The comic market is crashing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing global recession. The falling values for The Eternals #1-3 are indicative of what we can expect from the rest of the market going forward.
Between the Christmas Dip and now the coronavirus dismantling the global economy, the comic market is in disarray. When the hottest keys in comics are falling despite a major movie on the horizon, it speaks volumes about the rest of the market.
This time last year, Eternals #1-3 were the keys to have. After a year of rumors, Marvel Studios confirmed the movie was in production. Then came the full cast reveal, and from there, anything connected to the Eternals turned to gold.
Fast forward to the present. The world is in a state of emergency. Many people are out of work due to the pandemic, and most families are not including comics in their budgets, specifically high-priced keys. That has brought down values for those Eternals issues that had been inflated by the movie hype.
Breaking down the sales figures, what we see is a distinct drop in prices beginning in the middle of March when the coronavirus pandemic truly hit home.
Back in 2018, when the rumors were swirling around the impending movie, prices were on the way up but not too crazy. At a 9.8, Eternals #1 sold 83 times for a fair market value of $837. Then last year, 139 graded 9.8s traded hands online, reaching a record-high of $1,734 and ending the year with an astounding FMV of $1,155.
While many other issues were experiencing the Christmas Dip, the 9.8 held its high values. From January to early February, it didn’t sell for any less than $800, reaching as high as $1,450 on February 5. It stayed in the $900+ range until mid-March when the COVD-19 emergency took effect.
Since then, values have been on the decline. Although the 90-day FMV is over $900, the last four sales have been between $670 and $780, which is a far cry from those January-February figures. That gives it an average of $749 from March 24 to April 1. Despite the small data sample, that 9.8 is now at its lowest prices since 2017. As the pandemic continues to disrupt the market, it is only going to keep dropping.
The other grades are following the same pattern. Out of the 14 grades that have sold this year, only the 5.0 and the 5.5 have increased in value over the past three months, but even they are feeling the effects of the recession. No 5.0s have sold since March 8, and the last 5.5 to sell online was for $30, well below the 90-day average of $58.
The issue number may change, but the story is the same with Eternals #2.
The sales volume is still high for all three of today’s issues, but the values are falling dramatically. The 9.8 tells the tale for all this issue’s grades. It was only last summer that a near-mint-plus was fetching up to $1,100. Since March 15, values have dropped below $500.
The third issue from the original series has been the second-most popular Eternals key behind the team’s first appearance. Over the past year, it has been the tenth best-selling Bronze Age comic with over 450 recorded sales.
Like its brethren, it’s taken a hit from the global recession. Every grade sold in 2020 has lost significant value compared to last year’s numbers. Take the 9.8, for example. In 2019, it averaged over $600 across 80 sales, topping at $975. Since March 8, this has become a $300 comic. That is the lowest FMV it has seen in three years.
The case with the Eternals is eventually going to be that for virtually all key issues. The market is in a free fall because of the pandemic and recession. I will update you on more keys, but the story will be the same: the market is crashing.