A Tale of Two Spawns

by Norman Robinson III

692363_spawn-1-newsstand-edition-199x300 A Tale of Two SpawnsTodd McFarlane is a one-man creation machine that breathed new life into Amazing Spider-Man. Then he became a force in the comic industry and helped build the Image Comics we enjoy today. McFarlane created the first Spawn #1 as the headliner for Image Comics. The character immediately caught on back in the 1990’s and elevated Spawn and Image Comics. Spawn issue number one was so popular back in 1992; that he drowned out Venom in his wake. The covers produced were easily twenty years ahead of their time. Recently, there has been plenty of media buzz surrounding a Spawn movie due out next year. The hype has some pretty big actors already signed to star in this Spawntaneous production. But this is a tale of two Spawns: one book for newsstands and the other comic for subscriptions. Which comic is more valuable and has near supernatural returns?

The tale of Spawn is one of being careful what you ask for; as you just might get it. Al Simmons was a government assassin who was betrayed and murdered by his friend. He makes a deal with Malebolgia to come back from hell to the land of the living not only for vengeance but also for love. Sadly, it doesn’t go well for Spawn, but he does manage to become an anti-hero of sorts and takes on the government agency that betrayed him. Not to mention a devil’s host of demons and supernatural wackos. Lately, there has been media buzz about a Spawn movie coming possibly next year with Jamie Foxx playing the lead role and Jeremy Renner as the supporting actor (source: CB).

Market Bubble

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,”Charles Dickens wrote this in 1859. However, it could be applied to the comic boom and bust of the 1990’s. That was a time of excess in comics. Everyone was collecting, even those who had never even read a comic. Those darn speculators (wink, wink)! They were buying whole collections from that modern era and hoarding as many comics as they could find. Unfortunately, most of the speculators got washed out by oversupply and under demand; much like Spawn they were promised greatness by Malebogia and got the pitchfork instead. Spawn and Image Comics overproduced too, and nowhere more so than with Spawn #1. There are so many copies of this comic, to use ubiquitous as an adjective to describe it is an understatement. I recently could have purchased six at my local comic store alone.

Spawn #1(1992)

Some people like superheroes, some like horror comics, and others are action junkies; well Spawn has all three and then some. Todd McFarlane, Dale Keown and George Perez with script exclusively in McFarlane’s domain created the first  Spawn #1 (1992)  These guys are kind of the next generation of brilliant artists to follow John Buscema and Jack Kirby into creative greatness. This book has a subscription label, not a bar code, in the lower left corner. Currently, the fair market value of Spawn #1 (subscription issue) is $110 on average. With more inferior grade copies like (5.0) bringing in $10 FMV. The confirmed CGC inventory for (9.8) grade has over one thousand copies! The profitability is even uglier than Spawn’s visage. Graded copies at (9.8) show a decline of -2.5% in that grade, conversely a positive +6.5% return in grade (9.6) level for Spawn #1 (1992). The lowest return recorded is for an (8.5) very fine plus copy with a stunning decline of -34.3%. Perhaps, Malebogia cast a curse upon this comic! Naw, that is just the after effects of the 1990’s greed and a peek into how bad that time was for comics.

Tale of Two Spawn’s Explained

I did say this is a tale of two Spawn number ones, right? Well, rest easy the Spawn #1 (Newsstand Edition) has all the spirits and spells a speculation sorcerer will ever need. Putting it simply this copy is worth a heck of a lot more than it’s twin. The grade (9.8) has a price of $350 current fair market value. The (5.0) grade for this comic is an FMV of around $24. The lower grade has a 140% higher return than Spawn #1 (1992), highlighted above. Furthermore, the mint (9.8) for Spawn #1 (Newsstand Edition) has a massive edge of a return. With over +240% move value in the Spawn #1 (Newsstand Edition) than sub-par brother Spawn #1 (1992). It appears that the CGC folks are combining these two in their census stats; so no help there. This grim demon anti-superhero is here to say with positive (in the green) returns from grade (9.0) at +38.5% all the way to (9.8) with a respectable positive ROI of +14.3%.

Spawn #1 (Newsstand Edition)

The best comic to own is a (9.4) grade in Spawn #1 (Newsstand Edition) which has returned a remarkable +40.6%. Contain this demon in your collection if you can; if not purchase his second class brother, the subscription issue Spawn #1 (1992). Todd McFarlane is just getting started with the rollout here. He is going to make Venom media hype look like a brief late-night infomercial. Speculate on either of the two different Spawns, and you will probably make money. But owning Spawn #1 ( Newsstand Edition) sure pays better in the long run.


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