The Comic Speculator is a blog written by WorthPoint Comic Book “Worthologist” Matt Baum that takes a look at each week’s hot new comics and back issues and the comic market place in general. Prices discussed here are taken from the Overstreet Guide to Comics (OVST), Comicspriceguide.com (CPG) and current online auction sales. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of ICV2.com. Lists of new comics are courtesy of Previews World and Comics List. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. The codes under the prices of new titles discussed are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed. If you want to hear what this nerd sounds like you can catch him on his podcast, the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, where he and his friend Joe discuss the latest comic news, review some new comics, and answer your questions.
The Back Issue Roundup
Welcome back, comic-nerds! Once again, big Hollywood news is going to push up prices on some back issues that you need! Don’t play it cool too long here or you’ll end up coughing up a fortune for these. And, so we’re off on another hair-brained adventure into the wild world of the back issue comic market.
Gold and Silver Oldies:
Earlier this week, Marvel Studios announced that Paul Rudd would be playing the part of Hank Pym in director Edgar Wright’s upcoming Ant Man film, due in theaters July, 2015. And, as usual, immediately following the announcement, prices on Pym’s first appearance started going up.
Whether you’re buying or selling Ant Man, there’ree a couple of comics you need to watch:
The first appearance of Hank Pym, who would become Ant Man, was in Tales to Astonish #27 (Marvel,1962), which currently guides for $36,000 in Near Mint.
Tales to Astonish #27 (Marvel,1962), guides for $36,000 in Near Mint.
Written by Stan Lee
Art and cover by Jack Kirby
Why it’s hot: There’s an ongoing argument (in the comic-nerd community, anyway) about Ant Man’s first appearance. I’m here to tell you, this is it. And I don’t think there’s any argument. The first story in TTA #27 (an anthology comic) was called “the Man in the Ant Hill,” about a certain Doctor Henry Pym who develops a reducing serum that enables him to shrink. Pym is taken captive by ants but heroically escapes. While it’s true we don’t see Pym in costume here, this is without a doubt the character’s first appearance. Even if it wasn’t, any early Jack Kirby work is worth picking up and getting harder to find.
How Much: Judging by the CGC Census, there are not many of these issues out there in high-grade condition. Currently, its census only lists 11 copies in 9.0 (Very Fine/Near Mint) condition with eight in 9.0, one in 9.2 and two in 9.4. EBay sellers are asking ridiculous prices for very low-grade copies right now: as high as $1,600 for a copy in CGC 2.5 (Good+), which is insane but not far from the mark where low grade copies are already selling. On Nov. 7, a copy in CGC 4.0 condition sold for $1,676 with 45 bids. Un-slabbed copies in lesser condition are selling for $500 and up. Even coverless, this issue is selling for more than $200. It’s been a while since any higher-grade copies have sold—the last I could find was a copy in CGC 8.0 (Very Fine) that sold in February of this year on eBay for $10,300. With high-grade copies being this rare, the sky may be the limit on this issue.
Where to find it:
Heritage Auctions has a copy in CGC 2.5 up for auction currently at $330. Comic Connect has a copy in CGC 4.5 currently at $1,325. And eBay has a whole host up for grabs as well.
Tales to Astonish #35 (Marvel, 1962), in which Pym first suits up as Ant Man, guides for $7,200 in Near Mint.
Tales to Astonish #35 (Marvel, 1962), guides for $7,200 in Near Mint.
Written by Stan Lee
Art and cover by Jack Kirby
Why it’s hot: This is the first time we see Hank Pym in the Ant Man costume and, technically, his first appearance as a superhero. In the first story of the issue “Return of the Ant Man,” we see Pym recreating the shrinking and enlarging serums he destroyed previously, after his terrifying experience in the ant hill from TTA #27, when communist agents break in to his lab demanding an anti-radioactivity gas the U.S. government had tasked him to create. And a new, very small, hero was born. Again, this one is worth it for the early Kirby art alone.
How Much: Again, higher-grade copies of this issue are hard to come by. The CGC Census lists only 11 copies in 9.0 condition or better with five in 9.0, five in 9.2 and one in 9.6. But, for some reason, this issue isn’t seeing the same insanely high prices as #27. Currently, there’re a lot of lower-grade copies on eBay with sellers asking anywhere from $300 to $500 for copies in CGC 2.5-4.5 condition. It’s actually not a bad time to pick this one up.
Where to find it: Comic Connect has a copy un-slabbed in 4.5 (Very Good) currently at $495. EBay has plenty too.
Bronze Age and Beyond:
Next week we’ll be talking about Venom and the Sinister Six, so start thumbing through your collections now.
Matt Baum is WorthPoint’s comic book Worthologist. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact Matt or post your question below in the Comic Book Forum in the WorthPoint Forums, located in the Community tab. You can also reply to this article in the “leave a reply” box below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!
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