BY MATT TUCK
Kraven and the Eternals ruled the roost, but Mech Cadet Yu and a Moon Knight villain charged forward in this week’s top 10.
10. X-MEN #100
Let’s kick off this week’s top 10 with some Bronze Age goodness.
Here we have one of the more iconic 1970s X-Men covers with the original X-Men on one side colliding with the all-new, all-different team from Giant-Size X-Men #1. It’s not like Marvel hadn’t done this prior to X-Men #100. Practically every time two teams met for the first time in the Silver Age, it was drawn in a very similar manner. Still, the big selling point here is that it puts the old versus the new.
This month, X-Men #100 has been registering significant figures. The 9.6 hauled in nearly $2k on May 17, and a 9.4 is approaching $1k after an $850 sale on May 26. It didn’t break any records, but a 9.2 sold for over $500 earlier this week. Then there was an 8.5 that earned $339 on May 25. While this comic is appealing for classic X-Men fans, there’s not much that makes it a major key despite these high prices. What this does is make a bigger comment on the soaring popularity of all the early Chris Claremont-era X-Men issues.
9. HARDCORE #1 (2012)
While we are not seeing many graded sales quite yet, the raw copies of Top Cow’s Hardcore #1 are quickly gaining momentum. That is thanks to Universal Studios’ announcement that the obscure Robert Kirkman/Marc Silvestri title is getting the live-action treatment. Considering the mainstream success Kirkman has had with The Walking Dead and more recently Invincible, it is understandable that speculators are snatching up copies of the 2012 premiere issue.
Although the Hardcore Program made its debut in Pilot Season: Declassified #1, most collectors and investors are aiming for Hardcore #1, vol. 1. Both the standard cover and the sketch variant’s prices are creeping upward, but they are not terribly expensive just yet. Generally speaking, the raw copies appear to be in the $25-$50 range. For more on Hardcore, check out Spec Alert: Hardcore #1.
8. MOON KNIGHT #188
The excitement for the upcoming Moon Knight Disney+ series is palpable. With every social media post from either the cast or crew, it sends ripples through the fair market values on all those Moon Knight keys. Just a post from Oscar Isaac about his training for the role had fans drooling. That’s precisely why Moon Knight #188 from 2016 has become such a hot issue to own.
The latest speculation centers on the show’s villain. While nothing has been fully revealed, a viral set photo of Ethan Hawke has spurred the idea that he will be playing Moon Knight antagonist the Sun King, the avatar of the Egyptian god, Ra.
Since fans have waited so long for a Moon Knight announcement, they are antsy for any news, so it makes sense that prices are jumping for MK #188. The Daniel Warren Johnson 1:25 ratio variant at a 9.8 has sold for as much as $500 this year, and it brought $417 on May 23. There is also the lenticular cover, which earned a record $140 on May 24. There has not been a sale of a 9.8 standard edition since 2018, but I feel sure that is coming soon.
7. MECH CADET YU #1
Once again, Mech Cadet Yu #1 has found its way into the top-10 comics. It’s for good reason as prices for all the cover variants are on the move with no indication of slowing down now that Netflix is developing an animated series based on the comic.
This one is written by the creator of the Totally Awesome Hulk, Greg Pak, and even the BOOM! Studios Mech Cadet Yu summary basically describes it as Amadeus Cho meets Pacific Rim. The story follows Frankie Yu, who looks suspiciously like Ash Ketchum from Pokemon, as he bonds with a sentient alien robot to battle more aliens intent on conquering Earth.
Raw copies of the standard cover are selling for around $40, though one brought $75 only days ago. As far as the graded copies, the subscription edition at a 9.8 sold for $238 this month when it was a $61 comic in 2019. The unlocked retailer variant, also at a 9.8, earned $300 on May 20 when you could have bought it for $44 last year.
6. ETERNALS #3
Ikaris and Sersi stole the show in the new Eternals trailer, and that has collectors gunning for her first appearance in Eternals #3. Of course, anyone who knows much about the Eternals already predicted that Sersi would be a major part of the plot. After all, she is one of the principal characters in the numerous comic series.
Across the board, Eternals #3 is lighting up the market. While the 9.8 did not break any records, it managed to come within five dollars of the mark with a May 24 sale of $1,295. At the same time as that sale, a 9.6 surpassed its previous high with $575.
The best part here is that Sersi’s debut is an Eternals key that is still affordable, at least in the lower grades. Even with the inflation from the trailer, a 5.5 is selling for just $59. However, with a 6.0 recently bringing $100, those prices are bound to escalate at any moment. If you have been looking for a mid-grade copy for a cheaper price, don’t hesitate to buy one before they get too pricey for the quality.
5. WATCHMEN #1
Between HBO’s groundbreaking Watchmen series and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock comic series, the Watchmen have been brought up to speed in modern culture. As skeptical as I was, both the series and the characters’ inclusion into the DC Universe embraced the core of Alan Moore’s 1986 masterpiece while expanding on the mythos. By the time both the HBO and the comic series came to an end, I wanted more. Apparently, so did many other fans.
Originally, the Watchmen showrunners were adamant that there would be no second season for the show. Audiences would be left wondering if Regina King’s Sister Night did or didn’t gain Doctor Manhattan’s powers in the final episode. However, there is a rumor circulating that HBO and DC Entertainment are debating on a second season after all. That has sent collectors on a spending spree for the first issue.
All the speculation has pushed the Watchmen #1’s FMVs skyward. A 9.8 went for $998 on May 24 followed by $950 the next day. Although there are still plenty of sales, the prices drop significantly for anything below that 9.8. The 9.6 last sold for $210, and the FMVs dip into the $100 range beginning with the 9.2. For a fan on a budget, that is good news because it means you can still get a very nice copy without taking out a loan.
4. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300
With so much news coming left and right, last week’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer debut feels like it was a lifetime ago when it was a little over two weeks. In the digital age, things grow old quickly, and that Carnage debut is now a relic compared to the Eternals and Kraven the Hunter news. Still, fans are flocking to Venom’s first appearance in droves, and it is still experiencing a massive price spike, though things are beginning to cool. The 9.8 remains in the $7k-$8k range, but the most recent sale was for $6,800. A 9.6, which had hit $3,601 on May 11 last sold for $2,200 on May 22.
If you look closely at the FMVs for all the ASM #300 grades, you will see a similar trend. While it is still selling massive volumes, hence its place among the hottest comics, it is more maintaining those elevated prices rather than pushing the envelope. In all fairness, it would be tough for any comic to keep selling for too long at those inflated May 10 prices.
3. AVENGERS #48
Riding the high of the Eternals trailer is the modern Black Knight’s first cover appearance. In the footage, we catch a brief glimpse of Kit Harrington sans costume. His role in the film was made official years ago, and seeing his face was no shocker. That helps explain why prices aren’t necessarily shocking...yet. The real test of this issue’s popularity will be when we finally get to see Kit in his full Black Knight costume. That is when I suspect the values will shoot through the roof.
Meanwhile, Avengers #48 is hauling in plenty of sales. Close to the same time as the Eternals trailer dropped, a 3.5 set a new high of $397 on May 25. The day before, a 4.5 sold for a record-setting $825 while a 5.0 reached $331 for the first time. Toward the top of the grades, an 8.0 garnered attention with a $1,600 sale, and an 8.5 sold for $2,250.
2. ETERNALS #1
If you were waiting for the right moment to sell your Eternals key issues, now is the time.
The first official trailer instantly went viral, amassing a reported 77 million views in only 24 hours. Of course, this is a major Marvel Studios production, so it really is not a surprise, but that is a huge figure even by Marvel’s standards. That has sent Eternals #1 into the stratosphere as those first trailers often do.
Virtually every single grade of Eternals #1 is setting the collecting world on fire. Of course, even the comic faithful still aren’t completely sure who or what the Eternals are, but that is beside the point. For that matter, the intrigue could be leading to these ever-increasing values. It won’t be long before the 9.8 crosses into $4k territory and never looks back. Well, at least not until after the movie hype dies down. For the time being, if you have been waiting for a moment to sell your Eternals #1 for a premium, it is upon you.
1. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15
The big news this week was Sony’s announcement of a Kraven solo film. There have been rumors of Kraven getting the live-action treatment for years. In fact, it goes all the way back to speculation that he would be one of several villains in a proposed fourth Sam Raimi Spider-Man film from the original franchise in the early 2000s. More recently, talk began when Kraven was rumored to be the villain for Black Panther 2. After that, there was gossip that he would appear in one of the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming films as part of the Sinister Six.
Although the news is only a day old, we are already seeing the market impact. Just yesterday, a 3.0 sold for an astounding $1,300, shattering its previous record of $976 set in April. On the same day, a 4.0 twice broke its own record high, first with a $1,500 sale then passing that mark with $2k. Before this year, it had never sold for more than $975.
Yesterday’s record-breaking numbers don’t stop there. A 4.5 brought $2,500, a 5.0 hit $2,100, and a 5.5 reached $2,350. At this pace, virtually every grade will be setting new records by the day for the immediate future.
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.