WEEK IN REVIEW

May 27th, 2021

Welcome to COVRPRICE’s Weekly Newsletter!

This week we see what 35 grams of silver foil can do for a reprint, we call out a ton of nostalgic comics, and see a hulking sale for the 1st appearance of the Abomination. Enjoy!

Also, 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: ACTION COMICS #1 – 2018 PURE SILVER FOIL DC | 1938

If you’ve ever searched for any major key first appearance, then you’ve probably come across (and ignored) the pure silver foil variants for these keys. There are two companies out there that are producing these: NEW ZEALAND MINT for DC, who infuses 35g of silver into foil, and THE CROWN MINT for MARVEL, who uses 1oz of silver. Due to this, they tend to be high-grade copies… which, when graded, sell for WAY more than what 1oz of silver is worth (which is about $28). This week, the silver version of ACTION COMICS #1 sold a CGC 10.0 for a new high of $700. These typically cost about $130 to $150 to buy directly. While the census doesn’t show how many, many typically are in the 9.9 and 10 range. So, if you feel like gambling…

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SHAKER: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #16 MARVEL | 1982

During the height of WandaVision fever, when Teyonah Parris made her excellent debut as Monica Rambeau, we reported a record high sale of ASM Annual 16 for $950 at a graded 9.8. Months later, the show is over and attention has moved on… right? Oh no, not so fast! With news that Monica Rambeau will now be a featured character in the upcoming Marvel film, The Marvels, and speculation that the MCU may even have bigger plans for her, the first appearance in this comic has continued to notch up to new highs. Soon after that $950 sale we noted in January, we saw ASM Annual 16 cross over the $1,000 price, then hit $1,200 in March, and this week we saw a sale of $1,349 for a graded 9.8 copy. While most of the comic speculation attention has focused on whether she will appear in the film as Photon, Pulsar, Captain Marvel, or Spectrum, you can’t go wrong with the first appearance of the character, no matter what moniker she takes.

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SHAKER: BEWARE! TERROR TALES #4 FAWCETT | 1952

How great is this cover!? While you should know the names like L.B. Cole & Matt Baker by now, you should really get to know the artist of this cover, Bernard Bailey, as well. Bernard was one of the best Golden Age artists/writers. He co-created SPECTRE and HOURMAN. But if you look at covers like this and Mister Mystery #11 (classic “buried in an anthill” PCH cover) AND #12 (the “hot poker to the eye” PCH cover), then you know that Bernard’s an artist that you want to start paying close attention to. This “Crawling Horror” cover is our favorite and sold for a huge $3,500 for a CGC 9.2. Granted, it’s a Spokane Pedigree… but still.

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SHAKER: DEADPOOL #2 HIP-HOP VARIANT (MARVEL, 2015)

Hip-Hop variants have been flying high in 2020 & 2021 (specifically thanks to Miles Mania and the Nas Hip Hop variant for the 2016 Spider-Man #1) and so has Deadpool… Vanilla Ice, not so much. But let’s take it back to 1990 when “Ice Ice Baby” helped the album To the Extreme spend 16 weeks on the Billboard 200 and sell 15 million copies. Today you can buy the original 1990 CD for $5 on eBay, but this Deadpool #2 album cover homage from 2015 will set you back $569 for a CGC 9.6, which is what one sold for on May 20th (the highest is $1K for a 9.8 this past January). This Mike Hawthorne cover is a 1 in 100 ratio variant and there are only eighteen 9.6 graded copies (and thirty-eight 9.8’s) on the CGC census, so this is quite a bit rarer than the Vanilla Ice album. The tribute and the reference are hilarious, and a brilliant pairing for our favorite Merc with a Mouth who appears riddled with bullets above the title “Extremely Extreme” looking ready to “rock the mic like a vandal” (man, really wishing we hadn’t listened to the album while writing this!).

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SHAKER: DEMON ANNUAL #2 DC | 1993

With no news of any kind, this first appearance of HITMAN (a Garth Ennis created, superpowered killer-for-hire) had a new high sale of $450 for a CGC 9.8. While there are thirty-nine 9.8’s on the census, this isn’t particularly rare. However, in the era of nostalgia, Hitman fits right in. He was a VERY Ennis character that many consider a prototype for Preacher. Hitman/Tommy was bitten by an alien parasite, triggering his metagene and gaining the powers of x-ray vision and telepathy. Following his own strict moral code, he only takes contracts on other metahumans.

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SHAKER: EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2 – SIYA OUM – 5TH PRINT – COMIC BUG – B&W (LIMITED 1500) MARVEL | 2014

While many point to Edge of Spider-Verse #2 2nd Print as the rarest cover of Spider-Gwen’s first appearance, that title actually belongs to this cover. Limited to 1,500 copies, this B&W variant was an FCBD exclusive for THE COMIC BUG (Culver City, CA). Featuring new art from Siya Oum, this cover is noted as the 5th print in the indicia and was released on May 2nd, 2015… almost 8 months after the first print. With the heat of subsequent printings and rarity, many don’t realize how much time lapses in between some printings like this. This issue is often debated on whether a subsequent printing gets a “first appearance” or other key designation due to some of these time gaps. The answer is, of course, complicated. Regardless, this cover had a new high sale of $400 for a raw copy.

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SHAKER: G.I. JOE #27 – CANADIAN PRICE MARVEL | 1984

Newsstands, preview books, subsequent printings… they’re all hot. Next up in the queue are price variants. Granted, many have been hot for years now… mix that with the bubbling heat of G.I. Joe comics and then you have a big sale like this book had at $1,807 for a CGC 9.8. This is actually a pretty key issue that ties directly into the SNAKE EYES film. This issue concludes the origins of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow and we learn how Snake-Eyes’ face was disfigured and why he is mute. In fact, grab those standard copies… they’re fairly cheap! Consider this a bonus WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING.

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SHAKER: GEN 13 #1 – GEN-ET JACKSON VARIANT IMAGE | 1995

When you have to make a list of key 90’s comics, GEN 13 would easily fall in the TOP 10. This first issue may have been the first book to have multiple covers (13 of course). It was a challenge collecting them all. This series introduced us to J. Scott Campbell, who quickly landed in the TOP 10 Writers, Artists, and Books lists for several months in Wizard Magazine. Seriously, Gen 13 was the hottest thing in 1995. With J. Scott Campbell as one of the industry’s elite comic book artists and 90’s nostalgia running strong, this issue is seeing some market movement. This Janet Jackson/ Rolling Stones homage hit an all-time high sale of $350 for a 9.8. Also, a rare #1 COVER A NEWSSTAND sold for $310. So, as we return to the world, take a 2nd look at these early Image titles when you’re out digging through $1 convention boxes and back issues.

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SHAKER: MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #54 WHITMAN (MARVEL 1979)

There’s been long-running speculation that we’ll see a Thunderbolts team in the MCU. We already have General “Thunderbolt” Ross with multiple MCU appearances and with Baron Zemo a current resident of the Raft we’re seemingly one step closer. Many hoped we’d see another Thunderbolts team member, Screaming Mimi (aka. Songbird), appear in Falcon and the Winter Soldier… but that never materialized. Regardless, some folks are specing hard on the character’s first appearance in Marvel Two-In-One #54 with a pair of record-setting CGC 9.8 sales for the Whitman direct edition at $900 and $1,000 on the same day. This beat out the previous Whitman high of $484 set at the end of March and the previous Newsstand high of $450 set back in January. But wait (you might say) – I thought the Newsstand was king! While newsstand sales have received a lot of attention, the situation is much more nuanced.  This book was released in 1979 – at which point the vast majority of the copies would have been newsstand editions. Yet we tend to see more high-grade sales of the Whitman (direct) edition. That’s likely because newsstand copies were exactly that, copies that sat on the newsstand, and if anyone has seen a 1970’s comic rack – they know the damage they can suffer as customers thumbed through the comics on the newsstand. Whitman-distributed copies that hit comic shops directly were likely treated more kindly. It will be interesting to see what happens next when a Newsstand 9.8 copy of this Thunderbolts-related key hits the open market.

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SHAKER: MOON KNIGHT 188 (MARVEL, 2017)

The jury is out on this Moon Knight issue that actually does not contain Moon Knight…BUT, there is no denying how much the first appearance of Patient 86 (AKA Sun King – the avatar of Ra) has caused this comic to spike hard this past week. It all starts with the good Dr. Emmett treating a new patient at the Ravencroft Asylum with a similar background to Marc Spector (Moon Knight). She introduces this patient to Egyptian Mythology in hopes he might use the information in a positive way (similar Spector). Unfortunately, the treatment yields the opposite results! And with that, Moon Knight’s greatest nemesis is born…Add to this leaked photos of actor Ethan Hawke looking similar to this character on the Moon Knight movie set, comic speculators are all a buzz thinking he might indeed be playing this key villain. All of the ingredients are there to make this issue rise in value, and did it! Although there have been numerous recent raw sales of $50 or more of the regular A cover, the second print cover really exploded this past week with record sales of first $126, then $130 respectively. The 1:25 Warren Johnson variant hit a whopping $140 (copies were regularly selling for under $25 even a few weeks ago). There are currently no recorded graded sales of either the second print or the 1:25 variant. No doubt some sort of villain will be introduced in the Moon Knight movie and if it turns out to be Sun King, these current record sales will no doubt be… eclipsed!

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SHAKER: NATIONAL LAMPOON MAGAZINE #27 NATIONAL LAMPOON, INC. | 1972

We often mention key PCH and golden age artists. However, if you’re looking for a smart long-term investment you cannot go wrong with Frank Frazetta. Frazetta is immensely important to comics, and while this is a magazine… all of his key covers are going up in price. For example, this one sold this week for a new high sale of $1,700 for a CGC 9.8. High-grade Frazaetta sells incredibly well. If you want a super informative dive into Frazetta… watch the DEFINITE PODCAST guys cover it perfectly.

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SHAKER: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #290 – COVER B TRACY YARDLEY ARCHIE | 2016

A few weeks ago we touched upon LAST issues (i.e., the last issue of a series). Many last issues don’t have variants. With sales so low and the series ending, there’s really no reason to incentivize retailers to buy more. Due to this, the Yardley B cover for this issue is incredibly rare and sold for $150 raw this week. However, you don’t have to pay that. This is a great book to hunt for out in the wild. 

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SHAKER: SPIDER-MAN: INDIA #1 MARVEL | 2005

A few months ago, it was rumored that SPIDER-MAN: INDIA may appear in INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 2 for Sony Pictures Animation. We’ve mentioned how important it is to pick up all the various spider characters after looking at what Noir, Sp//dr, Ham, Gwen, Miles, and 2099 are all doing in the aftermarket. Well, even with the rumor, Spider-Man India literally went from $1 raw book and $55 9.8 to this week’s new MASSIVE high of $795!! And this isn’t just a one-off. Before that sale, it sold for $500 twice and then $700. Raws steadily sell for $40+. Despite actually being a great story, Spider-Man India has lingered in dollar bins for the past 16 years. So, these are out there in back issue bins. Go get them! (though you have time… the film doesn’t come out until October 7, 2022)

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SHAKER: STREET FIGHTER VS. DARKSTALKERS #1 – ARTGERM (1:20) UDON COMICS | 2017

Talk about nostalgia. Anyone who has played a fighting game has STREET FIGHTER II Turbo to thank for it. We also got some AMAZING anime series and a not-so-great Live-Action Film (actually multiple… if you count THE LEGEND OF CHUN LI with Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk). Darkstalkers is a little less known… unless you’re like us and naturally moved onto MARVEL VS. CAPCOM and PUZZLE FIGHTER (the comic series is also WAY undervalued). Then you add in a gorgeous Artgerm Incentive variant and you get a pricey comic… which sold for a hefty $255 raw this week. Check out another of our favorite SF covers, Warren Louw’s incentive for issue #2

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SHAKER: VOLTRON A LEGEND FORGED #1 FRISON (DDP 2008)

Jenny Frison is an American artist who has been doing published comic work since 2008. She is well known for her work on series such as Red Sonja, Vampirella, Revival and more recently Wonder Woman (check out her stunning run of cover B’s beginning with issue #7 when she took over for Frank Cho).  Frison’s first published comic work has a bit of a story to it. The first piece she created was actually Hack/Slash The Series #14 cover B (DDP 2008). She completed it ahead of her deadline but received an urgent request to provide an alternate cover to another DDP publication – Voltron A Legend Forged #1. So while she completed the Hack/Slash cover first, Hack/Slash The Series #14 was set to release on August 6, 2018, the Voltron #1 was published three weeks earlier on July 16, 2018 – making it Frison’s first published comic book art. Both books are highly sought after by Frison collectors and hard to find in the wild. The Hack/Slash #14 only has 12 total copies on the CGC census and NO 9.8’s, while Voltron #1 has 34 copies on the census and a meager 3 universal copies in 9.8 condition. As to the value, a CGC 9.8 copy of the Voltron A Legend Forged #1 Frison variant just sold for an all-time high of $1,027, besting the previous high of $950 set back in February. If you like Frison’s art, either of the aforementioned books would be a great addition to your collection, but you’ll either need to shell out a wad of cash or get super lucky in the long boxes. Happy hunting!

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SHAKER: THE WALKING DEAD #2 –  2ND PRINT (IMAGE 2004)

In the immortal words of Monty Python: “I’m not dead!” In an age of key books doubling or tripling (or more) over short periods, many have left The Walking Dead comic franchise for … well … dead. BUT, there appears to still be some life left in the once extremely popular comic series and tv show. While many of the early books plateaued, some are picking up again. One example is the rare 2nd print of The Walking Dead #2 – reprinting the 1st appearances of Lori and Carl Grimes, as well as Glenn. This book has 138 universal copies on the CGC census with only 18 in 9.8 conditions. This book rarely comes up for sale and a CGC 9.8 copy just sold for an all-time high of $1,799. This is not an isolated occurrence as earlier this year The Walking Dead #1 hit an all-time high for $4,900 for a CGC 9.8 and just this week had another notable sale of $4,120. If you own some Walking Dead keys, you may want to jump on CovrPrice and see how their prices are trending.

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SHAKER: THE WALKING DEAD #27 – ERROR IMAGE | 2006

Now here’s one tough error comic to find…and it was a mess too. Featuring the first appearance of the Governor, this issue is notated by CGC as “Manufactured with the first four wraps inserted twice. And the four center wraps missing”. This rare error rarely comes up for sale. In fact, this week’s CGC 8.5 sale at $676.66 is the first one we’ve ever seen. This book would have seen even bigger prices if it sold back when the Governor was the main villain on THE WALKING DEAD.

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SHAKER: WATCHMEN #1 DC | 1986

If we had to make a list of modern books that every collector should own, this book would be high on that list. What Alan Moore contributed to comics with this book is immeasurable. So, when you look at how much content drives sales… it’s refreshing to see important comics like this going for the ride. This week, it hit an all-new high sale of $998 for a CGC 9.8.

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SHAKER: X-FORCE #23 – COVER B – VARIANT COVER MARVEL | 2010

If you recall, Marvel was super into themed variants for 2010 and 2011. In early 2010, their horror homage cover series did well. However, over the years, certain issues rose faster than others. This homage to Kate Beckinsale’s UNDERWORLD by Clayton Crain has been pricey for the past 4 years, mostly ranging from $50 to $100. However, this week’s new high raw sale of $194.99 is putting it into a whole new class of variants.

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SHAKER: X-MEN #2 (MARVEL, 1963)

Second appearances of popular characters have long been overlooked and undervalued by collectors, but with the spikes in prices of many major silver age first appearances, these books are now receiving renewed interest. This week we saw a CGC 7.5 copy of X-Men #2, the 2nd appearance of the X-Men, sell for a record $4,800. This was a 200% jump above the prior high of $1,599.95 from just December 12th of last year. With even low-grade copies of X-Men #1 breaking the $10,000 mark on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that collectors have been forced to begin looking at alternatives and they appear to have found one in this book that also shares that 2nd appearance honor with the first appearance of The Vanisher.

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SHAKER: X-MEN #98 MARVEL | 1975

While THE SENTINELS first appeared in X-MEN #14 (Vol. 1), it’s this issue where the sentinels (Sentinels MK III) most of us are more familiar with first appeared (thanks to the X-Men Animated series and 90’s X-Men issues). It also features Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on two panels (and also Clark Kent and Lois in one panel… so “they” say). While this isn’t the most key X-Men book, collectors are snatching up high-grade copies of these early issues… which leads us to this week’s sale of a  CGC 9.8 for $4,050.99

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RUMORED/OPTIONED COMICS

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED: GARBAGE PAIL KIDS

Per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, “‘Garbage Pail Kids’ Animated Series is in the Works at HBO Max”. Talk about nostalgia! These original sticker cards are worth a TON in high grade. 80’s kids are seeking these out and treating them like the high-end art that UP CHUCK and POTTY SCOTTY were meant to be! There’s also a cult favorite live-action 80’s movie that will haunt your dreams. While they’ve appeared as cards in various comics, their first full appearance in a comic is their first series: GARBAGE PAIL KIDS: COMIC-BOOK PUKE-TACULAR #1. There are some pretty hard-to-find variants throughout all the IDW series.

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RUMORED/OPTIONED: HARDCORE

Deadline announced that “Adam Wingard To Direct ‘Hardcore’ For Universal And Robert Kirkman”. This series first appeared during TOP COW’s 2010 Pilot Season. If you recall, Top Cow tested various comic concepts through their pilot season. If readers responded well to one, then it continued on to a full or limited series. However, Kirkman/Silvestri’s HARDCORE did not. Flash forward to 2018 when the title was refreshed under SKYBOUND in the new HARDCORE (2018) series. The similarities are VERY close. The biggest change is centered around how Assassins take over the bodies of random people by taking a “Hardcore Shot” to the spine. In the new series, they do it via VR headsets. This film will be developing the more recent 2018 version.

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RUMORED/OPTIONED: MECH CADET YU

Once a year, giant sentient robots come to earth from outer space to bond forever with new cadets at Sky Corps Academy. This year, a robot ends up mistakenly bonding with a young boy named Stanford who happens to be working with his mom as a janitor at Sky Corps. Faced with the challenge of a lifetime, Stanford must gain the trust of the Sky Corps cadets while helping to defend the earth from the monstrous Sharg! This comic has been a slow burn for the past couple of years, but with the recent announcement Mech Cadet Yu was picked up for a 3D animated series on Netflix, this book has really seen some serious movement. Raw copies of the regular A cover hit $50 this past week, while CGC 9.8s of the Liew variant reached a record $238 followed by a $300 sale the same day. Raw copies of the connecting subscription cover hit the $30 mark (after sitting at the $2 mark for many months). Lots of great spec for this fabulous feel-good story!

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WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING

WATCHING: DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #1 – JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (1:25) MARVEL | 2016

This issue features the first appearances of NINA THE CONJUROR, MINDFUL ONE AND DEMON RIDER (KUSHALA). These characters have appeared on many speculators’ long-term spec lists. While there are no current plans for them to show up, the next Spider-Man film and Dr. Strange film taps deeply in the multiverse… which means there will be plenty of surprises. Regardless, with them all on this 1:25 cover, it had a new high sale of $499.99 for a CGC 9.8. This is one book we’re watching. 

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KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: TALES TO ASTONISH #90 (MARVEL, 1967)

We had an “Abomination” of a sale this week, with a CGC 9.8 copy of Tales to Astonish #90 selling for a record $19,200. This first appearance of the Abomination from 1967 was a sale that even the Hulk would have a tough time fighting against. The prior record for this book was just $6,888 from August of last year, giving us a jump of almost 180% or over $12,300 in less than 1 year. Granted, this spike is specifically due to Tim Roth’s return to the character in the upcoming SHE-HULK series for Disney+. Long-term, there’s also been some speculation that we could see him on a possible Thunderbolts team at some point in the MCU. So this overlooked first appearance is finally getting its day in the sun.

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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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