Coldest Comics: The Movie Spec Cycle Strikes Again

by Matt Tuck

101322A-1-1024x536 Coldest Comics: The Movie Spec Cycle Strikes AgainWe knew it was coming, and today’s the day that those Black Panther: Wakanda Forever keys hit the Coldest Comics.

The movie speculation cycle was on full display this week. The Black Panther and Ironheart keys were on fire heading into Wakanda Forever’s opening weekend. Both Shuri and Riri Williams’ first appearances were consistently spotlighted in the Hottest Comics blog, and they were mainstays in the top 20 best-sellers. This week, the path curved in the wrong direction.

As the movie’s time in theaters winds down, so too do the sales. Here on the Coldest Comics, that’s what it’s all about: sales. Skyrocketing values may grab your attention, but the actual sales are the backbone of the secondary market. Using eBay data, we take a closer look at the 100 best-selling single issues across the platform. This week, it’s time to put a magnifying glass over the sales ladder’s bottom rungs.


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Whenever a comic makes massive leaps due to a character’s MCU debut, it will inevitably hit the FMV ceiling before the sales start to nosedive. By no means is this a reflection of that character’s popularity with Marvel’s audience; it’s simply part of the movie spec cycle. At the moment, the pendulum has swung, and buyers are moving on toward the next hot prospect. Rest assured that Invincible Iron Man #9 will rebound when we get closer to her Disney Plus show’s premiere. For now, it’s the coldest comic of the week.

Just in case you have missed, well, everything for the past year, this comic ascended the ranks on the back of Riri Williams making her live-action debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She’s all set for Ironheart, where she’s reportedly squaring off with The Hood, and there’s potential for her to appear in Armor Wars. I would wager that she’s going to have a large role in the future Avengers movies, so Riri will be hanging around for the long haul. That makes investing in her key issues a game of patience. Yes, it’s dipping now, but it’s not going to stay like this.

At one point this year, the 9.8 brought a high of $1,000. While it hasn’t hit that mark in several months, the near-mints are still reaching into $600 territory from time to time. Currently, the 30-day FMV sits at $298, and it hasn’t sold for more than $320, which makes this an excellent time to invest.

85. BLACK PANTHER #2 (-56)

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On the same note as Ironheart, we have Shuri’s first appearance in Black Panther #2. While her detractors will immediately jump to the conclusion that this issue’s decline in sales is proof that the world has rejected Shuri as Black Panther, that’s absolutely not the case. Just like Iron Man #9, BP #2 is simply experiencing the same dip that every other key issue goes through.

Although Wakanda Forever is still one of the highest-grossing movies in the world, its time at the box office is drawing to a close. Those that haven’t seen it are likely waiting for the Disney Plus premiere date. With interest waning, fans are moving on to the next big thing. When it comes to Marvel, there’s a flood of content, so the wait won’t be long. That also means collectors are aiming for a new round of key issues.

Again, here is a character that will not be fading into the sunset. Shuri is here to stay, and she is the one and only Black Panther of the MCU. There are rumors that she will be leading her own superteam, and I have no doubt she’ll be an Avenger by the time Phase 6 rolls around. Her first appearance will only get more popular as her importance to the overall Multiversal story grows.

For the past year, the graded 9.8 has sold for as much as $800, though it’s not been in that territory for several months. As of late, it’s been earning closer to the $300 range, and one copy sold for $202 on December 15.


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Buyers were not especially excited about those Deadpool 3 keys this week. Not only did Marvel Comics Presents #72 take a dip through the rankings, but Wolverine #88, featuring the first meeting between Logan and Deadpool, fell by 25 spots itself. 

This was never the most coveted of Weapon X keys to begin with, so it’s not terribly surprising to see it fall. Like basically everything else on today’s list, it will rebound in due time. If you have a copy, don’t abandon ship quite yet.

What made this item hot in the first place was the origin of the Weapon X program. In all of Marvel Comics, this may be the most popular secret government program, even outperforming the Super Soldier project that created Captain America and fueled stories for decades. At the time the issue was published, it gave readers a rare glimpse into Wolverine’s past, something that was still a mystery at that point. In hindsight, it’s something missing from today’s incarnations. The unknown nature of his history made him more intriguing. Laying it all out to bare makes him feel too normal. Still, this issue, especially with the Barry Windsor-Smith artwork, is a great addition to your collection.

To coin the phrase, what a difference a year makes. Since this time in 2021, the graded 9.8 had been selling for over $300. At the moment, it’s earning close to the $200 mark. If you’ve had this one on your wish list, now is a good time to roll the dice.

93. WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #1 (-39)

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One entry on the Coldest Comics that isn’t a big shock to find is Web of Spider-Man #1. What put it on the Hottest Comics rankings to begin with was the Black Suit Saga. Here we had the first time Peter Parker realized that his alien costume was sentient. That would become a major plot point that has lasted to this day. However, it’s nowhere near as important as any of the first appearances. On one hand, that makes it cheaper and easier to find, which is what gets it in the best-sellers lists. At the same time, it’s the first one that gets dropped when buyers put their dollars elsewhere.

Over the last 12 months, the graded 9.8 has averaged close to $250, but the past 30 days have seen that FMV drop to $164. If you’re a Venom fan, that’s actually great news, so grab a high-grade copy while there are deals to be found.

56. HULK #1 (-28)

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It’s getting to be commonplace to see Red Hulk’s first appearance sitting on the Coldest Comics blog. Who would have thought? This was an extremely hot issue when Harrison Ford was first rumored to be taking over the Thunderbolt Ross role. After She-Hulk’s Easter eggs, it was clear that he would be transforming into Red Hulk at some point, so that upped the ante for Hulk #1.

Of course, it’s not the actual first appearance of Red Hulk. While Hulk #1 is the first time readers saw Ross’ gamma-powered alter ego on the cover art, he wasn’t included in the interior. It was in the next issue that Red Hulk actually debuted in-story, so that makes Hulk #2 the actual first appearance. In the end, it’s all about where the dollars flow, and they clearly are directed at Hulk #1. Although the prices are still elevated, the sales have been inconsistent, which is why it rises one week just to fall the next. 

This month, the graded 9.8 has sold for as much as $375, and the most recent sale was for $365 on December 19. That gives it a 30-day average of $321, which is in line with the FMV for the past year.

000052721D-1-Footer Coldest Comics: The Movie Spec Cycle Strikes Again*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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GQGuyforComics December 23, 2022 - 3:54 am

could it be possible the dip in price is brought about the reality of the market, how much faith people have in the market. people arent willing to spend anymore on comic books ? or what we actually can also conclude is due to the holidays and people are spending on something else … or could it be that those bud fox have just stop playing the game of wall street over the comic book market for now. i still go hunting and its much reality that anything on auction unless its a stan lee signed book or a rare book still gets a high bidding everything else is up for anything

Kenloi December 24, 2022 - 8:24 am

Hi Matt,i have asked this question before but i always thought the beginning night sequence of a Hulk dressed in ambient green night light was the Red Hulk when he shoots the Abomination in issue 1, when the mystery begins. Have re-read issue 1 and 2 and still none the wiser. Help!!!!!!!


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