This Week in Geek 6/04/09
Batman and Robin 1:250 variant cover
This Week in Geek is a weekly blog about new comics written by WorthPoint comic book Worthologist Matt Baum. Every Wednesday, Matt takes a look at the week’s new comics from a collector’s point-of-view and discusses which books may be hard to find in the near future and why. Make sure to click on the hot links for previews and more information on the comics, characters, story-lines and creators discussed here. Also, feel free to post your comments in the new “comments” section below.
Batman is back! Sort of … In what is slated to be the comic book event of the summer (until next month’s Captain America #600), Dick Grayson—the first Robin—dons the cowl after Bruce Wayne’s “death” in issue #1 of the new Batman and Robin series. Instead of drumming up some buzz by dropping a line to the news media (like Marvel is doing with Cap #600), DC is offering the most expensive incentive cover ever. Really, most expensive ever. Not because it’s the best variant cover ever—it’s just a sketch version of the regular Frank Quietly cover—but because to get one you have to order 250 of the regular issue. Ladies and gentleman the first 1:250 variant cover and already retailers are asking ridiculous prices. The prize for “Most Expensive” goes to the two guys selling the variant for $479 on eBay. I’ll be watching these auctions very closely to see if they actually sell, which they won’t.
Truth be told, when pricing an incentive cover like this I would say the rules fly out the window. I guess I should mention the rules first. Here’s generally how incentive variants get priced: When ordering comics sometimes retailers are offered an incentive cover that will be given to them free based on how many of the regular issues they ordered. For this example, we’ll use a 1:10 variant. Basically, the retailer would take the cover price, divided by their discount, times the number of issues needed to receive the variant. So if the retailer is buying 10 issues at $2.99 minus their 50-percent discount, it’s fair to price the variant at around $15, although most 1:10 variants sell for about $7 to $10 (I blame the economy). So in our Bat-situation it would be fair to charge exactly $373.75. Right? No. And $479 is even more insane. If you’re in the market for one of these variants, I wouldn’t pay more than $150. I just can’t see it guiding for much more than $200 anytime soon.
Enough of this “incentive cover” talk. Let’s look at this week’s comics shipping on Wednesday, June 3. Below you’ll the list of comics I’ll be picking up this week. For a complete list of this week’s new comics click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.
Agents of Atlas #6
Batman and Robin #1
Black Panther #5
Captain Britain and MI:13 Annual #1
Dark Avengers #5
House of Mystery #14
Mighty Avengers #25
New Mutants #2
Secret Six #10
Superman: World of New Krypton #4 of 12
War of Kings #4 of 6
Thoughts on the pile: First of all: Shame on everyone that didn’t pick up Captain Britain and M.I. 13 resulting in the title’s cancellation. You are all to blame. Still having ton’s of fun with Bendis’ Dark Avengers. Mighty Avengers, it is starting to find its legs. A good friend of mine called the comic “surprisingly old-fashioned” and I agree. It really does read like a Silver-Age comic. I’m just not sure if I love it yet. New Mutants could be a good time and my love of the characters should carry me through to at least issue 6, even if the story is terrible. Greg Rucka and James Robinson’s Supes W.O.N.K. (best abbreviation ever) is one of the best stories I’ve read in a while and an excellent new take on the Man of Steel. Not a huge week but definitely a good one.
Now it’s time for my Speculator Picks of the Week. These are comics that could sell out quick and send the uninformed collector hunting. Get them while you can or pay twice as much later.
Solicitation: “Batman Reborn” begins here! With the reunited team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men), this first issue kicks off a three-part story arc that can’t be missed! The new Dynamic Duo hit the streets with a bang in their new flying Batmobile as they face off against an assemblage of villains called the Circus of Strange. They also tackle their first mission investigating a child who’s been abducted by the mysterious Domino Killer. But will everything go smoothly? And who exactly are the new Batman and Robin? The newest era of The Dark Knight begins here!
Written by Grant Morrison; Pencils by Frank Quitely; Covers by Frank Quitely and JG Jones.
Why it’ll go fast: Batman and Robin is going to be one of the highest-ordered comics of the summer. Which means there will be no shortage of issue #1. So why am writing about this issue? Because the 1:25 variant cover by J.G. Jones is amazing. After last years Final Crisis debacle, when he was unable to finish the series for reasons that are still unclear, Jones lost a lot of fans. But not me. I still love you J.G. Because of the buzz behind this book and the 1:250 incentive variant there should be a good amount of the 1:25 variants out there, but that doesn’t mean they won’t sell out fast.
Captain Britain and MI:13 Annual #1
Solicitation: Meggan is Captain Britain’s wife, an X-Man in Hell. And she’s going to fight her way home. Over years, bargains, battles, with only her love to guide her. Can she get back to Earth in time to help her husband turn back Dracula and his evil invasion? And is that a metal gauntlet offering a hand? Don’t miss this key part of “Vampire State”!
Plus: MI13 delves into the secrets behind British Magic.
Written by Paul Cornell; Pencils by Michael Collins; Cover by Greg Land.
Why it’ll go fast: Now that Captain Britain has been canceled, expect to see orders on the last few issues to sink even lower. Years from now, when Paul Cornell has been elevated to comic super-star-status, people will look back on his run and say “You know, that Matt Baum was right.” (In my hypothetical future I have a cable news show that discusses comics not unlike Larry King; suspenders and al.) “This Capt Britain title was excellent. How did this get cancelled?” It’s a damn shame is what it is. I’m betting this annual sells out at most shops before the end of Wednesday. Don’t expect to see heavy reorders on this issue either.
Solicitation: A comic book industry event: a new original ongoing superhero series from Mark Waid! IRREDEEMABLE dares to ask the question: what if the world’s greatest hero decided to become the world’s greatest villain? Does Plutonion’s past hold the key to his current deadly rampage? Or does it even matter? A “twilight of the superheroes”-style story that examines super-villains from the writer of KINGDOM COME and EMPIRE!
Written by Mark Waid; Pencils and cover by: Peter Krause.
Why it’ll go fast: Mark Waid has scored another hit with his latest offering from Boom Studios. One problem; Boom can’t print its comics at even close to the numbers of the Big 2 (Marvel and DC). So what happens when a Boom title gets as much good press as Irredeemable is? It’s nearly impossible to find. Issue #1 is already selling for $12 and up, with variants going for even more.
Indy Comic of the Week:
Solicitation: In 1991, Adrian Tomine self-published the first issue of Optic Nerve. Consisting of three Xeroxed sheets of paper, and with a print run of 25, it was a less-than-auspicious, largely unnoticed debut. In the following three years, though, Optic Nerve developed at a startlingly rapid pace: The artwork and writing evolved with each story, production quality improved, page counts increased, and by issue seven, sales had reached 6,000. In 1994, Drawn & Quarterly took over the publishing duties of Optic Nerve, and the original seven issues sold out and were left out of print. 32 Stories presents these rare, early editions, collected for the first time in a single volume.
Note: Special Definitive Edition Box Set
$19.95 US FEB094258
By: Adrian Tomine
Why You Should Care: Tomine’s work is widely regarded as some of the best autobiographical comics being published today. His art, like his writing, is realistic, powerful, and sublime in its familiarity. Besides, it’s good to have something that will add a little emotional heft to a guy’s comic collection. You never know who will be checking out your book shelves.
Nerdy Question of the Week:
This is not a question for variant collectors; we all know you guys have better jobs, more money and a sickness that fuels you. This question is for the casual variant buyer. What is it you look for in your variant covers? Myself; I just can’t get past great art. This week’s J.G. Jones Batman and Robin variant is a perfect example.
Thanks again for your continued input and keep the answers to the nerdy questions coming. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact me or post your question below in the “Leave a Reply” section below. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint for free and post your comics in the “Ask a Question” section. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price.
Matt Baum is a Worthologist who specializes in comic books.
WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth
Join WorthPoint on Twitter and Facebook.