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The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 03/05/2010

by Matt Baum (03/05/10).

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. 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.

Back Issue Report:

DC snagged all the headlines last week with two comics selling for more than a million dollars so this week, let’s look at some Marvel news.

Gold and Silver Oldies:

Daredevil #1

Daredevil #1

On February 28, 2010 a copy of Daredevil #1 sold for $7,605.05 on eBay. I’ll bet the guy that bid $7,605.00 is still kicking himself. This is the highest price I’ve see an ungraded copy of DD #1 sell for. In 9.4-condition, Daredevil #1 currently guides for $6,200. So, why would anyone bid this high on an ungraded copy? One-hundred-percent good feedback and a solid return policy. The seller guarantees that if the buyer sends this comic to be graded it will come back with a Universal grade, meaning it hasn’t been restored or otherwise repaired. They do not, however, guarantee condition. The seller goes on to detail what some of the other comics they have sold graded for when sent to CGC. Judging by the cover photo, this one looks to be worth every penny of seven-grand.

Avengers #1

Avengers #1

On March 3, 2010 a copy of Avengers #1 (Marvel, 1963)—with a CGC Universal of 7.0—sold for $4,300 on eBay after 28 bids were submitted. Not exactly a million-dollar sale, but definitely notable. In 8.0 condition Avengers #1 guides for $3,360, making last week’s sale a record not the highest price paid for the first appearance of the Avengers. CGC currently lists 59 copies of Avenger #1 in 7.0 condition. The highest-graded are two 9.6-graded copies. With prices for a 7.0 nearing $5,000, it’ll be very interesting to see what happens the next time an Avengers #1 in 9.0 condition or above goes up for sale.

Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four #1

Speaking of high-grade-Silver-Age Marvel Comics; one of Marvel’s biggest goes up for auction this April. Pedigreecomics.com is featuring a copy of Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel, 1961) with a CGC Universal Grade of 9.4 as part of their April Grand Auction. There are only four copies of Fantastic Four listed in the CGC Census in 9.4 condition, and only one grading higher (9.6). Doug Schmell, president and CEO of Pedigreecomics.com, is predicting the comic could sell for upwards of $250,000. Which will easily break the record for the most paid for FF#1.

Bronze Age and Beyond:

The Flash Vol 3: Crossfire

The Flash Vol 3: Crossfire

The Flash Vol. 4: Blitz

The Flash Vol. 4: Blitz

Someone has noticed that DC let the first few Flash Trade Paperbacks from the Geoff Johns run go out of print, causing prices to go insane. Without a doubt, DC is reworking its Flash Trades into a definitive Geoff Johns collection, maybe even an Absolute Edition (fingers crossed). In the meantime collectors are paying ridiculous prices on the collections. The Flash Vol 3: Crossfire is selling for near $30 and rising. There are currently none on eBay, and sellers on Amazon are already asking $80 and up. The Flash Vol. 4: Blitz is the big winner, with copies selling for $50 or more. Sellers on Amazon have gone nuts with this one and are asking $99 and up. There’s even a Titan Book UK edition being offered for $929. Keep in mind, that’s just an asking price, and a ludicrous one at that. So why aren’t the first two trades selling for more? Generally, when stocking trades in the comic shop—and this is speaking from experience here—the first two trades of any series and the latest are ordered much higher because they sell better. Curious readers will be much more likely to pick up the first trade paperback of a series than the fifth, for obvious reasons: to start at the beginning, of course. Those who are sticking with a series will of course pick up the most recent trade. It’s the ones in the middle that disappear once they go out of print. My advice is to sell yours now if you’ve got them. Trades rarely hold their value. When DC reprints these Flash trades, expect to see prices on the first prints bottom out. The only reason these Flash trades are expensive right now is because you can’t find them; right now anyway.

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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 me 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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