Carnage Reborn

by Matt Tuck

ASM-361-195x300 Carnage RebornAfter a brief stay with Norman Osborn, the Carnage symbiote is going back to where it belongs with Cletus Kasady. As we prepare for Carnage Born, lets check on the state of Amazing Spider-Man #361. Spoiler alert: it’s booming.

Marvel has made its share of mistakes when it comes to the symbiotes. We’ve seen Venom pass from host to host, even becoming a space knight for a time (a time we’d like to forget), and the Carnage symbiote was used to make Red Goblin earlier this year. But Marvel seemingly listened to its fans and is giving us the classic versions of the characters by putting Venom back with Eddie Brock and sending Carnage to Cletus Kasady.

The Carnage Born storyline is poised to take over the market for the coming weeks as it builds to Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1. It doesn’t hurt that symbiote fans were treated to the cameo of Cletus at the end of the Venom movie, leading toward a future onscreen Carnage/Venom showdown. It’s reminding me of the summer of 2017 when the rumors of Woody Harrelson bringing the villain to life for Sony’s Venom sent prices into the stratosphere.

The truth is that 2018 has actually been a bigger year for Carnage than 2017, which is tough to believe. This year, the volume of ASM #361 sales has reached a record high. So far in 2018, there have been over 400 recorded sales of graded 9.8s, and we’ve still got another month to go. Last year was a good year, but the 279 copies sold just doesn’t compare to 2018’s figures. The prices have reflected the popularity, too; last year, the 9.8 averaged $311, but the 90-day average has rocketed to $429 with a November 17 sale of $499.

The most popular grade has been the 9.6, which has sold nearly 500 times this year. What’s great about a 9.6 is that you’re not giving up much in terms of quality, and the 90-day average is $178, which is much easier on the budget.

No matter the grade (almost, anyway), Carnage’s first appearance has been gaining value for the past three months. The only grade that has seen a drop is the 5.5, which is still averaging a respectable $46. Considering the popularity of ASM #361, if you can buy a 5.5 for less than $50, that’s a bargain at this point. Move the grade up to a 6.0, and the 90-day average stands at $70.

Even the second print has benefited from the Carnage boom. A second print 9.8 (you know, the one with the purple background) has consistently sold for over $200 in the past 90 days. Even the 9.0 is still averaging $80.

With Donny Cates at the helm, I’m expecting Carnage Born to be an entertaining reintroduction into the world of Carnage. Considering that anything Cates touches these days turns to gold and with what he’s done to rejuvenate and refresh the Venom mythos, it’s almost certain that Carnage Born will be another hit for him. Couple that with the impending Carnage live-action appearance in the next Venom movie, and you can be sure that ASM #361 is nowhere near a plateau.

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