The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 09/15/2010

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.

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.


Guarding the Globe #1

Morning Glories #1

This week Image announced two different sell outs. Both Guarding the Globe #1 and Morning Glories #1 Second Printing sold out at the distributor level and are going back for new printings.

JUL108190 Guarding the Globe #1 Second Printing
JUL108157 Morning Glories #1 Third Printing

There’re still plenty of copies of GtG first-printings on eBay, which is keeping the price low, but watch for these to go pretty fast.

First-printings of Morning Glories are still blowing up and selling for as much as $40. This one doesn’t show any sign of cooling off and even the second printings could be going for more than cover price soon.

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 (I admit I recycled that sentence) is up to $382,000 with 15 bids. So much for the 300-grand I scraped up by robbing quick shops and recycling aluminum cans.

Exactly one week after I wrote about how extremely rare copies Pep Comics #22 can be (the second appearance of Archie), announced that they’ve got one in CGC 5.0 condition and it’s up for grabs in its September auction. Even though I feel like I’ve been writing about Archie way too much lately (see last week’s TCS: New Comics Round Up), I am very curious to see what this one goes for. According to the CGC census, there are only seven un-restored copies of Pep #22 and only two of those are in better condition than this one. Golden-Age nerds are buzzing about this one, especially after the $3,000 sale of a coverless copy last month.

X-Men #1

In Silver-Age news; prices on X-Men #1 (Marvel; 1963) seem to be sliding down slightly. On Sept. 5 a copy of X-Men #1 CGC graded in 9.0 condition sold for $23,200 with 32 bids. Twenty-three-grand is no small amount of change, but it is down from the $28,000 the last two X-Men #1’s in CGC 9.0 sold for. The question is: why? It could be the number of X #1s for sale presently. There’s a whole page of X-Men #1’s listed on eBay right now and the CGC census lists 47 other graded copies in 9.0 condition or better. That doesn’t make the comic any less rare or prized among nerds, but it does make it seem more available than it used to be. Which could be why the price has declined slightly. As more buzz about the upcoming X-Men First Class movie continues to grow, I would expect prices to crawl back up.

Bronze-Age and Beyond:

Giant-Size X-Men #1

On Sept. 12 a copy of Giant-Size X-Men #1 (Marvel, 1975) CGC graded in 9.8 condition sold for $5,400 with 18 bids. Not the most I’ve seen this comic go for (back in 2004 a copy in 9.8 sold for $9,000), and actually, this bidder may have gotten a deal. Giant-Size X-Men #1 has been steadily slipping in price as of late, mainly due to availability. Search for this comic on eBay and you’ll find four pages of results. Even a Bronze-Age gem like this will see lower prices when there’s a ton of them for sale.

Amazing Spider-Man #321

Amazing Spider-Man #322

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once and a while some lucky nerd sends a comic to CGC and it comes back with the Holy Grail of grades; a perfect 10. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any 10.0-graded comics for sale, but last week on Sept. 9 two different Amazing Spider-Man issues with perfect grades sold for record prices. Amazing Spider-Man #321 (Marvel; 1989) and #322 (Marvel; 1989) in CGC Universal 10.0 condition both sold for $2,025. Easily the highest price I’ve seen on either of these comics. To put how rare these high-graded comics are, both of these comics were part of the highly prized Todd McFarlane run, but they only guide for $10 in Near Mint condition. The CGC Census lists these two comics as being the only copies graded this high. Does that make a $16 comic worth two grand? The two guys that bid them up this high certainly think so.

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:

Incredible Hulk #181

Sell: Incredible Hulk #181 (Marvel: 1975). Two issues of Incredible Hulk #18, the first full appearance of Wolverine, graded at 9.6 sold for more than $3,500 on eBay this past week. The first, on Sept. 4, sold for $3,720 with 29 bids and the second on Sept. 5 for $3,850.19. With the two sales comes a flood of CGC-graded Hulk 181’s listed at ridiculous asking prices, including a 9.8 with an asking bid price of $20,000. Good luck with that one, buddy. Keep in mind, this is a very sought-after comic, but isn’t nearly as rare as some would have you believe. There are 36 copies of Hulk #181 in 9.8 condition, which means there are a lot of these in high-grade condition both graded and ungraded. Wolvie’s first appearance will always be a hot back-issue, but it seems to be really over valued right now.

Superman: Man of Steel #18

Superman #75

BUY: Superman, Death of Supes key issues. If you’ve been thinking about picking up some high-grade copies of key issues of the Death of Superman stories from the early 1990s, now is the time. For example: Superman: Man of Steel #18 (DC, 1992; 1st appearance of Doomsday) which guides for $12 is selling on eBay for less than $3. Superman #75 (DC, 1993; death of Superman) guides for $16 bagged and is selling for less than $6. There was a time when these comics were selling for more than $40, but as they’ve slowly returned to the back-issue market the price has come down considerably. Will they be worth $40 or more soon? I guess that depends on when Doomsday returns to kick Supes around again.


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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