Hottest Comics: Cable’s First Appearance Edges Out Hulk #181 and FF #48

by Matt Tuck

012523B-1024x536 Hottest Comics: Cable's First Appearance Edges Out Hulk #181 and FF #48It was a crowded field in the Hottest Comics as Cable’s first appearance managed to edge past two Marvel holy grails as this week’s biggest mover.

Before we climb into the list, let’s take a moment to remind you what these numbers are all about. Taken from eBay’s live data, the Hottest Comics rank the 100 top-selling single issues on the site. That includes both raw and graded copies from every publisher, giving you a snapshot of collectors and investors’ buying habits. While profits may be the force behind the secondary market, this list is focused on the sales volume, so the fair market values take a backseat here.

35. NEW MUTANTS #87 (+61)

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Coming straight out of left field, it’s Scott Summers’ time-traveling son, Cable. To the best of my knowledge, there’s no talk of him joining the MCU. Despite the lack of gossip, Deadpool 3 is rumored to introduce the X-Men to the cinematic Marvel-616. With time travel and dimension hopping abounding across all the Marvel projects, it clearly leaves a gap wide enough for Cable to slip through. Although it’s hard to picture him arriving to battle Kang the Conqueror, there’s nothing that says it couldn’t happen. Who wouldn’t love to see Cable arrive to kick the crap out of the time lord?

Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have been playing up their bromance for years, and the Deadpool-Wolverine friendship/rivalry will be at the film’s center. However, the plot elements would practically beg for at least a Cable cameo. That leaves fans crossing their fingers that Josh Brolin will arrive, and the theater would erupt for a quick Wolverine-Cable brawl. 

If the mutant time-traveler is confirmed for Deadpool 3, all of his key issues will get a quick spike. Of course, New Mutants #87 will be at the top of that list. Sure, his first meeting with Wolverine will come along for the ride, but the all-important first appearance will be the main key to own. Want to roll the dice on a 9.8? The FMVs are on the rise, but only slightly. Three months ago, it averaged $569, but that has moved to $596 over the past 30 days, which puts it back in line with the 12-month $615 FMV.

37. FANTASTIC FOUR #67 (+52)

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Sliding into second place among the movers and shakers is no surprise at all. Over the past week, Marvel has released more still shots of Will Poulter in full Adam Warlock mode. He looks fairly comics accurate, which should delight longtime fans of the golden god. No doubt, it’s the new images that have buyers on the prowl for those Warlock keys. Surprisingly, it’s not Thor #165 featuring his first cover and full appearance that’s made the biggest leaps and bounds. Instead, collectors and investors opted for his original cameo appearance in FF #67.

Between the two keys, Thor #165 traditionally brings the higher values. As is so often the case, that initial cover appearance is the real selling point with those early character moments. Naturally, that puts Thor’s first run-in with Warlock, who was then known as HIM, ahead of FF #67. However, it’s the price difference that is likely propelling the latter. 

The highest grade of FF #67 to sell this month has been the 9.2, which last sold for $2,280. Compare with a 9.2 Thor #165, which has averaged $3,180 over the past year, and you can see the picture.

28. INCREDIBLE HULK #181 (+44)

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When a holy grail sees a jump in sales, it’s always worth noting. With some of the most famous high prices of all the Bronze Age key issues, for Hulk #181 to climb by over 40 positions is a sight to behold. 

This will forever and always be one of the most popular collectibles on the secondary market. Why wouldn’t it be? This is the first cover and first full appearance of Wolverine. He’s such a popular character that any mention of him in live action is enough to inspire a new round of sales. The surprise return of Jackman in the role for Deadpool 3 has ignited the latest sales trend, and it has landed Hulk #181 on this week’s movers and shakers as a result. 

Again, it’s remarkable simply because of the holy grail prices. It’s been years since you could buy the lowest of low-grade, complete copies for under $1,000. In fact, a 1.8 brought over $1,500 in the past 30 days. If you’re in the market for the complete opposite end of the spectrum, here’s an interesting development. The last 9.8 to trade hands online sold for $69,000 on January 16. This is a huge drop from the $90k+ it had earned in the four prior sales dating to November. We’ll have to wait and see if that lower price is a trend or an outlier.


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This issue made last week’s Trending Comics blog when it first hit the Hottest Comics index. A week later, and it’s making huge gains as the latest Amazing Spider-Man #1 is striking the right chord with buyers. 

Of course, this isn’t the standard edition. As with almost every modern comic, especially a first issue, buyers had their choice of variants for the newest volume of ASM (because Marvel is intent on keeping titles fresh by constantly rolling out yet another issue #1). What makes this one special is the inclusion of famed 2000s rap icon Eminem. Brought to life in stunning detail by artist Salvador Larroca, the cover sees Slim Shady having a rap battle with Spider-Man himself. How Spidey found the time to have a lyrical throwdown when he should be, you know, stopping criminals is a mystery. 

At any rate, it’s had collectors and investors scouring eBay for the high-grade copies of 2022’s ASM #1. The past 30 days has seen the graded 9.8 earn a staggering $1,389. If you can live without having that elusive grade, aim for the 9.6, which has been earning just under $600 as of late.

40. FANTASTIC FOUR #48 (+38)

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Buyers were not afraid to unload huge sums of cash on holy grails this past week. The Silver Surfer and Galactus’ joint first appearance nearly kept pace with Hulk #181, which is another testament to how popular both of these issues remain. The biggest difference is that FF #48 is more on the speculative side of MCU investing…for now.

From the moment Disney finalized its deal to buy Fox and all its intellectual properties, we knew the Fantastic Four would be coming to the MCU. They’re the stars of Marvel Comics’ first hit, and have earned their place as the publisher’s First Family. While the FF’s spotlight has dimmed over the decades, they remain synonymous with the Marvel logo. Ushering the Richards clan into the MCU is not only natural—it’s a necessity. 

With the FF comes the title’s family of characters, and they don’t come much bigger than Galactus—literally. The Devourer of Worlds has been the subject of countless theories, especially when Ultron made a clear allusion to the purple-helmeted one in What If…?. Then there’s his most famous herald, the Silver Surfer, who has been rumored to star in his own Disney Plus special in recent months. Add those together, and you can see why FF #48, despite the astronomical prices, has been soaring as of late.

I have written many times before, but it bears repeating: the litmus test for a holy grail is the low grades, and these don’t disappoint. While they’re not earning quite as much as comparable grades of Hulk #181, even a 0.5 FF #48 has averaged $600 in the past month.

000052721D-1-Footer Hottest Comics: Cable's First Appearance Edges Out Hulk #181 and FF #48*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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1 comment

Sean January 27, 2023 - 2:55 am

Just wait ’till the investors realize Warlock #9 is the first full appearance of the Magus. ZOOOOOOMMM!!! Skyrocket time!


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