WEEK IN REVIEW

April 12th, 2021

Welcome to CovrPrice’s Weekly Newsletter!

This week we do a rarity/price check of issues in the Once & Future series, we see a big sale for a Nintendo-based comic, and call out some fun content news!

Don’t forget you can always swing by CovrPrice to check out our Movers and Shakers lists for a sneak peek at our newsletter picks! 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: AGE OF ULTRON #10 – ANGELA WRAPAROUND SKETCH VARIANT BY JOE QUESADA MARVEL | 2013

Persistent rumors of ANGELA being introduced into the MCU via GUARDIANS continue to drive this variant to new heights, including this week’s sale of $650 for a CGC 9.8. This issue marks her first introduction to the pages of Marvel after a long heated legal battle between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman. In 1993, McFarlane hired several esteemed creators to guest write on SPAWN. This included Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Dave Sims, and Neil Gaiman. Gaiman co-created both Angela and Medieval Spawn, introducing both characters in SPAWN #9. Per Gaiman, it was agreed that he would retain rights to the character. Of course, McFarlane claimed it was simply work-for-hire. With no official contract, this became a heated debate and went to court, leaving Gaiman the winner of a substantial settlement. While the specifics of that settlement are unknown, 10 years later McFarlane settled the dispute by giving Gaiman ownership of just Angela. A year later, Gaiman sold the character to Marvel… making her a sister of THOR. While this variant is now exceptionally high (due to her being on the cover), the standard cover is a great investment as it currently sells for $2. 

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SHAKER: ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 MARVEL | 2014

Wow, so this full appearance of Kamala in costume as Ms. Marvel hit crazy new raw highs this week. It had two big sales of $300 and $404. These high sales came off of this book’s overall new high sale of $1,499.99 for a CGC 9.8… which was a price reserved for the 2nd print. So, expect a price bump on that soon!

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SHAKER: BITTER ROOT #1 – VIRGIN IMAGE | 2018

Bitter Root by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown is a fan-favorite series. It’s a fun series, a great read and has MANY amazing covers. This fanfare and content announcement (in development with Legendary since March 2019) has helped this first issue and its various covers increase steadily since its release. While the focus was always on the My Comic Shop Akira variant, the Borderlands variant quickly caught up, both selling for around $150. However, this VIRGIN cover is now in the running after this week’s raw sale of $100. There are 5 other covers (standard, cover b, cover c, cover d, and 2nd print), all very affordable. Now’s a great time to pick some of those up. However, that 2nd print has completely disappeared… so that one’s going to be tough to find. 

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SHAKER: BLACK PANTHER #1 (MARVEL, 1977)

It’s a common pattern. The 1st appearance of an important character rises in price so much that it is out of reach for most folks, so they look for other cool ways to collect the character. We have the same situation here with Black Panther. Black Panther’s first appearance in Fantastic Four #52 has been on an absolute tear since mid-2020 with even mid-grade copies approaching 2 grand. When this happens, some look to the 2nd appearance and others look to the first solo series. That brings us to today’s big-time shaker – Black Panther #1 from 1977 with a cover from none other than the king himself, Jack Kirby. A CGC 9.8 copy recently sold at auction after a fearsome 79-bid auction for an all-time high of $4,191 – absolutely shattering the previous record of $2,100 set in February this year. This book is not exactly rare in 9.8 condition with 240 copies on the CGC Census, but there are no recorded higher grade copies so a 9.8 is the best you’re going to get at this point. Considering back in April 2020 you could get a CGC 9.8 copy for as little as $650, a 6 fold rise in a single year is very impressive. While we don’t exactly know the direction Marvel will take the Black Panther franchise in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s death, we’re with comic fans in our excitement for what’s to come. Wakanda Forever!

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SHAKER: CAPTAIN AMERICA #107 (MARVEL, 1968)

Captain America #107 features the first appearance of Doctor Faustus – an evil-minded psychiatrist meant to mess with Cap’s head. We watch the horror unfold as the reader believes our Star-Spangled Avenger has been tricked into taking medication that brings on hallucinations of past traumatic events – Bucky’s death, loss of Sharon Carter, and the Red Skull. Lucky for us, Captain America never trusted the mad Doctor from the start… tricking both him and the reader into thinking he was indeed going mad. And talking about mad – how about this raw sale?! This week we saw a high-grade (9.8 advertised) copy sell for $682! That shatters any past sale of this book. But if as advertised, graded CGC 9.8s have reached $1,400+ so clearly, someone thinks this raw purchase is worth the risk!

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SHAKER: CAPTAIN N: THE GAME MASTER #1 ACCLAIM / VALIANT | 1990

If you were a child of the ’80s, then you will most likely remember this Saturday morning cartoon, sharing the same name of this comic. With nostalgia being such a driving force in today’s market heat, this Nintendo-based comic hits the right feels. However, it also has a lot more than just that going on for it. This issue features the first comic appearances of multiple key Nintendo characters like Captain N, Samus Aran (of Metroid), Pit/Kid Icarus, Donkey Kong, Mother Brain, King Hippo, Little Mac (of Punchout) the NES Zapper and the Super Power Pad. These early appearances are not well known and fly under the radar for most comic fans. However, Nintendo collectors have been buying these up for years. This week’s new high sale of $485 for a CGC 9.8 is just the beginning. 

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SHAKER: DARING COMICS #11 (TIMELY/MARVEL, 1945)

Oddly giant-sized version of Sub-Mariner, check. Human Torch and Toro flying around in epic fashion, check. World War II war scene with massive amounts of destruction, check. Looks like we’ve got all the ingredients for an incredible Alex Schomburg golden age cover and a record-breaking sale. This week we saw a CGC 6.0 copy of Daring Comics #11 sell for $2,040, beating out the prior record in this grade of $979 from March of 2019 by over $1,000. There are few golden age cover artists that command the attention and demand of Alex Schomburg and when you have a book with so many epic elements it’s no surprise that this book continues to hit new highs consistently. Luckily for collectors looking to add one of his books to their collection, he created numerous covers in a variety of styles across his career in the comic and magazine industry. So get out there and start hunting for some of his epic World War II, Science Fiction, and Superhero-themed covers.

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SHAKER: INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #9 MARVEL | 2016

When Riri Williams was finally announced to appear in the MCU via Disney+, her key issues saw huge bumps in price. However, there was a big debate on what her “go-to” key “first appearance” issue should be. The debate lies with her 2-panel cameo appearance (with dialogue and named) at the end of #7 versus her full first in issue #9. Early on, the market favored #7. This was supported by this issue’s 3rd print cover callout badge of “featuring the first appearance of Riri Williams”. It’s hard to argue with the publisher themselves. However, the market has chosen: #7 sells for $275 in a 9.8 and #9 had an all-new high sale this week of $799.99 for a 9.8! So, you don’t need to be a genius like Riri to see that issue #9 is the clear winner.

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SHAKER: SHE-HULK #22 MARVEL | 2007

Recently, a rumored leak of a SHE-HULK Disney casting call for “a 20-30-year-old female shapeshifter” who “embraces Earth’s pop culture. Enjoying the way she lives life, she uses her power in any way that she can to make her happy” has led speculators to She-Hulk’s Skrull ally (and daughter of the Super-Skrull Kl’rt), Jazinda. Her first appearance is in this issue and has been consistently selling for a steady $30. It’s definitely one to watch!

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SHAKER: SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #1 – AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (LIMITED 1000) BOOM! STUDIOS | 2019

As if this massively successful series and first issue needed another pricey book… we present to you this immensely hard to find American Library Association (ALA) edition of the first issue. At the 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition, this promotional edition of SIKTC was handed out to attendees. The book is identical to the standard cover, except for the back cover, which features Boom’s “National Marketing & Publicity Campaign” for this title. This campaign schedule really highlights how much support Boom put behind this title.  This week we saw the first sale of this hard to find edition, which sold for $1,000 raw. Keep in mind, most attendees were not die-hard comic book fans, so copies are few and far between… and most likely in non-NM condition.

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SHAKER: SPAWN #237 – TRADESMART EXCLUSIVE TODD MCFARLANE VARIANT IMAGE | 2013

Rare Spawn books have been in high demand for years now. However, it’s this past year where sales went up a notch. This Tradesmart variant is a perfect example. 500 copies of this exclusive variant were created in November 2013 specifically for a Todd McFarlane signing at a Hastings Tradesmart store in Colorado. In a strange time where a McFarlane signing didn’t sell out, additional leftover copies were sold through the store unsigned. In 2019, copies were pretty affordable at $50. Then, in April 2020, raw copies jumped to $200+ and created a surge in demand. Flash forward to last week when a CGC 9.8 sold via auction at $1,825. This destroys the last high 9.8 sale in November 2020 of $424. 

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SHAKER: SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 – NEWSSTAND (MARVEL | 1992)

This time last year, a newsstand copy of this book could be purchased for $5. This week’s new high raw sale of $100 and a new high 9.8 sale of $499 is a testament to the journey it had over the past year. Leading in INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 2, as Spider-Man 2099 gains in popularity, this is a great book to jump into right now. 

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SHAKER: STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL #2 – DAVID AJA (1:25) MARVEL | 2017

Now, STAR WARS: TALES FROM THE CLONE WARS recently stole this book’s notation of the first appearance of Cad Bane. However, die-hard collectors continue to see CLONE WARS as a graphic novel and this Darth Maul #2 issue as his first full (traditional) comic appearance. Regardless, the market seems to agree, with a new high sale for this 1:25 Aja cover of $1,064 for a CGC 9.8. CLONES WARS is selling for $165 raw. 

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SHAKER: SUPERMAN #75 – PLATINUM EDITION DC | 1992

Show of hands, how many collectors were angry after pouring money into this “death” of Superman… only to have him come back a year later? Yeah, many were. So much so, that the market values of #75 plummeted for decades. Though, with the power of nostalgia (and some of the best Superman storylines) this “death” has risen significantly in price. Limited to a mere 10,000 copies, this Platinum Edition just keeps hitting new highs, like this week’s new high sale of $984.99 for a CGC 9.8. 

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SHAKER: ULTIMATES #1 – 1:25 VARIANT (MARVEL, 2015)

They say good things come in threes! Last week we featured the regular A cover of Ultimates #1 (2015). As reported, this comic features the 1st team appearance of the Ultimates: Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ms America Chavez, Spectrum, and Blue Marvel, as well as the 1st appearance of Ayo, a member of Black Panther’s Dora Milaje (who also appeared in recent episodes of Falcon and the Winter Soldier). This week, we saw both the Hip Hop variant cover, and the 1:25 cover hit new record sales. The Deodato hip hop variant is an homage to The Fugees album, “The Score” and features Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Ms America Chavez on the cover. We saw a high raw sale of $46 and our first reported CGC 9.8 for just over $220. The 1:25 variant cover (artwork by Terry Dodson) saw a record high raw sale of $100 with another first reported CGC 9.8 sale for $200. Expect more graded copies of both covers to hit eBay as interest in this comic continues to rise!

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SHAKER: UNCANNY X-MEN #282 (MARVEL, 1991)

This book hit last week’s top 10 but it’s worth an update because there have been some record-breaking CGC 9.8 sales. People seem to be doing the math: a time-traveling supervillain, Kang, + X-Men heat + time-traveling hero, Bishop = buy Bishop’s 1st appearance. This manifested this week in the form of a record-breaking Direct Edition sale at $515 and a couple of record-breaking Newsstand sales at $770 and a day later at $795. At this rate, it will not surprise us that the Newsstand hits a grand! The interesting thing is that solid 9.0+ direct copies are still floating out there for $15 and solid 9.4+ copies are going for $50+. That’s a lot of room between a high-grade raw and a CGC 9.8 selling price – so be on the lookout.

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SHAKER: WOLVERINE #1 (MARVEL, 1988)

What would be even better than Mephisto showing up in WandaVision? Wolverine fans are seeing evidence of their favorite mutant in the current Falcon and the Winter Soldier Disney Plus series, in particular, because some of the scenes take place in Madripoor. This has drawn focus to the first ongoing self-titled Wolverine #1 which was also set on the island. It is in this series that Chris Claremont expands the location of Madripoor, building upon its first appearance in New Mutants #32. The MCU producers have left easter eggs connecting the show to this story, such as the scene with the Princess Bar which was Wolverine’s favorite haunt, and the site of altercations with the Yakuza. All this has collectors paying a premium for Wolverine #1 from 1988. A 9.8 graded copy sold for $549 this week, a new high sale in that grade, and a 48% increase above the previous high set a week earlier. Two raw copies also sold for $125 and $125.50 this week. The series features Wolverine in hiding using the alias “Patch” and a disguise consisting of an eye patch (because definitely, no one will notice an iconic winged hairstyle or adamantium claws if you wear an eye patch!). It would be a blast to get this oh-so-80s version of Wolverine showing up in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but let’s remember back just a few weeks to all the broken hearts around the ill-fated speculation of Mephisto in WandaVision and keep in mind the proverb: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

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SHAKER: WONDER WOMAN #614 – ALEX GARNER (1:10) DC | 2011

Alex Garner created some of the most sought-after wonder woman variants from his run of covers from issue #601 to #614 (the series last issue). Issues like #601 & 609 (one of our all-time favorite covers) can see significant sales. However, it’s this issue that sells for the most. This week, this 1:10 variant sold for a new high raw sale of $240. 

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SHAKER: YOUNG AVENGERS #1 – DIRECTOR’S CUT MARVEL | 2005

It’s been talked about a lot lately, but this first issue of Young Avengers is obviously incredibly hot. Going along for the ride is this Director’s cut, which saw two big sales (one day apart), a CBCS 9.8 for $595.84 and a CGC 9.8 for $710. 

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SHAKER: ZATANNA #5 – BRIAN BOLLAND (1:10) DC | 2010

Two big sales for this awesome Bolland Variant: a new high raw sale at $163 and a new overall high sale for a CGC 9.8 at $385.

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RUMORED/OPTIONED COMICS

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED:  GUNDAM

Variety is reporting that “‘Gundam’ Live-Action Movie Set at Netflix With Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts”. As previously mentioned when it was first optioned by Legendary Pictures, “Famed comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (“Y: The Last Man”) is writing the screenplay and will executive produce”.  This hard-to-find first issue of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 0079 PART #1 VIZ MEDIA | 1999 is already hitting $130 raw. There are only 5 copies of this book on the CGC census, with a 9.6 as the highest grade. This means those high-grade raw copies are going to go nuts.  

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RUMORED/OPTIONED:  STARLIGHT

Deadline is reporting that “Joe Cornish To Write & Direct Mark Millar’s ‘Starlight’ For 20th Century Studios”. The standard cover is already hitting $30 and the 2nd print sketch is currently at $15 (though eBay was cleared out of cheap copies… that price should change with the next few sales). 

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WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING

WATCHING:  ONCE & FUTURE (BOOM!, 2019): COMPARING RARITY AND SALES VALUES

We love independent comics over here at COVRPRICE, and it’s sometimes fun to take an in-depth look at a series that has gained reader buzz. For example, recently in our weekly Comic Report, we offered a rarity/sales value comparison of top books in the Something is Killing the Children (SIKTC) series with the help of Ross Richie over at Boom! Studios. The CEO of Boom also recently disclosed the five rarest covers for Once & Future by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora, and we thought it would be interesting to take an in-depth look at this series which came out at approximately the same time as SIKTC. While publishers have intimate knowledge of the print runs of various covers, COVRPRICE collects aftermarket sales data. Here we compare the lowest printed covers to our top average aftermarket sales values. This comparison excludes store and convention exclusives, only including the covers that could have been ordered by retailers through Diamond which would have then come with a 1-per-store “Thank You” variant.

Here are the two lists:

Once & Future Rarest Covers according to Boom! CEO Ross Richie via Instagram

1         #14 1:25 Rod Reis Variant (CovrPrice raw average = $20.00)

2         #15 1:25 Matias Bergara Variant – (CovrPrice raw average = $14.00)

3         #17 1:25 Christian Ward Variant – (CovrPrice raw average = $105.00)

4         #16 1:25 Dani Variant – (CovrPrice raw average = $15.99)

5         #13 1:20 Justine Frany Variant – (CovrPrice raw average = $24.21)

This is not actually a surprising list. The ratio variants of late issues for an independent series are likely also scarce. Stores would have received a 1-per-store “Thank You” variant (if available) for any order but only a 1:25 if they ordered 25 copies. Let’s compare this to the CovrPrice sales:

Once & Future Most Valuable Covers according to CovrPrice

1        #17 1:25 Christian Ward Variant raw average = $105.00

2       #1 8th Printing raw average = $92.50

3       #1 Thank You Variant raw average = $52.98

4       #13 1:20 Justine Frany Variant raw average = $24.21

5       #7 Thank You Variant raw average = $23.97

Boom! didn’t release ratio variants for this series until issue #13 which is too bad because those probably would have been great. Notice that the rarest covers — the 1:25 ratios starting at #13 — are mostly trading at ratio or below. Filling the void for the early issues were the “Thank You” 1-per-store variants for issues #1, #7, and #13, and a series of fantastic Lafuente exclusive covers by Forbidden Planet/Jetpack Comics (excluded from this list). The Convention exclusives are among the most collectible in the run, but these were also not included in the present comparison. We were surprised that the 8th printing of issue #1 wasn’t on the rare list because that comic is a ghost! It is also the 2nd most valuable cover on the list. Cover art also seems to have an impact on aftermarket value here. The Christian Ward art for issue #17, for example, is the standout coolest cover of the run and also the most valuable. Check out the full series on our website for more information!

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KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1 (MARVEL, 1970)

Conan must be working out because he just crushed the prior record for a CGC 9.6 copy of issue #1. This week we saw this book sell for $3,600, beating out the prior record in this grade of $2,888 from March 24th. This is a gain of almost 25% in just 2.5 weeks and doubles the sale of $1,800 from November of last year. These are the kinds of massive gains even Arnold would be jealous of. Records like these are proof that it’s not just the titles impacted by current and upcoming MCU news that are seeing jumps in price, but that it’s happening for key issues across a wide swath of titles and characters.

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Lead Writer: Matt DeVoe | [email protected]

Comic Contributor: Matt Day |[email protected]

Comic Contributor: Ryan Forster | [email protected]

Comic Contributor: DiodeLad | [email protected]

Comic Contributor: Morris Palter | [email protected]

Editor: John Sulaitis | [email protected]


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