BY MATT TUCK
It’s #Trending10 time, and those massive MCU moments are dominating this week’s list. On that note, here is the only top-10 list with updated market data to help you in your never-ending crusade to stay in the loop.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, the news coming out of Let There Be Carnage had the biggest influence on the market. The mid-credits scene is likely drawing in crowds as much as the CGI at this point. In the coming weeks, those movie-influenced sales should simmer down, but for the time being, there is no denying its market impact.
The other mover and shaker in the world of comic movies and television was What If…?. Each week, the Disney+ series causes a stir in the market, though the latest episode featuring a scary-powerful Ultron doing his best Galactus impression certainly set the stage for the series’ impending final episodes of season one.
The week wasn’t all about Marvel. Dark Horse and Dynamite had news of their own when it comes to the streaming live-action adaptations of their properties.
All that being said, let's see what issues were trending in the collecting world this week.
10. SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED #1
Shriek may have been overshadowed by epic CGI fights in Let There Be Carnage, but collectors were on the hunt for her first appearance. It doesn’t hurt matters that Spider-Man Unlimited #1 also kicked off Carnage’s fan-favorite story, “Maximum Carnage,” which LTBC was loosely based on.
With Carnage and Shriek both meeting their ends in the course of the movie, there is a definite FMV ceiling to their key issues. For the time being, the excitement and hype from the movie is fueling the market, and sellers are more than happy to provide the goods.
Whether they were raw or graded copies, sales for SMU #1 were soaring through the weekend. Of course, since the movie was a hit and fans are still buzzing over it, that should not come as a surprise. Better still the prices for this 1993 issue are reasonable. A 9.8 sold for $150 on October 2, and raw copies tended to stay in the $15 range.
9. HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #1
The spinoff from Something Is Killing the Children was a red hot seller this week, and it doesn’t even release until the end of the month. With variants galore, the presales for James Tynion IV’s newest series is setting the collecting world on fire. Why wouldn’t it? SIKTC #1 continues to break records, and collectors don’t want to miss the opportunity to get the next big investment.
There are plenty of cover choices for you with practically anything to fit your budget. The standard cover is selling for $5 or less, while the variants range anywhere from $50 to close to $400 for the 1:500 ratio variant.
As the hype for House of Slaughter #1 builds to its October 27 release date, there should be a push not only for those issues, but the series preview in the FCBD Enter the House of Slaughter. At the moment, those copies are still affordable and generally sell for $10, give or take.
Will HOS #1 become the next SIKTC #1? That is highly doubtful, but that is not to say that the comic won’t immediately inflate after the launch date, which will have speculators gunning for this one.
8. VENOM VS. CARNAGE #2
Not that anyone is surprised, but LTBC left audiences with another symbiotic Easter egg. Comic fans saw this one coming a mile away. Once it was confirmed that the main police detective of the story was Pat Mulligan, that meant one thing: Toxin is coming. By the end of the movie, there is a definite tease of things to come for the third-generation symbiote.
That has caused a spike in both sales volume and prices for the first and second issues of Venom vs. Carnage. Both issues are Toxin keys, but it is the second issue that gives the full reveal of the new symbiote, and that has put a target sign on that particular comic. A 9.6 sold for $300 on October 1, reaching that record mark for the third time this year. That same day, a raw copy sold for an impressive $170.
7. THE BOYS #24
Garth Ennis’ dark comedy has been such a hit for Amazon Prime’s streaming service that the company not only wants more seasons, but they want a spinoff series. And so the show’s creators are putting together what sounds like a superhero frat party. The spinoff will be set in a Vought-run school for superheroes, but with the off-the-wall antics and excess we’ve come to expect from The Boys.
The news has caused commotion for The Boys #24 with an Animal House homage cover. The issue marked the first appearance of the team, G-Wiz, and the idea is that these supers will be the focus of the upcoming series. Since last week, raw copies have sold in the vicinity of $40-$50 for both the standard and sketch covers. As we get more information about the series, we can expect the FMVs to pick up the pace.
6. DEPT. H #1
The rise of original content for streaming services continues to be a boon for the independent comic publishers. With comics' household names are monopolized by Marvel and DC, it has pushed streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix to mine the “other guys” of the comic publishing world.
In recent weeks, Netflix announced plans to bring the world of Dark Horse’s Dept. H to life. The studio has already found its director in Alice Waddington, so it looks like full steam ahead in the development stages. For those not familiar, Dept. H is a sci-fi murder mystery that takes place on an undersea lab, and it should make for excellent television/streaming.
The allure of live action is pushing buyers to find their copies of 2017’s Dept. H #1.
Need a copy to add to your long boxes? On eBay, raw copies are staying in $30-$50 territory for the standard cover. If you are in the market for a graded copy, those are well within range. The last copy to trade hands was a 9.8 that sold for a record $83 on October 1.
5. FANTASTIC FOUR #49
There’s been a pickup in sales for FF #49 thanks to the latest episode of What If…?. For those who have not seen the episode, there is a wonderful Easter egg that hints at the coming of Galactus. Toward the 23:00 mark, we see Ultron’s head bathed in purple with his helmet’s face shield raised. The effect creates the unmistakable image of Galactus consuming an entire galaxy, and it is magnificent.
With FF #48 prices already protruding through the ozone layer, collectors have taken aim at the second overall appearances of Galactus and his most famous herald, the Silver Surfer. With both characters gracing their first cover, it gives buyers plenty of incentive to add this to their collections. Now that What If…? has teased the Devourer of Worlds in such a direct manner, it will continue to fuel the hot market for FF #49.
Last week, a CBCS 1.8 sold for $535 while a CGC-graded 4.0 brought over $2k.
4. AVENGERS #55
There has not been this much excitement for the first appearance of Ultron since Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the latest episode of What If…?, we see what would happen if Ultron had moved his consciousness into Vision's body. With control of the Mind Stone, he easily overtakes Thanos and claims the Infinity Stones for himself. The sophisticated AI proves to be even more of a threat to the MCU than the Mad Titan.
The bigger picture is whether or not Ultron will escape the confines of What If…?’s alternate-realty tales and enter the live-action MCU. The final episodes of the show’s first season should revolve around this version of Ultron, and he will likely have a showdown with the Guardians of the Multiverse. The anticipation for the season finale and the possibility of things to come has put Avengers #55 atop many wish lists.
On the plus side, getting your hands on Ultron’s debut issue is well within reach. Over the weekend, mid-grade raw copies were staying in the $100 range. Meanwhile, a graded 6.5 sold for $134 on October 2. However, there are signs that FMVs are about to jump. On September 26, a 9.4 sold for $800, which is the highest it has reached in five years.
3. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #361
Critics may not be too keen on Let There Be Carnage, but the fans have made the Venom sequel an overwhelming success on its opening weekend. While the big reveal in the mid-credits scene is a major selling point to get audiences in theaters in the coming weeks, it’s seeing the live-action Carnage that is responsible for so much of the movie’s success. The movie may be lacking in several areas, but the CGI on Carnage creates a giant spectacle that symbiote fans won’t want to miss.
The result is an expected one: sales for Carnage’s first full appearance have been propelled to the top of the sales charts. Only yesterday, one copy brought $1,200 for the first time since June 25. If that’s too much for you, the 9.6 has been staying in the $400 range over the weekend.
2. FANTASTIC FOUR #48
In only 24 hours, the What If…? Galactus Easter egg was overshadowed by Venom. Still, that moment of seeing the Infinity Stone-powered Ultron take on the image of the Devourer of Worlds was one of the best in a series that has made a reputation out of amazing Easter eggs.
The bigger question is whether or not we will see more of this Ultron/Galactus connection or if this was simply a cool bit of fan service. No matter which way Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team decides to go, it doesn’t diminish the sheer magnitude of the visual. Still, there is the chance that this was the tease for something bigger.
This is a grail among grails in the collecting world, and the What If…? Easter egg gave sellers reason to expect even higher premiums for those graded copies. Yesterday, a 7.0 brought $7k, which is in line with the recent sales. A 5.0 sold for $2,700 on Friday, and a 4.5 earned $2,505 the next day.
1. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300
How could the top pick be anything other than Venom’s first full appearance? Let There Be Carnage is dominating the box office, and much of that comes from the mid-credits scene that has been blowing minds across the world since Thursday. While the movie itself is not exactly a critical darling, it is getting a better reception than its 2018 predecessor, and it is helping to make Venom the hottest name in the business at the moment.
No question, as word spreads about the mid-credits scene that confirms Venom is now in the MCU, the spectacle and celebration of it will continue to draw ticket buyers. It also will send collectors to their favorite auction sites to pick up as many copies of ASM #300 as they can fit into their budgets. This is a perennial favorite among collectors and investors, but its potential has grown exponentially thanks to the MCU effect. Even though we all knew this was coming, it was still a fun reveal at the conclusion of LTBC that is fueling a massive push for all those classic Venom keys. Well, they don’t get any bigger than this issue.
At the top of the heap is the 9.8. On Friday, we saw just the second $7k sale since May. Another grade to keep an eye on is the 9.4. This one is selling in droves this month, though that is no surprise. The last two sales from Thursday and Friday saw both sales stay close to the $1,300 point.
While these prices are high, the good thing is that they are not approaching the records set earlier this year. As a whole, the market has cooled since the scorching values reached late this past spring and into the summer.
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.