WEEK IN REVIEW

October 21st, 2021

Welcome to COVRPRICE’s Weekly Newsletter!

This week we cover all corners of comic collecting by featuring some gorgeous 5 RONIN covers by David Aja, we do a quick dive into the surprising connection between BATTLE BEASTS and TRANSFORMERS, and showcase a bunch of big-time variants that will drain your bank account. Also in this week’s Report we review content-based books that have been making waves due to MCU rumors as well as announcements from DC Fandome. We also challenge you to ask how much would you pay for a small white dot on your all-black cover of 1982 Moon Knight #25? There’s a lot of fun books to jump into, so let’s get to it:

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: 5 RONIN #3 | MARVEL | 2011

This somewhat obscure Marvel series has been getting a lot more attention from collectors. Usually, variants will sell for a premium over their standard cover. However, in some cases the core A cover (AKA – Standard Cover, AKA – Regular Cover) will sell for a significant premium over the variants. For this 5 Ronin set, this is absolutely the case. Artist David Aja created some fantastic covers for this series (which look AMAZING together) and they command the market over their variants. For the past several years, his Psylocke cover for issue #4 has had all the attention and sells for $75 raw and $150 in a 9.8. However, after years of being the “cheap” one, this Punisher cover has caught up and sold an NM raw copy for $75 last week. Even Issue #1, Wolverine, had a new high sale of $275 for a 9.8. A full Aja set used to sell for $120 to $200, but they have dried up. Here’s what the full set looks like:

 

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SHAKER: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #678 – JOE QUINONES – VENOM (1:50) | MARVEL | 2012

2011-2013 was known as Marvel’s lowest printed years, yet they continued to produce high ratio variants as an incentive for stores to order more. This created a significant scarcity for many of the variants from these years. This particular Joe Quinones 1:50 was part of a Venom theme month, homaging the first full appearance of Mary Jane. It’s not just the Queen of the Venom month, but the Queen of modern-day variant comics. While the highest sale of all time is a $6K 9.8 sale back in 2018, this week’s raw sale of $2,023 is the highest a raw copy has sold for in over 2 years!

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SHAKER: BATTLE BEASTS #1 | BLACKTHORNE | 1988

Battle Beasts may not be the ’80s toy property of prominence that others had, but they definitely have a strong following in the Transformers world. Back in 1986, the Japanese toymaker Takara had the distribution rights for Hasbro’s Transformers and integrated “Beastformers” into the Transformers continuity (toy line and TV series). Beastformers took place in the “space year” 2011 on the Decepticon’s “Planet Beast.” In Japan, they were sold in similar branded boxes as Transformers and even fashioned Decepticon and Autobot faction symbols. However, when Hasbro brought the line to the U.S they removed the Transformers connection and called them BATTLE BEASTS, turning them into a 2-inch action figure line of  anthropomorphized animals with armor and weapons. Hasbro replaced the Transformers symbols with heat-activated rub symbols that featured elemental symbols like fire, water, wood, and the rare Sunburst. Blackthorne published this intended ongoing comic series but went out of business by the 4th issue. While the series was rebooted by IDW in 2012, this original first issue has significant value due to its scarcity, especially in high grades. Raw copies have an FMV of $43 but can often reach upwards of $100+ in high grade. Most notably, a CGC 9.6 sold for an all-new high sale of $525 last week. Despite the lack of a U.S. connection, diehard Transformer fans are looking for this book.

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SHAKER: DAREDEVIL #9 | MARVEL | 1999

Daredevil #9 from 1999 features the first appearance of Maya Lopez, Echo, a character who will appear in the upcoming Disney+ Hawkeye series and then star in a solo spin-off series, played by Alaqua Cox. Lopez is a complex and conflicted character who hunts and fights Daredevil as Echo while falling in love with Matt Murdoch. She uses her deafness and ability mimic movement to understand and then defeat Daredevil by controlling the conditions in which she draws him into battle. This book reached record highs in April of 2021 with 9.8 copies selling for over $1,000, but sales had dropped back in recent months. This week however we saw a new high for a graded 9.6 (in that specific grade) at $380. This more affordable price point will continue to increase.

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SHAKER: DEADPOOL #2 – MIRKA ANDOLFO (1:25) | MARVEL | 2020

This book is a cumulation of market heat around Mirka Andolfo’s rising star and a rare variant appearance of Elsa Bloodstone. As Elsa’s first appearance in BLOODSTONE #1 hit a new high sale of $900 for a 9.8 this week, collectors are looking for any notable variants. Hence, this 1:25 Andolfo variant hit a new high sale of $195 raw last week.

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SHAKER: HENCHGIRL #1 | SCOUT | 2015

It’s been 2 years since we learned that Kristen Gudsnuk’s Scout Comics series Henchgirl was in development as a live-action television series at Freeform, Disney’s young adult television show. This 11-issue series follows the story of Mary Posa who works for a supervillain but struggles with the ethics of committing crimes and wishes she could be nice instead. It’s a fun story with a lot of possibilities for a 20-something television adaptation.  This week, a graded 9.8 of cover A sold for $265, creeping back up towards the higher sales of $350 back in 2017. We’ll see if it can get there. 

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SHAKER: HERO FOR HIRE #1 | MARVEL | 1972

After Netflix stopped creating new content for Luke Cage and the Defenders, the value of his first appearance in Hero For Hire #1 really took a hit. But it’s back as strong as Luke Cage himself, setting new records again with rumors that we could see him return in the MCU. With its black picture frame-like border, this book is notoriously difficult to find in high grade, and this week we saw a CGC 9.0 set a new record with a comic sale of $1,920. This beat out the prior record of $1,700 from April of this year by $220, proving again that there is a lot of demand out there for these high-grade Bronze Age comics.

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SHAKER: THE HOBBIT #1 | ECLIPSE | 1989

Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS/ HOBBIT precursor takes place a thousand years before the stories we know. While the series doesn’t release until September 2022, this Hobbit comic adaptation (albeit abbreviated) had an all-time high sale of $500 for a 9.8 this week. This has been a fairly affordable raw comic with a CovrPrice FMV of $14, but even that raw price is quickly escalating at well over $50.

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SHAKER: JUSTICE LEAGUE #30 – COMBO PACK | DC | 2014

From 2011 to 2015, DC experimented with adding combo packs to their standard comic covers, which cost $1 more and included a digital download. It’s unknown how many copies of these were produced, but it’s safe to assume that they were very low… especially by 2014 and 2015. Featuring an overall change in color for the cover, these packs were true variants and for the right key, the combos have been getting significant price increases. Case in point, this combo pack of the first cameo appearance of Jessica Cruz hit a new high sale of $575 for a CGC 9.8. While there was no new news during DC Fandom about the highly anticipated HBO Green Lantern series, the showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith did come out saying a few days later that “It has taken quite a bit of time to get to this point and it’s just a big, big undertaking. It’s going really well. All I can say is that it’s going really well and there are gonna be Green Lanterns in it, and it’s gonna be on HBO Max.”

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SHAKER: MOON KNIGHT #25 – WHITE DOT ERROR | MARVEL | 1982

This Bill Sienkewicz classic comic cover has seen significant growth over the past several years, capping at a high of $1K for a 9.8 this past July. However, this “white dot” variant, featuring… well… a white dot on the cover… was most likely due to a small piece of debris on the printer. It’s unknown how many copies of these are out there since CGC doesn’t recognize this as a different cover, but this week a rare 9.8 copy sold for a new high of $1,250. The difference a dot makes.

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SHAKER: MARVEL #1 – ART ADAMS – B&W (1:100) | MARVEL | 2014

Ms. Marvel #1, featuring Kamala Khan’s first solo series, is on the rise as we get closer to her new Disney+ series and introduction into the MCU. For such a notable issue, it’s not common to have a 1:100 variant like this Art Adams B&W variant. When this was released in 2014, it was highly anticipated. Yet, asking shops to commit to 100 copies to get this comic was not an easy thing to reach. This week a 9.8 sold for a new high sale of $809 and should continue to increase.

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SHAKER: NINTENDO POWER #6 | NINTENDO | 1989

While this is a video game magazine, its proximity to the comic world is very close. Not only is this an early issue in the Nintendo Power run, but it also features the artwork of a 15-year-old Jeffrey Scott Campbell. Campbell submitted a bunch of material, including drawings, stage designs, and stories to the “Invent the Ultimate Video Game” contest… and won first prize (which, of course, he did). His game creation “Lockarm” was never published, but this fun contest set things in motion to get J. Scott Campbell (as we know him now) to his current standing as one of the most successful artists in the industry. This week, a CGC 8.0 of this issue sold for a new high sale of $345.

 

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SHAKER: SHANNA, THE SHE-DEVIL #1 | MARVEL | 1972

Rumors are circulating that Marvel is either introducing the Savage Land in upcoming content OR developing a separate Savage Land project. While this is very unconfirmed, this news has been moving Kazar books for the past several months. Collectors are now also investing in Shanna, the She-Devil with this week’s new high comic sale of $1,200 for a CGC 9.4. Of course, you can’t do the Savage Land without Kazar or Shanna, but this is quite the bump for a book that sold for $350 in the same grade just a few months ago. Like with all rumors, proceed with caution. But, if you see cheap copies out there… then it might be worth grabbing.

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SHAKER: THRILLING CRIME CASES #49 | STAR PUBLICATIONS | 1952

The woman in the red dress on Golden Age covers is usually the one in trouble, but she’s definitely mixing up some mischief here. The vibrant color scheme used by L.B. Cole is just made to catch your eye and continues to be one of the most in-demand books from this Golden Age artist. That proved true this week as well with a record-setting sale of $3,120 for a CGC 5.5, beating out the prior record in this grade from 2019 by $848 or 37%. With only 53 universal copies on the CGC census and that amazing cover, it’s no surprise that this book continues to draw in buyers every time it comes up for sale.

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SHAKER: THE TRANSFORMERS #8 CANADIAN PRICE – $1 | MARVEL | 1985

For us kids of the ’80s, Transformers hold a special place in our hearts. It wasn’t all Optimus Prime vs Megatron, good vs evil – no, for many of us we got our first glimpse of some anti-heroes – the Dinobots. They weren’t the brightest, they disobeyed orders, but they kicked ass and generally ended up doing the right thing. As a kid growing up, what’s better than some rowdy dinosaur robots that can transform? For a long time, the first appearance of the Dinobots in comics – The Transformers #8 – went under the radar with high-grade copies available for $10-15. Now you’ll likely need to pay double that for a Direct edition and a bit more for a Newsstand edition. For the notably more rare Canadian Price Variant (CPV) – distinguishable by the $1 cover price – you’ll need to go higher as a NM range raw copy just sold for almost $120. With CGC 9.8 newsstands hitting $600, just imagine if one of the 2 CGC 9.8 CPV’s went up for sale – $1000+?? Been underestimating the Dinobots? In the immortal words of the Dinobots’ leader “Me Grimlock need new strategy!”

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SHAKER: ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4 – MARKO DJURDJEVIC (1:25) | MARVEL | 2011

While Miles Mania has calmed down a bit, his market prices still hold. In fact, this 1:25 for this first appearance just hit a new high sale of $30,900 for a CGC 9.8. There are rumors that Miles MAY appear at the end of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. While this is mostly wishful thinking in an already packed film, if it turns out to be true… then watch out… Miles Mania will be an unstoppable force for years to come. All we can do is wait 2 months to find out.

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SHAKER: VAMPIRELLA #1 – J. SCOTT CAMPBELL HOLOFOIL VARIANT | HARRIS COMICS | 2001

While we talk about J. Scott Campbell, it’s fun to note some of his harder-to-find and in-demand variants. This 2001 Holofoil variant is definitely one of them. While there’s a standard cover out there, we all know shinier things are better. This cover also really showcases Campbell’s talent and how great he is at drawing more than just women (though this also has that). The challenge is actually finding a copy, as very few tend to come to market. This week’s sale of $130 marks a new high for raw sales. It’s a book to look out for when digging at your LCS or conventions.

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SHAKER: WE LIVE #1 – NYCC – METAL (LTD. 100) | AFTERSHOCK COMICS | 2020

The big winner of New York Comic Con 2021 exclusives was this metal version of WE LIVE #1. Limited to 100 copies, The Comic Mint sold these for $100 and they sure moved fast. Metal variants are a growing trend and they truly look fantastic. It’s no surprise that this exclusive hit a new high of $500 ungraded.

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SHAKER: X-MEN #205 | MARVEL | 2008

This issue features the first appearance of Hope Summers. While there’s no news around the character, collectors are investing in her first appearance. In fact, this standard cover had a new high sale of $475 for a CGC 9.8. There’s a substantial amount of content work that needs to be done before she’s ever introduced into the MCU, so that’s clearly not the main driver. However, it is interesting to see all these various X-Characters trends.

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SHAKER: YOUNG ROMANCE #1 | PRIZE | 1947

When you think of Jack Kirby, images of the X-Men and Fantastic Four likely flood your mind, but he was making his impression on comics well before he started drawing superheroes for Marvel. One unique key issue that Jack Kirby and Joe Simon created the cover for was Young Romance #1, a book that is credited with being the first-ever romance comic. Romance comics have been picking up steam recently with demand booming for many hard-to-find Matt Baker covers, but this issue has also had some record-breaking sales this year. This week we saw one of those sales with a CGC 8.0 selling for the first time, and hitting an impressive $2,640. This is the second-highest sale of all time for this rare book but fell short of the overall record of $3,360 that was set in March of this year for a CGC 8.5.

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RUMORED/OPTIONED COMICS

RUMORED/OPTIONED:

This past weekend, DC FANDOM premiered several new sneak previews and trailers of several of their big upcoming projects. This included: a sneak-peak at BLACK ADAM, BLUE BEETLE with a costume sketch, a behind the scenes view of AQUAMAN 2, a PEACEMAKER trailer for the HBO series (which lit up sales for VIGILANTE), a quick update on the progression of the STATIC feature film, an animated MILESTONE universe film, THE BATMAN trailer #2 (which showcased a very gritty Gotham), and THE FLASH feature film (which showed off the back of Batman’s head). Key books for THE BATMAN and THE FLASH are a little too broad (and pricey). However, Blue Beetle, Vigilante, Black Adam, and Static all had nice boosts in comic sales from the Fandom event.

 

 

WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING

WATCHING: BLACK KNIGHT #1 – POWELL (1:25) | MARVEL | 2015

Rumors are swirling on whether or not Kit Harrington’s role as Dane Whitman will transition into THE BLACK KNIGHT. Now, there are leaks out there answering a few of these points… so let’s stay away from those for now. What we do know is that Marvel has plans for Dane Whitman. With his key first appearances already pretty pricey, the market has moved slowly on his notable variants… and there aren’t many. This Eric Powell 1:25 variant has been a tough book to find in general, but its new high raw sale of $110 seems like a reasonable buy-in for essentially his very first variant. It also helps that it’s pretty awesome. This is definitely one to watch.

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KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: SHAZAM #28 | DC | MAR 1, 1977

This past weekend’s DC Fandom event showcased the first look at Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of BLACK ADAM. We’ll admit, it looks awesome. Many fans are noting that this could be the turning point of the DC cinematic universe. They’ve had a tough time finding the right tone and footing in a world with a streamlined content plan from Marvel. Upon seeing the footage, collectors helped push this first appearance of Black Adam in DC comics to a new high sale of $7K for a CGC 9.8. This was an easy Key of the Week.

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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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