COVID-19 Fallout: The Eternals

by Matt Tuck

Eternals_v4-202x300 COVID-19 Fallout: The EternalsThe 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.

Eternals-1-194x300 COVID-19 Fallout: The EternalsETERNALS #1

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.

Eternals-2-193x300 COVID-19 Fallout: The EternalsETERNALS #2

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.

 

 

 

 

Eternals-3-198x300 COVID-19 Fallout: The EternalsETERNALS #3

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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.

 

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4 comments

Jason S April 5, 2020 - 1:52 am

Since D23 last July, Issue #5 was selling better than #2 and for a time, issue #3.To use Eternals as a market indicator is faulty. Eternals is a strange book; the IP is hardly well-known amongst casual fans. Consider the larger market
of all movie-based speculation, not just the lens of one series before you make the claim that the market is crashing. Here in early April, sales are still brisk for many. Will that change? Probably, but we’re not there yet.

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Jeff Meyer April 5, 2020 - 8:29 am

I’d caution collectors to dive into their niche before jumping on the “market is crashing” bandwagon. Yes, those books that have been in BOTH high demand and high supply are felling the impact of the virus. However, the books I personally collect – Golden Age rarities – seem to be on an overall rise. Those people who invest as opposed to buy/sell on speculation seem to be moving money out of the seemingly virtual assets of the stock markets and into more tangible ones. Granted, these are generally books that fetch at least $1,000 or more, but those markets are feeling almost too strong right now. In simple economic terms, the Golden Age comics have always been in extremely low supply compared to other ages (do some census studying and your mind will be blown at just how little the supply actually is in comparison to even Silver Age). Low supply means even a slight upward shift in demand can cause prices to rise.

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Curt April 5, 2020 - 12:49 pm

Good post, Im sure there will be some market correction,…..to be sure. A lot of it depends on how long the virus hangs around and how soon there may be a vaccine available for it.,…..and Im quite sure the powers that be are hard at work on same,…..

When I was in my last auction, I noticed for low supply, higher demand items the price seemed to not really fall too much yet anyway.,….

Its hard for me to comment on newer material because I don’t buy much of it,….golden age sure, silver age kinda’ picky, bronze even pickier, after that far and few between for me in terms of demand.

I would think that the best idea is to ride it out,….to sell due to panic isn’t usually the best idea

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Paul April 5, 2020 - 10:22 pm

If you believe that there will be no effect in the short term value of comics when some individuals have no personal savings and do not have any immediate method of making money, then there is not much I can do to persuade you. There certainly will be a massive sell off of comics in the immediate future, and I would expect that there will be a rush to sell anything that is in demand as the sale price of both keys and speculator issues. There is really no one to say how bad the economy will get, and you’ll be wishing that you’d gotten FMV out of your books while you had the chance.

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