Welcome to COVRPRICE’s Weekly Newsletter!
Remember the Smurfs, DuckTales, Transformers, and He-Man? This week not only do we share some splendid Shaker sales but also dive back in time to highlight key 1sts for those ’80s cartoons that you used to know and love (or at least have heard about). 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: BATMAN #428 – NEWSSTAND | DC | 1988
We like to examine key comics with immense importance to comic industry history. This issue, featuring the death of Jason Todd/Robin, is one of those. And man, was it shocking in 1988. While fans called into a 1-800 to vote to kill the character off… the death was vicious and intense. Even off-panel, beaten to death with a crowbar garnered national news. Sure, comics like BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, WATCHMEN, and tons of Indie comics were all violent and shocking. However, for a book that kids/fans were picking up, this was on a level unseen before in a core mainstream title like BATMAN. It truly changed how we looked at comics… especially for villains like The Joker. The threat of insane characters like this suddenly became unpredictable. When you’re looking to invest, keep your eye on key books like this. Sure, Jason Todd was revived in a Lazurus pit and returned as The Red Hood, an adversary turned ally for Batman in future storylines. But the cultural/comic history importance is huge. Take this week’s sale for the newsstand, which hit a high sale of $750 for a CGC 9.8. There are collectors out there recognizing books like these and are moving quickly to invest in them.
SHAKER: BLACK CAT #1 – J. SCOTT CAMPBELL – COVER D – LE CHAT NOIR VARIANT | MARVEL | 2019
J. Scott Campbell is a brand that is known to produce high amounts of variants under Campbell’s own online store. His fandom is huge… and it’s truly deserved. Campbell found that comic nerve resulting in a constant flow of sell-out after sell-out. However, some of those variants find higher demand than others. For example, he produced 15 covers for this particular issue of BLACK CAT #1. However, this Le Chat Noir is definitely one of those rare covers that raced WAY ahead of the pack. With raws at a CovrPrice FMV of $281, this week a CGC 9.8 sold for a new high sale of $725, me-ow!
SHAKER: BLACK PANTHER #2 – DAUTERMAN (1:25) | MARVEL | 2018
Speaking of cats, this variant saw a spike back when Shuri was initially rumored to play Black Panther in the next film. MANY of her variants and subsequent printings saw price-bumps across the board. However, many don’t realize that this is actually Nakia on the cover (as Shuri is nowhere in the issue) However, this issue and variant continued to increase due to it also featuring Killmonger, with the guts featuring the first appearance of Killmonger bonding with a symbiote from Klyntar. While any content possibility is a huge long-shot, fans definitely seemed to enjoy this version of Killmonger, giving this book a new high sale of $130 raw (the highest ever was $400 for a CGC 9.8 back in March).
SHAKER: CHAMPIONS #1 – ALEX ROSS (1:100) | MARVEL | 2016
Alex Ross is easily one of the most talented comic artists, consistently delivering amazing work. However, for some reason… collectors stalled on investing in his key covers/ ratio variants. Whatever the reason was is now a moot point since his key covers (like this) are seeing BIG spikes in price. This 1:10 hit an all-time high sale last week of $1,594.94 for a CGC 9.8.
SHAKER: CREEPY #4 | WARREN | 1965
This AWESOME Frank Frazetta cover is simply more proof of why Frazetta is a true art legend. This issue of Creepy, like MOST of his work, has been LONG undervalued. However, that is really beginning to shift. For example, this issue hit a new all-time high sale of $654 for a CGC 9.4 last week. You’re going to start seeing a shift like this for most of his work moving forward.
SHAKER: DARK AVENGERS #1 – ADI GRANOV – MIDTOWN | MARVEL | 2009
While this shares the cover with the 1:50 incentive, the market has always favored the 1:50 due to it not having a big Midtown comics logo on the front. However, while the 1:50 begins to get out of our reach (currently at $1K for a 9.8 and $300+ for a raw), fans turned to this more affordable version… which in turn is pushing THIS to new heights as well, like this week’s sale of $635 for a CGC 9.8. This heat all steams from the market speculating that Marvel is building a Dark Avengers team for the MCU. While the groundwork is there, there are also rumors of both The Thunderbolts AND The Secret Warriors forming. Right now, it’s unknown which one(s) will happen… but that doesn’t seem to slow down sales for any of those teams. Can there only be one?
SHAKER: THE KAIJU SCORE #1 – JOHN GALLAGHER – VIRGIN (LTD. 500) | AFTERSHOCK | 2020
The Kaiju Score was recently announced to be in development with Sony Pictures. The standard cover took off like a rocket and landed on our Top 10 in two spots last week. With that heat, this issue’s other various covers are also hitting new highs, like the awesome John Gallagher’s variant, which is limited to 500 copies and hit a new high sale of $350 for a 9.8.
SHAKER: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1 – 2ND PRINT | MARVEL | 2016
If you’re not on the Moon Girl trains, then it’s time to jump on… though, prices are getting pretty crazy. The first print is easily $120+ now, with 9.8’s at $416. However, this hard to find 2nd print is taking the standard book’s cover with this week’s new high sale of $650 for a 9.8. People sure love those subsequent printings!
SHAKER: THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #40 | MARVEL | 1992
1990’s comics weren’t particularly PC. However, some covers pushed it a little too far, like this controversial cover where an off-page voice demands She-Hulk to jump rope naked to fill pages. However, collectors LOVE controversy and actively seek this cover out. It’s been climbing for a while now. However, raw sales currently have a CovrPrice FMV of $194 with a new high sale of $800 for a CGC 9.8.
SHAKER: THE SILVER SURFER #1 | MARVEL | 1968
The first appearance of Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four #48 has been cooling off a bit over the last month, but the first issue of his solo title definitely is not. This week we saw an incredible $15,450 sale for a CGC 9.2. This blows away the prior high in this grade of $11,500 from just two months ago on May 27th. This sale was even higher than the last recorded 9.6 sale of $13,200 from December of last year. However, prices have increased a lot since then for this key issue and this sale was for an old label CGC copy, so it’s possible the buyer is hoping to crack it out and get that book pressed and cleaned for a potential grade bump. But no matter what the plans are for this book, it’s clear that the demand for this Silver Surfer key is strong in the high grades as fans are hoping to see this character reprised in the future within the MCU.
SHAKER: STATIC SHOCK!: REBIRTH OF THE COOL #1 | DC | 2000
This is one series that only Static fans seem to know about. Static’s first series launched in 1993 and ended on issue #45 in Jan. 1997 (which is a super pricey book at a raw CovrPrice FMV of $315). It took 3.5 years for fans to see a 2nd series. In Nov. 2000, fans received this VERY low printed series… lasting only 4 issues. It disappeared into the ether of DC’s forgotten series. However, with Static being developed into a feature at Warner Brothers, more eyes than ever are on Static and his immensely hard-to-find issues. This definitely ranks up there, as seen with this week’s new high sale of $800 for a 9.8.
SHAKER: STRANGE ACADEMY #1 – JEROME OPENA (1:50) | MARVEL | 2020
When STRANGE ACADEMY came out, it was a no-brainer buy. It was packed with first appearances, such as EMILY BRIGHT, DOYLE DORMAMMU, SHAYLEE MOONPEDDLE, ZOE LAVEAU, CALVIN MORSE, and DESSY. Collectors and speculators instantly had their eyes on Strange Academy as the NEXT book to speculate on. One year later, this book is still chugging along. The highlight of this first issue is still this STRANGE ACADEMY #1 JEROME OPENA 1:50 VARIANT, which had a high sale this week of $1,400 for a CGC 9.8.
SHAKER: UNIVERSE X: SPIDEY #1 | MARVEL | JAN 1, 2001
This hard-to-find RECALLED version sold a rare CGC 9.8 for $880 this week. We may have mentioned it before, but we LOVE recalled/error books. This is also a fun one. In 2001, artist Al Milgrom took his revenge on Bob Harris, the former Marvel Editor in Chief, by hiding the words “BOB HARRIS HA HA HE’S GONE GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH HE WAS A NASTY S.O.B.” on book spines, on a bookshelf, in the background of page 28. Unlike many recalled issues, this one never made it to the shelf. It was only sent to retailers as a preview issue and was caught in time in order to fix that one panel. The preview copy was recalled and “most” copies were pulped. There are also two Dynamic Forces variants that also had the recall (which are exceptionally hard to find). What’s fun about this book is that it’s MOSTLY found in dollar bins, which makes this a fun treasure hunt. When you see that classic Alex Ross Lizard Spidey cover, open it up to page 28, look for the bookshelf and see if it’s blank or has the recalled slander. Happy hunting!
SHAKER: WAR OF THE REALMS: NEW AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 – MICO SUAYAN – COMIC ODYSSEY – VIRGIN | MARVEL | 2019
If you recall, Kevin Feige acknowledged that Marvel was developing content around Southeast Asian characters. One of the few Southeast Asian characters is WAVE (the first Filipina Marvel character), who first appeared in this issue and had her own exclusive covers through Comic Odyssey by artist Mico Suayan. This Virgin variant is making aftermarket… well… waves with a high raw sale this week of $545. She’s definitely a character to keep on your radar. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this issue also features the first appearances of Luna Snow, Crescent, and Aero… who seem to be making quite a splash in Marvel books lately.
RUMORED/OPTIONED: FLASH GORDON
Comicbook.com recently reported that “Taika Waititi’s Animated Flash Gordon Reboot Now a Live-Action Movie”. And fans seem to be VERY excited. While first appearing in KING COMICS #1 via reprinted comic strips, his true first comic appearance is in FLASH GORDON #1 from King Features in 1966. For being such an old book, it’s pretty inexpensive… with raw sales around $100. King Comics will cost you a fortune… if you can find one.
Variety reported that a “Pokemon Live-Action Series in Early Development at Netflix From ‘Lucifer’s’ Joe Henderson” (also the writer of Skyward & Shadecraft at Image). This news is moving the various printings of the first Pokemon comic. However, there are almost no sales of the first print as it’s VERY hard to find. There are 6 different printings and almost all look identical to the first print (except for the no barcode edition that was sold in 4-packs of issue #1-4). There is only one first print listed, which is NM and available for the low price of $1K. These are out there, you’ll have to look at the indica on the inside cover to confirm the printing. Happy hunting!
WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING
WATCHING: INFINITY GAUNTLET #1 – DUSTIN WEAVER – 2ND PRINT | MARVEL | 2015
For those looking for a book packed with first appearances and content potential, then turn your attention to this book. In this issue, we have the first appearance of the Bakian Clan, family of Eve Bakian who’s a member of the Nova Corps (whose first appearance is in Guardians of Galaxy #147 (2017)). The Bakian clan features Anwen (Eve’s daughter), Menzin (Eve’s Husband), Fayne (Eve’s youngest daughter), and their Dog Zigzag. At this point, right after the Annihilation Wave, Xandar and the Nova Corps are destroyed. Eve, one of the remaining Corp members, returns home to her family… to find them barely surviving their destroyed planet. With the Corp destroyed, she deputizes them all as Corp members in issue #2 (including the dog). This superpowered family has the attention of speculators, pushing this issue up in value. While the gorgeous 1:25 Granov cover (which sells for about $50) gets most of the attention, this hard-to-find 2nd print is pushing past it with raw sales at $75 and this week’s new high sale of $250 for a CGC 9.8. This (and all the covers for this and issue #2) are books to watch.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: 1980’s NOSTALGIA
If you grew up in the United States in the 1980s, you were undoubtedly bombarded with TV shows, toys, movies, and comics featuring a wide array of fantastic creatures, heroes, villains, and robots. Many of these franchises extended into comics – comics that are now worth more than you might think. Let’s take a look at some of the key franchises born out of the 1980s and some related key comic books.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: CARE BEARS #1 (MARVEL 1985)
The first Care Bears movie was released in March 1985 and the first TV episode aired in September the following year. Care Bears #1 is the first comic appearance of the Care Bears and was released in 1985 under Marvel’s Star Comics brand in Direct, Newsstand, and Canadian Price cover editions. A Direct edition in CBCS 9.8 just sold for an all-time high of $499.99.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: TRANSFORMERS #1 (MARVEL 1984)
The first Transformers movie was released in August 1986 and the first TV episode aired in September 1984. Transformers #1 is the first appearance of the Autobots and the Decepticons with initial releases in Direct, Newsstand, and Canadian Price formats. A Direct CGC 9.8 copy recently sold for $2,333 but has hit as high as around $3,200 this year. A Newsstand CGC 9.8 copy sold for $3,250 earlier this month but has gone as high as $4K in May.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: G.I. JOE, A REAL AMERICAN HERO #1 (MARVEL 1982)
The first GI Joe animated movie was released in April 1987 and the first TV episode aired in September 1983. G.I. Joe #1 contains the first appearance of various series standouts such as Hawk, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Cobra Commander, and Baroness and was initially released in both Direct and Newsstand formats. A Direct edition CGC 9.8 copy recently sold for $2,400 but that’s down from an all-time high outlier sale from earlier this year of $4,990. A Newsstand CGC 9.8 copy just sold for $2,280 which is similarly down from an all-time high outlier sale of $3,995 back in February.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: SPIROU #1071 (EDITIONS DUPUIS 1958)
The first Smurfs TV episode aired in September 1981 but it took 30 more years to get a Smurfs movie. The first full appearance of the Smurfs is in a French (and Belgian) publication, Spirou #1071, although their first cover appearance came an issue later in #1072. Spirou issues from this period came in magazine format and were released in both French and Belgian language editions. Most recently a CGC 9.0 French edition sold for $1,100 in May 2021, the all-time high belongs to a CGC 9.2 Belgian edition copy that sold back in 2020 for $4,950.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: DC COMICS PRESENTS #47 (DC COMICS 1982)
The first He-Man and the Masters of the Universe TV episode aired in September 1983 and the first Masters of the Universe (live-action) was released in August of 1987 (complete box office failure grossing $17.3 million with a $22 million budget!). While the first appearance of He-Man and Skeletor came in the mini-comic form (accompanying action figures in 1981), the two characters debuted in the DC Universe through DC Comics Presents #47 in 1982. The comic was initially released in Direct and Newsstand editions and a Newsstand edition with Mark Jewelers insert is known to exist – although it’s very hard to find. The most recent CGC 9.8 Direct Edition sale went for $2,600 earlier this month, another copy went for as high as $3,500 back in June. Note: while some have reported a $5,175 sale back in May, this listing was actually ended by the seller because the book was no longer available, so it is unlikely the book actually sold for this extreme outlier price.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #1 (MIRAGE 1984)
The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) TV episode aired in December 1987, but the first TMNT movie was actually a product of the ’90s (March 1990). TMNT’s first comic appearance – including Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter, and Shredder – was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 released in 1984 (yes, there’s also Gobbledygook #1 but, per Mirage that wasn’t an actual published comic). While there hasn’t been a CGC 9.8 sale since the $52.8K sale back in November 2019, the most recent high-grade sale was a CGC 9.2 that went for $32,450 this past June.
GENRE SPOTLIGHT: DISNEY’S DUCKTALES #1 (GLADSTONE 1988)
The first DuckTales movie was made for tv and debuted in September 1987. The 100 episode TV series first aired that same month. While many of the key characters in DuckTales have their first appearances in Golden Age Disney comics, the DuckTales franchise – including the first appearance of Launchpad McQuack – first appeared in print in Disney’s DuckTales #1 published by Gladstone. A CGC 9.8 copy of this book has hit $300 a couple of times, most recently in mid-July 2021.
KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK
KEY OF THE WEEK: PEP COMICS #22 | ARCHIE | 1941
If you’re a hardcore fan of Archie, this is the #1 book on your list. Don’t let this World War 2 cover fool you, Pep Comics #22 is the first appearance of Archie, Betty, and Jughead, making it an extremely important Golden Age book. In addition to being a huge key issue, it is also very rare, with only 18 universal copies on the CGC census. This week we saw a CGC 0.5 that was missing the top half of the cover and had a completely split spine sell for $9,202. This is the only 0.5 on the census and we don’t have any prior records of it coming up for sale, so it now holds the record for that grade. This may sound like a lot of money for a 0.5, but only 2 months ago in June a CBCS 3.0 sold for $66,000, and back in 2017 an 8.0 set the record with a $252,100 sale! If you are looking for a slightly more affordable Golden Age Archie key, you could try to get a copy of Archie Comics #1, where a 2.5 sold for a mere $19,200 on June 19th. It looks like there are still some big Archie fans out there and when these rare gems come up for sale, they’re paying close attention.
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Lead Writer: Matt DeVoe | [email protected]
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