February 21st, 2020

Welcome to our weekly Newsletter! What a fun week for some comic case-studies! To help you harness your trend tracking powers, this week we spend some time examining how Lock & Key did in the aftermarket compared to Sonic the Hedgehog (both with new content out), we do a double-take at how many people bought Batman #89, and call out some more rumored (and not rumored) comic content.

Also, If you want to know what everything in your collection is worth without having to do all the heavy lifting, add your comics to your CovrPrice Collection. We’ll tell you what in you collection is HOT, daily!





This title is constantly surprising. It has no MCU rumor and nearly no additional visibility in today’s storylines. Yet, this first appearance of THE BLUE MARVEL continues to go up and is now hitting prices higher than characters like Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen. This week a raw copy sold for a massive $229.37.  Granted, this book has a very low print run (est. 17K) and is exceptionally hard to find. However, this is one of our favorite dollar box hunt books. They are absolutely out there, so happy hunting! Oh and if you do find this, grab the whole 5 issue series. Issue number 5 is incredibly hard to find.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)




This was easily the book of the week. There wasn’t a comic space (physical or digital) where there wasn’t a conversation around this title. If you’ve been out of the loop, this issue includes a partial cameo of Joker’s new henchwoman, PUNCHLINE. This also includes a pretty solid 1st cameo appearance of a new villain called DESIGNER. Punchline’s face is partially seen in two panels (see below) and has some dialogue in each of those panels. She’s unnamed. Designer has no dialogue, but is named and is seen in his full costume. Punchline is due to make her full appearance in YEAR OF THE VILLAIN: HELL ARISEN #3. All of the above has been highly debated this week. Regardless of any debate, this issue, the Mattina variant, and the rare printing error are SUPER hot. Both main covers are selling for about $40 to $45 each. The printing error is selling for $300. This error affects page #13, which has the full shot of Designer. We’ve heard reports of this page varying in degrees of black, from completely black to a light grey tint. This price should go up pretty quickly. Now, it’s hard to say how viable these new characters will be. We’ve done this dance with Naomi, Snowbird, Weapon H, Red Tool, etc. Time will tell. 

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Creator Michel Fiffe (of COPRA fame) is a comic fan that just started making his own content. As a massive comic fan, he’s greatly considered “one of us”. He wrote and drew this issue as a homage to Suicide Squad and gave it away in his personal Etsy store. This comic contained notable DC character appearances, like Bronze Tiger, Vixen, Manhunter, Deadshot, etc. He only created 300 copies and each is hand-numbered on the back. A raw copy sold this week for a huge $821, topping the previous sale of $590 just two weeks ago. It’s crazy when this book pops up, let alone two copies in the same month (yes, it was two different sellers and two different numbered books). 

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We talked about this book back in August 2019 (check it out here) when it jumped from $10 to $20. Even though there’s no confirmation of RED HULK in the MCU (specifically The Thunderbolts), the fact that Thunderbolt Ross already exists in the MCU is enough to give this speculation some steam. The standard first print is even outpacing most of the variants (which is strange) at a current raw price tag of $45. The Dynamic Forces Dale Keown variant has the current lead at $51. A CGC 9.8 of the standard cover sold for the highest price ever this week at $300. It’s truly amazing the speed that certain rumors can take hold. With all the debate this week on Batman #89, this also had some large debates… specifically, since we only see “Red” Hulk in flashbacks done in green and therefore making him look… well… green (which was intentional as the reader was meant to think it was Banner at first).  Issue two features his full appearance in his red glory and issue #22 is the big reveal of Thunderbolt Ross as the identity of Red Hulk. However, like with Hulk #181, a good cover trumps all. #1 has Red Hulk clearly on the cover. 

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We mentioned this book before, but it just hit an all-new high this week with a raw copy selling for $367 (in VF condition too!).  A little over a week ago, another raw copy sold for $300. 2018 was really the last time you could get a copy for under $100. This promotional book came out with the infamous RED Maximum Carnage video game (Super Nintendo & Sega Genesis) and reprints an abridged version of Spider-Man Unlimited Vol. 1 #1 (DeFalco & Lim), which marked the first chapter in the multi-issue/title crossover event, Maximum Carnage. This was handed directly to the buyer upon purchase while supplies lasted. Free comics were not treated with the most care back in 1994, so condition varies greatly. There are 56 copies on the CGC census, and only 4 are 9.8’s. 

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This Gamerverse 1:25 by David Nakayama is REALLY starting to pick up steam. A raw copy sold this week for $73.50. Copies are pretty scarce and are now selling for a premium. This only came out a few weeks ago, so you might be able to still snag a copy from your LCS. The question is, will these high prices bring more copies to market and bring down the price? So far, that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s a great cover and we expect to see it get even higher. One lucky buyer bought 3 copies off of MyComicShop for $13 each. That was a great pick-up. 

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The first appearance of the Golden Age character THE BLACK HOOD is exceptionally hard to come by. This is the first sale we’ve seen in 3 years. A CGC 6.5 sold $2,290.99.  

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This week, a CGC 9.8 of this newsstand edition sold for $749. What’s crazy is this isn’t even the highest, which belongs to an $849.99 sale last May 2019. Transformer fans can be bucketed together with TMNT and Spawn for books that consistently go up with or without content (and more importantly with or without BAD content). 

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This unconfirmed rumor has set the early Ashcan on fire, helping it to hit a height of $46. These prices and rumors brought a lot of attention to this week’s release of the first issue. The main cover and variant both hit heights of $15 and have since settled to about $10. The ashcan has already become the “go-to” book to own, so that should hold the first issues back a bit. However, the variant does have a new cover, which should do well.

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If you missed the recent news, Eli Roth has been attached to direct a BORDERLANDS Film for Lionsgate. That seems like a perfect match. White the first print has gone up a little, the hardest to find variant for the first appearance of BORDERLANDS in comic form is the Gamestop Variant for Borderlands: Origins #1, for which sales jumped up from $5 to $50. 

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Deadline reported that Showtime (produced and originally optioned by Legendary) is developing this into a series directed by Taika Waititi and starring Jude Law. This news helped this early first issue to spike from $2 to $30. The standard first issue and the variant are both selling for about $15. 

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Sometimes we watch books as they steadily increase week by week. Other times, we watch books as a case study just to see how the market responds. Locke & Key is a great example. If you haven’t been watching LOCKE & KEY, you should. We definitely enjoyed it. While this book and it’s various variants have seen increases and heat, it’s been a little more reserved than previous streaming titles. In fact, the main cover saw drastic drops instead of increases. In July 2019, raw copies were hitting as high as $160, while copies sold this week for $95 and $38 (VF copy). The highest sold copy belongs to a CGC 9.9 sale in Nov. 2017 for $650. Now the 2nd print has seen steady increases at $35 raw and $118 in a 9.8. The most notable sale was the VERY rare and hard to find 1:10 KEY variant at $150 raw… which was the same price one went for in July 2018. We’ve only tracked 4 sales for this variant and it really should have seen WAY more heat this week. Sales, overall, are light and we’re not sure why exactly. We expected this to hit our Top 10 last week, and it didn’t even break the top 40. Our guess is directly attached to the initial high prices in July 2019. No one wants to jump into a book when it’s already at its highest. As sales fell, buyers began buying back into this book. We should note that due to the success of the first season, this series should have solid long-term increases again. Will it get as high as it was in July 2019, maybe not. All in all, this was an interesting trend to see this week. 

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Like LOCKE & KEY, Sonic was another great example. This time it’s specifically for FILM content. Here we have an iconic and beloved video game character with a hit film that’s receiving critical and fan praise. So, why didn’t this move the needle on any of Sonic books? After a successful opening, we were expecting to see a sonic boom in Sonic sales… and it never came. This week, there were three notable sales: Sonic’s first appearance in the Sega Genesis digest-sized promo comic (not to be confused with the newspaper promo version that was in the back of DC comics in Sep. 1991), which sold a CGC 9.6 for $515. Sonic the Hedgehog #1 1993 Archie series, which sold a 9.8 for $189, and Sonic the Hedgehog #25 Grey & Graham 1:25 variant that sold raw for 49.99. That’s practically it. Now, last year, the Sega Genesis comic sold a raw copy for $800. The Archie #1 sold a 9.8 for $250 back in July 2019. The IDW #25 variant was the only bump up.

It’s not Apples to Oranges, but let’s compare Sonic to The Witcher. Sonic is an evergreen character, and he’s clearly not going away anytime soon. Generations know and will continue to know who he is. The Witcher, while a great series with plenty of life left, will mostly be forgotten in a decade.  However, The Witcher sold copy after copy at $100+. Of course, The Witcher had one or two books the collecting community could focus on, where Sonic has 30 years of material to pick from. This Sonic film came as a surprise, which didn’t give much time for collectors to talk up one book over another. Our guess is similar to LOCKE & KEY. Sonic’s first appearance is very hard to find and commands over half a grand. It’s not a book everyone can buy into. And if you can’t buy the first… what DO you buy? Buyers’ confidence at a reasonable entry point seems to be the key here. Of course, collectors save up for consistent keys, like Hulk 181 or whatever the first appearance is of your favorite characters. This was a fun week to look at. We’ll continue paying attention to trends like these as they come up.

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Man, can this Top PCH book sell or what?  We honestly don’t know if a bubble exists for this classic cover. A CGC 0.5 sold for $1,963 this week. The WORST possible grade for a comic… sold for almost $2K. This book is easily our KEY of the week. 

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This 2011 San Diego Comic-Con NES Homage exclusive was limited to 500 copies and barely moved any market value needle for years. Around 2013, this book was suddenly nowhere to be found. In 2013/2014, collectors REALLY started paying attention to the magical low print runs of 2011 that provided us some of the most valuable modern variants. As copies slowly appeared, they sold for hundreds and sometimes thousands. The highest we’ve ever tracked was a raw copy sale in Dec. 2017 for $699. This all-black cover is brutal on finding a high condition, which plays a large factor in the overall market value. This week a CGC 9.4 sold for a reasonable $365. For a relatively high grade (which many forget that a 9.4 is NM) and knowing how hard it is to find this book… this seems like a great deal to us. 

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Written By: Matt DeVoe | [email protected]


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