BY MATT TUCK
New York Comic Con sent collectors sprinting to the online auction sites, but today’s big Adam Warlock casting news stole the show. Welcome to the only weekly top-10 list with the updated market values to keep you in the collecting loop.
10. THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS #1
So far in 2021, the market for cartoon adaptations - especially those clinging to 1980s nostalgia - have been on the way up. Toss in the buzz from Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and it has created an upward tick in momentum for the team’s first comic from 1988.
This issue was the first in a series based on the cartoon adaptation, The Real Ghostbusters. It was called that because, at the time, there was a rival cartoon that beat Columbian Pictures to the punch and used the name Ghostbusters, though this version was based on the 1975 live-action kids’ show, The Ghost Busters. Thus, the cartoon based on Columbia’s 1984 film was given an extra word in the title since their first choice was taken.
While raw copies have been selling for around $45-$65, October 5 saw a newsstand edition graded at a 9.6 sell for $350. Two days before that, a 9.4 brought a record $200.
9. Y: THE LAST MAN #1
As the Hulu series rolls along, making new fans week after week, it has spurred the market for the first appearance of Yorick Brown and the rest of the Y cast. In the world of streaming, there is never a guarantee of future seasons, no matter how successful those series appear to be. However, it would seem the odds are good that there will be at least one more season, and that will add to the excitement for that coveted first issue.
On eBay, raw copies are generally selling for as much as $325 in one case. If you have been waiting to buy one of your own, now would be a good time. Since August, prices have been gradually falling into a lull. After those graded 9.8s were selling for $1,700 and once exceeded $2k, the most recent sales sold for $810-$950 so far in October. That could be what is keeping the sales volume high, since prices are getting more affordable.
8. CULT OF DRACULA #1
Whether it’s on eBay or based on Source Point’s NYCC booth, sales have been strong for the Cult of Dracula independent title. This has been a speculative darling since last year when news first broke that Sure Films had optioned the movie and television rights. Now that word is spreading that the Cult streaming series has moved into the development stage, collectors are buying up that first issue.
Remember, there are two versions of Cult of Dracula #1. The original was published by Second Sight Press in 2020 before it moved to Source Point Publishing with their COD #1 reaching store shelves this past March. Along with being an entertaining horror comic that puts a new spin on the classic Bram Stoker novel, the news that Tony Todd is on the verge of being cast in the series’ lead role should help this issue get even hotter.
At the moment, those two #1s are both still affordable. Second Sight’s COD #1 with the House of Secrets #92 homage variant last sold for $25. The standard cover for Source Point’s COD #1 trade dress sold for $8 earlier today. Meanwhile, a virgin copy brought $20.
7. SANDMAN #1
NYCC caused plenty of commotion in the speculation market this weekend, and that extends to the world of Neil Gaiman’s God of Dreams, Morpheus. After the success of the first installment of the star-studded Sandman audiobook, Gaiman and the cast gave fans a sneak peek into part two. This all comes ahead of the Netflix live-action adaptation that is on the way.
All this Sandman enthusiasm is generating major sales for the first appearance of the beloved series.
Only yesterday, a graded 9.4 sold for $420, and that was only four days after another copy earned a record-high $499. While it didn’t break any records, a 9.0 earned a respectable $325 on October 8.
6. FANTASTIC FOUR #94
Agatha Harkness is on her way back to the center of the MCU. After being established as the scene stealer of WandaVision, Scarlet Witch and Vision’s whacky neighbor will be getting her own Disney+ series. The series is still in the early stages of development, so there is no word on when it will premiere, but it is officially in the works. Go ahead and sing the “Agatha All Along” song because I know it’s running through your head just like it is mine.
The news is giving another spike to FF #94, the first appearance of Agatha’s comic book inspiration. Of course, the comic version was an older woman who served not only as Wanda Maximoff’s mentor, but she also was the nanny for one Franklin Richards. Once again, the timeless witch will get her moment in the spotlight, and the series may spend plenty of time in her past. That could have even more collecting implications, but that’s a post for another day.
As far as the FF #94 market, the news has sent shockwaves that are rejuvenating the comic’s sales. On Thursday, a 9.2 raised plenty of eyebrows when a CGC-graded copy swapped owners for a record $1,069. The same day, a 9.0 sold for a record $849. The records were consistently falling down to the 5.0, which set a new high of $179.
5. SAGA #1
Writer Brian K. Vaughn is living the good life in 2021. After years of waiting, Y: The Last Man finally reached the world of live action. What truly set the collecting world on fire was his announcement during his Saturday panel at NYCC.
After a five-year hiatus, Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples (who appeared virtually) declared that, yes, Saga would be returning in January. The news caused an eruption of cheers from the crowd, and Vaughn even debuted the cover art for the upcoming Saga #55.
The series’ return not only grabbed NYCC headlines, but it sent collectors on a scavenger hunt for any and all things Saga. For years, Saga #1 has been an expensive key to find, especially in a higher grade. Since Saturday, graded 9.8s have been earning between $710-$800. Looking at the raw sales on eBay, there has not been one particular issue that is leading the way. Instead, virtually every issue of Saga was being bought en masse online. As we get closer to January, expect those Saga keys to get even hotter.
4. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300
A week after Let There Be Carnage laid waste to the box office, we’re still talking about the future of Venom and the MCU. Of course, much of that can be attributed to the mind-blowing mid-credits scene that pulled Eddie and his loving symbiote into the MCU. Then for some reason Venom licks the television screen when he sees Peter Parker, and it just makes things a bit awkward. Still, the idea of Venom finally inside the MCU and on a collision course with Spider-Man is so tantalizing that it is keeping ASM #300 at the top of the sales charts, specifically the newsstand editions.
Earlier today, a raw newsstand copy sold for $680, and that was after a direct edition was purchased for $493. Dwarfing those two sales was another raw copy that was described as “near perfect,” and that one brought $750. What really tells the tale is that a CBCS newsstand 0.5 - that’s right; the lowest grade given - sold for $305.
3. CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN #2
There’s nothing like that mainstream media attention to set a comic character on fire. In this case, it’s the Jon Kent news that is grabbing headlines. To appeal to a broader section of readers and add diversity to their lead characters, Superman is coming out as bisexual. Of course, this is not the traditional Clark Kent/Kal-El Superman. Instead, it’s his son, Jon, who took over the Superman title earlier this year.
Prior to the Jon Kent news, Tim Drake, one of Batman’s former Robins, was revealed as bisexual, so this is becoming a common occurence in the DC pantheon. In both instances, it nabs plenty of news coverage from the Associated Press and beyond. That in turn fuels the sales for those first appearances of the spotlighted character. In this case, Jon Kent first appeared as a baby in Convergence: Superman #2, which has been a big seller since DC announced he would be moving into the leadoff spot in the lineup.
Since yesterday, the raw copies for CS #2 have been on the move. The best part is that they are not out of reach quite yet. Most copies have been selling for around $20-$30, though prices appear to be on the upswing. We have yet to see any graded copies purchased this month, but the last one to trade hands was in August for $223.
2. FANTASTIC FOUR #67
For seven years, the gossip has been rampant for Adam Warlock, and in 2023, we will finally see the golden god-man grace the silver screen. Just this evening, Deadline reported and director James Gunn confirmed that actor Will Poulter from Black Mirror and The Maze Runner fame will suit up as Warlock for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
After being teased in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, fans have been waiting for him to arrive at any moment. When he was name dropped in GOTG Vol. 2, it appeared his debut would be imminent. Here we are almost a decade later, and there’s still no sign of HIM. With Poulter officially in the role, we have the makings of a Warlock key issue landslide.
There are two issues collectors put high on their Warlock lists: FF #67 and Thor #165. With FF #67, you get the first appearance of HIM/Warlock, though he is only seen briefly before flying into space. Nevertheless, this is an issue to own. Even the reprints are on the move on eBay.
Only three days ago, an 8.5 reached a new record high of $1,762. Just last month, a 6.0 brought a record $504, and that was before the big news. In the hours since the news was broken, a 4.5 has set a new record with a $400 sale. Meanwhile, raw copies are easily crossing the $200 threshold.
1. THOR #165
Although Thor #165 is technically Warlock’s third overall appearance, it has been deemed the first full appearance by the grading companies, and that has boosted it above FF #67 or Thor #164, for that matter. What truly puts Thor #165 on a different level from a collecting standpoint is this also marked the first cover appearance of the famed character.
I will admit that I was surprised to see the casting rumor confirmed. After being burned when Tenoch Huerta was the talk of the MCU gossip as the future live-action Namor, I remained skeptical. The difference between the two rumors was that Warlock is already established in the MCU for the aforementioned reasons. That led to the belief that Warlock’s time had come, but it seemed like a Gunn type of joke to keep teasing him without ever putting the character on the screen. Fear not because your faith has been rewarded, and the payoff will come in GOTG Vol. 3.
As soon as the initial rumor began circulating, Thor #165 has had a rocket strapped to it. Now that the casting has been confirmed, it will enter the stratosphere. Only days ago, an 8.0 sold for $1,750, which was only $50 shy of the record set in September. On October 8, a 7.0 reached a new high of $1,000. As for the raw copies, one sold for as much as $681 on October 7.
The most telling sign of the Warlock hysteria lies with the 2.5. Shortly after the Will Poulter casting was confirmed, a CGC 2.5 sold for $400, nearly doubling the record high set just last month. Then there is the 4.5, which shattered its record of $400 from last month when a sale from today cracked the $700 mark.
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.