First Ghost Rider in Marvel Spotlight #5 Goes for Record $264,000

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A Marvel Spotlight #5 CGC 9.8 White pages has just closed at today’s session of this week’s Signature Auction from Heritage for a record $264,000.  This is the highest price ever paid for a copy of Marvel Spotlight #5, and likely the highest price ever paid for a comic book from the Bronze Age.  The 1972 comic book from Marvel is the first appearance of the Johnny Blaze version of Ghost Rider, with story by Gary Friedrich and Roy Thomas, and cover and artwork by Mike Ploog.

Marvel Spotlight #5 featuring Ghost Rider, Marvel Comics 1972.
Marvel Spotlight #5 featuring Ghost Rider, Marvel Comics 1972.

The comic has surpassed other Bronze Age heavyweights like Giant-Size X-Men #1 (first appearance of the new X-men) and Incredible Hulk #181 (first full appearance of Wolverine) in value in recent times because it is generally considered to be much more difficult to obtain in high grade.  By way of comparison, there are only 4 entries for Marvel Spotlight #5 listed on the CGC Census in CGC 9.8 and none higher, compared to 195 entries for Giant-Size X-Men #1  in CGC 9.8 and 127 entries of Incredible Hulk #181 in CGC 9.8, and one entry in CGC 9.9.  An Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 9.9 sold for $150,000 in 2011, while a Giant-Size X-Men #1 CGC 9.8 just sold for $72,000.

The Ghost Rider and Spirit of Vengeance archetype has more history behind it than most fans realize, and has been a part of the American pop culture landscape in various forms since the 19th century.

Marvel Spotlight #5 featuring Ghost Rider, Marvel Comics 1972.
Marvel Spotlight #5 featuring Ghost Rider, Marvel Comics 1972.

Marvel Spotlight #5 Ghost Rider (Marvel, 1972) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages. A Bronze Age key that’s famously tough to find in NM/MT condition. It’s the origin and first appearances of the Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider (aka Johnny Blaze), and his love interest, Roxanne Simpson. To date, this one of the only four copies to have ever received a 9.8 grade from CGC! The book is currently listed in the #8 position on Overstreet’s Top 25 Bronze Age Comics list, and it’s important to note that the last NM/MT 9.8 copy to be auctioned (in October of 2016) went for an astounding $48,500! We expect great things from this impressive copy as well. The great Mike Ploog is responsible for the cover and interior art for the issue. Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $2,800. CGC census 4/21: 4 in 9.8, none higher. From the Oregon Coast Collection.

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