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This Week in Geek 10/28/09

by Matt Baum (10/28/09).

Michael Jackson: This Is It

Michael Jackson: This Is It

Be it a number grade from a well known grading service, a pedigree from an auction house or even a signature from a creator, there’s all kinds of factors that can add value to a comic book. One of the most dubious and hard to authenticate is the claim that a comic came from a celebrity’s collection. BEWARE of theses comics. Unless, of course, no one cares and you can get a deal. Then, by all means, buy away. Most recently there has been a slew comics up for auction on several sites that claim to be from Michael Jackson’s personal collection. None of the auctions I’ve seen have sold for much money, but the subject still warrants notice. Most of these auctions, rather than real authentication, have a personal anecdote about a friend or loved one who worked for the “Generous Mr. Jackson,” who personally gave them the comic. No photos of the hand off, no certificate of authentication and perhaps most importantly, no firsthand contact with MJ so as to retain plausible deniability in the case that it could be proved the comic was not from the claimed collection. Without SOME kind of authentication you should never pay more for any comic from any celebrity. I would go as far as to argue that regardless of who owned the comic, the title’s rarity—and therefore value—does not change. In short, Pope John Paul’s copy of Fantastic Four isn’t worth anymore than anyone else’s.

In other MJ news, Bluewater’s Tribute , a comic detailing the life and accomplishments of Jackson, hits stands this week just in time for me to ask them, yet again: Does anyone care? Maybe, and this is a strong maybe here, the release of the “This Is It” concert movie will briefly reheat the Jackson collectible trade for a week or two here, but I don’t see this issue in the top 100 sales at the end of the month. Now let’s talk about the rest of this week’s comics.

My Stack: Here’s a list of the comics I’ll be picking up this Wednesday, Oct. 28. For a full list of comics shipping this week click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.

Abe Sapien
Batman #692
Blackest Night #4 of 8
Dark Avengers: Ares #1 of 3
Dark Reign: The List: Punisher
Dark Reign: The List: Wolverine
Detective Comics #858
Fantastic Four #572
Green Lantern #47
Guardians of the Galaxy #19
Incredible Hercules #137
Justice Society of America #32
New Avengers #58
New Mutants #6
Nova #30
Punisher #10
Secret Warriors #9
Superman: Secret Origin #2 of 6
Superman #693
Wolverine: Weapon X #6
World’s Finest #1 of 4
X-Factor #50
X-Force #20
X-Necrosha

Thoughts on the stack: Abe Sapien is back for more weird-occult-adventure— something I can’t get enough of—just in time for Halloween. Tony Daniels takes over Batman for a few issues starting this week and I can’t say I’m excited. I read his Battle for the Cowl miniseries, which was underwhelming at best, but this could’ve been due to editorial decisions. We’ll see how it goes but I’m not sold on Daniel as a writer, yet. Blackest Night is awesome. If you disagree you’re just wrong. Two more Dark Reign: The List titles this week, both are by the regular monthly creative teams and both look great. Jonathan Hickman’s first Fantastic Four story, “Solve Everything,” ends this week and has been the best FF story I’ve read since Mark Waid left the title. Kang on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy has me geeked. I’m still not feeling Willingham and Sturges JSA yet. It’s only been a couple of issues and I’m not giving up yet. I’m just not loving it. The same goes for Zeb Wells’ New Mutants. The title just isn’t thrilling me. Maybe this week’s intro to the “Necrosha” story will kick New Mutants into gear. Superman: Secret Origin is required reading for any super-nerd. World’s Finest looks like it could be a sleeper hit. Supergirl writer, Sterling Gates, has concreted himself as one of the premier DC writers and now looks to team-up the new Superman cast along with the Bat sidekicks. I’m interested. X-Factor #50 comes with a sigh of relief. A few months ago there was no solicitation for this book and many thought the title was cancelled, which would have been terrible. Peter David’s X-Factor is one of the snarkiest and best written Marvel mutant title on the stands although this one is definitely for the real X-nerds. All-in-all it’s a huge week for new comics.

Speculator Picks of the Week:

This is the part where the comic swami calls his shot and picks out three titles that could sell out very quickly. Buy them now at cover price or pay twice as much later.

Dark Avengers: Ares #1 of 3: Marvel Comics

Dark Avengers: Ares

Dark Avengers: Ares

Solicitation: Ares the God of War! His relentless brutality and his bloodthirsty drive to attain victory at any cost earned him not only scorn from his fellow gods in the Greek pantheon, but exile from Olympus as well. After thousands of years living as a man and fighting in man’s bloody, petty conflicts, Ares joined the ranks of Earth’s mightiest heroes—the Avengers.

Now Norman Osborn—the new head of the corrupted Dark Avengers and director of the paramilitary intelligence agency H.A.M.M.E.R. —wants the finest fighting force the God of War can provide. He charges Ares with hand-picking an elite squad of soldiers and beating them into the hardest, sharpest warriors ever to wield an M-60 in each hand.

And that’s exactly what Ares will need, when the goddess Hera provides him with a fighting chance to regain his standing in the pantheon’s eyes. And Ares is taking his men with him into the battle of their lives…

32 PGS
$3.99 US
AUG090465
Written by Kieron Gillen; Pencils and cover by Cary Nord.

Why it’ll go fast: Pay attention, Thor-nerds! Kieron Gillen is the new writer on Thor and here’s your chance to see how he handles writing a god. Plus, the amazing art of Cary Nord. Ares is still not an “A-list” character yet but he’s coming up with the quickness. #1 has a $3.99 price tag, which may scare off a lot retailers who will be content to sell out of the few issues that they do order. This series may not even really heat up until Gillen takes over Thor in a few months. When he does, Ares #1 will be long gone.

New Mutants #6; Marvel Comics

New Mutants

New Mutants

Solicitation: Necrosha, Part 1 (of 3) The dead just won’t stay dead. The New Mutants’ past comes to haunt them as Necrosha hits home. Selene’s master plan busts out of the pages of X-FORCE and into NEW MUTANTS. Rated T+

32 PGS
$2.99 US
AUG090519
Written by Zeb Wells; Pencils by Diogenes Neves; Inks by Cam Smith and Edgar Tadeo; Cover by Christina Strain.

Why it’ll go fast: New Mutants has been selling well but sliding downward since issue #1 debuted, shipping just over 60,000 copies. Last month’s #5 issue checked in at number 77 on the top 300 ordered comics for September shipping a little more than 31,000 copies. Retailers have probably figured out a comfortable ordering number by now and, thinking that everyone is happy with their DC zombie crossover, probably won’t up their order on issue #6. Which will be a mistake. Never underestimate a nerd’s love of the undead! Necrosha is going to be fun and New Mutants #6 is going to be the first in the crossover to disappear.

X-Necrosha; Marvel Comics

X-Necrosha

X-Necrosha

Solicitation: Death has come to the X-Men. The one true Black Queen has returned, and she wants nothing less than every soul of mutantkind… dead or alive. And everyone who’s ever crossed Selene is going to pay. The dead rise, familiar faces haunt mutants across the world, and Selene takes her final steps into becoming a god. It all begins here in a full-length X-Force extravaganza, and continues in the pages of next month’s issue of X-Force… but the shockwaves of this terrifying event will be felt in New Mutants and X-Men: Legacy, as well, and those reverberations begin here in two all-new bonus tales. One-Shot/Parental Advisory.

$3.99 US
AUG090522
Written by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle, Mike Carey and Zeb Wells; Pencils by Clayton Crain.

Why it’ll go fast: Not to repeat myself, but a lot of retailers and readers may be thinking that one zombie-themed crossover (Blackest Night) is enough. Not to repeat myself again, but never underestimate the undead. X-Force is a top-40 selling comic every month but doesn’t sell near the levels of the X-Men titles. During the “Messiah Complex” crossover with Cable X-Force was suddenly selling on the level of X-Men Legacy (more than 60,000 copies), the majority of which were re-orders. The same thing is going to happen with Necrosha but this time the readers will be looking for the comic immediately. Watch for this one to sell out before Friday.

Nerdy Question of the Week:

On the subject of value-added comics, where do you stand? What would it take to get you to pay more than guide value on a comic book? A CGC grade? A pedigree? Absolutely nothing?

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This Week in Geek is a weekly blog about new comics written by WorthPoint comic book Worthologist Matt Baum. Every Wednesday, Matt takes a look at the week’s new comics from a collector’s point-of-view and discusses which books may be hard to find in the near future and why. Make sure to click on the hot links for previews and more information on the comics, characters, story-lines and creators discussed here. Also, feel free to post your comments in the new “comments” section below, or you can follow him on Twitter, where he is always screaming about something nerd-related. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint for free and post your comics in the “Ask A Worthologist” section. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price.

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