Once again, DC Fandome has lit a fire under the DCEU, and collectors are on the move for those coveted key issues. First on that list is Black Adam.
If there is any Hollywood actor born to play a superhero, it’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s already got the super physique that no muscle suit can compete with. On top of that, he is one of the most recognizable action stars in the world today, and his action-comedies are among the highest-grossing blockbusters in the business. Put that together, and it is the perfect formula for a superhero film.
While there was plenty of talk of him joining the MCU, WarnerMedia made him a spectacular offer, and he is set to bring one of the most underrated characters in all of the DC Universe to life: Black Adam.
After Fandome’s teaser trailer that showcased Johnson in full costume, get ready for big sales for those Bronze Age Black Adam keys. Remember that he debuted in 1945’s Marvel Family #1, which automatically puts those prices on a pedestal. Luckily for those of us on smaller budgets, DC has us covered.
Unofficially, Black Adam made his second appearance and first cover appearance in 1964’s Alter Ego #7. However, this is a fan magazine, which means it isn’t recognized as a true key issue in the grand scheme. Still, it’s an interesting addition to any collection, and it earns a respectable price tag for something fan-made.
The highest graded copy ever sold was a 9.0, and two of those have traded hands in the past year. The first sale was in September 2020, and it brought $900. The most recent transaction for that particular grade saw another copy sell for $1,500 in May.
The real sign of things to come could lie with the 8.5, which sold for $1,695 in June only a year after bringing $700. In August, an 8.0 sold for $1,375.
Thirteen years after Black Adam’s unofficial second appearance in Alter Ego, the Ancient Egyptian prince made his official return to the canonical world of Shazam. Following the demise of Fawcett Comics, DC bought the publishing rights to Captain Marvel and his family of characters, and Black Adam was reborn in 1977’s Shazam! #28.
Since this is the official second appearance and cover debut of Black Adam, the price spikes dramatically compared to Alter Ego #7. A 9.8 sold on Saturday for just shy of $7k. Meanwhile, a 9.4 sold for a record $1,850 the next day.
Also on Sunday, a 9.2 obliterated its 2020 record when one buyer dropped $1,300 on a copy. Before this year, it had never sold for more than $425.
What makes this issue special is the cover art. The spectacular scene showcases Black Adam’s strength as he battles both Captain Marvel and Superman at the same time. Will we see this play out in a movie? There have been rumors of Henry Cavill donning the S to go toe-to-toe with Johnson’s Black Adam, but that is in doubt considering Cavill and WarnerMedia are reportedly on the outs. Still, the prospect of the two squaring off on the silver screen is too tantalizing not to add this issue to your collections.
On April 29, a 9.8 sold for a record $1,051, though the last copy sold for $787 in September. With the hype for Black Adam growing, those Superman rumors should intensify, leading to record sales for DC Comics Presents #49. At the moment, there are some affordable options to be found. A 9.4 sold for less than $200 over the weekend, and a 9.2 brought $157 on Saturday.
There is so much to love about those Black Adam keys at the moment. With Johnson bringing the character to live-action, it elevates him in the eyes of mainstream audiences. Comic fans have known just how amazing Black Adam can be both as a villain and as an amoral anti-hero. When the world gets a taste of what he can do, look for records to fall left and right.