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The Comic Speculator 12/03/2009

by Matt Baum (12/03/09).

Batman and Robin

Batman and Robin

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), (CPG) and current online auction sales. Make sure and click on the active links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here.

Back in the day, I can’t remember exactly when it changed, but we always used to get our comics on Thursdays. Some of you kids probably weren’t even around back then. I’m guessing Wednesday became new comic day some time in the early 1990s, but confirmation on this would be appreciated. The point of this is comics are hitting the shelves on Thursday this week because of last week’s holiday and I hope you weren’t one of the nerds that forgot and went to your comic shop yesterday expecting your stack. If you did, rest assured the staff made fun of you after leaving.

In sellout news; Batman and Robin #2 ships a fourth printing this week. Also, Todd McFarlane’s “The Haunt” (which is actually written by Robert Kirkman and is only inked by McFarlane) shipped a third printing of issue #1 and a second printing of #2. Why am I bringing it up? Well, because this is a speculation blog and the fact that the titles I picked as sellouts are going to 2nd 3rd and 4th printings means the 1st printings are long gone and I just might know what I’m talking about here. Speaking of which, let’s get to the:

Speculator Picks of the Week:

Click here to see a complete list of new comics shipping this Thursday, Dec. 3.

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 of 3: DC Ent

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman

Solicitation: Fan-favorite writer Greg Rucka returns to chronicle the adventures of the Amazing Amazon in the DC Universe’s darkest hour! Black Lantern Maxwell Lord has risen and he seeks revenge and retribution for his murder at the hands of Diana. Look for unexpected changes to await Wonder Woman in the course of this series as she plays a major role in the War of Light against the Blackest Night.

32 PGS
$2.99 US
Written by Greg Rucka; Pencils by Nicola Scott; Cover by Greg Horn; Variant Cover by Ryan Sook.

Why it’ll go fast: For the record, I loved Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman, but that’s not why I’m picking this issue. Wonder Woman just doesn’t sell comics like Batman or even on the level of Superman, whose numbers are way down as of late, so I’m betting this is the least-ordered of the Blackest Night mini-series. I’m not saying that this title is going to sell like Blackest Night Superman, which saw issue three at the #6 spot in October while the monthly Superman title was at the #55 spot. But BN Wonder Woman is going to sell much better than the monthly and probably sell out quickly.

JSA All-Stars #1; DC Ent

JSA All-Stars #1

JSA All-Stars #1

Solicitation: An all-new ongoing series! The Justice Society spin-off group struggles to pull itself toward some semblance of order after the team’s devastating split. New home base, new training methods, new villains—all bringing the JSA All-Stars face-to-face with one of their greatest villains again—for the first time. Join writer Matthew Sturges (Justice Society, Jack of Fables) and artist Freddie Williams II (Robin) for a new chapter in the JSA legacy.

40 PGS
$3.99 US
Written by Matthew Sturges; Pencils and cover by Freddie Williams II.

Why it’ll go fast: JSA has been bleeding readers each month, I might be one of the casualties as well very soon, and retailers have noticed. Two years ago when Geoff Johns was writing the title JSA could ship 80,000 plus issues a month making it an easy top 10 seller. Now JSA is shipping in the mid 40k’s and slipping. Why DC has decided to give the JSA a second monthly title now is way beyond me but here it is. JSA All Stars written by Matthew Sturges, whose recent work (“Blue Beetle,” “Salvation Run,” “Booster Gold”) hasn’t seen any big selling numbers for DC, which features the second tier JSA titles. The whole thing sounds like an experiment doomed to fail from the start. But maybe, just maybe, Surges has the writing prowess to pull it off and all this time he’s been shackled to his writing partner Bill Willingham just waiting to be turned loose on Magog and the gang. I know this one is a gamble but I also know that retailers are not going to take a big chance here. For obvious reasons. This could be the last gasp for JSA or the little comic that could.

Thor #604: Marvel Comics

Thor #604

Thor #604

Solicitation: : Has Doctor Doom crossed a line? And what role did Loki play in Doom’s sinister plans? What did Loki know . . . and when? Now, as Thor heads to Latveria to settle the score, only one thing can happen: Thor sitting Doom down and having a serious chat about their feelings. By which we mean, state-of-the-art sledgehammer sky-scraping suit-smashing superheroics! Billy Tan (New Avengers) draws the action-packed escapades while Kieron Gillen (New Universal: 1959, Dark Reign: Ares, Phonogram) starts his six-issue run. Hold onto your runestones, True Believers: things get hectic quick!

32 PGS
$2.99 US
Preview Available!
Written by Kieron Gillen; Pencils and cover by Billy Tan; Inks by Matt Banning; Letters by Chris Eliopoulos.

Why it’ll go fast: If you have been reading Thor then you probably have had similar feelings for the title that most retailers had: J. Michael Straczynski’s recent run say Thor selling in the Top Five monthly comics for several issues until the title became bogged down in shipping delays. Numbers began to slowly dip on the title and then JMS announced he would be leaving Thor quite suddenly. Last week was the exciting conclusion to the JMS run that really didn’t tie-up any of his plot points at all but did give readers a peek at this new creative team. Gut instinct for retailers is to cut way back on a title after a big creative talent leaves. Unless, of course, an even bigger name is taking over. Not the case here with relative new comer Kieron Gillen, but I think it’s going to be a bet that pays off. With all that’s happening with the Avengers, Dark Reign and the upcoming Siege event, readers want to see how Thor (a founding Avenger) will react and JMS wasn’t interested in telling that story. Those who were reading JMS’s Thor will pick this up to see what happens to his story. Those that didn’t care for JMS run will pick up Thor just to see if it’s “good” again. The rest of us just want to see Thor knock the crap out of Norman Osborne.

That’s all for now kiddies. I swear that back-issue blog I was talking about last week is coming. It’s been a busy week, between getting married and Thanksgiving. Oh, did I forget to mention I got married? Check my Facebook relationship status; it’s official. See, even nerds can find true love.


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 “comments” section below. Also, you can follow him on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s 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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