Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the Rise

by Matt Tuck

Blog-3-300x300 Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the RiseWhat were collectors buying this week? Domino and Ironheart were high on many lists, but Rom: Space Knight and the Ninja Turtles’ Leonardo held their own. Welcome to the Hottest Comics for the week of March 17.

Before we jump into the data, remember that the Hottest Comics index is based on sales data for the previous week. Current prices and fair market values have no bearing on where a comic ranks on the list, though the two tend to parallel since the Hottest Comics is a snapshot of what comics collectors were after for the past seven days.

Which comics made the biggest moves this week? Better yet, why did they ascend the rankings? Let’s try to answer those questions.

X-Force-11-195x300 Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the Rise72. X-FORCE #11 (+928)

An interview this past week with Zazie Beetz has cast doubt on Domino returning for Deadpool 3. She told Collider that she has not had talks with anyone from Disney or even Marvel Studios, for that matter. However, her comments did not rule out her being added to the cast, though it does sound like there will be no Domino for Deadpool 3.

Despite this news, just having Zazie Beetz and all the Deadpool news in the press is having a positive impact on those key issues. Along with the surge for New Mutants #98 and New Mutants #87, X-Force #11 is receiving a huge push from the MCU hype. What makes this issue important is that it is the first appearance of Domino.

Hold on. Didn’t she debut in NM #98 with Deadpool? While that character was portrayed as Domino, it turned out to be the shape-shifting Copycat. The one, true Domino did not make her first appearance until X-Force #11. That is the issue’s biggest selling point, but it also featured the team debut of Weapon PRIME, namely Weapon X, Rictor, Yeti, and Tygerstryke. Who knows? Maybe we will see that ensemble on the screen someday.

Another likely reason this issue has gotten such a boost in sales is its price. For a near-perfect 9.8, the average is only $103, which is not bad for a first appearance of a character that has crossed into the mainstream spotlight. What helps keep the prices low is that this issue is often overlooked, since casual collectors tend to think of NM #98 as her first appearance. 

Iron-Man-1-2017-197x300 Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the Rise73. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 (+925)

Dominique Thorne will put on the mech suit and take on the role of Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, in her upcoming self-titled Disney+ series. While that is not exactly breaking news, the anticipation is enough to keep collectors gunning for Riri’s key issues. Aside from her first appearance in Invincible Iron Man #9, this is the issue to have. 

Besides it being the first comic series with Ironheart taking over the lead role, it is the first time collectors saw Ironheart in full costume on the front art. As we know, cover collecting has become an even bigger business in recent years, and those first cover appearances are rivaling even the first appearances. It makes sense that speculators and investors would target this particular issue. It doesn’t hurt that WandaVision’s huge success has brought major attention to all the upcoming Marvel Studios projects on Disney+. Factor in the “FOMO” (fear of missing out, in case you weren’t aware) effect, and it is a recipe for Invincible Iron Man #1 to become a huge speculative comic.

Now is a great time to pick up a copy for all the Ironheart speculators out there. The 9.8 standard cover currently has a 90-day average of $137, and the last sale was for $113 earlier this month. If Ironheart’s series is a hit with fans, then her first costumed cover appearance will assuredly get a boost from popularity. 

The bigger money is in the Jeff Dekal variant. That one, graded at a 9.8, is averaging $322, and the most recent sale netted an even $300. Once the Ironheart excitement permeates pop culture, the Dekal variant will get an immediate B12 injection.

ASM-55-2021-192x300 Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the Rise77. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #55 (+923)

Speaking of cover collecting, here you have the reigning king of cover art, Amazing Spider-Man #55

For those of you who don’t follow the modern comic trends, ASM #55 has been one of the most popular covers on the market all year. The artwork is by Patrick Gleason, and fans lost their collective minds over his “negatives.” The issue went to three printings, including red and electric blue versions. What makes these even more collectible is that he only sold the virgin variants (the ones without the trade information) through his personal website, which made collectors want them even more. Since the success of ASM #55, Gleason has created a Venom variant that is sure to be popular in its own right.

The first-print standard cover of ASM #55 comes with a respectable price tag, as it has averaged $126, but the higher prices come with those virgin variants from Gleason’s website. The first print has earned an FMV of $356, though the last sale was for $250 on March 13, so prices could be on the way down. 

Rom-1-1979-199x300 Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the Rise83. ROM: SPACE KNIGHT #1 (+917)

It is a case of “the little Space Knight that could.”

Even though there is no news on the movie or television front, ROM fans are holding onto the idea that he will eventually come to live-action. At one point, there was talk of Hasbro combining its properties into a Marvel-style cinematic universe, which would have meant an eventual crossover between ROM and Transformers. That apparently fell apart, but it has not quieted the outcry for ROM to join the world of live-action. Those continuing rumors and fan push is what keeps this issue inside the top-100 Hottest Comics week after week. 

The 1979 kickoff to the original ROM series is commanding a hefty price these days. For the past three months, Rom: Space Knight #1 has averaged $370 for a 9.8, but one copy brought an eye-popping $504 on March 14, which is edging closer to last year’s high of $588. 

Leonardo-1 Hottest Comics 3/18: ROM, Ironheart, & Domino on the Rise89.  LEONARDO: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE #1 (+911)

All those TMNT keys published in the Mirage days have been tied to a rocket. Not only are the traditional keys like the six printings of TMNT #1 and other early TMNT issues getting a boost in popularity, but the turtles’ solo adventures are on the move as well. Both Leonardo and Raphael’s first issues have been hot sellers lately, and Leo #1 is the fifth-biggest mover among the top 1,001 comics for the past week.

What has made TMNT fans so excited? That would be the latest Ninja Turtles story, The Last Ronin. This series has been getting stellar reviews, and it has rejuvenated the TMNT franchise, at least in the comics, that is. Will we see Last Ronin translated onto either the big or small screen? With the Ninja Turtles’ hold on pop culture for the past four decades, it would not be inconceivable for that to happen, though it may be too mature for mainstream TMNT fans. 

March has been a huge month for 1986’s Leo #1. The 9.8 has only sold four times this year, and each sale was from this month. The first was for $600 on March 10, then another brought $700 on March 12. The last two sales, both on March 13, have seen Leo #1 make slow down slightly, with one earning $590 and the other bringing $550.

If you aren’t willing to part with $500+ for a Leo #1, opt for the 9.2, which is still averaging less than $100. 

Thus wraps another installment of the weekly Hottest Comics chat. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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