Maximum Carnage

Welcome back comic book investors to Covering The Spread!  This week we are going to have a very narrow focus, but I think it is one that will pay off in the long run.  If anyone hasn't noticed Carnage keys are absolutely on fire right now in the after market.  In fact Amazing Spider-Man 361 is currently selling more graded copies than ASM 300!  So with that in mind let's look at a few other Carnage books that I also think are a great opportunity for investment right now.


Amazing Spider-Man 344

If you want to invest in Carnage books then of course we have to talk about the first appearance of Cletus Kasady.  I have frequently stated in the past that I believe someone's first appearance in costume is the biggest key.  But that doesn't mean an appearance out of costume has no value!  Especially as 361 grows out of the reach of many investors, this book will see more and more interest from collectors.  But that doesn't mean it's a great investment right now so let's look at the numbers!


Average Raw Price 23.22
10 Copies 232.18
Shipping Fees (EST) 100
Grading Fees (EST) 180
Selling Fees 81.40
Total Costs 593.59


9.8 Av Price 9.6 Av Price 9.4 Av Price 9.2  Price
162 74 52 60
2 Copies 3 Copies 4 Copies 1 Copy Total Value
324 222 208 60 814

Not too shabby looking at all!  We are looking at an upfront cost of $512.19 and profits of $220.41.  That's a spread of +22.04 and an ROI of 43%.  This one is very interesting to me because the raw sales seem to be all over the place.  There were sales as high as $48 and as low as $10 which seems to suggest the market hasn't quite decided on this one.  I expect with the way the market has been moving those lower prices won't last long and raws will settle around $30.  Whether you want to grade them or not I think this book is a great investment if the price is right.


Amazing Spider-Man 360

This is a book I've actually talked about briefly in the past.  This is the first “cameo” appearance of Carnage.  “Cameos” are kind of strange to me but I will agree since he is mostly obscured here it isn't really a first full appearance.  However, that doesn't mean it isn't worth investing in.  A lot of the time cameo appearances can make you some good money.


Average Raw Price 17.65
10 Copies 176.48
Shipping Fees (EST) 100
Grading Fees (EST) 180
Selling Fees 83.60
Total Costs 540.075


9.8 Av Price 9.6 Av Price 9.4 Av Price 9.2  Price
156 72 63 56
2 Copies 3 Copies 4 Copies 1 Copy Total Value
312 216 252 56 836

We have upfront costs of $456.48 and profits of $295.93.  That's a spread of +29.59 and an ROI of almost 65%.  With such a big difference in ROI I have to suggest investing in this issue rather than 344, but they are both good books.

Side note before we move on, David Michelinie doesn't get enough credit from the comic community.  He had the 2nd longest run on Spider-Man, only falling behind Stan Lee.  He helped create Venom, Carnage, Scott Lang, Taskmaster, James Rhodes, and Justin Hammer.  Not to mention he co-wrote the “Demon in a Bottle” story arc for Iron Man.  If you see him out a show tell him how much you appreciate his work.


Spider-Man Unlimited 1

If you didn't know I would be discussing this book after the title of the article, shame on you.  This book has a couple things going for it.  First of all it's a “double sized” issue so I think this might be one that's harder to get in very high grade.  Second of all this is the start of the “Maximum Carnage” storyline which is a classic from the 90's.  Full runs of the set have already started to command some decent money, and other issues are doing fairly well.  However for some reason this book just hasn't caught on.

Oh and it's also the first appearance of Shriek.  You know, everyone's favorite Spider-Man villain.  If things keep going the way they have we might see her on the big screen in Marvel's phase 15.


Average Raw Price 5.44
10 Copies 54.40
Shipping Fees (EST) 100
Grading Fees (EST) 180
Selling Fees 46.50
Total Costs 380.90


9.8 Av Price 9.6 Av Price 9.4 Av Price 9.2  Price
68 35 49 28
2 Copies 3 Copies 4 Copies 1 Copy Total Value
136 105 196 28 465

Prices are truly all over the place on this one.  Almost all of the raw sales were under $5 but there was one sale at $13.34 that's bringing up our average.  For 9.8 the highest sale was for $90 and then auctions started ending as low as 46.  This book is nowhere near important enough for you to list on an auctions so use BIN and be patient.

At any rate right now we have upfront costs of $334.40 and profits of $84.10.  That's a small spread of +8.41 and an ROI of just 25 percent.  Normally I would tell you to be buying graded copies when the prices are this low, but I think you're better off with quantity vs quality in this case.

If you buy up all these raw copies that are selling for >$5 I think when Venom 2: Carnage Boogaloo comes out you'll easily be able to double your money.


Well everyone that's all I have for you this week.  What do you think is the best Carnage book to be investing in?  Is buying ASM 361 still worth it with these new prices?  Is one of the books I mentioned today a better investment?  Let me know what you think down in the comments and I'll see you next week!



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    Great write up! ASM #361 is still the way to go for all things Carnage. 9.6 copies are still selling between $150 and $175. Not a huge dent in most bank accounts. Lots of room to grow with that one since we still haven’t even seen Carnage on the big screen. I think ASM #344 has room for the biggest amount of growth. You can still find sold un-graded NM copies for a really good price. Sometimes under $20! Good chance hat will change when the next movie approaches.

  • Avatar

    Great research and article love these write ups, Thank you!

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