The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 10/22/2010

Golden Age cover artist L.B. Cole’s personal collection will be going up for auction at

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. You might notice that I’ve moved the Sell-Out News to the Bronze-Age and Beyond section. I thought starting with the old stuff and working toward the new just made a little more sense. Let me know what you think.

Gold and Silver News recently announced that its next Event Auction will feature one of the most impressive Golden Age collections seen at auction. Golden Age cover artist L.B. Cole is one of the few well-known artists of his time. Cole was an extremely talented lithographer who was able to pioneer new coloring and detail techniques that made his covers collectibles that are still avidly sought out to day. During his career, Cole collected his own original art, comics and cover proofs, along with works by fellow Golden-Age artists like famed Disney Duck artist Carl Barks.

L.B. Cole’s Blue Bolt

L.B. Cole’s Blue Bolt Weird

L.B. Cole’s Blue Bolt Weird Tales of Terror

Cole died in 1995 and since then his estate was stored by family. Now will be offering these pieces in its upcoming auction that will have Golden-Age collectors scrambling to bid on this collection. For more info on the auction, send an e-mail to Rob Reynolds at

“Patriotic Shield” cover to Superman #14 (DC 1942)

“Double Guns” Joker cover to Detective Comics #69 (DC 1942) also made a big splash at last the recent New York Comic Con when it announced an upcoming auction for two original art covers of two the most iconic DC Golden-Age comics. On Nov. 10, bidding will open for Fred Ray’s “Patriotic Shield” cover to Superman #14 (DC 1942) and the “Double Guns” Joker cover to Detective Comics #69 (DC 1942).

Golden-Age collectors aren’t the only ones excited about this auction. According to Rob Reynolds, director of consignments at, “the cover to Superman #14 is arguably the most important piece of surviving original comic art in existence, and the cover to Detective #69 is just ‘mind-blowingly’ rare and historic. When compared to something like a Jackson Pollock, and thought of in the context of cultural relevance and desirability, one can easily understand why both these pieces are already garnering attention and interest from the fine art world.”

I can’t even begin to guess what price these covers will go for, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a final bidding price in the millions. This is definitely going to be an auction to watch.

Bronze-Age and Beyond

On Wednesday, Oct. 13 began an auction for an incredible Marvel/DC/Valiant Bronze-Age collection—including almost every Marvel key and first appearance—in CGC 9.4 condition or better. Altogether, the auction includes 550 CGC-graded comics from the Marvel Bronze and Copper Age and a few Valiant and DC comics from that period, as well. Here’s a list of some of the highlights:

All Star Western #10, CGC Certified 9.4 (Don Rosa copy)
All Star Western #11, CGC Certified 9.6
Amazing Adventures #11, CGC Certified 9.4
Ghost Rider #1, CGC Certified 9.4
Giant-Size X-Men #1, CGC Certified 9.4
Green Lantern #86, CGC Certified 9.6
Green Lantern #87, CGC Certified 9.4
Harbinger #1, CGC Certified 9.8
Incredible Hulk #181, CGC Certified 9.4
Iron Fist #1, CGC Certified 9.6
Iron Fist #14, CGC Certified 9.6
Iron Fist #15, CGC Certified 9.6
Marvel Preview #2, CGC Certified 9.6
Marvel Spotlight #2, CGC Certified 9.4
Marvel Spotlight #3, CGC Certified 9.6
Marvel Spotlight #4, CGC Certified 9.6
Marvel Spotlight #5, CGC Certified 9.4
Marvel Super Special #5, CGC Certified 9.8
Marvel Team-Up #1, CGC Certified 9.4
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #1, CGC Certified 9.6
Solar, Man of the Atom #10, CGC Certified 9.8
Special Marvel Edition #15, CGC Certified 9.6
Tomb of Dracula #1, CGC Certified 9.6
Tomb of Dracula #10, CGC Certified 9.6
X-Men #94, CGC Certified 9.4
X-Men #95, CGC Certified 9.6
X-Men #101, CGC Certified 9.6

If I had money to take a shot at even one of these auctions, I’d probably pull my hair out trying to make a decision.

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. If they are still there then go buy ’em, fool!


Lady Mechanika #0

Lady Mechanika #0 sold out at the distributor level the day after it hit stores. I don’t like to brag but, yeah, I called this one. Aspen has already announced a second printing to ship on Nov. 10 with a new cover by series artist and writer Joe Benitez.

Lady Mechanika #0 Second-printing SEP108018

Regular covers of issue #0 are still selling for cover price but there aren’t many up on eBay at present. Lady Mechanika variant covers and signed editions are selling very well right now—anywhere from $7-$32. If you can still find any of these, pick them up now. It wouldn’t surprise me to if Aspen printed fewer than than 5,000 copies of this preview issue.


Morning Glories #3 second printing

Morning Glories shows no sign of cooling down. Image Comics announced that Morning Glories #2 second printings had sold out at Diamond and that the first printings of #3, which shipped this Wednesday, also sold out. This is the second time an issue of Morning Glories has sold out before it shipped. Both printings will hit stores on Nov. 10.

MORNING GLORIES #2 Third Printing SEP108025
MORNING GLORIES #3 Second Printing AUG108189

Prices on first-printings have settled down quite a bit but they are still selling well. You can pick up a first-printing of #2 for $4-$5, but that price is slowly going up. First prints of issue #1 are still selling for $25 and up and don’t show signs of cooling off. Watch for prices on issue #3 to spike initially but by the weekend I’d expect them to be selling for cover price.


Chaos War #1

Even after what Marvel is calling a “generous overprint” (not sure what that means) Chaos War #1 sold out at Diamond. Marvel has announced a second-printing to ship on Nov. 3.

Chaos War #1 (of 5) Second-printing AUG108225

First-printings are still selling for cover price but I’d expect to see those prices going up soon. There’s a lot of buzz behind this title and for good reason; writer Fred Van Lente writes great comics.

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:


Walking Dead #5

Walking Dead (Image): With Halloween just around the corner and AMC’s eagerly awaited adaptation coming that same week, nerds have got zombies on their brains. Well, more so than usual, I guess. Back issues of the Walking Dead—and I mean all of them not just the first few—are selling very well. Issue #5 recently sold for $50, Issues #6-#9 are routinely selling for $15-$20. Later issues, like #17, have recently sold for $10 and #24 sold for $5.50. Second-printing variant covers are selling well, also. A copy of Walking Dead #33 second-printing recently sold for $16 and a second printing of issue #50 sold for $10. There doesn’t seem to be neither rhyme nor reason for the high prices on random issues other than they are getting harder and harder to find. As with all hype, I would expect things to die down a bit after the TV series premiers. If you’re looking to part with some of your later issues of Walking Dead, now is the time. But don’t be stupid; hold on to the first five. They’ll be hot for a long time to come.


Prince of Power Four-Issue Limited Series

Prince of Power Four-Issue Limited Series (Marvel, 2010): Fred Van Lente’s four issue Prince of Power mini set up the return of Hercules and the events of the Chaos War. As you just read, Chaos War #1 sold out very quickly and is getting a ton of hype online, leading a lot of nerds to check out where the story started. Prices on the complete mini-series are holding steady around $15, but are starting to creep up on single issues. Issue #1 of PoP is selling for $5 and there aren’t many for sale online. If you missed this mini I’d go find it now.


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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