WEEK IN REVIEW

March 4th, 2022

Welcome to COVRPRICE’s Weekly Market Report!

Happy Friday CP fans. As we head into the weekend, let’s check in on an Aliens #1 5th print, a rare 1:500 Fortnite variant, some New 52 spec, Heavy Metal #1, some Hulk (including the highly debated #180 v #181), Moon Knight, Spawn, TMNT, Transformers and most importantly, Rainbows and Puppies! Whew. These were our favorite books that landed on our SHAKERS list throughout the week. If you’re not checking out the shakers list every day, then you’re missing out. With that said, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get into 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: ALIENS #1 – 5TH PRINT | DARK HORSE | 1988

By Matt DeVoe

We know that the first appearance of Aliens in this first issue is one expensive book in high grade. However, that high price used to be only designated for the first print. Even with scarcity, subsequent printings were typically seen as worthless. It’s only recently when even older subsequent printings have been sought after, let alone match or surpass their first print’s market value. With a new all-time high this week of $1,025 for a 9.8, that’s precisely what this fifth print for Aliens did. Though, when you like at a 5th print for a 1988 Dark Horse issue and then add in this all-black cover, finding a 9.8 in this difficult-to-find print is a huge feat. These various printing seem similar at first glance. However, the 4th and 5th prints are missing the black border that the first three printings had, with the image filling the entire cover. The major difference between the 4th and 5th print is a brownish tint throughout the cover. The fourth print is the most vibrant of all the printings and typically stands out. Regardless, this tells us to grab ANY Aliens printing, especially in high-grade.

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SHAKER: ALL-AMERICAN COMICS #18 | DC | 1940

By Matt DeVoe

This issue features the third appearance of the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott. Collectors tend to focus on his first appearance in issue #16. Though, this issue has made some big leaps in price, like this week’s new all-time high sale of $10,775 for a CGC 7.5.

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SHAKER: BATMAN FORTNITE ZEROPOINT #1 BATMAN DAY 1:500 CHROME EDITION | DC | 2021

By DiodeLad

By the time the Batman Fortnite ZeroPoint Batman Day Special came out in September of 2021, the comic community had already slogged through six issues of the Epic Games / DC collaboration. It was curious at first to imagine Batman and Catwoman engaging with the Fortnite characters and how this was supposedly all canon for the Batman story. Still, after six issues, it was getting a little tiring to collect them. Each issue would spike and fall due to Fortnite item codes included within each sealed copy. Perhaps the gimmick was good for the Batman brand in video gaming, but we didn’t sense much excitement from comic collectors for Fortnite in comics. Then DC put out this 1-shot, and they went big, producing a 1:100 and 1:500 for this follow-up special. Not surprisingly, few people bought enough copies to qualify for the chrome 1:500 incentive ratio. It’s rare, and a 9.8 graded copy sold this week for $1775. Donald Mustard, a writer, artist, and creator of Batman/Fortnite, is also the Chief Creative Officer of Epic Games and a creator of Fortnite. Some collectors are betting that we haven’t seen the last of Fortnite in comics.

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SHAKER: CAT-MAN COMICS #32 | CONTINENTAL | 1946

By DiodeLad

A must-have for collectors of pre-Code shark covers, Catman #32 features a terrific aquamarine, red and yellow cover by L.B. Cole on which Cat-Man and Kitten, in their matching costumes, wrestle a shark. At the same time, an orderly school of tropical fish swims by at a congruent angle to the “Catman” title. This last series issue sold for $3480.00 for a CBCS 5.5 this week, a new high in that grade. In 2016 a 7.5 graded copy sold for a comparable $3800, showing just how steady the rise in value of these L.B. Cole covers had become in recent years. Last week we covered a slew of Cat-man high sales in this newsletter, and the trend keeps on going!

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SHAKER: DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 FCBD SPECIAL EDITION #1 | DC | 2012

By Matt DeVoe

Numerous free comic book day exclusives are worth more than you would think. While not intended to be a rare collectible, they do tend to shoot up in value when they feature the first appearance of a popular title or character. At this point in 2012, the FCBD program had been running for ten years. While popular, it was nowhere near the event it is today. Due to the large print runs, most collectors didn’t look at these free books as something to speculate on, nor keep safe in bags and boards. The NEW 52 was an also an immensely controversial reboot for DC, and many fans saw it as a jumping-off point (while many also saw it as a jumping on point). So, these New 52 FCBD special editions weren’t seen as a book to save. Ten years later, it’s a challenge to find non-stamped copies in high grade. There are also numerous versions with each store’s logo, information, and a coupon that cover a good chunk of the left side of the book. That makes this non-logo, non-stamped version quite desirable. Add in the fact that this is the first appearance of the Green Lantern Simon Baz, then you can see why this recently sold for a new high sale of $499 for a CGC 9.8. Simon is one of the few, if not only, Lebanese superheroes. There are high expectations that Simon will appear in the HBO Green Lantern series. We hope so. He has a cool aesthetic that greatly differs from previous Earth-based lanterns.

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SHAKER: HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE #1 | HM COMMUNICATIONS, INC. | 1977

By Matt DeVoe

When this title launched in 1977, it stood out on stands as it sat next to titles like National Lampoon. It featured a unique blend of erotica, sci-fi, and fantasy. It had an overall modern steampunk feel that tool a mainstream approach to underground comics. The art and stories were very mature, though not as racy as the more popular independent comics. The series boosted creators’ profiles like Bernie Wrightson, Roger Corman, Walt Simonson, Jim Steranko, Arthur Suydam, Frank Frazetta, and H. R. Giger. Artist Jean-Michel Nicollet set the tone perfectly for Heavy Metal with his cover for this first issue. The magazine had a positive effect on modern-day comics and was a pop-culture phenomenon on its own with a cult animated film by the same name. Even though this week marked an all-new high sale of $800 for a CGC 9.8, almost doubling the last 9.8 sale of $492 in August 2021, this first issue should be a must-have for “key historical comics” collectors.

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SHAKER: THE INCREDIBLE HULK #3 | MARVEL | 1962

By Ryan Forster

It’s no secret that “Hulk Smash Price Records” lately for issue #1, with huge sales like the recent $63,000 shocker from January for a CGC 6.0. But it’s not just issue 1 that has been shooting up in price. All 6 of his initial issues have been making incredible moves lately, with the most recent example being a record $1,380 sale this week for a CGC 3.5 of issue #3. This sale beat out the prior record of $1072.87 by over $300 or almost 29% from just a month ago. Issues 2 through 6 have historically been largely overlooked by collectors, but Hulk is finally getting his day, and the demand for these early Marvel keys has been consistently rising lately. It’s possible that this is a side effect of the wildly popular Immortal Hulk series or the new Donny Cates authored run, but whatever the case, collectors are snatching up these books and continuing Hulk Smash records on a regular basis.

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SHAKER: INVINCIBLE #2 – TYLER KIRKHAM – WHATNOT – ATOM EVE – VIRGIN – COLOR (LIMITED TO 1000) | IMAGE | 2003

By Matt DeVoe

Whatnot’s exclusive Invincible #1 variants for Mark, Omni-Man, and now Atom Eve with issue #2 have been some of the hottest variants for the past several months. While the standard trade dress copies of #1 have settled a bit, the Atom Eve set is on fire with the standard cover selling for an FMV of $400, the virgin and the sketch both trending at an FMV of $450 raw. They have a print run of 1500 for the trade, 1000 for the virgin and sketch, and 150 for the Gold. We have not seen any Gold sales outside of Whatnot. What’s interesting is how these variants are rolled out. Typically, exclusives are sold and then shipped out at the same time. Most buyers get their copies around the same time, list their extra sets, and end up flooding the market, bringing the value down. However, these exclusives are only sold through Skybound and a handful of sellers, limiting the flow of copies in the market. This increases desirability and, therefore, the huge sales you see every day. It’s an interesting examination of aftermarket sale supply and demand.

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SHAKER:

THE JOKER #3, 4 & 5 DC | 1975 & 1976

By Yves Navant

Are you experiencing Joker fatigue? Has the clown prince of crime become less prince of crime and just more clowney? Oversaturated, you say? Well, the way to kickstart your love of the character is by going back to his roots, which are highly sought after! These three issues just sold for an accumulated $3,190; all CGC graded 9.8. Joker has long been the disfigured, toxic gem in Batman’s rogue’s gallery, and he was the first villain to star in his own solo series! Joker’s solo book detailed his ability to slip in and out of his cell at Arkham Asylum, undetected, for madcap adventures where he’s kind of… an antihero? Well, an antihero that still kidnaps, threatens, and terrorizes people. Okay, forget about the antihero thing. Issue #3 features a duel between DC’s two maddest men, the Joker and the Creeper. The issue’s hysterical new record high sale price of $1,270 may be attributed to the recent announcement of a forthcoming Tom King-written book featuring the Creeper under DC’s Black Label. Issue #4 features Joker kidnapping Black Canary in Star City and holding her hostage atop a bridge where he battles Green Arrow for her life. This issue, published in 1975, certainly seems inspired by Amazing Spider-Man #121 from 1973, right? Oh, the Gwen Stacy of it all. #4 also sold for $1,270. Lastly, we have a jaunty little battle between the Joker and the Royal Flush gang in issue #5, which sold for $650. These stories are madcap adventures from the bronze age of comics, where the Joker was still doing terrible, insane things, but in full, vivid, technicolor. They’re a phenomenal escape from dreary contemporary depictions, a reminder of how fun and spontaneous the character can be, and are well worth their new record-high prices.

Joker 3   Find on eBay | Find on MCS

Joker 4   Find on eBay | Find on MCS

Joker 5   Find on eBay | Find on MCS

 

SHAKER: MARVEL MUST HAVE: X-FORCE #1 | MARVEL | JAN 1, 2008

By Matt DeVoe

In 2008, Craig Kyle, Christ Yost, and Clayton Crain produced a new X-Force series that focused on a unique elite team of mutants that were comfortable taking extreme measures against a threat. Led by Wolverine, this covert mutant team were sent out to take care of issues that the core X-Men teams couldn’t, nor wouldn’t, do. Clayton Crain produced a “bloody” variant for the first five issues to match this more violent X-book. In 2008, Marvel reproduced many of their hot titles into a “Must Have” series, collecting the first several issues. This X-Force Marvel Must Have collected issues #1 through #3 and featured an alternate cover of X-Force #2’s bloody variant. However, on this new version, Crain replaced the blood with puppies and rainbows while also replacing the core cast of mutant’s serious expressions with smiles (which somehow look even more sadistic). For over a decade, this could easily be picked up for under $10. However, in recent years, copies have dried up. This has steadily increased the value, leading to this week’s new raw height of $79. One online buyer is even looking for a cool $1K for their raw copy. While this won’t reach that level of value, it’s a book to look out for. Graded copies will do quite well whenever one comes to market.

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SHAKER:  MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #13 | MARVEL | 2019

By Matt DeVoe

Wow, is this book on fire. Featuring the first appearance of Billie Morales, Miles Morales’ sister, ALL covers for this issue are heating up. This standard-issue hit a high of $75 raw this week. The 2nd print sells for $85 with a recent 9.8 sale at $350. The Rahzzah cover sells for $130 raw, with a high 9.8 sale of $404. And lastly, the Venom Island variant is at $50 raw and $400 in a 9.8. This book is specifically trending due to solicitations for MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #38, which is listed as “A timeline where Miles’ clone SELIM is victorious, and the only thing standing in the evil Spider-Man’s way is a rebellion led by General GANKE and a very grown-up and extremely badass Capitán BILLIE!” The phrasing and same name spelling allude to speculation that we’ll see a grown-up Billie Morales. Expect prices to continue to surge upward if this is the case.

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SHAKER: MOON KNIGHT #1 – 2ND PRINT | MARVEL | 2014

By Matt DeVoe

With Moon Knight books on the rise across the board, this hard-to-find 2nd print is rapidly climbing in price. Though, it’s this series focus of Mr. Knight that makes this issue so desirable. His first full appearance in this issue has a substantial new high sale this week of a CGC 9.8 for $750. That’s a massive boost for a book that typically sells for $50 raw.

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SHAKER: SPAWN #223 – COVER B – B&W INCENTIVE VARIANT BY TODD MCFARLANE IMAGE | 2012

By Matt DeVoe

It’s not new info that the popular Spawn homage covers are some of the most sought-after Spawn variants. However, it’s always surprising to see how high they can get. For example, this B&W version of the WALKING DEAD #1 homage sold a 9.8-grade copy for $510 in March 2021. However, this week, a new bar was set with a 9.4 at $700. Granted, this cover rarely pops up for sale and will continue to climb up in price with each future sale.

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SHAKER: SUSPENSE COMICS #11 | CONTINENTAL | 1946

By Ryan Forster

If you’re familiar with the Golden Age, you have likely heard of Suspense Comics. But if not, this run of books has some of the most vibrant and desirable covers of the time period. Suspense Comics #3, which features a cover by Alex Schomburg, is one of the most expensive books of that era but issues 4 through 12 are no slouches as they all featured cover artist L.B. Cole. Books from this run don’t come up for sale too often, so we sat up and noticed when two of the most desirable covers in this run sold this week. A CGC 2.5 of issue 11, one of his classic devil covers, sold for a record $3,120, beating its prior high of $1,300 from 2020 by over $1,800. This was likely a reaction to the massive $132,000 sale of a CGC 9.8 from September of last year. Issue #8, which features a creepy spider with a human skull, also had a record sale of $3,960 for a CGC 4.0 that just eeked out a new record by $120. Almost all of the books from this run are rare and desirable so if you’re looking to pick up some of your own, be ready to act quickly before someone else snatches them up.

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SHAKER: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #20 | MIRAGE | 1989

By Matt DeVoe

Early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle books sell for a premium in high grade. There are plenty of collectors out seeking this initial run. When 9.8’s hit the market, they tend to climb in price. For example, this week, issue #20 had a massive CGC 9.8 sale of $995. This is even more impressive when you look at the raw FMV of only $8, making this one heck of a gap book. Pick up those high-grade TMNT books!

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SHAKER: THE TRANSFORMERS #59 – NEWSSTAND | MARVEL | 1984

By Matt DeVoe

This issue features the death of Ratchet, with a fantastic Grimlock cover. Like TMNT, Transformers books are in a similar position where this standard cover and newsstand cover typically sell for about $8 raw. However, this week’s new high sale at $849.95 is a significant premium for a high-grade copy. In 1984, newsstand copies were about 60% of the market, so these weren’t particularly rare. However, it’s all about the condition. While CGC doesn’t distinguish between direct and newsstand copies, only 29 copies of this issue are on the census between both covers. At that, there are only nine universal 9.8 copies. This helps justify why some big franchise books see such huge prices for high-grade copies.

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SHAKER: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #13 | MARVEL | 1973

By Matt Day

As May approaches, eyes turn to Doctor Strange and the mystic side of the MCU. Of course, the big news is that America Chavez will appear, but Marvel tends to keep some cards close to their chest. Undoubtedly, other interesting mystic characters will be introduced to the MCU through Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. One candidate with ties to current MCU members Doctor Strange, Wong, and Dormammu and potential future MCU members Werewolf (by Night), Dracula, Jennifer Kale, and Satana is Topaz. Topaz is a witch with strong empathic, telekinetic and telepathic powers. She was strong enough to temporarily dispatch Mephisto, heal Wong, and fight Dormammu with Doctor Strange. She first appeared in Werewolf by Night #13 back in 1973 – a book that is notoriously difficult to find in high grade. There are only about 100 universal grade copies on the CGC census and a mere 9 in 9.8 condition. Collectors in the know seek out these super high-grade copies and rarely let them go. The last CGC 9.8 copy sold over five years ago for $360. Another CGC 9.8 copy finished at auction through Heritage on 2/28/2022 and sold for an all-time high of $1320. Considering the relative rarity of the book in super high grade and the gap between CGC 9.8 sales, it’s no surprise this book more than tripled in price. This type of book has a relatively low price for even 9.2-9.4 copies. Still, if you think you have a 9.8 candidate, it may be worth taking a shot with professional grading as the book will command a considerable premium. Just a heads up, there is a Mark Jewelers edition of this book, but we’ve only recorded three total sales – all raw and none in high grade. If a high-grade MJV edition were ever to hit the market, the price would likely be astronomical. Happy hunting!

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SHAKER: THE WITCHER #1 – STAN SAKAI – ECCC 2014 (LIMITED 1000) | DARK HORSE | 2014

By Matt DeVoe

We often talk about the timing of when the best time to sell a book is. Typically, it’s right after the very first trailer for the first film or first series of comic book-based content. Though, that’s not what’s happening for The Witcher. After a successful first season, a second season followed and was released on December 17th. Usually, the market moves on after the first week or two. However, this rare variant had an all-time high sale of $330 raw this week. This is almost triple the last raw price of $136 in November 2021 and barely matched the all-time high of $342 for a 9.8. To top this odd trend off, the second season was met with mixed reviews. Despite all these factors, this continues its upward trend.

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RUMORED/OPTIONED COMICS

RUMORED/OPTIONED: BEETLEJUICE 2

Per Deadline, “‘Beetlejuice 2’: Brad Pitt’s Plan B Boards Sequel In Early Development At Warner Bros.” While this property didn’t originate from a comic book, there were several Beetlejuice comics. Most were centered around the 90’s animated TV series. The first comic appearance in Harvey’s 1991 BEETLEJUICE series sells well around $27 for the direct edition, $50 for the newsstand, and over $100 for the Canadian price variant. 

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RUMORED/OPTIONED: BODIES

Deadline also reported that. “‘Bodies’: Netflix Greenlights Adaptation Of Si Spencer’s Mind-Bending Graphic Novel From ‘Pursuit Of Love’ Producer Moonage Pictures.” Copies have been moving, though after a few sales over $40, the FMV value is settling to $26. 

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RUMORED/OPTIONED: IRREDEEMABLE

Per Comic Book Resources, Mark Waid recently alluded to the comic being picked up for development. “Waid noted Disney acquiring key assets from Fox resulted in the project coming “off the table, because Disney said, ‘We don’t need superheroes. We have superheroes.'” He then added, “All I can tell [Irredeemable fans] is that you’re headed for a world of joy.” This has already lit a fire under the first issue, and it’s variants. The first print currently has a raw FMV of $68, with a recent sale of over $99. 

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RUMORED/OPTIONED: THE SIXTH GUN

Per Variety, “Selwyn Seyfu Hinds Signs Overall Deal With UCP, Will Adapt Graphic Novel ‘The Sixth Gun.'” The first print of THE SIXTH GUN #1 has a current FMV of $22. However, the first appearance of the series was in the FCBD edition that was released several months before, which is currently trending at an FMV of $20. 

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WHAT THE WATCHER IS WATCHING

WATCHING: FLASHPOINT #1 | DC | 2011

By Matt DeVoe

The recent PEACEMAKER series for HBO delivered some hope to DCU fans. At the end of the series, the studio weaved the two worlds together despite feeling The Suicide Squad films feeling significantly separated from the core franchise. With Aquaman 2 and The Flash releasing this year, it might be time to look back at this 2011 FLASHPOINT series before we get a trailer. This series is a loose inspiration for the film due to release in November. Despite a recent new high sale for the sketch variant at $99, prices are relatively low for this standard cover. It’s a great book to watch for now as we inch closer to seeing a trailer (which is expected as early as May, but more likely around San Diego Comic-Con in July). 

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KEY COMIC OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: THE INCREDIBLE HULK #180 | MARVEL | 1974

By Yves Navant

By Yves Navant
An issue of the Hulk from 1974, where he fights Wendigo, just sold raw for $5,988. Did you hear me? Nearly $6,000 for 70’s Hulk. Well, the last page happens to feature the first full-page appearance of Wolverine, the adamantium-boned, feral, Canadian X-Man, although joining the X-Men was still a year out at this point. The issue is a bit of a controversy, with some fans arguing that this isn’t Wolverine’s first appearance cause he doesn’t appear on the cover, nor throughout most of the story. A cameo, they call it. However, facts argue the contrary. This is Wolverine’s first appearance. The story is pretty cool; Hulk is doing Hulky things and winds up in Canada where a French Canadian woman who’s also a recreational Necromancer is trying to free her brother from the curse of the Wendigo. Mon Dieu! That seems risky. Wendigo is a big, scary, white monster that haunts the Canadian Rockies and eats human flesh. (But he doesn’t eat abused children; ask me about a crazy Todd McFarlane story from 1991. Yikes.) Back to the impressive value of this issue, please! When Hulk enters Canadian airspace, the Air Force immediately recognizes the threat, and for the first time, we see “Mobilize Weapon X!” in print. At the crescendo of Hulk’s battle with Wendigo, on the final page, we see Wolverine for the first time as he lunges toward the combatants, shouting, “All right, you freaks– just hold it! If you want to tangle with someone — why not try your luck against — the Wolverine!” So, Wolvie is mentioned by the Canadian military, pages later he’s seen in full figure, introducing himself by shouting his name. That… that sounds like a first appearance, right? Designed by Marvel’s in-house art director John Romita, Sr., Wolverine was not yet the gruff little guy we all grew to love; he wasn’t mentioned as a mutant, and his retractable claws were housed initially in his gloves. His character would be developed to great success after he joined the forthcoming international X-Men team in 1975. The Wolverine is given the full spotlight and introduction throughout Hulk 181, one of the greatest comic-book covers and most desired grails of all time. But make no mistake, he got his start here in Hulk #180. That is why this kind of unassuming Hulk book is so wildly desirable and rapidly increasing in value. The proper response to the #180 v #181 is “buy both.”

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