The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 03/27/2010
Green Lantern and Green Arrow
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), Comicspriceguide.com (CPG) and current online auction sales. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of ICV2.com. Lists of new comics are courtesy of Previewsworld.com and Comicslist.com. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. The codes under the prices and next to the new titles are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed.
Back Issue Report:
I hate to start the blog with bad news but comic fandom lost a major creator this week. On Saturday, March 27, former Executive Editor and Artist at DC Comics Dick Giordano died of complications of treatment for leukemia. He was 77. Giordano was an editor at DC during some of the most important and influential projects of that changed the comic medium, including Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. As executive editor of DC from 1980 to 1993, he personally oversaw the now-legendary Crisis on Infinte Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and Neil Adams’ Green Lantern and Green Arrow story that dealt with Green Arrow’s sidekick’s heroine addiction. According to Paul Levitz, president of DC comics from 2002-2009, Giordano was the first to credit writers and artists on the cover of comics and probably inked more DC comics than any else.
Gold and Silver Oldies:
- Action Comics #1
It seems a week doesn’t go by without a million-dollar comic sale. This past week a copy of Action Comics #1 sold for $1,500,000 on at auction on comicconnect.com to become the newly crowned most expensive comic in the world. Take that, Batman. With a CGC Universal Grade of 8.5, this copy of Action Comics #1 is also the highest-graded existing copy of Superman’s first appearance.
“This new record will be hard to break,” says Vincent Zurzolo, ComicConnect.com co-owner and COO. “Because this particular Action Comics #1 is literally the single most valuable comic book on the planet.”
According to the site, this comic book was buried in a stack of old movie magazines from the 1930s for 50 years. When the magazines were sold at an antique auction in Pittsburgh, the buyer was surprised to find Superman keeping company with Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.
“Because it was tucked inside a magazine, it was well protected all those years,” says Stephen Fishler, founder of ComicConnect.com and its affiliate, Metropolis Collectibles, the world’s largest vintage comic book dealer.
In Batman news; a copy of Detective Comics #27 with a CGC Universal Grade of 6.0 also sold on comicconnect.com for $575,000 this week. This sale smashes the previous record for a Detective #27 (in 6.0 or Fine condition) of $170,000, set back in December of 2007. So why the huge increase in price? According to Fishler, “So many Detective 27’s have been restored over the last 30 years, leaving a very small pool of nicer, unrestored copies. The bottom line is that as long as Batman remains in the public eye, and there is no doubt he will, Detective 27s will remain one of the cornerstones of 20th century pop culture.”
Silver-Age Marvel Comics had a decent week as well, with a copy of X-men #1 selling for $25,100 on bEay. The auction for this copy of X-Men #1 (Marvel, 1963) with a CGC Universal Grade of 9.0 sold on March 28, with 49 bids. The CGC Census currently only lists 14 copies of X-Men #1 in 9.0 condition.
Bronze-Age and Beyond:
- Incredible Hulk #181
A copy of Incredible Hulk #181 (Marvel; 1974) with a CGC Universal Grade of 9.6 sold for $4,651 on eBay. Why so much? Hulk #181 is the first appearance of Wolverine and has been seeing some huge price jumps for the last few years. The first full Wolvie story currently guides for $1,400 (CPG), but that number has also been going up steadily. Hulk #181 is considered one of, if not the, most important Bronze-Age Marvel Comic, and if it keeps going up in value I am guaranteed to never own a copy.
Bull vs. Bear!
This is a new section, where I take a look at some back issue comics that are selling for a steal and others that, if you’ve got them and are willing to part with them, you should be selling.
Iron Fist #14 (Marvel, 1977); first appearance of Sabretooth. Sell; this issue has been selling for ridiculous money as of late. #14 guides for $280 in Near Mint condition but has been selling for more than $1,000 in high-grade condition. One in CGC 9.8 sold for $1,845 on eBay recently.
Iron Man #118, #282 (Marvel, 1979,1992): SELL (yes, this is in ALL CAPS): Since the Iron Man 2 trailer hit featuring James Rhodes in the War Machine armor prices on his first appearance and first appearance in the War Machine armor in Iron Man has been selling for insane prices. Iron Man #118 in CGC 9.8 condition is selling for upwards of $200 and Iron Man #282 in CGC 9.8 is selling for more than $80. Six months from now the price on these comics will probably cool down, so now’s the time to sell ’em if you’ve got ’em, kiddies.
The Losers (DC/Vertigo, 2003). Buy; with The Losers movie coming soon, one of two things is going to happen to this series. Fans will dig the movie so much they’ll go clamoring to comic shops to put together a run, thereby sending the prices on this vastly under-ordered series through the roof, or no one will care. Either way, full runs of the Losers are currently selling for less than $20 online. Even if they never go up in value, 32 comics for $20 is a steal and this series is well worth a read. The Losers was basically an updated A-Team story of espionage and betrayal written by current Daredevil writer Andy Diggle and penciled by Jock.
Iron Fist #14
Iron Man #118
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 he’s 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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