Given the rising popularity of Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X, it makes one wonder when some of his Image Comics originals will gain favor in the market. Especially with the recent deluge of more eclectic comic books turned TV series choices; such as The Boys, Umbrella Academy, Locke & Key, Reborn, etc. Is it too much to ask for one of Hickman’s to get adapted?
Of the Hickman Image Comics originals, East of West had the most traction with an early 2018 announcement of being developed into a TV series at Amazon Studios. Considering it’s Amazon, they do tend to have more project irons in the fire than see the light of day. In recent years, they have doubled down on properties such as the Tolkien universe and the Boys; the latter of which has already received much critical success and will see a second season by mid-2020. In light of all that success, Hickman’s East of West has unfortunately been confirmed during SDCC 2019 as no longer being developed by Amazon. With the recent success of the classic Western-styled Mandalorian, perhaps East of West may find new life at one of the many new streaming services?
The print of East of West #1 with the highest FMV is the Diamond Chicago Retailer Summit variant. It is also the variant that experienced the biggest spike from the Amazon development news. This isn’t to say the Ghost and Forbidden Planets didn’t also experience a spike also; they were just considerably smaller. Compared to the variants, the main print had the least movement; the current CGC 9.8 of the main print has an FMV of $48, which pales in comparison to the $475 FMV of the aforementioned Diamond Chicago variant. Overall, East of West does provide a bit of insight for the potential market behavior of the other Hickman Image Comics originals.
With the above book in mind, the market for The Nightly News #1 is dormant in comparison. No graded copies have been sold on eBay, just a few raws. This book could be a sleeper hit, with its premise very topical to the current geopolitical climate. It is a bit surprising that no TV development for this series has occurred, given the high-quality of the writing that earned it a nomination for an Eisner Award; even more impressive given that the Nightly News was created early in Hickman’s career. Unlike East of West #1, The Nightly News #1 doesn’t have the same plethora of variants, which could prove beneficial as the sole beneficiary of any spike.
Rounding out the list of most popular Hickman Image Comics originals is The Manhattan Projects #1, an alternate history series that gives us a strange mix of aliens, Franklin Delano Roosevelt artificial intelligence, Wernher von Braun cyborg, etc. With all the attention that Watchmen gets, hopefully, the Manhattan Projects gets a turn before Watchmen gets yet another remake. Overall, the market for graded copies of the book has been flat; low volume but very high volatility. CGC 9.8 copies dip down as far as the low $30s and shoots up to highs of just under $100. If you can find a 9.8 at the lower end of that range, it could be a tempting gamble.
“Love sends a man halfway around the world… Just for the hope of catching it.” – Jonathan Hickman, East of West #3
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