BY MATT TUCK
Just like that, the Vindicators #1 has become a hot comic again, and it is all thanks to an upcoming series of Cartoon Network shorts.
Last week, it was announced that the Vindicators, Rick and Morty’s own band of dysfunctional superheroes, would be part of a lineup of shorts that will air on Cartoon Network’s streaming platforms. They will join Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, and Pretty Face Goes to Hell. The word is these will all be between eight and ten episodes in short form. The buzz surrounding the project has sent speculators to the auction sites in search of that first appearance of the Vindicators.
The collecting community has a love-hate relationship with those Rick and Morty comics. Only a few short years ago, their first appearance in Oni Press’ Rick and Morty #1 set the collecting world on fire. With it being such a small printing, it has helped keep the FMVs high, but collectors have cooled mightily since then.
The same can be said for the Vindicators. The initial buzz and fervor for the issue came from the first appearance of Pickle Rick, a character that did not have a huge upside in terms of becoming a major property in his own right. At the time, Pickle Rick had taken pop culture by storm after he was first seen in episode three from season three. There was an immediate Pickle Rick obsession with t-shirts, Pop figures, Halloween costumes, and practically everyone shouting, “I’m Pickle Rick!”
All that excitement handcuffed to the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect so prevalent in today’s collecting that Vindicators #1 was an instant success. It didn’t take long, however, for the buzz to wear off, and suddenly those copies were taking a nosedive in FMV. Oh how the worm turns.
There are ample R&M titles on the market, so someone must be buying them. With the rise of cartoon comic adaptations, there is reason to collect the key appearances even if you are playing the long term game. That’s why Cartoon Network’s announcement is having such an impact on Vindicators #1. With the added attention on the satirical Avengers-style team, it could lead to bigger things and maybe even its own spinoff franchise.
RICK AND MORTY #1
The focus on the Vindicators’ first comic appearance will give buyers another incentive to grab Rick and Morty’s debut. The 2015 Oni Press first print at a 9.8 last sold for $1,450 in March. Although much further down the price ladder, the 9.6 has been staying strong, selling for $550 earlier this month as well.
Meanwhile, the most recent sale was for a Colas variant, which brought $350 on May 16, and a convention edition earned nearly $200 on May 13.
The big money has been with the Justin Roiland variant cover. Graded at a 9.8, that one sold for a record-breaking $2,750 on May 9.
RICK AND MORTY PRESENTS: THE VINDICATORS #1 STANDARD EDITION
The standard cover has been one of the bigger sellers in the Vindicators collecting corner. Of course, it also was the most readily available, so that plays a factor, too. As it stands, the 9.8 has fought back to earning respectable values lately. In 2018 when Pickle Rick was all the rage, one copy set a record-high of $75. After that, the FMV dropped to $40. Even last year, when there was a new record-setting sale of $85, the average price was still just $43. In 2021, things are turning around. There have already been sales of $80 and $75, and the most recent transaction saw it earn $68, which is well above 2020’s FMV.
RICK AND MORTY PRESENTS: THE VINDICATORS #1 C2E2 EDITION
The top-selling variant has been the C2E2 edition from Chicago’s 2018 comic convention. Still, eight sales is not exactly breaking the market wide open. Be that as it may, the 9.8 has been selling in the $70-$80 range lately. That is a stark contrast to last year’s average of $31. The year before that, it was earning only slightly better at $38.
RICK AND MORTY PRESENTS: THE VINDICATORS #1 SEAN DOVE VARIANT
It was not long ago that the Dove variant was the edition to own. After bringing $39 in 2019, the following year saw it average $120 thanks to a record-high $200 sale that June. There has only been one sale in 2021, and that was for $60 earlier this week.
This is far from a sure thing when it comes to investing. As we saw before, Vindicators #1 could very well spike due to the buzz, and then prices could quickly drop. If you can grab a raw copy for $20-$30, go for it, and cross your fingers that the Vindicator shorts are successful enough to warrant a full-length series.