BY MATT TUCK
The impact of Marvel’s newest streaming series was felt throughout the secondary market. Meanwhile, Kang and Avengers #8 maintained its stronghold halfway into August. Let’s analyze the data and see which issues should be on your wish lists.
10. BULLET POINTS #1
Like clockwork, Marvel’s latest Disney+ streaming series has created some new stars on the secondary market. One of those happens to be the surprise entry of a World War II-era Steve Rogers who was not injected with the Miracle Grow of steroids, the super-soldier serum. The undersized and wiry Steve not fit for WWII combat transitioned instead to become this world’s Iron Man. Only in the first episode of What If…?, he goes by the nickname, “Hydra Stomper.”
That has created a market for J. Micheal Straczynski series from 2007, Bullet Points #1. Based in an alternate reality, this version of the Marvel Universe saw Dr. Erskine assassinated the day before Steven Rogers underwent the super soldier process. Here, there was no Peggy Carter to take his place, and Steven opted for the Iron Man experiment. He was then surgically grafted to the suit in a similar fashion to Tony Stark’s comic origin.
This week, raw copies of Bullet Points #1 have experienced an uptick in sales as expected. While values are rising, they are far from expensive. Most of the copies have sold for less than $10.
9. MARVEL AVENGERS CLASSIC #8
With the ballooning prices for Avengers #8, it is no wonder that collectors are looking to alternatives to the first appearance of Kang the Conqueror. Here we have a 2007 reprint of Kang’s debut with modern cover art. Up to this point, it has widely gone unnoticed, but its day appears to be at hand.
While you won’t find any grade sales data for this one, there has been an uptick in sales for the raw copies. Since July, Avengers Classic #8 has been on the move. Although most prices tend to stay near the $30 mark, there have been sales as high as $62 in the past couple of months.
8. STRAY DOGS #1 FCBD BUG VARIANT
The world of Stray Dogs lives on. Although the series ended with last month’s Stray Dogs #5, the movie homage covers keep churning out. It seems like every few weeks, there are more movie poster variants hitting the market, and they almost immediately jump in price thanks to the series’ immense popularity. It makes for a very strong market across the entire spectrum of covers for each issue from the first prints to the, what, twenty-seventh at this point?
That being said, this week saw two more covers hit the market for Free Comic Book Day featuring a prologue to the vents of the main story.
Of course, veteran collectors know there’s little “free” when it comes to FCBD anymore. Most shops require a minimum purchase for the complimentary issues, and that is not to mention the intense markup for would-be keys on the secondary market. In this case, the Bug variant, which is a Jason Goes to Hell homage, has already inflated to $80-$90 for raw copies on eBay.
If you can’t find this “free” comic for Free Comic Book Day, and you don’t want to spend close to the triple digits, there’s also the standard cover. Those have been selling for close to the $5-$10 range, though that seems high for an FCBD giveaway.
7. ENTER THE HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #1 FCBD
Since there is the chance that this could be another independent hit with a strong upside, collectors and investors are willing to spend money on another Free Comic Book Day promotional issue. In this case, the cover art is inspired by James Tynion IV’s mega-hit Something Is Killing the Children #1, and the House of Slaughter story takes place in the world of SIKTC. Since no one wants to be left out on the chance that House of Slaughter is the next SIKTC, these are already selling well on eBay.
Reportedly, House of Slaughter will be a new ongoing series at Boom! Studios, and the indication is that it will crossover with the characters and events from SIKTC at some point. Boom is red hot these days, and now that SIKTC is getting a Netflix adaptation, the values for anything connected to the property is skyrocketing. That will inevitably pass on to ETHOS, which is already averaging $5-$10 for the FCBD edition. It won’t be long before it passes into the $20 range.
6. DOOM 2099 #1
Without warning, this relic from the excess that was the comic industry in the 1990s has suddenly blown up the sales department. While it is not earning large figures, the first appearance of the Marvel 2099 Doom has lit up the raw sales market. The good thing is they are earning around $5 mainly because there are so many to be found. In fact, they are probably littering the dollar-bin boxes at many local comic shops right now.
What’s causing the excitement? First, there was the Easter egg in Loki when a TVA case file on the God of Mischief revealed a sector 2099. The other factor is the coming of Doctor Doom. The bubbling anticipation for Latveria’s favorite dictator has been palpable after Disney purchased Fox and all its properties. At some point, the MCU will introduce Doom, but Kevin Feige and company could be looking for something new and different for Victor. That could point toward Doom 2099 if that corner of the universe is ever explored.
Whatever the reason, collectors have been buying up plenty of copies of Doom 2099 #1. Good for buyers, values remain low for slabbed and unslabbed comics. The last 9.8 sold for $90 on August 13.
5. EXILES #3
The other half of What If…?’s first couple, Captain Carter made a huge splash with MCU audiences. The alternate Agent Peggy Carter sported a Union Jack costume and shield, making her closer to Captain Britain than Captain America, which explains why the show simply avoided the issue and referred to her as Captain Carter. The What If…? showrunners have said that some of the show’s characters and concepts could be used in the canonical MCU, and Captain Carter could be near the top of that list. In fact, the final moments of the episode were a bit of a cliffhanger, and I suspect there will be more to come. That will make this issue that much hotter in the coming months.
All things Peggy Carter are doing well this week. Her early appearances in Tales of Suspense #75 and #77 have been favorites of many collectors, but it’s the debut of Captain Carter in Exiles #3 that has garnered the most attention.
As it is, both the raw and graded copies for the standard cover have been hauling in decent figures this week. The last 9.8 graded slab brought a record $525 on August 11, and another 9.8 earned $500 just four days later. Meanwhile, the game variant at a 9.8 sold for over $1k on August 10.
The cheaper options are definitely the raw copies. The standard cover has been selling for about $50, although one nearly hit the $70 mark on August 15. On the other hand, the game variants even raw are approaching $300.
4. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #21 1:10 RATIO VARIANT
Ever since the first teasers for What If…? began to surface, fans were ready to see the Marvel Zombies featured in the MCU, canonical or not. The anticipation is building, and there are already action figures of Zombie-Hunter Spider-Man and Zombie Captain America being advertised. It is making for a budding market for their first cameo appearance in Ultimate Fantastic Four #21, specifically the variant with Reed Richards staring at his interdimensional doppelganger.
The zombies would go on to be featured in UFF #22, #23, and make their first cover appearance on UFF #30, but it all started here, making it the hottest seller of the lot. Fortunately for collectors, the prices are still very reasonable for the raw copies, most of which are selling for close to $30-$40.
There is more to these escalating prices than just what is to come on Disney+. With the toys on their way, Marvel clearly is predicting a burst of popularity for the Zombies when the hit the animated screen. However, there could be more than just the confines of What If…? for the property. Given the many dimensions and timelines crisscrossing the MCU, it could lead to at least a live-action cameo for the Marvel Zombies.
3. AVENGERS #8
Sales for Avengers #8 are not as strong as they were in July, but that does not take away from this issue’s immense popularity among collectors and investors. The first appearance of Kang the Conqueror, this issue has been soaring since Jonathan Majors made his big reveal in the climax of Loki. Since Marvel previously announced that Majors would be playing Kang in the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it appears Kang the Conqueror’s official MCU debut is at hand. With Kang and his variants poised to be the next overarching threat to the greater MCU, this issue will continue to climb for the foreseeable future.
Most of the sales action has been in the lower grades and the mid-pack contenders. A 4.5 sold for $1,080 and $1,113 both on August 8. This time last year, that same grade averaged less than $400. Last week, a 5.0 brought a record $2,275 on August 8 after its 2020 FMV was $479.
2. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #32
After Spider-Woman was cast for the animated Into the Spider-Verse sequel, it has made Jessica Drew’s first appearance in high demand. Marvel Spotlight #32 has been hot for the past couple of years. After all, Sony announced soon after Spider-Verse that the company would be working on a female-centric sequel, and fans immediately leaned toward the original Spider-Woman as the movie’s likely star.
While we don’t know anything about the plot or who will be the protagonist for the second Spider-Verse, there is no doubt that she will have a featured portion of the spotlight. That will keep values on the move until we see her in a trailer. Plus, there is always the chance that Jessica Drew could get her own animated or live-action spinoff. These days, Sony is rumored to have projects for many female characters in the Spider-Verse in the works. Why not Spider-Woman?
Whether it is raw copies or graded slabs, there have been numerous sales all month, particularly for the past week, and there are no signs of them slowing down anytime in the near future. Earlier this month, a 9.8 sold for $4,475, which is down from the new record of $6,500 set in June.
1. WHAT IF…? #1
Is there any surprise that this would be the hottest comic in all the realm? The Disney+ show debuted this past week, and it has proven to be a hit after only the first episode. Naturally, that has sparked interest in the series’ 1977 debut, and it has pushed What If…? #1 to the top of the collecting wish lists. What will make this comic even more valuable will be when the first characters and stories begin trickling into the canonical MCU, which is all but confirmed to happen.
Like many of the issues on today’s rankings, What If…? #1 is not commanding an exaggerated price tag just yet. Anticipated lower-grade raw copies can be found for as little as $10, while even the higher quality issues are selling for closer to $60.
Where the big money comes into play is the graded 9.8s. The last three sales have all been for $1k or more, and the most recent sold for $1,200 on August 9. Still, if you simply want a piece of the action while the price tags are reasonable, take a close look at the 8.0. Based on this month’s sales, you can have a copy of your very own for $215.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.