The Book of Boba Fett fallout is being felt across the secondary market, and it’s managed to cause a drop in what had been one of the hottest comics of the year, Darth Vader #3. Such are the Coldest Comics.
No matter the key issue, the pendulum is ever swinging. An issue can be the top seller one week only to fall flat seven days later. Thus we have the Coldest Comics, the five issues that lost the most ground in the Hottest Comics rankings. Remember, these are based on sales volume over the past 30 days. While any of the listed issues may still have increasing fair market values, that doesn’t protect them from dwindling sales.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the bottom of the barrel – Here are this month’s Coldest Comics.
This is likely a case of high prices scaring away the customers. Up to this point, Darth Vader #3 had been the go-to book for speculators in all of 2022. Not only did Black Krrsantan make his live-action debut in The Book of Boba Fett, but there remain a plethora of rumors that his partner-in-crime, Doctor Aphra, will arrive on Disney+ in the near future. With both characters making their first appearances in the same issue, it was no wonder that BOBF sent buyers to the auction sites for Darth Vader #3.
The inflation hit the DV #3 values at full speed, and the near-mint grades were soon out of reach for many, hitting values of $500+ for 9.8s. That’s not to say it wasn’t hot before BOBF – speculators had been dumping increasingly larger sums into this issue for years, and it hit a record $1,275 last year – but the appearance of Krrsantan upped the ante exponentially. With so much anticipation for Aphra’s live-action premiere, this issue continued to light up the charts in the hope that she would make an appearance by BOBF’s season finale.
The trouble is twofold. First, Aphra did not make an appearance, nor did she get an Easter egg (though we did get plenty of unnecessary flips and spins from unnecessary characters). The bigger factor is BOBF’s lackluster conclusion that doesn’t have fans biting their nails for word on a second season. Now that all the attention has shifted to Kenobi, buyers are not making DV #3 such a collecting priority as before. Still, the 9.8 has been averaging close to $475 as of late, so the sales may be down, but the values are still high.
What happened here? The Spider-Verse is still buzzing over Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web casting, and this is still considered a hot issue. Why, then, has it landed on the dubious Coldest Comics list? As I point out in each week’s introduction, just because a comic has increasingly higher FMVs doesn’t make it the belle of the ball.
For the past month, buyers were putting their money into copies of ASM #210. This issue featured the debut of Cassandra Webb, the original mystic of the Spider-Verse, Madame Web. There had been word that Sony was developing a live-action Madame Web movie, though no one could quite understand why.
Up to that point, her first appearance was a minor key at best and the mighty 9.8 averaged $711 in 2020. The prevailing idea was that the Madame would find herself in developmental limbo. Then came the news that Sony had found its lead and suddenly collectors were seeing ASM #210 in a new light. That shot prices up, and that same 9.8 averaged over $1,300 in 2021 and last sold for $2,250 a month ago. That likely has caused the sales volume to dip. With so many movie and streaming tie-ins on the secondary market, buyers can find more budget-friendly options in another key issue.
The hits keep coming for Boba Fett. What was once the most feared and mysterious name in all of Star Wars has become the butt of many jokes as of late. It all comes from The Book of Boba Fett fallout. By and large, fans were not pleased with BOBF, and there were far more complaints than compliments from the audience. The end result is a bad taste left in the mouths of buyers who overpaid during the much-hyped buildup to the show’s premiere. It resulted in a record $4,990 sale for a 9.8 last year with an average of $3,519.
Outside of the true holy grails of the collecting world, nothing is a sure bet. When you factor inflation into the equation, the upside of those high-priced movie or streaming tie-ins is not quite as lofty as it once was.
In the case of Star Wars #42, the issue’s FMV had been growing by leaps and bounds. The Mandalorian turned up the heat on all Star Wars keys, and that went double for major first appearances. After Boba Fett returned to live-action in Mando’s second season, buyers threw large sums at those SW #42s. Last year, practically every grade reached a new record high. That enthusiasm carried into 2022 as we awaited the arrival of Boba Fett’s first live-action starring role.
The trouble is that BOBF was largely a dud. Sure, it had its moments, but this was a series that fell flat in the eyes of fans and critics alike. As we have seen in the past, a bad movie or series can upend the sales figures for almost any comic. Given SW #42’s already high prices, it’s no wonder that buyers are staying away from this pariah, at least for the time being. These days, that same 9.8 last sold for $2,500 in February.
Spider-Man #1 will forever and always be a collecting gem. Any self-respecting collector has multiple copies of 1990’s series premiere. Cover hunters want it for the fantastic artwork, Spider-Man fans want the first issue of his different series, and Todd McFarlane collectors want it for the Toddfather’s incredible art, not to mention the mature story. Put it all together, and this remains one of the most consistent sellers in all the secondary market.
There were several variations on the iconic cover for this comic. One of the most popular has been the gold edition, which featured gold webbing against a black background. On any given week, this particular variant finds itself inside the top-100 Hottest Comics. Whenever we are dealing with comics that don’t have any first appearances, it tends to have the yo-yo effect. One week, it’s soaring; the next, it’s floundering. This happens to be a case of the latter, though it will no doubt rebound in the near future. Keep in mind that the 9.8 averaged $94 in 2020 before increasing to $186 last year. The last time one traded hands online, it brought $199 just this month.
Rounding out the bottom five Coldest Comics is no stranger to the list: ASM #252. This issue is famous for two reasons. First and foremost, it is tied for the first appearance of the black symbiote suit in the Earth-616 titles. Along those same lines, this issue gets the nod from cover hunters for its homage to Spidey’s debut in Amazing Fantasy #15.
These days, there are homage covers churned out practically every week, but in 1984, that wasn’t the case. With this being the first new costume since his color scheme was switched from red and black to red and blue, having an AF #15 tribute was fitting, and audiences loved it.
There’s plenty happening in the world of the symbiotes these days. Venom will almost certainly get a third movie, and fans are wondering what will transpire from the piece of symbiote left in the MCU in the No Way Home mid-credits scene. It’s also helping to drive up prices for anything from those ‘80s Venom keys.
At the moment, ASM #252 at the near-mint level is climbing high. Last year, the 9.8 averaged $1,704, which was a stark contrast with 2020’s FMV of $635. This month, that same 9.8 has reached $2k twice, the most recent of which was on March 15 when one copy brought $2,099, the second-highest price tag ever recorded.
If you don’t want to pay four figures for an ASM #252, don’t fret. Everything up to the 9.6 sells for less than $600.