Welcome to COVRPRICE’s Weekly Newsletter!
This week we see what a CGC 10.0 Spider-Man #1 – Silver sells for, we chat about the rarity of The Maxx Ashcans, and see how a great Stray Dogs movie homage variant can really command the market. 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: AKIRA #1 | EPIC/MARVEL | 1988
It is the year 2030 (38 years after a powerful new bomb exploded over Japan triggering WW III) and the new city is gripped by anti-government terrorism and gang violence that has emerged from the ruins – Neo-Tokyo! While riding their motorcycles around the ruins our two principal characters Tetsuo Shima and Shotaro Kaneda nearly crash into a young boy with the face of an elder – a boy with strange powers which are unleashed and ultimately pit our two friends against one another. Originally released in Japan in 1982, Akira was subsequently released by Marvel (Epic Comics) in North America in 1988, making it one of the first manga ever to be completely translated into English. The highly stylized art by Katsuhiro Otomo is considered groundbreaking on many levels including being the first comic to be colored digitally using computers, and the first comic in the western world to be printed on slick paper with a four-color process (much like modern American comics). Akira also earned Otomo the Eisner Award in 1992. This week we saw a remarkable CGC 9.8 sale of this first issue for $1,200, eclipsing the previous record sale of $950 just 10 days prior. High-grade raw copies can still be purchased for under $100. But that black cover, flat spine, oversized shape, and sharp corners make this one a tough one to reach that coveted 9.8 graded status!
SHAKER: BITTER ROOT #1 – MCS EBAY VARIANT (IMAGE, 2018)
Related to Akira, is the limited to 500 copies MCS Ebay Variant of Bitter Root #1 – AKA the “Akira homage” variant. We saw a high raw sale of $500 this past week, and a sweet CGC 9.8 copy reached $757. Graded 9.8s are currently all listed at $1,000 or more! Let’s see if someone pulls the trigger on one of these gorgeous (and pricey) homage covers.
SHAKER: BLK (BLACK) BOY FLY C2E2 PREVIEW EDITION #1 | SELF PUBLISHED | 2017
This self-published issue was sold during various conventions in 2017. The central character, Flyboy, is also the focus of fine artist Hebru Brantley (who co-wrote this comic, cover art by Max Sansing). Hebru is a rising star in the art world and he uses Flyboy as the star of his sculptures, murals, and artwork (in real life). He has a massive presence in Chicago. This is the first appearance of Flyboy in comics and the first professional comic work for Hebru. Both comic fans and Hebru Brantley art fans are seeking this book out. Limited to mere 100 copies, this book dried up quickly. This is one hard-to-find book. The last time a copy hit the market and sold was October 2020. However, two copies came to market recently. A raw signed (by Hebru) copy sold on 5/23 for $1,700 and a CGC 9.0 sold this week for $1,250. It’ll most likely be a while until another copy shows up.
SHAKER: DESTRUCTOR #1 | ATLAS/SEABOARD | 1975
The short-lived Atlas/Seaboard Comics put out several mini-series in their brief life from 1974-75, among them this 4-issue series, The Destructor by Steve Ditko and Archie Goodwin. In 2019 producer Steven Paul (SP Media Group) purchased the film rights to the Atlas catalog (to be produced for Paramount Pictures), which also includes titles such as Wulf, Iron Jaw, Phoenix, The Scorpion, John Targitt and Brute. He assembled a team to develop the comics into films and announced that we should start seeing releases in 2021. Crickets so far, but we have seen some sales of Atlas books picking up after two years back in the dollar bins. A raw copy of The Destructor #1 sold this week for $39.95 which was the highest raw sale since June of 2019. A graded 9.8 copy also sold for $175, a new high. Wishful thinking by speculators? Or maybe there’s some news coming?
This week, fans of Fantastic Four were treated to a retelling of the origin of Marvel’s first family in Fantastic Four: Life Story #1. The new comic takes a special look at Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, who (unlike the others) was permanently transformed physically into his new form. Certainly turning into a humanoid pile of rocks would be disconcerting for anyone to say the least, and the Thing’s insecurities, temper, and jealousy develop as an essential part of his psychology, along with the punchy humor and gruff wit we love him for. In the original Fantastic Four series, starting in issue #48, the Silver Surfer keeps inadvertently messing with Ben Grimm and Alicia Master’s relationship. It starts when the Surfer’s first appearance disrupts the wedding of Ben and Alicia, and it comes to a head here in Fantastic Four #55 when the Surfer stumbles into Alicia’s apartment and the Thing observes them speaking intimately which throws him into a jealous rage. It’s a great story with an iconic battle cover by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott. A raw copy sold this week for $510 on auction, which actually seems pretty affordable when compared with some other legendary battle covers from the same period, like Silver Surfer #4.
SHAKER: HULK #1 – ED MCGUINNESS – THE HERO INITIATIVE ATOMICCOMICS.COM (LIMITED 5000) | MARVEL | 2008
While FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER ended months ago, the rumored Red Hulk appearance is still prevalent and continues to move books. This Ed McGuinness cover is shared by both the 1:50 variant and this Hero Initiative exclusive (which simply has the Hero Initiative logo at the top left corner). Both seem to be escalating in price. While the 1:50 has an all-time high of $500 for a 9.8, this Hero Initiative beat that by $250 with this week’s 9.8 sale of $750.
SHAKER: THE INCREDIBLE HULK #1 (MARVEL 1962)
Speaking of THE HULK, this first appearance of the Stan Lee-created Incredible Hulk (in grey form) is undoubtedly a comic book grail. With prices as they are and the relative rarity of the 6 books in the initial Incredible Hulk run, it’s no surprise that we just had a high sale. A graded 5.5 copy just went for $30K – matching the previous high sale back on April 1. What’s particularly interesting about this matching $30K sale is that while the April sale was for a CGC copy, this sale was for a CBCS copy. If you’re up on your grading companies and the historical price disparity between same grade copies from CGC and CBCS, you know this is momentous. We’ve commonly seen price differentials of 20% or more – but is it warranted? We won’t get into the overall debate here, but with CGC’s quality issues, slow turnaround times, and price increases, many collectors have started looking for alternatives. Another potential contributing factor is the influx of card and other collectors entering the comic book space who don’t have preconceived notions about CGC vs CBCS. Does this mean CBCS books are all going for the same prices as CGC – definitely not. COVRPRICE however, will be watching that CGC/CBCS price disparity closely to see if there are other signs of a closing price gap.
SHAKER: INHUMANS #5 | MARVEL | 1999
We’ve known about Yelena Belova for a while now. And while her first appearance in this issue has been hot for a while now… it sure has taken its time spiking in value the way every other MCU-related book has. For a while, it wasn’t clear how big of a role that Yelena would play in Phase 4 of the MCU. However, we now know that there are big plans and collectors are now finally investing in this book. This week, a CGC 9.8 hit a new high of $750.
SHAKER: INVINCIBLE #1 | IMAGE | 2003
The overly simplified trend for hyped shows/movies is: optioned = bump, actor/director announcement = small bump, trailer = big bump, release = drop. There are so many properties to invest in and comic collectors commonly ascribe to the ‘what have you done for me lately’ mantra. Yet it seems Invincible may be bucking that trend. A couple of factors to consider – Invincible is an ongoing series and has already been picked up for seasons 2 and 3! The showrunners are largely following the comics and there is a LOT more story to tell. Comic collectors know for sure that there will be more Invincible incoming on the Amazon Prime platform – which likely helps the overall value of Invincible’s first full appearance. The next factor for consideration is the overall rarity of Invincible #1. Between 10 – 11K copies were originally sold and the numbers kept dropping through issue #10. In spite of the relatively low sales numbers for issue #1, there are 1,083 universally graded copies on the CGC census and 287 in 9.8 condition. That’s about 10% of the copies in existence graded by CGC (not accounting for resubmits)! Regardless, people are not in a hurry to sell – although that might change when they see the latest all-time high sale for a CGC 9.8 – $7,000!!! If you’d like to pick one up, the cheapest asking price right now is $8,700, so if that’s too steep you may want to take a look at a CGC 9.6 copy instead which also just hit an all-time high of $,2500 at the end of May (340 of those on the CGC Census). Regardless of the cause of Invincible #1’s continuing rise, we love it and can’t wait to see how high it can fly!
SHAKER: LAWBREAKERS SUSPENSE STORIES #11 | CHARLTON | 1953
Well, this is one guy that took the phrase “cat got your tongue?” a bit too literally. If you ever start to question why the Comics Code Authority was put in place, here’s another example that was likely part of the conversation. A CGC 4.5 copy of this brutal cover sold for a record $3,000 this week, easily cutting down the prior high sale in this grade of $657.25 from back in 2008. This rare book, with only 62 universal copies on the CGC census, has popped up quite a few times for sale in the last year and it keeps hitting records. It’s easy to see why this book has been in so much demand from pre-code horror collectors and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
SHAKER: STAR WARS KANAN #3 – REBELS – JOÃO BOSCO (1:15) | MARVEL | 2015
Not every Star Wars book needs to have a key appearance to hit new market heights. Take this REBELS 1:15 variant which just hit a new high of $400 for a CGC 9.8.
SHAKER: HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 – TERRY DODSON VARIANT | DC | 2013
It was recently asked what our favorite Terry Dodson cover is… and our immediate answer… without hesitation is this She-Ra variant. Sure, we LOVE MOTU, but this cover is damn near perfection. And then, a few days later a copy hits an all-time high of $500 raw… which is a mere $100 under the all-time high sale of $600 for a 9.8 in 2018.
SHAKER: METAL GEAR SOLID #1 – FOXHOUND (1:25) | IDW | 2004
With Sony developing a METAL GEAR SOLID fear with Oscar Issac as Snake, this is another first appearance (in comic form) that seems to be taking its time increasing in price. However, this hard-to-find Foxhound 1:25 may have just changed that with its all raw sale of $269.10 for a VF copy… just a little under the previous NM high of $307 in 12/20.
SHAKER: THE MAXX #1 – BLACK ASHCAN | IMAGE | 1993
We’ve touched upon the high market interest on early Image titles… but focusing on the hard-to-find variants and ashcans. Ashcans were SUPER popular in the ’90s and are essentially smaller versions of what today’s publishers produce (which is more like the first issue). For THE MAXX, issues 1 through 3 all had a BLUE, RED, YELLOW and BLACK ashcan of each issue. However, this black version is estimated to be around 50 copies and is VERY tough to find. Hence, this week’s raw sale of $2,436 is a wake-up call to all those who said 90’s comics are worthless.
SHAKER: POWER RANGERS UNLIMITED: HEIR TO DARKNESS #1 – JENNY FRISON – VIRGIN (1:50) BOOM! STUDIOS | 2021
While recent fan-favorite artists like Peach Momoko and Rose Besch have hit the market hard with collectors rushing to buy up their variants, Jenny Frison is still riding her fan wave that began years before. Her work on SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN is most likely constantly visible to you if you ever look at our SHAKERS list. However, it’s books like her under-ordered 1:50 variant for this POWER RANGERS book that makes the perfect recipe for an expensive book. Selling this week for a high raw sale of $220 is an excellent reminder to pick up high ratio, low print books of hot fan-favorite artists like Jenny.
SHAKER: SANDMAN #10 (DC, 1989)
It is rare to find a comic book make its mark in the greater world of literature, but the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman managed to do just that. Running for 75 issues from 1989 to 1996, it has been re-released in various trade paperback forms since the series ended. It is one of the few graphic novels to ever be on the New York Times Best Seller list, not to mention Norman Mailer described the series as “a comic strip for intellectuals.” In 2013, Warner Brothers announced David S. Goyer would be producing a film adaptation starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and we did see spikes in value for various issues including #1 and #8 (first Death) at that time. But in 2016, Gordon-Levitt dropped out and we saw prices for the comics come crashing down. With little whispers of a new movie production and the overall feeling of inevitability for this series to hit the silver screen, issue values started to slowly creep back over the past few years. But leave it to DC to announce the complete cast for the latest Netflix adaptation last week to see some nice individual high sales including issues #10 and #8. Like the majority of issues, issue #10 goes back and forth from the dream realm to reality. In the dream world, Desire is plotting against her sibling Dream, and in the real world, young Rose is whisked off to England where she and her mother (Miranda Walker) encounter Unity Kincaid, an elderly woman who claims to be Miranda’s mother having given birth to her while in a coma. While on the trip to the UK, Rose has a dream in which many of the things in the real world seem to be coming true, including a ring she dreamed about that her grandmother has just gifted her. All the while, a dollhouse owned by Unity since she was a little girl sits in the corner of the room with a light in one of the upper windows flickering on and off, with Dream inside smiling down on the three women. And it was all smiles this past week with a raw sale hit $110. And with this series really starting to heat up, no doubt we will see some remarkable future graded and raw sales.
SHAKER: SPIDER-MAN #1 – SILVER | MARVEL | 1993
Would you spend $5,601.51 on this 90’s darling, Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1 (silver edition)? Well, one collector did just that for a rare CGC 10.0 copy. Wow!
SHAKER: STRAY DOGS #1 – BLAIR WITCH – HIVE COMICS | IMAGE | 2021
Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner’s STRAY DOGS series is a big hit. The first several issues and all their various homage variants are moving up in value pretty quickly. Their horror movie poster homage is SO well done and highly collectible. Some of the rarer ones, like this BLAIR WITCH homage from Hive Comics and drawn by Stan Yak, was limited to 500 copies and cost $14.99. This week, a CGC 9.8 sold for a new high of $405.51. Keep an eye on this series. Grab some of those 2nd print homages if you’re looking for a cheap buy-in.
SHAKER: ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4 – LA MOLE CON – FOIL MARVEL | 2011
LA MOLE convention variants are Spanish versions that feature a variant cover of today’s modern key issues. While the buy-in on this ULTIMATE FALLOUT 4 FOIL is rather pricey ($100+… they kept increasing the price), they are quickly becoming a rather sought-after variant to Miles’ first appearance. We had two big recent 9.8 sales, one at $575 and a recent sale at $550. It’ll never touch the highs that the first print receives… but it doesn’t really need to.
SHAKER: VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #1 – NEWSSTAND | MARVEL | 1993
Man, this newsletter in a 90’s extravaganza. This was a pivotal moment for Venom. Marvel started him out as Peter Parker’s/ Spider-Man’s ultimate villain… and then took a hard left and turned him into the loveable/violent anti-hero post Maximum Carnage. This cover is one of the most memorable books of 90’s comics… hence cementing itself into collector nostalgia. This week, a CGC 9.8 for this newsstand sold for a new high of $600.
SHAKER: WONDER WOMAN #72 DC | 1993
This iconic Brian Bolland Wonder Woman cover is highly sought after, and due to the all-white cover… it’s a tough one to get a high grade. 7.5 raws were selling for $45 and $52 this week and hit an all-new high of $999 for a CGC 9.8. Brian Bolland is another fan-favorite artist that really brought new fans to Wonder Woman. His covers were dynamic, engaging, and reflected a modern lens with golden age sensibilities. His whole Wonder Woman run is worth picking up.
Deadline reported that “‘Kraven The Hunter’: Aaron Taylor-Johnson To Play Spider-Man Villain In Stand-Alone Pic”. This news helped Kraven’s first appearance (in ASM #15) pick up in sales… despite already being fairly pricey.
Deadline reported that “Danai Gurira To Reprise Okoye In ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ & Disney+ Origin Spinoff Series” With OKOYE, ZURI, N’YAMI and the DORA MILAJE’s first appearance in BLACK PANTHER #1 (MARVEL, 1998), this book is really picking up in value with raw sales at $99.
WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING
So, marvel dominates DC in every way when it comes to aftermarket prices. The cinematic universe has been… inconsistent. And, quite the opposite, despite the CW’s consistency it can often come off as highly redundant. DC just hasn’t hit its stride. However, we feel that HBO’s GREEN LANTERN series is going to be the exception… and hopefully the page-turner in DC’s future plans. So while everyone’s chasing Marvel books, it’s definitely worth your time to look closely at key GL books. We’re watching ATROCITUS. Now, aside from all the big GL books (first Guy Gardner, John Stewart, etc.) GREEN LANTERN #25 is going to be a big book. It features the first cameo appearances of the RED, BLUE, INDIGO, BLACK, ORANGE LANTERNS and also the first cameo appearances of key modern GL characters like Larfleeze and Atrocitus. This book is PACKED with importance. It’s the modern GL storyline and is going to look gorgeous on screen. With that said, we want to focus on Atrocitus. He appears in one big splash panel as a red lantern (along with all the others mentioned above). However, it’s in GREEN LANTERN #28 where he’s first named, speaks and we’re given his origin story. While key, it’s not until FINAL CRISIS: RAGE OF THE RED LANTERNS #1 where we fully see him accept the Red Ring and Lantern and fully suit up. He’s going to be an excellent villain and an important book to pick up and watch closely. (Also, RAGE OF THE RED LANTERN features the first of one of our favorite GLs, Dex-Starr).
KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK
KEY OF THE WEEK: WEIRD MYSTERIES #5 | STANLEY MORSE | 1953
This classic Bernard Bailey cover is another PCH darling. As noted above, the comics code had good reason to form when you see how graphic this cover is. It’s quite a parallel when you look at this cover and then compare it to the wholesome 50’s sensibility. This book rarely comes up for sale and this week a CGC 3.0 saw a nice sale of $4,692.42, which is a $500 bump from 2019’s 3.0 sale of $4,150.
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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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