BY MATT TUCK
The Eros/Starfox casting news has sent shockwaves through the collecting community, but DC continues to rock the market after a strong showing at Fandome. Welcome to the only top-10 with the current fair market values you need to stay in the game.
10. X-MEN #10
In the world of MCU speculation, there are growing rumblings that Marvel Studios wants to explore the Savage Land in the near future. That is giving X-Men #10 a boost in fair market value. Not only does this issue feature the debut of Marvel’s very own Land Before Time, but X-Men #10 is also the first Silver Age appearance of Ka-Zar. Whether it is in the comics or even the 1990s X-Men: the Animated Series, the Savage Land and Ka-Zar are stitched together. That is why his key issues outside of X-Men #10 have also been climbing the charts, though there is no replacing that coveted first appearance.
Considering this is a Silver Age debut and an early X-Men comic, the values were not exactly budget friendly before the gossip started. In fact, everything X-Men has been on fire for a year now thanks to the anticipation of their MCU arrival. Since Ka-Zar and the Savage Land are joining that conversation, it has made a recipe for high prices. Last month, a 3.5 sold for a record $400, and a 4.5 brought $350 on October 2.
9. WE LIVE #1
Aftershock Comics’ hit post-apocalyptic series continues to make waves. Two weeks after New York Comic Con, the NYCC exclusive metal variant of We Live #1 has been on the move. Of course, anytime a hotly rumored title has a variant with a 100-copy print run, it tends to elevate that comic in the eyes of speculators and investors.
This week, it doesn’t matter if it is a variant or the standard cover, We Live #1 is red hot. Earlier this year, Aftershock announced a sequel series was in the works, We Live: Era of the Pallodions. That has been enough to spark another surge in investment speculation, and it is keeping the title’s debut issue en vogue. The critical darling is now on the cusp of becoming a full-fledged phenomenon, and that will keep collectors on the trail of We Live #1.
This issue has cooled since the summer. Around that time, graded 9.8s were selling in the $200 range, and one earned a record-high $280. Although prices are down, they are not exactly cheap. These days, those 9.8s are consistently bringing between $120-$150. As for the metal NYCC variants, raw copies have been selling in the $500 range this week.
8. WORLD WAR HULK #1
The Hulk solo movie rumors never cease, but the newest round of gossip centers on a fan-favorite Hulk story: World War Hulk.
If you recall, around the time that Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters, there was speculation that a solo Planet Hulk movie was in development. As it turned out, that was only half true as Planet Hulk served as inspiration for the Thor sequel. Since that film, Marvel has transitioned the Hulk character from Bruce Banner’s savage alter ego to more or less Professor Hulk. Old time Green Goliath fans have been asking for a return to a tougher version of the character, and a World War Hulk movie would give them just that.
Despite this being only the latest Hulk solo movie rumor, it is spurring collectors to grab those WW Hulk key issues, beginning with #1. There has not been a graded 9.8 of the standard cover sold since one brought $100 last month. Instead, it’s been the variant editions that buyers want. The Aspen Comics edition sold for a record $375 on October 22, and the Diamond Retailer edition swapped owners for $190 the same day.
7. SHOWCASE #37
DC Fandome was a resounding success for the publisher on all fronts. Between the movie announcements and the resulting comic market fallout, DC has been on the lips of many fans. That excitement opens the door of the DCEU to more characters than just the iconic Justice League members, including the Metal Men, who are rumored to have a movie in development.
These holdovers from the Silver Age are basically robots with advanced artificial intelligence. They have superpowers that reflect the type of metal they are named after: Gold, Platinum, Tin, Iron, and Mercury.
As Marvel Studios discovered with Guardians of the Galaxy and DC’s own Doom Patrol, having a property that is relatively obscure to mainstream fans has its advantages. Without fan expectations, the filmmakers have more freedom to change the characters and origin to suit the story they want to tell, and they don’t get much more obscure than the Metal Men, which could lend to this being an action-comedy hit.
Thanks to the rumors, their first appearance in Showcase #37 has been picking up steam. On October 12, a 7.5 broke records with a $1,195 sale. A week later, a 6.5 set a new record of its own, selling for $1,050. More recently, a 6.0 reached a new high of $763 on October 20.
6. INFINITE CRISIS #5
Another winner from DC Fandome was the Blue Beetle. Since filming has yet to begin, the movie makers weren’t able to debut a trailer or behind-the-scenes looks, but they did reveal concept art for Jaime Reyes’ CGI suit, and it appears comic accurate. With the film firmly in development, it now gives collectors more incentive to grab those early appearances of Jaime.
At the top of that list has been Infinite Crisis #5, which is the first time we see Jaime’s new suit in the cover art. Last week, a 9.8 set a new record after one copy brought $545, and that was followed by $499 on Sunday. In recent days, the 9.6 has sold for $200 and $160. At this point, you won’t find any higher grades for less than $100.
5. PEACEMAKER #1 (1978)
John Cena is set to leave his WWE days behind him as he takes his The Suicide Squad character from the sliver screen to HBO Max. During Fandome, DC debuted the first official trailer for Peacemaker. While fans were excited for Cena’s return in the role, the real star of the show was his pet eagle, Eagly.
With the increased attention on Peacemaker, collectors are gunning for his early issues both from his Charlton days and his rebirth in DC Comics. Of course, those Silver Age key issues can get expensive quickly, and that has led collectors and investors to take a second look at 1978’s Peacemaker #1.
The interesting part with the sales is that there haven’t been any graded copies bought online since last year. That doesn’t make it any less popular, especially with the volume of raw copies exchanging hands on eBay. Although raw copies are a bit of a gamble when it comes to quality, those advertised in the near-mint range have been earning up to $200. With Cena making the convention rounds as of late, it won’t be long before we see more signed copies being sold.
4. SPAWN #174
When Todd McFarlane first announced that he would be expanding the Spawn title into an entire universe of its own, one of the first characters to get a rub from the news was Gunslinger Spawn. Next to Al Simmons, the Gunslinger may be the most popular Spawn in the expanding pantheon. Image Comics has been banking on that popularity by bringing him back into the comics with Spawn #309 and its variant covers. This past week, Image took the next step and gave Gunslinger a new comic series, and those copies have been red hot.
As a result of the Gunslinger Spawn hysteria, his early appearances are getting a huge boost of their own. At the top of that list is his first full appearance in Spawn #174. Although he appeared briefly in Spawn #119, he would appear on the cover art and in full six years later. All month, buyers have been targeting those higher grades. The 9.8 has not sold for less than $1k since October 3, and the last two sales have been for at least $1,100. Just yesterday, one brought $1,150, which is the highest sale price since mid-September.
3. SHAZAM! #28
Once again, Black Adam’s second appearance is tearing up the sales charts. After debuting in The Marvel Family #1 in 1945, it was 1977 before Teth-Adam would be seen again, at least in an official appearance. Don’t forget that he was featured on the cover of the fan magazine Alter Ego #7 In 1964.
Shazam! #28 marked Black Adam’s first appearance under the DC banner. It only helps this comic’s value that he is on the cover art, making it a gem for collector hunters on two fronts. After the premiere of the teaser trailer at Fandome, this issue has been burning through the sales rankings for two straight weeks. What doesn’t hurt matters is that Dwayne Johnson has been taunting Zachary Levi on social media, which keeps Black Adam in the forefront of the superhero conversation.
Sooner or later, we will see Levi’s Shazam and Johnson’s Black Adam clash on movie screens, and that will up the ante for their DC keys. As it stands, Shazam! #28 graded at a 9.8 is now a $7k comic after averaging less than $2k a year ago. These days, even a 4.0 is in the $200 neighborhood, and a 5.0 is now selling for $350.
2. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #365
There is no question that fans can’t wait to see Spider-Man 2099 on the big screen in some fashion. Three years ago, Miguel O’Hara made a surprising (and hilarious) appearance in the post-credits scene for Into the Spider-Verse, spawning an entire wave of memes. Now that Sony is talking Spider-Verse 2, there has been a new round of speculation for his onscreen potential.
In recent days, actor Oscar Isaac has contributed to that push, saying that he hopes to get the opportunity to voice Miguel once again. While there is not much to his comment, anything coming from Isaac is likely to cause a stir in the comic circles. In turn, it has sent buyers on a scavenger hunt for Spider-Man 2099’s first appearance in ASM #365. Of course, this was a preview taken from Spider-Man 2099 #1, but it provided just enough of the story to have it classified as the first appearance. That puts it as the reigning top comic in the character’s history, which means higher prices.
All month long, the 9.8s have been consistently in $350-$360 territory. Most recently, one brought $346 on Sunday. On the plus side for Spider-Man 2099 fans, there are alternatives to those 9.8 prices. Scale back the grade to a 9.6, and the 90-day FMV falls to $107.
1. CAPTAIN MARVEL #27
We are a little over a week from the premiere of the long-awaited Eternals. Being a Marvel movie, audiences have been conditioned to expect at least one post-credits scene. The trouble here is that the bonus scene reportedly has been spoiled online. The word on the internet is that One Direction frontman-turned-actor Harry Styles appears as Thanos’ brother, Eros.
The character has long been rumored to appear in the She-Hulk Disney+ series as he is romantically connected to her in the comics. With the Eternals’ connection to the Titans, it makes sense that he would make his MCU debut in their feature film.
In the comics, Eros is known for being a lover rather than a fighter. While he is not necessarily an obscure character, he has never had a massive following, either. Now that he is being put in the spotlight, that could rapidly change.
He made is first cameo appearance in Iron Man #55, a bona fide key if there ever was one thanks to Thanos and Drax’s debuts in that issue. Since prices were already high for that comic, many collectors have turned their attention to Eros’ second overall and first full in-story appearance in Captain Marvel #27. Graded at a 9.6, CM #17 sold for $695 last month, which is a much better bargain than an Iron Man #55 at the same grade. On October 15, an 8.5 sold for a record high $290. While that price is still relatively low, it is still a far cry from the previous record of $95 from last year.
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.