BY MATT TUCK
IG @ matt.tuck.writer
The market was laser focused on those Hawkeye keys, but the latest gossip has stoked the fires under Miles Morales’ first appearance. Welcome to the #Trending10, the only top-10 list with updated fair market values.
10. WEST COAST AVENGERS #1 (2018)
There have been rumors of the West Coast Avengers joining the MCU for months now. It began with WandaVision when White Vision debuted toward the end of the season. If you recall, that new-and-improved Vision made his first appearance in West Coast Avengers #45. Although we have not seen him since the conclusion of WandaVision, the updated Avenger is floating around somewhere in the MCU, and it spawned fan theories that he would eventually help build the West Coast Avengers.
Fast forward to last week and the premiere of Hawkeye. During the second episode, Kate goes to her Aunt Moira’s apartment after Kate’s home was torched by the Tracksuit Mafia. As you may have suspected, Moira is not just any background character. Granted, she does not have a lengthy comic history, but she gave the West Coast Avengers the real estate that became their headquarters. That has many theorists thinking the WCA is on the Marvel agenda.
The most likely team that will surface on Disney+ is the 2018 version. This group was led by Clint Barton, who served as a mentor and commander for the young team. Later, Kate took up the leadership reins, and that could very well be in the cards.
Last week, a Terry Dodson variant graded at a 9.8 sold for $200, which was the highest it has earned since March. Prior to that, a 9.6 for the Paul Renaud cover brought $105 on November 18. The raw copies are making much bigger waves, and all the covers have been red hot in recent days. The best part is that the standard cover can be yours for less than $10. If you have your heart set on a Renaud variant, that one sells for close to $50 raw.
9. WEST COAST AVENGERS #1 (1984)
As Disney+ series tend to do, Hawkeye has duct taped a rocket to West Coast Avengers #1. There are multiple WCA #1s, but this one is important for being the team’s first official appearance in a four-issue limited series complete with Hawkeye striking a heroic pose on the cover art.
Ahead of Hawkeye’s premiere, Young Avengers was all the rage in the comic circles. There is no doubt that Marvel Studios is planning for the YA to be part of the MCU. However, Hawkeye’s Moira Brandon allusion has given rise to the theory that it may actually be the West Coast Avengers who arrive first. There’s also the possibility that both teams are being merged into one for the MCU. Either way, it’s sending buyers to the auction sites for ‘84’s WCA #1.
Most raw copies are selling for $20 or less, but that could quickly increase if there are more West Coast Avengers Easter eggs in Hawkeye. That low price is why there are so many more raw than graded copies trading hands online. In fact, the last graded 9.8 to sell on eBay brought $250 in the past week.
8. ENTER THE HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #1 FCBD
James Tynion IV has yet another hit series to add to his impressive resume. The modern comic horror writer supreme has already captivated audiences with the massive successes of Something Is Killing the Children, The Nice House on the Lake, and The Department of Truth can add his latest comic to that list. It won’t be long before we start seeing these adapted for live action, which brings us to Tynion’s new comic.
After plenty of hype, the SIKTC spinoff, House of Slaughter, went on sale at the end of October. Like all #1s in collecting’s modern age, there are numerous covers to choose from, and they are all selling quite well as expected. However, the issue that buyers have put on the bullseye is the Free Comic Book Day preview comic, Enter the House of Slaughter.
While SIKTC focuses on Erica Slaughter, House of Slaughter delves into the history of the monster-hunting order that trained her. The story’s protagonist is Aaron Slaughter, whom SIKTC fans know as Erica’s rival, and HOS tells his origin as he became a hunter.
Anything with Tynion’s name on it means money in the collecting world. Although this issue was part of Free Comic Book Day, these “free” comics were on eBay almost instantly. Since then, the graded copies are earning as much as $80 for a 9.8. More recently, those prices have dropped to the $40 range for slabs while raw copies generally sell for $10 or less.
7. HAWKEYE #1 (2012)
There is no surprise that the Hawkeye keys are all the rage among collectors at the moment. Of course, this is always the case for a live-action MCU movie or series, and those keys were already on the move prior to last week’s Disney+ premiere. After seeing the first two episodes, fans are wanting more of the lovable stereotypes, the Tracksuit Mafia.
Embodying every Russian mobster cliché imaginable, the Tracksuit Mafia helped make Matt Fraction’s 2012 Hawkeye series one of the surprise hits of that year. While they are brutal and intimidating, they’re also downright hilarious, ending almost every line with, “bro.” True to form, the Tracksuits are proving to be the breakout characters, and their first appearance is on the move this week.
Graded at a 9.8, the first print of 2012’s Hawkeye #1 has been consistently earning over $200, but that is down from the $300+ prices it was earning in October. With the Tracksuit Mafia’s popularity growing, now could be an opportune time to grab a copy of your own. For those preferring to save money and take the raw gamble, those are selling for $50-$60 as of late.
6. SLEEPWALKER #1
The name of the game in comic speculation is getting ahead of the curve. As fast as news travels in the comic world, staying up to speed requires dedication to the newswire and a heaping helping of guess work. Such is the case with Sleepwalker.
Although nothing has been said, fans are wondering if this 1990s holdover will be making his MCU debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The latest rumor comes from an upcoming wave of Marvel Legends for Multiverse of Madness. Two figures have the codenames Sleepy and Dreamy, which is leading to theories that Sleepwalker will be part of the movie.
Who (or what) is Sleepwalker? He is one of a number of beings that exist in a parallel dimension that aligns with dreams. The Sleepwalkers have been called the “dream police” because it is their jobs to keep monsters from their dimension from invading human minds during sleep. If Sleepwalker is indeed coming to the MCU, his connection to dreams almost certainly confirms the introduction of Nightmare, but that’s a subject for another day.
In the meantime, collectors are hoarding those copies of Sleepwalker #1. Last year, the graded 9.8 rose to a $109 FMV. In the past 90 days, it has reached $215 and climbing. This week, copies have sold for as much as $240 and $245. On the plus side, raw copies are still reasonable, and most are staying in the $10-$20 range.
5. DAREDEVIL #9
I doubt any of us were expecting Echo to appear in the MCU quite so soon. Sure, Marvel had announced the role was cast earlier this year, and her solo Disney+ series was confirmed prior to Hawkeye’s world premiere. If anything, most of us anticipated her arriving onscreen deeper into the series. That made it quite the surprise when the Tracksuit Mafia’s mastermind was revealed as Maya Lopez, aka Echo.
There is a huge upside to Echo’s key issues, and we will see much more of her in the comics and on Disney+. Earlier this year, she was chosen as the new host of the Phoenix Force in an Avengers crossover. That put her on a much larger power level, and it also gave her a spotlight like never before. Add her appearance in Hawkeye and with her solo series on the agenda, and we are seeing the tip of the iceberg for all things Echo.
Naturally, this is upping the stakes for her first appearance in DD #9. On Sunday, a 9.8 sold for $1,000, and another brought $799 yesterday.
4. KANAN: THE LAST PADAWAN #6
Star Wars is once again leading the charge for comic keys. There are many new projects in the works and on the slate for the brand, and one of the most talked about is Ahsoka’s solo adventure. We already knew that Thrawn will serve as the show’s villain, and it has been confirmed that Sabine Wren will be making her live-action debut as well. No doubt, she will have ties to Boba Fett and Mandalorian since she hails from the mythic planet of Mandalor.
Fans have been waiting since The Mandalorian’s first season for Sabine to arrive on the small screen. She was featured in Star Wars Rebels, and audiences have come to know her in the comics as well. It has led to her finally being featured in live action, and that has put a target on not only her first cameo appearance in Kanan: the Last Padawan #1 but also her full debut in Kanan #6.
Just this week, raw copies of Kanan #6 have sold in the $200 range. Graded copies have sold for as much as $900 in May. More recently, the 90-day average has been $634, but the casting news has bumped values above the $700 mark. Yesterday, one traded hands for $795, its highest since August.
3. PROCTOR VALLEY ROAD #1
Grant Morrison’s latest has been turning heads since its March debut, and it has just gotten hotter. Set in the 1970s, a group of teenagers plans a money-making scheme in order to attend a concert. The kids’ plan is to conduct a ghost tour on the most haunted stretch of road in the country, Proctor Valley Road. Wouldn’t you know they get more than they bargained for in what some critics have said is a better version of Stranger Things.
When it comes to modern collecting, it’s all about the live-action adaptations. In this case, Proctor Valley Road has movie or television show written all over it. The limited series is published by Boom! Studios in conjunction with UCP Graphic, and the company happens to fall under the NBC Universal banner. In fact, UCP’s studio is responsible for Netflix’s Umbrella Academy. That makes it a prime candidate for a screen adaptation if one isn’t already in the works.
The bigger picture is that collectors will want to keep an eye on anything from UCP Graphic. With the company’s ties to NBC and Universal, every title the publisher releases will have live-action appeal.
Since there has not been an official movie or television show announcement just yet, prices are still reasonable for Proctor Valley Road #1. The latest standard edition 9.8 to sell online brought $61 yesterday on the heels of another selling for $97 on November 26. If you aren’t willing to shell out quite so much for the graded slabs, you can still find the raw standard covers for $10-$20.
The bigger values come with the Peach Momoko virgin variant, which sold for $225 on November 27.
2. HAWKEYE #1 (2017)
There are a couple of reasons to want this issue. The most obvious is that it is the first Hawkeye series starring Kate Bishop. With the success of the Disney+ series’ debut episodes, the world is hyped for Hailee Steinfeld. She has a bright MCU future ahead of her, and there are major implications that accompany her live-action premiere. Of course, that will lead collectors on a search for this issue, especially for cover hunters looking to add what is quickly becoming one of her more famous poses.
Speculators are banking on this issue for Ramone Watts. Also known by her superhero name, Alloy, she is connected to both Kate Bishop and the 2018 edition of the West Coast Avengers. She and her brother, Fuse, were members of the team that was led by Clint Barton and Kate. Whether or not they arrive in the MCU and form the WCA is anyone’s guess, but they also could fit with a Young Avengers squad. In either case, it makes their early appearances prime targets for speculators and investors.
The prices are certainly helping this issue’s sales figures. While the graded 9.8s are routinely selling for $150-$200, raw copies tend to stay in the $20-$30 range.
1. ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4
Spider-Man: No Way Home is on the horizon, and the gossip is at a fever pitch. Practically every character from all of Spider-Man lore is rumored to be part of the movie. Any day now, I’m expecting the gossip to turn towards a live-action Spider-Ham.
The bulk of the rumors have centered on the possible inclusion of the earlier Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Despite the repeated denials, theorists are certain that we will see both Spider-Men in No Way Home, but those are not the only wall crawlers anticipated for the movie.
The persistent speculation has been that Miles Morales will finally arrive in the MCU. He was alluded to in Homecoming, and audiences fell in love with his animated form in Into the Spider-Verse. Now, theorists are on the lookout for him to join the fun in No Way Home.
The other part of the driving force behind the Ultimate Fallout #4 surge is the Into the Spider-Verse sequel news. Last night, Spider-Verse executive producer Amy Pascal stated that the studio “has something to show” in the near future, and that is causing speculation that Into the Spider-Verse 2 is about to get its first teaser images or video.
With so much happening in the onscreen world of Spider-Miles, it is fueling a price resurgence for UF #4. Much was written about those 9.8 copies breaking into $3k+ territory in the spring. Since then, the prices have tapered off, and values took a slight turn to the $2,500 range by August and September.
In recent weeks, those 9.8s for the standard edition have been pushing back to the $3k mark. Just yesterday, one brought $2,925.
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, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.