The Usual Suspects #55
Welcome back for another edition of The Usual Suspects. I had planned on doing something completely different this week and then a seed was planted; and another idea took root. I blame Jason Shaw, writer of Connecting the Dots here on the CBSI website for asking earlier in the week if anyone has done a 2nd Print article. I started going on about how much I liked the idea and started rattling off books and suggestions.
After listing a few, I started to have déjà vu. I started to wonder why Incredible Hulk 377 and Amazing Spider-Man 569 seemed so familiar. Turns out, I already wrote about those books for this very topic back in April’s Usual Suspects #42. I did a second print article in response to that Immortal Hulk 16 2nd print incentive nonsense. But despite this ground already being covered, I still like the idea enough to do an updated list of 2nd print books. So here we are.
Since April, there have been a number of 2nd Prints that have heated up in the aftermarket. Most recently, I think we can all agree that 2nd and 3rd prints for Once and Future #1 were instant hits the last couple weeks. The 2nd Print was hitting $50 before it even hit shelves and has reached a high of $90 Raw. Granted it’s settled down to about $20 along with the 3rd Print. Who’s to say where this week’s 4th Print will end up. The same ballpark? Or perhaps the market will be contented, and it will come down to the double cover range by the time this article actually hits the site.
Will these hold long term value or are they just the next flavor of the week? Prices are already heating up for the 2nd Print of Something Killed the Children #1 also out this week. But honestly, this is my least favorite of the covers so far. Sure, it’s not better than the awesome Jenny Frison, but I like the Jae Lee better too. A good read by the way. A solid start that has me interested in where the story is headed.
But this later print phenomenon is not exclusive to Boom Studios. Marvel has had quite a bit of success as well. DC? Not so much. Batman #76 and #77 have 2nd Prints due out soon and I’m not hearing a peep about them. Preselling for cover or less. The closest 2nd Print success for DC that I can think of the last few years has been Teen Titans #12 and Mister Miracle #1, but even those are still only like $10 books.
But Marvel, on the other hand, has been hitting with late prints on the regular the last few years. Many have heated up and faded quickly, but there has been aftermarket interest and they keep pumping them out.
Just going back a couple years you have minor hits with those Immortal Hulk covers on Avengers 682 and 684. And they’ve had varying levels of success with books as recent as the House of X #2 2nd Print. These are all $10-$15 books these days.
I know, that isn’t much different than the DC books I mentioned. But they’ve also had certified fire hits as well, some of which I will be getting to later. But one example for now is Venom First Host #3 2nd Print. That book is nuts. Just when I think it’s peaked; I see it spike again. A set of 2nd Prints for 3, 4, & 5 sold for $150 on 9/10. I sold a similar set for $90 last week on Labor Day. That said, most individual sales of #3 seem to have settled back down to the $50-$60 range, so that could be an outlier sale.
Personally, I don’t believe in that book at all and I sold the only copy I was able to find. But I’m the same guy who was happy to bail on my Greg Land 1st Spider-Gwen because I didn’t believe in her either.
So what do I know? This could be the biggest symbiote since Carnage. Or it could be the next Raze. Is that even a real symbiote name or did I just make that up? You’re not sure, are you? Quick, which one of these is fake? Phage. Mania. Scorn. Lasher. Dreadface. Are any even fake?
Yes, those were all real Symbiote characters. But you get the point. Now, Marvel isn’t infallible. Look at the Captain Marvel 8 2nd Print that no one seems to care about as an example of no matter how hard you try; you can’t always make magic happen. Star was/is going to be huge and this is her 1st cover….Crickets. Same could be said for Marvel Comics Presents #6 2nd.
And I would say the lack of interest in MCP #6 2nd Print is totally a result of Marvel’s choices. The hype was real, and folks were clamoring for Wolverine’s newest daughter. They still are. The 1st Print is still a $50 book. So instead of fueling the fire, let’s put Ghost Rider on the cover instead.
Seriously, had they put a decent image of Rien? Rein? Rhein? Reign? Whatever her name is, on the cover that would be a book akin to Venom First Host. Instead they saved that for the 1:25 Incentive 2nd Print. And I’m not shy about sharing my thoughts on 2nd print incentive variants.
But regardless of my personal feelings toward them, I feel they really dropped the ball on the choice for cover on that one too. I realize that Marvel has been quite fond of reusing interior panels for later print covers, but this one was ridiculous.
I mean they basically photoshopped together an entire interior page, but people are still paying good money for this nonsense. An auction ended on Tuesday for that book for $85. And a CGC 9.8 sold at a best offer on a $425 ask.
I mean, they missed an opportunity here. Say they simply chose the one panel for the cover, how much better would it have looked? You wouldn’t get that awkward looking Wolverine gesturing towards his daughter while it looks like his faced tanned around his oversized sunglasses. Seriously, how much of a better cover would the below have been?
But that all being said, let’s start to wrap this up so we can get to the books that I want to look at this week. I have a lot.
Let me just say, that growing up I used to look at 2nd prints with total indifference. They were placeholders at best until I could get a 1st Print. Who wanted a 2nd print? It wasn’t “the” book. It was a reprint. A copy. Might as well have been a Bobo version knockoff 4th stripe Adidas.
But I will admit I did have quite a few of those old Marvel 2nd Prints. They were big fans of the Silver and Gold ink covers for their reprints back then. It was in part being OCD with my collection wanting one of everything, and also the placeholder angle I mentioned. Like the gold New Mutants 87 which had to suffice until I grabbed a 1st print a couple of years ago. But I pressed that bad boy up to a 9.6 and sold it off, leaving me with only the goldie at this point.
And those were just Gold X-Books. They weren’t the only Marvel 2nd Prints, but they were prob the ones I had the most of, being an old school X-Fan. Spidey has his fair share of Silver and Golds as well. Mostly Silver though. I suppose it was intentional. But I still have these shiny books in my filing cabinets.
So, enough of the 90’s memories, let’s get to the books. For the bulk of the article, I am going to focus specifically on 2nd Prints only. Once we get to the end, I will throw a few later prints at you, but just sit back, and let’s get into it. 2nd Print Comics.
So this is a book I covered in my first regular article for CBSI in Usual Suspects: Chapter 2 back in July 2018. That was my follow up to my CBSI Writer Wars submission. What a difference a year makes. It’s funny to look back on those early articles before I found a comfortable rhythm. That article was probably a quarter the length of what this article will end up being, and yet it probably took me 4 times as long to write.
And it had no gifs. That said, despite all of the debate as to which book is the 1st Kamala Khan cameo/full whatever, I think we can all agree that the market has decided that this is the book to own. CGC even notes:
“Pre-dates All-New Marvel Now! Point, One #1 (3/14) & Ms. Marvel #1 (4/14)”
So this is easily the first look at Ms. Marvel in costume barring some Topher level True Firsts preview somewhere. So, rarity mixed with first look at the character in costume on cover has created a perfect storm for an insanely desired book.
Market Analysis: This book was waning a bit earlier in the summer with a CGC 9.8 selling for only $1136 on June 15th. Yes only $1100, which is saying something when the last 9.8 copy sold on 8/26 was for $2,150. Price has nearly doubled following the D23 announcement.
I had to go back to last May to find a sub-$1k sale. And there were plenty during the first half of 2018, as this was a steady $700 CGC 9.8. Again, what a difference a year makes.
Good luck finding a raw copy these days as most folks are chasing that premium a CGC grade will get you on a book of this magnitude. But there is one raw copy on the market right now and it’s up for $850.
Not a lot of copies of this one out there from what I can see. While this cover isn’t nearly as cool as Dave Wilkins 2012 Skeletor variant, it is still pretty striking. But like I said, despite how much I like it, the Wilkins variant is still the king of MOTU variants. And I’d say that Graham Cracker Faker on #8 is probably my #2.
That said, there are a lot of covers for the 1st print of this book. So, I imagine it had a high print run. Thus, making the 2nd print a much lower ordered edition, in theory. But I particularly like the JSC cover for this one. This was back before he decided to draw only female characters exclusively.
Dynamic Forces, Graham Cracker, and a museum edition for this one as well. But I still think my favorite is the 2nd print out of this group and that includes the J Scott Campbell.
Market Analysis: This book doesn’t come up very often and the lone CGC 9.8 copy is up on eBay right now. Granted the auction will end prior to this article being published but we’ll see what happens.
Only about a half dozen copies on the market most in the $30-$60 range, but there is one seller asking $175 for a copy that looks to have a few pressible defects. Only 2 copies sold the last few months and they were for $18 and $33 respectively.
I’m just gonna put it out there that Invincible variants and 2nd prints are not easy to find. And these bad boys will get even scarcer once we see more news on the forthcoming Amazon series.
I gotta tell you that I am super psyched for this animated series. I don’t mind that it’s not live action as this allows them to basically have the unlimited budget necessary to realize the stories from the book. And the voice talent involved on this is top notch. The full cast includes a leading performance by Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Zazie Beetz, Mark Hamill, Walton Goggins, and more.
But getting back to the comic, I’m normally not a fan of a simple color change or B&W version for a 2nd print cover. Typically, I prefer new art to get me to consider picking up a later printing. However, I would make an exception in this case due to the rarity of this book. That and it’s a pretty sweet image and the B&W with just the Red, really pops.
It should be noted that there was a 2nd Print for Issue #51 as well. But that one had new cover art in the form of an homage to issue #1.
Market Analysis: Only 3 copies up right now. You have your choice of a raw for $60, a CGC 9.2 for $70 starting bid auction, or $120 for a lot including this book and issue #2. Issue #51 2nd print, only has one raw copy up and it’s at $50 or Best Offer.
You can see there aren’t a lot of sales, most likely because there aren’t a lot of copies. By implication there is only one CGC 9.2 in the census and that sold for $90 back in July, so it’s currently back up for auction again.
Another Image series with very hard to find 2nd Prints is Spawn. Spawn collectors are ravenous. They want everything, and in some cases, there aren’t a lot of copies around to fill that market. Case in point, these 2nd Prints when the print runs on Spawn books were already low. But this book has a reported 3k print run and there are more than 3,00 Spawn fans out there.
The cover itself is just okay in my opinion. Personally, not a fan of a fabricated border like the one on the left here. Makes it look more like a TPB than a monthly issue to me, and that’s not something I’m really into.
Market Analysis: I am surprised that with a 3k print run and for it being a known HTF book, that there are less than 20 copies in the CGC census. That said, if you want to add to that number you can buy one of the Raws up right now for anywhere from $75-$285 depending on condition.
Don’t want to gamble, then you can drop $666 on a CGC 9.8. That may be a bit above the last recorded 9.8 sale of $365 at the end of August, but I guess you should’ve bought that one then. Some books are pay to play, so it you want it, you gotta make strong moves.
Again, another hard to find Spawn 2nd Print book makes the list. And unlike $166, I actually kinda dig this Whilce Portacio cover. Granted it is just a cover color variant on the 1st print, but I think I prefer the green to the overly dark Red 1st print.
And this was for part 2 of the Endgame storyline. Issue #185 also had a 2nd print as well but given the fact that 185 already had multiple covers and a higher print run for being the start of the storyline, it wasn’t as interesting to me. But in case you want to see them, here are the covers for #185.
And before I leave Spawn out of the rest of my 2nd Print list I’ll give you one more from this era. And that would be Spawn #200. And again, this is just a slight color adjust of one of the 1st print covers.
Market Analysis: This one is even harder to find, with only 1 raw copy on the market right now and it’s up for $165. Only 16 graded copies in the census and those 7 of the 8 lucky folks are hanging on to their 9.8’s. No recorded 9.8 sales that I could find since 2015, but there is one up from MCS for $360.
Who says the Walking Dead is….dead? But seriously, this rare 2nd print is priced close to #1’s in CGC 9.8 and that is crazy to me. Issue #1 is a cultural touchstone. Regardless of what you think of the show in its current form, that comic is a book that will be referenced as an era defining book.
That said, the idea that a 2nd print of #2 even being close to that is nuts to me. I get the rarity, and this issue is a key in its own right being the 1st appearances of fan favorites like Glen, Andrea, Lori, Carl, among others who are also dead on the show.
Also, it’s not easy to identify the 2nd print on this one. You really have to look at the date on this one as there is no color change to the cover or trade dress. No banner or notation as 2nd Print on cover. You just have to see that the 1st Print has Nov as the date, while the 2nd Print has Feb.
Market Analysis: There’s only one on the market at the moment and that is a CGC 9.6 and it’s looking for $700. That CGC 9.8 that sold for $1,899.00 back in July was an accepted Best offer so we don’t know for sure how much it went for, but even anywhere close to that price is a big score.
The art on this series is fantastic and this 2nd Print cover is absolutely gorgeous in my opinion. Granted I like the 1st print cover as well, but this one stands out from the rest of the series.
It doesn’t have the same filigree and detailing in the background. Those books are packed with wall to wall detail. The 2nd Print is more open with a lot of negative space that frames the subject on the cover and really pops off the page. The 3rd Print is just a color variant on the Trade dress of this one.
Again, rarity is a major factor in the higher prices on this 2nd print over the 1st, but I also really believe it’s the art as well. Either way, if you haven’t checked out Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasy epic, then you are doing yourself a disservice. 1st print, 2nd, 3rd, TPB, whatever. Go grab yourself a copy and give it a try.
Market Analysis: Less than 10 copies available at the moment. Top dog is a CGC 9.4 hat’s looking for $275. If you want a raw it will cost you about $100 unless you want to get one in a lot or a damaged copy for cheap.
Not easy to find and not easy to find in high grade as these oversized books tend to get rough housed a bit and can also split down the spine rather easily.
I had no idea this book was even a thing, but once I saw the sales prices I had to research further. At first, I assumed it was somehow related to a DCU variant cover or something, but that is not the case. This is just a hard to find edition of an otherwise very easy to find book.
This book was not only a milestone issue, but it also featured the engagement of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. So, the fact that it has a version has difficult to procure as this being not only a 2nd Print, but a newsstand edition as well has created a crazy split in prices.
You can grab a regular 2nd Print for $5, but this newsstand 2nd Print will run you $350 raw. But like I said, there are plenty of the regular edition and the 1st print newsstand out there. So just keep your eyes open while digging for that barcode on the cover to ensure it’s the newsstand, and then look to the banner at the top to quickly identify if it’s the 2nd Print.
Market Analysis: As noted, the only copy available is that raw up for $350. Basically, none graded, and just a few Raws sales. This book is ghostly.
This book saw some heat a few months before Endgame was released. Don’t you recall those leaked images of Gwyneth Paltrow in an iron suit throwing speculators into a frenzy for Rescue?
I’ll admit it was cool seeing her on screen throwing down, but in reality, that is contrary to the character in the comics as Rescue was not weaponized. As the name implies, she was more a first responder than a front-line fighter.
And with RDJ basically out of the MCU (future hologram possibilities notwithstanding), I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Pepper Potts in the MCU. But then again, I didn’t think Portman would be coming back and we all know how that turned out.
Market Analysis: A decent amount of copies on the market with prices ranging from as low as $30 and up to $100 for a raw. Even graded copies aren’t too steep but there are no CGC 9.8’s up right now.
Even looking at the actual sales, you can see that the heat on this has cooled down to embers. Such is the life-cycle of spec. So this should also be a reminder to you when buying at market highs. More often than not, you will be left chasing that R.O.I. forever.
This one is a classic; and a reminder than not all spec is related to movie announcements and fabricated incentive rarity in the modern market. Now, I realize that Sandman has been optioned and is coming to Netflix, but that isn’t what drove the prices in this case.
This is just a unique case where a dedicated fan base can really drive prices for hard to find editions of books. Much like Spawn fans, Sandman fans are legit. Now the 2nd Print isn’t quickly identifiable so make sure you get a good look at the book all the way down to the barcode of you flip past this in a long box.
Market Analysis: Again, not a lot of copies out there with only about a half dozen Raws listed. The cheapest is in a lot with the 1st print looking for $200 from an international seller. While the other options are in excess of $250 with most listed close to $400.
Ok that’s it for this week. But before I let you go; I have a selection of a few other 2nd Prints that I thought were worth mentioning but didn’t want to go too in depth into them. And I also thought it would be good to throw out 5 extra later prints as well. So, let’s keep this party rolling.
I like this cover and I’m not sure why it isn’t more expensive. The white cover is quite difficult to keep in high grade, and I like that it’s completely new art from the 1st.
The other version of the 2nd Print is a play on the 1st print but Miles’ face is clearly shown and that goes for more than this version. I like this one, but that’s just me.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 166
This is a 2nd print for a debated 1st appearance of Dylan Brock. I’m not going to get into the whole cameo/full debate on this one with #7.
But regardless, of whether you are in on #7 or #9, this is an interesting book to grab if you can find it hiding in a box for cover.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 1
This was a book that wasn’t on my radar until recently. This is a first for another symbiote in the black panther-verse.
I will admit that I am behind on reading that title and while I did enjoy Black Panther in a Galaxy far, far away, I am still not clear on how this ties to the regular Marvel Universe.
But it’s a cool cover, and not easy to find.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – N/A
This book had some heat following the Hulu announcement a few months ago which has since cooled. If you are all in on Hit Monkey, this could be a book to look at.
But as I noted before, I am not a huge fan of the B&W versions of the 1st print like this one, so this one would be a pass for me.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 18
This one had a lot of interest recently with speculation that there could have been a new Daredevil. Folks began looking toward Cole North as a possibility, and his first cover appearance was on this issue and the 2nd Print had a very nice Marco Checchetto cover.
As we now know, there was no change to a new person donning the horns, just an internal change within Matt Murdoch. So this is caution towards reading too much into a solicit.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 1
This 3rd Print features a really cool Knull cover. And with this being Knull’s 1st appearance, this makes this an interesting book.
A lot of other covers and variants for this one, but this cover image that invokes the Iron Throne for those GoT fans out there, this is a book that I just wanted in my PC.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 122
New 52 has been nearly forgotten completely these days. But to overlook this epic run by Snyder and Capullo would be a huge mistake.
That said, this 5th print is not easy to track down as print runs were not that high. This is just a color change on previous printings, but in this niche market of later printings this is one that a lot of folks are looking for.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 80
I like this 3rd Print design variant because it is different art. Like I said, the color changes to trade dress is just lazy to me.
Of all the printings and variants of this book, this is the only one I kept. Like I said, I did not believe in Spider-Gwen so I cashed in early.
That said, I won those books in an old school CBSI Razz, so I’m not complaining with the profits made on those books.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 174
This 1st full of Doomsday is the more desired version of this book. I find that to be the case with a lot of the over printed books. The upside of the 1st is limited due to the high print runs.
This being before the incentive variant craze, these lower printed later prints filled that role to a degree for collectors. Also, this is a DCU variant, so it pulls from that collector subset too.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 33
Once again, a book without any variants has a lot of interest in its later printings; more specifically, the final 5th printing. Saga is another title that has a die-hard fan base and books like this just won’t fade.
Like Sandman, the interest here isn’t tied to any media option news or adaptation. If there is an announcement, we may see a spike, but the value here would be independent of that news.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 40
…After another look at reprints and reused cover art, how about another reused sign off. See you all next time….
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