #4, Whiz Comics #2 (#1), Wonder Woman #1, and Strange Tales #110, which did not make the Top 25 in mid-2020. The CGCAMC calculation did increase for all of these comic books between mid-2015 and mid-2020, but other books increased more quickly and rose into the Top 25 ahead of these books. Most notably, Fantastic Four #48 was in 37th place in mid-2015 and in 17th place in mid-2020. Amazing Spider-Man #300, Fantastic Four #5, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, and All-Star Comics #8 moved into the Top 25 by mid-2020 after being below that level in mid-2015.

Looking back even further, to mid-2010, the Top 25 CGCAMC calculations were:

The total dollars represented by the Top 25 CGCAMC books for mid-2010: $72,427,930

Detective Comics #27 briefly held the top spot in mid-2010, but historically, Action Comics #1 has held a higher individual value than Detective Comics #27 with slightly more copies of Action Comics #1 which have been CGC graded. All-American Comics #16 is the highest mid-2010 CGCAMC calculation which is not found in the mid-2015 or mid-2020 Top 25 lists. Amazing Spider-Man #14, Detective Comics #29, and Detective Comics #33 are also present in the mid-2010 Top 25 CGCAMC list, but not included among the Top 25 for mid-2015 or mid-2020.

A side-by-side listing of all books to make the Top 25 CGCAMC list in any of the years profiled results in the following table sorted by the mid-2020 CGCAMC values:

Red values are used for books outside the Top 25 CGCAMC calculation for the specified year.

The next article in this CGCAMC evaluation will review the Top 25 CGCAMC calculations for the end of year 2020, with significant changes expected for Amazing Spider-Man #300 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. Both comics from the 1980s have seen significant price increases in the second half of 2020. Because Amazing Spider-Man #300 is the most submitted comic book to CGC, any changes in the price have a dramatic effect on the CGCAMC calculation. The second-most submitted comic book to CGC is New Mutants #98, which did not make any of the Top 25 CGCAMC calculation lists thus far but has been steadily rising and is expected to debut in the end-of-year 2020 chart.

About the Author

gregholland.png Greg Holland has collected comic books for over 30 years and has been the administrator of the CGC Census Analysis website since 2003, currently located at He is the 1999 founder of the website and the 2004 message board. Dr. Holland holds a Ph.D. in information quality from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has held data science positions as research director, analyst, and administrator for government, corporations, and university. Active on the CGC Forums as ‘valiantman’ since 2002, he is also a 15+ year advisor to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and contributor to later editions of the Standard Catalog of Comic Books. Greg resides in Arkansas, USA, with his wife of 23 years and their daughter.

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