The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 03/19/2010
Incredible Hulk #1
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 Previewsworld.com and Comicslist.com. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. The codes under the prices and next to the new titles are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed..
Back Issue Report:
Gold and Silver Oldies:
The case of the Larson Superman #1 on eBay has become even more interesting as, once again, the auction has ended only to resurface but for an even higher price. Let’s trace the history here: the comic first popped up with a $100,000 price tag, a bad photo and many questions surrounding the identity of the buyer. Then the auction ended with a “sold” status and a “this item has been re-listed” message. Which it was? With a $20,000 “buy it now” option. Again, the auction ended with a “sold but re-listed” status, and now you can buy the comic at the new price of $220,000. Quite a price jump and the auction still has the same crappy picture and no new information as to the identity of the seller. The description still lists the “Buy it Now” price as $121,000, which I don’t recall seeing that price ever attached to this auction. What the hell? I’m still hunting for info on the seller but not coming up with much. For now I’m still going with my Theo Holstien theory.
In Silver-Age news: an auction for the Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) with a CGC Universal grade of 6.5 and an Incredible Hulk #181 (Marvel, 1974) with a CGC Universal grade of 9.4 sold for $9,117.11 on March 21, 2010, with nine bids. Auctions like these tend to bother me. The reason being, when looking at auction results for multiple comics, it’s hard to get an idea of what the comics are actually selling for. The Incredible Hulk #1 currently guides for $9,000 in 6.5 condition, while Hulk #181 (the first appearance Wolverine) guides for $700 in 9.4. Which begs the question: did this buyer get a Hulk #1 for a good price, or pay too much for a Hulk #181? We may never know.
Incredible Hulk #181
Another good example of a collection of CGC graded Marvel Silver-Age selling in one auction ended on March 13. A lot composed of Journey into Mystery #83 (first appearance of Thor, 1962, CGC 7.0), Amazing Spider-Man #6 (first appearance of the Lizard, 1963, CGC 9.0), Incredible Hulk #181 (first appearance of Wolverine, 1974, CGC 9.0) and Tales of Suspense #57 (first appearance of Hawkeye, 1964, CGC 9.0), along with New Mutants #98 (first appearance of Deadpool, 9.2) and six random Thor comics sold for $7,099 with 26 bids—a steal considering that the comics guide for a combined $7,650. Had the seller listed these comics separately they could’ve made considerably more. A copy of Tales of Suspense #57 with a CGC Universal grade of 9.4 sold for 7,100 in 2008. Take the time and piece them out; you will always make more money. That, and guys like me can see what these comics are worth.
Case-in-point: A copy of Thor #112 (Marvel, 1965) with a CGC Universal Grade of 9.4 sold for $4,995.95. The comic features the origin of Loki, a battle between the Hulk and Thor and is a part of the Mound City collection (a recently named pedigree for a collection of very high grade Silver-Age comics).
Bronze-Age and Beyond :
Iron Fist #1
Iron Fist #1 is one of my favorite Bronze-Age Marvel comics, but as of March 20, I’m quickly realizing I’ll never own a copy in Near Mint condition. A copy of Iron Fist #1 (Marvel, 1975) with a CGC Universal grade of 9.8 sold for $2,555 with 30 bids. This is by far the most expensive copy of Iron Fist that has sold at auction. Previously, a copy in CGC 9.4 condition set the record at $200 in 2006. Not a bad jump in price in just four years.
Iron Man #282
Shortly after writing last week’s piece about War Machine appearing in the upcoming Iron Man 2 movie, I noticed sellers began listing his appearances on eBay. With “buy it now” prices anywhere from $35 to $250, sellers are hoping for War Machine to break some poor nerd’s bank. It seems Rhodey-mania has officially hit as of March 21, when a copy of Iron Man #282 (first appearance of James Rhodes in the War Machine armor, Marvel, 1992) in CGC 9.8 condition sold on eBay for $105.38. Keep in mind Iron Man #282 guides for $4. On a related note, I have a good friend who has scoured Colorado looking for this comic and has now tasked me with finding him one in Nebraska. One problem Big Mike; I don’t own Iron Man #282 either. Maybe I’ll send you one, if I can find two copies (insert evil laughter; preferably Jabba the Hutt’s).
I don’t always get to write about independent comics in this blog so I was thrilled to see that Jeff Smith’s Bone #1 (Cartoon Books, 1991) in CGC 9.6 condition sold for $1,700 on eBay also on March 20. Bone was an amazing series, in the vein of Walt Kelly’s Pogo, that probably had a maximum print-run under 10,000 copies. Issue #1 currently guides for $200, but I would expect that price to be climbing with sales nearing $2000 on high grade copies.
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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