The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 08/23/2010

Four of the nine The Last Phantom #1 variants.

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.


On Aug. 21 Dynamite Entertainment announced that The Last Phantom #1 sold out the same day it shipped to retailers. No announcement of a second printing from Dynamite yet, but you can bet we’ll be seeing one soon with just as many or more variant covers than the first printing (there were nine). There aren’t many of these online and they are selling fast. Prices are holding at $4-$5, but watch for that number to go up this week. Or at least until the second printing ships.


True Blood #1 second printing

On Aug. 18 IDW announced that True Blood #1 sold out at Diamond Comics and a second printing will ship on Aug. 25.

True Blood #1 Second Printing (JUN108172)

First-printings of all the covers of True Blood #1 are selling very well on eBay; anywhere from $8-$12, depending on the cover. Watch for these to continue to sell well. I’d expect an announcement that issue #2 also sold out coming later this week. Authors note: I refuse to call this comic HBO’s True Blood. What the hell other True Blood are we going to confuse this with?

Gold and Silver News:

Tales of Suspense #39

It’s been a great month for Silver-Age Marvel comic sellers on eBay. On Aug. 11, a copy of Tales of Suspense #39 (Marvel 1963), the first appearance of Iron Man, in CGC Universal 8.0 condition, sold for $12,000 with one bid. Had the seller started this auction at a lower price they may have gotten even more for it, but 12 grand isn’t bad at all when you take into account that in 8.0 condition Tales #39 only guides for $6,000.

Sub-Mariner #1

Also from Marvel, the CGC Signature Series continues to blow up on eBay with a copy of Sub-Mariner #1 (Marvel, 1968) in 9.8 condition signed by Stan Lee selling for $10,500 on Aug. 18. According to the CGC census this copy, from the Rocky Mountain collection, is the highest-graded Sub-Mariner #1 in existence. This same copy sold for $1,650 in 2006, before it was signed by Stan Lee, and only guides for $160 today. So, why the $8,850 jump in price? Stan Lee is a big-name autograph for any Marvel comic, but that’s probably not the main reason. This seems to be a pretty special case here. You’ve got a comic with a well known pedigree that also happens to be the highest CGC-graded copy in existence and it’s signed by Stan Lee. Also, the CGC Signature Series seems to be exactly what high-end comic collectors were looking for when it came to autograph authentication.

Bronze-Age and Beyond:

Beyond Wonderland #1

If you need any more evidence of how nutty collectors have gone for the CGC Signature Series; look no further. A copy of Beyond Wonderland #1 (Zenescope, 2008) signed by cover artist J. Scott Campbell sold for $700 on eBay. Beyond Wonderland is a spin-off of the Zenescope Grimm Fairy Tales series that features horror-tinged re-imaginings of your favorite fairy tales starring heroines dressed in slutty outfits. Here’s what blows my mind here. Is this comic hard to find? Sure. It sells for $10-$14 on eBay. And the Grim Fairy Tales stuff has a solid cult following. And yes, this is one of two 9.8-graded Signature Series comics. But $700? Really? For a J. Scott Campbell autograph? This guy is routinely signing at every comic-convention in North America. How hard can it be to authenticate his signature?

A Tribute to Michael Turner

But wait it gets worse. Not only are .J Scott Campbell-signed comics selling for ridiculous prices, but now Megan Fox is getting in on the action. Yes, that Megan Fox, the “actress” (I use quotes because, well, she’s terrible). As it happens, a copy of A Tribute to Michael Turner (Aspen, 2008) CGC Signature Series graded in 9.8 condition and signed by Megan Fox sold for $500 on eBay. Why Megan Fox? There’s rumors of Megan Fox playing Aspen Matthews, the lead character in Turner’s Fathom comic from Aspen, in a Fathom movie. Currently, the project is labeled “in development” on, but after dismal box office receipts on her last two films, it wouldn’t surprise me if Fathom never makes it to the big screen. The fact that Meg is signing comics at the Aspen booth may be a desperate attempt to whip up some publicity for an endangered project. Regardless, some nerd is calling his or her shot on this one and paying $500 for Meg’s autograph because it’s certainly not for the comic that guides at $10. Good luck moving this one in five years, with or without a movie.

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:


Morning Glories #1

Morning Glories #1 (Image) sold out almost instantly and has been selling for anywhere from $10-$20 on eBay. Retailers either didn’t see this one coming or just didn’t care and were happy to see their orders sell out. Writer Nick Spencer has developed some fans with has past titles like Existence 2.0 and Forgetless, but neither were big sellers. Morning Glories seems to be selling on positive fan buzz alone, but as soon as the second printings hit comic shops on Sept. 10, I’d expect prices on the first-printings to collapse.


The Last Phantom #1

The Last Phantom #1 (Dynamite) sold out instantly, the day it shipped, and vanished from comic shops. As I said above, there aren’t even any of these for sale online. If you can find a copy of issue #1, pick it up . . . now. Currently, Last Phantom #1’s are selling for cover price, but as news of the sell out spreads and nerds realize how scarce this comic is in shops, it’ll spike. Having a badass-painted Alex Ross cover isn’t going to hurt sales on this comic either.


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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