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. Make sure and click on the active links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here.
Much like Hip-Hop music, comic books creators make a living ripping each other off. Also like Hip-Hop, the practice of lifting ideas, names, and sometimes even costumes is widely accepted. Take the subtle differences in appearance between Lil Jon and T Pain as compared to Deathstroke and Deadpool and the analogy becomes very clear. There was a great panel in Joe Kelly’s 1997 “Deadpool” run that sums up the Stroke/Pool likeness. Another of Marvel’s great rip-off characters (and that’s not to say that DC hasn’t borrowed plenty from Marvel) is their very own Batman, Marc Spector, Moon Knight.
Just like Bruce Wayne, Marc Spector was a rich guy who decided to train himself to the point of physical perfection, use his wealth to create gadgets (including a moon-mobile, moon-plane, and moon-arangs; although not by that name), and ultimately fight crime by night as a costumed vigilante. The differences, at a glance, are subtle but become apparent in their respective origins. Everyone knows Bat’s origin so we won’t go into it here, unlike whom, Moon Knight was not an orphaned rich kid. Spector was the son of a Rabbi, Marine, heavy weight boxer, and archeologist before becoming the Mercenary-turned-vigilante known as Moon Knight. Also unlike Bats, Moon Knight has some supernatural abilities granted to him by an Egyptian god, Khonshu. Moon Knight was created by celebrate Batman writer Doug Moench (who has one of the most unpronounceable names I’ve encountered in the comics industry; Munch? Moinek?), who, in all fairness, created Moon Knight in 1975 before working on “Detective Comics” in 1983. For the complete long-and-confusing Moon Knight history, click here.
In recent days, and after yet another canceled series, Moon Knight has returned to his own monthly comic and fans are receiving it well. The latest series, “Vengeance of Moon Knight,” written by Gregg Hurwitz and penciled by Jerome Opena, is selling very well, for a Moon Knight title, that is. “Vengeance of Moon Knight” #1 premiered in September and shipped 32,397 issues, making it the 73rd most ordered comic of that month. Issue #2 dropped to the 78th most ordered comic in October and shipped 26,493 issues. Not a terrible drop for a second issue of comic starring a b-list Batman rip-off. Both issues sold out at the printers very quickly and are starting to see higher prices on eBay. Specifically the Alex Ross variant of issue #1 and zombie variant of issue #2.
As usual, the most collectible Moon Knight issue is his first appearance in the pages of “Werewolf By Night” #32. WBN #32 in Near Mint condition currently guides at $170 (OVST), $100 (CPG) and is currently selling for well over $300 on eBay. Last I checked there were copies listed in 8.0 or Very Fine condition selling for much more than $200.
It wasn’t until 1980 that Moon Knight got his own series, written by Doug Moench and penciled by Bill Sienkiewicz, which as of today is vastly under-appreciated. Issue #1 in Near Mint guides for $5 (OVST), $8 (CPG) and isn’t selling for much more than $10.
In 1989 “Marc Specter: Moon Knight” (“Moon Knight” volume 3) premiered to very little fanfare, #1 guides for around $3. This was the first Moon Knight series I remember collecting and falling in love with. There really isn’t much to talk about with volume 3 until the last four issues of the series when artist Stephen Platt took over penciling duties. Platt went on to work on “Prophet” for Image comics in 1993 and then would fill-in here and there on several Marvel and Image titles for several years. We haven’t seen much of Platt since his work on Image’s “Soul Saga” in 2005 but his cult following awaits his inevitable return. Issue #57, Platt’s first issue is fairly sought after and guides for $3.50 (OVST), $10 (CPG) and recently sold for $49 on eBay. Issues #58-#60 guide for $3.50 (OVST) $8 (CPG) and it’s been a while since I’ve seen any online. These issues used to sell for a lot more when the artist was hotter but it’s been a while since we’ve seen any work from Platt.
Keep an eye on Moon Knight back issues. As the latest Moon Knight series continues to sell out expect to see prices on key back issues increasing.
Next week, in honor of the latest Marvel Cosmic Crossover, “Realm of Kings”, I’ll be taking a look at some key issues starring Marvel’s Cosmic Heroes.
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 “comments” section below. Also, you can follow Matt Baum on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all you new followers and keep the comments coming! Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint to search its database or use its “Ask A Worthologist” feature. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price. And finally, a word to the Federal Trade Commission; all the comics discussed here are purchased solely by the writer, who receives no gifts or free merchandise from any publishers, even though he would graciously accept them.
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