Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin

by Matt Tuck

090221B-300x158 Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and HobgoblinGambit made a surge through the rankings with his first appearance raking up almost 1,000 spots to claim the top title of the week. Welcome to our Hottest Comics analysis!

What are the Hottest Comics? Using updated sales data from the mother of all auction sites, eBay, these are the 1,001 best-selling single issues for the past week. Beside each overall ranking, you will find the number of positions moved over a seven-day span. Which movers and shakers showed the most forward momentum? It’s time for your weekly top five hottest comics.

Uncanny-X-Men-266-193x300 Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin9. UNCANNY X-MEN #266 (+991)

Sooner or later, Gambit will get his solo movie. There have been rumors of a Remy LeBeau flick for years now, dating back to before the Fox sale. Back then, the word on the internet was that Gambit would be played by Channing Tatum under the Fox banner. Mercifully, that idea was sent to the dumpster when Disney took over the X-Men movie franchise. 

Over the years, Gambit has become one of the most popular X-Men. His seductive charm and street smarts combined with the stereotypical accent have made him a star since X-Men: the Animated Series took him to the mainstream. It’s no wonder that the rumors never cease of him coming to the MCU in his very own starring role. But for the love of Chris Claremont, please don’t let it be Channing Tatum doing a Cajun accent. 

Surprisingly, UXM #266 has not been as hot as it was last year. Despite the increased attention on all things X-Men, 2020’s record high $1,700 sale for a 9.8 has not been approached. After staying over $1k since March 11, August saw the sales take a slight dip below the four-figure mark. However, the most recent sale of $1,100 and $1,079  on August 30-31 brought it back to $1k territory.

ASM-238-198x300 Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin16. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238 (+983)

It is no surprise that an ASM comic found its way into the top-five movers and shakers list. With all the hysteria coming from the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, it has made virtually all the classic Spidey keys major sellers on the market. Of course, these were always solid keys with consistent monthly sales, but the No Way Home buzz has strapped a rocket to practically anything tied to the new movie and the Sinister Six.

In the trailer, we clearly see Doctor Octopus straight from the Sony-Verse before seeing a pumpkin bomb and hearing Willem Dafoe’s iconic Green Goblin laugh. If the Green Goblin is featured in the trailer, then why would the first appearance of the Hobgoblin be zooming to the top of the hottest comics charts? 

Rumor has it that Ned Leeds actor Jacob Batalon lost over 100 pounds and is in terrific shape after filming his initial scenes for No Way Home. Marvel Studios is notoriously strict about their franchise actors’ physical appearances. The theory appearing on gossip sites across the Marvel fandom is that Batalon was getting in shape to make his transition to the Hobgoblin. If you recall, the original Hobgoblin story, which was later retconned, had Ned take on the villainous persona. 

Could it be that Batalon’s Ned will follow his comic roots? That rumor has buyers tracking down the first appearance of Hobgoblin in droves. The trick is to find copies with the removable tattoo pack that was attached to the original ASM #238s. At a 9.8, the direct edition with the tattoos earned a whopping $4,100 in June. As with most comics, the values began to dip through July and much of August. The recent trailer has given it a boost; the most recent sale was for a respectable $2,880, though it is still a long way from June’s record setter. 

asm-238-newsstand-198x300 Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin17. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238 NEWSSTAND EDITION (+982)

The Hobgoblin rumors are so rampant that it sent buyers on a spending spree for not only the direct edition of ASM #238 but the newsstand edition as well. 

For the uninitiated, the newsstand copies are harder to find in higher grades, which makes them generally more coveted. In decades past, comic publishers sold copies directly to the comic shops, hence direct editions, and to businesses that typically sold magazines, like grocery stores and newsstands. These would carry a barcode rather than a picture in the lower left-hand corner of the cover. 

When you buy from a local comic shop, you expect the owner to understand the collecting hobby and take care of the issues to keep them in mint condition. You also expect buyers to know how to be gentle when browsing. Then there are the newsstands and the general public. Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public didn’t view comics as collectibles that needed delicate touches in 1983. On the contrary, many of the copies on the grocery store and newsstand shelves were roughly handled, leaving them with color-breaking bends, spine stress, etc. That is why getting your hands on a high-grade newsstand edition can be such a challenge, hence the higher prices.

At a 9.8, the newsstand ASM #238 has been on a blistering pace in 2021 mostly due to those aforementioned rumors. Records have been falling month after month, and the latest sale was for an impressive $5,800. Have a newsstand that isn’t quite a 9.8? Fear not because even a 9.0 is still earning $500 or more.

Star-Wars-78-197x300 Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin18. STAR WARS #78 (+982)

Those Star Wars comics are not losing their popularity among buyers. For the past year, the franchise has dominated the market with even the smallest of keys suddenly inflating in value to ridiculous levels. Most of the attention has been centered on anything remotely tied to The Mandalorian, but the announcement of more Star Wars content coming to Disney+ opened the rest of the field. 

This issue is not a first appearance, but it does feature a longtime fan-favorite character in an early solo adventure. Here we have Wedge Antilles on a mission to Hoth, the same ice planet from the opening of Empire Strikes Back. With Rogue Squadron set to debut in 2023, there is a good chance that inspiration for the episodes could come from the comics. What’s more is that the X-Wing pilot-focused series could put a bigger spotlight on Wedge, which fans have wanted for four decades now.

When word of Rogue Squadron was first spreading, it caused an immediate spike for those Wedge keys. Here you have the character on the cover art. It was earning as much as $200 for a 9.8 this past January. Just like the rolling hills of Hoth, the FMVs have cooled. The last sale was for a more reasonable $61 on August 26.

Oblivion-Song-1-194x300 Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin21. OBLIVION SONG #1 (+978)

The movie news kept rocking and rolling last week. This time, however, it was not the MCU or the DCEU grabbing the headlines. Robert Kirkman’s Oblivion Song from Skybound Entertainment and Image Comics was optioned for a live-action treatment with Spider-Man: Far From Home Mysterio actor Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. While many properties remain in development limbo for years, it appears Oblivion Song will get on the fast track. After all, this is a Kirkman property, the same name behind The Walking Dead, Invincible, and Outcast. Those hits give him plenty of clout in Hollywood. It doesn’t hurt that an A-list star is reportedly committed to playing the lead role. It has made for a fast-paced market for the 2018 first issue.

After the live-action news, the standard edition has been burning up the sales charts. Going into 2021, the high sale had been $125 for a 9.8 from 2018. As soon as the movie announcement made the social media rounds, that record was obliterated multiple times over, landing on a new mark of $260 on August 26.

Why do YOU think these books claimed spots on this week’s hottest comics list? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

00080221C_Green-Footer Hottest Comics 9/2: Gambit and Hobgoblin

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