WEEK IN REVIEW

December 27th, 2020

Welcome to CovrPrice’s weekly Newsletter!

This week we see a big sale for a “cool” Silver Age villain, we catch a fun sale for the first appearance of Mario and Donkey Kong in comic form, and see Johnny and Danial-San score some big variant sales due to Cobra Kai! Enjoy!


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COMIC BOOK SHAKERS

Every day CovrPrice’s Daily Shaker List calls out comics with the highest sales value sold that day. Throughout the week we pull the more interesting ones and elaborate on them here. Check out our sweet Shaker List here.

 

SHAKER: ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 2ND PRINT (Marvel 2014) 

Disney’s recent announcements have pushed several Marvel properties higher in value and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) is no exception. A Ms. Marvel live-action series is set to hit Disney+ in late 2021 and we got a glimpse into what the recent casting of Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan will look like on the screen. News like this does not translate into a full force increase in value for one key book because Kamala Khan’s first appearance is so convoluted (Captain Marvel #14 – brief unrelated and unnamed cameo, Captain Marvel #17 – another brief unnamed yet related cameo and the 2nd print has the first Kamala Khan in costume as Ms. Marvel and finally All-New Marvel Now! Point One (ANMNPO) #1 – first full Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel). However, ANMNPO has been a rising favorite with Kamala appearing as part of the story and both the 1:75 variant and this 2nd print each having under 10% of the number of CGC graded copies as the first printing. That’s why it’s no surprise that the 2nd print hit an all-time high this week of $1,625 for a CGC 9.8 copy. It’s great to see both Disney and fans investing in young, fun, and diverse characters. While Disney+ is a relatively new entity and we don’t know exactly how series hosted on the platform will impact comic sales, early signs are positive and it’s definitely something to watch.

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SHAKER: BATMAN #121 (DC, 1959)

It’s getting cold out there, so it’s only reasonable that we talk about one of the big baddies from Batman’s rogues gallery. Of course, we’re referring to Mr. Freeze (aka Mr. Zero) and his first appearance in Batman #121. This early silver age first appearance of Mr. Freeze achieved a high sale this week for a CGC 3.5 copy with the hammer dropping at $2,040. This is a substantial jump from the prior high sale at this grade of $1,675 that was realized in September. With only 660 blue label CGC copies on the census, this is a difficult book to find in any grade, and the increase in sales price recently shows that. One thing that makes this villain relatively unique and in such high demand for collectors is the fact that unlike other major Batman villains, including the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Riddler, and the Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze’ first appearance is actually in the Silver Age. The other major Batman villain that holds this honor is Poison Ivy, with her first appearance in issue #181, and we’ve seen that book hit records recently as well.

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SHAKER: BATMAN: ALMOST GOT ‘IM (WESTERN PUBLICATIONS, 1993)

In a time where MARVEL PREVIEWS #95 is almost a $10K book in a 9.8, shouldn’t this first published appearance of Harley Quinn should theoretically follow? While it’s a children’s book, it is graded and recognized by CGC. It’s been increasing for the past 3 years and hit a MASSIVE new high of $2,550 for a CGC 9.8, which outpaces the highest sale we have from BATMAN ADVENTURES #12. So, maybe there is something to these non-traditional firsts. There’s definitely a lot of money out there for them.

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SHAKER: BATMAN BEYOND #4 – NEWSSTAND (DC, 1999)

This issue features the first appearance of Melanie Walker, villain/girlfriend of Terry/Batman Beyond. This week’s sale of $649.99 for a CGC 9.8 copy is a reminder that it’s not just the content-driven books making money. As noted above, collectors are shelling out high dollar amounts for these newsstand rarities. If you have a high-grade newsstand of a popular key character, it’s definitely worth grading.

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SHAKER: BLIP #1 (MARVEL, 1983)

Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) released in 1985, bringing with it the beloved character Mario to the forefront of every kid’s mind. We remember pining for the system and eventually receiving one in the late 1980s along with Nintendo’s marquee Super Mario Bros game. Arcade-goers, however, already knew Mario from the 1981 Donkey Kong arcade game that had Mario leaping barrels, climbing ladders, and smashing things with a hammer in an effort to save the damsel in distress. By the end of June 1982, Nintendo had already sold 60K Donkey Kong arcade machines and in January 1983 the game received the Arcade Awards “Best Single-Player Video Game” award. So it’s no surprise that Marvel featured Donkey Kong in its 1983 debut issue of Blip – a video game magazine in a comic format. This feature article is the first time Donkey Kong and Mario appear in comic/magazine format (a fact acknowledged by CGC on their label) – 7 years before Valiant released the increasingly popular Nintendo Comics System Sneak Preview in 1990. Fast forward to the end of 2020 where a CGC 9.8 copy of Blip #1 just sold for $699 – beating the previous 2019 CGC 9.8 record of $285. In a time when everyone’s looking for that cool retro book with first appearances of characters from our childhoods, it’s amazing to see such a book fly under the comic collecting community’s notice for almost 40 years. A note of caution, if you want to add a copy to your collection make sure you avoid the Blip #1 one-shot by Bardic from 1998 and Blip and the CCADS #1 from the 1987 Amazing Comics series. Happy hunting!

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SHAKER: COBRA KAI: THE KARATE KID SAGA CONTINUES #1 – NYCC VARIANTS (IDW, 2019)

Umm, wow. This week the very hard to find Johnny NYCC Variant and Daniel NYCC Variant both sold for $400 raw, EACH! These were limited to 500 copies, which isn’t that small. Yet, only a handful of copies have hit sites like eBay since their release in 2019. With the high market interest in Cobra Kai, this run has seen a significant increase in price. The 1:25 variant sold last week for $300 raw and the standard variants can sell between $70 and $100. There are only 4 graded copies (two are 9.8s) of the NYCC variants. With the 3rd series hitting Netflix in a week, these books should be hot for at least the next several months.

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SHAKER: DEADWORLD #10 (CALIBER PRESS, 1988)

So, here’s an old school case where collectors sought after preview appearances of fan-favorite characters. This particular book features the first preview appearance of THE CROW. While this book can’t even touch the first appearance in CALIBER PRESENTS #1 or THE CROW #1, it did have its highest sale yet of $597 for a CGC 9.8.

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SHAKER: INVINCIBLE #75 – 1:50 VARIANT (IMAGE, 2010)

There are several variants/2nd printings that command decent money in this series. However, it’s this 1:50 variant for issue #75 that collectors seek the most. This simple homage to the first issue (with his more updated look) sold for $199 raw this week.

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SHAKER: NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD #4 (MARVEL, 1968)

Issue #4 of the self-titled series, Nick Fury, Agent of Shield, saw its biggest sale ever this week for a CGC 9.8 copy. The white pages copy realized a sale of $3,480 on Heritage this past weekend, a significant jump from its prior high sale of $2,799 in May of this year. The distinct artwork from Jim Steranko on the covers of issues #1 and #4 of this run have always been in demand because of their uniquely 1960s feel, but this new high sale shows that the popularity of this character and the early work by Steranko is still increasing. If you would like to see where Jim Steranko began his career with Marvel, check out issue #151 of Strange Tales, where he started drawing Nick Fury and quickly became responsible for the story writing as well. (also, here’s a fun fact: J. Scott Campbell homaged this cover with his Domino #1 (2018) variant.)

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SHAKER: POPEYE THE SAILOR #158 (WESTERN, 1980)

This Whitman copy of issue #158 sold for a new high raw sale of $525. It doesn’t pop up too often, so it was just a nice sale to see this week. We’d never seen a “Mooduc” before… our life is now complete.

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SHAKER: SIMPSONS COMICS MINI-COMIC #1 (BONGO 2003) 

Reprints are getting a lot of love recently, but when you combine reprint, nostalgia, and scarcity you can end up with big value differences between 1st print and reprint. Simpsons Comics #1 from 1993 doesn’t get much love with CGC 9.8’s going for around $100 – in spite of the sweet Fantastic Four #1 homage cover. Fast forward ten years to Dark Horse (under the Bongo label) releasing a reprint of Simpsons Comics #1. This reprint has largely the same cover art as the original but is a mere 3.5″ x 2.5″ so it can fit in a publisher-supplied plastic keychain holder. This mini-comic rarely comes up for sale and recently a CGC copy went for about 5x the original in the same grade – $499.99. As an aside, Dark Horse released other such mini-comics about Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and Monsters, Inc. Cowabunga Man!

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SHAKER: STAR WARS #10 (DARK HORSE, 1999)

Welcome this new contender to rapidly increasing Star Wars books. This issue has the 1st appearance of A’Sharad Hett who later becomes Darth Krayt. We’ll admit, we’re not sure WHERE speculation believes this character will appear, but either way… it’s selling for $95 raw. 

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SHAKER: STAR WARS KANAN #12 (MARVEL, 2016)

This issue features the first appearance of Admiral Sloane/Grand Inquisitor, known as the most powerful woman in the Empire during the Kanan timeline. Speculation believes that IF Kanan, Sabine, and the other Rebels appear in upcoming Star Wars Disney content, that Admiral Sloane won’t be far behind. This week this issue hit a high of $399 for a CGC 9.8.

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SHAKER: STAR WARS ROGUE ONE ADAPTATION #1 – TERRY DODSON (1:25) (MARVEL, 2017)

Out of all the Disney Investor announcements, the new ROGUE ONE film took the lead in new market movement… ranging from first appearances, first series, and this Marvel relaunch. The 1:25 Dodson variant for this 2017 series (featuring the first Cassian Andor) picked up steam quickly and hit a new high sale of $300 raw for a NM+ copy. 

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SHAKER: TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 (MARVEL, 1962)

The first appearance of Iron Man was experiencing a lull in its sales price earlier this year, but that time appears to have passed. A CGC 2.5 copy had its highest sale ever at that grade during a Heritage auction this past weekend, with a closing price of $5,160. This is a huge increase from its prior high sale of $4,000 in July for this grade. All major Marvel silver age keys have been on a run lately so it’s not a huge surprise that we’re seeing new highs, but it’s also possible that this is partly related to the recent news around Riri Williams and the recent announcement about her introduction to the MCU and strong rumors of Robert Downey Jr. returning as her AI (which first appeared in INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1).

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SHAKER: TANK GIRL #1 (DARK HORSE, 1991)

This book is a testament to surviving bad content. This week, we saw a CGC 9.8 hit an all-new high on our site for $999.99. In the ’90s, this was one of the few comic book-based films that made its way into theatres. And… it’s not the best. However, there is some nostalgia around it for those who remember a time where this was all we comic books fans had to watch. Over the past 29 years, collectors have slowly driven up the price for this key issue and Tank Girl’s first appearance in DEADLINE #1

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SHAKER: THE UNCANNY X-MEN #266 – NEWSSTAND (MARVEL, 1990)

Man, newsstands are crazy right now… EVEN when newsstands weren’t all that rare. Sure, they were rarer… but still pretty prevalent in 1990. However, 2020 doesn’t care. A CGC 9.8 newsstand copy of this first appearance of Gambit sold for a big $1,699.99. Keep in mind that the direct edition’s highest 9.8 sale we’ve seen is $600. We sure wish we had our time machine working so we could go back and stop our younger selves from thinking Direct Editions were always better… oh well. 

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SHAKER: WOLVERINE #145 – BILL SIENKIEWICZ NABISCO MAIL-AWAY (MARVEL 1999)

We talked about the white “bone” error version of this book recently but there’s another variant that has held its value as well. This Bill Sienkiewicz variant was only available to those who spotted the promo and sent in bar codes from various Nabisco packages by a set deadline. This likely kept the circulation numbers down. An approximately 9.0 copy (with some alleged press potential yet shady eBay seller picture action) sold recently for $700 – the buyer likely hoping to press up to a CGC 9.8 to enjoy the $1,500-1,700 this book can command. Missing the bullseye by a hair and only hitting CGC 9.6 will allow the buyer to break even; completely missing the mark and receiving a CGC 9.4 copy will put the buyer out hundreds of dollars.  Such is the gamble of buying a notably damaged book and hoping to breathe new life into it with a press. It pays to know your grades, know what damage can be pressed/cleaned, and always demand more pictures if you can’t see such an investment book in person.

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RUMORED/OPTIONED COMICS

RUMORED/OPTIONED: MARVEL #12 – JONES (1:25) (MARVEL, 2016)

This was a mostly quiet week, so we’ll share some news we missed from a couple of weeks ago when casting was announced that actor Aramis Knight will play the role of RED DAGGER on the Ms. Marvel Disney+ series. This variant has been steadily selling since then and took a big jump last week to $223.25 for a raw copy.

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WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING

 

WATCHING: BATMAN #655 – NEWSSTAND (DC, 2006)

This issue features the first appearance of Damian Wayne. The character has found a big following since his inception (and then death/resurrection). While his first appearance sells for $20 raw, a recent newsstand sale gave a significant premium of $299.99 raw. This year’s focus on subsequent printings has been an interesting change to what collectors/ fans are buying. Granted, post-2000 newsstands can be very hard to find. Damian recently had a falling out with his father and walked away from the Robin mantle. While we receive snippets of DC’s Future State plans, upon the announcement of Luke Fox as Batman, many of Damian’s fans have shared their disappointment in him not taking on the Bat Mantle in Future State (as we were able to get a future glimpse of in BATMAN #666). However, the character still has a lot of potential and writer James Tynion IV has mentioned that he has secret plans for Damian. Whether a villain or a hero, Damian is a major force to be reckoned with. Now is the time to buy into his first while the standard issue is affordable.

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KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: FANTASTIC FOUR #49 (MARVEL, 1966)

2020 was a rough year for many, and even for Galactus the Devourer of Worlds. Last year Galactus was spared by the Silver Surfer at the urging of the Watcher in Silver Surfer Black. But he was killed three times in 2020: first by Cosmic Thor in Thor #6, then by exploding busses in the video game Fortnite’s season 5 conclusion (which you should totally watch btw), and finally by Antithesis in Fantastic Four Antithesis #4. But all this hasn’t hurt interest in Galactus’ first full appearance in Fantastic Four #49 which still trades well for all conditions. On Christmas day we noted a record sale at a CGC 9.2 grade for $5,700! 

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Lead Writer: Matt DeVoe | [email protected]

Comic Researcher: Matt Day |[email protected]

Comic Researcher: Ryan Forster | [email protected]

Comic Researcher: Matt Burtner | [email protected]

Editor: John Sulaitis | [email protected]


 

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