WEEK IN REVIEW

January 3rd, 2021

Welcome to CovrPrice’s weekly Newsletter!

This week we talk about a big sale for a mail-away variant, we check in on the 1st appearance of Mephisto (who has tormented many in the Marvel universe), and highlight some content rumors about Ricki Barns. 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: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #122 (MARVEL, 1973)

We so commonly focus on first appearances, but we don’t often talk about deaths. Well, some recent activity on ASM #122, the apparent death of Norman Osbourne as Green Goblin, is pushing this key death issue to the forefront. CGC 9.8 copies of this book have fluctuated between $1,500 and $3,000 for years, yet we might be seeing a new high plateau. This summer we saw $3,300 and $3,600 sales, but the book price dropped below $2,000 between those sales. ASM #122 eventually surged to $4,994 for White pages Comic Verification Authority (CVA) exceptional copy. As an aside, and for those unfamiliar with CVA, they provide an additional certification beyond the given CGC/CBCS grade. We all know CGC/CBCS graders are only human and miss things, so CVA gives collectors/investors additional confidence that a secondary comic grading expert has reviewed the book in accordance with the grade given. CVA certification will come in the form of a tamper-proof sticker affixed to the outside of a CGC/CBCS hard plastic case. More commonly you will see a silver CVA sticker, but for extraordinary examples of a book at a given grade, CVA will award a gold sticker. Ok, back to ASM #122! So a CGC 9.8 ASM #122 with White pages and a silver CVA sticker is essentially the cream of the crop (there are no 9.9 or 10.0 copies on the CGC census and only 2% of all CGC graded copies are 9.8’s), yet a mere OW/W CGC 9.8 without the CVA certification just sold for $5,000 – an all-time high. So with a couple of CGC 9.8 sales in the $5K range, is this the new norm? Or, is this just a temporary bump – people spending their COVID-19 relief checks? Will a cinematic Green Goblin rise again? Only time will tell – but you can bet on the CP team keeping an eye out for this book and its sibling ASM #121 (death of Gwen Stacy – which itself has surged to the $6,000+ range for a CGC 9.8 copy). Keep hanging in there webheads!

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SHAKER: ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #8 – NEAL ADAMS – RRP

(DC, 2007)

What do you get when you combine Batman, Joker, Neal Adams, and a limited availability promotional comic? The Answer: A highly desirable collectible any Neal Adams Batman/Joker fan would love to own. This promotional/giveaway variant of Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder #8 was given to attendees of the 2008 DC Retailer Roundtable Program meeting. RRP variants commonly go for decent money because these meetings are limited to under 100 select retailers and the print runs seem to be sized accordingly. This RRP variant is no exception with only around 130 copies showing on the CGC census. We’ve only recorded one raw sale in the CovrPrice database and there are rarely multiple copies, if any, available for sale on eBay. After over two years of no CGC 9.8 sales, a copy just sold for an all-time high of $599 – that’s more than a 50% premium over the last sale in this grade. Don’t have $600 for this beauty (or $200 for a raw copy) but still like the Neal Adams cover art, there’s a 1:10 B&W variant with the same cover art that can be had for notably less. Check the CovrPrice page for the B&W variant to see the going rate. One note of caution, eBay asking prices are WAY over market right now for the B&W variant but you should be able to hunt down a more reasonably priced copy at your LCS or at your favorite online retailer.

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SHAKER: BATMAN #227 (DC, 1970)

Detective Comics #31 is one of the most iconic Batman covers from the Golden Age. Few of us will ever see a copy of that book in person, let alone own one. BUT, the next closest thing is the homage Neal Adams created of this cover for Batman #227. There are no particularly key occurrences in this issue of Batman, but the iconic image of Batman looming on the cover continues to be in high demand from collectors. It had a high sale in a CGC 9.2 of $2,400 this week with the prior high sale coming in at $1,750 over two years ago. This sale is an even bigger jump from the $1,599 sale that occurred just two months ago in November. Neal Adams created many iconic covers throughout his time working on both Detective Comics and Batman. 

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SHAKER: BATMAN GRENDEL ASHCAN #1 – SILVER MOON (LIMITED 25) (DC, 1993)

This ashcan came in 3 covers: red foil, gold foil, and silver foil (aka “Silver Moon” or “Platinum Moon”). The red foil edition came with the first issue of Hero Illustrated and the gold foil edition was relatively prevalent as well. The Silver/Platinum Moon edition, however, was limited to 25 copies and could only be acquired by entering a contest. With a 25 copy limit and 19 on the CGC census (none in 9.8), we don’t see many sales. In fact, we’ve only recorded 6 total sales, one of which was a recent $800 sale for an approximately 9.6 raw sealed copy and $55 for a copy with “wear”. Prices seem to fluctuate wildly so perhaps if you watch closely you can snag a decent copy on the cheap.

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SHAKER: CRIME SUSPENSTORIES #22 (E.C., 1954)

If you’ve ever wondered why that little white box is on the cover of many of your comics says “Approved by the Comics Code Authority”, just take a look at this book and you’ll understand. The Golden Age of comic books wasn’t all super-heroes, it was also well known for violent and provocative covers such as this one. Crime SuspenStories #22 is one of the most famous pre-code horror covers with its brutal decapitation cover that was created by E.C. Comics cover artist Johnny Craig. This week it had a high sale in a CGC 3.0 white pages copy selling for $3,360. This is a huge jump from the prior high sale of $2,200 in October of this year. White pages books from the Golden Age often command a significant premium, and that was definitely seen this week. If you’d like to learn more about the establishment of the Comics Code Authority, we recommend looking into the Seduction of the Innocent (SOTI) that ultimately led to a U.S. Senate hearing on comics such as this and their supposed impact on children of that time.

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SHAKER: HAWKMAN #4 (DC, 1964)

Using her magical prowess to take down villains alongside heavy hitters like Batman and the Justice League, Zatanna has become a DC fan favorite. Her first appearance here in Hawkman #4 saw a high sale in a CGC 7.5 of $1,300 this week, a $305 dollar increase over the prior high sale that was seen in July of 2020. This isn’t a huge surprise with the recent news about her appearing on the upcoming HBO Max series focusing on Justice League Dark. This book is notoriously difficult to find in high grade, so expect to see collectors snatch these up as more news starts coming out about the show. If you’re looking for other key first appearances that aren’t quite so expensive, John Constantine is also rumored to be appearing in the show, and you can find his first appearance alongside Swamp Thing in Swamp Thing #37.

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SHAKER: INVINCIBLE #5 (IMAGE, 2003)

With INVINCIBLE on a steady rise, other early issues of this series are drafting (sorry, we played a lot of Mario Kart over break) behind the first issue. This issue features the first appearance of ALLEN THE ALIEN, who will be voiced by Seth Rogan. There’s some early speculation that Allen will most likely be one of the fan-favorite characters. Even though the show hasn’t started, raw prices have jumped this week to $155 raw and a new 9.8 high of $600!

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SHAKER: INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 (MARVEL, 2016)

We noticed that the variants for this first issue for the regular Riri/Ironheart series have really skyrocketed this week: 

The JEFF DEKAL (1:25) (shown above) hit a new high of $440 for a CGC 9.8

The JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER – ACTION FIGURE hit new raw highs of $130!

And the VERY hard to find AMALGAM COMICS EXCLUSIVE sold for a massive $550…. RAW. This is up from the ONLY previous sale of $20 back in March. This cover by Elizabeth Torque features Riri having coffee with AMALGAM COMICS & COFFEE (Philadelphia) owner, Ariell Johnson. We called Amalgam… and yeah, they no longer have copies. They are long gone and sold out pretty quickly. However, we did confirm the print run of 1,000 copies. Marvel usually has a high incentive requirement of 3K, but they made a rare special exception for this cover. Will coffee shop covers be the new hot thing for 2021? Probably not, but this is a fun cover with a fun story behind it.

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SHAKER: GOD COUNTRY #1 – IMAGE 25TH ANNIVERSARY BLIND BOX VIRGIN VARIANT

(IMAGE, 2017)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything regarding GOD COUNTRY. It was a year ago this week when Donny Cates announced that he finished the theatrical script for Legendary Films. Granted, COVID derailed a lot of development plans. However, it’s Donny Cates’ CROSSOVER event book that is bringing renewed attention to it. And this Blindbox (the short-lived subscription service) virgin variant is one of the hardest to find covers. It sold this week for $775 for a CGC 9.8.

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SHAKER: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1 – VEREGGE HIP HOP (MARVEL, 2015)

This summer Disney announced that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur were coming to the network in an animated series produced by Laurence Fishburne. This week, we observed record sales of this 2016 series’ #1 issue trend on CovrPrice. In particular, we noted a record raw sale on 12/29 of $99 and a 9.8 for $250 on 12/24. It’s also worth noting the huge jump in sales for the VEREGGE HIP HOP variant. It REALLY picked up in price recently and is currently selling for $50 raw and a new high sale of $424.99 for a CGC 9.8. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur did appear in Jason Aaron’s Avengers “Enter the Phoenix” story arc this week (along with an unruly cast of competitors including Howard the Duck, Swamp Thing, and… is that The Orb on the last page of Avengers 40!?). Will Moon Girl become the new Phoenix? Will the animated show be awesome? Whatever comes, we look forward to following this most dynamic dino-duo. 

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SHAKER: THE MIGHTY THOR #1 – MIKE DEODATO JR. HIP-HOP VARIANT (MARVEL, 2015)

If you hadn’t heard, the immensely respected masked rapper MF DOOM died back in October (though it was just reported last week). This Hip-Hop cover honors his 2004 MADVILLAINY sole studio album with his MADVILLAIN partner Madlib. Upon the news of his death, sales for this variant spiked, hitting a high of $70 raw. RIP Doom!

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SHAKER: POLICE COMICS #1 (QUALITY COMICS, 1941) 

This is one of the more important Golden Age comics as it has multiple 1st appearances, including well-known characters such as Plastic Man, Phantom Lady, and lesser-known characters like Firebrand and the Human Bomb. This is the type of book that is most commonly seen encapsulated within a CGC case, but in spite of being around for almost 80 years, there are only 58 copies on the CGC census. That’s why we at CovrPrice sat up and took notice when a raw copy hit our Shakers list this week. Most raw copies of this book are actually reprints or full-blown unsanctioned reproductions (think “I just want a hardcopy of this so let’s print out some pages and slap a cover on there”). This is only the second raw sale we’ve recorded – an approximately 1.8 copy that went for $4,325.75. We’ve seen that price on 2.5-3.0 copies, but when a book like this comes up for auction and you really want it – you do what it takes.

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SHAKER: SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #1 – 6TH PRINT (BOOM, 2019)

This series is incredibly hot. VERY few series hit so many printings, let alone command $100+ prices for almost every cover! This 6th print is no exception as it’s currently selling for $165 raw.

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SHAKER: SPIDER-MEN II #1 – TEDESCO VARIANT (1:50) (MARVEL, 2017)

It’s been a while since we checked in on this book. If you recall, it was one of the hottest variants of June 2020. Lately, you don’t hear many mention it anymore. However, that doesn’t mean that collectors are not still buying into it. A CGC 9.8 sold this week for a new high of $900!

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SHAKER: STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC #42 (DARK HORSE, 2009)

This issue features the origin of Darth Revan and the first full appearance of Darth Malak. While this has been hot for a few months now, this week’s new high sale of $700 for a 9.8 officially turns this book into a scorcher.

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SHAKER: STAR WARS: LEGACY #1 – NEWSSTAND (DARK HORSE, 2006)

The standard version of STAR WARS LEGACY #1 (1st appearance of Darth Krayt & Cade Skywalker) ranges in price from $75 to $150. However, this week’s $299 sale for a newsstand edition blows those prices into a whole new galaxy… far far away (sorry).

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SHAKER: STAR WARS: THRAWN #1 – FRANCESCO MATTINA (1:50) (MARVEL, 2018)

The night Ahsoka appeared on THE MANDALORIAN and mentioned Thrawn’s name, this variant immediately started moving. Granted, the market supply was low… so collectors had to wait for copies to pop up. This month, a high-grade raw sold for $700 and this week it hit a new high in a 9.8 for $1,399.99… and it’s just getting started.

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SHAKER: ULTIMATE MARVEL TEAM-UP #5 (MARVEL, 2001)

When the Ultimate Universe modeled their Nick Fury on Samuel L Jackson, it just worked… perfectly. So, when it came to casting Nick Fury for the MCU, there was only one very obvious choice. What’s surprising is how LONG it took this first appearance of ULTIMATE NICK FURY to trend, selling for a new high sale of $400 for a CGC 9.8. Keep in mind, Samuel L Jackson’s likeness wasn’t really used until ULTIMATES #2.

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SHAKER: WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #118 – DIRECT EDITION (MARVEL, 1994)

While the comic aftermarket world focuses on STAR WARS, some collectors are buying into all the various Spider personas. As we head into INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 2 the MCU moves into the Multiverse with DR. STRANGE 2 and SPIDER-MAN 3, we’re about to see new Spider-Men/Women hit the big and small screen. Aside from Miles, 2099 is the clear alternate Spidey focus for the SPIDER-VERSE. Though, collectors recently began investing in this first appearance of Scarlet Spider. Will it be a while before we see Ben Reily? Probably. However, this week this book hit a new high sale of $380 for a CGC 9.8. Either way, this book is moving on up.

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SHAKER: X-MEN #11 – PRESSMAN VARIANT (MARVEL, 1992)

In 1993, several of Pressman’s board games came with an actual comic or a coupon voucher to receive a comic in the mail. This issue of X-Men #11 was included (no mail away) in the board game THE UNCANNY X-MEN ALERT ADVENTURE GAME (which will run you $70 to $150 sealed on eBay). For years, only die-hard collectors sought these out. Due to this, prices have always been fairly low. However, 2020 explored all the outer reaches of comic collecting, which helped drive this silver beauty to its new high of $650 for a CGC 9.8. (be sure to read CovrPrice’s “All You Need to Know About Variants” article for more info about mail-away variants among a ton of others)

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RUMORED/OPTIONED COMICS

RUMORED/OPTIONED:  RICKI BARNES

Recently, Marvel Scooper Roger Wardell reappeared on Twitter to share some FALCON AND THE WINTER speculations, specifically on how actress Erin Kellyman MAY be secretly playing the role of Ricki Barnes, Bucky’s Granddaughter… which will eventually lead her to taking on the NOMAD mantle.

Keep in mind this is all very unconfirmed. However, that didn’t stop sales from catching on fire. CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 (Liefeld’s 1996 series) landed two spots (standard and variant) on our TOP 10 this week, with the standard cover selling 84 copies! Even Ricki’s first full appearance as NOMAD landed on our Top 10 (though, she kind of had a cameo at the end of ONSLAUGHT REBORN #5 where she crossed over into our world… which is where this series picks up from). Now, here’s the kicker.. many other places have claimed CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 as the first Ricki Barnes. However, she first appeared in Wizard’s HEROES REBORN ½ (both on the cover and almost every page within), which was printed two months before Captain America #1 in September 1996 (Captain America #1 released in November 1996). Granted, some of the debate that will come up surrounding this will be how it was a mail-away order from Wizard Magazine #61 (9/96). So, it really depends on how long it took Wizard to fulfill those orders. However, with that said, many collectors most likely hand this in hand before the November issue of Captain America #1. It’s also worth noting that this half issue also had a platinum variant. So, there you have it. If you had Ricki Barnes on your Bingo list for 2021, you win that square.

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WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING

 

WATCHING: OUTLAWED #1 – ANNA RUD (1:50) (MARVEL, 2020)

We don’t JUST watch books on the rise, we also pay attention to books on their way down (it happens… as much as we don’t like it). Here’s one with a quick cautionary tale playing out before our eyes. The 1:50 Rud variant is the epitome of hype run amok. Everyone was chasing this book at the start of the pandemic. I mean, what’s not to love with three young superstars on the cover (Kamala, Riri and Miles), a high ratio variant when comic shops were cutting back on purchases PLUS a new shadowy villainous organization to spec on? As CGC 9.8 copies started to hit the marketplace, sales prices quickly rose up to $2,500 at the end of September 2020. Yet, only a mere 3 months later the price has dropped more than 66% down to $800 or less. It seems people forgot that actual substance is needed for staying power as speculators and collectors flock to the next big thing (ie. Star Wars and Marvel cinematic/Disney+ announcements). So while this book had several things going for it: the main substance, the introduction of CRADLE, the sweet cover, etc  It hasn’t been enough to sustain the meteoric rise. If this book is to regain its former glory, it will likely take something like CRADLE becoming the modern-day Sentinels program or the Outlawed storyline becoming the central theme to an upcoming Disney+ show/Marvel movie. Regardless, for a book with a theoretical max supply of about 560 featuring the cream of Marvel’s young crop, an $800 sale is quite substantial. It will be a book to watch going forward.

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KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK:  SILVER SURFER #3 (MARVEL, 1968)

Mephisto, the magical trickster demon created by John Buscema and Stan Lee based on the German legend of Mephistopheles from “Faust”, makes his first appearance in Silver Surfer #3. Obsessed with the Silver Surfer, Mephisto appears several times throughout that run (books 3-4,8-9,& 16-17), and later resurfaces as a villain in Thor, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, Vision and the Scarlet Witch, Secret Wars II, and the Infinity Gauntlet. Shades of Mephisto popping up in the Loki and WandaVision movie trailers along with unconfirmed rumors of Mephisto appearing in the Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness film might be behind a recent spike in sales for this classic key. In any case, Silver Surfer #3 is selling for record prices at the end of December with a graded 7.0 copy selling for $797, an 8.0 for $1,222, and a 9.6 hitting $6,100!

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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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