The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 08/31/2010

Darkwing Duck #2 sells out.

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 August 25, BOOM! Studios announced that Darkwing Duck #2 sold out at Diamond and has a second printing scheduled to ship on Sept. 15.

Darkwing Duck #2 Second Printing (JUN108175)

DD #2 seems to have disappeared from comic shops as well, judging by the $13-$17 price tag for first-printings on eBay. Darkwing seems to be a runaway hit and issue #3 looks to sellout before the issue even ships. I don’t mean to say I told you so, but I did. And then I didn’t buy the issues, either. One day I will learn to trust my own instincts.


Chew #13 Second-printing

On Aug. 27, Image announced that Chew #13 sold out at the distributor level and will return with a second-printing on Sept. 15.

Chew #13 Second-printing (JUL108129)

The news of the Chew #13 sell-out is pretty fresh, so copies are still selling for cover price online but there aren’t many for sale. Watch for this one to go up in price very soon.


New Avengers #2 second printing

On Aug. 26, Marvel announced that the Avengers sellout streak is holding strong with the sellout of New Avengers #2. A second printing has been scheduled to ship on Sept. 22.

New Avengers #2 JUL108102

Unlike Darkwing Duck, retailers saw this one coming a mile away and there’s still piles of New Avengers #2 available at comic shops everywhere.

Daredevil #509 Second Printing

Also from Marvel; on Aug. 24 it was announced that Shadowland’s sell-outs also continued with the sell-out of Daredevil #509. A second printing with an awesome variant cover is scheduled to ship on Sept. 15.

Daredevil #509 Second Printing (JUL108027)

There still seems to be plenty of DD #509 first-printings around, which is keeping the prices just below cover price online.

Gold and Silver News

Action Comics #1 CGC graded at 5.0

The Auction for the Action Comics #1 CGC graded at 5.0, that is reportedly going to save a family’s home from foreclosure, began on Friday, Aug. 27 and with nine bids already, the price is up $246,000. Now, don’t panic; you still have 21 days left in the auction to scrape up 300 grand if you’d like to throw a bid on this one. I would have to guess that the family that found the comic is pretty happy with how the auction is going so far.

Coverless Pep Comics #22

On August 23, a coverless copy of the first appearance of Archie which is . . . anyone? Pep Comics #22 (I didn’t know either) sold for $3,000. Keep in mind, this is a coverless copy. Pep #22 is one of the most prized and rarest golden-age comics selling on the back-issue market today and regularly sells for record-breaking prices. Pep #22 is also the first appearance of Jughead, Betty and Bob Montana. Don’t feel bad, I don’t know who Bob Montana is either.

$5 million Flash Comics #1?

In “total B.S.” news; apparently, an ashcan version of Flash Comics #1 (DC, 1939) CGC graded at 9.6 condition sold for $4,950,990. Approaching $5 million making this easily the highest price paid for any comic book, ever, and no one cared. No news coverage, no “screw you, Superman and Batman”—just a quiet $4,950,990 sale. Sounds a little strange, right? Well, it is. According to the auction, the seller is willing to ship this $5-million comic for the very reasonable price of $10. With insurance, of course. Oh, and the pic is great. It looks like the seller leaned his $5-million -comic against a wall to take the picture. There’re a lot of weird things about the sale, but perhaps the weirdest is this; the comic is back up for auction. What a coincidence. Just days after the record sale of a comic that—according to the seller, is one of only six copies of in existence—also lists a second one in the same condition with the same picture. Is it just me, or is there something funny going on? I contacted the seller to see what happened with the sale and was immediately answered. According to the seller, the buyer couldn’t come up with the money so the comic has been re-listed, this time with a “Buy it now” of $5 million. Good luck to you, sir.

Bronze-Age and Beyond

Star Wars #1 35-cent variant

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the Marvel 35-cent price variant covers of the late 1970s, but just this past week a 35-cent variant of Star Wars #1 (Marvel 1977) CGC graded in 8.5 condition sold for $1,802.78 on eBay with 21 bids. What’s a Marvel 35-cent variant? Click here for a great site detailing the history of the 35-cent variants. The short version of the story is that, supposedly, Marvel was conducting a price experiment at the time and copies of all the comics they were publishing at the time were printed with both 30- and 35-cent variants. The 35-cent variants were printed much lower and today command much higher prices than the 30-cent versions. Case-in-point here, a copy of Star Wars #1 (Marvel, 1977) in CGC 9.8 condition did not sell for $595 recently on eBay. Now, the seller who’s offering a 35-cent variant of Star Wars #1 for $10,000 is aiming pretty (unreasonably) high, but collectors are paying top dollar for these variants.

Amazing Spider-Man 252

The CGC Signature Series is still blowing up on eBay, this time with a copy of Amazing Spider-Man 252 (Marvel, 1984) graded in 9.8 condition and signed by Stan Lee and Ron Frenz sold for $838 with 34 bids on Aug. 16. Amazing Spidey #252 is the first appearance of Spidey in the black costume (technically, I think it was a tie with Marvel Team-Up #141, which came out that same month) and is a hot Spidey back-issue that guides for $48 in Near Mint condition. I’m guessing the winning bidder was shooting for the Stan Lee autograph. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ron Frenz—think he’s way under-appreciated—and the Mary Jane Watson sketch on the cover is awesome, but let’s not kid ourselves here. It seems the CGC Signature Series is going to be commanding ridiculous prices for the near future and could reignite the autographed comic market.

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:

Daredevil #131

Buy: Daredevil #131 (Marvel,1976): Recently in the pages of Shadowland #1 (the latest Daredevil event) Daredevil killed his long time nemesis Bullseye by running him through with a Sai in a very similar fashion to how Bullseye killed Elektra in Daredevil #181. With Bullseye’s death, speculators flooded the market with his first appearance, a comic that guides for $200 in Near Mint condition, and prices on the comic crashed. Currently, you can pick up high grade copies of Daredevil #131 on eBay for less than $50. Of course, CGC graded issues are still selling for high prices, but if you can find an auction for an ungraded issue from a seller with a good feedback rating, now is a great time to pick up this key DD issue.


Sell: Bone (Cartoon Books/Image): Back in March of this year there was an announcement that Warner Bros, which bought the rights to the series in 2008, was moving closer to bringing Jeff Smith’s epic to the big screen. At the time, speculators flooded the market with Bone comics and prices got very high on the early issues. Things have cooled off a bit since then but you can still expect to pay at least $200 for a first print of issue #1 (with the Red logo) which, honestly, is a steal. Early Bone comics are very hard to find and, with the impending announcement of the movie version, you can expect the price to go way up. But I don’t see the general public scrambling for these.


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.


WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth