The comic book market used to be the preserve of die hard fans, but with the massive expansion of big hitters like Marvel and DC into the movie game the value of heritage titles are on the rise.
Experts are optimistic about the future of investing, with Vincent Zurzolo of ComicConnect stating in a Bleeding Cool interview earlier this year: "Trickle down economics actually work here.
"People will pay more for low and mid grade copies because they realize that prices will move up."
Top comic book sale of 2014
A CGC 9.0-graded copy of Action Comics #1 (the highest graded specimen known) sold for $3.2m at Heritage Auctions, setting a new world record.
The book kicked off the modern era of comics with the first appearance of Superman, the first fully-fledged superhero. It was bought by dealer ComicConnect in a high profile eBay sale.
Important comic book sales of 2014
A 9.2-graded copy of Hulk #1 (the first appearance of the angry green star of the title) became the most valuable silver age comic book ever sold, in September, achieving $326,000 at ComicConnect.
Another Action Comics #1, with a relatively low CGC grade of 3.0, realised $310,700 at Heritage Auctions in November, the second highest price paid for a 3.0-graded book.
A rare unrestored 9.4-graded copy of Journey into Mystery #83, introducing the wildly popular Thor, realised $275,000 at ComicLink in February.
An Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man's debut) made $191,200 at Heritage in February.
A Flash Comics #1 made $182,000 at ComicConnect in June.
It was a breakout year for…
The comic book industry in general.
The huge number of superhero films released throughout the 2000s has energised the market - a phenomenon Zurzolo explained to Bleeding Cool: "The movies and TV shows help. They make pre-existing collectors excited, and it gives them more confidence in their buying habits.
"Also, I believe that there are several other factors that help even more — low interest rates in banks, the shaky foundation of the real estate market and a still volatile stock market.
"Our business saw an uptick when the recession hit and since then it has only gotten better. People are looking for brands they can trust, tangible assets they know will appreciate."
It was a year to forget for…
Anyone who doesn't like comic books. The extraordinary growth of the superhero genre in film, TV and print has made the sector practically inescapable.