The Usual Suspects: Chapter 2
Welcome back to another edition of The Usual Suspects. Just a quick reminder, the books I am covering are books that everyone already knows (hence the name of the column). So if you are looking for hidden gems, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.”
This week let’s look at the Trends, Active Listings, and Sales Prices of both raw and CGC graded books for 2 books seeing lots of movement the last few weeks. Both books are seeing all-time highs recently. Have we all missed the boat on these bad boys or is there still room to grow?
I think we are at a point where we can’t deny that movie spec is a huge driving force in a lot of these price jumps. Options, casting announcements, and Hollywood news has infiltrated our hobby and movie spec has been the straw that stirs the drink the last few years. Sure 1st appearances, variants, and awesome covers still trigger spikes in the market, but even the 1st appearances have a twinge of wonder as to when will this new character hit the big screen or some other form of media.
So enough dilly-dally, let’s get into it.
Amazing Spider-Man #101
1st appearance of Morbius
Who would’ve guessed that people wanted to see a Morbius the Living Vampire movie? And who would’ve guessed that Jared Leto had the kind of pull to see this book double in price over the course of a week?
Even after his divisive turn as the Joker, that apparently hasn’t soured everyone on his comic book movie cred. I mean, it has to be him because it can’t just be a Sony announcement. Where’s everyone’s Silver and Black Spec these days? Will we really see a Silk movie up on the big screen?
Sure casting a star in the lead role does lend it a bit more credibility in this actually happening, but until the cameras are rolling I won’t hold my breath. I think it all really hinges on the success of Venom in the fall. This could honestly go either way in my opinion.
Teaser trailer for Venom looked awful, but then second trailer showed promise despite Tom Hardy doing another weird accent. So I guess we’ll see. I will reserve judgement until I see it.
I am notoriously predisposed to be apologetic for nearly all comic related movies and ready to defend them at nearly every turn. But I digress.
Active Listings: Currently there are only 51 Active Listings on eBay in both Raw and Slabbed copies. And some of those are 2nd prints and foreign editions. Some people are into that kinda thing, but that’s outside of what I am looking at. So despite those dozen or so oddball listings, this book is not that hard to find; but it is not easy in high grade.
Market Analysis: I could only find one Graded 9.8 sale and it was done outside of eBay on a Comiclink auction back in May. That buyer seems to have made out as the current asking price on eBay for a 9.8 is about $12k-$13k. Will they get it? In today’s market place you never can tell.
There are only 29 9.8’s in the census, but $12k may be a bit of a reach. No active listings for 9.6’s or 9.4’s currently, and with only 60 and 102 copies in the census (respectively) this doesn’t appear to be an easy book to find in high grade.
The real movement is in the VF range as 8.5’s and 8.0’s have doubled since the announcement with a few sales just this past week. So the 8.0 sale on 6/24 for $400 was a bargain compared to the $850 someone else dropped on the same grade just 5 days later.
Raws are not easy to find in high grade either as no one is currently presenting their copy as NM. There are a few High Grade and SUPER High Grade sales, but no current listings; so these have been picked clean. In truth there aren’t that many raw copies available, so it looks like this will be tough to find unless more movie news pulls more copies out of long boxes.
Of course, it could be that everyone and their mother is submitting their copy to get them graded to cash in on these inflated prices before the inevitable downturn until the 1st trailer hits.
Reader Copy Sales: I’m sure we’ll see at True Believers reprint in the very near future. But there are plenty of the 2nd print copies with a silver background out there. As luck would have it, I picked up my own VG copy pretty cheap a few months back to fill the hole in my ASM run from UD’s Shaun Leggitt’s eBay store. I hit him up with a message and let him know I was CBSI and he even hooked me up with an extra book to boot. Big Legg is good people.
Captain Marvel #17 2nd Print
Personally, I always prefer a 1st Print; but in this instance, this appears to be the Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan book to own. I remember seeing this on the shelf at my LCS when it came out and thinking, “What is this? This looks like an action figure card.” Shows what I know.
Even as this book rose in price over the last few years, I still kept it at arm’s length. Still neigh saying the 2nd print status, “It’s cool, but it’s not really the first since it’s not a 1st print.”
Mind you, the first print is no slouch and has seen its own rise of late. But debates over what’s a 1st appearance, 1st cameo, etc aside; the current price dictates this is the book KK fans want in their collections.
Not Captain Marvel 14, not Marvel Point One, and not Ms Marvel #1; which are all good books to own; but the gem is this little book right nere.
Active Listings: Currently there are only 4 Active Listings on eBay, all of which are graded. This is not an easy book to find, and with Kevin Feige’s assurance that we will see Kamala on screen at some point, this can go one of 2 ways. Either people will try to cash in on their newfound gains, or this will be a ghost as the lucky ones will hold and wait this out.
Market Analysis: Graded 9.8’s are nearly double the 9.6’s. Not a lot of copies to be found, but as with all modern books, the 9.8 is the copy to own. Even the CGC census shows that half of all of the graded copies are 9.8’s. Granted there are just over 150 9.8s out there, but good luck finding a raw copy for sale. Sales of 9.8s have been consistently around $700 over the last year with some highs reaching $800 and a low down around $425. But there hasn’t been a sale under $1k since before June. Chances are this is the new floor for this book going forward.
With raw copies not easy to find, if you want in then it looks like it’s gonna cost you and the price of admission has gone up. As I already noted, there are no raw copies available in any grade on eBay. A raw hasn’t come up since early June.
Remember to buy the book and not the grade. The light cover may make it hard to spot defects, but if you want to gamble you can always crack, press, and re-grade if you’re feeling saucy. But considering the current ratio of 9.8 to the rest, this may not be an easy trick to pull off. Best bet may be to suck it up and pay for that 9.8 if you think this thing has got legs.
Don’t let it being a modern book scare you off. I jumped off the Spider-Gwen Land train at $700 for my 9.8. Look where that’s at these days. D’oh!!
Reader Copy Sales: This is already the 2nd print. Funny enough your best bet may be a cheap 1st print for $40.
Well that’s it for this week. Still a lot of books to cover, but if you have any suggestions just let me know in the comments.
So until then…
“Stay Classy, San Diego” – Ron Burgundy
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