The key of X-Men keys led the pack with nearly 1,000 positions gained in the past week, and it brought Thanos, Doctor Strange, and Deathstroke along for the ride. This is a weekly update so if you missed out on last week’s article, check it out.
HOTTEST COMICS BIGGEST MOVERS: OUT WITH THE NEW (MOSTLY)
Lately, the Hottest Comics have mostly been newer issues that get a rub from movie and television news. This week, four classic keys overtook the spotlight, moving over 900 spots each. Given the high prices for some of these issues, it shows that collectors and investors were willing to invest heavily in proven market winners.
Let’s dive into the data for a more in-depth look.
For most X-Men fans, this may not be the original X-Men comic, but it is the first appearance of the real team. Before introducing Wolverine (in his second full and fourth overall appearance), Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler to the team, the X-Men were on the chopping block. This lineup effectively saved the team and kicked off the Chris Claremont era that was soon to follow. This is arguably the single most important comic of the Bronze Age as it effectively changed Marvel Comics history.
The X-Men keys have been hot for the past year now. This comes from a combination of MCU rumors to Jonathan Hickman’s reinventing the franchise in his current run. When it comes to X-keys, this is at the top of any true X-fan’s list.
What’s truly impressive with GSX #1’s leaps and bounds this week is that it happened despite its lofty price tag. With “holy grail” issues, the values normally are so high that it keeps many collectors at bay. In the case of Giant-Size, that price tag was not a deterrent.
This year, we are seeing record sales figures for GSX #1. For those who like to dream big, there is the 9.8, which brought $19,200 in September. That is nearly $6k beyond the 2019 high sale of $13,800. In fact, the 9.8 has surpassed last year’s mark four times since April.
The best seller over the past 90 days has been the 7.0, selling 11 times in that span. Two years ago, this was a $900 comic on average. This year its fair market value has swelled to a $2,211 three-month FMV. On September 28, one sold for a record-high $3,050.
The pride of my personal comic collection is my GSX #1 graded at a 4.0. Water stains and all, this comic is showing just what a behemoth it really is. Whereas it was a $576 comic in 2018, it has averaged $1,228 in the past 90 days. The last one to trade hands online had a price tag of $1,300 on October 7, and it reached a new high of $1,490 a month prior. Even a lowly 1.0 sold for $850 last month. That tells you the entire story of this comic’s popularity.
Personally, I feel the market is flooded with homage/cover swipes, but there are apparently many collectors who disagree with me. Paying tribute to the iconic Todd McFarlane artwork for the original 1990 Spider-Man #1 cover, Clayton Crain adds his take to the facsimile edition from Scorpion Comics. And let’s face it, Clayton Crain’s art simply doesn’t miss.
As with most of Crain’s art, fans are clamoring for these beauties.
There is not much sales data for this particular edition due to it being so new. Still, the trade dress for the Scorpion Comics edition has only sold once at a 9.8, and it was for an eye-catching $110. The “virgin” edition has done much better. That variant has sold six times this year with a high of $220.
While the Scorpion Comics edition may be the most popular this week, it is not alone in the rankings. The standard cover Spider-Man #1 facsimile edition moved up 927 spots to take over the 72nd position. Then there’s the original standard edition of 1990’s Spider-Man #1, and it happens to be in the sixth overall position, which goes to show how much fans love McFarlane’s take on Spidey.
48. DOCTOR STRANGE #169 (+951)
Aside from the hype surrounding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he is confirmed for the third installment in the Spider-Man: Homecoming series. Both of these movie appearances are adding kindling to the rumors that the MCU is taking a page from the DCEU and Doctor Strange will lead an adventure into multiple timelines across Marvel’s alternate universes.
What it all comes to is that collectors are eying those Doctor Strange keys. While Strange Tales #110 may be far out of reach for most fans, this is the next best thing. In Doc Strange #169, you get a retelling of his origin story penned by the legendary Roy Thomas.
This issue took a dip in FMV last year, but it has been recovering in recent months. Most grades have been on the rebound and are above the 12-month average. The 7.0 has been the most popular grade since this time last year, selling 24 times. A year ago, it averaged $231, but it has risen to $267 over the past 90 days.
Looking for something even cheaper? Take aim at some of the lower grades. A good candidate is the 4.0, which sold for less than $100 in October. If you don’t mind sacrificing the grade, that is a low-risk gamble for a low-grade comic.
49. IRON MAN #55 (+950)
Before Thanos met his demise at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man #55 was one of the most popular Bronze Age comics on the market. Thanos had gained an immense following among hardcore and mainstream fans alike with an excellent portrayal by Josh Brolin. Thanos was such a great adversary that his death was sadder than Iron Man’s, in my humble opinion.
These days, his first appearance is finally showing signs of life, but I suspect it is not because of Thanos. Instead, this is more related to his brother, Eros. The Mad Titan’s sibling has been confirmed for The Eternals, and it has generated interest in what had been a declining comic.
Thanks to that tidbit, Iron Man #55 is back in business. While no grade has reached its 2018 FMV, most are faring well in their 90-day averages. Compared to the 12-month FMVs, a dozen have improved on average.
Want one? The 7.5, which has sold 33 times in 12 months, has been the most popular grade. It is currently averaging $667 although it had a $755 FMV two years ago. If you need something cheaper, consider opting for the 3.0. This low grade has fallen below the $300 on average for the first time about five years.
51. NEW TEEN TITANS #2 (+948)
The first appearance of Deathstroke, this is one of the most consistent DC keys. That is credited to the popularity of the coldblooded, one-eyed mercenary. Now that seemingly everything from the Justice League movie-verse is back on the table, there is a surplus of rumors circling Slade Wilson. Will Joe Manganiello suit up in the Zack Snyder JL? Will there be a live-action Deathstroke movie? It’s questions like these that keep Teen Titans #2 on so many wish lists across the comic community.
There was more excitement for this issue two years ago, but things are beginning to turn around. A solid investment would be the 7.0. This mid-grade beauty is averaging $123, but its most recent sale was for just $78 on October 11. That is a steal for this key at that quality.