The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 08/03/2010

Birds of Prey #2

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. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of 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.

The Back Issue Report:

It’s time to once again take a look at the fast-paced, action-packed world of back-issue comics. I know it’s been a while, but from here on out, this is going to be a weekly blog. You’ll notice, if you’ve been following my other TCS blog, the sell out news has moved over to this blog. It just seemed like a better fit here. Let me know if you agree. Now let’s get into it.

Sell Out News:

These could be the hot back issues of the future so pay attention and buy now or pay way too much for them later. The sell-outs discussed here are at the distributor level, meaning there may be copies still available at your local comic shop.


Birds of Prey #2 sold out this week and DC has already announced a second printing to ship on August 11.

Birds of Prey #2 Second Printing (JUN108077D)

While they haven’t been instant sellouts, Birds of Prey is selling well for DC. Both #1 and #2 were top-40 selling titles in May and June, but prices on first printings are holding at cover price for now.

Image/Top Cow:

Artifacts #1 second printing

Not to toot my own horn, but people laughed at me when I called this one. Artifacts #1 sold out almost instantly and had a second printing announced to ship on August 18.

Artifacts #1 Second Printing (JUN108076)

Surprisingly, there are not a lot of Artifacts #1’s up on eBay currently, and the ones that are selling are moving fast. Even the 1:100 covers are selling for $100, which is a good sign for any cross-over.


Lot’s of Marvel sellout news this past week:

Amazing Spider-Man #636 second printing

Amazing Spider-Man #636 and #637, the final two parts of the Grim Hunt storyline that saw the return of Kraven the Hunter (again), both sold out and had second printing variants announced scheduled to ship on August 18.

Amazing Spider-Man #636 Second Printing Variant (JUN108069)

Amazing Spider-Man #637 Second Printing Variant (JUN108070)

The Grim Hunt was a big seller for Spidey, from whom we haven’t seen a sellout from in quite a while. I didn’t know there was so much Nerd-love out there for Kraven. While the individual issues of Grim Hunt aren’t selling for much, the four-issue run is selling very well, going for as high as $14 on eBay. These could be tough issues to find in the near future, but with three issues of Amazing Spidey shipping a week, Grim Hunt could also be very quickly forgotten.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1 Second Printing

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 predictably sold out very quickly at the distributor level, proving that when you bring the original creative team back to a once-successful title, fans will buy the hell out of it. Marvel announced a second printing with a variant cover to ship on August 11.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 Second Printing Variant (JUN108016)

This issue seems to have been heavily ordered to sell out so quickly, and there are still plenty available online keeping prices at or below cover.

Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age One-Shot 2nd Printing Variant

Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age, a one-shot that sets the tone for the X-titles in the heroic age, with pencils by While Portacio, sold out this week. I was a little shocked at this one, seeing as it was an X-one-shot that wasn’t part of an event. Although, after reading it, I see why it went so fast. Good story, great art and a nice little denouement for readers of the now cancelled SWORD series. Marvel announced a second printing with a variant sketch cover to ship on August 18.

Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age One-Shot 2nd Printing Variant (JUN108120)

Like the other Marvel sell-outs this week, there still seems to be plenty of these on the shelves, keeping prices online right around cover price.

Vengeance of Moon Knight #10 2nd Printing Variant

All it took was a Secret Avengers appearance to score Vengeance of Moon Knight a sell out, and just in time for the final issue of the series . . . maybe. There’s been no official cancelation of the title yet. Moon Knight #10 sold out and had a second printing variant announced scheduled to ship on August 18.

Vengeance of Moon Knight #10 2nd Printing Variant (JUN108122)

Prices are creeping up on Moon Knight #10 online, and there aren’t very many out there at present. This might be a good one to buy an extra copy of if your shop still has any left.

Moon Knight returns next month in the pages of Shadowland: Moon Knight, so don’t freak out. As to the title’s cancelation, we’ll just have to wait for word from Marvel, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Shadowland: Moon Knight is the end of Marc Spector. Especially since sales on this title have been pretty dismal up until now.


Scott Pilgrim #6

While printing 100k copies of a comic may be standard practice for most Marvel and DC titles, it’s a huge risk for a smaller company like Oni. So when it decided to print 100k copies of Scott Pilgrim #6—just in time for the movie buzz to hit its zenith— sure it was a gamble, but it turned out to pay off. Scott Pilgrim #6 first printings sold out this week less than five days after its release. A quick printing of 50,000 is coming soon, but I’m guessing this initial sell out was due to retailer over-ordering. We have six copies of Scott Pilgrim #6 at my shop presently. Congrats to Oni on its first 100k sellout, though. Nicely done, Oni. On a personal note, I just finished reading Scott Pilgrim #1 and loved it. Here’s to hoping the movie is as good as the comic.

Gold and Silver News:

A newly discovered Action Comics #1

Big news from CGC and this week. During last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, the Metropolis Collectibles/ booth was featuring an amazing, unrestored copy of Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) that had nerds a-squakin’. There were all kinds of rumors as to what the comic would guide out at when CGC got there claws on it. Well, the rumors have been put to rest. At 12 p.m. Eastern on Monday, Aug. 2, CEO, Stephen Fishler announced on Twitter that the Action Comics #1 that some had guessed would guide out at 8.5 or higher actually only guided out at 5.0. Still, nothing to laugh at, but also not a new record breaker. There’s still plenty of drama here, though, including a story that the family that consigned the comic is hoping the sale will save their house from foreclosure.

According to Fishler, the comic was found by a couple facing eviction from the home that had been in their family since the 1950s. After her father passed away, his daughter and her family moved in. To pay off some business expenses, they took out a second mortgage, but once the recession hit, they couldn’t make the payments. The bank began foreclosure proceedings, and tearfully, they started packing. Then, low and behold, in the basement, they found some old comic books, including a well-preserved Action Comic #1. Online research led them to, and the rest is the stuff of fairy tales. Apparently, even the foreclosure is on hold until the end of the auction. Truly a job for Superman, if there ever was one.

Amazing Spider-Man #1

As to the price of the comic, we’ll just have to wait and see. I wouldn’t expect this one to break any records, but unless the family owed more than $400,000 on its house, it should be free and clear by the end of the auction.

In Spidey-News; one lucky bidder on eBay got a hell of a deal on Amazing Spider-Man #1 this past weekend. An auction for Amazing Spider-Man #1 in 8.0 Universal condition ended on Aug. 1 at a closing price of $14,500, with 44 bids. Now $14.5k is nothing to scoff at, but it is about $10,000 cheaper than what the comic guides at in 8.0 condition ($25,000). So, why the smoking deal? It seems there’s been a glut of Amazing Spider-Man #1’s popping up on eBay lately, pushing prices on the title very low. Maybe it’s fear of the news coming from Hollywood of the new Spidey movie? There’s currently more than 25 auctions for Amazing Spidey #1 on eBay, which is a lot. Unless you’re desperate, now is not the time to sell this comic.



Bronze-Age and Beyond:

Dime Press #4

Great Salt Lake Comic-Con Pamphlet

There’s been a long running argument in regard to the first appearance of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Many say (including the Worthpoint Worthopedia) it was on the cover of the Italian comic Fanzine Dime Press #4 (1993), while others argue it was in the Great Salt Lake Comic-Con Pamphlet from 1991. The pamphlet does feature a demon drawn by Mignola wearing a belt buckle that reads “Hellboy,” but it’s definitely not the big, red, bearded Hellboy we know today. In interviews Mignola himself admits to the ’91 drawing as a prototype of the character and calls Dime Press #4 Hellboy’s first appearance. The Italian magazine had a print-run of approximately 2,000 so it’s a rare find that routinely sells for $500 and up, depending on condition. Recently, I had been watching an eBay auction for a Dime Press #4 listed in “Very Fine” condition by the seller with a “Buy it now” price of $99. Helluva deal for a $500-plus-selling magazine. That was until I noticed the shipping price of $2,200. No explanation, no hand delivery, just a shipping price of two-grand. Here’s the real kicker, there were two copies for sale, and one of them sold, making this the highest price I’ve seen paid for a Dime Press #4 that wasn’t slabbed and graded. I’ve contacted the seller to clarify his amazing shipping price and whether the one issue that sold was paid for but haven’t heard back yet. It had to have been someone pressing the “Buy it now” button before reading the shipping, right?

Bull vs. Bear: Buy or sell? Every week I get asked “what’s hot in comics these days?” Well, here’re a few comics that are either moving right now or just begging to be added to your collection:

True Blood: Relevation

Sell: Way back in 2008, Top Cow put out a San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive preview comic for the upcoming HBO True Blood series called True Blood: Relevation. Like all Comic-Con Exclusives, it was devoured by fans and instantly regurgitated on eBay, where not many people cared at the time. The show hadn’t had its debut yet, so there was no way of knowing if fans would care or not. Two years later, True Blood is a huge hit, with fans only slightly less annoying than Twilight fans, and the Top Cow Revelation exclusive is selling for $17 and up on eBay. I was shocked to discover one of these in the back-stock at my shop and promptly marked up the price. There’re copies of Revelation out there, but they’re getting hard to find. Many retailers might not even know this was a tie-in to the show. If the IDW True Blood comic continues to sell out as fast as the first issue did, I would guess this SDCC exclusive from Top Cow is only going up in price.

Walking Dead #75

Buy: A couple of weeks ago Image comics shipped a very special Retailer Appreciation variant cover of Walking Dead #75. The deal was: if you were a retailer with an active Diamond Account, you received one copy of the variant. As usual, most of these variants ended up on eBay even before they shipped to retailers. Which is curious, because most of the pre-sale auctions I saw listed the comic in Near Mint condition. How these comics were graded by the retailers before receiving them was a mystery, but also not the first time retailers were calling their shot on condition. The variants started selling at around $50 but, as more and more of them hit the internet the prices bottomed out. As of Aug. 3, the Retailer Variants of #75 were selling for $16-$20. Shockingly low for a comic this limited. If you’re looking for a copy, there’re still plenty up for auction and, at these prices, this variant is an excellent buy.


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 I’m 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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