Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray Bill

by Matt Tuck

030222A-1024x536 Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray BillWhere there are winners, there must be losers, and these five comics have taken the biggest tumbles in the Hottest Comics rankings over the past 30 days. On the plus side, that could make for some investment opportunities. Here’s more.

What are the Hottest Comics rankings all about? Sales volume, my friends. Instead of focusing solely on which key issues are earning the highest fair market values at the moment, our index is geared toward what buyers are tracking down regardless of price. Oftentimes, cheaper alternatives to massive keys get the most attention.

In this case, we have the other end of the spectrum, the Coldest Comics, but don’t let the name fool you. Just because collectors have been steering around these issues doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your eye on them. What makes things interesting is that sliding down the index could mean lower FMVs, and all five of today’s entries have the potential for mighty rebounds in that department. A well-timed investment could mean profits for the savvy collector, especially when you factor the MCU into the equation.

Batman-423-195x300 Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray Bill96. BATMAN #423 (-57)

Here you have one of the most iconic Batman covers of the past 40 years. What makes this issue so special is that it was drawn by a young Todd McFarlane, who was still in the early days of his career, trying to build his reputation.

Before he began his legendary run on Amazing Spider-Man, the Toddfather had been a freelance artist for both Marvel and DC, doing pencils for the Hulk and Batman. Throughout 1987, he would start to emerge as the premiere cover artist in the industry, but it was 1988’s Incredible Hulk #340 and Batman #423 that solidified his standing. In fact, you could argue that McFarlane’s banner year would signal the arrival of cover collecting, and those remain among the top targets for cover hunters to this day.

After gaining momentum in the rankings, Batman #423 took a dive this round. The classic cover that is often the inspiration for comic artists everywhere fell by 57 positions this week and was in danger of dropping outside the top 100. Unlike the other four entries on today’s Coldest Comics, there’s no single indicator to point towards to explain the drop. The secondary market is ever changing, and the FOMO effect (fear of missing out) reigns supreme. The best I can guess, Batman #423 had too much competition.

Despite the dip in sales volume, this is still a valuable comic. In the past week, raw copies were consistently selling in the $100 range.

Thor-337-196x300 Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray Bill92. THOR #337 (-55)

This is a little easier to explain. For years now, buyers have been scouring the auction sites for Beta Ray Bill’s first appearance in Thor #337. The iconic cover has been a prime investment candidate because of Bill’s potential in the ever-expanding MCU. Although it was a Thor: Ragnarok Easter egg with little context, Beta Ray’s face was clearly etched into the side of the Grandmaster’s tower as a tribute to his champions. That implies that not only is Bill already in the MCU, but he may have fought Hulk or possibly Man-Thing on the distant planet. 

As the heat has been turned up on those Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 rumors, so have the prices increased for Thor #337. Beta Ray Bill has been the subject of numerous theories and speculation to arrive in either of those movies, possibly both. That has pushed prices higher. However, the gossip has been quiet for months now, and that has made this issue more affordable. Consider this: last year, a graded 9.8 averaged $1,033. This month, those values have steadily dipped from the $1k range to $800-$900 before landing on the current low of $788 based on the latest sales. That makes this a prime opportunity to get a copy for a relative bargain before his inevitable MCU debut.

Star-Wars-42-196x300 Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray Bill98. STAR WARS #42 (-54)

Was The Book of Boba Fett really that bad? In the eyes of many Star Wars fans, particularly those who had been waiting four decades for Boba Fett’s return, the answer is a resounding yes. That lackluster reception for Boba’s first season is having ripple effects across the secondary market, specifically for the top BOBF target, Star Wars #42. 

In the buildup to the show’s premiere, the hype machine was in full force. Finally, after all these years, we would be treated to the most famous bounty hunter’s return from his joke of a death scene in Return of the Jedi. That propelled high grades of SW #42 to record highs. Last year, the graded 9.8 averaged over $3,500 and set a record high that nearly hit $5k in the process. Then the series landed on Disney+, and it was not what fans wanted. Now that the first season is in the books, those values are continuing to decline. The last 9.8 to trade hands online earned $2,500, which is $1k less than it was earning at the end of January. Based on 90-day averages, virtually every grade of SW #42 is on the decline compared to 2021, and there doesn’t appear to be any signs that the bleeding is ready to stop.

All that is bad news if you invested based on last year’s FMVs. On the flip side, it’s great news if you have been wanting a copy of your own. Boba Fett is an enduring character in the Star Wars mythos. While Disney’s family-friendly Boba didn’t strike a chord with fans, the comics will tell a different story. In time, the Fett will be back in the saddle, and it should help those SW #42 prices.

hawkeye_1_kate_bishop_now-195x300 Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray Bill90. HAWKEYE #1 (-47)

The theme of this week’s Coldest Comics was popular keys gone sour. Last year, the first issue of Kate Bishop’s starring role in a Hawkeye comic series was one of the hottest keys to own. Ahead of her debut in the Disney+ series, collectors and investors were targeting her early appearances and any connections to Clint Barton. Her 2017 series came under the magnifying glass thanks to a memorable cover and her first solo series.

As the first season of Hawkeye came and went, so too did the FMVs for Kate’s key issues. That is the natural ebb and flow of the market when it comes to the MCU. The hype leading to the show created a market inflation. Once the series is old news, buyers turn their attention to the next big thing. Eventually, the tide will turn and those Kate keys will reheat. For now, it’s creating a prime chance to own those issues at more affordable prices.

One of the reasons you’ll still want to watch Hawkeye #1 is for the first appearance of Ramone Watts. In the comics, she is a member of the revamped West Coast Avengers, who were more or less a version of Young Avengers but with more comedy. After all the WCA teases in Hawkeye, it would seem Marvel Studios is leaning in that direction. If Ramone appears in a future show, that will cause this issue to spike once again. At the moment, you can have a raw copy for around $20 when it was a $30 comic in December.

GSX-1-cover-194x300 Coldest Comics: A Balmy Reception for Batman, Boba Fett, & Beta Ray Bill84. GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 (-35)

Last week, a 9.6 GSX #1 was the top performer in the Bronze Age Chartbuster’s blog. How, then, does a comic so hot become so cold in such a short period? It all comes down to prices.

For the past year, those X-Men keys have been blisteringly hot. Even before Patrick Stewart’s voice was heard in the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer, the gossip and rumors for the X-Men kept their keys in good standing. The values would hit their peaks and valleys, but they remained popular all the same. Now that it would seem the X-Men have arrived in the MCU, it is creating a flood of buying for those key issues. Next to 1963’s X-Men #1, there is the other holy grail, GSX #1. While it is more popular than ever, the past 30 days saw buyers shy away from it. 

I attribute this trend to the escalating prices. Based on this year’s values, you will be hard-pressed to find even a lowly 0.5 for much less than $1k. Last month, a 3.0 sold for $2,750. With prices that high, it’s no wonder that GSX #1 plummeted through the rankings. 

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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