The race to assemble a set of Silver Age Marvel keys is on in earnest this year among vintage Marvel collectors as films like Captain America and Thor are set to bring the characters to new heights of popularity among the general public. Several records have already fallen in 2011 and here's another one: Pedigree Comics has sold a Tales of Suspense #39 CGC 9.4 for $147,500 — a new record for this 1963 issue by Stan Lee and Don Heck with cover by Heck and Jack Kirby. The comic is the first appearance of Iron Man.
There are six copies of the book graded at CGC 9.4 and two graded higher at 9.6. Pedigree Comic's President, Doug Schmell noted that the same collector also acquired an X-Men #1 9.2 for $60,000 and a Journey Into Mystery #83 (first Thor) in CGC 9.0 for $39,500. While not all-time records for those issues, those sales are high water marks for copies in those grades.
Meanwhile, the pending sale of an Avengers #1 9.4 for a record $100,000 at comiclink.com has also been raising eyebrows over the past couple weeks. While it has not officially completed, insiders do expect the transaction to be consummated.
Add these sales to recent records such as an Amazing Fantasy #15 9.6 (first Spider-Man) going for $1,100,000 an Avengers #4 CGC 9.6 going for $91,500, and the first appearance of Wolverine in Incredible Hulk #181 selling for $150,000, and it's been quite a year for high grade vintage Marvel sales so far.