BY MATT TUCK
Marvel and DC aren’t the only ones lighting up the market as Oblivion Song’s movie announcement has ignited interest in the series’ premiere issue.
THE MOVIE NEWS
We all knew this was coming sooner or later: Oblivion Song is being adapted for a live-action movie.
Variety reported Tuesday that New Republic Pictures has optioned the property. Being optioned for a future project does not mean it will see the light of day. Many comics fall under the “optioned” label and never see the light of day. In this case, things look promising with Jake Gyllenhaal attached in the starring role.
Who didn’t see this coming? Robert Kirkman can do no wrong in comics or film/television/streaming, and anything with his name on it is almost guaranteed to get an adaptation of some sort. Between The Walking Dead and Invincible, his credentials equal huge success across multiple mediums.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Oblivion Song is a variation on the post-apocalyptic stories that are rampant in the comic industry. Instead of the entire world having been rampaged, the wasteland is contained to a section of Philadelphia, nicknamed Oblivion.
The story is that aliens invaded the city prior to the events of Oblivion Song #1. When the military is unable to stop the creatures, the government opts to seal off Oblivion, assuming the 300,000 citizens there are either missing, dead, or dying.
A decade later as Oblivion Song opens, the protagonist, Nathan Cole, ventures into Oblivion each day to retrieve as many survivors as he can find.
When Oblivion Song #1 was first released in 2018, it was an instant sellout based on the idea that it would sooner or later get a movie or series. Speculators held onto their copies, waiting for it to get the live-action treatment. Now that news is out, how is that affecting those key issues?
As far as collecting, the initial issue is the one to get, and there are four versions that collectors have been stockpiling for the past three years. The most common is the standard edition, but investors can also find the advance preview trade paperback as well as the collector’s edition and the pink signature edition. Each one is carrying a significantly higher price tag thanks to the upcoming movie.
Due to the movie anticipation, all the Oblivion Song #1s have been gradually climbing in value. As word has spread of the New Republic Pictures deal, the values for the standard edition have more than doubled.
From 2019-2020, the 9.8 average hovered just below $60, which was about as much as you could expect considering the number of copies on the market. Over the past 12 months, the fair market value has boosted to $89, but the real eye-opener is the 90-day average. During that span, the 9.8 has jumped to a $121 FMV after a flood of sales since Tuesday that have ranged from $89 to $255. Up to August 23, there had only been five total sales this month. On August 24 alone, there were 22.
PINK SIGNATURE EDITION
This one is virtually identical to the standard cover only with one small difference. At the bottom of the cover, Lorenzo De Filici signed his artwork in hot pink. These were given away by Skybound Comics at their convention booths in 2018 as an incentive for customers to spend more than $25, which is why they are rarer than the standard edition.
Although harder to find, prices for the pink signature are basically in line with that of its predecessor. Following the movie announcement this week, the 9.8 saw a new record of $250, though there have only been six graded copies sold in that time.
The big, eye-popping prices can be found with the collector’s edition. Along with the foil cover on the actual comic, this one was packaged with a statue and a pin.
From day one, this has been the most expensive variant to own because it was the most expensive to buy in the first place. In 2019, it averaged $242 before increasing to nearly $300 in 2020. This week, the roof has been blown off. There were only four sales on Tuesday, but it resulted in a record-shattering $1,130 sale, obliterating last year’s high of $465. In fact, the cheapest of the four sold for $599.
TRADE PAPERBACK RETAILER ADVANCE PREVIEW
Finding sales data for the TPB advance preview is a challenge. The last one to swap owners online was on August 24 when a 9.8 signed by Kirkman sold for $799. Before that, the most recent universal graded 9.8 brought $499 on July 25.
The Oblivion Song movie is looking very promising, and that will keep values hopping in the coming months. Once the full hype begins, those #1s will only get more expensive. Between now and the premiere date, I don’t expect the prices to go too much higher, at least not until the first trailer hits.
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.