Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the Show

by Matt Tuck

052621A_Blog-300x300 Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the ShowBlack Cat stole the show this week as her first appearance in a newsstand edition picked up nearly 1,000 spots in the Hottest Comics rankings.

The Hottest Comics are not about fair market values, though the biggest movers tend to have rising FMVs. Instead, this list is all about the total sales volume for a given week. It presents a snapshot of where collectors were investing their money, and it can help you target the comics you should be keeping an eye on.

On that note, let’s take a closer look at the top movers and shakers for the week of May 26.

4759941-192x300 Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the Show29. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194 (Newsstand) (+971)

Collectors can’t decide whether they do or don’t want Amazing Spider-Man #194. One week it has huge sales, and the next week, it falls flat. Is it a Hottest Comics club member or not?

What makes this comic special is that it was the first appearance of Black Cat. Odds are, we will see her on the big screen at some point in the future, but there are no talks of that happening anytime soon. That is, unless those old Silver & Black movie rumors suddenly stir up again.

For a time, Sony was moving ahead with a Silver Sable/Black Cat team-up movie that lasted for years. Slowly but surely, the Silver & Black chatter died down until Sony officially canned the project in favor of a Silk live-action film. However, since January, there has been talk of a Black Cat/Silver Sable/Spider-Woman/Jack Pot movie in development, so that helps this comic gain traction.

As evidenced by this week’s sales volume, collectors are preparing for Black Cat’s inevitable live-action debut. It wasn’t just any copy of ASM #194 that climbed the ladder of success. This was the more-rare newsstand edition, which is particularly hard to find in a higher grade. These days, any of the old newsstands are worth collecting, but that is doubly true when it is a first appearance.

Every grade from a 4.0 to a 9.8 has been sold this year, so it is clearly a popular choice. The highest grade that has traded hands this month is the 9.4. That particular newsstand sold for $960 on May 17. Later that same day, another copy brought $800. Just below that, a 9.2 brought $615 on May 18.

Watchmen-1-200x300 Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the Show34. WATCHMEN #1 (+966)

I wonder how much of this has to do with Regina King being named the director for the Bitter Root movie adaptation? If you recall, King was the breakout star of HBO’s Watchmen series that expanded on the original Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons masterpiece from 1986. The show was an overwhelming critical success that also earned the praise from classic Watchmen fans as well. With King’s name firmly entrenched in Watchmen lore, it would stand to reason that having her tied to another comic movie would bring attention back to the Watchmen comics. There is also a rumor that Watchmen will be getting a second season despite initial reports that this was a one-and-done.

It doesn’t hurt things that DC has found success with Tom King’s current run on Rorschach. After Doomsday Clock and with Rorschach having his own series, it leaves us wondering when the likes of the Comedian and Doctor Manhattan will return to the DC multiverse. In fact, Manhattan was an indirect piece of Dark Nights Death Metal when the Batman Who Laughs became the Darkest Knight by putting his brain in a Bruce Wayne/Doctor Manhattan from an alternate dimension.

Watchmen #1 has been a beast lately. On May 24, a 9.8 reached a new record after selling for $998. The next day, another copy brought a respectable $950. In fact, that 9.8 has not sold for less than $935 all month. The bigger seller, though, has been the 9.6, and it has a much cheaper price tag for all you Watchmen fans out there. Over 24 sales in the past 90 days, it has an FMV of $195, but it has surpassed the $300 mark twice since April, so the values are on the rise here, too.

Adeventures-of-Superman-500-196x300 Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the Show38. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500 (962)

As the Death of Superman and the Reign of the Supermen reach their thirtieth birthdays, the two stories stand as icons of the 1990s. While neither was a literary masterpiece, they remain fun testaments to the decade of excess. At least, in the comic world. We have the record-breaking Superman #75 with its infamous polybagged variants before Clark Kent returned from the dead with a mullet (but without powers). That left the field open for a new Man of Steel and introduced the world to Steel, Eradicator, Conner Kent/Superboy, and my personal favorite, Cyborg Superman. 

With former Superboy, Jonathan Kent, taking over as Superman in the current comics, the first appearance of Conner Kent could be getting a boost from that attention despite these being separate characters. Another possibility with Adventures of Superman #500’s sudden rise in popularity could be from the obscure character, White Rabbit, Angora Lapin, though I am not familiar with any new rumors concerning her. As DC follows Marvel’s example and mines the obscure characters for live-action heroes, it is not out of the realm of possibility that we could see her either in a movie or perhaps in an upcoming DCEU series.

There has been a noticeable rise in the 9.8’s values lately. On May 25, one sold for $100 after an April 30 sale netted a year high of $130. The collector’s edition reached a new record high when a 9.8 brought $145 on May 18.

FF-10-201x300 Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the Show40. FANTASTIC FOUR #10 (+959)

I would bet that the prime reason Fantastic Four #10 burst onto the scene this week is tied to the never-ending Doctor Doom gossip. 

With the Fantastic Four family of characters under the Disney banner and an MCU movie in the works, it is hard to imagine Marvel’s original flagship team without Doom throwing up roadblocks. That has spawned numerous rumors of when and how the good doctor will enter the MCU with fan castings galore on the internet. It also has propelled his first appearance in Fantastic Four #5 to new heights.

With FF #5 becoming more expensive by the day, it sends collectors on a scavenger hunt for some of his other key issues. Here in FF #10, we get Doom’s third overall appearance, and he actually confronts one of his co-creators, Jack Kirby, in the pages. The 1960s were a strange time for comics.

The most popular grade for the past 12 months has been the 4.0, which has sold nine times with an FMV of $349. With the Doom rumors, it has gained momentum lately, and the most recent sale was for a record-high $445 on May 18.

journey_into_mystery_103-200x300 Hottest Comics 5/27: Black Cat Steals the Show41. JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #103 (+958)

One of the more popular rumors floating across the internet has it that Enchantress will make her live-action debut in the Loki Disney+ series. Since the Silver Age, she has been a staple of the Thor comics. Many theorists thought she would have made her debut in Thor: Ragnarok alongside her significant other, Skurge. Of course, Enchantress also has eyes for Thor, and it sends her into fits of jealousy aimed at Jane Foster. Then there’s Skurge, who is pretty much friend-zoned at that point.

With all the Loki gossip, it makes sense that Journey Into Mystery #103 would be a rocket in the Hottest Comics. Here we have the first appearances of both Enchantress and Skurge. So far, the highest grade sold this month has been the 9.0, and it brought $3,120 on May 16. For the past 90 days, the best seller has been the 6.5, which has traded hands six times for an average of $723 in that span. On May 17, an $835 sale set a new record high.

What do you think about this week’s Hottest Comics list? Let us know in the comments!

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