BY MATT TUCK
Image’s Tokyo Ghost is being adapted into a movie, and that has investors and speculators smelling blood in the water.
Only yesterday, it was announced that Cary Fukunaga would helm the movie for Legendary Entertainment, and the sales volume has been through the roof as a result. According to Key Collector Comics, copies of Tokyo Ghost #1 have increased by an astronomical 1,500% over the past week.
WHAT IS IT?
I will be honest here; while I have heard of Tokyo Ghost, I have never read a single issue. As a colossal X-Men fan (pun intended), I rank Rick Remender’s run on Uncanny X-Force among the best in the history of the X-Men. When I saw his name on the credits, Tokyo Ghost immediately gained credibility in my eyes. Now I am interested.
According to the blurb on the Image Comics site, it is set in a bleak future (aren’t they all? Are any fun stories ever set in a wonderful, happy future where everything turned out great? Maybe the Wild Stallions future from Bill & Ted…) that is clearly a social commentary on our cultural obsession with technology. But the satire doesn’t end there. Millennials, you have been skewered as the comic features “a population of unemployed leisure seekers” and the only thing worth living for is a virtual high.
That leaves the tale to our protagonists, Los Angeles Constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay, who are on a mission to “take down the last tech-less country on earth: the Garden Nation of Tokyo.” If the irony of that statement is lost on you, God help us all.
Now that Tokyo Ghost is on its way to live action, investors and speculators have smelled blood in the water, and we can expect prices for Tokyo Ghost #1 to skyrocket into the year 2089. But for the time being, the raw copies are still very much affordable unless eBay is going full WandaVision on its trolling.
Judging by the completed sales listings, the standard edition is selling for anywhere in the $30-$50 range at the moment, which is not too bad considering that a graded 9.8 sold for $170 on Wednesday.
Wouldn’t you know that this comic has at least seven different covers to choose from? Besides the standard edition, there is the New York Comic Con sketch cover, the Diamond Retailer Summit edition, another sketch cover, the Image Comics Giant-Sized Artists Proof Cover, and the Sean Murphy variant cover.
Instead of detailing the FMVs for every one of those, I will hit the high points here. The Murphy variant, which had sold just once last year for $66, brought $200 on March 24 at a 9.8. The NYCC variant did not have a single sale in 2020, but it did average $72 over three sales in 2019. But someone must have seen the writing on the wall for the Tokyo Ghost movie deal because a graded 9.8 brought $200 in January. However, eBay’s recent figures for raw copies have it selling in the $100 range.
The other edition worth noting is the sketch cover. We can expect impressive figures whenever a 9.8 sells because there have only been two eight total sales (none last year), and it averaged $127 in 2019. I imagine we will see a 9.8 sketch cover swap owners soon, and that $127 will adjust for current market inflation.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
The comic market never sleeps. Investors are already pouncing on this one, and it will not be long until the FMVs are completely ridiculous. Whether or not they will hold those values is anyone’s guess, but it is always fun to take the gamble and see if it pays off.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.