BY MATT TUCK
The secondary market revolved around the young stars of the MCU and DCEU as a couple of Kate Bishop and Jason Todd key issues trended across the collecting community this week.
10. ACTION COMICS #252
There could be a new Supergirl show in the works. The big rumor making the rounds is that she will be starring in her own live-action HBO Max series.
Wait. Isn’t there already a CW Supergirl show? Yes, there is. While the Arrowverse Supergirl has a devoted audience, the rumored HBO Max show should be much bigger in scope and budget. According to the gossip, the proposed show would be another DC property to spin out of an upcoming movie. It was only a couple weeks ago that WarnerMedia confirmed that Colin Farrell would star in a Penguin HBO Max series that is directly connected to Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Likewise, Sasha Calle will take her Supergirl character from The Flash straight to her own series. Since this is HBO Max, we can assume it will be R-rated as most of their properties tend to be.
Kara Zor-El has been a fan favorite for decades, and her followers will be ready for an upgrade in quality from the CW’s effects budget. If confirmed, the news will be a boon for the Supergirl market. As it stands, the first comic collectors will want is Supergirl’s first appearance in 1959’s Action Comics #252. Anytime there is a Golden Age key issue with a first appearance, prices are going to be high. The most recent graded sale was on September 12 when a 1.8 sold for $931.
9. HIT-MONKEY #1 SECOND PRINT
Hit-Monkey took the world by surprise this week when the trailer for his adult cartoon dropped online. The footage was filled with mature jokes and plenty of blood and gore. It has garnered plenty of attention heading into the premiere date, and that will help boost sales for the murderous macaque’s first appearance.
When Hit-Monkey #1 first hit the stands, collectors paid it little attention, as is the case with many joke characters. That is why the print run was relatively small, and even more so for the sketch cover second printing. On Sunday, raw copies were earning anywhere from $162-$200.
8. RED DEATH #1
A cryptic social media post has given Dark Nights Metal fans a ray of hope. This past week, The Flash director Andy Muschetti posted an interesting picture on his Instagram page. The image revealed a red suit with a yellow flash emblem painted over the Bat-Signal. There was no explanation or context for the picture, and it could simply allude to the fact that both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck will reprise their roles as Batman for The Flash. However, some theorists believe this is a strong hint for the Red Death.
In the comics, Red Death was one of the Multiversal Justice League recruited by the Batman Who Laughs in the crossover event, Dark Nights Metal. The evil league was comprised of JL members from across the Multiverse, but they were all variants of Bruce Wayne with each superhero’s unique powers. Red Death was the product of Bruce Wayne discovering the Speed Force to gain the Flash’s abilities. He then turned evil, and reeked havoc across his world.
After selling for a year-low $86 on September 8, the 9.8 jumped to $107 on September 20 after Muschetti’s post created a stir. Recently, a 9.6 sold for $100.
7. AVENGERS #57
We have been seeing more and more of Vision this year. After he died twice in Infinity War - once by Scarlet Witch only for Thanos to rewind time and rip out the Mind Stone to kill him again - Vision didn’t reappear until this year in Disney+’s WandaVision. The last time we saw him, White Vision was questioning his existence while Scarlet Witch’s conjured version of Vision was swept away when the spell was broken.
What If…? has kept his memory alive. Paul Betany returned to provide his voice for the Marvel Zombies episode, and the finale of Episode Seven hinted that it wasn’t Ultron that had the Infinity Stones, but possibly Vision.
We will have to wait and see how that pans out. In the meantime, collectors are targeting his classic first appearance. Saturday, a raw copy advertised as being in fine condition sold for $355. On September 21, a graded 8.0 sold for $825, which is below the $900-$1k price tags it had been earning. The day before, another raw Avengers #57 was purchased for $240.
6. STAR WARS #42
Disney+ Day is coming, and the streaming service has Star Wars fans hyped. On November 12, Disney will release a Boba Fett special that should serve as a predecessor to the highly-anticipated Book of Boba Fett debuting in December. For many fans, this has been four decades in the making. After Boba captivated audiences with his costume and tough demeanor, the bounty hunter had an unceremonious death in Return of the Jedi. His origin was established in the prequels, but the Boba Fett faithful wanted to see him as an adult. This year, they will get their wish.
With the Boba Fett special coming to Disney+, it will inevitably send collectors on a feeding frenzy for Star Wars #42. Yesterday, a 9.8 brought a whopping $3,600. Earlier today, a CBCS-graded 8.5 earned $256 on eBay.
5. ENTER THE HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER FCBD
James Tynion IV’s Something Is Killing the Children spinoff is one of the most talked about comics on the market. Store preorders have been through the roof, and it will likely be a sellout when the first issue reaches LCS shelves. All the commotion for the debut issue will have buyers scouring eBay for this year’s Free Comic Book Day edition of Enter the House of Slaughter.
Despite the hype for House of Slaughter #1, the FCBD edition is remaining on the cheap end of things. Over the past week, raw copies are still selling anywhere from $2 to as high as $12. Considering Tynion’s reputation and the popularity of SIKTC, House of Slaughter should be an instant hit, and that could cause a spike in the FCBD preview comic.
4. ADVENTURE INTO FEAR #19
Not only did What If…? stir the market for Vision, but it also has warmed things up for everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic duck. The “Party Thor” episode saw the MCU Jane Foster’s quirky sidekick, Darcy Lewis, marry Howard in a Vegas wedding complete with an Elvis pastor. This would seem to be a clear nod to one of the more uncomfortable scenes from Marvel’s first movie, 1986’s Howard the Duck, in which Howard and Beverly are on the verge of a love scene.
Howard is becoming a fixture in What If…?. He appeared in Episode Two, and he cropped back up in Episode Seven in grand fashion. The speculation is that Marvel is gearing up for a lot more Howard in the future. He already made cameos in both Guardians of the Galaxy films, and he could be in for a larger role in GOTG Vol. 3. That inflates the demand for his key issues like we haven’t seen in years.
The past week has been great for Fear #19. Raw copies of Howard’s first appearance have been selling for about $150, though some have sold for as low as $15 earlier this month. Of course, that $15 sale was before Episode Seven of What If…?.
3. KING SPAWN #1
Todd McFarlane’s idea to expand the Spawn Universe is paying dividends. After Spawn’s Universe #1 flew off shelves, King Spawn #1 produced huge sales figures as well. It was such a success that Image Comics has gone to a second printing, and those are always a boon for collectors in today’s market. Next on the horizon is the solo Gunslinger Spawn series, and that will keep readers in tune with the happenings of Spawn throughout the end of 2021.
There are several covers of King Spawn #1 to choose from, and the standard edition by Puppeteer Lee is selling in droves. It helps matters that the sales are basically for cover price, which is around $5, although one did bring $10 on September 23. Keeping up the pace with the standard edition is the Todd McFarlane cover, also known as King Spawn #1 cover B. Like the Lee cover, this one also tends to sell for around $5 on average.
2. BATMAN #428
Those Jason Todd key issues aren’t staying quiet this year. First there was Jason’s appearance on Titans. The latest season on HBO Max saw him transition from the second Robin to the vigilante anti-hero Red Hood. Let’s face it, Jason was so much better as Red Hood than he ever was playing it straight as Robin.
There has been a rumor off and on for years that WarnerMedia is interested in A Death in the Family live-action movie. Crank up the rumor mill because Jason’s resurgent popularity has spawned a new batch of gossip. Once again, the word on the internet is that Jason will star in a Red Hood solo movie that adapts A Death in the Family and his turn as the anti-hero. The idea is that it will be exclusive to HBO Max, but we wait and see how that pans out.
Jason’s key issues have been popular items all year given his status on Titans. Add in the Red Hood movie rumors, and those issues are poised to get more expensive.
At the top of those Jason Todd issues is Batman #428. This was the controversial issue that was the outcome of a poll conducted by the DC Comics editorial staff. The question was simple: to keep Jason as Robin or have him die? Readers were not fond of Jason, who in many ways came across as a cheap imitation of Dick Grayson. The end result was the Joker beating Jason to death with a crowbar. The grand finale was the bomb that destroyed the entire building.
Whenever there is a Red Hood story, the tale has to include A Death in the Family, and that is why this remains the top key for all the Jason Todd comics. Over the weekend, sales for Batman #428 have been as hot as ever. What helps the sales volume is that the prices are very much affordable. Raw copies generally stay in the $20 range, and graded copies outside the 9.8 sell for $200 or less.
1. HAWKEYE #1 (2017)
By far, the hottest comic trending in the past week has been 2017’s Hawkeye #1. It should come as no surprise that the root of this popularity stems from the recent trailer drop for the upcoming Disney+ Hawkeye series. Kate Bishop is set to take up the mantle of Marvel’s very own purple Robin Hood, and that makes all of her key issues red hot at the moment. With the Young Avengers being pieced together one at a time, it is clear that Marvel Studios has major plans for the teenage superheroes. We can expect Kate to play a pivotal role on that team and possibly lead another season of Hawkeye. All of this makes for a serious market for the MCU’s future Hawkeye.
Obviously, the biggest key in her pantheon is her first appearance in Young Avengers #1. High grade copies of even the standard cover of YA #1 tend to stay in the $1,100 range. That has caused collectors to lean toward Kate’s other key appearances when that debut comic is too expensive.
Of all the Kate keys, this past week saw the first issue of her 2017 starring role take center stage. Much of this is from the cover art, but it doesn’t hurt that Ramone Watts makes her debut in this comic, too. It also helps that raw copies are on the way up, but they are still selling in the $50 range, so they are still affordable. Even a graded 9.8 last sold for $185 earlier today.
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.