Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah’s al Guhl

by Matt Tuck

062421A_FB-1-300x158 Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al GuhlDylan Brock’s turn as Venom shot his key issues to new heights, but an MCU rumor about RDJ kept Iron Man #1 hot on the symbiote’s trail. Get ready for a breakdown of the week’s hottest comics!

It’s no shock that the Dylan Brock keys dominated the headlines this past week. With Donny Cates’ finale to his epic Venom run, Eddie Brock accepted his new responsibilities as the God of Symbiotes and passed the Venom mantle to his son, Dylan. That has made Dylan’s keys among the most coveted of modern comics. Not only did it land his first two appearances in the #1 and #2 overall spots, but the secret variant for Venom #7 gained the most positions.

What are the Hottest Comics all about? We break down the true movers and shakers of the market and feature the five comics that showed the most growth in the past seven days. Don’t forget that these are based on sales volume, not fair market value.

Venom-7-secret-variant-202x300 Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al Guhl15. VENOM #7 SECRET VARIANT (+984)

The race has been on for Dylan’s key issues, which mostly come down to his first cameo and first full appearances. That sparks the cameo versus full appearance debate, and it is one that won’t be resolved here.

In this issue, readers met Dylan under the guise of Eddie’s younger brother. It was later revealed that Dylan was Eddie’s child, but the Venom symbiote erased all memories of the boy. That left Dylan to be raised by Eddie’s abusive father. While visiting his childhood home, Eddie runs across what he thought was his long-lost brother, Dylan, in Venom #7.

The bigger sales volume belongs to the standard edition simply because there are more copies on the market, but the secret variant could prove to be the real jewel. Marvel likes to sneak these in from time to time, commissioning a variant that is only slightly different from the original cover art. In this case, Marvel added Venom’s tongue to the cover art and did not notify the comic shops of its existence, making this a needle in the haystack to find.

To give perspective on the secret variant’s value, let’s first look at the standard edition. With all the Dylan hoopla, the 9.8 has quickly become a $160 comic based on recent sales; earlier this year, it consistently sold for less than $100. Then there is the secret variant, which at a 9.8 has been earning over $200 with no indication of slowing down unless Dylan completely drops the Venomized ball. Will this book be on the Hottest Comics list next week?

Iron-Man-1-199x300 Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al Guhl16. IRON MAN #1 (+983)

Nipping at Venom’s heels comes the original Iron Man self-titled series from 1968.

The Shell Head’s name is being tossed around the MCU circles as of late. First, there are two Iron Man-related Disney+ series on the way: Armor Wars and Ironheart. The latter has been getting plenty of attention thanks to the casting of Riri Williams. That has produced a new rumor that Robert Downey, Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark for Ironheart…sort of. The speculation is that he will voice Riri’s AI, essentially having RDJ take over the Jarvis-type role as a sassy AI voice.

Whether or not that is even slightly true is anyone’s guess at this point, but it has seemingly spurred interest in the Iron Man #1. This week, it was only one spot shy of tying for the single hottest comic on the market.

The most eye-catching sale for an Iron Man #1 came just last week when a near-perfect 9.6 sold for $7,500. While that is not a new record, it only fell short by $300. 

With prices that high for the upper grades, it is no wonder that the best selling grade has been the 5.0. Over the past 12 months, it has sold 33 times for an average of $475. However, the recent sales are pushing that FMV much higher after one brought $645 on June 19. Just a month prior, there was a record-breaking $675 sale, giving this one a 90-day average of $622.

X-Men-1-silver-age-198x300 Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al Guhl21. X-MEN #1 (+978)

There has not been any new X-Men news to report, but that has not diminished the X-hysteria that we’ve seen all year. This past spring, there was a rumor that an X-Men MCU movie was in development under the working title, “The Mutants,” but that was never addressed by Kevin Feige. Then there was the “Bohner” troll on fans in WandaVision when Evan Peters seemingly brought the Fox X-Men’s Quicksilver to the MCU. Past that, all has been quiet on the X-front.

Rest assured, there will be news about the X-Men’s MCU future sometime in the coming months. That is why so many collectors are stockpiling their X-Men keys, and they don’t come any bigger than X-Men #1. 

This is a holy grail among collectors with the price tags to prove it. Back in April, an 8.5 traded hands for a record-breaking $78k; the previous record had been $56k set last year. More recently, a 7.0 sold for $49,200 on June 19, obliterating the former record of $23,600. 

The most popular grade since June 2020 has been the 4.0, selling 20 times in the past 12 months. Like its predecessors, it, too, broke a record when it sold for $24,000 on June 21.

x-men-1-300x156 Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al Guhl27. X-MEN VOL. 2 #1 COLLECTOR’S EDITION (+973)

Speaking of the X-Men, one of their all-time most popular covers has risen through the ranks this week. This is one of several variants printed for 1991’s record holder for the best-selling comic ever published. Of course, there were plenty of copies printed, so it makes sense that this would sell in such high volume.

Oft imitated but never duplicated, this is the epitome of the Jim Lee era of the X-Men. To this day, it finds its way onto t-shirts and posters. That’s for good reason as it is a masterpiece of comic art that showcases each hero in a foldout cover that is simply breathtaking.

With so many copies of X-Men Vol. 2 #1 Collector’s Edition floating across the secondary market, this one is not hard to find. That being said, only the 9.8s seem to be making any real money. The last seven sales have all been for $100+, and there was a record-breaking $200 sale earlier this year.

Batman232-198x300 Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al Guhl

39. BATMAN #232 (+961)

To all you buyers out there, you had great taste this week. This round’s Hottest Comics featured some of legendary names of the industry: Jack Kirby, Jim Lee, Gene Colan, and now Neal Adams. 

Adams’ DC covers from the Silver and Bronze Ages are stunning and set the tone for artists to come for decades. His takes on Batman and Superman haul in seriously high prices for the upper grades, but even his work on non-keys is worth having in your collections. This particular issue features the first appearance of Rah’s al Guhl, and he can even be seen on the cover, which is a bonus for collectors.

To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t anything necessarily new happening with Rah’s, but he is an enduring Batman villain who never fails to match wits with the world’s greatest detective. Who knows? He could appear in the upcoming The Batman film series. If we do see more of Rah’s al Guhl on the big screen, then we can expect to see plenty of records being shattered.

As far as sales, a 9.8 Batman #232 sold for an astounding $18k less than a week ago. By comparison, the 9.4 that sold for $2,200 on June 17 seems like a bargain. Even better is the 5.5, which brought $375 on June 6.

What do you think about this week’s Hottest Comics breakdown? Did you see anything that surprised you? Let us know in the comments!

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052721D-1footer Hottest Comics 6/24: Venom, X-Men, and Rah's al Guhl

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Steve June 25, 2021 - 8:58 pm


I enjoyed your column.

My question is why hasn’t Lucifer taken off? The show is very good, and the comic was great!!

Why has this not reflected in the comic values??

Matt Tuck June 28, 2021 - 4:57 pm

I think it’s easy to forget the connection between the show and the comics. That’s my best guess, anyway.


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