The Comic Speculator Back Issue Roundup – Ghost & Phantom Variants on the Rise

Avengers #158 (Marvel, 1977)

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 Lists of new comics are courtesy of Previews World and Comics List. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. 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. If you want to hear what this nerd sounds like you can catch him on his podcast, the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, where he and his friend Joe discuss the latest comic news, review some new comics, and answer your questions.

The Back Issue Roundup

Today we’re only peeping one older back-issue because there’s quite a bit of newer comics to talk about. So, put on your swim-caps and nose plugs and let’s dive into the deep end of the back-issue market, shall we?

Gold and Silver Oldies:

Thanks to an appearance on Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV show, the first appearance Dr. Franklin Hall—a.k.a. Graviton—is getting some online love. Currently, issues of Avengers #158 (Marvel, 1977) in un-slabbed Very Fine/Near Mint condition are selling for $20-$25, which is down from the $30 they were fetching last week after the episode aired.

Two copies in CGC 9.4 condition sold for just over $70, but I’ve yet to see a high-grade slabbed copy sell. The CGC census lists 14 copies in 9.8 (Very Fine/Near Mint) condition, which isn’t too many, but if collectors want to make some money here, they should do it quickly.

Bronze Age and Beyond:

Iron Man #17

Pretty Deadly #1 Ghost Variant by Becky Cloonan

Walking Dead 101 Ghost Variant (Image, Sept. of 2012)

• Iron Man got a huge shock to his continuity in this week’s Iron Man #17 (Marvel). I’m not going into spoiler territory here, even though Marvel spilled the beans the night before it shipped, but it’s a big turn of events for Tony Stark’s past. The issue is sold out at Diamond but is still readily available for the moment.

• Ghost variants continue to haunt shops and eBay, and they just continue to be hot. Screw the mystery of where they came from; they’re cool variants and even a stingy-old-grumpy-collector like me is buying them.

This week Pretty Deadly #1 (Image, shipped on Oct. 23) got a Ghost Variant by Becky Cloonan and it’s beautiful. I picked one up at Star Clipper Comics in St. Louis for $6, which seems to be the going rate for new Ghost Variants. The regular first-printings sold out before shipping and will probably be pretty hot for months to come. Grab yours now.

• Several of the Ghost Variants are seeing some high prices currently. The Walking Dead 101 Ghost Variant (Image, Sept. of 2012), featuring a soul-sista Michonne by Jim Rugg, is currently selling for $50-$60, with CGC copies in 9.8 condition selling for as high as $80.

Samurai Jack #1 Phantom Variant by Jim Zub

Zero #1 Phantom variant

Velvet #1

• In other supernatural-variant news, Samurai Jack #1 (IDW, Oct. 23) shipped with a Phantom Variant by series writer Jim Zub. Like the Ghost variants these typically sell for $6-$8 new, but this one is already selling for $10.

• The Phantom variant for Ales Kot’s new series Zero #1 (Image, Sept. 2013) is starting to heat up as well, selling for as much as $25. The regular first-printing of #1 is starting to get harder to find as well.

• One more from Image worth mentioning; writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting launched a new series this week, a female-driven espionage comic called Velvet. This first-print-run sold out before shipping and, with a run of only 57,000 copies, will probably be hard to find soon. I’ve already got mine.

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 Matt or post your question below in the Comic Book Forum in the WorthPoint Forums, located in the Community tab. You can also reply to this article in the “leave a reply” box below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!

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