Coldest Comics: a Most Unexpected Fall

by Matt Tuck

091422B-1-1024x536 Coldest Comics: a Most Unexpected FallAn Amazon cancellation proved costly to Paper Girls #1 speculators, but the Coldest Comics runner-up was the real shocker of the bunch.

Before we dive into the data, let’s take a moment to review. The Coldest Comics is a list of the five single issues that saw the biggest fall in sales volume. The numbers are based on eBay’s marketplace for both graded and raw comics, and the figures are updated daily, meaning this is a snapshot of one day’s sales tracking. However, it does give you a barometer of where buyers were spending their money. 

With that in mind, here are this week’s biggest losers.

93. PAPER GIRLS #1 (-85)

Paper-Girls-1-200x300 Coldest Comics: a Most Unexpected Fall

Whenever a streaming series has an expensive special effects budget, that automatically puts a large target on its back. No matter how much hype and popularity the show may have, it takes a significant number of viewers to convince studios to invest in more seasons when the price tag is so high. In the case of Paper Girls, Amazon didn’t see nearly enough return after its initial debut.

By all accounts, the show was a hit, but it simply didn’t reach whatever mark the Amazon executives needed to warrant a renewal. It’s not like the show didn’t earn its share of fans. After premiering on July 29, the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn’s sci-fi comic received high praise from critics and fans alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, audiences and reviewers gave it Fresh ratings, with critics particularly enthralled with a 90% rating while fans gave it an 88% positive. Although the news was grim, the show could appear on another streaming platform as the show’s producers are actively searching for a new home. That could affect those comic values.

After ranking as high as eighth on the Hottest Comics index, the cancellation news took a significant toll on Paper Girls #1. The once-hot comic nosedived all the way to 93rd this week, giving it the distinction of the single Coldest Comic in all of eBay. Despite the sales drop, the prices have bounced back. After consistently selling in the $70-$90 range in recent weeks, the past three sales in the past week have been for $99+.

89. INCREDIBLE HULK #449 (-64)

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We finally got the poster and roster reveal for the highly-anticipated Thunderbolts coming in 2024. By all logic, that should send Hulk #449 skyrocketing. After all, fans have been going stir-crazy waiting for Thunderbolts news for years, and Marvel delivered. Shouldn’t the team’s first appearance be on its way to the top of the Hottest Comics, not falling flat? What happened?

My best guess is that it may be D23 fallout. There were lofty expectations for Marvel heading into last weekend’s convention. In years past, we have received big news from Kevin Feige and company. This year, it was a bit less impressive, and fans made their disappointment known across social media. To be fair to Marvel Studios, the rumors and gossip were on the ridiculous side. After the company’s huge splash at San Diego Comic-Con, the bar was set much too high for D23, thus the fan letdown that’s not completely warranted. 

Ahead of the convention, there were rumors galore that the team would feature some cleanup hitters, like Abomination and possibly Red Hulk. At the least, we expected to see Zemo lead a team of supervillains onto the screen. That’s not what we’re getting. Led by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, there’s Yelena Belova, Winter Soldier, U.S. Agent, Red Guardian, Taskmaster, and Ghost. Considering all the better combinations the comics have served up over the years, that roster let the wind out of many sails. Odds are, that’s why Hulk #449 struggled this week.

Marvel may have some tricks up its very long sleeves, so let’s not throw the MCU Thunderbolts away before without giving it a chance. If the movie is a hit, Hulk #449 will bounce back in a hurry. At first glance, the falling sales figures and prices may be troubling, but it also creates an investment opportunity. For most of the year, the FMV for a graded 9.8 held steady between $675-$700. In the past week, the prices were dipping to $600 and below. It would pay to keep an eye on this one in case the numbers keep falling. If it gets into the $400 range, that would be a wise investment.

96. GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 (-44)

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Like Fred Sandford clutching his chest and calling for his dearly departed Elizabeth, my heart skipped a few beats when I saw my beloved GSX #1 take a hit in the sales department. 

Long has this been a holy grail of X-keys. In fact, I argue this is a bigger and more important key than 1963’s X-Men #1. Whereas Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s X-Men never caught on with readers, when Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus joined the team, business boomed just when the X-franchise was about to be trashed altogether. Now they’re the most talked-about team in Marvel as fans await their MCU arrival.

This is one case where the D23 disappointment likely didn’t affect those X-Men sales figures. Sure, no X-Men news was a let down, but we all know the mutants are coming. Marvel has been teasing them all year, and something big is in the works. Traditionally, holy grails and their massive price tags wax and wane across the Hottest Comics. They’re so expensive that most collectors put their dollars toward the newer, cheaper keys. These days, you would be lucky to get a 1.0 GSX #1 for less than $1k. Until Marvel throws us a bone or the next hot rumor creeps into view, speculators and investors have other fish to fry.

60. THOR #1 (-37)

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The Love and Thunder fallout continues for the Goddess of Thunder’s first appearance. Just two weeks ago, it was the biggest loser in the Coldest Comics thanks to the movie’s lackluster reception. Here we are again seeing it coasting downhill, and it may soon fall outside the top-100 bestselling comics.

While losing 37 positions is noteworthy, that also indicates something positive as well. Remember, the data is constantly changing, so it was actually bouncing back for a short time.

For it to lose nearly 40 spots, that means it ranked 23rd only a day earlier. Silver lining or not, the numbers aren’t good for Thor #1, not that anyone expected them to be. After all, Jane Foster died at the end of Love and Thunder, and that’s not to mention the normal ebb and flow of the comic speculation market. On the bright side, there’s nothing ruling out her return in the MCU. With the Multiverse, anything is possible. Don’t forget that she died in the comics as well, only for Odin to resurrect her as a Valkyrie. Something similar could happen on the big screen, and it could make this a good time to invest.

Speaking of investment, how much should you expect to pay for a Thor #1? More than likely, you are in the market for a graded 9.8. At one point in the past year, it was selling for as much as $696, but the past 30 days has seen it average $130. Prices haven’t been this low since 2020.

97. PUNISHER #1 (-27)

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With all the talk of Jon Bernthal reprising his role as The Punisher, you would think his key issues would be on fire. If we’re talking Amazing Spider-Man #129, that holy grail has been doing well in recent months. Up to this point, Punisher’s first ongoing solo title from 1987 had been holding its own, but this week saw it nearly drop outside the Hottest Comics. What gives?

There weren’t exactly heavy rumors that anything Punisher related would be announced at D23, but fans were hoping to see him return for either Armor Wars or, better yet, Daredevil: Born Again. When Charlie Cox mentioned that Born Again would be a reboot of sorts, it let the air out of all those Netflix Daredevil fans. It leaves little doubt that the dirt and grime that looked so good on Netflix will be washed away for Disney Plus, which probably translates into no Punisher appearances. That could be why Punisher #1 was falling short this week.

While buyers may have stepped away from their eBay profiles, you never would guess that this comic was struggling based on the FMVs. On Sunday, the graded 9.8 sold for an impressive $500. 

Want more Coldest Comics coverage?

AAA-Footer-CL-3 Coldest Comics: a Most Unexpected Fall*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Derek Bird September 15, 2022 - 1:12 pm

Hey man, was that a typo or did you just want to take the ‘F’ out of Fred Sandford. (I was not a fan of that show).

Matt Tuck September 18, 2022 - 1:49 pm

Just a typo, but it does need fixing. lol


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