Most valuable Marvel comics you might find in your closet

If you collected comics in the early '90s, we're very sorry. The death of Superman, the breaking of Batman, and the rise of Image Comics were all pretty important and exciting events in comics history, but despite being awesome, your '90s funnybooks are pretty much worthless today. There are, however, a few exceptions wedged into your longbox of Gen 13 variant covers.

For the purposes of this list, we're using values based on recent auctions and assuming that your closet isn't some Narnian portal that opens up into a 1960s comic store; we're going to assume that everything you can find in your closet could be purchased at your local comic shop, and was published during the late '80s and beyond. Mail-away incentives, super-limited editions, and graded copies have no place among your sweaty socks and fifth grade art projects anyhow. So what are some of the most valuable Marvel comics you might find in your closet?

Transformers #113 (1988), UK edition

You might have to hop across the pond to find this one in your closet, but given the universal popularity of shape-changing robots, it's not unlikely that this issue might have found its way around the world. Marvel U.K.'s Transformers #113 is the first mainstream comic appearance of Death's Head, an unusual cult favorite robot that has canonically crossed borders with Marvel, Transformers, and even Doctor Who. In the U.S., Marvel's Transformers ran for 80 issues, but Marvel U.K.'s version included all-new stories in addition to reprints, and ran for an amazing 332 issues. Even though the surrounding issues aren't worth much, the first appearance of Death's Head will net you an average of $100.

Amazing Spider-Man #569 (2008), 2nd printing

As one of Marvel's most popular heroes, this isn't the first time you'll see Spider-Man on this list, but it's relatively rare to see a recent, common comic shoot up in value like this. Amazing Spider-Man #569 marks Eddie Brock's first appearance as Anti-Venom, a brand new take on Marvel's symbiote family. If you had this book on your pull list, the first printing is worth about $25 today. If you happened to get the later second printing, with the Anti-Venom reveal on the cover, it's worth a lot more—a well-preserved copy will score you around $125 bucks.

Incredible Hulk #377 (1994), 3rd printing

Between the pages of Incredible Hulk #377, Bruce Banner and various Hulks wage war against one another within the landscape of Banner's troubled mind. As much fun as seeing an all-Hulk jamboree might be, it's the neon green and pink cover of this classic that's truly iconic. Illustrated by Dale Keown (who'd go on to create the Hulk-like Pitt for Image Comics), it's not even the first printing of this comic that's worth big bucks, since the standard green cover is worth about a dollar. This issue of Incredible Hulk was popular enough to get a third printing, with a yellow cover to distinguish it from the original. If you stuck around long enough to pick up this later release, ungraded copies sell for an average of $125 today.

New Mutants #87 (1990)

First appearances are big business. Comic collectors are never sure if a throwaway character might become the next big thing, especially in the speculative era of the '90s, when new characters sprouted up in every issue and "comic investors" collected any comic they could find.

A very rare example of a '90s comic that went up in value due to a character appearance is New Mutants #87. Despite readers suffering from mutant fatigue, Marvel powered on through multiple books tangential to the X-Men. During this mutant x-travaganza, they introduced Cable, the time-traveling, techno-armed son of Cyclops. As an ironic representation of everything that went wrong with '90s comics, Cable's mysterious backstory, endless pouches, giant guns, and bad attitude made him a cult favorite. His first comic appearance, aided by the fact that he'll be on the big screen in Deadpool 2, is worth an average of around $160 today.

Captain Marvel #17 (2013), 2nd printing

Once again, good things come to those who wait. Captain Marvel #17 isn't the first appearance of the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan; Marvel confirmed that she actually appears in a panel in issue 14. It's not even the first appearance of Ms. Marvel in costume; she's only on the final page in a t-shirt. It is, however, the first appearance of Ms. Marvel on a comics cover… if you waited for the second printing. Marvel didn't want to spoil the big reveal of their newest hero, so they kept the good stuff for the comic's second run. After she became a fan favorite, her big comic-cover debut shot up to around $230.

New Mutants #98 (1991)

Again with the mutants. There weren't a lot of hugely popular characters that made their debut in the '90s, but if there's one exceptional standout, it's Deadpool. And that's not to say his debut was great, because it wasn't. At his start, Deadpool was nothing more than a lazy ripoff of DC's Deathstroke, with none of the history, style, or charm. As time went on, however, Deadpool evolved into a character who became acutely aware of how ridiculous comics are as a creative medium, and took full advantage of everything illustrated heroes could offer. His first appearance in New Mutants #98 now brings in big bucks: an average of around $250.

Nyx #3 (2005)

Marvel's Nyx series was not standard superhero fare, mostly because it didn't really involve any known superheroes. Instead, the series focused on teenagers who happened to have powers. Pair that with covers that look like obnoxious kids on their way to a rave and issues that often shipped many months apart, and you have a series destined for failure. While Nyx only lasted seven issues, its third issue introduced X-23 to the Marvel Comics universe (after first appearing in the animated series X-Men: Evolution). As a breakout character with ties to Wolverine, and an appearance in Logan, her first appearance in Nyx #3 is worth an average of $350.

Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1988)

It's the perfect combination: a cover by Todd McFarlane, a landmark publishing milestone, the first full appearance of Eddie Brock as Venom, and Spider-Man returning to his classic red-and-blue costume after a long time in the black suit. In many ways, Amazing Spider-Man #300 was the turning point in Spider-Man's history, making it a book beloved not only for its value, but also its story. A solid copy will net you around $350.

Marvel Collectible Classics ASM #300 (1998)

You know you're a '90s kid if the word 'chromium' still gives you tingles. And while fancy metallic, holographic, and other gimmicky covers of the '90s arguably killed comic collecting, a rare few actually went up in value. Case in point: the Amazing Spider-Man #300 edition of Marvel Collectible Classics. Published ten years after the original, and with a fancy chromium cover, ASM #300 was popular enough to warrant a reprint that was probably available at your local comic shop for a slightly premium price. Only 3300 copies were printed, making it a relatively uncommon book, but if you grabbed one of these in 1998, you'd be $500 richer today.

Venom Lethal Protector #1 (1993), black cover error

It's probably no surprise to '90s kids that Venom is in the top three most valuable books on this list. Five years after making his villainous debut, Venom decided to do what every other comic character in the '90s was doing: become an edgy anti-hero. Somehow, it worked out better for him than anyone else who'd tried it at the time, and Venom's been wavering between good and evil ever since.

But because this was the '90s, his heroic debut in Venom: Lethal Protector just had to come wrapped in a shiny red cover. Unfortunately for Marvel, their printers had a heck of a time getting all their fancy covers right, and the era is littered with printing errors. While many fudged printings were scrapped, leaving only a few odd copies released into the world, over 500 copies of a Lethal Protector #1 cover printed in all black found their way into the wild, making it a rare, but not-altogether-unlikely thing might've found at your comic shop in 1993. Today, it's worth about $1,000.