Coldest Comics: An All-Marvel Extravaganza

by Matt Tuck

111022D-1-1024x536 Coldest Comics: An All-Marvel ExtravaganzaIt was an all-Marvel show on the Coldest Comics this week, thanks at least in part to the massive DCU Chapter One news.

James Gunn has done what was once thought to be impossible: make the DC keys the most popular in all the secondary market. No question, it was a monumental week for DC Comics and DC Studios. With his video announcement breaking down the first 11 projects in Chapter One, buyers stormed the gates of eBay. 

You can’t have a winner without a loser, and for the first time in over a decade, Marvel’s key issues took a backseat to DC. Whether or not this will be an ongoing trend remains to be seen. To be fair, Marvel Comics still dominate the overall Hottest Comics list, and the Ant-Man keys will heat up when the new movie premieres. For now, it’s wonderful to see the parity in the collecting world.

Remember, these are all based on sales volume rather than fair market values. As we tend to see, it’s those lower-priced issues that bring in the higher sales for obvious reasons. With that in mind, let’s check on which issues took a nosedive over the past 10 days.

81. NOVA #1 (-58)

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In the words of Tom Jones, it’s not unusual…to see Nova #1 drop at any time. It’s not unusual when there’s no news of any kind. When I see it fall, it’s not unusual; it happens all the time. Now that you’ve got that song stuck in your head, on with the show. 

Disney is known for churning out the content ad nauseam, and the corporate giant has given fans more Marvel movies and streaming shows than they know what to do with. It doesn’t help matters that the quality has been lacking throughout Phase Four, and Phase Five isn’t looking to get much better. That alone is enough to have collectors and investors slacking off the Marvel keys for the time being. 

What’s the deal with Nova? Catchy ‘60s pop song or not, it really isn’t unusual to see a comic hit the Coldest blog when there’s no chatter. Between Marvel Studios’ tired formula and there being nothing new to report on the Nova movie front, there’s not much incentive for collectors to target his key issues. Of course, that will change when Feige makes an official announcement on that front, so this could be a good time to invest. After all, prices for the graded 9.8 are down nearly $700 compared to the 12-month average of $2k. 


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Up until recently, everyone wanted the newsstand editions. While collectors didn’t seem too concerned with directs versus newsstands a decade or two ago, the latter suddenly became the most coveted of variants on the market. It sent prices for newsstand first appearances through the roof virtually overnight. Since the economy has been suffering, those high values aren’t nearly as appealing as they once were. Hence, we have another newsstand falling behind on the Hottest Comics index.

With the possibility of the Black Suit Saga coming to the MCU, buyers are keeping a close watch on all things Venom. Sure, Sony has the market cornered on his solo movie franchise, but the implications from the No Way Home post-credits scene is that the MCU will have its own symbiotes separate from the Sony-verse. It’s had collectors taking careful aim at those early appearances of the alien suit, and ASM #252 has long been a favorite in that category. No, it’s not the symbiote’s first appearance, but this is one of the most famous covers featuring Spidey in his cool black and white costume. That’s enough to keep buyers on the trail no for this issue no matter what is happening on screens.

As is the case with Nova, the lack of news on the Black Suit Saga has collectors and investors putting this issue on the back burner. With the higher prices for a newsstand, it’s no wonder this edition took a mighty fall over the past 10 days. The graded 9.8 averages over $2k, and the 9.6 will set you back around $500, so it’s not a cheap investment for a higher grade. 

82. INCREDIBLE HULK #181 (-40)

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With all the hype and commotion surrounding Hugh Jackman’s return as Wolverine, you’d think that all of his key issues would be on fire. That should go double for his first appearance in the Bronze Age’s holiest of holy grails, Hulk #181. 

This issue isn’t down the list because it isn’t popular. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Hulk #181 is one of the most sought-after keys in all of comics. No matter how hard Marvel’s editorial staff tries to quell our interest in Logan and his toxic masculinity, there’s just something captivating about the character. Take him back to the 1970s and ‘80s, and you have what fans love so much about him — a mysterious, no-nonsense ass-kicker who borders on being a full-fledged villain. That is much of why fans will always want his classic issues that showcased the most popular version of the character, and we kind of want him back in the modern comics. Taking a trip down memory lane to when he was fun is quite appealing in that regard.

That brings us to Hulk #181’s fall down the ladder. By no means has the Deadpool 3 excitement fizzled out, and fans can’t wait to see Wolverine in the MCU, even if it’s only for one movie. Of course, the number one issue on everyone’s list is Logan’s first appearance. The problem is that it’s so expensive. Just this week, a complete 0.5 sold for $1,500, which should tell you all you need to know about this holy grail. With price tags that hefty, it dissuades buyers on that front.


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Speaking of Wolverine, we have our first Usual Suspect of the day in 1991’s X-Men #1. Talk about a frequent flier, any of the numerous variants can find their way into either the Hottest or Coldest blogs at any given moment, hence its inclusion as a Usual Suspect. With so many copies readily available at low prices, that’s not going to change, probably ever. 

Maybe it is one of the most commonly found key issues in all of collecting, but there’s no denying that amazing Jim Lee artwork. The legendary artist solidified his status with these interconnecting covers, and his style influenced the team throughout the ‘90s and into the 2000s. For that matter, you can still see a bit of his vision in the costumes of today’s X-Men.

Virtually all of his renditions of the X-Men #1 covers rank among the most iconic for the individual characters. That’s reason enough for fans to want to own a piece of that history.

In this case, we have the Wolverine and Cyclops cover, otherwise known as the collector’s edition. A perennial favorite among X-Men fans, the graded 9.8 can easily fetch $75 on any given day. Of course, when you can literally find one at basically every comic shop in the world, it doesn’t take a collecting priority.

73. SPIDER-MAN #13 (-24)

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You can’t talk about famous covers without mentioning the Toddfather himself, Todd McFarlane. Over the years, there have been at least a million homage variants paying tribute to his most famous works. While it’s hard to argue against ASM #300 being at the top of the list, his take for 1990’s Spider-Man #1 is oft-imitated. Across the comic book spectrum, there is no short supply of Spider-Man #1 copycats. For that matter, McFarlane isn’t above paying tribute to his own work, as we see in Spider-Man #13.

Maybe McFarlane wasn’t the first artist to draw Spider-Man in the black suit, but there’s a huge fanbase that will declare his version was the best. Taking what had been a hot title and seeing the black suit return in full Toddfather fashion was enough to warrant sales. Here we are three decades later, and fans still can’t get enough. 

Besides the cover art, there’s not much else that has buyers on the hunt for Spider-Man #13. Sure, Keever and the Subhumans make their first appearances here, but I doubt anyone is terribly excited about those characters. Still, it’s enough to keep the graded 9.8 averaging almost $120.

000052721D-1-Footer Coldest Comics: An All-Marvel Extravaganza*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Ian February 3, 2023 - 2:54 pm

Hulk #180 is actually the first appearance of Wolverine. Maybe the most under appreciated book out there.

Sean February 4, 2023 - 4:09 pm

The author of this article said:

“No, it’s not the symbiote’s first appearance, but this is one of the most famous covers featuring Spidey in his cool black and white costume.”

Absolutely not true! I don’t know why GoCollect is so intent on misinforning the public in favor of Secret Wars #8, but i was there where Amazing Spider-Man #252 was first on sale and can tell you it IS the very first appearance of the black costume (alien symbiote). It’s cover dated April 1984. Secret Wars #8 is cover dated December 1984…a full 8 months later! It plainly says on the cover of ASM #252 “The rumors are true…Introducing the NEW Spider-Man:” Do you know what that means? It means Spider-Man’s black costume was introduced in that issue. An introduction is a first appearance. Please stop misinforming and confusing the public. This confusion between ASM #252 and SW #8 has been going on for years now, and it needs to stop! An origin story told retroactively is NOT a first appearance of a character!

Amazing Spider-Man #252 is also more imporrant than Spectacular-Spider-Man #90 and Marvel-Team-Up #141.because it’s the issue that claims to introduce the black costume (alien symbiote). The other two may be cover dated the same month as ASM #252, but the introduction issue is gererally considered to be the one that carries more weight of the three, and rightfully so. But, like i said, Secret Wars #8 came out 8 months later! It’s not the first appearance at all! Retroactive stories are not first appearances! I’m sorry if my reply is harsh, but i have to set the record straight on this ongoing error. Thanks for reading.

Matt Tuck February 4, 2023 - 10:30 pm

I was about to argue with you, Sean, but you do have a point.


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