Back-Issue Comics Roundup – Another J. Michael Straczynski Title at Image

J. Michael Straczynski launches another title in his Joe’s Comics line and it’s already sold out at Diamond. The Adventures of Apocalypse AL

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 Previews World and Comics List. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. 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. If you want to hear what this nerd sounds like you can catch him on his podcast, the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, where he and his friend Joe discuss the latest comic news, review some new comics, and answer your questions.

The Back Issue Roundup

It’s been a little while since I talked back issues with you, but I’m back and this week there’s a bunch of new titles to discuss! So let’s bundle up and head out to the shack on the frozen lake where we’ll drill a hole in the ice, bait our hooks with cash and go ice fishing in the chilling dark waters of the back issue market!

Bronze Age and Beyond:

Image Comics continues to pump out critically acclaimed and sold out series so fast that it’s getting hard for collectors to keep up.

This week writer J. Michael Straczynski launches another title in his Joe’s Comics line and it’s already sold out at Diamond. The Adventures of Apocalypse AL is a modern-day fantasy tale starring Allison Carter, the only one who can stop a mysterious figure that’s trying to get his hands on the Book of Keys. Which is apparently a bad thing.

None of the new JMS titles are currently seeing any major action. Certainly not due to over printing. It could be due to retailers over-ordering and fans being aware of the writer’s tendency not to finish stories. With seven titles in the new Joe’s Comics line, it’s starting to feel like the author is throwing ideas out there to see if any get optioned for TV or the movies. And with his reputation of not finishing the job, it’s hard to believe that JMS will stick with all of these. This one, like the rest, will probably be a good read but I wouldn’t bet on the price going up.

Rick Remender’s latest sci/fi thriller, Black Science, has seen all three issues sell out before shipping. Sets of issues #1-#3 are selling for $30 but I’d expect that price to go up in the wake of shortages of #2. Comic shops everywhere were shorted on their Black Science #2 shipments and it’s still not clear why. Regardless, #2 was instantly selling for $20-$25 for a couple weeks. Since then, things have settled down, but it’s still going for $10-$12. Recently a CGC 9.8 copy of the Ghost Variant of #1 sold on eBay for $90 and un-slabbed copies are selling for $12-$15. Black Science is red hot right now and isn’t going to cool off soon. You should’ve had this series on your pull list since day one.

Black Science #2

Sex Criminals #1 fourth printing.

Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals also continues to sell out with each issue but the hot book right now is the fourth-printing of #1 featuring Fraction and his artist partner Chip Zdarsky in what can only be called an “awkward family photo”. It could be due to the very low print run or maybe it’s just the cute creators but copies are selling for $10-$15 un-slabbed. First printings of #1 are down a little selling for $5-$6 but that price will go back up. If you missed out on this series go grab #1 now.

Over at Marvel there’s three new #1’s hitting shelves this week but all of them seem to be short-term winners.

Ms. Marvel #1 sees a new younger, Muslim character, Kamala Khan, wearing the yellow bolt and dealing with everyday life as a teenage girl from New Jersey. #1 hasn’t sold out yet, even with the huge amount of media coverage Kamala has received of late. If this one does heat up it won’t be until after issue #2. Marvel offered “deep discount” incentives to retailers so there will be plenty of regular and variant covers out there. Pick it up to read but I wouldn’t expect much action on #1 anytime soon. Now, #2 could be a different story.

Ms. Marvel #1

The Punisher #1

Wolverine #1

The same goes with the new Punisher and Wolverine #1’s. Again, Marvel offered “deep discount” incentives to retailers to increase orders meaning, again, there will be plenty of regular and variant covers out there. Punisher has a great creative team with Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerards (the two have worked together on several excellent Image projects) but Marvel has found Frank Castle to be a tough sale of late, which is too bad because the last three Punisher series have been excellent. Wolvie gets another #1, too, but I don’t see anything huge happening here, either. #1 did sell out before shipping but you can bet Marvel printed the heck out of this issue. By all means pick it up; writer Paul Cornell is going to be great here and Ryan Stegman’s art is beautiful. Just don’t expect to see anything higher than cover price in your return any time soon.

Dynamite has a promising new line debuting this week, too.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1

The Gold Key characters make their triumphant return to Dynamite this week, beginning with Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1. Unlike the most recent and completely underwhelming Dark Horse relaunch, Dynamite has some very exciting creative teams taking over these embattled heroes. Writer Greg Pak (Superman Batman and World War Hulk) takes on Turok, along with rising-star artist Mirko Colak and the preview looks really good. This one sold out and shipped with 15 different variants, which will probably muddy the waters for the Turok variant market quite a bit, but that’s never stopped Dynamite before. Also, Dynamite made this issue fully returnable, so the sell-out could be a moot point. Regardless, Turok is back and I’m guessing the print-run here is less than 30,000. So, probably worth watching and certainly worth a read.


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 Comic Book Forum in the WorthPoint Forums, located in the Community tab. You can also reply to this article in the “leave a reply” box below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!

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